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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:42 am 
Old School Hero

Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:37 pm
Posts: 211
Location: somerset
having recently bought a bike that turned out to be stolen i am wary of every bike i see obviously the only way to be 100% sure is if the seller has original receipt which is a rarity which would fetch a very high premium when it comes to retro mtb,s. Does this mean to say i should avoid all but original receipted items as when caught out with the stolen bike i had searched many cycling sites to see if any bikes matching the discription had been stolen within that area i also asked relative technical questions to which the seller knew answers to and i obtained a written receipt with sellers name address and phone number on it . however i had a knock on the door from plod who informed me that the bike in my shed was stolen and they were taking it along with all other bicycles parts my laptop and phone i was also arrested fingerprinted and dna taken b4 being thrown in a cell for a number of hours then interviewed as a criminal and bailed to sweat it out for a few month with all my belongings staying with them for the duration of this. this is a warning to all and has scared me witless should i avoid all but original receipt bikes or can anyone give me some sensible advice to avoid a repeat of this many thanks grover :)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:53 am 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 8219
Location: New Forest, UK
In the end you have to trust your instincts and not be greedy. Things that ring alarm bells to me:
1 Things suspiciously cheap.
2 Seller claims to be an enthusiast (e.g. by participating here) but knows nothing about what they are selling
3 Inability to answer a few pointed questions about how long they have owned it, why selling etc.
4 Something that doesn't match up - somebody in a bad neighbourhood with lots of expensive stuff etc.
5 Mobile-only numbers, transaction done away from seller's home, anything with a lack of traceability of seller, insistence on cash etc.

If it's too good to be true it usually is.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:14 am 
Old School Hero

Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:37 pm
Posts: 211
Location: somerset
thanks for that advice that is all things i always bear in mind however still got my fingers burned
yes the bike was a good price however the seller seemed to have a plausible reason to be selling
and i considered it to be a fair price for the condition of the bike allowing for a small profit after tidying up
the area was a good area all private looking houses in a nice cul de sac
everything i have been advised by fellow cyclist were things i checked. i think its a minefield really and anyone no matter how careful you think you are you can get burned as i say i was treated like a criminal and had all items i love as a hobby taken away all be it temporally it was still a good 3 or so months of no cycling and my health suffered as a result


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:26 am 
King of the Skip Monkeys
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:34 pm
Posts: 26178
Location: Moomin Valley
look for transparency in a sale - email addresses, home address, landlines etc.

Its very hard to prove the provenance of the average bike as there can be so many models of the same bike sloshing around

caveat emptor and all that I'm afraid.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:29 am 
Special Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:34 am
Posts: 5663
Location: Don't mess with monkeys, man
I suspect in most 2nd hand bike sales, there's always some degree of risk - but don't let one example skew your perception in general.

There's been good advice already given already, I'd emphasise the bit about being very wary of anybody who doesn't want to meet where they live. Insist on a written receipt, that shows their full name and address (where you should be to view it), the contact details you used (ie phone number and / or email address), a full description plus serial number of what you're buying (assuming it's a bike / frame). If somebody is prepared to do all that, without quibble, it's not proof that they're completely legit, but a reasonable indication, and should stand as reasonable mitigation if things prove to be not as cool as you hoped - although no metaphoric, or literal, get-outta-jail-card, should at least help your case if things go awry.

Things to consider - in your example, the seller may have been as innocent as you, and as I said before, don't let one bad example completely polarise and amplify the real risks of buying bikes on the 2nd hand market.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:35 am 
Old School Hero

Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:37 pm
Posts: 211
Location: somerset
i still think i done all i could everything advised are all things i would always do as i say the written dated addressed and phone numbered receipt meant nothing to the police in their eyes i was a criminal peddling stolen goods and that was that i thought we were innocent until prooven guilty in this country? i was treated as guilty until prooven innocent. Has anyone else experienced anything else like this i would like to know how others have been treated by police in a similar situation?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:40 am 
King of the Skip Monkeys
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:34 pm
Posts: 26178
Location: Moomin Valley
Just be aware that some low volume frames dont come with serial numbers. Peugeot have a little paper decal with them on that disappear over time and some serial numbers are not in obvious places.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:04 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:52 pm
Posts: 1387
Location: the Netherlands
How did the police end up looking in your shed? I suppose this was not a routine check...


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:05 pm 
Special Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:34 am
Posts: 5663
Location: Don't mess with monkeys, man
troje wrote:
How did the police end up looking in your shed? I suppose this was not a routine check...

And why the laptop and mobile phone?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:05 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 8219
Location: New Forest, UK
It sounds like the police were acting on some kind of information. Possibly the toe-rag who sold it to you said that you were his outlet? It would account for the police being pretty heavy-handed.


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