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Craigs List Buying Proceedure

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Craigs List Buying Proceedure

Old 10-22-15, 11:03 PM
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Inpd
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Craigs List Buying Proceedure

So I'm seeing some nice bikes on CL in my area (finally). So what's the procedure that people recommend?

I've heard that some sellers require you hand over the full amount before they let you test ride. That makes sense from their perspective but from my perspective there are two issues:

a) I'm looking at $1000+ bikes so don't want to keep $1000 lying around the home if I don't buy it.
b) I don't want to give some guy I don't know $1000. If he decides to pocket it, its his word versus mine.
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Old 10-22-15, 11:22 PM
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I would never hand over any money before buying. Maybe drivers license for collateral like bike shops do. If you take off he has your license so not hard for the cops to track you down. But I've bought and sold a few bikes on Craigslist and there were never any test rides. From my experience people know what they want, they kmow if it's the right size, generally negotiate price before meeting and just look over the bike to make sure there are no obvious problem and then make the exchange. Obviously, this is all done in a busy public place during daytime
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Old 10-22-15, 11:52 PM
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Yeah, I don't think a double-century test ride is in the works for a used bike purchase from Craigs list. Maybe a spin around the parking lot to make sure all the spinny parts spin. You shouldn't need to fork over a ton of money to go 50 yards on the bike to make sure it works.

However... if you want to buy a used bike, you have to have the cash. You can't say "Hey, I'll get the cash tomorrow if I like the ride" because that doesn't work in used sales land.
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Old 10-23-15, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
Yeah, I don't think a double-century test ride is in the works for a used bike purchase from Craigs list. Maybe a spin around the parking lot to make sure all the spinny parts spin. You shouldn't need to fork over a ton of money to go 50 yards on the bike to make sure it works.

However... if you want to buy a used bike, you have to have the cash. You can't say "Hey, I'll get the cash tomorrow if I like the ride" because that doesn't work in used sales land.
+1

If you meet up with someone without the full intention of buying the bike than you're wasting that person's time. You shouldn't be meeting someone just to kick the tires on their bike or expect them to meet you a second time to transact business if you want the bike because you didn't bring the cash
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Old 10-23-15, 02:12 AM
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The hottest deals don't last long. So, be prepared to be able to get the full purchase price of the bike at a moment's notice any day of the week, any time of day. And, sellers usually don't hold an item beyond the earliest possible time to come get it.

I've been offered a few test rides. Most of what I purchase is "fixers", so I don't stress over the test ride too much. I've never been asked for collateral for a test ride, but I usually would have shown up with either a bike or car worth at least as much as what I'm purchasing.
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Old 10-23-15, 06:00 AM
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My first concern buying a $1000 bike would be the neighborhood!

If the seller and who knows how many others know you will be carrying $1000 in your pocket, you could be walking (or riding) into a nasty situation in some areas.

At the very least I would require a meet in a well populated area or something like the parking lot of a police station, and bring along a friend like mine who is an ex Army Ranger.

Perhpas I'm too suspecious or untrusting but I have passed on going to look at a bike in a high crime area.

There's aways another good deal waiting right around the corner, so to speak.

Last edited by okane; 10-23-15 at 06:04 AM.
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Old 10-23-15, 06:10 AM
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I've bought and sold bikes and parts. Craigslist's general recommendations work. Meet up somewhere public (Mutually agreed to), bring someone along with you. Test ride around a parking lot or around the block and always deal in cash. It's usually pretty obvious right from the get go if you are dealing with a cyclist. Most want to BS a little about their other bikes, groups they ride with, ect.
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Old 10-23-15, 06:24 AM
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I've bought several bikes off CL. The only test rides were 50 yards or so to check the shifters, could have done that on a stand or by lifting the wheel. I would never give a seller cash prior to the actual purchase or ask to ride the bike out of his sight. As mentioned, take cash and don't count on a second chance. Good luck!
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Old 10-23-15, 06:57 AM
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Haven't sold or bought bicycles off craigslist, but for motorcycles I was always asked for cash in hand before test riding and I always required the same when selling.
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Old 10-23-15, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Inpd View Post
So I'm seeing some nice bikes on CL in my area (finally). So what's the procedure that people recommend?

I've heard that some sellers require you hand over the full amount before they let you test ride. That makes sense from their perspective but from my perspective there are two issues:

a) I'm looking at $1000+ bikes so don't want to keep $1000 lying around the home if I don't buy it.
b) I don't want to give some guy I don't know $1000. If he decides to pocket it, its his word versus mine.
I've sold a few over the years, and one of the things I do is that I never put pedals on the bike, and I say so in the ads. If the potential buy wants to test ride, he better bring his own pedals. That's a pretty good sign if he's serious or not.
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Old 10-23-15, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by okane View Post
If the seller and who knows how many others know you will be carrying $1000 in your pocket, you could be walking (or riding) into a nasty situation in some areas.
Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
However... if you want to buy a used bike, you have to have the cash. You can't say "Hey, I'll get the cash tomorrow if I like the ride" because that doesn't work in used sales land.
I'm not in the habit of walking around with $1000 dollars in my pocket. If I like the bike then we can go to the bank on the corner and transact there, or some other public place like the lobby at the local city hall, post office or even the customer service desk at the local supermarket. Anything under a couple of hundred dollars and the seller and I can walk to the nearest ATM.

A $1000 bike is not like a $20 bowling ball or $50 pedals. There will be a bill of sale and a genuine legal transaction. If the seller doesn't like my terms then they can find another buyer. An honest seller shouldn't mind doing this.

This is how I bought my $4000 truck and my $1200 dining room set. I told the roofer and the painters to meet me at the bank when it came time to pay for the services.
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Old 10-23-15, 07:24 AM
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Definitely try to meet in a public place, and I might even bring a friend or spouse along.

I generally don't bring cash for big purchases to first CL meets, and I rarely expect people to do so. In fact, given the number of scammers and robbers on CL, it's probably best not to bring cash. In all the times I've sold bikes, the buyers did not bring cash with them. (I bought one bike for $450 and sold three, for $400, $700 and $900). In all cases, we either met again the next day or we then went to the bank to get cash.

I also offer to PayPal people with my phone.
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Old 10-23-15, 07:51 AM
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I've tested two Craigslist bikes. One fellow rode another of his bikes with me, and another fellow just let me go where I wanted for as far as I wanted, presumably assuming I would return at some point for my Jeep. Neither asked for cash in advance.

In all I've probably bought, sold, or traded 50 or 60 items off of Craigslist and other local venues and I've never had a bad experience.

Keith
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Old 10-23-15, 08:23 AM
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+1. Have bought and sold several bikes on CL and never had a hint of an issue. When the buyer takes a test ride his automobile is normally sitting in front of my house.
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Old 10-23-15, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
The hottest deals don't last long. So, be prepared to be able to get the full purchase price of the bike at a moment's notice any day of the week, any time of day. And, sellers usually don't hold an item beyond the earliest possible time to come get it.
Yes they do. Both Breezer Venturis I saw are now gone.
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Old 10-23-15, 10:01 AM
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I've both bought and sold from Craigslist.

When I bought, I came with a car and parked in the person's driveway, so there was no issue - if you have someone's license plate number, unless they just stole the car, you are pretty safe. But I always google map the area before I go. If I think it is a sketchy area, I might suggest a coffee shop.

My test rides have been one block or so, pretty much within sight of the seller. Check the shifters work, the wheels are reasonably true, etc. I expect a used bike to need some tweaking. It is a good sign if the seller brings the key to adjust the seat.

Other times when I've bought camera equipment, I've done it at a coffee shop and sat and tested the equipment in the coffee shop.

When I sold the bike, again the person came with a car, so no issue. If he had walked, I would have asked for ID to hold. This is what car dealers do, they photocopy or scan a driver's license before they let someone in the car (more for insurance reasons than theft).
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Old 10-23-15, 10:06 AM
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If you are too paranoid, it's best not to deal with classified transactions.
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Old 10-23-15, 10:20 AM
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I will never sell a bike on Craigslist again. One time I was selling a vintage Merckx. Guy expressed strong interest and came over. I expected him to hand over the cash when he saw it. Instead he asked for a test ride. WTF? I let him ride it and then cursed myself for 5 minutes before he returned. He declined to buy it. In today's culture, I'm sure he could have sued me if he had crashed. I promptly put it on eBay and sold it immediately to someone 3,000 miles away who knew what it was and what he wanted.

I just bought a bike on CL. I showed up and handed over the money without riding it. It was a Bontry Race Lite and rides exactly like my other Bonty Race Lites.

Recently had two frames I wanted to get rid off. Since they were lower end (Surly and On-One) and I didn't want to deal with CL or shipping them I just donated them to the local non-profit bike shop and took a tax writeoff instead.

Last edited by 66Satellite; 10-23-15 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 10-23-15, 10:38 AM
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Craiglist varies a lot depending on where you live. In the DC area, the bike listing goes 20 pages over a weekend. Good deals go fast and full cash is expected on the spot. If your bike isn't priced right, it doesn't get sold immediately and disappears in the huge listing. A lot depends also on the buyer - you can make immediate judgements on the way the buyer talks, dresses, car they drive. I've sold a $2,000 bike in a day at my house with five or six interested buyers riright behind the first person that showed up. I also let a really nice guy give me cash plus a personal check because he couldn't get more cash from the teller machine that day. On the other hand I got nervous from from talking with a buyer over the phone and met him in front of a Starbucks.

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Old 10-23-15, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
Yeah, I don't think a double-century test ride is in the works for a used bike purchase from Craigs list. Maybe a spin around the parking lot to make sure all the spinny parts spin. You shouldn't need to fork over a ton of money to go 50 yards on the bike to make sure it works.

However... if you want to buy a used bike, you have to have the cash. You can't say "Hey, I'll get the cash tomorrow if I like the ride" because that doesn't work in used sales land.
This.

I've sold a bike on CL, and the procedure was to meet at a coffee shop, look at the bike, and I offered to hop on my other bike and take a 10-15 minute ride with them. Then it was cash on the barrelhead.

When I sold on CL, I offered a "Beecher Todd Guarantee" - I guaranteed one start and one stop. After that, it was their bike.
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Old 10-23-15, 01:26 PM
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As long as we're on the topic, here's a pretty amusing CL ad I think you all should enjoy:

'93 Serotta Colorado Legend TG 58cm Road Bike, Dura-Ace/Ultegra
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Old 10-23-15, 01:44 PM
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You guys make this all too complicated.
Just show up with the money.
Buy the bike.

If you have questions... check the Serial Number in https://bikeindex.org/ using a phone network app or with your local PD before paying.
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Old 10-23-15, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
As long as we're on the topic, here's a pretty amusing CL ad I think you all should enjoy:

'93 Serotta Colorado Legend TG 58cm Road Bike, Dura-Ace/Ultegra
Ok I laughed several times
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Old 10-23-15, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 66Satellite View Post
I will never sell a bike on Craigslist again. One time I was selling a vintage Merckx. Guy expressed strong interest and came over. I expected him to hand over the cash when he saw it. Instead he asked for a test ride. WTF? I let him ride it and then cursed myself for 5 minutes before he returned. He declined to buy it. In today's culture, I'm sure he could have sued me if he had crashed. I promptly put it on eBay and sold it immediately to someone 3,000 miles away who knew what it was and what he wanted.

I just bought a bike on CL. I showed up and handed over the money without riding it. It was a Bontry Race Lite and rides exactly like my other Bonty Race Lites.

Recently had two frames I wanted to get rid off. Since they were lower end (Surly and On-One) and I didn't want to deal with CL or shipping them I just donated them to the local non-profit bike shop and took a tax writeoff instead.
I think it is unrealistic to expect a buyer not to test ride a bike.

caveat emptor

Last edited by TimothyH; 10-23-15 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 10-23-15, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
I think it is unrealistic to expect a buyer not to test ride a bike.

caveat emptor
Maybe. Which is why I'll only sell eBay from now on.

I don't think I've ever test ridden a bike in my life (one that I actually bought or was considering buying). Unless you can get the fit dialed in for the test ride--right stem, setback, etc., it doesn't tell you much anyway. I just look at geometry numbers and order.

Last edited by 66Satellite; 10-23-15 at 03:03 PM.
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