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Advice sought on buying bike from Ebay

topcattimtopcattim Posts: 766
edited September 2011 in Road beginners
My lad is thinking of buying a second hand bike from Ebay. I'm not much of an Ebay user and am a bit concerned about entering a contract to buy something I haven't seen, and what rights I might have (cos of course, it will be me that pays out the money!). In this case, the dealer doesn't accept Paypal, and I'm not sure if I should see that as a problem or not. I'm also concerned about not buying a stolen bike (although the bike that my lad has his eye on also comes with a receipt of proof of purchase, so I guess I am all right on that score).

Any advice on safe Ebay bike buying?

Posts

  • Always view the bike first if you can. If your lad knows a bit about bikes then ask questions. A stolen bike sold by a tinker will stand out under questions...

    As far as the legal aspect of a contract goes, it's what you get with anything on eBay unfortunately. Then again, any auction is the same...
  • Peddle Up!Peddle Up! Posts: 2,040
    The usual checks.

    How much feedback does the seller have?
    How much bad feedback?
    Contact details - beware "mobile phone only"

    There is a web site that routinely scans eBay and other auction sites matching against bikes reported stolen. Can anyone recall the name?
    Purveyor of "up" :)
  • If he won't take Paypal only buy it if you intend to collect it in person or you'll have no comeback at all. If you are collecting it then you can always refuse to pay if there is something wrong with it that wasn't in the listing. eBay is no different then buying second hand from a classified or shop window - most people are genuine but there are a few rogues.
  • I don't think ebay allow you to sell any more without accepting paypal as a payment method. The seller possibly wants to avoid the fees, but at the end of the day that method offers you the best protection if all is not as it should be.
  • GizmodoGizmodo Posts: 1,928
    Monty - eBay sellers can accept any form of payment, including cash on delivery. Especially on collection only items, what's the point in paying 4% to PayPal when COD works just fine.

    OP: Do not bid on a bike that you haven't physically seen, inspected and ridden. The most important part of buying a used bike is getting one that fits you.

    Make sure you can contact the seller after the sale, just in case - so a land line phone number and home address where you visited them (do not agree to meet them in a lay-by).

    Look at their feedback closely - look for "fake" feedback where they create a load of fake accounts which they then pretend to sell goods to - all the feedback comments will look as if they have been written by the same person.
  • west greenwest green Posts: 134
    I bought a frame without seeing it, old steel, it was fine but had to sell on as it was slightly too big. Moral of the story - know what you're looking for do lots of research and ask as many questions as you feel are necessary, don't be shy as you'll get a feel if everything is ok. I took a punt and it turned out to be fine, but I do that a lot with ebay and in general if someone has 100% feedback and 20+ sales I don't think they are looking to rip you off. My personal experience,
  • I've bought and sold a few on Ebay.

    There WILL be an option to pay using Paypal - the seller just doesn't want you to.

    As others have said - collect in person then you can inspect the bike yourself. If the bike isn't as described in the listing and you're not happy, it's fine to walk away.

    It's fine to bid on it without seeing it. I just wouldn't hand over cash without seeing it.

    The only alarm bell will be if the seller wants you to pay via Western Union. If so, walk away - it's definitely a scam!
  • mouthmouth Posts: 1,196
    A genuine seller won't have a problem with you wanting to inspect the bike before you bid or buy, unless this is particularly impractical such as its in Portugal or something.

    If the seller is trying to avoid paypal fees, offer to pay them.
    The only disability in life is a poor attitude.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 15,959
    mouth wrote:
    If the seller is trying to avoid paypal fees, offer to pay them.

    Why? It's the seller who incurs the fees and people bidding on the item are bidding on the basis of that. You have the right to pay by paypal and it is the seller that pays for that. If you choose to pay cash, that's fine but you are doing the vendor a favour - not the other way round.

    If it all goes wrong and you want a refund, would you prefer to have the backup of Paypal or to be entirely on your own?
    Faster than a tent.......
  • GizmodoGizmodo Posts: 1,928
    edited September 2011
    Updated: Sorry, I withdraw my earlier post about eBay and PayPal. It seems that sellers are required to offer PayPal (except for a few specific categories) as others have said. The following is taken from http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/policies/accepted-payments-policy.html
    eBay requires all sellers listing on eBay.co.uk and eBay.ie to accept PayPal in their listings with the exception of listings in the categories of cars, motorcycles, aircraft, boats, caravans, trailers, trucks (commercials), services and property categories.
  • I like ebay but the words "caveat emptor "spring to mind.

    You won`t lways get a bargain as ebay has developed to such a degree that people have normally done their homework and know whats a good price to pay r expect to sell at.

    Having said that I`ve bought 2 bikes on ebay recently that both turned out to be brilliant bargains.

    I tend to look for local pick up so I can check and get a feel for the buyer before I hand over the cash.

    Whilst most look on low feedback as a negative it also tends to mean the item attracts less bids,and with local collection the feedback is less of an issue.

    This was how I managed to get such a good deal on my most recent purchase.
    2006 Giant XTC
    2010 Giant Defy Advanced
    2016 Boardman Pro 29er
    2016 Pinnacle Lithium 4
    2017 Canondale Supersix Evo
  • PigtailPigtail Posts: 424
    Paypal can be worse than useless when something goes wrong. I had a pretty strange dispute with them which left me very frustrated. I couldn't phone them and the emails they sent bore no relationship to the complaint I made.

    However people cannot refuse to accept paypal. It is a condition of ebay that you must offer paypal as a payment option.

    Cash on collection appears to be the accepted route for large items though, I think it's seen as the best compromise for both seller and buyer.
  • Makes more sense NOT to pay by Paypal if you're going to pick it up. If you do, he's got your money before you even see the bike. If you pay cash in hand when you go for the bike, you can opt not to pay if it's not up to scratch = Easier to keep your money in the first place than try to get it back via Paypal if things ain't right.

    Having said that, most people are genuine things should go ok. I scored for a barely used Boardman on ebay with all paperwork - saved myself 400 notes on the retail price.
  • Gizmodo wrote:
    You have the right to pay by paypal...
    If the seller wants cash then you do not have a right to pay by PayPal. If you go to a market stall do you have the right to pay by Credit Card? Any sale is a contract agreed between seller and buyer - if one wants to use PayPal and the other does not then there will be no agreement.

    Ebay requires all sellers to offer Paypal as a payment method with a few exceptions - Cars, Motorbikes etc. In selling via Ebay, you are accepting Ebay's terms and conditions for the (ahem) privilege and one of those terms and conditions is that you offer Paypal. You may well be entering into a contract but if the seller then decides they wont accept Paypal then they are clearly breaching Ebay's terms and conditions.

    Its all in Ebay rules here.

    http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/policies/accepted-payments-policy.html[/url]
  • GizmodoGizmodo Posts: 1,928
    Ebay requires all sellers to offer Paypal as a payment method with a few exceptions - Cars, Motorbikes etc. In selling via Ebay, you are accepting Ebay's terms and conditions for the (ahem) privilege and one of those terms and conditions is that you offer Paypal. You may well be entering into a contract but if the seller then decides they wont accept Paypal then they are clearly breaching Ebay's terms and conditions.

    Its all in Ebay rules here.

    http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/policies/accepted-payments-policy.html[/url]
    You are absolutely right :oops: I withdraw my earlier post.
  • ribboribbo Posts: 35
    HI, i bought my bike off ebay and made a fair saving...as long as the size is definatley right (a cheecky trip to the LBS sorted this for me) i think its fine. i sent a couple of questions to the seller to kind of get a feel for him, he was a top guy in the end and the bike was perfect as he described hardly used ect ect....

    basically i guess its a bit of a risk but i couldnt have afforded buying the bike i wanted brand new as im soon to be a student so have a budget!!


    edit: cash on collection is tops in these cases, can have a good look at what your buying!
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