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Buying and selling bikes online

Old 02-03-20, 11:11 PM
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CaliDreaming
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Buying and selling bikes online

Hey folks,


I'm doing a research project for a class I'm taking and want to pick your brains. This is a business course around marketing and MVPs but of course, I'm bringing my love of cycling to it So now to some questions, if you wouldn't mind...
  1. Would you consider buying a bike, sight unseen (beyond pics and vids), online for a private seller?
  2. Would you consider selling a bike in an auction format like on eBay?
  3. What information do you wish private sellers would give in their listings on eBay or Craigslist?
  4. Would you be more willing to buy on eBay if buyers and sellers were required to verify their identity?
  5. What features would be "must-have" for you to feel comfortable either buying or selling a bike online?

Thank you for your time! This info from a cycling community like this will certainly provide at least done good anecdotal data for my project.
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Old 02-04-20, 12:42 AM
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Maelochs
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I have bought bikes and parts off EBay and Craigslist .... I use PayPal so returns are a lot more convenient.

I have only once bought an entire bike sight unseen ... that worked out because it was from BikesDirect, so there was a lot of info available. I wouldn't be too comfortable buying a used bike if I couldn't check it out in person--unless I just wanted the frame and there were sufficient pics to show that the frame hadn't (likely) been abused.

When buying anything or even answering and ad ... if the person doesn't have All the relevant data .... year, manufacturer, model, parts group, and other specifics ... I usually pass. If the seller isn't interested enough to read the name on th down tube, nor knowledgeable enough to identify the various parts, then likely the bike was cheap ad not well maintained. Of course, it could have been found in the back of the garage or something .... but if the seller cannot at least read the lettering of the decals and the numbers stamped into the frame, the seller isn't trying hard enough.

I would sell a bike on EBay with a reserve---a minimum bid.

As for giving a real identity ... i trust PayPal and EBay to look out for scammers and to take care of customers. If a person really tried to cheat me I am pretty sure I could get most or all of my money back through EBay and PayPal. And if I didnt get a really good feeling about the seller in the first place, I simply wouldn't get involved.

if ti was anything even remotely expensive, I would correspond with the seller first---ask questions about the merchandise---both to find out more what was for sale and to find out how I felt about the seller.

Craigslist is entirely different because I would be meeting the seller and inspecting the bike or parts.
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Old 02-04-20, 01:48 AM
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1 - yes (depend on price of course ; I will say may 500$)

2 - I don't personally do that, but I don't see any thing wrong with that. If I would do, I would put a reserve price.

3 - Detailed size of the bike / first hand or not / original bill or not ; purchase history (previous owner, .../ equipment / detailed pictured of any defaults.

4- yes for sure. There is so many bike stolen, that buying second hand needs some check before purchase. (question of self prootection, and morality too. I of course don't want to purchase a stolen bike, even for a good price).
When I purchase a bike (generally locally and after a real discussion with a real guy, I always ask for a picture of his identity card / driving licence. Of course I provide mine. If the guy is not ready for that, I go my way.
We do that for a car, why not for a bike ?

5 - Payment. the platform should collect the payment of the buyer until the object is send, checked and approved. Then pay the seller.
No direct transaction , even with paypal or similar. (even if paypal is a great way of paying)
It already exists, but not on every platforms.


I suppose you understood that I prefer by far dealing with a real person in front of me, and looking at the bike by myself.
I don't use ebay myself, but I use other selling platforms in france. (troc velo , le bon coin, ....)
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Old 02-04-20, 05:50 AM
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Thread moved form General Cycling forum to Survey forum.
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Old 02-04-20, 10:05 AM
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Thanks for the feedback so far! This is some good info. It doesn't seem like having users verify their identities would be too big of a burden, huh?
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Old 02-04-20, 06:59 PM
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Buy from old men with lots of parts that need money all the time after joining their website. Works for vintage stereos, accessories and I assume cars as well.

Yes, I AM extremely cheap and have a lot more crap than my friends.
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Old 02-08-20, 12:34 PM
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Great questions, since I do a lot of web surfing for bikes and bike parts...

Would you consider buying a bike, sight unseen (beyond pics and vids), online for a private seller?
Yes (I have in the past).

Would you consider selling a bike in an auction format like on eBay?
Yes.

What information do you wish private sellers would give in their listings on eBay or Craigslist?
Delivery cost. Serial number. Year of manufacture. Where it was purchased and/or last serviced. Photo of the bike's drive side and any identifying decals! Almost all of the eBay listings show "free shipping" when they are really "local pickup only". There's no way to filter out the "local pickup" ones, so it's a huge time waste.

Would you be more willing to buy on eBay if buyers and sellers were required to verify their identity?
No, it's not a big issue for me. Knowing their location would be much more helpful, since that's often hard to figure out. Craigslist seems to be where the identity would be more useful, since that's scam central. (Something like how Spinlister identifies users for bike rentals is nice - they verify folks via multiple social media accounts and phone numbers so it doesn't feel sketchy.)

What features would be "must-have" for you to feel comfortable either buying or selling a bike online?
Secure payment options. Reliable 3rd-party pickup and shipping. Shipping is always the thing that kills a sale or ruins a bike during delivery.
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Old 02-10-20, 06:20 PM
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Thanks for your responses, osric!

Anyone else have any thoughts?
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