Safest way to take payment for bikes sold online?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Safest way to take payment for bikes sold online?

    I'm trying to unload an old bike via craigslist/pinkbike and I was hoping for a local deal, but most of the interest has been out of state. I am aware of all the various scams that can be used to steal items/cash from sellers and most of the interested parties do seem legit.

    Is there any way to protect against somebody paying with paypal, saying that they bike is not in the condition described, and issuing a charge back? From the reading I have been doing, it sounds like there really isn't a truly safe way to accept payment other than cash which isn't really feasible when the buyer is somewhere across the country.

    What do other people do? Never sell online? I've been buying and selling on ebay for a long time, but usually not large amounts. It seems like things have gotten kind of bad for sellers in recent years.

    Any ideas? Just be paranoid and only deal local with cash?

  2. #2
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    Get a Square account and take credit card payments.
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  3. #3
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    Aren't you still susceptible to charge backs thought?

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    i only take first born children. nobody ever asks for those back...


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  6. #6
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    +1 for Paypal

  7. #7
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    So you guys don't worry about the scamming issues with Paypal? Sounds like all you can do is just keep as much paperwork about shipping the bike so you can prove it to Paypal if there is a dispute.

  8. #8
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    As a seller on eBay since 1998 I agree, paypal is the safest best. Its not good that they take a percentage, but they are a business.

    Your Concerns:
    1. Not wanting to get a return from a buyer. Thats the cost of doing business young man.
    2. You can either let it sit in your garage (seems like it may be an old 26er) or risk life by selling it cheap and getting it out of your hair.

    BTW--Pinkbike is the worst. Most of the buyers there are under 21 and live at home and don't have much to spend. Put it on eBay, pay the eBay fees and Paypal fees and lets' get rid of this antique.
    Cheap people buy things twice

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatcat View Post
    Your Concerns:
    1. Not wanting to get a return from a buyer. Thats the cost of doing business young man.
    Getting the bike returned really isn't the issue (though when selling a used product "as is", I shouldn't have to deal with a return). I'm worried that I'll spend $80 to ship the bike and then the buyer will initiate a dispute with Paypal for a made up reason. Then I'm out a useable bike and $80 out of my own pocket.

    Paypal seems to automatically side with the buyer and place the burden of proof on the seller.

    Quote Originally Posted by fatcat View Post
    2. You can either let it sit in your garage (seems like it may be an old 26er) or risk life by selling it cheap and getting it out of your hair.
    It is an old 26er. I think I'll just keep dropping the price until someone local picks it up. It just sees too fishy that a bunch of different people in NY want to buy a bike unseen from Washington state.

  10. #10
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    Paypal's fees are very reasonable. 3% is what most credit card companies charge to finance the transaction anyways. I think Paypal struck a deal with the CC companies to make the fee less, but that's how they get a cut for themselves.

    ebay's 10% fee (of the sale price) is reasonable too, considering how hassle free the sale is and all the seller/buyer ratings. You can get top dollar there, but considering the fee, it's not like you're getting any less after being haggled by tire kickers on some small time classifieds.

    Beware the paypal no fee payment. There's a loophole where the buyer can contact their CC company and claim that charge was fraudulent, and get their money back and it's up to you to provide clear proof that you made a sale to them.
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  11. #11
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    I only accept third party checks from Nigerian princes delivered through shipping agents
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jminus View Post
    Getting the bike returned really isn't the issue (though when selling a used product "as is", I shouldn't have to deal with a return). I'm worried that I'll spend $80 to ship the bike and then the buyer will initiate a dispute with Paypal for a made up reason. Then I'm out a useable bike and $80 out of my own pocket.

    Paypal seems to automatically side with the buyer and place the burden of proof on the seller.



    It is an old 26er. I think I'll just keep dropping the price until someone local picks it up. It just sees too fishy that a bunch of different people in NY want to buy a bike unseen from Washington state.
    Is this from PinkBike that youre getting the NY offers? If so they are bunko
    types that you should not even bother with. I have a DJ business and some (made up) client from Jersey wants me to do a wedding for her "daughter" in Temecula. She (or he) doesnt even discuss what kind of venue, music, lights, video or anything JUST how much and do you take checks. Really? Its a goddamn wedding, I'm not selling a product.


    As for eBay, I've sold many many bikes used,. new BMX frames and mtn frames, plus new bikes when I worked at a shop. Even sold a complete Kona Stinky Air that weighed 40lbs to a guy in New Mexico...I sold a Kona Stinky Deluxe frame to a guy in Germany.... I never had anyone want a return. Your fear of a return troubles me Young Luke. Is there something wrong with this obsolete bicycle? If not sell the goddamn thing...I'm selling this frame right now:
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  14. #14
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    1. list the eBay auction with no returns, as-is condition, etc. read the terms and conditions some of the high-volume sellers put in there. make sure you set some restrictions on the buyers - whole article about that here: Selecting buyer requirements

    2. ship it insured, signature required, tracked.

    3. take pics of the bike before you pack it as well as the packing process and final box. this will help if it arrives damaged and you have to prove to the shipper that you packed it properly.

    4. absolutely, take paypal only. if you do all this, and you get a lame buyer, you could still possibly lose. but most likely, ebay and paypal will see that it was delivered, that you took pics, and that you specifically said as-is. so that's it. buyer doesn't always win. BUT if you do none of that... yes, you are absolutely right. ebay in particular HEAVILY favors buyers when there is little documentation.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
    1. list the eBay auction with no returns, as-is condition, etc. read the terms and conditions some of the high-volume sellers put in there. make sure you set some restrictions on the buyers - whole article about that here: Selecting buyer requirements

    2. ship it insured, signature required, tracked.

    3. take pics of the bike before you pack it as well as the packing process and final box. this will help if it arrives damaged and you have to prove to the shipper that you packed it properly.

    4. absolutely, take paypal only. if you do all this, and you get a lame buyer, you could still possibly lose. but most likely, ebay and paypal will see that it was delivered, that you took pics, and that you specifically said as-is. so that's it. buyer doesn't always win. BUT if you do none of that... yes, you are absolutely right. ebay in particular HEAVILY favors buyers when there is little documentation.
    I have sold a number of small items mostly under $100 each on eBay with no issues, but I have not sold any bigger ticket items. But this seems like a good way to go about it to cover yourself.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
    1. list the eBay auction with no returns, as-is condition, etc. read the terms and conditions some of the high-volume sellers put in there. make sure you set some restrictions on the buyers - whole article about that here: Selecting buyer requirements

    2. ship it insured, signature required, tracked.

    3. take pics of the bike before you pack it as well as the packing process and final box. this will help if it arrives damaged and you have to prove to the shipper that you packed it properly.

    4. absolutely, take paypal only. if you do all this, and you get a lame buyer, you could still possibly lose. but most likely, ebay and paypal will see that it was delivered, that you took pics, and that you specifically said as-is. so that's it. buyer doesn't always win. BUT if you do none of that... yes, you are absolutely right. ebay in particular HEAVILY favors buyers when there is little documentation.
    I read through Paypal's seller protection requirements last night and came to the conclusion that you are reasonably protected from scammers if you do all the stuff you described above. I would add to #4 that you should also make sure the transaction is listed as "Eligible" for seller protection before shipping. This means that the address and payment methods are verified (and you have to ship to the address listed by the buyer on the transaction).

    Again, the bike is fine and I have disclosed all the issues with it (couple of dents) in my listing. I am 100% only worried about getting scammed/ripped off.

    Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm going to go with a combination of my gut feeling + documenting the hell out of the packing/shipping process if I get a reasonable buyer.

    And yes, 75% of the inquires have been from NY.

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