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Thread: Parts on eBay?

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    Parts on eBay?

    Thinking of building a new bike. I've started checking out eBay and of course found all sorts of stuff. It appears I could save hundreds of $$ with eBay. Some are overseas, others are not. Many are new and going for 50-75% of the retail price. Their feedback is 99-100%. I know many riders say support your local bike shop. However, I do all my own maintenance, know where to ride, and only visit the LBS when I need a tube quick. I've always seen the local bike shop as something more for Ma and Pa to shop at(smaller town) or buy a complete bike (LBS in a major city) when a good deal arrives.
    People also say support your local hardware store, but I still shop at Home Depot.
    Anyone have comments on eBay purchases and NOT why I should shop at my LBS?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member mlh122's Avatar
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    In my opinion, Pros and Cons of ebay:
    Pros: Can save lots of $$, huge selection, you can order stuff at work or waiting for dinner to cook rather than leaving the house to go to a store at the other end of town, and you can boost your own feedback so you're better off if you ever start selling.
    Cons: Not supporting your local economy (however you're not contributing to urban sprawl by shopping at WalMart either though), its harder to deal with the sellers, its easy to get the wrong thing if the seller doesn't know what it is and guesses, many sellers offer a very limited return policy if any. Ebay isn't much help even in cases of blatant fraud (I'm still missing $700 from a fraud case). You have to wait up to several weeks for your items i.e. some sellers say they ship overnight express but they take 3 weeks to ship it so you get it in 3 weeks and 1 day.

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    Senior Member mlh122's Avatar
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    I'd pick ebay over a LBS with bad service any day, the LBS's where they have the "you're not going to spend $2k so you're not worth our time" attitudes. Lately I only buy cheap, nearly indestructible stuff on ebay. like tires or chains or grips, most sellers won't get that wrong. but if i were getting a new bike or an entire drive train, or a specific shifter to match what i've already got, I go to a LBS 1.5 towns away just because they treat you the same whether you're getting a $600 hard tail or brake pads.

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    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    I have no problem with people buying stuff off ebay, as long as they do their own work for the most part. It annoys me to no end when someone comes in with a crapped out used fork with a 1 1/8th that they want me to put on their 2002 Jekyll with a Headshok. Basically if you know what you are doing, eBay can have some great deals, especially on odd or old parts. I just picked up an awesome pair of canti's for $25 new, that are probably almost as good as Paul's Motolites at $120.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

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    One thing no one has mentioned are the online Mail Order sites. I've had a lot of luck with PricePoint, Nashbar, and especially JensonUSA. You can save a lot of money over the LBS, and you can be pretty certain that you're getting what you need and when you need it, and they'll price match other sites. The shipping is usually much cheaper than eBay. If you're buying new, go with the mail order or LBS, but if you want odd or used parts, search out the deals on eBay.

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    If you know what you're after, Ebay is a top choice. Pay attention to feedack rating and look for a high number next to it (indicating high # of history transaction).

    Requires patiance sometimes but you get the best deals.
    Risk of burning out is there but I think it is close to zero if you follow the tips regarding feedback history.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    Senior Member nodnerb's Avatar
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    I just finished building my bike and about 70% of the parts were from Ebay. Some used, mostly brand new. I can't justify doubling my cost to buy parts to support lbs that are jsut out to make a buck anyway. It's a business to make money first, and provide a service second. I've never been in a shop where it wasn't the first priority to make as much money as possible rather than provide good parts, advice and service. Not saying there aren't good shops out there trying to help out, but it is a business first. I probably saved $400-500 by buying as much as I could from Ebay, and that's without anyone trying to get me to upgrade or buy more parts etc. Besides, If I bought all my parts at the shop, my whole bike would have to be a few levels down in components. I can get a deore derailleur for about $70 or more new at the lbs. I bought a brand new xt off Ebay for $60. Ebay rocks. Buy forth.

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    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nodnerb
    I've never been in a shop where it wasn't the first priority to make as much money as possible rather than provide good parts, advice and service.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

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    Senior Member nodnerb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seely
    Care to back up that statement.....with words perhaps? Maybe a point you'd like to get across. Or even an opinion?

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    sarcasm meter: jerk mode santiago's Avatar
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    It is my experience that LBS owners are in it for passion first and foremost and making a living is almost secondary. It borders on the same way that artists and dancers choose to make a living. They are obviously trying to make a living but I'm sure there are a lot of LBS owners that stepped away from something to work in something that they love. I know my LBS guy had a well paying job working as an assembly line worker in the aerospace industry but decided to buy the LBS he grew up around when the previous owner was no longer able to manage the shop due to old age and disease.
    First Class Jerk

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    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Q: What's the fastest way to make a small fortune in the retail side of the bike industry?


    A: Start with a large one.


  12. #12
    fmw
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    Quote Originally Posted by nodnerb
    Care to back up that statement.....with words perhaps? Maybe a point you'd like to get across. Or even an opinion?
    I'll back it up for him. Any business has to make money to remain a business. Also it has to provide value and service to remain a business. Don't be criticizing profitability when you enjoy the benefits of living in the richest, most powerful country in the world, thanks mostly to business profitability. I assume he thought your comment was irresponsible and lacking in knowledge.

    Having defended him, I can say that I do all my own bike work and use Ebay for parts very often. I just got a brand new Campy Centaur crankset from an Ebay seller today. It was about 30% below retail and it arrived in two days. I'll install it myself. It won't cost the LBS anything.

  13. #13
    Senior Member nodnerb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fmw
    I'll back it up for him. Any business has to make money to remain a business. Also it has to provide value and service to remain a business. Don't be criticizing profitability when you enjoy the benefits of living in the richest, most powerful country in the world, thanks mostly to business profitability. I assume he thought your comment was irresponsible and lacking in knowledge.

    Having defended him, I can say that I do all my own bike work and use Ebay for parts very often. I just got a brand new Campy Centaur crankset from an Ebay seller today. It was about 30% below retail and it arrived in two days. I'll install it myself. It won't cost the LBS anything.
    lol. OK. You are getting awefully political just becasue I've found *my* local shops to be less than perfect. Have you been to the shops I am refering to? I assume not. I prefer to use Ebay from my personal experience, whenever I can. I also do all my own bike work and would never expect to go to a shop and have them install something I bought online. Some of the guys at the shops are great. One shop here is really good and I go in there alot. Bottom line is, they are out to make a buck and make a living. Great. Nothing wrong with that. I am saving a buck. Nothing wrong with that either.

    Perhaps if he thinks I am lacking knoledge and am irresponsible for my own opinions(regardless of how you take them out of context and make them global issues), he could have offered some of that wisdom instead of just .

    And funiest of all. I live in the richest, most powerful country in the world? You might have missed it, I live in Canada.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Callaway's Avatar
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    I think that supporting the LBS is great. I believe that all or at the very least, a large majority of LBS owners have a passion for biking and all of the riders in the community. I also know that even at my favorite LBS there are some employees/salemen that are complete a$$holes! They act condescending and even when I am talking about dropping a thousand bucks or more they act as though I am wasting their precious web surfing time. I am still establishing a relationship with my LBS where this is happening but I do most of my business through the company VP of stores. I still suggest friends and family go there, but I do a lot to help them out.
    eBay is also a great resource b/c there are people that use something for a while, want to upgrade, sell it on eBay and use the cash to buy the new stuff from their LBS. That is the perfect scenario and there are plenty of people exploiting the internet, but the system seems to be working. There are no lack of LBS choices in the past couple of towns I have lived, and there is no lack of gear on eBay.
    Keep riding, breaking and updgrading stuff and we will keep it that way
    cheers
    '83/'85 Shoguns, Ridley Helium, Miyata 600 GT, '85 Peugeot PGN 10, Masi, Giant TCR Advanced (sold), Nishiki Prestige (stolen), Stumpjumper HT (sold) and Trek 830 Mtn XC (traded)

  15. #15
    THIS BIKE'S 4 U !!!! Killer B's Avatar
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    I've sold probably more stuff on eBAY than anyone on this forum, and thus would highly recommend buying from there vs. the LBS unless the LBS can come very close to the same price. I will still buy local for some of my complete bikes, and simple items like tubes & similar. It seems there's not much mark up on the cheap items....

    I hate to avoid the LBS entirely, but $$$ is $$$ afterall, huh?
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    Commited Suicide WannaGetGood's Avatar
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    The only thing I would worry about E-bay is sometimes they take the picture when the part it bran new. They use it, then sell it for like $10 less then what they got it for. That really pissed my friend off. I didn't go biking with him for a little while after that....

  17. #17
    fmw
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    Quote Originally Posted by nodnerb

    And funiest of all. I live in the richest, most powerful country in the world? You might have missed it, I live in Canada.
    Sorry to hear it but I think it is fair to say that Canada, as a free and democratic country that has an economy based on private enterprise, allows you to enjoy your life style for the same reasons.

  18. #18
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    As a long time shop rat, I really have no problems with ebay. I buy a lot of stuff there myself.

    What I don't like is are the customers that try to get information from you at the shop and then go buy off of ebay.

    As a LBS employee one of the things we offer to the masses is our experience and knowledge of product. Don't pick our brains, or try on our shoes or clothes and then buy online.

    Just a tangent. Maybe the reason that you don't have a lot of shops in your area might be because retailers have learned that the bicycle business isn't very profitable due to the influx of online retailer competition and ebay. Just maybe.
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
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