PINKBIKE BUY/SELL: The Ultimate Guide to Success

PB Forum :: Scams & Stolen Bikes
PINKBIKE BUY/SELL: The Ultimate Guide to Success
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Posted: Aug 24, 2009 at 14:46 Quote
The Pinkbike buy/sell community exists as a classified section for all PB users. People post their bikes and accessories here in hopes that they will find a buyer or seller that understands their needs better than say the average "ebay-er" might. That being said, there are clearly some gaps in people's knowledge when it comes to how to use the PB buy/sell section properly. There are always going to be problems with scammers and people who sell faulty equipment, but there are ways to be aware of whom you are dealing with when on the web. Below you will find some tips and tricks of buying and selling on PB and the rest of the internet in general.

1. The number one tip I can stress when dealing with anything money related on PB, or elsewhere online, is PAYPAL. Paypal is your best friend when it comes to online transactions. Setting up an account is soooo simple. Follow the instructions that can be found at www.paypal.com. All you need is a valid checking account.
--As the seller: Paypal will allow you to receive money from your buyer prior to you actually shipping the item(s). This gives you the security of knowing that the money from your buyer has cleared (meaning that the given sum of money is physically in their account). This money gets transferred to you (the seller) through Paypal following the clearing process. A common mistake people make is to ship the item before the money actually appears into their account...if the buyers money has not cleared they still have to power to cancel the whole transaction...which could leave you without your item and your money. Bottom line here: don't ship unless you are sure you have your money.
--As the buyer: Paypal gives you the security of knowing that your money is protected should the seller try to scam you in anyway. If the seller should so happen to provide you with a faulty or damaged, or your item never arrives you can go directly to Paypal for assistance.In which case they will help to get your money back or actually ending up with your item. Paypal will take direct legal against the seller so you don't have to. Bottom line here: always keep proof of all conversations with the seller until the entire transaction is completed.

---The most common types of fraud include: failure to send merchandise, sending something else other than what was advertised, failure to be timely with shipping and/or payment, hiding information crucial to the product, not paying at all (could range from bouncing checks to fraudulent wire transfers).

2. Beware of Phishing Tactics: Often times in the PB forum we see a thread posted entitled: "Is This A Scam?" or "Does This Sound Like A Scam?"...well, if it looks and smells like a scam, I hate to break it ya, but it probably is. Be wary of PM's sent to you that reference COD's or Western Union. Also, look into the users profile, whether you are buying or selling. See how active a user is, if they've sold anything in the past, and look at their "Member Since" date. Just by looking at the these things one can get a sense of whether a given user is a real person or a potential scammer.
--Also besides checking a PB users profile for the above stated things also check and/or ask for their age. This is an important factor if a seller or buyer is under the age of 18. If this is the case it would behoove you to get in touch with the child's parent(s) to make sure they are aware of what their child is doing, especially if you are dealing with larger sums of money or high valued bikes/parts.

EXAMPLES OF PM's FROM KNOWN PB SCAMMERS FOR YOUR REFERENCE:
(If you see any PM's or contact through PB that looks and reads like these 2 PM's it's definitely a scam. These were sent to me regarding a bike I was selling on PB a few years back.)

------- Hi, this is Kelvin, i saw your advert on internet now and i'm interested in buying your Above ITEM - i want you to confirm the asking price for me,i will
like to know the present condition,t. i want you to know that i'm doing this transaction on behalf of my client. so get back to me with the asking price asap
so that i can arrange for payment and pick up.....

Thanks and god bless...

Regards,

Kelvin.........

------- Hello,
How are you doing and how is your family and work.
I saw your advert while surfing via the internet and am willing and interested to buy your advert. And i will like to purchase the advert so kindly get back to me via my email if the (BIKE) is still available for sale .

Are You The Owner Of The Car:

Present Condition Of The Car:

Send Me The Recent Picture Of The Car:

Your Last Price For The Car:

When Is The M.O.T Exp Date:

You Can Also Ring Me On My Mobile +447011147652.

I look forward to hear from you back about the advert..

Best Regards.

Reply me back to my private mail box for fast respond : larry_garibay@yahoo.com

Larry..

3. Reasons Why COD's, Checks, Money Orders, Wire Transfers, etc...Are Dangerous:
This would seem like an obvious category to most people who are familiar with online buying and selling procedures, but unfortunately we live in a world where not all people can be trusted so easily, and it's amazing how many sellers put way too much faith into a buyers hands. No matter what, there is always going to be someone out there who will try to scam you.
-----Any of these forms of payment should only be used if you are a personal friend of the seller/buyer, otherwise you have no idea what you are in for.
-----The main thing to keep in mind with these methods of payment is that they are a scammers best friends. With these methods there is no way or no easy way to reverse a transaction if something goes wrong. You will most likely lose your payment and be left with no recourse. As a buyer you should be exceedingly suspicious of a seller who pushes using these methods.
------Personally, if you don't have a bank account linked to Paypal you probably have no business selling or buying online. I know that's a bit extreme but why leave things to chance. Also, this is still the internet and no one should ever just give out their credit card or bank account number.

4. General Tips For PB Buyers:
--Make sure you are comfortable with the price of the item, check other adds for similar items before making an offer to a seller. And if you are genuinely interested in a given item, and you don't want to piss off the seller, DON'T LOWBALL. Do your research.
--Find out all you can about the seller, especially if they are under 18.
--Make sure you know which party is paying for shipping...it's usually buyer pays shipping.
--Make sure the seller answers all your questions and provides you with all photos you've asked for before starting any sort of monetary transaction. PROTECT YOUR MONEY.

5. General Tips For PB Sellers:
--Advertise your product properly. This includes: describing it's condition, anticipating a questions a buyer might ask (i.e. frame size, year...), include as many pictures as you think are needed to fully show the item, specify a minimum bid to avoid low offers, and specify to where you will ship and whom will pay for it.
--Respond to buyer questions quickly...this automatically make you look more credible as a seller.
--Arrange for payment and make sure that YOU PHYSICALLY RECEIVE MONEY, whether it's through Paypal or some other form, BEFORE YOU SHIP THE ITEM.

6. Courtesy of PB user ezekiel (thanks): Another tip, keep any transaction records for a couple months after the transaction is complete. Put shipping receipts in a box and make a yourself a folder on your desktop and throw your conversations into there. There's a 45 day window for people to open a claim through Paypal. So if you assume that the transaction is done and over with and delete everything 5 days later then 10 days later you get notice of a claim against you, you're screwed. A lot of scammers rely on this and will open claims several weeks later knowing that most people clean out their inbox frequently.


I hope this will be helpful to all of my fellow PBer's, especially those of us who frequently use the buy/sell. Thanks for reading. Skatefreak282. : ]

Posted: Aug 24, 2009 at 14:52 Quote
although i stickied it i do not endorse this in any way shape or form,but it can only help.

also from my experience do your homework and ask as many questions as possible,also ask for history.

Posted: Aug 24, 2009 at 14:55 Quote
isnt it safe to buy through COD? like you dont pay for it untilit gets to you so you dont give somone money and they dont send it to you.

Posted: Aug 24, 2009 at 15:02 Quote
discodannyd wrote:
isnt it safe to buy through COD? like you dont pay for it untilit gets to you so you dont give somone money and they dont send it to you.

if it costs you to send cod though and they refuse to pay up at the other end are you not gonna be stuck paying for the delivery and return,this is just a guess though as i dont live in canada.

Posted: Aug 24, 2009 at 15:14 Quote
Yup Marquis your correct, but id rather be out X amount for shipping and getting my item back then loosing it all together, I trust COD, its the only form of transaction that I will do that requires shipping, other then face to face cash only sales. Really you just have to use your instinct, like the OP and many others have said, if something seems fishy then dont bother, youll eventually find what your looking for.

Posted: Aug 24, 2009 at 15:15 Quote
downhilljoker wrote:
Yup Marquis your correct, but id rather be out X amount for shipping and getting my item back then loosing it all together, I trust COD, its the only form of trasaction that I do that requires shipping, other then face to face cash only sales. Really you just have to use your instinct, like the OP and many others have said, if something seems fishy then dont bother, youll eventually find what your looking for.

ah thanks.

suppose its another way to make for sure though.

Posted: Aug 24, 2009 at 15:28 Quote
discodannyd wrote:
isnt it safe to buy through COD? like you dont pay for it untilit gets to you so you dont give somone money and they dont send it to you.

Its relatively safe, the risk on COD is that there is no way to be 100% sure of what's in the box. Very rarely will a postal clerk allow you to open the box before paying (its against policy as far as I know) so there is that risk. The other downfall is that if the package isn't as described, you have no recourse.

When it comes to Paypal I can't stress this enough, it is not as safe as people make it out to be. There are a number of scams that people use to beat Paypal's protection. Their protection statement is strongly worded to make you feel all warm and comfortable but there is more than enough proof online to show that Paypal doesn't always dig very deep to properly resolve a situation and there are more than a few legitimate people that have been screwed with no hope in sight of recovering their money/item. Not trying to scare anyone but just make sure that you always stay on your toes and keep an eye on the warning signs and don't assume that anyone is going to protect you.

Another tip, keep any transaction records for a couple months after the transaction is complete. Put shipping receipts in a box and make a yourself a folder on your desktop and throw your conversations into there. There's a 45 day window for people to open a claim through Paypal. So if you assume that the transaction is done and over with and delete everything 5 days later then 10 days later you get notice of a claim against you, you're screwed. A lot of scammers rely on this and will open claims several weeks later knowing that most people clean out their inbox frequently.

Posted: Aug 24, 2009 at 16:17 Quote
Like I said, this is simply meant to be a guideline...while there will always be scammers there are always going to be those of us who are smarter than them. Btw, I'm in no way affiliated with Paypal, it's just been the most hassle-free method of buying and selling online that I've used. Thanks for liking the guide to all though. : ]

Also, ezekiel, I'm adding a portion of your post to my original post. Thanks.

Posted: Dec 21, 2009 at 20:52 Quote
when you say Checking account, do you mean chequing? with a debit card?
Sorry for the dumb question

Posted: Dec 23, 2009 at 18:38 Quote
Jolly-Roger wrote:
when you say Checking account, do you mean chequing? with a debit card?
Sorry for the dumb question

Yes. That's what I mean. No worries.

Posted: Feb 7, 2010 at 4:30 Quote
example: a sx trail 09 for 1800 sound like a scam?

Posted: Feb 18, 2010 at 4:33 Quote
So far for my dealings here on PB, both deals fell apart. The part about the sellers age is likely the problem.

At 16 everything is mint or new. Reality is the sellers didn't like being asked questions, or being asked to send photos.

When I asked if the forks had been removed from the bike and were ready to ship, stories started to be told. Also no tube scratches or scrapes turned into well there are a few marks. Can you send some photos? They never arrive. Next is for some reason they don't want to sell or sold it to someone else. No big deal, just irritating.

There is probably a lot of reliable sellers here, guess they aren't selling what I was looking for, and price wasn't so much the deciding factor.

Good buying / selling guideline. Excellent advice for any sale.

PK

Posted: Feb 18, 2010 at 7:04 Quote
^^^ Ah bummer but it pays to do some asking.

Posted: Feb 23, 2010 at 17:38 Quote
What is the normal procedure when you buy something via paypal, like if i just paypal you 100$ it sounds pretty retarded.

Where is the base of the transaction like what you bought in wich condition for how much and all that.

Because from where i stand it souds retarded to pay someone without a ''contract'' that the third party (paypal) recognize as legit.

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