eBay -- where to get ripped off

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.marketplace archive' started by McGet, Feb 13, 2004.

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  1. McGet

    McGet Guest

    Greetings -- The last five bikes we had in our shop from eBay "deals" : 1 fit the rider and worked
    well. 4 were the wrong size. 2 had mismatched, botch bottom brackets. 1 had a homebrew "fixed" hub
    -- a freewheel hub with a BB lockring jammed onto it--may hold, may not!?

    1 had a bunch of parts that wouldn't work together.

    Hey, no problem--just take it to the local bike shop and yell at them when they can't get it to
    work. And if all else fails, just eBay with a sunny description and offload the problems.

    And if that doesn't work, there's always the swap meets twice a year, where all the eBay mistakes
    go to die.

    best of all are the guys who make a fake letterhead and convince distributors to sell to them.. they
    stack the stuff in their garage and sell to their buddies and the local club... they can be cheaper
    because they offer no service, pay no employees, cheat by paying no taxes, rent or insurance, and
    when they get tired of the whole deal, they just blow it off.

    Oh yes, eBay just sent me a form letter showing me how to set up a slick, pre-fab eBay "storefront"
    in 15 minutes, so that any goof can look legit. Ah, progress.

    signed, --Michael McGettigan, trophy bikes philadelphia (yeah, I buy and sell on ebay, but very
    carefully)
     
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  2. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    Mcget wrote:

    (ebay-shopping customer rant snipped)

    > signed, --Michael McGettigan, trophy bikes philadelphia (yeah, I buy and sell on ebay, but very
    > carefully)

    As the old saying goes, you'll attract more bees with honey (professional attitude) than with
    vinegar (whining).

    Matt O.
     
  3. Ground Zero

    Ground Zero Guest

    "Matt O'Toole" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Mcget wrote:
    >
    > (ebay-shopping customer rant snipped)
    >
    > > signed, --Michael McGettigan, trophy bikes philadelphia (yeah, I buy and sell on ebay, but very
    > > carefully)
    >
    >
    > As the old saying goes, you'll attract more bees with honey (professional attitude) than with
    > vinegar (whining).
    >
    > Matt O.

    Michael McGettigan is not whining. He is merely expressing the same frustrations shared by
    most LBDs.

    Michael makes several valid points in his post. The cycling industry is not economically healthy for
    a number of reasons. The number of LBDs - the foundation on which this industry was built - has
    dropped considerably for an alarming number of years in a row as small shops fail. Annual profits,
    never excessive, are at the lowest point in the industry's history. This is not an industry to be in
    if you hope to become wealthy. At best, most shops merely provide a modest living for their owners
    and staff. We do it for our love of cycling.

    The industry itself has changed dramatically. When I opened my first shop in 1993, I had to jump
    through many hoops before being able to get an account with a distributor, including but not limited
    to the following:

    1. Proof of a retail storefront - many distributors and manufacturers required their outside sales
    rep to verify this in person. Others required a set of photos showing the outside (including
    signage and address - VERY important), inside, and surrounding neighborhood.

    2. Copy of business license - many distributors called the local business licensing
    department to verify

    3. Proof of commercial telephone service - consumer service not allowed (hints at operating out of
    one's residence, or at best, cheating the phone company)

    4. Proof of accounts with other manufacturers and distributors - kind of a Catch 22 situation until
    one has established the first few accounts.

    5. Business cards and letterhead - professionally printed, not off one's home computer

    Now, the situation is much different. Bicycle Retailer & Industry News (BRAIN) used to be a staunch
    supporter of the LBD, advocating the industry to stop the proliferation of illegitimate shops, grey
    marketing of product, and other practices deemed harmful to the industry. In the past year, though,
    BRAIN ran a series of articles by a shop owner who admitted starting in his garage as an
    illegitimate business, a guest editorial by a guy who admits to operating out of his
    apartment/storage unit - selling solely on eBay - and trashing the traditional "bricks & mortar" LBD
    as a dinosaur in today's high tech world marketplace, and a former employee of an importer/exporter
    who opened a new on-line store (no retail storefront) and sells only the products carried by his
    former employer - the website contains no prices (one must email for prices - this raises suspicions
    of violating msrp pricing policies) and the importer/distributor direct ships products to his
    customers. I doubt his former employer would drop ship for my shop... to be fair, we are checking
    into this.

    eBay's accommodation for fraudulent practices is well documented on RBM... no further discussion is
    necessary. Looks like we can add promoting the establishment of illegitimate businesses to the ever
    growing list.....

    Stuart Winsor Ground Zero Cycles [email protected]
     
  4. Mark B

    Mark B Guest

    I save 50% off the local bike shops prices by using EBAY/mail order. 2 bikes
    for the price of one. A lot of the stuff I buy on EBAY is brand new still
    factory sealed. Your charging the people coming into your shop to fix their
    EBAY bikes so I don't understand the sour grapes about Ebay. Did you work on
    those bikes for free?...I didn't think so. Based on your post you should
    LOVE Ebay. Just my 2 cents. just like your 4 cents...but 50% off :)
     
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