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How to sell a bike on Craigslist

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How to sell a bike on Craigslist

Old 06-06-12, 05:41 AM
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ravenmore
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How to sell a bike on Craigslist

Hey all,

Got a guy wanting to check out my S-Works today. He wants to take it for a test ride, which is understandable. I hear horror stories though of people taking bikes for test rides and then just not coming back. Any advice on how to handle this? Gracias!
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Old 06-06-12, 05:46 AM
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hold his driver's license and a credit card till he comes back. oh and his car keys too. Consider them a deposit.
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Old 06-06-12, 05:46 AM
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Hold onto his drivers license. Even if information is fake which is not likely, you still have a picture of him. Make sure picture matches.
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Old 06-06-12, 05:53 AM
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In addition to the steps mentioned- grab your other bike and go with him. If he says he just wants to go up and down the street, take him around the block.
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Old 06-06-12, 05:53 AM
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Offer to hold on to his wallet, bicycle saddles can be rather uncomfortable with a wallet in your back pocket.
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Old 06-06-12, 06:50 AM
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Meet somewhere public, not your house, and hold his driver's license.
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Old 06-06-12, 06:56 AM
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First born, blood sample. That's my policy.

No, just license and keys unless he rides his current bike there for the test ride. Make sure his bike is more valuable than yours.

No one is going to leave a stolen car as collateral for a bike.
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Old 06-06-12, 06:59 AM
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And tell him you want his license/keys etc ahead of time. If he argues or doesn't show up, then maybe you'll avoid a situation.
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Old 06-06-12, 07:51 AM
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If you guys were buying a bike from a stranger--would you really give that person your credit card and driver's license? Seems like an excellent way to have your identity stolen.

I wouldn't even want that information from another person to avoid any problems if he has had his information stolen recently.


I say just go with him on the ride. Unless he shows up looking like a potential winner of a pro race, you should be able to hang with him while he test rides it.

It isn't like you have the ability or authorization to charge anything against the credit card if he wrecks it.
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Old 06-06-12, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by AMFJ View Post
If you guys were buying a bike from a stranger--would you really give that person your credit card and driver's license? Seems like an excellent way to have your identity stolen.
For a high end road bike like an S-Works yes as long as I didn't get a shady vibe from the situation. It's not like a CC or DL is all that hard to cancel or replace. Your driver's license doesn't have your SS# on it so they can't steal your identity with it. For less expensive bikes I'd offer my smart phone or something of similar value to the bike. That said, I've purchased $200-$700 bikes off CL and have never had anyone request collateral while I test ride it.
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Old 06-06-12, 12:29 PM
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^but think about that--if it is easy to cancel it/replace it--what protection is it? Especially if it is stolen or a fake? If someone is going to steal your bike, what makes you think they will turn over anything with their identity on it?

At best asking for that sounds like you are scaring away real buyers and attracting the people who are good at being shady.
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Old 06-06-12, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
Meet somewhere public, not your house, and hold his driver's license.
This bears repeating. Most people are honest, but you don't want that one guy in a thousand to know you have an expensive bike, and also to know your address.
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Old 06-06-12, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by AMFJ View Post
At best asking for that sounds like you are scaring away real buyers and attracting the people who are good at being shady.
It's good enough for bike shops who request one or both depending on the value of the bike you're test riding. In general I think some people are overly cautious when it comes to CL. You still have to use common sense and trust your gut instinct if the situation doesn't feel right.
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Old 06-06-12, 12:43 PM
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A few years ago, I was selling a Yamaha scooter on CL. I asked a for a cash deposit in the amount of the sale price for a 30 minute test ride. They had to sign a form I made stating that if they didn't come back in 30 minutes or the scooter was damaged, the deposit wold be forfeited and they would be the new owner. The first to show up left his deposit and didn't come back.
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Old 06-06-12, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by WickedThump View Post
A few years ago, I was selling a Yamaha scooter on CL. I asked a for a cash deposit in the amount of the sale price for a 30 minute test ride. They had to sign a form I made stating that if they didn't come back in 30 minutes or the scooter was damaged, the deposit wold be forfeited and they would be the new owner. The first to show up left his deposit and didn't come back.
Ding! Ding! Ding! This is a winner!

First you know they're not just wasting your time because they have the money.

Second you provisionally close the sale in the first step.

Third it takes a lot of the haggling out of it.
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Old 06-06-12, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
Meet somewhere public, not your house, and hold his driver's license.
This deserves even more repeating. CL house meets are a common way that shifty people case other people's houses and property. Meet in a neutral place, hold their car keys, and preferably ride with them so you can observe what dimwitted damage they may cause on their test. I have no problem stopping a "test" abruptly to preserve the integrity of my property that is being grossly misused.
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Old 06-06-12, 01:33 PM
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I bought a bike off CL. We met in a park and ride lot off a major highway, no waking to or from it. I thought this was a good idea on the seller's part. He saw me get out of my car, and there was noplace to go.

I did not need a test ride other than to make sure the thing acutally functioned and that there were no strange creaks, noises or whatever. I spent about 3 minutes on it in the lot. I looked it over, hopped on, shifted through the gears, sprinted a short distance and did a few bunny hops. Nothing felt or sounded odd, so we were done. You're not a bike shop, if he wants to take a 30 mile test ride he should try find a shop that will do that for him. (Purchase price= 1000< >2000)

In my view, when you are buying used, you should know what you are looking at and not be shopping to determine the best feel, fit, or type for you.

But I may be in the minority.
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Old 06-06-12, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by island rider View Post
I bought a bike off CL. We met in a park and ride lot off a major highway, no waking to or from it. I thought this was a good idea on the seller's part. He saw me get out of my car, and there was noplace to go.

I did not need a test ride other than to make sure the thing acutally functioned and that there were no strange creaks, noises or whatever. I spent about 3 minutes on it in the lot. I looked it over, hopped on, shifted through the gears, sprinted a short distance and did a few bunny hops. Nothing felt or sounded odd, so we were done. You're not a bike shop, if he wants to take a 30 mile test ride he should try find a shop that will do that for him. (Purchase price= 1000< >2000)

In my view, when you are buying used, you should know what you are looking at and not be shopping to determine the best feel, fit, or type for you.

But I may be in the minority.
I agree with you, and I did the same when buying my bike. I knew what I wanted, verified it was in good working order, paid, and left.

If I were selling and someone insisted on a test ride, I would ask for the full cash price of the bike to hold on to. If they dont like it, go buy from an LBS
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Old 06-06-12, 02:10 PM
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i guess i'm really trusting of people. As long as they seem on the level i figure they won't leave their car behind(if it is in fact their car). If they drive up in a 1K car and want to buy a 3K bike, i'd be a little suspicious. They might just give you a fake ID or stolen car keys to hold, if you go that route. I guess it reduces the risk though.
Also you can tell alot about someone over a phone call too.
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Old 06-06-12, 02:11 PM
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i think as long as your terms are explicit in the ad, that should weed out some of the proverbial tire kickers. cash in hand for test ride seems like the best option. plan B would be a test ride where you go along as well. just hope some shady meth fiend with a whole lot of energy isnt the would be buyer!!
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Old 06-06-12, 02:17 PM
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make him fill out a credit application....
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Old 06-06-12, 02:24 PM
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I always research the person that I am dealing with after I have their name, before we agree to meet. I have bought and sold things on CL and have always found quite a bit about the other person. I also will mention something I find out about them (i.e. I bought a cross bike off a fellow teacher who works in a district that was a rival of mine in high school) to gauge the response and make sure the name is really them.
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Old 06-06-12, 02:39 PM
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I live on the dangerous side, I guess. I sell and buy a lot off of craigslist and usually do it from my home. I'm usually not too worried about being jacked because to get to my house they had to drive there. I'll just hold on to their car until they get back. I don't worry much about getting broken into either. Oddly enough, having a big wolf hybrid that is very loyal to me and my property tends to keep people from breaking in.

That all being said, I'd say I'm not the norm. I'd never let my wife go to a Craigslist seller or have one come to her at our house if I weren't there. I'd tell her to do it in a very public place during daylight hours.

I also agree in getting some form of collateral. If I were the buyer, there is no way that I'd give anyone my credit card that I didn't know. I think a driver's license or a deposit would be the most I'd be willing to let the seller hold on.
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Old 06-06-12, 02:42 PM
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Bolt an explosive device to the bicycle that can be detonated by remote control. For bonus points, add a digital count-down timer to the handlebar.
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Old 06-06-12, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Savagewolf View Post
I'd never let my wife go to a Craigslist seller or have one come to her at our house if I weren't there. I'd tell her to do it in a very public place during daylight hours.
Isn't that the point though? If you advertise a bike for say $2k, and someone comes to your house, now they know the location of a house of a person who has enough money to sell a bike for $2k, which they probably bought for more than that. The next logical question is what other items pof value you have. They look at your bike and tell you they don't like the number of links in the chain and leave. What's to stop them from coming back at some point when your wife is there alone, or when nobody is there?

I'm glad it has worked out for you so far, and I wish you continued safety, but while I wouldn't say you live on the dangerous side, your level of risk is certainly higher than someone who meets in the parking lot of the local police precinct to sell their stuff.

Originally Posted by Snydermann View Post
Bolt an explosive device to the bicycle that can be detonated by remote control. For bonus points, add a digital count-down timer to the handlebar.
Reverse SPEED. The bike will blow up if they go faster than 5mph. They can feel free to steal it, but their getaway will be pretty slow.
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