Be careful selling your ebike!

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Published April 22, 2021

Toronto man Tom Alfandary was selling an e-bike on Facebook Marketplace when the person looking at his e-bike sat on it and then drove it away.

“I should have known not to have the bike running, but it happened so quickly. I really didn't have time to think," Alfandary said...


 

Gionnirocket

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Y. O.
When I see stories like this I feel bad... But c'mon, you have to have at least an ounce of common sense.
Always speak to the person, so at least you have a cell # and an ID upon arrival. If not, you ain't buyin'
 

christob

Well-Known Member
Aw, that does suck for the seller -- but I'd imagine selling a pedal bike probably presents the same level of risk -- that a moderately-motivated thief could take off with it and most sellers simply couldn't catch up by chasing after on foot. (Imagine a thief doing modest laps within close proximity to seller, "just to get a feel how it handles" -- chatting casually, but extending those laps, and suddenly at a far point, pushing into it to speed off in surprise to the seller, and with a very solid lead.)
A cautionary tale not limited to ebikes, for sure!
 

Yamahonian

Active Member
When i sell bikes to strangers i tell them to meet me in the lobby of the police station.
I tell the officer at the desk that i will be selling a bike.
I tell the buyer to leave the id at the station, and leave me with a $500 cash deposit for the test ride.

Won't stop him from stealing it, but a good deterrent for most criminals.
 

darksky

Member
Region
USA
I sold our two "regular" bikes last year through Facebook Maarketplace. Both times the buyers arrived at my home in their vehicle. Of course they asked for a test ride and I figured if they took off on the bike, they'd be leaving their vehicle and if that happened and they came back later there were ways I could prevent them from driving away with their vehicle. Both test rides and sales went smoothly. Very polite people with cash in hand.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
This is why you should check with your local police station and if they would provide you an exchange zone.
Many police departments provide this service.

These are exchange zones for Craigslist, Facebook Market Place, and any other internet seller / buyer.

Safe trade zones put an end to shady Craigslist meetups
Forks Township police set up exchange zone to protect Craigslist buyers and  sellers - The Morning Call
Safe Exchange Zone (Florissant Police Department) — Nextdoor —  Nextdoor
 

BET

Active Member
I once saw something similar at a bike store. Store let customer test drive bike without holding his ID. He never returned from his test drive.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
I’m selling a Miata and met at the local police parking lot, took a photo of their license and sent the image to my wife who works nearby. Then I unlocked the car.
2CB53029-5610-4B52-B1B1-FFCC74F2CB40.jpeg
 

Kayakguy

Active Member
The flip side of the coin is when a seller insists on cash in hand before allowing a test ride of a vehicle (very common with motorcycles and scooters). How do I know the seller hasn't vanished with my cash after my test ride shows it to be a crappy bike? Maybe even a stolen one? People need to be prudent when dealing with unknown parties.
 

soyabean

Active Member
Region
Canada
The flip side of the coin is when a seller insists on cash in hand before allowing a test ride of a vehicle (very common with motorcycles and scooters). How do I know the seller hasn't vanished with my cash after my test ride shows it to be a crappy bike? Maybe even a stolen one? People need to be prudent when dealing with unknown parties.
Good arguement.

Then such buyer will need to increase their standards, and limit themselves to only buy from sellers at their place of residence, and by that I mean detached homes where I see them open their garage from where the bike is in.

But back to the OP's topic: when it comes to me, if they want to "test drive", it's a deposit that's paid in full. Even if I see they show up with their own vehicle and entire families. It implies they are serious to buy and won't try anything stupid. A screening system that hasn't failed me ever.
 

Westlafadeaway

Active Member
Region
USA
One scam I'm waiting to happen to me is one I read about in my neighborhood: three or more guys ride up on really nice, expensive bikes. One says to a stranger, hey, I've always wanted to buy that bike. Can I ride it? The person sees they all have nice bikes so he lets him ride it. He does and while watching the rider, the others disappear and then he just rides away.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Know your customer! I am not paranoid but avoid people who ask the wrong questions, have a sketchy email, or don't give a phone number. What is the thief going to do with this bike? If there is not a secondary black market for it or its parts it is not worth much to him. The first thing he will do is look for a charger. Watch out for people looking for a charger. When they do, ask for a photo of the bike and it serial number so you can help them get the correct charger. They will vanish.
 

soyabean

Active Member
Region
Canada
One scam I'm waiting to happen to me is one I read about in my neighborhood: three or more guys ride up on really nice, expensive bikes. One says to a stranger, hey, I've always wanted to buy that bike. Can I ride it? The person sees they all have nice bikes so he lets him ride it. He does and while watching the rider, the others disappear and then he just rides away.
So there are dumb people in your neighborhood that lets random strangers try their bike?

I don't even let my friends try my bikes.

The only time anyone can try one of my bikes is: A. It's for sale, and B. They've first paid for it in full cash.