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  1. #1
    Senior Member yankeefan's Avatar
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    Stolen road bikes on craigslist

    I've been eyeballing a few bikes on craigslist for the past couple of weeks and its been shocking how many listings I see where the seller knew next to nothing about the bike he's selling, which leads me to believe that these people are not the original owners of the bike. Not to mention the ridiculous prices, either way too high or suspiciously low. Do you still buy the bike knowing its probable history and justify it to yourself that you're getting the price for a steal (literally!)? My conscience kinds of bothers me, but if I don't buy it someone else will so its not like I'm helping the original owner by not buying the bike... what do you guys think? I'm mainly referring to mid-level road bikes

  2. #2
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    You can own a bike without knowing anything about it. You can (try to) sell a bike without knowing how much it is worth.
    Quote Originally Posted by thosebikes View Post
    i know how to write dumb $h!t

  3. #3
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CKey_Cal View Post
    Facts are binary. If they aren't, then they aren't facts.

  4. #4
    Senior Member WhyFi's Avatar
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    There are a lot of people that'll buy something without a lot of diligence; that they don't know much about it doesn't necessarily say anything about whether it was stolen or not. Likewise, people don't necessarily keep up to date on pricing in the secondary market. Others just want to price something aggressively to get rid of it without a lot of fuss. IOW, don't let pricing alone discourage you from buying something. Contact the seller. Ask questions about the provenance rather than the specs, find out why they're selling and get a feel for whether or not they're on the level. If you think that they are, buy it. If you think that they're not, avoid it - it's a small chance, but the original owner may come a callin', and then you'd be SOL.
    Quote Originally Posted by BillyD View Post
    They were getting crude, as juveniles are often inclined to do when given opportunity. :rolleyes:

  5. #5
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
    There are a lot of people that'll buy something without a lot of diligence; that they don't know much about it doesn't necessarily say anything about whether it was stolen or not.
    Hell, I've been in bike shops and after a few minutes of chatting with a sales guy come to the realization that I know more about what they're selling than them. Not always the case, but sometimes...
    Quote Originally Posted by thosebikes View Post
    i know how to write dumb $h!t

  6. #6
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    I've purchased bikes from people that I know for a fact were the original owner of the bike and they knew next to nothing about them (didn't know difference between crankset and cassette for example, didn't know groupset, didn't know wheel or tire size, etc) and they certainly didn't know value.
    http://www.pedalroom.com/members/rms13

  7. #7
    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    I have heard a story where a pissed-off ex-wife sold a guy's prized italian steed for peanuts on Craigslist.
    Regards,

    Jed

  8. #8
    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
    Hell, I've been in bike shops and after a few minutes of chatting with a sales guy come to the realization that I know more about what they're selling than them. Not always the case, but sometimes...
    I've been working as a sales guy in bike shops and after a few minutes of chatting with a customer come to the realization that they think they know more about what I am selling than I do, but actually don't know their ass from a hole in the ground. Not always the case, but sometimes...

  9. #9
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
    I've been working as a sales guy in bike shops and after a few minutes of chatting with a customer come to the realization that they think they know more about what I am selling than I do, but actually don't know their ass from a hole in the ground. Not always the case, but sometimes...
    I've spent enough time in customer service positions to know that that is usually the case.
    Quote Originally Posted by thosebikes View Post
    i know how to write dumb $h!t

  10. #10
    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
    I've purchased bikes from people that I know for a fact were the original owner of the bike and they knew next to nothing about them (didn't know difference between crankset and cassette for example, didn't know groupset, didn't know wheel or tire size, etc) and they certainly didn't know value.
    I have heard advice before that buying from someone who doesn't know what they have is better because they are less likely to have used the product to its limit, if at all. For example, someone with a downhill bike who replaced the brakes or fork probably rode the bike to the point that they found the original spec was insufficient - or damaged.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    A couple months ago they busted a guy out here who had a storage locker filled with stolen bikes. He was selling them off on craigslist.

    Quote Originally Posted by yankeefan View Post
    ... but if I don't buy it someone else will so its not like I'm helping the original owner by not buying the bike...
    Maybe. If you refuse to buy a CL bike because it's obviously stolen, then there's a smaller market for stolen bikes, they aren't worth quite as much, and are a little harder to sell. Of course if just one guy does it, it really doesn't make a difference.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  12. #12
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Selling stolen stuff on CL just seems like a good way to get caught.
    Quote Originally Posted by thosebikes View Post
    i know how to write dumb $h!t

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by yankeefan View Post
    Do you still buy the bike knowing its probable history and justify it to yourself
    No. Not only is it illegal, but it'd make you just as much of a morally corrupt scumbag as the original thief. If you have a reasonable suspicion that it's stolen report it to the cops. Sure it's improbable they'll actually do anything, but there's a tiny chance they might, and whatever the cops do or don't do you'll still have done the right thing.

    Georgia Law reads:
    O.C.G.A. 16-8-7 (2010)
    16-8-7. Theft by receiving stolen property
    (a) A person commits the offense of theft by receiving stolen property when he receives, disposes of, or retains stolen property which he knows or should know was stolen unless the property is received, disposed of, or retained with intent to restore it to the owner. "Receiving" means acquiring possession or control or lending on the security of the property.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
    Selling stolen stuff on CL just seems like a good way to get caught.
    It is if you do it in the same town the bike was stolen from. Not many other ways of getting your merch out there, though. I've heard of bike stores in other cities that buy used no-questions-asked, but not around my area and they seem to be fewer and farther between nowadays.

  15. #15
    Senior Member RoderWrench's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
    I've been working as a sales guy in bike shops and after a few minutes of chatting with a customer come to the realization that they think they know more about what I am selling than I do, but actually don't know their ass from a hole in the ground. Not always the case, but sometimes...
    It's your job to know more than the customer. Don't be so defensive and insecure, every profession has morons in it.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
    I've been working as a sales guy in bike shops and after a few minutes of chatting with a customer come to the realization that they think they know more about what I am selling than I do, but actually don't know their ass from a hole in the ground. Not always the case, but sometimes...
    Heh. The guy who just built my custom bike was once interviewed. During the interview he mentioned how some people approach him about a custom frame, insisting on things that won't work because they think they know a lot about designing and building frames when they really don't know much, if anything. He told the reporter that he has forgotten more about building frames than most people have ever known. Of course, the statement got taken out of context by some. He wasn't trying to be arrogant but rather make the same point as you.
    "I've wanted you to succeed, but watching you find excuse after excuse after excuse and then laugh it off as the loveable, quirky, chubby guy is getting old."--Ill.Clyde

  17. #17
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    You would be better using eBay and selling the 'hot' nicked, merchandise out of state.

  18. #18
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    I have no problem buying on CL, but you absolutely need to do your homework before meeting somebody.

    Just last week, I had arranged to see a 2013 Roubaix, the guy gave me the address so I went after work. I pull up and see a not so great looking building under a highway. I was not comfortable as I had about $1k in cash on me so I told him I could not make it.

    Ended up buying an immaculate condition Tarmac sport from a fellow rider who was upgrading, he met me in a well lit parking lot and was extremely helpful from A-Z, even offering me plastic gloves in order to load the bike into my SUV.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoderWrench View Post
    It's your job to know more than the customer. Don't be so defensive and insecure, every profession has morons in it.
    I like to think my customer service skills were very good, and when someone had an attitude like the one I described I was careful to not make them feel insulted or belittled, as that would benefit no-one. My comment of them not knowing their ass from a hole in the ground (an expression my father liked to use) I am comfortable with today because of a decade of hindsight. There were certainly people I talked with who did know more than me about just about anything and I tried to be a careful listener - which is in my opinion the most important trait for a sales person.

    The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing, and me trying to prove my superior knowledge would just be arrogance on my part.

    I had a much more experienced colleague who had forgotten more than I could ever know, and he was a great example - he could provide an alternate viewpoint, back it up with examples and personal experience and generalities, and change an arrogant and/or ignorant client's opinion without them even realizing it.

  20. #20
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    I've forgotten more than I could ever know.
    Quote Originally Posted by thosebikes View Post
    i know how to write dumb $h!t

  21. #21
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
    Selling stolen stuff on CL just seems like a good way to get caught.
    The police here are too busy beating minorities up to care about bike thieves.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  22. #22
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thosebikes View Post
    i know how to write dumb $h!t

  23. #23
    L-I-V-I-N dtrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solo118 View Post
    Just last week, I had arranged to see a 2013 Roubaix, the guy gave me the address so I went after work. I pull up and see a not so great looking building under a highway. I was not comfortable as I had about $1k in cash on me so I told him I could not make it.
    What - you got a weird feeling standing with $1k in cash in front of the tent camp, under the freeway, with used needles and the smell of urine all around? What did you think could go wrong?
    "The older you do get, the more rules they're gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin', man, L-I-V-I-N." - Wooderson

    '14 carbon Synapse - '12 CAAD 10 5 - '99 Gary Fisher Big Sur

  24. #24
    Grillparzer Grillparzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
    Selling stolen stuff on CL just seems like a good way to get caught.

    The police catch the stupid criminals or the unlucky ones. This guy seems to have gotten away with it.

    PSA: If you find a Capital Bikeshare bike, don?t try to sell it on Craigslist - The Washington Post
    Don't go out on a bicycle wearing a tail coat unless you enjoy making a ridiculous show of yourself.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Jiggle's Avatar
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    Like the bicycle scene in the pawn shop in Nightcrawler.

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