Test rides at swap meets


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mickeyc

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jul 21, 2013
2,962
2,127
Rochester Hills, MI
#1
How do you folks that sell bikes at swap/sales meets handle test rides? Someone, potential buyer, wants to take the bike for a spin.....do you just trust them to come back, refuse to let them take it, ask for collateral?

Any input appreciated.

Mike
 

tripple3

Riding Miles; Collecting Smiles
Sep 25, 2012
7,273
40,883
Beach Cities, CA 92708
#3
How Does it RIDE??.....Rides awesome!

I have let total strangers ride my Challenger at Veterans Stadium Cycle Swap...asking $900...they really like it... none of "Them" bought it though. (Sold Now btw)
I have said no too. We all know a bunch of other swappers, selling and shopping so they're the stranger in this case.
I would ask for a Driver's lic. or something just to make sure they don't go far.

How do you folks that sell bikes at swap/sales meets handle test rides? Someone, potential buyer, wants to take the bike for a spin.....do you just trust them to come back, refuse to let them take it, ask for collateral?

Any input appreciated.

Mike
IMG_8750.jpg
 

Flat Tire

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Feb 24, 2007
2,052
1,432
Blanchester, ohio United States
#4
I actually let a guy put a speedo I had for sale on his Whizzer to see how well it worked...I'd met him before but didnt really know him, told him if it breaks he owns it...well hell he was gone almost 45 minutes! But I knew where his vending spot was so I could find him pretty easy, anyway he finally came back and said it worked great, and paid me.....LOL...dont think I'll do that again tho....haha
I dont mind letting them test ride, I've only been asked once, and he didnt go out of my sight.
 

DonChristie

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Nov 4, 2009
3,460
3,950
Waxhaw, N. Carolina
www.facebook.com
#5
It wasnt a swap but a local friday nite car show i used to cruise on a vintage bike. This man and woman stopped me to ask about my bike. The little gal, maybe 5 feet tall just loved it! She said she still rides so i offered to let her ride it. She hopped on it like a champ and rode off! About 2 seconds later i got a sinking feeling standing next to her man. Needless to say, i basically ran after her! She circled back with an ear to ear grin and said "i love it"! Dismounted and gave it back. Not gonna lie, i was worried there for a minute.
 

bricycle

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Nov 18, 2009
22,276
7,206
Chicago area west
#6
Maybe I'm everyone's favorite buyer, as I almost never ask questions. I see, I like, I buy. Pretty simple... (till I get stuff home)....
I've had people ask me to take pictures until I thought my camera would wear out tho-
 

Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
Jul 14, 2009
17,417
20,311
Evans, GA
#7
Maybe I'm everyone's favorite buyer, as I almost never ask questions. I see, I like, I buy. Pretty simple... (till I get stuff home)....
I've had people ask me to take pictures until I thought my camera would wear out tho-
I'm with Bri. I have never bought a bike expecting it to be 100%. I look it over for obvious damage but assume I will go through the hubs and bearings, true the wheels, etc... before it meets my expectations. I would let someone test ride as long as they stayed in the immediate area--unless I know them. V/r Shawn
 

T-Mar

Finally riding a big boys bike
May 29, 2015
107
6
#8
Never man your booth/table alone at a swap meet and always take a personal bicycle. That way, if anyone wants to go for a test ride, you just tag along. The person you leave in charge doesn't have to be knowledgeable. They just have to say," he'll be back in 10 minutes".
 

scrubbinrims

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Sep 2, 2010
6,739
1,804
4900 New Kent Rd, Richmond, VA 23225, USA
#9
I have only one set of newer tires that I rotate among the fleet after selecting a seasonal rider.
Basically, I roll with vintage rubber and my purpose is to clean up my bikes so the seller knows what he/she is getting and I'll make needed corrections, BUT I am not focussed and selling a street ready bike.
An interested party can mount it and feel the geometry, but the tires are a liability, which puts my item at risk and I work swaps alone (but usually I know my neighbor for help both ways).
Good question.
Chris
 

catfish

Riding an Alexander Rocket Bike
Sep 25, 2006
22,962
24,764
Boston, Massachusetts
thecabe.com
#10
I've never had anyone ask to test ride a bike at a meet. And I've never asked to test ride one I was thinking about buying either.... If I want it, I just buy it. I have gotten to ride a lot of realy cool vintage bikes at meet over the years. Usually someone I know will have one they are riding around, and offer it up to ride.
 

ohdeebee

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Mar 4, 2010
3,102
1,434
34
Manitowoc, United States
#11
If you guys would just sell your bikes in parts you wouldn't have this problem
 

mickeyc

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jul 21, 2013
2,962
2,127
Rochester Hills, MI
#13
Thanks for all the great answers....I appreciate it. I've also heard that leaving the pedals off but attached to the bike is a good way to keep it close by.


Mike
 

bairdco

I live for the CABE
Dec 24, 2009
1,879
2,224
Midway
#14
I've had the seller ask me if I wanted to ride it before. More than once. Always thought that was weird.

The only time I would let a buyer ride a bike first, was if he were at my house, with his car parked here.

I've never needed to take a test ride myself. I think most of us can spot the flaws, or the quality, or whatever, of a bike we want to buy. I know the rims are bent, the seatpost is stuck, and the tires are flat. The fact that it's unridable makes the price come down.
 

cyclonecoaster.com

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
May 8, 2008
2,319
4,790
Laguna Hills, CA, United States
www.cyclonecoaster.com
#15
I really don't have anyone ever ask to test ride a bicycle - Nor do I ask to - If I like it ...I buy it - you can get a good idea of what your looking at purchasing - well by just looking at it - I assume the bicycle needs a going through once purchased anyways - so no point in riding it & a serious buyer would probably know what they're looking at too without a test ride ... Ride Vintage - Frank
 

Boris

Fat tired old rider
Feb 16, 2008
12,095
7,161
Portland, OR 97206
#16
If someone wants to try it out, let them try it out. If you don't know them, have them put down some collateral. The end.
 

Duchess

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Feb 14, 2014
560
1,002
Beverly, MA
#18
A guy I let ride my Iver left his girlfriend as collateral. I'm glad he came back.
 

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