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  1. #1
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    Selling a bike, how do I prevent being robbed?

    Ok, so I live in the largest city in the US that's filing for bankruptcy. Crime is excruciatingly high, and I'm afraid if I sell my bike on Craigslist, I'll get robbed of the bike and anything else I have with me at the time.

    Any advice on how to lessen by chances? Do I take the pedals off the bike so they can't ride away, do I bring friends to back me up if necessary, do I wear a bulletproof vest? Do I bring another bike so I can go on the test ride? Do I ask for their driver's license?

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
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    Does your LBS sell Consignment ?
    There....Are... Four...Lights!

  3. #3
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    Man up. Make smart choices about meeting times and places. Bring a friend, but most importantly don't be a victim. Confidence and the right demeanour goes a long way.

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2

  4. #4
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    Do the exchange in a public place that is infested with cameras. A bank might be a good choice. Large stores also have cameras all over the parking lot. If you can bring a friend or two, that should help. Meeting at the police stations also comes to mind.....in my local city the lobby of the station would actually be an appropriate place to wheel in the bike and sell it.

    Talking to the buyer on the phone should help as well. Those intent on screwing you are not likely to have a pleasant conversation with you (I'm a landlord and getting prospective tenants talking (chatting) is key....you wouldn't believe what they accidentally reveal once they have their guard down). Of course, this technique relies on you be able to read people, and not everyone has the ability to do this well.

    As far as taking the pedals off, why not just remove the front wheel? It sounds like you're concerned about a grab and ride, in which case, simply lock the bicycle to the vehicle or a rack until you have payment. If they want a test ride, they'll need collateral, such as a valid driver's license, or their car keys if they drove there.

    Good luck,
    Pete
    I can barely get my mouth around it.

  5. #5
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    Three golden rules for selling stuff to potential buyers when there's any possible chance of encountering a scammer instead:

    - Talk enough on the phone until you're confident the buyer is really looking to buy a bike
    - Meet someplace safe with security cameras like shopping center parking lots
    - Keep in touch with someone you know before and after you meet or just go with a friend

  6. #6
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    All good advice above. I'd also suggest you sell the bike in the bay area as you're close enough and would get more buyers anyway. I hope your town turns around soon.

  7. #7
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    Bring friends

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalphile View Post
    Do the exchange in a public place that is infested with cameras. A bank might be a good choice. Large stores also have cameras all over the parking lot. If you can bring a friend or two, that should help. Meeting at the police stations also comes to mind.....in my local city the lobby of the station would actually be an appropriate place to wheel in the bike and sell it.

    Talking to the buyer on the phone should help as well. Those intent on screwing you are not likely to have a pleasant conversation with you (I'm a landlord and getting prospective tenants talking (chatting) is key....you wouldn't believe what they accidentally reveal once they have their guard down). Of course, this technique relies on you be able to read people, and not everyone has the ability to do this well.

    As far as taking the pedals off, why not just remove the front wheel? It sounds like you're concerned about a grab and ride, in which case, simply lock the bicycle to the vehicle or a rack until you have payment. If they want a test ride, they'll need collateral, such as a valid driver's license, or their car keys if they drove there.

    Good luck,
    Pete
    Beautiful, this is what I need. I like the idea of the police station, altho in my town, the police would probably steal the bike for themselves We have a smaller town nearby that would be perfect.

    Thanks.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by S_Trek View Post
    Does your LBS sell Consignment ?
    No, altho there is a used bike store downtown. Great idea.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by chugachjed View Post
    Man up. Make smart choices about meeting times and places. Bring a friend, but most importantly don't be a victim. Confidence and the right demeanour goes a long way.

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2
    Lol. Easier said than done.

  11. #11
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    Maybe ask them for their car keys before handing the bike over to them?? If I were buying a bike, that request with a brief explanation would not hurt my feelings.

  12. #12
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    I had a homeless guy come by my shop asking to borrow jumper cables. He voluntarily left his driver's license with me until he was done with them. A legit buyer should not begrudge your request for collateral while he takes a test ride.

    I just thought of a great idea. Why not invite a serious potential buyer to go riding on a local trail with you and a buddy or two. He could get a real feel for the bike and you would know if he was serious.

  13. #13
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    give it to me, i'll make sure you don't get jacked...


  14. #14
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    Only reply to requests that provide a phone number, request it on the ad. That way they can be traced if need be. only advertise in the sac and bay areas. Let at least one person know the name and phone number of the person you are meeting. Once they rePly to the ad you usually have their personal email address also. People in our city don't usually have the funds for anything over a couple of hundred bucks. I've sold several bikes on craigslist and I'm still here :0). Same city you live in also

  15. #15
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    Do you live in Detroit?

  16. #16
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    Remember also that a legitimate buyer may also have the same concerns of you. He will probably show up with a large amount of cash on hand and be cautious as well. I have been the ride along buddy for numerous CL transactions and rarely has either party showed solo.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkon11 View Post
    Do you live in Detroit?
    He lives in Stockton, the foreclosure capital of the west ... of course Detroit or any eastern city makes Stockton look very safe.

    I sell expensive stuff all the time on cragslist and it always goes very well and I meet lots of very nice people. My original recommendation of selling in the bay area still stands - much better market with more affluent buyers.

  18. #18
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    bring friend, meet in a crowded place during the day, borrow your buddy's cop car, wear a flame thrower.
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  19. #19
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    In order to be completely 100% safe, get one of these and bring it with you for the meet:

    Two Handed Great Sword - YouTube

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDNM View Post
    Maybe ask them for their car keys before handing the bike over to them?? If I were buying a bike, that request with a brief explanation would not hurt my feelings.
    Then you could steal his car. I don't think anyone has done a crime like this before.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrogs View Post
    Then you could steal his car. I don't think anyone has done a crime like this before.
    Yes, report back later as this a new first.

  22. #22
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    show up dressed like your avatar.

  23. #23
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    Yea not for nothing there isn't a chance in hell that I would give you my keys to my car worth $10k to test ride a bike worth a few hundred...

  24. #24
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    show up before they do so you can see what they drive up in and take note of the license plate, make and model...

  25. #25
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    Do what bike shops do when you take a test ride. Get him to leave his drivers licence with you.

  26. #26
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    Are you talking about the bike shop on Wilson, maybe a block or 2 from Harbor Freight? Last I knew that place was shut down, same with the one on Pacific near the Gun Exchange and Kimbers. I haven't been inside Black Sheep Cycles (March and West Lane where the new Walmart grocery is at). Only other shops that I know of is Performance and Robby's.

    An alternative to Craigslist is Play it Again Sports. I don't know if they sell bikes but worth a look-see

    Definitely bring a friend, perhaps have another with a camcorder somewhat out of sight to record what goes down. Leave your bling at home.

    Attitude is everything. Be aware of whats going around you, almost to the point of paranoia.

    I haven't checked to see what Lodi/Manteca has to offer but maybe some alternatives there.
    I live in this @$$suck town too, know how you feel. I have a bunch of stuff I need to unload but leery to do so for the same reasons.

  27. #27
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    Some of you sound like women.

    Reach between your legs and grab a pair. Meet him in a grocery parking lot. Don't look like a total puss either. Be a man about it.



    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmbraceTheHate View Post
    Some of you sound like women.

    Reach between your legs and grab a pair. Meet him in a grocery parking lot. Don't look like a total puss either. Be a man about it.



    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
    That's insulting to my wife! She actually has sold stuff from the truck of the car for me.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    Ok, so I live in the largest city in the US that's filing for bankruptcy. Crime is excruciatingly high, and I'm afraid if I sell my bike on Craigslist, I'll get robbed of the bike and anything else I have with me at the time.

    Any advice on how to lessen by chances? Do I take the pedals off the bike so they can't ride away, do I bring friends to back me up if necessary, do I wear a bulletproof vest? Do I bring another bike so I can go on the test ride? Do I ask for their driver's license?

    Thanks for any advice.
    Yes bring another bike so you can go with. You never know you might even find another riding friend.

    or you can bring one of these as a deterrent.
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  30. #30
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    I sell stuff all the time on Craigslist... In Reading, Pa. We were just recently rated as the poorest city in America and is also rated #6 for the crime rate.

    I ALWAYS bring my handgun (I'm licensed to carry) and ALWAYS keep a good sense of situational awareness...
    Arrange to meet at a place you are familliar with and is pretty busy...

    Try a local Dunkin Donuts... There should be some cops there!
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    Great things are done when men and mountains meet. This is not done by jostling in the street .

  31. #31
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    I just sold my bike on craigslist two days ago. As a collegiate scholar I had to sell my bike on campus, which can be dangerous. (It's ASU, bike theft capital of the US) I took his phone as collateral for the ride and met him about 50ft from the police kiosk. I'm a guy, so I wasn't really concerned about anything other than the guy riding off with it.

  32. #32
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    I have the same approach as eckstream1, i always carry a handgun just in case. I have sold many things on craiglist and i have yet to have a problem with anyone. There is alot of good advice in this post. Just be cautious, dont meet anyone alone if you dont have to..
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  33. #33
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    I thought the topic was kind of overblown until I saw the OP lived in stockton Id take a wallet for any test rides.

  34. #34
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    i once tried to sell a multi station gym set on cl. i definitely had to let people in the house to check it out.

    i was always armed with a handgun. a couple of times, i think i spooked a few buyers who left in a hurry.

    my advice, dont try concealing pistols in gym short pockets

  35. #35
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    I was gonna say "bring a pistol" but meeting in the lobby of the police station seems like a better idea. And BTW, dont bring your pistol there.
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmbraceTheHate View Post
    Some of you sound like women.

    Reach between your legs and grab a pair. Meet him in a grocery parking lot. Don't look like a total puss either. Be a man about it.



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    I just read a thread you started about being butt hurt because your boyfriend bought a nicer bike than you, and you're calling people women?
    I'm sick of all the Irish stereotypes, as soon as I finish this beer I"m punching someone

  37. #37
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    Here's a thought not brought up yet: Rob him before he attempts to rob you. Problem solved.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    Ok, so I live in the largest city in the US that's filing for bankruptcy. Crime is excruciatingly high, and I'm afraid if I sell my bike on Craigslist, I'll get robbed of the bike and anything else I have with me at the time.

    Any advice on how to lessen by chances? Do I take the pedals off the bike so they can't ride away, do I bring friends to back me up if necessary, do I wear a bulletproof vest? Do I bring another bike so I can go on the test ride? Do I ask for their driver's license?

    Thanks for any advice.
    meet at the police department.

  39. #39
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    I haven't read this whole thread but what about taking their picture via cell phone and holding onto their drivers licence. And also have the biggest baddest dude you know come with you.
    Progress: Just because we have always done it that way is no reason to keep doing it that way.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    I was gonna say "bring a pistol" but meeting in the lobby of the police station seems like a better idea. And BTW, dont bring your pistol there.
    Why not?

  41. #41
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    Bring a gun, the first thing to do is shoot the man, ask him later if he still wants the bike, if he was actually interested he may buy it!

    Beware.... The craigslist killer is still out there..
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE, View Post
    I haven't read this whole thread but what about taking their picture via cell phone and holding onto their drivers licence. And also have the biggest baddest dude you know come with you.
    When I sold my Harley, that's kind of what I did. Took his photo, one of his license, and one of this car tag. I had talked to him on the phone quite a bit before hand and felt he was legit, but did these things just to CYA and told him in advance that I planned to do so just so he would know what to expect. I figured if he didn't show, then my forewarning would have worked, I met him in my bank's parking lot where he checked out the bike, went inside to make the cash deposit (with cameras around), and only then did I sign the title and bill of sale.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    Ok, so I live in the largest city in the US that's filing for bankruptcy. Crime is excruciatingly high, and I'm afraid if I sell my bike on Craigslist, I'll get robbed of the bike and anything else I have with me at the time.

    Any advice on how to lessen by chances? Do I take the pedals off the bike so they can't ride away, do I bring friends to back me up if necessary, do I wear a bulletproof vest? Do I bring another bike so I can go on the test ride? Do I ask for their driver's license?

    Thanks for any advice.
    Move.

    Seriously you folks that have to regularly carry a gun to conduct small business are crazy. Not that you can't handle yourself, but the level of anxiety that you have to walk around with is crazy. I used to live in a big crime city, always locking down deck furniture and cars being broken into. Then I moved. It is awesome.

  44. #44
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    Pack Heat

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blurr View Post
    Pack Heat
    Not sure how heat can help him, unless it was cold that day:

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by the-one1 View Post
    Not sure how heat can help him, unless it was cold that day:
    Keeps your hands from being cold and stiff for when you grab the grip of your firearm or make a fist to knock the bad guy out

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kestreljr View Post
    Move.

    Seriously you folks that have to regularly carry a gun to conduct small business are crazy. Not that you can't handle yourself, but the level of anxiety that you have to walk around with is crazy. I used to live in a big crime city, always locking down deck furniture and cars being broken into. Then I moved. It is awesome.
    Crazy to be able to protect yourself and the ones you love? Glad I don't know you, It is not a matter of IF, its a matter of WHEN

    Anxiety? wrong, its called awareness. Huge difference.

    everyone has the right to self defense, if that means carrying a firearm than so be it. Not everyone is able to or has the means to move. Family, and with this craptastic economy, jobs tend to tie people to a location that is not good. I would love nothing more than to move to a lower crime city/state, unfortunately due to economy, I cannot.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whacked View Post
    Anxiety? wrong, its called awareness. Huge difference.

    I would love nothing more than to move to a lower crime city/state, unfortunately due to economy, I cannot.
    Not trying to say you are wrong for packing a gun. I have 3. But having the need to carry one to sell something on c list is crazy. It's not worth it.

    You are arguing with yourself here, you state that moving would be great to get out of high crime cities. That is my point.

    Go ahead, protect yourself, shoot a man who attacks you when selling your bike. If he dies you will have a bunch of emotions the rest of your life that you don't want to deal with. And then moving somewhere a little slower might not seem like a bad idea.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blurr View Post
    Keeps your hands from being cold and stiff for when you grab the grip of your firearm or make a fist to knock the bad guy out
    Those of you advocating guns or violence really don't know Finch Platte.
    He is more likely to joke them to death than to pack heat. I've had a chance to ride with him a couple times. I don't think there is a violent bone in his body.
    Its all ****s and Giggles until somebody Giggles and ****s

  50. #50
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    I sold a bike at a Gold Star Chili restaurant. It is a Cincinnati thing. I thought if he didn't show at least I would get to eat a good meal. Here is my idea. Obviously you have another bike since you're selling your old one, I hope. Someone else mentioned this, but invite him to go riding with you. Hit up a 3-10 mile loop and let him test it out on a real trail and bring all your buddies. That way you hopefully gain a new riding buddy, sell your bike, and not get robbed.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

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