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In the first of an occasional series TR McGowran goes looking for bargains

ebay is something of an unhealthy obsession with me it is probably something to do with the thrill of the  bargain hunt, and possibly because I'm half Scottish.

It's a great place to look for bikes there are lots and the vast majority are from reputable sellers, a lot of the bikes you'll find in our classifed section will also be on ebay too for instance.

I find myself tirlessly trawling through listings, in a dream like state, a bit like a kid flicking through an Argos catalogue before Christmas and circling all the toys they'd like Santa to deliver. Well, I thought I would make better use of my ebay digging and bring to the surface some of my finds to share with you lot. If this proves popular, we could do it regularly.

We may as well start from the top, with some super bikes as they seem to be in the news a bit round here at the moment. January is a good time to pick up some serious kit at a knocked down price for whatever reason they are getting rid of it. You can find ex-pro bikes, showroom specials or the cast offs from those people who earn enough money that they can afford to change their bikes more often than the rest of us change our tyres. 

Pinarello Dogma

Are you racing in the Tour this year? Is definitely what you would be asked if you are spotted on this splendid race bike sporting some hefty ginger side burns. I'm not sure that buying this Pinarello Dogma gets you automatically registered for the race though.This bike is very special and is the latest version of what Chris Froome won the TDF on last year, it has one of the most technically advanced frames producing mythical qualities, this is the pointy bit of cutting edge. It is expensive but it is buying a bit of history of the pinacle of where bicycle frame technology is right now and that is exciting. When purcasing a bike from an auction site, ask loads of questions, make sure it is authentic and the sellers story is convincing and try and pay using Paypal, even if they ask for an extra 2%, it is worth it for the protection it gives you. Only 300 miles on the clock, offer £7k View it here

Beautiful Cervelo S3 for sale with or without the owners wife or have I read the blurb wrongly? This bike looks fast with its aero frame. I'd make a guess that the seller works in finance, his other bike is a Boardmab Air. The S3 is a modern classic, now less than half price. View them here

Crumpton SL

Straight out of Crumpton! Actually this bike is made in Austin, Texas and is ridiculously lovely. This is for sale in Swansea, I think he will consider PX with a house. But seriously, this bike is a hand made custom carbon fibre so ideally you need to be the same weight  as the seller. Super light and unique purchase. Be careful riding this in high winds! Offers around £5000 should correct your mid life crisis View it here

 

Willier

Top end Willier with electronic Campagnolo for extra bling. Ok, so it is 3 years old now but that Campy Super Record EPS 11 groupset was £3k alone and is still amazing. This bike is so well looked after the owner stores it in what looks like an oxygen tent. Although it has only been ridden for 7 months the asking price is too high at £4.7k, offer a grand less. View it here

 

Colnago c40

These Colnago C40's aren't like carbon bikes built today, these still manage to look sexy, and those Cosmic wheels look gorgeous. This is what super bikes looked like in 1995. Currently stored outside a punch and judy tent. £888 View it here
Kyklos Killer

Kyklos Killer sounds like a gunman from Greece but is a super light super bike from Italy. Matching sofa optional. Weighing just 850g for the frame and a great set up. 2 1/2 grand could see you riding away on this piece of £6000 exotica. View it here

Guru Evolo

This Guru Evolo road bike is bang on trend with its matt grey paint and flouro green details. It is brand new and almost half price. Top drawer frame on a sensible component choice. £3.5k, you might just need to sell only one of your kidneys. View it here

Specialized S Works Venge

Something special from Specialized in the form of an S works Venge decked out in Dura Ace 11 Di2. Aero frame and all black make it super stealth. Asking for offers around the £5700 mark but very few details given and only one picture so make sure you ask lots of questions, I think under £5000 and proof of origin needed and it's a deal. View it here

Lynskey ti

You may get a mega bargain with this Lynskey as they haven't put a reserve on it which is just madness *shakes head in disbelief*. I reckon you could grab this for under a grand. It's my size too. Get bidding here (before I do)

SL Carbon Furio

This one's a bit of a mystery machine - they do crop up on eBay.I have never heard of SL Carbons before - this, I think is their Fuori Strada model - which rather appropriately for what appears to be a cyclo-cross bike is Italian for off-road. A quick internet search suggests its provenance lies somehwere east of Italy and points the compass towards China. This is a bike where parts of the frame or indeed the whole bike possibly bear a different brand name in some other part of the world. Most probably it's an own brand machine from one of the Chinese factories that build so many of the world's carbon bikes. That not necessarily a bad thing but it does mean it's a bit of an unknown quantity. Looks the part though. You obviously have to think when buying a catalogue bike, waiver any warranty and that is a bit of a gamble. But for £1100 you get a high spec of components. View it here

BMW M Carbon

If you have an M series BMW then cast your eyes on this little carbon number. Brand new, Ultegra groupset and a nice component package would look great on the roof rack. Looks like BMW have done their homework and put together a tidy bike. There has been 85 offers on the bike so my guess is that they want something close to the £1475 asking price. This is a new bike with a warranty. View it here

 

Genesis ti

Here is a titanium bargain, barely six months old and looking lovely. I wouldn't like to speculate on this person's financial status but they are from west London and that bike is now last year's and for sale. This is the sort of bike I would chose if I was only allowed one bike and now it is almost the price of its steel sibling. Ask if they still have receipts as it would still be under warranty. View it here

Finally, before you head out on the bargain trail here's some ebay dos and don'ts

Look at who is selling the bike, what is there feedback like, what other items have they sold, make your own judgement on their honesty and how genuine they are.

Ask lots of questions, if there is something you are unsure about, ask them.

Find out as much as you can about the history of the bike and why they are selling it.

Try to avoid cash on delivery for expensive items, or bank transfers, ebay offers a certain level of protection but if you hand over a bundle of bank notes at a service station rendezvous for a second hand bike, you are on your own.

If the bike is not as described you are within your rights to send it back within 7 days but you must communicate with the seller, communication is key.

Always communicate through ebay so you get a clear thread of all dialogue which you can reference in case of any problem.

Remember that it is the responsibilty of the person who arranges the shipping if the bike is damaged in transit, make sure it is correctly insured or ideally pick it up yourself and make sure you are happy with the transaction.

Deception is fraud, if the item is not as decribed you are protected by the law.

Be wary of bikes with limited information in the description and few pictures or that they are selling it on behalf of a mate/uncle/neighbour.

Bidding on something is effectively opening a contract with the seller, only bid if you have full intention of buying and have the funds available.

Good luck

4 comments

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Gkam84 [9100 posts] 3 years ago
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I trawl ebay for hours, just looking, I rarely ever buy anything, it just goes into my watch list and I see the final price and think "If I had money, I would have bought that"

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othello [394 posts] 3 years ago
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I too spend far too much time on eBay and my watch list is ridiculous. Far too much stuff on there I will never buy, but saved out of curiosity!

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oozaveared [934 posts] 3 years ago
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Myabe someone should say this and I am sure that all these bikes were genuine bargains but Ebay is one of the ways to get rid of nicked bikes. There are loads of stories of folk finding their stolen bikes on ebay but actually that must be because of lazy thieves. Swap wheels, chainsets derailleurs, saddles over in a few minutes and well... it's not exactly what was stolen from you.

There have also been very sophisticated "chop shop" operations where basically bikes are stripped and parts sold separately or completely re-built using different components.

Just as some bikes are now worth what some cars cost there is a big incentive for such lucrative scams.

You may want a bargain and may want to ignore such matters. Personally I don't. The ebay advice is OK but it doesn't protect you from the better brighter thieves. You can nver be 100% sure so ask cycling related questions of the owner.

In doing this I found that at least half the bikes I enquired about the person involved had no knowledge of riding. Some even claimed the bike was left behind by a flatmate that left.

This will at least screen some of them out but at serious asking prices for serious bikes expect the thieves to be cycle smart. They'll be specialists.

The only secure way is a receipt for the actual bike from the actual retailer in the name of the person actually selling it and preferably with the same address.

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sm [402 posts] 3 years ago
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I've bought all of my bikes from ebay. The stolen ones are usually pretty easy to spot and avoid. There was a time when you could get a real bargain but of late I've noticed bikes going for prices way too near RRPs.

When browsing, I always wonder who buys used bib shorts from ebay!