With the weather warming up, here are some tips on how to list and sell your bike safely
Listing your bike for sale
1- Use sites like Facebook Marketplace as you can get an idea of who’s looking at your bike through viewing their profile and friends. Kijiji is OK but you can set up a fake account in minutes. Avoid sites like LETGO buy and sell as it is full of undesirable buyers and sellers.
2- Use a FB Verified Cycle Buy and Sell group as they screen their members and can and will verify the serial number is not reported stolen at the time of sale with numerous databases.
3- Set your location to approximate on your ads, or use a random postal code so potential buyers can not find your address. NEVER agree to meet at your home.
4- Use quality photos and detailed descriptions so the buyer can research the bike online before committing to a meet.
How to sell your bike in person
1- Arrange a meet away from your residence. An outdoor hockey rink as most communities have one, and they are great to let someone test ride inside the rink with reducing the risk of them riding off.
2- You can always meet at a local police detachment. This does not reduce the risk of the buyer riding off, but it will help filter potential buyers, to some degree.
3- If you need to meet in the public, remove the pedals from the bike for the meet. If the buyer is still interested after seeing the bike and wants to test ride, you can take payment in full from the buyer and throw the pedals on.
4- DO NOT take a cell phone, wallet, car keys, or any other property as collateral for a test ride. We have seen way to many people take a cell phone and wallet only to have the buyer ride off into the sunset. Only to find out after the wallet and phone are stolen.
5- Appearances can be deceiving when dealing with a potential buyer. Do not let stigmatized assumptions that all thieves have a homeless or addict appearance blind you. Folks experiencing these conditions may look to opportunity rather than coordinated efforts (see https://bikecalgary.org/theft/ here).
6- Always take a friend to meet the buyer when selling your bike, We have seen sellers be pepper-sprayed and then have their property stolen, sellers threatened with a weapon, etc. If it doesn’t feel right, leave. There will always be another buyer.
7- Sell to friends or family, this is the safest way to sell your bike.
8- You can always message an admin on a Stolen Bikes FB group and ask them to look into the potential buyer. We know a lot of the suspect thieves.
Good luck with your sale.
(Published with permission from Brent — thanks for the tips and wisdom for us to share).