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· RBR Veteran Opinionater
1,512 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I watch ebay and the local Craig's List for high end bikes, and have noticed a lot of suspicious listings lately. I responded to a Cervelo listing on CL, and got a reply from someone whose circumstances forced him to be in Canada, but the bike was "packed and ready to ship". He had a detailed procedure for me to follow and told me that even though the bike was near me that I could not see or pickup it up, because of his arrangement with the shipper.

There have also been several ebay listings for Cervelos, Tarmac sls and the like. Always with zero feedback sellers, and free shipping. Seems like "the bike is already packed, at the shippers and shipping is prepaid" is how they can deal with folks wanting to see or pick-up the item. I used "ask seller a question" on one and got this reply:


I wish to obtain for this bike $2900 . I am willing to pay shipping and insurance for it . In case you are interested , please send me your full name and address and i will prepare shipping asp. I will give you 5 days inspection period and in case is not as advertised or damaged during transportation you can return it without any other costs


Here's the listing:

This reply came to my personnal email and not through ebay - which is wierd, since I didn't give out my email, and it's not included in ebay's communications among members. I figure they just broadcast a response to my ebay user name, hotmail, yahoo, aol, etc. By the way, that bidding closed at $4,000 on that bike.

I've seen a couple of these ebay listings cancelled by ebay because "the seller atempted to contact you outside of the ebay system".

Let's be careful out there people...

· Banned
6,492 Posts
I'd be very reluctant...

I'm a very occasional ebay shopper, so I can't speak from experience, but I'd be leery of this. The clincher for me is his refusal to let you see the bike before purchase or pick it up in person. If it exists, and if you're willing to show up, I can't think of a single legitimate reason he wouldn't go along with that. It's no skin off the shipper if he hands it over to you instead of FedEx. I was negotiating with a guy a few years ago to buy a used recumbent, just to have around, and he mentioned that he lived in the SF Bay Area. My parents were just a few miles away, so I told him I'd take the bike and pay cash if I could pick it up in person when I went down to see my dad. The guy vanished instantly--no more emails, and no answer to messages on his phone.

Wasn't there a rash of ripoffs a few years ago where people were offering high-end bikes pretty cheap, supposedly the wrong size or something, and showing photos ripped from the manufacturers' Web sites? Don't remember details but I read something about it. They didn't exist at all, as I recall.

Having said that, though, it COULD be a good time to buy if you find the right seller. I know a lot of people who overextended on toys over the last few years, and they're selling off Jet Skis and SUVS and all kinds of crap. A house My wife and I passed up for $405,000 last year is back on the market this week for $299K.

· Failboat Captian
6,559 Posts
Run, don't walk, to the nearest exit. Any legit seller would be more than willing to be up front. Consider the type of person that would actually own and ride a bike like that, and how they would handle selling it.

· Registered
12,593 Posts
When I started looking for a Colnago frame on ebay a couple of years ago, there were so many scams for Colnagos that it was ridiculous. I made a point of reporting every single one I came across that looked suspicious, and most of them got pulled. A lot of them had an e-mail listed in them to contact the seller directly. I have seen them in the Colnago listing for over a year now. Good riddance. We need to report these things to ebay whenever we come across them so that we can make the scammers' lives as miserable as possible.

Same goes for all the scammers sending out e-mails about you winning the lottery or them wanting to deposit millions of dollars in your savings account for you to hold for them. Can you imagine if we all sent them a very lengthy repsonse and toyed with them instead of just deleting their e-mails. I bet that would frustrate the hell out of them. Imagine receiving 100's and 100's of responses, thinking that you might have hit the jackpot, only to find that you don't get anything from all those responses. Imagine having to read that many responses every day and end up with nothing.
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