Stolen bikes on ebay

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
crazydavid
Posts: 45
Joined: 17 Nov 2009, 5:55am

Stolen bikes on ebay

Postby crazydavid » 17 Nov 2009, 1:00pm

Hi everybody

New to the forum, but not new to cycling, been commuting to work for last 30 years :D

I have been looking on fleabay recently for a road bike to get out on at weekends and I was wondering just how many stolen bikes end up for sale on there. I have seen a nice Cartlon Grand Prix listed by someone who has just opened up a new account and with zero feedback. When I pm'ed him for an address so that I can go and view it, I just get blanked. Suspicious now, so I won't be bidding.

I suppose that if your bike does gets stolen, it might be worthwhile doing an ebay search for a few weeks to see if it turns up!
Anybody got any experience on this? :?:

crazydavid

GrahamNR17
Posts: 2828
Joined: 15 Nov 2009, 6:31pm

Re: Stolen bikes on ebay

Postby GrahamNR17 » 17 Nov 2009, 1:53pm

My general gut feeling, much more just recently, is that a very large proportion of goods on Ebay are hooky. To criminals, Ebay is a place they can lose themselves in a very large crowd, safe in the knowledge that any reports of their dastardly dealings will be ignored by almost all police forces (I say this from personal experience).

I recovered my elderly neighbours bike from Fleabay last year, an early 50s Hercules Balmoral that was a pile of rust and oil stains, but he'd had it since new and it kept him fit and mobile. The police never prosecuted the thief, but gave 'it' a caution. My faith in the fuzz has never recovered :?

Like you, I don't buy from anyone on there that 'doesn't seem quite right'.

Just my tuppence worth :D

Graham

gilesjuk
Posts: 3270
Joined: 17 Mar 2008, 10:10pm

Re: Stolen bikes on ebay

Postby gilesjuk » 17 Nov 2009, 2:15pm

If they won't accommodate you with a viewing then forget it.

A genuine sale is easy to spot, the person will be knowledgeable, have the original receipt etc.

They may even have photos of them on the bike which couldn't possibly be knocked up a few days before the sale.

PC Frank
Posts: 12
Joined: 2 Jul 2009, 12:21pm

Re: Stolen bikes on ebay

Postby PC Frank » 18 Nov 2009, 9:59am

crazydavid,
As the other posters have stated, online auction sites are an easy way to dispose of stolen goods.

In general many police forces do not have the resources to search these sites to look for suspect listings.

However, if anyone sees a listing which they are suspicious of, I would encourage them to contact the force where the seller is located using the non-emergency number (which will be found on that force's website).

I can't guarantee the response you will get (each of the 43 geographical forces in the Uk work in different ways), but if the police don't know anything about it, then we can't do anything.

Here in Bristol we have had success in the area as there is an officer in our Burglary Team who is an avid cyclist. A suspect posting was found, with assistance from ebay a dummy bid was made, a plain clothes officer was sent to 'buy' the bike, seller arrested and bike (which I think was registered on immobilise.com) was returned to owner.

Regards,

PC Frank

reohn2
Posts: 37757
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Stolen bikes on ebay

Postby reohn2 » 18 Nov 2009, 10:47am

I've bought and sold on Ebay.
When buying, the things to look out for are ,feedback,knowledge about the item,receipts paperwork etc,correspondence with the seller ie; ask awkward questions.
If you're not satisfied with any of the above don't buy.
We bought our last bike (Cannondale tandem)off Ebay we visited the seller,he ticked all the boxes and had all the paperwork guarentees etc, I felt very comfortable with the transaction,and got an absolute bargain.
I've just bought a brand new pair of cycling shoes of Ebay NOS,at half retail cost,the seller had over 500 sales,98% good feedback and when I checked what else they were selling it was all cycling related NOS items,so I felt OK to deal.

I was once going to to bid on a pair of STI road levers and asked the seller if the STI's were for a triple chainset,the reply was "no idea mate" I didn't bother.

I'm quite sure there are a lot of dodgy people selling stolen goods on there but if you're careful and in anyway smell a rat don't buy.Generally you can get a feel from correspondence.
-----------------------------------------------------------
I cycle therefore I am.

rogerzilla
Posts: 1315
Joined: 9 Jun 2008, 8:06pm

Re: Stolen bikes on ebay

Postby rogerzilla » 18 Nov 2009, 3:42pm

Bromptons in particular are what gamblers might call a crapshoot. There are way too many barely-used ones on fleaBay being sold by people who know nothing about them. An owner's manual is NO GUARANTEE of provenance either - they are available for £3 from any dealer.

spiderweb34
Posts: 44
Joined: 13 Jul 2008, 10:47pm

Re: Stolen bikes on ebay

Postby spiderweb34 » 18 Nov 2009, 8:42pm

How topical.....I've just had my Trek 1000 (orange) nicked so if anybody sees something similar please PM me!

herzog
Posts: 64
Joined: 10 Nov 2009, 10:55pm

Re: Stolen bikes on ebay

Postby herzog » 19 Nov 2009, 9:20am

On a related note, second-hand shops in Brighton and Hove have now started finger printing people coming in to flog bikes.

http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/4743721. ... ike_crime/

Herzog

crazydavid
Posts: 45
Joined: 17 Nov 2009, 5:55am

Re: Stolen bikes on ebay

Postby crazydavid » 19 Nov 2009, 1:05pm

Not all sellers with zero feedback are crooks, after all you do have to start somewhere. I am also sure that there are a few unscrupulous types who will build up good feedback by buying small value items with the sole purpose of then selling something dodgy.

The problem with a lot of secondhand goods sold through fleabay is that you don't tend to have any proof of ownership or any other providence. Mind you, with secondhand cars, V5's and service records can be forged.

As they say, buyer beware!!

gilesjuk
Posts: 3270
Joined: 17 Mar 2008, 10:10pm

Re: Stolen bikes on ebay

Postby gilesjuk » 19 Nov 2009, 1:19pm

For recently registered sellers, look for feedback on low price items. Sellers who have been banned or set up a new account due to poor feedback will buy lots of small price items to build up feedback. Postcards, SIM cards etc are typical examples of items.

If the item is good and you're not sure about the seller, collect the item in person and pay for it on collection, don't send any deposit or the full price via PayPal.

herzog
Posts: 64
Joined: 10 Nov 2009, 10:55pm

Re: Stolen bikes on ebay

Postby herzog » 19 Nov 2009, 3:32pm

You're protected by paypal if you buy an item over £50 from a seller with a low number of feedback (<100) or been on ebay for <6 months. Paypal holds the cash until you recieve the item and leave positive feedback. I recently bought a bike using Paypal from a seller with 1 feedback rating and I got a bit of a bargain as I think others were put off.

Full details at: https://www.paypal-marketing.co.uk/safe ... yItems.htm

Herzog

cbgb
Posts: 37
Joined: 30 Oct 2008, 1:48pm

Re: Stolen bikes on ebay

Postby cbgb » 19 Nov 2009, 6:00pm

The other thing to look out for when viewing the bike is the original parts. The crooks tend to swap bike parts about so the bike is not so recognisable from the picture. Ususally the seat, the handle grips etc.

HJRW
Posts: 56
Joined: 17 Mar 2008, 10:14am
Location: Angus

Re: Stolen bikes on ebay

Postby HJRW » 19 Nov 2009, 8:25pm

cbgb wrote:The other thing to look out for when viewing the bike is the original parts. The crooks tend to swap bike parts about so the bike is not so recognisable from the picture. Ususally the seat, the handle grips etc.


- Help ! - I bought two bikes from a newspaper ad., genuine sale from a retired bank manager - I'm one too - (maybe that makes me untrustworthy !) One is a 1980 Carlton Courette, 531 tubes, lovely bike , never been used, still original delivery oil on gleaming chain & sprocket, the other a Falcon ladies bike of similar vintage & "as new" condition. It was the Carlton I went for, but couldn't resist the Falcon. I intend replacing the Carlton's drop bars with the Falcon's flat alloy bars (Flat was an option on the Courette), - AND SELLING THE FALCON ON EBAY ! I have a 300 + rating, so when it comes up on eBay please don't think I'm a crook ;-) With five bikes in my shed I can't keep them all !
KEEP CALM AND PEDAL ON -1999 Cresswell Fold-it, 1997 Pashley Tuberider, 1997 Raleigh Special Products Pro-Line M-Trax 300 MTB, 1982 Raleigh Royale, 1951 Robin Hood Sports, 1936 BSA Clubman, 1912 Swift Loop Frame, 2019 Boardman HYB 8.8

JohnW
Posts: 6300
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: Stolen bikes on ebay

Postby JohnW » 19 Nov 2009, 11:11pm

HJRW wrote:....................With five bikes in my shed I can't keep them all !


Only five ?

And - how can you bear to part with them - they've been part of your life - how can you be sure they're going to a good home - will they settle in their new home? - will the buyer's shed have a leaking roof ?

I've only ever disposed of one frame (apart from those destroyed in prangs and one which disappeared in suspicious circumstances), and that was to a dear friend who cherishes it as I would - that was in 1984 ish - I meet it frequently, and he recently asked me my opinion on a respray colour.

crazydavid
Posts: 45
Joined: 17 Nov 2009, 5:55am

Re: Stolen bikes on ebay

Postby crazydavid » 20 Nov 2009, 6:13am

Dear Hugh W

I would not automatically think that someone with 300+ feedback was a crook, the opposite in fact :!:

My original suspicions came form the sellers response (or lack of it) to a reasonable request to view the bike. That bike has now been sold. It just might have been a genuine sale in which case, I might have lost out. The point is, you do have to take care when using ebay.

Don't get me wrong, i'm not anti ebay. I think you should view it as cyber boot fair (and I'm sure that lots of crooks use them too :!:

Crazydavid