A nationwide bike shortage means more than ever, folks are turning to sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.
Our shop in Haverford specializes in bicycle repairs and upgrades. We now offer free "Pre-Purchase Checks" for used bikes. Buyers and sellers are encouraged to meet outside of our shop during business hours. Give us a call beforehand and our mechanic will give the bike a "Pre-Purchase Check" to let both parties know what, if any, repairs the bike needs.
Step 1: Examine the listing
Look at the photos in close detail. Examine the overall condition of the bike. Does it look rusty? Does it look like it has been cared for?
Read the seller's description. Most of the time, a bicycle listing will include the size of the bike, list of components, and the overall condition.
Step 2: Contact the seller:
Ask the seller any questions you have that were not addressed in the listing. Feel free to request measurements of the bike, more detailed photos of specific parts, or questions about ownership. Ask the seller what, if any repairs the bike currently needs.
Step 3: Meet the seller at a public location. Bring disinfectant for the bike and exercise social distancing.
Like any internet-meeting, you should arrange to meet your buyer at a well-lit public place. (If you are near our shop, give us a call!) Use your judgment and trust your intuition. If the seller makes you feel uncomfortable or you feel like something fishy is going on, leave. If you feel safe to continue the transaction, ask the seller if you may test ride the bike. Offer an ID as a form of collateral. Keep in mind, you may have to make adjustments to the bike after your purchase to dial in your perfect setup.
Step 4: Buy the bike!
If steps 1-3 go well, give the seller your money! Make sure you have enough room in your budget for any customizations or repairs the bike may need. If you are unsure, ask your local bike shop for a pre-purchase check. Their mechanic should have no issue diagnosing and quoting repairs before you buy the bike.
If you are on Philadelphia's Main Line, give us a call to schedule your pre-purchase check. 610-228-2971 . We invite buyers and sellers to meet on the sidewalk outside of our shop for bike exchanges but we do not offer private security. Please use your best judgment before meeting strangers.