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Question for bike sellers(11 posts)

Question for bike sellersheckman
Jun 13, 2003 5:49 AM
This question is directed to folks who have sold bikes here thru the classifieds. Is it appropriate or not for a potential buyer to ask you for the serial number of the bike that you are selling?

I have done so with the thought that I would like to make sure that a bike I am purchasing is as advertised and is not stolen. My LBS has told me that, were I to bring in the serial number for a bike, they would verify make and model thru the manufacturer, provided it is for a brand that they carry.

I have contacted a number of sellers in regards to purchasing the bike/frameset that they are advertising and in each case, once I asked for the serial number, the seller replied that the bike was sold. In one case, the classified showed sold and was subsequently removed, but in all of the others, the merchandise continued to show for sale long after the seller told me that it had already been sold.

Please give me some feedback regarding this. I would appreciate your thoughts. Thanks.

My experiencesNessism
Jun 13, 2003 6:44 AM
Asking for a s/n seems like a reasonable request to me. I would be leary of purchasing a bike if the seller was hesitating to provide this type of information.

Now as a seller, I sell to the first person that accepts my terms of sale. For example, lets say I post an ad from home and check email from work. First person to contact me ask for info (like s/n) but I can't provied this info right away. Second person contacts me and want to make purchase right away. I sell to the second person. There is no way of knowing if the first person is going to buy and the second person is putting up money.

As they say, money talks and BS walks.

Just my $0.02

agree nmDougSloan
Jun 13, 2003 6:45 AM
Thanks for the feedback nmheckman
Jun 13, 2003 7:31 AM
re: Question for bike sellerswspokes
Jun 13, 2003 6:45 AM
I would love to see a registry from these bike brands that supposedly know the serial numbers. I understand that with some brands the serial number tells you things like the year and size, etc. But I do't know of a mass brand out there where they can say, this one belongs to John Doe, etc...Maybe a custom bike dealer. When we had a shop my mother kept a log of serial numbers and we used it to trace "locally" stolen bikes for people but if you asked the manufacturer?? The other thought is maybe people are too paranoid in giving it out thinking someone may try to declare it stolen and provide a number...can't see this happening too often unless that person lives locally and actually thinks they can pull something that stupid off. Not sure though. If I was looking at purchasing a bike and the price was good, the components were appropriate, and it was something I wanted. I would buy it. Ask if they originally bought it and you may get an answer but ask if they have original receipts and you still may get blank stares. not many people keep this stuff around.

just my 2 cents.
From your infopitt83
Jun 13, 2003 6:54 AM
It seems like you've run into some sloppy sellers who didn't remove their ads; nothing more. I posted an ad at another BB and couldn't get it off. Queries kept coming.

I'd have been happy to give serial no. if anyone asked. Good suggestion to test for authenticity even if you never follow up.
You're probably rightheckman
Jun 13, 2003 7:38 AM
and I'm just reading too much into the circumstances. Thanks for your thoughts.
Suggestion for GREGG!!!!funknuggets
Jun 13, 2003 8:43 AM
Would it be difficult to create a table or something that we could add to or post...perhaps even for a fee, the serial numbers of bikes stolen from us or others sortable by brand/date... etc, so that buyers and victims could find out if the insane deal they are being offered is legit... etc? We cyclists are but a small group, so I would not be surprized if it was useful. Any thoughts?

Jun 13, 2003 9:09 AM
Dirty little secret:Alexx
Jun 13, 2003 8:57 AM
I'm sure e-Bay would refute this, but from what friends in law enforcement tell me-at least 1/3 of the bikes for sale at any given time have been stolen. Most people don't have the serial #'s of their bikes written down anywhere (do any of you?), so bike thieves know that there is next to zero chance of being caught. Be particularly suspicious of those who post bikes for sale, but have littel idea of what they have. Also, recently added sellers are a problem.

My police friend told me that, if your bike ever gets stolen, put a search up on e-Bay to find it, immediately.
National Bike Registryshamelessgearwhore
Jun 13, 2003 3:16 PM
This looks like a great service and has great potential. Anyone have any experience with them? I'm going to do it pretty soon.

one tip on internet purchases, you could at least verify through the manufacturer that the serial # is legit. Someone with a stolen bike may give a false number in case the original owner was asking. You could then call up or email the manufacturer to verify the #.