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Old 07-29-14, 03:07 AM   #1
Medic Zero
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Craigslist rants

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(If there's a more appropriate place to post this, please feel free to move it there Mods!)


I realize that a lot of the folks posting to Craigslist aren't very knowledgeable about bikes, but it blows my mind that they:

- Don't include the size of the bike a lot of the time
- Don't include the name of the model of the bike a lot of the time, and somehow manage to take their pictures just so that the model name isn't visible
- Sometimes don't even include pictures of the bike so that you could determine some of this for yourself
- Often if there are pictures, they're blurry or otherwise nearly useless other than to show that there is indeed a bike in the picture
- Post four different photos of the bike, all from a distance, so you can't make out any of the components, condition, model name or anything.
- Include key words that have absolutely nothing to do with the bike in question, causing their junk to turn up in totally unrelated searches, wasting my time clicking on a link that has nothing I'm interested in. Why?

I imagine some folks are purposely doing some of this to hide condition issues or something, but I think most of them are just clueless or don't care.

What really blows my mind is the people who post the really blurry pictures. Who uploads that and looks at it and thinks it's okay?

Perhaps my last rant on the subject (at the moment, there may be more!) is that there are some items that I am so sick of seeing month after month, some of them apparently re-listed every day*, that if I was ridiculously wealthy, I think I'd buy them just so I'd never have to look at them again!

* Often at the same price, and no improvement in the posting, although sometimes they change the wording of the title to trick people into clicking on it again...



Anyone else have a Craigslist rant?


Thanks for letting me rant, feels good to vent about it a bit. I'm on a quest for a couple of very specific frames, so I'm checking CL every few days, if not more often, and that's been the case for months, so I'm sure I'm a lot more sensitive to these things right now.

Last edited by Medic Zero; 07-29-14 at 03:32 AM.
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Old 07-29-14, 04:23 AM   #2
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I have been on CL a few times and can only shake my head at some of the bike ads.

Example: 1982 Raleigh (something - photo not clear), 10 speed, 27" tires, etc...etc... Price: $400 bucks!
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Old 07-29-14, 05:05 AM   #3
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Ads on stclassifieds.sg are even worse. Some people can sell used bikes for a higher price than new. Either they are blatantly trying to scam buyers or they don't don't the market.
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Old 07-29-14, 07:47 AM   #4
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The first time I ever uses CL, I had a good experience. I sold my first smaller bent quickly for only $200 less than I paid for it new.
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Old 07-29-14, 08:40 AM   #5
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Buying is bad enough, but selling is just as bad. Craigslist people are flaky! I've sold quite a bit of stuff on there but I donate a lot now simply because I don't want the hassle.

I was selling a very nice Lemond road bike on there once and had priced it appropriately. Nice photos and very detailed description. No damage whatsoever. Spoke to this one guy for a few days about the bike and provided even more photos to him. Drove down like 4 hours to come look at the bike. Wanted to talk me down to half what I was asking. I simply said no. He got quite irritated and said, "I'll just leave right now...." to which I said, "don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out...". He tried to haggle a little more but I told him the price is non-negotiable now. It was a little before you insulted me but now nothing. He drove off. Sold the bike the next day for full price.
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Old 07-29-14, 08:57 AM   #6
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I think that some people just get mad if reality doesn't match the picture they have in their mind.

I had a stack of new in the box, 2 and 4 bike Thule receiver hitch racks that I was selling for $75.00 each at a swap meet. I had a woman argue endlessly with me to lower the price on a 2 bike rack because I was selling it for the same price as the 4 bike racks. My argument was the price was so good that I was sure I'd sell them all so why should I take less? She eventually went away mad and I sold out at $75.00 each.
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Old 07-29-14, 09:34 AM   #7
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A few rants:
  • Blatant lies in the descriptions (i.e. - "Everything works great!" except for the fact that the rear wheel doesn't move when pedaling or brakes are frozen or doesn't shift. "No Rust" means "no rust on 10% of the bike", etc.)
  • One liner descriptions with no picture (i.e. - "Vintage Trek bike for sale")
  • Don't get me started on the meaning of the words "Excellent" or "Like New".
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Old 07-29-14, 11:34 AM   #8
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Unfortunately this is true for everything on Craigslist not just bikes. That's the trade off though. Either spend money on something new or waste time looking for a deal. What I don't get about the poor descriptions is it also wastes the sellers time because they have to answer more questions! Overall I think I've come out ahead on Craigslist both selling and buying. Of course, my latest fail was my first real bike a few weeks ago. I didn't know better and bought a bike with swapped old components. I'm pretty sure the guy knew although he was supposedly the second owner so maybe he got screwed first and I was the second sucker lol. My own fault... But yea, details on an item and some honesty would be a nice norm on there hah.
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Old 07-29-14, 11:49 AM   #9
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Sometimes I love those kinds of ads, some of the best deals can be had with them. There was once an ad for a "10 speed" in my area with a horrible picture. I could barely make out canti brakes from the picture so I checked it out and ended up with a 1984 Miyata 610 for $70. Also got a 1989 Bianchi Super Grizzly with full XT and Tange Prestige tubing for $60 because I saw celeste green cable housing.
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Old 07-29-14, 02:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by likebike23 View Post
Sometimes I love those kinds of ads, some of the best deals can be had with them. There was once an ad for a "10 speed" in my area with a horrible picture. I could barely make out canti brakes from the picture so I checked it out and ended up with a 1984 Miyata 610 for $70. Also got a 1989 Bianchi Super Grizzly with full XT and Tange Prestige tubing for $60 because I saw celeste green cable housing.
This is true. There are some fantastic deals out there, often hidden in the cryptic ads by people who don't know what they have. It's kind of needle in the haystack amongst all the dross though.
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Old 07-29-14, 03:14 PM   #11
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Gotta be careful of the crooks also. I bought a inflatable pontoon boat from a really nice guy off CL. Ok price and gave me some extra bladders and he was nice to talk to about fishing. He laid out the boat un-inflated and I stupidly didn't think to inflate the pontoons. Guess what? One had a nice hole in the bladder. They aren't that expensive, but the company discontinued that model 4 years ago. Can't buy the bladders and due to where it's leaking, can't repair it. That was a $400 learning experience.

Edit: All the extra bladders he gave me had the same leak.
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Old 07-30-14, 12:36 PM   #12
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We're downsizing our stuff to move to a condo, and I've given up on Craigslist for the all the reasons mentioned above. I found a local buy/sell Facebook group and have had nothing but great experiences on it. I think when people message you and you can see their name, to removes some of the shananigans. Not sure if there is a bicycle specific group...\
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Old 07-30-14, 02:51 PM   #13
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So teach a class on how to sell a bike on craig's list , video of it can be posted with a link, where else? on Craig's List.
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Old 07-30-14, 03:06 PM   #14
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In the SF Bay Area, CL has LOTS of great deals on stolen bikes. Not much else on the bike pages. bk
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Old 07-30-14, 03:08 PM   #15
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CL can be great or awful. Most experiences I have had buying things have been great. Selling things has been good. It all depends on demographic I think and items.

This is one local posting for the last 3+ months reposted every other day has annoyed me.

Vintage Trek 400 Road in great condition

Nice photos, nice frame. Okay components? 27 inch tires? No low balls for a 34 year old bike? $700. Still a stretch if it had 600 group and and 700c wheels.

It is right for someone I guess.

Someone posted a Rossin for $20 the other night. No description, a blurry shadowed picture was it. I missed it by 10 minutes.

Last edited by joeyduck; 07-30-14 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 07-30-14, 03:49 PM   #16
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Man I'm glad I read all this, I hadn't realized how rough life really is ,,,, thanks for posting,,,, a real eye opener ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
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Old 08-04-14, 09:45 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by likebike23 View Post
Sometimes I love those kinds of ads, some of the best deals can be had with them. There was once an ad for a "10 speed" in my area with a horrible picture. I could barely make out canti brakes from the picture so I checked it out and ended up with a 1984 Miyata 610 for $70. Also got a 1989 Bianchi Super Grizzly with full XT and Tange Prestige tubing for $60 because I saw celeste green cable housing.
Knowledge is a powerful tool.
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Old 08-04-14, 06:56 PM   #18
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I like the ads that have pictures only showing the bike in small portions, with no overall picture. Kind of like cheesy monster movies, where you don't see the entire monster until the very end.
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Old 08-05-14, 06:36 AM   #19
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I have many of the same peeves as well but my experience has still been favorable overall, especially in finding good deals. The key is to check the listings at least every day. Whether buying or selling, ALWAYS negotiate price before meeting face to face, which will result in much less haggling at the FTF meeting. I've never NOT sold an item after agreeing on a price and meeting FTF, and have rarely walked away from a buy.

I can totally relate to the lack of info and pics that people post in their ads, and chalk it up to lack of experience/knowledge, but that can lead to either amazing deals or items that are WAY overpriced, in which case, if I want the item, I email them a link to similar ads (from eBay most of the time) showing them what prices the item is being sold for elsewhere, and they often come down to earth on price.

I suppose my biggest rant would be spammers/scammers, but I think I've become pretty good at picking them out and flagging them (ALWAYS flag!)
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Old 08-05-14, 10:41 AM   #20
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I like the ads that have pictures only showing the bike in small portions, with no overall picture. Kind of like cheesy monster movies, where you don't see the entire monster until the very end.
when i see a monster movie like that
i dont immediately think the monster costume is stolen
otherwise the analogy is correct
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Old 08-05-14, 11:09 AM   #21
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Whether buying or selling, ALWAYS negotiate price before meeting face to face, which will result in much less haggling at the FTF meeting. I've never NOT sold an item after agreeing on a price and meeting FTF, and have rarely walked away from a buy.
ALWAYS negotiate before meeting? How can you assess the condition of a bike through emails?
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Old 08-05-14, 11:27 AM   #22
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ALWAYS negotiate before meeting? How can you assess the condition of a bike through emails?
yeah

that is kind of odd advice

if you are planning on driving four hours to look at something
you better be ready to pay the asking price if the item is as described

if you find some detail left out of the ad
or something else that you think affects the value
then try to use it for leverage during bargaining
but you have to be prepared for the seller to say
the price is the price
and go home empty handed
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Old 08-05-14, 11:31 AM   #23
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ALWAYS negotiate before meeting? How can you assess the condition of a bike through emails?
I ask for more photos, especially of any defects, and more info such as build year, any customization or 3rd party parts, whether it's been wrecked, etc. I'll then do my homework/research and make an offer.

In my experience, narrowing down a price before meeting saves both parties a bit of hassle in the long run, but of course there may be further negotiation at the meeting. If the ad doesn't say the price is firm, I always haggle a bit, that's part of the fun.
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Old 08-05-14, 11:34 AM   #24
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I ask for more photos, especially of any defects, and more info such as build year, any customization or 3rd party parts, whether it's been wrecked, etc. I'll then do my homework/research and make an offer.

In my experience, narrowing down a price before meeting saves both parties a bit of hassle in the long run, but of course there may be further negotiation at the meeting. If the ad doesn't say the price is firm, I always haggle a bit, that's part of the fun.
makes sense

even without detailed discussions
if a potential buyer says
nice item
but even if perfect the most I would pay is x

then if seller agrees
after item is seen
negotiations start at x
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Old 08-05-14, 11:50 AM   #25
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negotiations start at x
Exactly. I prefer to negotiate via email anyway, as I don't have much of a poker face.
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