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Old 03-27-13, 07:29 PM   #1
dherzfeld
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New Bike Build - Sourcing components from Ebay?

Hi all - I'm new to the forum and eager to hear some opinions. I'm working on a Niner Jet 9 FS build, with a Rock Shox SID RL fork. I'm planning on a full XT drive train and brake setup, haven't decided on wheels yet, and will piece the rest together as I go. This is my first medium-high end bike build from scratch, although over the years (decades) I've done a lot of my own wrenching, so am not too itimidated by the process.

Clearly, buying components at retail price in the LBS is the most expensive route, and really has very little appeal to me, one because they have a poor selection of higher end components and two the charge full retail price. I've found some options online from some of the retailers that look good, but the best deals on the component set seem to be on Ebay, and mostly from Asia. My question, then: What are the pros/cons of purchasing the component group over Ebay? Lack of support/warranty if a component is bad? Is it a "grey market" purchase like Swiss watches where the Ebayers are breaking the distribution rules set up by Shimano, and therefore I won't get any factory support? Are they Chinese knockoffs? Is it totally the best way to go, with very little downside due to the high quality of the components?

Thanks for your input!
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Old 03-27-13, 09:45 PM   #2
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I've purchased quite a few used, high end (XT, Fox, DA) components through ebay with much success. But never from anywhere outside the US. Most ebay sellers are pretty honest. Ask questions if you have any doubts and don't buy if they don't answer your question, you probably hit a sore point and they don't want to answer for fear of not selling the item.
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Old 03-28-13, 09:27 AM   #3
ColinL
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I've done it all before, including a full MTB build last summer. (Link is in my sig if you want to see what parts I used.) All the stuff I bought is genuine, but I am not sure if it's grey market or what.

If you're going to buy from China or Taiwan, Ebay is your safest way to do so BY FAR. You can see the reputation of each seller, recent comments, and they are incented to provide the right product and good service. Failing in all that you have Ebay to go to bat for you, which they are strong advocates for buyers because buyers make the system work. (Comparatively, they care a lot less about seller's rights, letting poor buyers run roughshod such as failure to pay, leaving negative feedback for trivial reasons, etc. But I digress.)

If you buy from a website not only does that stuff not apply, but also it could be outright fraudulent. The ONLY asian website I would buy from, and I have, is DealExtreme. Those guys are legit. I am sure there are others, but I haven't used them.

In regards to warranty, it depends. Don't count on anything, first of all. I haven't had to make any claims yet. But honestly I have never had a problem getting support if I needed it, from companies like SRAM. If you buy a complete bike or even frameset from Ebay from a major manufacturer you should expect to have no warranty, since all of the mfgs (that I know of) do not support internet sales or sales through an unauthorized reseller.
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Old 03-28-13, 09:33 AM   #4
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BTW the complexity of bicycle parts is why there are not many knockoffs that I have seen. A fake watch or sunglasses only need to look relatively good. A derailleur is too difficult to bother counterfeiting. A fork or shock, absolutely not going to be faked.

However anything that comes from a sales channel that isn't the manufacturer's official one for your region is going to be grey market. You should expect to have no warranty in exchange for the substantially reduced price. I'll take that trade, thanks.
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Old 03-28-13, 12:25 PM   #5
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Thanks Colin. You basically reinforce what I already thought. I've bought other stuff on Ebay, some good and some not so much. I'm not a huge ebayer.
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