Buying off ebay

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by smeg, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. smeg

    smeg New Member

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    I'm getting into road biking and wanting a better road bike for ages. I'm just wondering if its a good idea to be buying a bike from Ebay. One thing that concerns me is that if the bike didn't feel right or something like that. Have any of you bought a road bike off Ebay and how successful was it?
     
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  2. capwater

    capwater New Member

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    Caveat Emptor. Never bought a bike, but scored a bunch of components at nice prices.

    Three suggestions:
    1) Know exactly what you are buying. Bikewise make sure you have riden the same model and size before bidding so you have verified it's fit and comfort level. Most sellers don't offer returns.
    2) Know the value of what you are bidding on. Even more comedic than the unfolding "Ron Mexico" saga is watching people bid way more for an item than you could buy right off a store's website (nashbar, performamce, etc). Know your pricepoint and stick to it.
    3) If you are the least bit hesitant, do not venture into the big dog world of eBay. It can be a great place to buy and sell, but it isn't for the weak at heart (much like the stock market).
     
  3. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Works if you know what your are doing and what things are worth.A good way to get hosed if you don't.
     
  4. Tech72

    Tech72 New Member

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    I have bought many bike components (Dura Ace 10 groupset, Ksyriums wheelset, Arione saddle, FSA crankset, Cinelli stem, etc.) off eBay and personally have not encountered any problems. I even bought a new Cannondale CAAD7 frameset last year, so far so good. Maybe luck has been on my side, but yes, I have heard of problems with others buying off eBay. Check the sellers' ratings, etc. and know that buying from another country usually means a duty fee charged by Customs in relation to the item cost/value. As with buying anything sight unseen, especially used stuff, buyer beware.

    Cheers,
     
  5. roadhog

    roadhog New Member

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    I bought a bike off ebay a few months back, but it was not my original intent. You definitely should know exactly what you want and what the value is, and you need to be confident in the seller BEFORE you bid. I would go about business as if you are going to buy from a local bike shop, to include test riding, etc. Narrow it doen until you know exactly what bike you want, exactly what size you want, and you have test-ridden that exact bike. Then, check on e-bay for a couple weeks to see if any reputable sellers are offering a value much better than your LBS. If so, go with e-bay. If not, get it from the shop. One thing you do not get with the e-bay purchase is the usual maintenance/inspection deals that come with an LBS purchase. But still, sometimes the price savings can justify forgoing that. I talked my LBS down to as low a price as they would offer, and still saved 500 off of that on ebay (on a new 2004 Cdale R1000). So to me, it was worth it.

    Be careful though, there are scammers on e-bay. There is a thread on this forum somewhere that gives a lot of tips about detecting scams on e-bay.
     
  6. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

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    There have been a surprising number of scams with high priced bikes on ebay, so keep in mind that it's not necessarily a safe place to shop. Beware of the $5k bike selling for $1500, any size you want. Low dollar items are fairly safe if you check the seller's feedback. I got a set of Cinelli RAM bars cheap last fall, and just scored a Fizik Aliante saddle.

    It is a very good idea to check the price of anything you are considering on ebay against a reputable online cycling retailer, and with the LBS. I have seen people pay absurd prices for bikes on ebay, when they could have bought the same bike new from an online retailer for less, if they had just checked.
     
  7. Woofer

    Woofer New Member

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    .googl
    If this is your first bike, just go to a good local shop for a fitting and buy it there. You always have recourse for action if there are any problems.

    If you wish to get further into the sport after this bike, and you are a competent mechanic (because you will have to be to put one together) then do your homework and price compare and buy from one of the online retailers.
    www.coloradocyclist.com
    www.excelsports.com
    www.bikesdirect.com.
    etc.

    Buying your first bike online through EBay is a mistake, and I'm ignoring the scam issues.
     
  8. fiscem4

    fiscem4 New Member

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    Definately make sure that you know your pricepoint...some of those auctions get rediculously high.

    Personally, I just bought a 80's road bike for $80 that I'm putting about $150 into to convert it to a fixed-gear. Its in great condition, and when I'm through using it for commuting (Don't want my real bike to get stolen), it will definately end up paying for itself (I'm sure it will pay for itself in not having to buy a MetroCard alone)
     
  9. blind leader

    blind leader New Member

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    I just bought six components and a frame from the ebay. i lose to canadian/u.s. exchange. there are duty charges at customs and the shipping charges are enormous. won't do it again.
     
  10. jrstevens

    jrstevens New Member

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    Bought my first bike (a base model Mercier MSRP $700) off ebay 3 years ago for $415 when i myself was just getting into the sport. I didn't want to spend too much in the event I didn't like cycling or had some kind of cycling related injury. Turned out to be a good deal; I loved cycling, sold the bike for $400 and used the cash towards my next bike purchase from the LBS. Be wary of any deal that sounds too good to be true. I recall reading on the forum about a dealer selling Trek OCLV's at a ridiculously low Pay it now price.

    JS
     
  11. dannyg1

    dannyg1 New Member

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    A number 1: Buying from established dealers is the safest bet. When on ebay, shop the stores first.

    #2: cHECK THE GUY'S FEEDBACK! Look over the last months auctions: See expensive bike related stuff sold successfully?

    #3: Use paypal with a credit card. You can charge back something that never shows.

    #4: Look CAREFULLY for creative photography. Marks and dents can be hidden easily. Seller doesn't want to send more pics? Shop on!

    #5: Ask the seller for more info and ask for obscure info. If it isn't real, they won't answer well.

    #6: ALWAYS assume that the item is graded optimistically. Never pay an as new price for something you're not positive is as new. Be pleasantly surprised at sellers honesty.

    #7: Don't swaet the small stuff. Everybody's got a life. If it doesn't come in ten days, send the seller a kind hearted email asking them to check status. Leave good feedback when you get something you like. Don't feel ripped off until you're dead sure you have been.

    #8: Share what you learn. If everyone who shops ebay does it well, we'll all benefit.

    #9: Don't become married to any item unless it's so damn rare that you'll never see another. Campagnolo Delta brakes are rare as hell but are _always available on ebay. NOS TA cranks from 1962, you can marry (meaning bid what it takes to get what you want). Never get carried away.

    #10: Be especially careful with high demand, expensive items. Want a new Scott carbon? ONLY buy that from a dealer with grandiose feedback.

    #11: Pay your bills, your rent and your taxes before you shop on Ebay at all. It's easy to find stuff you've just gotta have.

    DG1
     
  12. agile

    agile New Member

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    I bought a roadbike off eBay about 5 months ago. Happen to find one that was exactly what I wanted in the size I wanted and was able to get a very good deal on it. Follow everyone else's advice and set a limit on what you will spend on the bike.

    The biggest concern once you get past the research on the seller and the bike condition is shipping. Unfortunately, mine was shipped before I could really tell the guy how I wanted it shipped. It appears that the rear der and hanger was bent slightly during shipping and ended up catching in my spokes and was sheared off about 200 miles later. Good news was that I went from a 04 Ultegra to a 05 Ultegra. Spent a few dollars on this and still ended up saving a bunch over buying the bike new.

    I still wonder if the bike was stolen etc. It is a big risk and I guess I consider myself lucky.

    I have bought pedals and a Train Right dvd off eBay. I feel a lot better buying these items because they are usually selling items as a side business. I received excellent service on the DVD. I received a broken one and the seller had me send it back and sent me a new one. Only had to pay the shipping back myself. Was shocked the gentleman would replace it. I though I was out my $20.
     
  13. meb

    meb New Member

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    Once you start bidding though, a lot of third parties will aledge they have the same thing and email you for an off ebay sale-avoid those. If it's legit, the guy would have pointed out his own ebay auction. Also, avoid auctions that are private sales-no reason for a bike to be a private auction-it may be fraud or the seller may be using shill bidders to drive the price up. Rely on Paypal in general, and credit cards as further protection, unless the guy has a lot of favorable feedback, or unless it is a low priced product. Even though the transaction is riskier with a money order, I prefer to pay with money order vs. check just to reduce the risk of identity theft.

    I had a strange thing last week though. I won an auction on a rare bike part. Seller was new, but I knew that Ottowa was where the Canadian importer of that product was (the US importer had gone out of business). Then 5 hours after the win, ebay notified me they had suspended the seller and cancelled the auction with no explanation why.
     
  14. stormer94

    stormer94 New Member

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    I bought a set of zip 909's off a guy $1250.00, I checked him out top to bottom, 300 feedback, had sold wheels, good feedback from wheels, looked good. Sent him the money, and he started getting negs later that same day, from irritated people from about 2 weeks previous... THE SAME DAY I PAID HIM. I emailed him a few times, he re-assured me all was good, and BAMMO, he dropped off the face of the earth, with my money, and the money of about 50 other people. We had our own little support group for a while, all sending each other what little information we had.

    So my SECOND set of 909's cost me $1450 at the bike shop... My wife is still hot about that one.. $2700 for a pair of wheels if you include the theft of my cash on eBay.

    I'm a SERIOUSLY savvy eBay guy, so save the speech if you were about to type one...
    ;)
     
  15. smeg

    smeg New Member

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    thanks for the advice guys. If I buy something from there I'll keep your advice in mind.
     
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