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Bike Flippers, resellers, do you warranty your work?

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Bike Flippers, resellers, do you warranty your work?

Old 09-26-15, 04:17 PM
  #1  
CliffordK
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Bike Flippers, resellers, do you warranty your work?

I'm wanting to fix up and sell some mid-range road bikes.

The goal is to take some care in the work. I'd like any customers to be happy with their purchases long-term. But, I'm not really setup for taking in a lot of off-the-street projects either.

Does everyone sell (craigslist?) as-is? Or does anybody offer a written or unwritten warranty?

(not counting family members, of course).
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Old 09-26-15, 04:28 PM
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No, but I've always stood behind them, to a point.
If something's wrong, it has to be my fault, or something I would have seen, should have seen.

If it was test-ridden, which I insist on, I ask how it went. I often test-ride right next to the buyer and have them go up and down the gears. We also go to the bottom of a short hill and I ask them to gear down, climb, etc. I also get an idea on fit, and we can make minor adjustments. In my mind, I'm creating a cyclist, on that particular bike.

I had one come back, saying the R Ergo was no good. I knew it was fine, we'd tested it, I'd ridden it. 9-sp Mirage, not the smoothest to begin with. Questioning found that he'd already taken it to a shop, who took it apart and "fixed it," but wanted $58.00 for a hood, because they'd ripped it in disassembling the R Ergo.

A couple more calls supported:

1) the R Ergo hood was likely interfering with the shifting, having somehow gotten dislodged, either by me or him on the test ride and subsequent trip back (on a carrier, with another bike on the rack). It was now working fine with no hood.

2) the shop couldn't tell me what they did to the R Ergo, other than admit they ripped the hood trying to get it off. The shop also admitted that hoods came in pairs, and they were quoting him the price for a pair, but were keeping the L hood.

I called the buyer and asked if the bars had been unwrapped and re-wrapped, and his answer indicated a lot: "No."

I couldn't figure out how the shop fixed an Ergo shifter while it was still on the bar, and only destroyed the hood in the process. I offered the buyer a new hood and to put it on for him. I told him to tell the shop to pound sand; I doubted there was really anything wrong with the shifter other than a possible dislodged hood that interfered with the thumb button. I refused to pay $58 for a hood, or a pair. He accepted the hood and I mailed it to him.

I wouldn't be surprised if he damaged the hood himself, but he truly didn't appear to be anything but a guy who wanted a bike for the price, but also expected a "like new" Marin Portofino with full 9-sp triple Mirage for $450 to look and act like a new bike. In my opinion, it did, but in his mind, that included warranty. I stood behind it, to a point.

I have paid for wheels to be trued by a shop before I knew how, and simply did that to make sure the bike was right and ready.
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Old 09-26-15, 04:32 PM
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I don't personally offer any warranty on bikes I flip. I can say without a doubt that i put more work into the bikes than my other local flippers which cuts down on the profitability but I take pride in knowing the bike has been thoroughly gone through and won't give its new owner any trouble. I also like to include pics of the bike torn down so they can see the work that has gone into it.
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Old 09-26-15, 04:35 PM
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Once it leaves my hands it's all yours. If I were trying to start my own garage based shop then I'd offer some type of warranty but even then their still used parts. Much like a used car dealership. Once you paid and leave the lot it's all yours.
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Old 09-26-15, 04:40 PM
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I tell each person who buys a bike that if they have any questions after buying about the bike(history, what was fixed and changed, how something works) to not hesitate to contact me.

I don't sell a bike that isn't working as it should at the time of sale, and I don't offer a warranty. The bikes are priced low enough as it is.
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Old 09-26-15, 05:18 PM
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I don't sell very many bikes and I won't sell anything I wouldn't put my own family on, I tell the buyer if they have any problems with it I'll take care of it. I put WAY too much into the bikes I sell and usually just make a few bucks over parts costs if I'm lucky, I mainly do it of for the pleasure of building them. I just love the satisfaction of taking a grungy old lump and turning into something decent.
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Old 09-26-15, 06:17 PM
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Hell No.

You buy a bike from me and it's like buying anything else on Craigslist. Think of it as buying a bike at a garage sale. Once money exchanges hands its yours.
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Old 09-26-15, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Murray Missile View Post
I don't sell very many bikes and I won't sell anything I wouldn't put my own family on......
+1 My thoughts are always: If I wouldn't give it to my grandson... it isn't for sale.

I work on bikes as (a very satisfying) hobby. Sometimes I am lucky enough to make a few (never many) bucks in the process. Sometimes... I'll give away a bike if the person who wants/needs it can't afford it. I try to make sure every bike sale is win-win for everyone. That said... I offer NO warranty (written, unwritten, or implied).
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Old 09-26-15, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
+1 My thoughts are always: If I wouldn't give it to my grandson... it isn't for sale.

I work on bikes as (a very satisfying) hobby. Sometimes I am lucky enough to make a few (never many) bucks in the process. Sometimes... I'll give away a bike if the person who wants/needs it can't afford it. I try to make sure every bike sale is win-win for everyone. That said... I offer NO warranty (written, unwritten, or implied).
Knock on wood, I've never had one come back but then again after 36 years in Quality Control I'm think I'm pretty thorough when I go through one.
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Old 09-26-15, 07:22 PM
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If the buyer has been reasonable to deal with, I'll tell them to let me know if there are any problems.
I'm still waiting for three people to return the bikes they bought.
One I want back,and two I don't want but I don't think the buyers deserved the bikes.
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Old 09-26-15, 07:34 PM
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Depends on the customer.

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Old 09-26-15, 08:30 PM
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i send a follow-up, post-sale email with info about tire pressure and whatnot from my real email address, asking the buyer contact me if he wishes for any reason. i've met only two buyers after the sale to do tiny repairs.

a few times a buyer will contact me wanting another bike or a component i have for sale ... which is nice.
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Old 09-26-15, 09:26 PM
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If you're willing to fix something on it after the buyer comes back, that's a form of implied, unwritten warranty. You're not obligated to continue to fix it. This is what I did when I flipped bikes. I don't remember if anyone came back to have me fix something I did wrong, but I probably did answer questions and make small adjustments.
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Old 09-26-15, 09:41 PM
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I don't actively offer or advertise a warranty, but if someone who bought a bike from me was unhappy later I would definitely work with them to make it right or refund their purchase. This is not something I've had to deal with though, because I would be terribly embarrassed if someone who bought a bike from me found that I had done shoddy work, so I am extremely careful about having the bikes I sell in impeccable condition, and I make a point to show potential buyers, in detail, anything on a bike that's less-than-perfect before I take payment.
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Old 09-26-15, 09:43 PM
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No! WYSIWYG
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Old 09-27-15, 02:36 AM
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I stand behind everything I do or sell. And, as a leader in our local Bicycles for Humanity chapter, I encourage our group to do the same thing. B4H stands behind every bicycle that they refurbish and sell to local customers, which is a hundred or so each year.
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Old 09-27-15, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by gioscinelli View Post
No! WYSIWYG
+1. Any other way and I see it as business. File taxes on your business and carry liability insurance.
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Old 09-27-15, 05:58 AM
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As a rule, it's WYSIWYG, but I want buyers to be happy, so if I am around, I take care of it. One example, buyer had a grip shift problem so I gave him a spare, NIB, but left it to him to install. In Ann Arbor, I tell buyers that free repair clinics are available on Sundays at the Farmers Market for minor adjustments, etc.

Generally I follow the Golden Rule.
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Old 09-27-15, 07:16 AM
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Warranties anywhere are generally 50% scams imo once you deal with claims, labor (rarely covered, etc) Perhaps the only decent warranties are on vehicles in first covered years but this is generally b/c of consumer laws/suits over the years . Offering a warranty on used bikes, or any resold personal item is asking for trouble in todays lawsuit society. The traditional disclaimer "buyer beware" has been in place for millennia for good reason.

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Old 09-27-15, 07:31 AM
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I do not offer a warranty but I have gone out to fix a bike I sold that was not working right. The buyer contacted me a day after the sale. Minor adjustments was all it needed. That was the only bike I know of that had any issues after I sold it. I too would not sell a bike I would not let my own kid ride.
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Old 09-27-15, 09:26 AM
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No warranty expressed or implied. However, I do all I can to make sure the bike is right (obviously), and I believe full disclosure gives a clean conscience so before the sale if I know something's a little off I will let the buyer know. Sometimes I do this too much, letting them know about stuff that they'd never even notice.

I suppose if someone called me up a couple of days after a sale with an issue I'd go ahead and fix or adjust, within limits. And I often sell bikes I wouldn't let my family ride... the kids are young and the wife is short and the sale bikes would be both unsafe and uncomfortable for them.
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Old 09-27-15, 10:57 AM
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Never a warranty, but I always say "If it ever seems something is out of adjustment or you have questions, feel free to give me a call or drop by and I'll take a look." Tinkering on bikes is a hobby for me, after all.

I've only sold about ten bikes, and given away about a dozen more. The only time someone ever brought a bike back was because she felt it was too small for her, which is exactly what I told her when she took it.
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Old 09-27-15, 01:45 PM
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As others have said, I always make sure the bike is mechanically perfect before I even offer it for sale. Talk the buyer through the bike, get them to test ride, show how to check & maintain routine items, change tubes, show them other bikes I'm working on. 'Trade up' by fitting any extras/accessories they'd like and if any problems, let me know. Sold maybe two hundred, had one returned because 'the pedal fell off' - buyer had clearly fallen off the bike and broken the pedal but too ashamed to admit it. I fitted another pedal but after a bit of discussion he decided that cycling wasn't for him. I gave him a full cash refund straight away and he gave me part of that back for my trouble. Smiles all round as I sold the bike a couple of days later for full price again.

Another buyer purchased a beautiful original Specialized Hard Rock MTB with deep gloss fuschia paint. Phoned to say he'd resprayed the bike and now the front brake didn't work. I told him to bring it over and was dismayed to see it rattle canned matt black - but it's his bike now. He explained that as a boxer of some local renown, he just couldn't be seen riding a 'pink bike'! I reassembled the cantilever correctly for him and he happily took it way. A week later he returned with three of his male relatives - who bought three more bikes from me on the spot!

So, no I don't offer a formal warranty but am prepared to back up my sales with best endeavours and by word of mouth have several repeat customers and requests to build bikes up to customer specification. A little effort, concern for the customer's needs and minimal expense translates into a lot of extra sales.
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Old 09-27-15, 04:02 PM
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It depends. But for the most part, anything I sell is usually "as - is". Which, down here in the South means no warranty.
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Old 09-27-15, 04:14 PM
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This is why I don't build wheels for anyone but me.
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