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khatfull 09-02-10 03:31 PM

"The Facilitators" Thread - Post here if you're willing and able!
It always seems that someone is looking for someone else to facilitate a CL or eBay purchase...but me? Oh, never! :innocent:

Well, I thought why not...a thread for those who don't mind facilitating purchases for fellow forum members to say "I'm here if you need me." I'll start a format here, maybe we can get this going? This way folks who might be looking for someone can just search this thread rather than post, unless you can't find someone close here. I list primary and secondary cities...primary for that geographic area you're in, secondary for those areas somewhat close that you'd go to for that "special" item :) I'm using the cities list from CL because, honestly, CL will drive most of these requests.

Of course, transfer of payment and such can be worked out by the parties after contact, etc.

I'd consider this a work in progress but I'll start...

Username: khatfull
Preferred Contact: PM or e-mail through site.
State(s): Minnesota, Western Wisconsin
Primary CL City: Minneapolis
Secondary CL Cities: Duluth, Eau Claire, Mankato, Rochester, St. Cloud
Items willing to facilitate: small items up to whole bikes

Whatcha think folks? If this proves popular maybe we can get the mods to sticky it for us...

As requested, here is Google map for those who are willing to facilitate to place their location on:

ADDED 3/17/2001, UPDATED 11/29/2012

Tabular List of Facilitators

Taken from the list itself, I listed the primary location for each volunteer, check their particular post for other areas. This will get you close though. I will add to this as other folks step up.


AK: Anchorage - balindamood
AL: Birmingham - Ex Pres
AR: Central Area - Drummerboy1975
AZ: Phoenix - blaise_f, Scottsdale - irvri, Flagstaff/Prescott - ACH57
CA: San Diego - CMC SanDiego, Alan Edwards, Bakersfield - rat fink, SF Bay Area - Drietz, senisbs, Los Angeles - Chilero, San Jose - bloud
CO: Boulder - Iowegian, Denver - Pwnt, Fort Collins - septacycles
CT: Fairfielld County - David325, New London - ctjohna
DC: DC Metro - Certifried
DE: Northern Area - -Holiday76
FL: Tampa - JReade, Ft. Lauderdale - Chris_in_Miami, Bradenton, Sarasota - zebede
GA: Atlanta - brianeugene, Atlanta - redbikee, Atlanta - theblackbullet
IA: Des Moines - thirdgenbird
IL: Yorkville - beech333, Chicagoland - Dkop3, bibliobob, Chicago Al, Bloomington - russd32
IN: Fort Wayne - wtgrantham
KY: Lexington - xB_Nutt
LA: New Orleans - Deleterious
MA: Boston - dynne
MD: Washington DC - robtown
ME: Central Maine - top506
MI: Ann Arbor - Road Fan
MN: Mpls./St.Paul - khatfull, Mpls./Eastern WI - badger_biker
MO: STL Metro - buldogge, jhrii, St. Louis - gbalke, Kansas City - azorch,
NC: Eastern NC - RobbieTunes, Raleigh - PeregrineA1
NE: Lincoln - 23skidoo
NJ: Newark - noglider, Trenton - rhm, Rahway - Andrew F
NM: Albuquerque - Peruano
NV: Las Vegas - JPZ66
NY: New York City - David325 (winter and summer breaks)
OH: Cincinnati - TheManSuit, Canton - mkeller234
OK: Tulsa - junkfoodjunkie
OR: Corvallis/Albany - Hamanu23, Corvallis/Albany - Oregon Southpaw
PA: Allentown - RobE30, Philadelphia - KonAaron Snake, Philadelphia/Harrisburg - Bianchigirll, Philadelphia - -holiday76, Scranton - Little Darwin
TN: Chattanooga - BestSportEver, Cookeville - dwellman, Nashville - Sethplate, Chattanooga - afilado
TX: Austin - dashuaigeh, Houston - habes78023, Dallas - brockd15
UT: Salt Lake City - InspectorGadget
VA: Richmond - poguemahome, Hampton Roads area - cpsqlrwn, Washington, D.C. - robatsu
VT: Burlington - knoregs
WA: Seattle - scozim
WI: Eastern WI/Minneapolis - badger_biker, Appleton - rotharpunc


Canada, Ontario: Toronto - jet sanchEz, Kitchener-Waterloo - old's'cool
Canada, Manitoba: Winnipeg - sauze
Nottingham (part time) - Onegin
Belgium: Ghent (Gent, Gand) - stevenc
Finland: Helsinki - puchfinnland
UK/Belgium: Nerdy Norm (see post #122)

ADDED 3/16/2010

Suggested Facilitation Guidelines

The “facilitation” process we have developed here in the C&V forum is one of the most interesting and beneficial things we have going. Being able to have trusted, knowledgeable eyes and hands on an item thousands of miles away PLUS knowing that someone who knows how to pack and ship is helping out is IMHO a fantastic thing. We can widen our nets to Craigslist listings far outside our locally accessible area. Not that I haven’t availed myself on several occasions.

Those who have publicly volunteered and that do so privately do us a great service, asking little or nothing in return for the time in purchasing, packing, and shipping our treasures.

I thought it might be helpful to put together some suggested guidelines. I guess since I started the “facilitators thread” I get PMs on occasion asking how to initiate the process, how it works, etc. In the end, the arrangement is unique between two individuals and those individuals are free to come to any arrangement they like. My point here is to hopefully answer some questions or at least list some of the things you might want to consider when facilitating or looking for a facilitator for that grail bike/part/item.

Having facilitated several items and I think six or seven whole bikes now and having engaged facilitators on several occasions I’m going to add a little commentary as well. I hope it’s helpful.


Does the facilitator have experience shipping the item you’re looking for, especially whole bikes? It’s a task to undertake and IMHO takes a couple hours to do properly.
Has the facilitator completed other such transactions in the past?
How will examination of the item work? The facilitator and buyer should agree on things to looks for when examining the item…stuck stems/seatposts, dings, dents, whatever. People’s idea of what “good condition” is can vary. I have taken pics on site and e-mailed to the buyer. I have also had the buyer on the phone while examining the bike. Both work.
Who will contact the seller of the item and handle that communication? With Craigslist sellers especially sometimes dealing with a local entity is the only acceptable thing….other times not. I have acted as agent totally, I have merely been a pick up guy.


What shipping method(s) are acceptable? The parties should agree on a method of shipping, FedEx, UPS, USPS, etc. I think it’s generally agreed that FedEx Ground, so long as you don’t hit their magic box size, is the least expensive and quickest way to ship a whole bike. Others’ experiences might be different but I find it to be true as well. Being in the middle of the US helps get bikes to either coast. :)
If the facilitator likes or uses only one shipping service he or she should state it. Some people ship from work and have access to only one carrier.
How long will it take to ship the item? The facilitator should give the buyer an approximate date that they’ll be able to ship the item. I try to get small items out in a day or two…bikes within a week. Of course, things get in the way sometimes…I have taken 2.5 weeks to ship a bike but I told the buyer up front that I was busy with work and that was ok with him. I try to keep both a frame sized box and a bike box on hand but sometimes it takes a couple of days to ping all the LBSes to find a proper box.


What level or type of packaging would the buyer like to see? I mummify the frame in pipe foam and then use the frame to attach bars seatposts/saddles and the like to. There are a couple very good threads in the forums about this, search for miamijim's threads on the subject. Don’t forget to block forks and/or dropouts! :)
What level of disassembly is acceptable? I like to nearly disassemble the bike completely. Most of us would do so anyway on receipt. Removing the majority of components allows maximum flexibility in locating bars, front wheels, etc. within the shipping box. I usually then pack each component in a plastic bag, bubble wrap, and into a box that then goes into the main shipping box.
Who will pay for packing materials if cost is incurred? I try to reuse materials as I seem to have as many coming in as out. I also get bubble wrap via the local freecycle list. If I do have to go get pipe foam I let the buyer know up front or if that’s even a possibility. Payment for that is nice as it’s an out-of-pocket expense. A typical bike takes 3-4 pieces at about $1.25 each. I might also throw in a buck or two for nylon ties as I buy a big bag of 1000 and have them on hand. I probably use 30-50 per bike. I haven’t yet had to pay for a box.


This is tough. All the rest is just talk until the exchange of money takes place. In the end this is a transaction of trust. Parties can use past forum posts, our transaction feedback thread in the Sales subforum, ask other members, all sorts of ways to determine the relative reputation of a potential facilitator/buyer.

How does the seller want to get paid? Some may want cash only in which case the facilitator will need the funds. Some are good with PayPal.
Does the facilitator want funds for the transaction up front? I generally need to as I don’t have a huge bike fund. If I have the funds on hand I ask the buyer to PayPal me. On one occasion I didn’t, the bike was a little more costly, and time was of the essence. We chose to use a wire transfer. However, that cost $15 for me to receive so be aware of any costs related to wire transfers.
How does the buyer get funds to the facilitator? Check, MO, PayPal, wire transfer? Sometimes time is of the essence so that should be considered. PayPal transfers of a balance to a bank account take 3-4 days.
Does the facilitator expect payment for his or her time, gas, etc.? I never expect nor ask for anything for my time. Doing this is my donation to my bike karma bucket. I’m also a frequent user of facilitator services so I feel I’m giving back as well. Besides, sometimes I get to touchy feely some neato stuff I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.

I hope this helps some of you who might be considering offering your services or trying to avail yourself of the same. I’m sure this is by no means a comprehensive list. I’m very open to suggestions for additions.

In the end, this process is an agreement between two parties who choose to enter into it. I have found one thing to be true and have had it return to me many times over: our mothers were right, the Golden Rule really does work.

RobE30 09-02-10 04:14 PM

Username: RobE30
Preferred Contact: PM or e-mail through site.
State(s): Pennsylvania, New York
Primary CL City: Allentown
Secondary CL Cities: Reading, Binghamton, Skaneateles
Items willing to facilitate: small items up to whole bikes

I agree w/ Beech333, a user map like Clydes has would be great for C&V

junkfoodjunkie 09-02-10 04:21 PM

Username: junkfoodjunkie
Preferred Contact: PM or e-mail through site.
State(s): Oklahoma
Primary CL City: Tulsa
Secondary CL Cities: Oklahoma City, Stillwater
Items willing to facilitate: small items up to whole bikes


KonAaron Snake 09-02-10 04:24 PM

After how much help I've gotten from various members, I'm absolutely willing and able to help out.

Username: KonAaron Snake
Preferred Contact: PM or e-mail through site.
State(s): Pennsylvania
Primary CL City: Philadelphia
Secondary CL Cities:
Items willing to facilitate: small items up to whole bikes

As far as shipping...for whole bikes or wheels, I go right to a local wholesaler/shop called Bells Bicycles. Their shipping discount is so large that it's cheaper for me to ship through them and have them do the work.

Bianchigirll 09-02-10 05:47 PM

Same here I am willing to help if I can.

username: Bianchigirll
Preferred Contact: PM or e-mail through site.
Primary CL City:Fort Wayne say 50 miles?
Secondary CL Cities:
Items willing to facilitate: small items up to whole bikes

for large items bikes/wheel I usually go to the FedEx store near me. a Bike from here to Minneapolis was about $40 I have had no complaints about the 2 bikes I shipped.

hamanu23 09-02-10 07:27 PM

I just got my bike rack today, and I can facilitate bikes

Username: Hamanu23
Preferred contact: PM.(goes to me email)
State: OR
Primary CL City: Corvallis/Albany (Not Portland!) Portland is terrible for a rural guy like me:)
Items willing to facilitate: small items up to whole bikes

I have not shipped a bike yet, so you would be paying the cost of having my LBS pack up the bike. My LBS is about 30 yards from the UPS store so I would most likely ship UPS unless something else was way way cheaper.

buldogge 09-02-10 09:46 PM

Username: buldogge
Preferred Contact: PM or e-mail through site.
State(s): Missouri/(southern)Illinois
Primary CL City: STL Metro
Secondary CL Cities: zilch
Items willing to facilitate: small items up to whole long as it can be shipped...or, I can hold it 'til you get here.

DKop3 09-02-10 09:50 PM

Username: DKop3
Preferred Contact: PM or e-mail through site.
State(s): Northern Illinois, Northwest Indiana
Primary CL City: Chicago (Chicagoland)
Secondary CL Cities: Milwaukee, Northwest Indiana, Southwest Michigan
Items willing to facilitate:small items to whole bikes

robtown 09-03-10 10:11 AM

Username: robtown
Preferred Contact: PM or e-mail through site.
State(s): VA, MD, D.C.
Primary CL City: Washington D.C.
Secondary CL Cities:
Items willing to facilitate: Large items up to whole bikes

I've actually had good luck getting CL posters to ship small items. Most bikes sell fast here on CL but if you can arrange with the seller to hold one ...

Thanksgiving 11/25/2010 Due to a difficult family and work situation I won't be able to facilitate for now.

BrianEugene 09-03-10 10:52 AM

Username: brianeugene
Preferred Contact: PM or e-mail through site.
State(s): Georgia
Primary CL City: Atlanta
Secondary CL Cities:
Items willing to facilitate: small items up to whole bikes

I've never shipped a bike before, but I've read some tutorials on this site and think I could handle it. I'm also willing to take it to a bike shop to be professionally packed or hold it for a period of time. With all of this said, I do not have a car, so if I can not bike/take marta to the pickup, I'd have to get a zipcar at $7/hr.

Also, I can't figure out how to add myself to the map. I accidentally added a pharmacy near my house, so if someone else could fix that for me or instruct me how to, I would appreciate it.

Oregon Southpaw 09-03-10 11:08 AM

Username: Corvallis Sourdough
Preferred Contact: PM or e-mail through site.
State(s): Oregon
Primary CL City: Corvallis/Albany
Secondary CL Cities: Eugene
Items willing to facilitate: small items up to whole bikes

I just recently facilitated my first bike, and the experience on the whole was spectacular. What made it spectacular for me is that they made it worth my time...I was amazed at how tough it was to coordinate all the different elements: getting the bike, transporting it with no car, dropping it off at the LBS, coordinating pickup, fighting the $100 "Large item" shipping charge. But at the end of the day it made somebody happy and made me $50, so I was happy to do it. Obviously shipping a whole bike is an ordeal, and I'd only expect somebody contacting me to do it to be very, very interested in the bike (holy grail, etc).

Fortunately for me, and unfortunately for others, Western Oregon has very few deals advertised on CL, and if there's any "bargains" they're gone almost instantaneously.

noglider 09-03-10 12:00 PM

Username: How is this not apparent?
Preferred Contact: Email, not PM. My address is
State(s): NJ, in the NYC metro area
Primary CL City: newjersey (northern), physically located near Newark. Easy train access to Manhattan
Secondary CL Cities: newyork
Items willing to facilitate: small items up to whole bikes
Special notes: I'm a skilled bicycle mechanic

gbalke 09-03-10 12:31 PM

Username: gbalke
Preferred Contact: PM or e-mail through site.
State(s): Missouri/ Southwest Illinois
Primary CL City: St. Louis
Secondary CL Cities: open to discussion; loves road trips!
Items willing to facilitate: inspection and/or shipping of small items up to whole bikes (buyer should be willing to pay for cost of packing materials for bikes or paying the cost of having LBS pack up the bike). Shipping of bikes would be through FedEx.

jet sanchEz 09-08-10 09:34 AM

Username: <<<<
Preferred Contact: PM or e-mail through site.
Province: Ontario
Primary CL or Kijiji City: Toronto
Secondary CL or Kijiji Cities: The GTA (Greater Toronto Area) is somewhat accessible; I don't have a car but do have a Zipcar membership
Items willing to facilitate: big or small but customs might make seemingly awesome deals into just good deals

rhm 09-08-10 12:33 PM

Username: <<<<
Preferred Contact: PM or e-mail through site.
State(s): NJ , NY
Primary CL City: Trenton, NJ
Secondary CL Cities: NY, NY (Manhattan); Brookhaven, NY
Items willing to facilitate: depends. In Trenton, I could do bikes; on Manhattan, only small items. On Long Island, well... let's talk.

CMC SanDiego 09-08-10 01:03 PM

Username: CMC SanDiego
Preferred Contact: PM or e-mail through site.
State: California
Primary CL or Kijiji City: San Diego
Secondary CL or Kijiji Cities: Just about anywhere in San Diego County
Items willing to facilitate: Small items preferred, but would facilitate packing and shipping of whole bikes through an LBS if needed.

rat fink 09-08-10 01:53 PM

Username: <-
Preferred Contact: PM or e-mail through site.
State(s): California
Primary CL Cities: Bakersfield, Antelope Valley
Secondary CL Cities: Los Angeles and Fresno
Items willing to facilitate: small items up to whole bikes. I am willing and sometimes able to facilitate, and have the skills to correctly package and ship most anything. Depending on travel and handling necessities, appropriate compensation may be expected.
Special notes: I'm a skilled bicycle mechanic.

DRietz 09-08-10 06:03 PM

Originally Posted by rat fink (Post 11430034)
Username: DRietz
Preferred Contact: PM or e-mail through site.
State(s): California
Primary CL Cities: SF Bay Area
Secondary CL Cities: San Leandro, Dublin, Livermore, Oakland, Hayward, etc.
Items willing to facilitate: small items up to whole bikes. I am willing and sometimes able to facilitate, and have the skills to correctly package and ship most anything. Depending on travel and handling necessities, appropriate compensation may be expected.
Special notes: I'm a skilled bicycle mechanic.

Stole Joe's and converted it into mine. :D

khatfull 09-08-10 06:16 PM

Just FYI, the sticky for this thread will last around 3-4 weeks, then go back to normal. I asked the mods to sticky it to keep it up in the fist page for a while. I figure 3-4 weeks will catch anyone involved enough to want to facilitate.

TheManSuit 09-10-10 01:18 AM

Username: TheManSuit
Preferred Contact: PM through the site.
State: Ohio
Primary CL: Cincinnati
Secondary CL: Columbus (conditional)
Items willing to facilitate: small items up to whole bikes (with a little incentive...I'm poor)
Notes: I'm not very experienced with shipping whole bikes, but am willing to give it my best shot. I'm not a reckless guy, just haven't been doing this for long. Also note that I am a poor college student. Aside from school and regular bills to pay, my free money literally goes towards bicycles and beer. However, if you are willing to accommodate I am more than willing to help in any way possible and will ship entire bicycles if need be.

mkeller234 09-12-10 11:02 PM

Username: mkeller234
Preferred Contact: PM or e-mail through site.
State(s): Ohio
Primary CL City: Canton / Akron / Massillon
Secondary CL Cities: Cleveland / Columbus
Items willing to facilitate: small items up to whole bike. My LBS will ship a bike for 30 dollars plus freight.

dashuaigeh 09-14-10 10:36 AM

good idea. here's hoping.

Username: dashuaigeh
Preferred Contact: e-mail through site
State(s): Texas
Primary CL City: Austin
Secondary CL Cities: Houston, San Antonio, possibly Dallas
Items willing to facilitate: small items, possibly up to whole bikes.

RobbieTunes 09-14-10 02:27 PM

Username: RobbieTunes
Preferred Contact: e-mail through site
State(s): NC,
Primary CL City: Eastern NC
Secondary CL Cities: Raleigh, but it better be good.
Items willing to facilitate: Bolts to Bikes.

Prefer you either make the payment to seller or get me the dough up front.
I am not a bank, nor do I do the searching.

Peruano 09-14-10 07:51 PM

Preferred Contact: email rababikes at
State(s): New Mexico
Primary CL City: Greater Albuquerque
Secondary CL Cities: Sta. Fe to Socorro
Items willing to facilitate: If you will pay, I'll ship it.

23skidoo 09-14-10 08:07 PM

Username: 23skidoo
Preferred Contact: e-mail through site or PM
State(s): NE-braska
Primary CL City: Lincoln
Secondary CL Cities: 90-mile radius or a bit further if you are going to compensate me insanely
Items willing to facilitate: Anything bike-related that will fit in a box sized under the FedEx/UPS 'dimensional weight' limit

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