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  1. #1
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    Would you buy a used bike online?

    I'm looking for opinions on buying a used bike online without being able to see it first. What are specific questions you would ask the seller or specific things you would do to get the best info about the bike?

    In my case, the seller said they will call their bike shop and see if they can do a basic inspection and sign a form or something stating the condition of the bike. I not sure if this is something that is actually feasible or not.

    What is the best way to make the payment if you decide to buy one online?

    Or is it just a better idea to wait for who knows how long until something local comes up?

  2. #2
    Bikesexual
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    First is what site are you buying from?

    Get pictures lost of them. Maybe post them here for feedback.

    Paypal would be a safe way to pay for it. If Western Union is offered, forget about it.

    What bike/year/model are you try ing to buy and what's the asking price?
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  3. #3
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    I’ve bought and sold used frames and bikes on ebay, pink bike and this site and have never had an issue.

    I’m not sure a bike shop will want to get in the middle of this deal.

    Tips:

    • Use PayPal only
    • Ask for lots of close up pictures
    • Speak to the seller on the phone and ask questions about the bike and its history. No text paging, talk to them. You will pick up on clues if this is legit or a scam.
    • Be aware that shipping can get pricey. Use BikeFlights if possible.

  4. #4
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    It's a 2018 YT Jeffsy on Pinkbike. The seller said he purchased it new in March 2018 and rode it for almost 2K miles. He said he has replaced the cassette, hub, grips, pivot bearings, chain, and tires. He also said he had the suspension serviced around 400 miles ago. The asking price is $1800. He said that cosmetically there are some scratches on the frame and plenty of signs it's been ridden but mechanically it works great.

  5. #5
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    I don't know what the situation is with mountain bikes, but I know that there are "replica" carbon road bike frames being imported, and the guys who work at said road bike companies have trouble telling them apart without destructive testing.

    Whether or not any "replica" bikes or parts are safe to ride is another can of worms, but I'd want to know for sure what I'm buying, and I can no longer do that, it seems.

    Edit: you just mentioned the model. I think more obscure local brands may be safer from replication... for now
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  6. #6
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    I have purchased 4 on e-bay + one frame. All have been excellent except for the first and it was just "okay". My first one was the worst, but that was on me.

    All were top of the line carbon bikes. (3 road, 1 fat).

    Keys are:

    1.) Communication. If the seller is not willing to provide details, back away.
    2.) Ask for pictures of any defects/scratches
    3.) Make sure shipment is insured
    4.) Fund the PayPal payment with a credit card. That way you have protection from PayPal AND your credit card company. PayPal protection is poor compared to a credit card.

    If that is an alloy Jeffsy, there is no way I would pay $1,800 for a $2,300 bike sight unseen. Price needs to be close to half price to make the risk worth it IMO.

    2,000 miles on a mountain bike in 10 months is pretty substantial.

  7. #7
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    Like others have recommended, use pay pal. Also when sending the money via pay pal they will give you the option to "send to a friend" or "Pay for Goods and Services".

    Make sure you are using "goods and services", do not use send money to friend option. Some sellers will ask you to use "send to friend" as with this option the seller does not pay a fee for the transaction. However if you use this option you forfeit some buyer protections offered by pay pal, so don't do it .

    Also check when this guy created his pink bike profile and if he has sold any bikes in the past, look up his username as pink bike users are pretty good about posting negative feedback about a seller.

    Pink bike has a buyers guide posted on the site that you might want to read that also gives you some helpful tips on what not to do, I would read that as well. Ultimately buying online always has its risks, but i've bought and sold off pink bike and have never had any issues as long as you try to mitigate as much risk as possible and protect yourself as much as you can.

  8. #8
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    It looks like the seller doesn't have any history on Pinkbike. They joined a week ago and their sale listing is the only post they've ever made.

    That being said, I was able to connect with them via phone and they have been very responsive to all of my questions and have been very easy to work with so far.

  9. #9
    EAT MORE GRIME
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    nope. I need a direct physical inspection and ride first, before any cash outlay
    for a used bike.
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  10. #10
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    I would buy a bike online, using paypal etc (and have), but I wouldn't buy THAT one, at that price.

    https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2499449/

    Plus no pics in the ad either rings alarm bells.

  11. #11
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    Yeah, I don't even click on ads without pictures.. Either he's completely clueless on selling online or he doesn't want to show the bike for a reason.

    Has he sent you pictures? If no then ignore that bike and move on.

  12. #12
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    He has sent me pictures of the bike

  13. #13
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    Ehhh...I would keep looking at that price. Depending on terrain that bike could have taken a beating in 2K miles. Even if it's been well maintained and a fair amount of stuff has been serviced a new one is only $500 more. Those miles have impacted wheels, tires, pads, bottombrkt, cranks, dropper, etc. Stuff wears out and it's all affected.
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  14. #14
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    What would be a good price for the bike? It's listed at $1800 but negotiation is always a part of buying a used bike.

  15. #15
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    "I bought the bike new in March of 2018 and have loved every minute on it. I LOVE THIS BIKE"

    I'd ask why he's selling it. Not hard to make up an excuse but I'd still ask. No pictures and new profile are a bit questionable as well; he definitely needs to send you photos of the actual bike and no way I'd pay asking price, he asked for offers so start low.

    Of my three current mtbs, I found them all online. But two of them I drove a ways to check out and the third was an incredible win on eBay (and only a couple hundred bucks with a ridiculously low shipping price).

    "All serviced at LBS"

    Ask him for the name of the shop and give them a call to verify they serviced, what they did and what they consider the condition to be.
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  16. #16
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    I wouldn’t pay more than ~half of MSRP for a used bike, mainly because you are assuming some risk and losing the warranty.


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  17. #17
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    Knowing that ALL of my bikes have eventually broken, I am very leery of buying used stuff without actually touching it.
    If you are comfortable with lots of pictures, and you know the size is right, I would ask for the following:
    - picture of serial # on frame - so that you can tell it's the same bike, and/or verify it is not a fake.
    - close up pictures of dropouts/axles, pivot points, headtube area, bottom bracket area, seattube area and binder
    - picture(s) of any obvious blemishes
    - receipts for parts and service


    The best he could do is provide a video of him riding it, cycling the suspension, shifting all the gears, showing straight wheels, along with a pump gauge on the fork and shock to show them NOT leaking. If you have to do any suspension work or buy a wheel, it's no deal.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sid Duffman View Post
    I wouldn’t pay more than ~half of MSRP for a used bike, mainly because you are assuming some risk and losing the warranty.


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    Agreed. I read "It's been ridden" to mean "I beat the snot out of it.". $1,250 shipped is as high as I would go.

    If he tells you he's selling it because it's a team bike and he is getting a new one then he would be making $ on the deal even after riding it hard for a year. Team discounts I am familiar with are 30%+.

    I see the new Jeffsy is completely new for 2019. Geometry has changed and now with 12 speed vs 11. All that adds up to more depreciation.

  19. #19
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    $1000 for starters given I have to ask for any pictures. I would not go more than 50% of retail given description of bike and riding.

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  20. #20
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    No.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  21. #21
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    I like to blindfold myself when I buy bikes online. Doing it this way always makes my new bike a "surprise" to myself every time.
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  22. #22
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    Shop around some more, the price definitely needs to be lower, but at the end of the day pay whatever you feel is a good price. Don't listen to "needs to be 50$ off MSRP", if it's a good deal for you, it's a good deal.

    I previously bought a 2018 Trek Stache off pink bike for 1200, it was only 1800 new so the discount wasn't super deep, but I was able to feel comfortable that the seller was legit and it was in excellent condition and a drivable distance that I could go pick it up. Yes maybe it wasn't the hottest deal but I really wanted to try to stache and after tons of shopping I was not able to find it anywhere cheaper, so I took the risk, had ALOT of fun with it for 6 months, then sold it for $1150 6 months later to make room for a different bike. It all just depends on your situation. .

  23. #23
    Pro Crastinator
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    run forest run...

    he says he is only 17. smells like a thief..


  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by amedsker View Post
    He has sent me pictures of the bike
    That's fine, but my concern, given how easy it is to post pics on PB, is that he doesn't want the whole world (inc anyone that might be looking for that exact bike) easily seeing them. Also means he can't be publicly called on any inaccuracies, such as the model year etc.

    Even if it's in perfect condition, it's not a great deal, walk. There are dozens more out there, a better one will turn up.

  25. #25
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    I have done it before, but it's not my preference. I, too, like to be able to inspect what I'm about to buy.

    If going the full-online route for a used bike, ask WAY MORE QUESTIONS than you think is necessary. Especially questions you know the answer to. Check the seller for consistency because theft is a problem and you don't want to reward thieves by buying their wares. Also ask for lots and lots of extra pictures.

    I ended up buying the bike (my wife wanted it, but I did all the interactions with the seller to ensure that everything was legit and kosher and that the bike was in reasonably good shape) after the seller was able to provide absolutely everything I asked for with no hesitation. Answers were straightforward and consistent, and she had a pile of parts, the manuals, and a couple tools that came with the bike that no bike thief would ALSO have. The bike was listed here on mtbr.

  26. #26
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    Done it ~7 years ago and regretted it. Received a bike with a leaky, screwed up fork.

  27. #27
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    Thanks to everyone for the good information. I would definitely prefer to buy a local bike and see it in person first but I don't see used Jeffsy's come up very often around me. The Jeffsy is my first choice for a new bike but I am open to other options so maybe I'll just keep an eye on the local market until something comes up.

    I'm still going to get more pics and ask more questions about this one but I'm not afraid to walk away if the deal doesn't look good to me.

  28. #28
    Up In Smoke
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    Never! Nor would I sell one online. Everything seems like a scam to me.

  29. #29
    100% PRIME ALBERTA BEEF
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    Don't. Just don't.

  30. #30
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by amedsker View Post
    Thanks to everyone for the good information. I would definitely prefer to buy a local bike and see it in person first but I don't see used Jeffsy's come up very often around me. The Jeffsy is my first choice for a new bike but I am open to other options so maybe I'll just keep an eye on the local market until something comes up.

    I'm still going to get more pics and ask more questions about this one but I'm not afraid to walk away if the deal doesn't look good to me.
    I'd be less concerned about the "deal being good" than the seller trying to hide defects. As such, build that extra level of uncertainty into your offer, and make it clear to the seller that's exactly what you're doing. If there's a shop willing to inspect the bike, then YOU call the shop (with the number they list on their website) and talk to them about it directly. Better if it's not the seller's shop, too. Cut the seller out of that conversation. There's still uncertainty because you don't know if the shop is doing the seller a favor and glossing over defects, but it's a little bit more certainty than just assuming.

    Facts of buying used are that if you've got specific preferences, you're probably better off buying new to be sure you get what you want. Especially if it's an item that's difficult to find on the used market. If the seller is correct about putting 2k miles on the bike in 9 or 10mo, then it honestly sounds likely to be thrashed. Esp if a new rear hub was installed at some point.

    The aforementioned used bike I bought online for my wife (which she still owns, fwiw) was a 2010 Santa Cruz Blur XC Carbon. Probably a $6,000 build. Full XTR M980 series drivetrain/brakes, DT Swiss Tricon wheels, Fox Fork/shock, carbon cockpit. Super nice bike/build. Raced for 2 seasons (I bought it in early 2013), so it was ridden hard. I paid $1800 (shipped) for THAT bike because of the uncertainty I had of buying a used carbon bike without putting hands on it.

  31. #31
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    17 also means he's not contractually obligated to do anything since he is a minor.
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  32. #32
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    Yup... Bought a couple online ^^

    '12 Transition Bandit 29 & '17 Giant Reign 2.

    Both awesome bikes...

    The rear triangle on the Bandit started cracking up.

    But, I got a years riding out of it & all the parts enabled a 'smooth-transition' over to a '17 Nukeproof Scout 290 (frame).

    Which coincidentally, just happens to be my favourite bike to date.

    'Born to ride!'
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  33. #33
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    Personally, I think I'd prefer to deal with an older, more experienced seller with a good reputation if I were to buy online, sight unseen. Be patient.. you'll find another Jeffsy.

  34. #34
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    Simple. No.

  35. #35
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    I've bought Used bike on pinkbike. I'm pretty happy with the deal I got and the state of the bike. I did it because I was able to get a pretty high spec boutique bike for a good price. Like others recommend ask lots of questions even ones you know the answer to. Get additional pics. All about the history and every possible defect you can think of. Keep copies of all the interactions. Pay through PayPal using a credit card as a purchase not a gift. Make sure it is shipped using tracked and insured shipper. On pinkbike you can see their sales history. If you have any doubts ask for the contact info of previous buyers. And ask them about the particular item they bought.

    I would but used but probably only from pinkbike or a resale shop on eBay.

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  36. #36
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    Not to repeat above but----if he bought it new in March then he can show the receipt-----same for the parts and the fork service-----that would provide some validation----

    But the used market is soft so that price for 2K miles which is quite a lot since march is high for sure------
    In the end I could not buy without seeing or at least have a trusted friend see it

  37. #37
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    I've bought used from here and Pinkbike. All success stories. A rule of thumb for me is that I must talk to the owner on the phone and see pics. A phone conversation goes a long way. Once I even got info about a bike shop the seller frequented and then I contacted them to see if the guy was legit (he was).

    Another seller said he worked at a bike shop. I looked him up online (shops website) and called the shop. He was legit.

    Find as many clues as you can and run them down. Luck has a little to do with is as well (I suspect).

  38. #38
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    The AL Jeffsy hasn't received the geo upgrade the carbon version got for 2019. It's still the same.
    With CushCore this bike was set up to ride hard by an experienced rider. I'd offer half if you still want it.

  39. #39
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    Thought tempting, I'd be hesitant. Believe me, I love going on PB and scouring the XC bike ads. But when it comes down to it, I'm not so sure I'd pull the trigger on spending thousands of dollars on a bike unseen firsthand.

    I think the only exception I may make would be for a hardtail or rigid under the assumption of less moving parts to be beat upon. Of course that's no guarantee.
    Don't say what you mean, you might spoil your face...

  40. #40
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    A lot of great advice here. I've done it and will do it again, but keeping all these things in mind.

    I think the best advice out of all of this is to be patient. Don't skip, overlook, ignore potential warning signs because you love a bike, or the price is right. Another bike will always pop up. This is what will burn you in the end.

  41. #41
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    I've bought a used frame from a member here, great transaction and a great deal.

    I would not buy from a "only one post" seller.

    Also had to be about 50% of retail.

  42. #42
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    I once bought a bike off ebay from a reputable bike shop in Mass.. The transaction went smoothly, and the bike arrived in about a week. But when I opened the box, I noticed the frame had deep gouges and scratches all over it from the wheel hubs and cassette rubbing up against it. Whoever packed it did a terrible job. This was actually a new old stock frame that was only built up just to sell it, and from the 20 or so pics on ebay, it was in mint condition. I had to eventually open a case because they wouldn't return my emails. Eventually I did get my money back, plus got reimbursed $150 for shipping it back. My advice....be careful

  43. #43
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    I've bought 2 used bikes on ebay. The first turned out good. The second was misrepresented & I had to have ebay implement the buyer protection plan. Returned the bike & got a full refund, so it was only a waste of time. I'd do it again on ebay - probably not another site that doesn't have a guarantee.

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  44. #44
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    Nope.

    Especially a used bike, I would never buy one without inspecting and riding it first. If the bike isn't available locally or within driving distance, there's probably a reason why.

  45. #45
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    I've bought three bikes and a car sight unseen on eBay. All had good communication from sellers, plenty of photos, and good seller feedback. I was pleased with all of those transactions. The car has since been sold, but I still have the two Moots bikes I got for me and the Juliana I got for my wife. The bikes were paid for with PayPal and the car deposit was paid via Paypal, with the balance paid in person when I went to pick up the car which was about 100 miles away.

  46. #46
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    Yes. I havent bought a new bike for myself since 1998, All have been second hand on line purchases.

    Hunt down the hardly used near new at 50% off list price bikes.

    Sometimes you get a lemon. But most of the times its a sweet bike that you couldnt possibly afford that spec new.

  47. #47
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    I've bought used complete MTB's, frames, parts of all sorts off eBay, Craig's list and FB "for sale" pagds and never had any issues. This assumes that you know what size frame fits your needs (sizing varies between manufacturers so you mileage may vary...).
    【ツ】 eDub 【ツ】

  48. #48
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    I bought my last bike from a guy 400 miles away, online, 3K plus shipping. I could not be happier.

    Requires vetting, independent 3rd party brokering, revocable funding.
    Consciousness, that annoying time between bike rides.

  49. #49
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    I bought used from an eBay listing however the seller didn't want to go through with it sheet he say the fees. He also had it listed in pinkbike and he had a good reputation so we did the transaction through there b it was the bike I wanted with a better spec than I wanted. It was a couple Grand so I went through PayPal and used a credit card for protection. The bike came in great shape. He had it packed at a local shop and even gave me the info of the shop to contact them. I was incredibly nervous about the amount of cash but I've had no regrets. I think it was in better shape than he described.

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