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Meeting people in person to sell a bike - precautions?

Del

Monkey
Feb 20, 2004
366
0
Alexandria, VA
The time has come to sell my bike and I want to try to do it locally before I bring it to the forums and have shipping headaches and so forth.

I've got it listed on Craigslist right now and a couple people are interested. The only other bike I sold on Craigslist was an old $175.00 Kona so I feel differently this time since I'm selling my current bike for about 8 times that amount.

Of course I'll be meeting people in a public place but how do you confidently let someone test ride your bike with the risk that they could haul ass with it if they were so motivated?

My first thought was to ask for a driver's license or ID for collateral while they do a test ride. I wouldn't let them know this ahead of time so a fake could not be provided. If they don't have an ID or license or other substantial collateral I'd be hard pressed to let them ride unless they sport a halo or are otherwise a hot naked woman.

I would probably also ask them to stay right within my sight so if they did decide to pull a fast one, I could have an easier time sticking my foot in the rear wheel and beating the life out of them.

And also, how easy is it to spot counterfeit cash these days? Is that likely to be a concern?
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,649
397
NC
Ask for their car keys.

You can ask them to bring a post office money order to pay if you're uncomfortable accepting cash. Personally, I wouldn't really have a problem with cash, but I've never been burned with counterfeit cash so maybe I'm just naive.
 

Del

Monkey
Feb 20, 2004
366
0
Alexandria, VA
The problem with car keys is that they're probably worth replacing for a free $1400 bike and they're also pretty much anonymous.

I might just be overly paranoid too but I guess I have good reasoning these days.

Edit: I didn't think that the person might drive to the meeting place. The last bike I sold was all done through public transportation so for some reason I had that in my mind.

So yeah, holding keys if they arrive in a car might work.
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,649
397
NC
Ahh, right, good old public transportation. I assumed they'd drive so they could transport the bike back home.

Yeah, if they don't drive, the keys aren't worth a whole lot :p
 

skatetokil

Turbo Monkey
Jan 2, 2005
2,384
0
DC/Bluemont VA
The time has come to sell my bike and I want to try to do it locally before I bring it to the forums and have shipping headaches and so forth.

I've got it listed on Craigslist right now and a couple people are interested. The only other bike I sold on Craigslist was an old $175.00 Kona so I feel differently this time since I'm selling my current bike for about 8 times that amount.

Of course I'll be meeting people in a public place but how do you confidently let someone test ride your bike with the risk that they could haul ass with it if they were so motivated?

My first thought was to ask for a driver's license or ID for collateral while they do a test ride. I wouldn't let them know this ahead of time so a fake could not be provided. If they don't have an ID or license or other substantial collateral I'd be hard pressed to let them ride unless they sport a halo or are otherwise a hot naked woman.

I would probably also ask them to stay right within my sight so if they did decide to pull a fast one, I could have an easier time sticking my foot in the rear wheel and beating the life out of them.

And also, how easy is it to spot counterfeit cash these days? Is that likely to be a concern?
 

Mr.Mike

Chimp
Mar 22, 2007
7
0
A word of caution.....A guy I work with was so proud of his buddy because he managed to steal two expensive DH bikes from bike shops. His plan was get a set of fake keys, give them too the shop owner and then ride the bike away, he had his truck parked a couple blocks away. By the time the owner wondered where he was, he was halfway home.

I'd ask for something, more concrete...like a DL and the insurance papers from the vehicle he rode up in.....make sure names match before he pedals off.
 

blue

boob hater
Jan 24, 2004
10,165
0
california
Or you can just be near the car they arrive in to make sure of no funky business. Granted, they could chuck it in another car and leave, but then you still have their shiny one. :)
 

trailhacker

Turbo Monkey
Jan 6, 2003
1,233
0
In the hills around Seattle
Insist on cash transaction; not sure why you would do it any other way with a local sale? I have never heard a good enough reason to take anything but cash from someone with a local sale. Don't meet in a sketchy area or at a sketchy time of day. If they have the money in their checking account they should be able to go get the cash.

If they are serious enough about buying the bike to merit a test ride then they should have the cash with them. Tell them you will hold the cash while they test ride.

*EDIT - don't go alone unless you are confident you can take care of yourself. Still, for anything over a few hundred I would bring some support. Even if all they are going to do is dial 911 if something goes down.
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,412
0
SF
No test rides. I am not sure what you going to learn from riding a few blocks, and this is not a demo bike.

And cash only.
 

Serial Midget

Al Bundy
Jun 25, 2002
12,725
1,397
Fort of Rio Grande
I just bought a Trek Fuel from a guy who listed on CraigsList - we met in front of Nordstroms in a shopping center parking lot. I paid $750.00 based on the bike being delivered as advertised. Never thought twice about it.
 

valve bouncer

Master Dildoist
Feb 11, 2002
7,791
36
Japan
can't you just bring another bike and ride with them?? they can't be faster than you;)
That's so crazy it just might work.:thumb:
This Craiglist thing must be like manna from heaven for nefarious types, all these cloak and dagger meetings on neutral ground, cash only, bring back-up.
 

GotMyGED

Monkey
Mar 29, 2006
187
0
Knoxville
A word of caution.....A guy I work with was so proud of his buddy because he managed to steal two expensive DH bikes from bike shops. His plan was get a set of fake keys, give them too the shop owner and then ride the bike away, he had his truck parked a couple blocks away. By the time the owner wondered where he was, he was halfway home.

I'd ask for something, more concrete...like a DL and the insurance papers from the vehicle he rode up in.....make sure names match before he pedals off.
Sucks to be a the stupid employee at the shop. Who lets someone test ride a DH bike on the street? What good does that do? The place that I worked did Demo days for FR and DH bikes at a local trail system.
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
4
Set the limit screws on the rear derailleur to the lowest gear, then insist on them showing you the cash and counting it out in front of you before they test ride. Then insist they leave you with their driver's license. If they have no license, no sale.
 

ultraNoob

Yoshinoya Destroyer
Jan 20, 2007
4,515
1
Hills of Paradise
Cash Only, no C-notes (100's) or 50's. You can always get the bill check pens for cheap at your local office supply or the UV light. although UV is only good for newer bills and does not work on 1's.
 

bean

Turbo Monkey
Feb 16, 2004
1,338
0
Boulder
When I sold my car I'd go with them on the test drive. Maybe you could ride along on the handlebars.
 

djb

Monkey
Apr 6, 2006
174
0
VanCity
why not just get him to hand over the cash while he test rides it?
if he runs off, he's paid for it.
if he doesn't want it, he comes back and you give him the money back.
you're the seller, you can generally make more demands than the buyer.
chances are they really want it if they're meeting in person.
and if they disagree, walk off as you have other interested
 

Kntr

Turbo Monkey
Jan 25, 2003
7,536
20
Montana
why not just get him to hand over the cash while he test rides it?
if he runs off, he's paid for it.
if he doesn't want it, he comes back and you give him the money back.
you're the seller, you can generally make more demands than the buyer.
chances are they really want it if they're meeting in person.
and if they disagree, walk off as you have other interested
Good idea.
Get the money first or their driver's license. If they dont have the money, then they were never going to buy it.
 

h22ekhatch

Monkey
Jun 13, 2005
269
0
Portland
Hmm lemme see, I have sold 3 bikes to strangers in person...one of which kind of doesn't count because it was a special order thing that I ended up not wanting so we ended up doing a swap at the bike shop.

Both of the other times I just had them come over to the house. Let them test ride the bike (but their car was in my driveway so I figure whatever).

I mean yea I suppose they could take off and then I find that the car they left was stolen, etc etc but I guess I feel fairly confident. I live(d) in the hood so it wasn't like I was really worried about someone knowing where I live (enough stabbings and bullets flying by as it is, what is some two bit craigslist e-thug going to add to the mix?).

That said, the gimme the cash while you ride the bike thing sounds good.