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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 12-07-04, 07:22 PM   #1
KingFoo
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I'm mainly interested in knowing some of the things to look out for, but I would also like to hear some stories about your good experiences with getting stuff through ebay - complete bikes or frames, whatever...

Last edited by KingFoo; 12-07-04 at 07:23 PM. Reason: dumb
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Old 12-07-04, 07:54 PM   #2
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Don't get scammed. There are lots of scammers out ther ready to take your money...
caveat emptor
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Old 12-07-04, 07:55 PM   #3
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I bought a kick ass 82 Bianchi (With Columbus SL) and complete Campy NR for $200. Ebay kicks ass. Now I'm addicted. I guess tha's the only problem with it. Other Ebayers will know what I'm talking about. If you dig vintage excelence and you've already combed through every LBS and co-op 10 times, Ebay is TOO good.
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Old 12-07-04, 08:07 PM   #4
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Wear your Sunday best!
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Old 12-07-04, 08:42 PM   #5
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Ben's Bikes has some good new stuff. Cool people, too.
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Old 12-07-04, 08:43 PM   #6
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I'd avoid those sellers like applecart or whatever that sell a half-assed conversion they label as a "track bike." Roll your own if you must.

Something about paying $50-80 for a box, packing and shipping for a garage-sale level bike that rubs me the wrong way.
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Old 12-07-04, 09:21 PM   #7
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good deals can be had. as with any purchase on eBay, check out the seller's feedback first and ask lots of questions. if something seems shady...trust you instincts.
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Old 12-07-04, 09:55 PM   #8
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I highly favor eBay stores - obviously no unique things like rad vintage frames or nos campy track pedals, but there are good deals to be had reliably there, many cheap parts. ive picked up a couple $9-10 seatposts, $10 pedals, one store/seller had B123's for $40 IIRC. Sometimes its kind of nice to get a good deal and not have to stress about bidding.

Not knocking bidding though... I just picked up a sweet Bullseye front hub for $10, nd have bought plenty of other stuff.
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Old 12-07-04, 10:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skitbraviking
Ben's Bikes has some good new stuff. Cool people, too.
I second that.

bensbike has a nice ebay store with lots of fixed gear related stuff. I bought a wheelset there recently and so far I've had good luck with it. Service was good too.

Russell from bensbike signed up here not too long ago.

/shameless plug.
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Old 12-07-04, 10:07 PM   #10
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bensbike needs to get hooked up with paypal though...
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Old 12-08-04, 08:08 AM   #11
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Yeah, I second what someone else said about the "boxing" fee and about unreasonable flat shipping fees. Maybe I live in some kind of bike paradise or something, but I find that bike boxes are really really easy to get FOR FREE, and the boxing itself is a very easy procedure that takes 20 minutes or so (maybe a little longer if you include disassembly time). Charging $50 for that (or even $35) is a scam.
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Old 12-08-04, 08:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamkell
bensbike needs to get hooked up with paypal though...
you can call them with a credit card. Is it really that difficult? Plus, why use something that hits you for a percentage? I prefer a voice on the other end than a server. Call me crazy...
I do agree though - Russell and the rest of the people at Bens Bikes are really great.
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Old 12-08-04, 08:46 AM   #13
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i've had good and bad experiences on ebay. my fixie was an exceptionally good one- bike shipped from new york, cost me $25- for shipping, and the seller did not claim his paypal payment until the bike arrived. he provided me with a ups tracking no., and sent follow-up emails. i've bought several other fairly expensive things (like my fat ibanez 6-string bass) with equally good luck. the crappy transactions are usually from small, low-dollar items from high-volume sellers- impersonal and automated all the way. i've also had some stuff just not show up. ebay and paypal's buyer protection is a frigging nightmare. paypal credit acct. is a little better for following up on claims.
just don't buy a high-end bike for too good a price from a seller who insists on western union.
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Old 12-08-04, 09:20 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ya Tu Sabes
Yeah, I second what someone else said about the "boxing" fee and about unreasonable flat shipping fees. Maybe I live in some kind of bike paradise or something, but I find that bike boxes are really really easy to get FOR FREE, and the boxing itself is a very easy procedure that takes 20 minutes or so (maybe a little longer if you include disassembly time). Charging $50 for that (or even $35) is a scam.
Most bike shops in this city charge around $35 to box a bike, so that may be where the boxing fee is coming from. Personally, it's worth $35 to know that a pro is boxing the bike I just bought. If I sold a bike on eBay, I'd charge $35 even if I boxed the thing myself because it takes a half hour to do it right and my time is valuable.
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Old 12-08-04, 11:47 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ira in Chi
Most bike shops in this city charge around $35 to box a bike, so that may be where the boxing fee is coming from. Personally, it's worth $35 to know that a pro is boxing the bike I just bought. If I sold a bike on eBay, I'd charge $35 even if I boxed the thing myself because it takes a half hour to do it right and my time is valuable.

Fair enough, but it's not really clear to me in all those cases that a pro is boxing the bike. Also, when you get a bike from a store, the whole set-up there involves overhead, rent, wages to employees, etc., and what your LBS sells (in addition to actual bikes) is service, so they're going to charge for it. But on eBay, the whole idea (or, at least, the charm as far as I'm concerned) is that all extraneous expenses are removed and the item is just sold. I guess you have a point when you say your time is valuable so you'd charge for the boxing, but I tend to think of that as part of the price of the bike. I mean, if you sell a bike you probably clean it up first, but nobody tacks an extra $15 cleaning fee onto the top bid. What I'm saying is, I don't like auctions with built-in extra charges (aside from shipping, which is inescapable). It seems mildly sneaky to me, like a car ad that gives a price and then says, in small letters at the bottom of the screen, "wheels, windows, locks, brakes, and headlights cost extra."
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Old 12-08-04, 11:48 AM   #16
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Another point where we may disagree is on the value of our time. I'm pretty certain mine has no value at all, which is why I waste it.
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Old 12-08-04, 12:13 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [165]
you can call them with a credit card. Is it really that difficult? Plus, why use something that hits you for a percentage? I prefer a voice on the other end than a server. Call me crazy...
I do agree though - Russell and the rest of the people at Bens Bikes are really great.
I don't think you are crazy. Paypal is pervasive in the world of ebay for a reason though.

It's nice to hear the good words on Ben's Bikes though. Their fine reputation might just convince me to buy from them and overlook the extremely difficult phone [call] i'll have to make.

Last edited by adamkell; 12-08-04 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 12-08-04, 12:30 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Their fine reputation might just convince me to buy from them and overlook the extremely difficult phone i'll have to make.
There are phones for sale on e-bay, too. So you don't have to make one.
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Old 12-08-04, 12:38 PM   #19
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I have nothing against eBay but I'm not fond of PayPal...I had a case of CC fraud recently and I'd bet anything the info was gained thru PayPal...no proof, just my firm belief. And I do remember PayPal getting hacked a year or two ago as well...I much prefer the phone when I can.
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Old 12-08-04, 12:53 PM   #20
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There are phones for sale on e-bay, too. So you don't have to make one.
Wow, no kidding, first you have to make the phone and then what? Start laying a few hundred miles of wire?

But yeah, I dig paypal and i would prefer it. Also dislike the services where u complete the auction then login to some auction service to get ur price and etc. I prefer to deal straight with the seller and pay via paypal at once.
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Old 12-08-04, 07:56 PM   #21
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If buying a frame... ask the seller to show you a photo with the fork and bottom bracket seprate, i say that because I recieved a frame with a seized quill stem and had to pay my lbs to have the damn thing cut out loosing a lovely cinelli! and i knew somebody who's frame had dodgy BB threads - its things like that you have to make top prio.

For stems / bars and other solid objects its number 1..check the ebay stores, i got brand new tiagra chainset for 1/2 high street price.
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Old 12-08-04, 08:20 PM   #22
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A couple of things -

1. Like the guys mentioned before - shipping. Some sellers will ship a bike for $25 and some want $75. For most fixies, I can't see spending big money to ship a bike. I guess if you're dropping $1000 on a cinelli or something, that's okay, but for most frames, $75 is huge.

2. Be sure to get detailed measurements from the seller. Explain to them how to measure the seat tube and top tube so that you are getting the bike you think you're getting.
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Old 12-09-04, 02:18 AM   #23
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Yeah shipping is the thing. But you guys can guage shipping costs on me. I live in hawaii. I have had 2 63cm frames sent here in boxes that also included the forks and other msc stuff. Each one was around $38-$40 usps. If someone charges you more than that, i wouldnt buy from them.
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Old 12-09-04, 08:55 AM   #24
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i had to pay $50 for a bmx bike to be shipped to me via usps. it weighed 40 lbs (a lot more than a fixie!) and was right at the maximum size limit. i didn't mind, since i saved more than that by not buying on the local (euro) economy. i think the seller actually ate some of the shipping costs. i always look at prices as "out the door" or total delivered price, not the actual sale price. it's about perspective.
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Old 12-09-04, 11:26 AM   #25
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At Ben's Cycles, we don't do use Paypal for 3 reasons. 1) The additional costs, 2) Paypal's questionable policies regarding disputes, and the MAIN reason - 3) It allows us to interact more personally with the customer, and vice-versa.
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