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  1. #1
    Sweat is just fat crying.
    Reputation: Finch Platte's Avatar
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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.
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  2. #2
    I4NI
    Reputation: S_Trek's Avatar
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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
    Tool
    Reputation: Pedalphile's Avatar
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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
    Give it a crank
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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
    Life-Long Rider
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    Bring friends

  8. #8
    Sweat is just fat crying.
    Reputation: Finch Platte's Avatar
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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.
    Mountain Biking Is Not A Crime stickers, free! (You pay postage. PM me for details.)

  9. #9
    Sweat is just fat crying.
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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.
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  10. #10
    Sweat is just fat crying.
    Reputation: Finch Platte's Avatar
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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.
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  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
    Pro Crastinator
    Reputation: .WestCoastHucker.'s Avatar
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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
    The Original Suspect
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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.
    2013 Transition TransAM 29er
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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
    B.Ike
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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.

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