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Suspicious Bike Sales

Old 04-02-14, 06:23 PM
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Bellet
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Suspicious Bike Sales

So when do you get suspicious that the sale of a bike is maybe not so legitimate?

See a very clean Basso being offered for $230. No mention of size or components, if anything is wrong with it, nothing. Just the pic of the bike and how much they want for it. Bike has been up on CL for four hours before I text & follow up with a call.

No immediate response to the text asking how big the frame is & no one answers the call; however, I do get a call back a couple minutes later.

Guy has no idea of how big the bike is and no idea of how to measure it (Strike One). Give him rudimentary instructions and he tells me it's 23", but it's "professional" and the wheels are 25" (Strike Two).

Ask him if he's had it for a very long time. Replies no, that he'd just bought it off "some guy" (Strike Three).

Now the bike does fit me, and the price is good, but just got the heebie jeebies after talking to the dude.

Thoughts?
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Old 04-02-14, 06:40 PM
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What city are you in? Generally, I don't bother talking to people on the phone, I tell them to make a mutually confirmed appointment at a camera monitored **PUBLIC LOCATION*** as per the CL tips on how not to get a 9MM shoved in your face.

I have sold some stuff on CL and have gotten creeped out many times. Trust your instincts , "some guy " LOL . Can you post the ad? This is kinda juicy.
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Old 04-02-14, 06:46 PM
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I see bad karma coming. The probability of the bike not being his to sell are strong enough in my mind that I would just move along.
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Old 04-02-14, 07:00 PM
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I thought about posting the ad, but didn't do it just on the chance the seller is legit. I did notice one other thing. The first pic of the bike shows the seat at a reasonable height. Pics thereafter show the seat as far down as it can possibly go, which look odd to me. Tells me one of three things: 1) Seller stole the bike, and dropped the seat so he could ride it; 2) The "dude" he got it from stole the bike and dropped the seat so he could ride it prior to resale to the current seller; or 3) The sale is legit and it was just an absolutely fabulous buy to the current seller, who quickly got sick of it 'cause it's too big of a bike for him!

Methinks I'm going to call the local PD & ask 'em if they've got anything on stolen Basso's.
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Old 04-02-14, 07:05 PM
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Agreed - walk away. I once heard a serious martial arts expert - I mean serious - give the best piece of self-defense advice I ever heard. Basically, it was to trust that voice in your head that says "I'm not comfortable with this." Whether it's deciding whether to walk down a street or deciding whether to go out with someone of deciding whether to check out a bike, if that little voice is going of, don't do it. Period. it is far better not to put yourself in a dicey situation than to have to figure out how to get out of one.
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Old 04-02-14, 07:16 PM
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Pass.
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Old 04-02-14, 07:54 PM
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Buy enough bikes and you will find 90% of the sellers out there are clueless. So clueless alone is not enough to disqualify. Its really the entire conversation.

+10 But I trust my instincts too.

Maybe half the bikes I see have slammed down saddles. People buy the wrong size bike, and people like to ride with the saddle all the way down so they can touch the ground with both feet while seated. Its stupid, but thats what I see.
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Old 04-02-14, 08:18 PM
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Ask him for the serial number. If he hands it over willingly, then perhaps (though not definitely) he's on the up-and-up.
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Old 04-02-14, 08:39 PM
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Craigslist is the best place to buy stolen bikes.
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Old 04-02-14, 10:24 PM
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Good info from y'all. I'm pretty clueless for the most part about bikes, but the last comment from the seller was what really set the alram bells rining. No call to the PD, but contacted a mod of a local FB bicycling page & queried him as to whether he's heard anything.
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Old 04-03-14, 12:12 AM
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The ad is easy enough to find, with a little searching. Describes it as a "fast bike", and has it in the lowest gearing possible in all the photos.

I'd not be surprised to learn that something with the previous (rightful?) owner's name on it is still in the saddle bag.
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Old 04-03-14, 12:28 AM
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I wouldn't trust anyone who wrote an ad like this:
"Nice & fast bike u will like it if u
Know about bikes. Feel free to come and look it. Tnx 4 look"


I wonder what spilled on the saddle right before the pics were taken. I'm guessing a tall can of Olde English 800.
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Old 04-03-14, 02:45 AM
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Maybe it's just me there's not really anything that makes me think stolen bike when i look at that ad. Price is in line with the market, text is pretty typical. Most people don't know anything about bikes so the two strikes for not knowing how to measure the bike seem a bit paranoid to me.

If they stole it, why did they bother taking so many pics of it at different times? My guess is this person got a good deal on this bike and took it home, put it in their garage and took a pic to show it off. Then they tried to ride it and found out it was too big for them. So then they took more pictures and listed it up on CL.
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Old 04-03-14, 04:37 AM
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I've bought bikes from all sorts of people under all types of circumstances. As WRK said you'd be surprised at how many people are truly clueless. People acquire bikes in an number f ways, they bought, could have traded for it, inherited it etc. Most people are just looking to sell it.

Criminals are stupid...but most aren't stupid enough to put a stolen bike on CL for the world to see.

If you don't buy the bike....someone else will.
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Old 04-03-14, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
Criminals are stupid...but most aren't stupid enough to put a stolen bike on CL for the world to see.
i don't know, it's not uncommon to hear about people getting their bikes back via CL: Stolen Bike Found On Craigslist, Woman Tricks Thief Into Giving It Back I still don't think it's stolen though, or at least nothing makes me think it is
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Old 04-03-14, 05:43 AM
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If you want the bike, OP, go buy it. The frame looks like a 23" to me. The tires may be marked 700 x 25c, which he took as 25". He may have received it from "some guy" in exchange or in trade. Who knows?

The price is fair. The splash tape is horrid.
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Old 04-03-14, 06:01 AM
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If you can buy it for a good price and ride it proudly, go for it. If you're going to be afraid to be seen on it lest people think you style it or bought it hot, don't. You can't know the history of the bike, but you can and should know your own conscience.
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Old 04-03-14, 06:06 AM
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The question isn't whether we think it's stolen. The question is whether you think it's stolen. And you do. So there's your answer.
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Old 04-03-14, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
The question isn't whether we think it's stolen. The question is whether you think it's stolen. And you do. So there's your answer.
There you go with a common sense answer. Defeats the whole purpose of this forum and puts into question the validity of the internet. You must be fun at parties, NOT
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Old 04-03-14, 07:26 AM
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I just passed on responding to a CL post for a. $400 late model carbon fiber bike. I figured a spammer or a thief.
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Old 04-03-14, 07:56 AM
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I'm cautious, but I have both bought and sold on craigslist, so I can see both sides.

I saw a Gardin on CL, with the chain off, along with a few junk bikes. I inquired and he was asking for $200 so I immediately said yes and arranged a time to meet. I'm not sure if he sensed I was eager or got another call, but he didn't give me his address in time for the meet, so I emailled him a few times with no response. The next day, I emailled and he told me he sold it that day, and that his phone battery had died so he hadn't gotten my messages. In my mind, it was clear that he got more information on what he had, and changed his mind. I saw the bike a week later, buffed up and with a new chain for $700.

And in another thread I relayed my story of the wheelset I bought where I made an agreement to meet in a public place after work, and after I left I got an email asking for more money, because they got another offer. I hadn't haggled, I had offered to pay what they asked for in the ad. And the story didn't seem to make sense, these were new wheels never used, but I was told they came off a Giant bicycle that they had done a wheel swap with. But the rear wheel was a flip flop - are there any Giants with flop flops? It was a good enough deal for one wheel, and the spare tire and tube on the rear is a bonus. I don't think they were stolen, but I don't think I got the whole story either.
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Old 04-03-14, 09:27 AM
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big chainring, !
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Old 04-03-14, 10:27 AM
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How's a guy s'posed to make some money on the Internet with you spoilsports around? Geez. Now I have to try to sell this Bosso bike down to the corner to sell.


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Old 04-03-14, 10:37 AM
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I agree with bill - it's not as simple as if A then B. I talk to the person, ask where the bike came from and make a decision. Some things are more suspicious - I got it from a basement clean out - where it's plausible, but I might follow up - oh - do you do that for a living? What company? Have a card? Someone not willing to meet at their house is more suspect to me, though there might be reasons. A lot of it is just judging the person - is it realistic that their cousin gave it to them? Oh ? Did your cousin race? Did he tell you anything about it? If the cousin is close enough to give you a fancy bike, you should be close enough to know a little about his relation to it. If I get a bad feeling from someone, and it's happened several times, i walk away.

Generally if I wouldn't trust the person to be in my home, I don't trust him enough to buy something from him.
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Old 04-03-14, 10:46 AM
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Well put, Aaron!
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