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Selling a Bike

Old 04-08-24, 07:23 PM
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Selling a Bike

I just listed on Kijiji (Canada’s Craigslist) and FB Marketplace.

So guy comes by foot claiming public transport and wants to test the bike what’s your strategy ?
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Old 04-08-24, 07:27 PM
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Simple. Cash up front for a test ride.
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Old 04-08-24, 07:27 PM
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Paid in full cash up front before the test ride.
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Old 04-08-24, 07:31 PM
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So no cash no test ride. I got an “ I’ll EMT or hit the ATM if I like the test ride”.

Turned it down.
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Old 04-08-24, 07:34 PM
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Smart decision.
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Old 04-08-24, 07:51 PM
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Ask for his wallet, including any cash he has within. and credit cards as well
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Old 04-08-24, 08:26 PM
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Take a picture of him and the bike because...
.
.
...you might want a fond rememberance of the bike before it was stolen.
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Old 04-09-24, 04:18 AM
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Hold his ID or at least a phone. How nice of a bike we're talking about?
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Old 04-09-24, 05:27 AM
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That last idea is best. My city is a bike theft mecca due to our rapidly growing homeless population. Hold ID or money or both. Meet in front of Police Department. A lot of departments now have a designated area for that.
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Old 04-09-24, 05:30 AM
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Ask to hold their drivers license?
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Old 04-09-24, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by WaveyGravey
Ask to hold their drivers license?
I'm not sure about your state but in ours it's about $20 to get a replacement license.
You're also presuming the license has current information. I'm not even sure the PD would do much. It might be a small claims deal to recover your money or property.
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Old 04-09-24, 07:28 AM
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The interesting thing about the "hold the cash" idea is that it clearly becomes part of negotiating the price. You make it pretty clear that you will accept the amount that you accepted, while the buyer can ask for a lower price based on anything he discovers on the test ride.
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Old 04-09-24, 08:14 AM
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You need to hold onto 1) some cash, 2) ID, and 3) take photos. #2 is kind of optional but definitely do #1 and #3. You can't be too careful these days especially in the scenario you just described.
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Old 04-09-24, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeDeason
So no cash no test ride. I got an “ I’ll EMT or hit the ATM if I like the test ride”.

Turned it down.
Wise decision sir...
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Old 04-09-24, 10:17 AM
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Did he say he would be back with cash, or did he just walk away? Did he seem sketchy?
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Old 04-09-24, 03:30 PM
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People that come to look are all conveniently on foot and took “transit”. I saw one guy get dropped off about a block from my place. Taking it off Marketplace and going to try and sell local on NextDoor or a neighborhood WhatsApp group.
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Old 04-09-24, 03:51 PM
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You are worried too much. Let's be fair, ain't nobody is running away with your bike. You are doing business here. As a businessman, you should be willing to take some risk, or you will be losing the opportunities to do business transactions.

Just tell him he is only test-riding the bike on your street and within the distance or range of your vision. Have a family member or friend accompany you at the time of the transaction. Beforehand, park your car on the street or on your driveway, just in case if it is necessary, you can get in and chase him down; that's the worst case scenario.

In this day and age, I would be more worried about a stranger assaulting you and robbing you of your wallet or cash, on the pretext of doing a business transaction, than him running away with your bike.

I wonder, what price did you list the bike for, though? And how old is the bike?

Last edited by Eyes Roll; 04-09-24 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 04-11-24, 02:24 PM
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Grab and runs are very common here especially with electronics. I would assume bike and rides are as well based on the number of buyers who arrived on foot. I started texting them through the app that if they didn’t arrive in a car, no test drive.
No one came

did finally sell on a local WhatsApp group.
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Old 04-11-24, 02:32 PM
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It was a Norco Mountain Bike hybrid I rode for 25 yrs. Got $250 for it as it had a bunch in new parts installed not long ago.
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Old 04-11-24, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Eyes Roll
You are worried too much. Let's be fair, ain't nobody is running away with your bike.
You want to bet on that?
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Old 04-11-24, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul
You want to bet on that?
Exactly. We had an alley behind the shop where we routinely allowed test rides in the mid-80s. One dad a clean-cut guy walked in, calm, friendly, sincere, and asked to test ride a bike. I walked to the alley him and he rode out and back a couple times, then disappeared around the corner. Sometimes riders did this, no biggie. But as the minutes went by I got a sickening feeling in my stomach. He was long gone.

Luckily it was only a Haro. But still.
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Old 04-11-24, 04:51 PM
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Prospective buyers trailing off with a poor seller's bike is nothing new. Since the creation of the guild of thieves. They do it to stores too.

Happens all the time.

Question is, do you want that to happen to YOU?

As an active and consistent bike reseller, I use my experience and my judgement on how much I clamp down on a buyer by asking them to pay up front, leave their phone/waller/purse, dog, whatever. Every season, I get at least one theif trying to pull a fast one on me. Worrying too much is exactly what I must do.

For the powerless seller who is selling their one and own personal bike, do what must be done so you won't regret what can happen after.

Unless my Spidey senses go off, a buyer that shows up is genuinely here to look at my bike. So I am careful on how I apply the following so I don't offend anyone.

Buyer agrees to pay cash up front.

Check for counterfeit bills. I deal with piles of cash my whole life, I can spot a fake bill by the feel of it, I scrutinize them more with the built-in security features that bills have. Including polymers. I'm not going to lie by saying I have never accepted fakes. If I'm selling a bike that I really really want to get rid of, and the bills look good enough to buy foot longs at Subways, it's a deal. Don't ask don't tell. This in no way implies others should do same.

Buyer agrees to leave a personal item behind.

Unless you are a phone flipper and know your phones, old ones can be fished out of recycling deposit boxes, and the battery only needs to work to impress you for a few minutes. When the theif doesn't return, you find out you have a phone that's worth about $50. And if it's unlocked. I've had theives try to leave behind completely old and dead phones, giving a story how they forgot to charge it.

A handbag or backpack, can be filled with thrift store items, dead electronics. It's real easy to buy used school merch and obselete student textbooks if it'll help the ruse. This is why I never accept bags/wallets as a security deposit.

I don't ask for ID because that's private. I don't have a right to know their full name any more than they do for mine.

A dog is a definite pass. Gotta be pretty low to adopt a pet to use as a ruse to steal a bike.

Buyer comes with a vehicle, alone or maybe with others.

A buyer that pulls up with their ride gets a green light for me if they are alone, with their douyin girlfriend, wife, kids, grandparents, anyone that doesn't look like a collaborator. Because the theif can still ride off with your bike, while the collab drives off following.

If you are meeting the buyer in a public space and you got there after, do NOT assume they really came by a car, even if they are found leaning on one. I had a theif show up 30 minutes ahead of schedule so they were able to try that trick on me. When I said no deal, they pretended to have locked the keys in the car, and said they were walking home to get a spare. Wow.

I admit, I am a good judge of character because of the sheer number of people I have met and continue to meet. This can certainly be a challenge to the occasional seller that just wants to sell their one bicycle.

It's your bike. You need to decide how much the sale is worth over the risk. I had a kid try to steal a $50 BSO dumpster find I was selling. He was sitting on the saddle, feet on pedals, but I wouldn't let go of the bar when he refused to remove his backpack and show me a working phone.

A real buyer won't have a problem to see things from your point of view and comply. I sell straight bikes that are perfect and advertise to buyers that want exactly that. If they are in any way offended to provide what I've asked, I'd rather lose the sale than to lose my bike. And I don't lose any sleep.

Good luck!
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Old 04-12-24, 12:35 PM
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I would certainly get a cash deposit for the test ride if someone just walked up. I have sold bikes on CL but folks usually show up in a car or truck. I get the keys and ID and they enjoy a ride. When they return smiling , I know I made the sale!
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Old 04-15-24, 01:18 PM
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shock collar?
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