What would you think / how would you respond if a seller sent you this bike? Or... a cautionary tale of buyer beware (pics)

Most Recent BUY IT NOW Items Listed on eBay
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
Status

BikesGuru

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Hello Cabers,

Wanted to shed some light on and share a recent experience I had with a seller here on the Cabe, and also wanted to get your honest opinions on this.

If I can prevent just one of you from ever having to go through what I've experienced, and the $$ I’ve lost, then this will have served it’s purpose.

Maybe on the CABE I’m not supposed to mention the seller by name, so I won’t. But you've likely seen those “Collection Reduction” listings, before they got yanked.

So… Imagine if you had been told THIS by a seller, while being shown (or rather not shown) these details about a bike, AND THEN you received the bike shown in my pics below.

What would you think, and how would you respond?

Would you just obediently agree with what the seller suggests as a reasonable difference of opinion on the condition and value of the bike?

A bit of background and lead up to this…

I restored my first vintage Schwinn - a 1952 DX 24” - when I was 11 years old, some 43 years ago. I’ve had the vintage bike bug, and a deep interest in it ever since.

Though with real life getting in the way I haven’t been actively doing it lately.

A few months ago my sweetie noticed a pic of me as a kid riding that 24” Schwinn, and surprised me with a combo birthday/Christmas present of $1000 to find something similar, yet 26” so my adult self could ride it.

So I started putting some feelers out to see what was available, and among the options was a 1951 DX-ish Schwinn here on the Cabe.

This one looked good (from afar), so I started a conversation with the seller.

I was setting the bar pretty low, which was basically either a somewhat rusty/patina'd original, or a decent older restore would be fine.

A good solid rider that's mostly unmolested and not embarrassing to be seen on. Or at least as good as my (somewhat skilled) 11-year old self's bike.


Now realize that over the past few years I've bought 10+ used bikes for myself, or friends and relatives. From under $1000 riders to $5000-$7000 mountain bikes, all in various stages of ridden/ridden hard.

In every single case, the seller went out of their way to describe the bike in such a way to highlight all of its good points, while giving specific focus to anything that was damaged, questionable, or might need attention.

In other words fully disclosing everything, so what the buyer receives is in alignment with what the seller described and promised to send, so there's no surprises.

I expected a similar experience here, especially from someone who's not a random Craigslist seller, but part of a close-knit vintage bike community, who makes himself out to be an expert in the space.


He was saying all the right words, and surely within the 21 photos he sent, I figured there would be at least a few shots of any damage, and anything else that would affect the true and actual value of the bike.

But still something seemed "off" about the paint job, which he described as "an older restore". (In hindsight this was only the tip of the iceberg).

So I mentioned this, and asked for pics of the worst areas, so I could get a feel for the true condition and value of the bike before I threw down a boatload of money, plus $150 disassembly and boxing fee from his local bike shop, and $130 in shipping cost.


Seems like a reasonable request considering the money that was about to change hands.

The seller’s response?:

He quickly pushed back and let me know I was completely out of line for asking the question, telling me:

"The photos are complete". "You're over thinking this". "The bike is solid!"

"I've collected for years" (Actually, by his words bought his first vintage bike in Nov 2017 I later learned).

"If you're wanting perfect/all original, you can try to find one and pay double."

To this last point I’ll say: Who was asking for perfect? And besides, to replace / undo the stench of this bike, I just purchased the most pristine all original 1949 DX for much less than I've got into this bike. So where do your distorted bike values come from?

So anyway, based on his “complete” photos, the conviction in which he pushed back when I asked for more pics, the $1,000 FIRM price, and all of my past experience with other sellers in the bike space, I assumed the bike was going to be in alignment with all of the above, so I decided to send the money.

He refuses to accept Paypal. Only Zelle or Venmo. Hindsight is 20/20.

Fast forward to a few weeks later when I received the box and finally had time to unbox and assemble it.

Here is what I found - see pics below.

Little did I know until I started unboxing, that of the 21 pics he sent, none of them really showed or disclosed anything but the bike's best/least worst angles, with the exception of the dented chain guard (which I saw and was acceptable).

They were the bicycle equivalent of soft focus glamour shots.

One of the pics he sent of the rim actually DID show a secondary defect - which looked like either a paint splash, a blob of drywall mud or a bird turd - that actually did a good job of distracting from the actual defect - a horrendous underlying paint / "restore" job on the rims.

The "painter" had such little skill and expertise, and either using a spray can or paint brush (possibly house paint?) attempted to recreate the classic white pinstriped S2 rims by first painting the white, with no prep for adhesion, then masking off for the black pinstripes (cheesy at best), and then proceeding to pull much of the white paint off (and some of the pinstripes) while removing the masking tape.

The rim paint is either in some state of gone, or flaking off.

Here’s the pics:

AAXX Kevin Crowe Fork Stripes 2.jpg

If one pic could convey the quality of this bike

AAXX Kevin Crowe Dented Peeling Fender 1.jpg



AAXX Kevin Crowe Dented Peeling Fender Tail 1.jpg



AAXX Kevin Crowe front fender red paint.jpg



AAXX Kevin Crowe Flaking Rim Paint 1.jpg



AAXX Kevin Crowe Flaking Rim Paint 2.jpg



AAXX Kevin Crowe Flaking Rim Paint 4.jpg



AAXX Kevin Crowe Flaking Rim Paint 7.jpg



AAXX Kevin Crowe Flaking Rim Paint 8.jpg

Is that done with a paintbrush? Maybe house paint?

AAXX Kevin Crowe Flaking Rim Paint 9.jpg



AAXX Kevin Crowe Flaking Rim Paint 10.jpg



AAXX Kevin Crowe Silver Spray Paint 1.jpg



AAXX Kevin Crowe Twisted Crank 5.jpg

Completely twisted crank and pedal axles

AAXX1 Kevin Crowe Twisted Crank 1.jpg



AAXX Kevin Crowe Twisted Crank 6.jpg



AAXX Kevin Crowe Gooseneck 1 jpg.jpg



AAXX Kevin Crowe Gooseneck 2.jpg



AAXX Kevin Crowe Seatpost 1.jpg



AAXX Kevin Crowe Dented Rim 2 .jpg

Dented rim

AAXX Kevin Crowe Fork Fender Wood Screw.jpg

Wood screw barely holding on the front fender. The fork threads were too corroded to take a regular screw
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


And these don't even show the other issues with the bike:

a) Wheels are so bent and out of true they look like they've just finished the Baja 500.

b) Truss rods were bent in multiple places. Had to straighten them.

c) Tank horn mechanism is non-functioning and irreparable.

d) Tail light mechanism is non-functioning and irreparable (headlight does work).

e) Many missing fasteners. 4 of the fender mounting river screws only had the "rivet", but no nut and washer.

f) Only sent a pic of the un-torn side of the seat, not the torn side.

g) A strange gooey coating over the entire bike paint. Looked like a mixture of varnish and clear silicone smeared all over the bike. Probably some type of un-cured clear coat or "protectant".

It took me and my wife 3 hours to strip all this goo off to make the bike more "presentable" (i.e. slightly less of a steaming turd).

Links to video of bent wheels:





It took the better part of 2 days to replace the crank, straighten the twisted pedal axles, tighten all of the bearings, straighten the truss rods, replace all of the missing fasteners, strip the goo off the paint and various other turd polishing to try to make the bike presentable and minimize the loss I was going to take.

How would you respond, after being told those words, then sent this bike?

After being told:

"The photos are complete"

"You're over thinking this"

"The bike is solid!"

All of which are patently false statements. This bike couldn’t even be described as “solid” on the most basic “bicycle” level, let alone as a collectible.


He even said "I was as forthcoming as I could be”, while failing to disclose much of anything accurately about the bike.

The most accurate thing the seller COULD have said, that would have made sending me this bike justifiable? How about this:

———————————————————————————————————
Even though I’ve had this bike in my collection for a few years, I can’t really tell you much about it, other than it’s a 1951 Schwinn D19, and it’s green and ivory.

Beyond that, you’re just going to have to take your chances.
—————————————————————————————————

Now THAT would have been much more accurate.

It would be reasonable to think that at least ONE of the pics, angles and defects in the above pics would be included in the pics that the seller sent. Even if we remove any pics of hidden damage like the gooseneck, seat post etc.

It’s as if he unilaterally decided that none of the bike’s defects would be important to the buyer.

And for some reason decided that I was the guy to finally unload this turd on.

All it would have taken is any ONE of these pics above, and it would have been a non-starter and "no deal".

Just like everyone else who has seen the bike in person over the years and gave him a hard “pass”. And I wouldn't be out nearly $1400 including the replacement cranks I had to buy, not counting all of the time, effort and frustration.

In life and in business things go wrong, and we make mistakes.

It’s often not a matter of the “wrong”, but what the seller does to make it right.


So after bringing all of this to seller’s attention, he’s had weeks and multiple opportunities to do ANYTHING to try and make this right.

But instead, he thought it best to turn this into a masterclass on how not to do business.

He decided it's best to double down in trying to justify his actions, while feigning outrage and insult that I've confronted him and called him out on this.

While hiding behind "no guarantees on used bikes" and sold "as-is" to cover the massive gap between what he said he was selling, and what he actually sent. Which he suggests is "a difference of opinion”.

He then told me "You will not be getting a refund! Sell it locally and cut your losses if it doesn’t meet your expectations".

Then blocked me on the CABE, told me to not ever contact him again, and said "Get a life!"

He even suggested that I was not allowed to tell anyone about my direct experience with him.


Hmm... people get to tell others about a bad meal in a restaurant, or a bad stay at a hotel, but he gets to dictate that I'm supposed to quietly and obediently sit here and accept being cheated?

So… now I’m left to try to recoup a fraction of my losses trying to sell this locally.

After doing everything we could to make the bike presentable and rideable, I placed an ad, and instantly began getting responses from people who were very excited and had cash in hand ready to buy.

When they arrived, that excitement quickly turned to disappointment, and of the 12 people who traveled to look at it, all but one walked away with a “did I really just come all that way to look at THIS bike” sort of disgust.

The last one reluctantly offered $500, which I had no choice but to take.


One last thing that I just can't figure out…

If these “amateurs” could tell the real value of this bike within 5 minutes, and a real expert who saw it, whom many of you know and respect could tell within 5 pics and 5 seconds…

How is it that this “expert” seller was unable to properly judge the value of this bike in the years it was in his collection?

If, after me and my wife spending the better part of 2 days trying to whip the bike into shape, it was only/barely worth $500 to a buyer, then how much was the bike that the seller sent to me actually worth.

Thanks for letting me bend your ear.
 

Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
I’d like to see the original photos he sent. Unless they were taken at great distance I think the quality of the paint job should have been at least somewhat obvious. The other stuff like the fender screw, bent pedal axles, seat post, and rim ding are fairly minor things in my book. Some things I don’t see until I start taking a bike apart. This is when I communicate with the buyer and let them know of any issues. Because this bike was disassembled and packed by someone else he was likely never aware of some of these issues. As a buyer I ask all the questions that are important to me and if the seller hesitates or bulks I pass. There were more than a few red flags here but you moved forward. That said he certainly was not forthcoming and Should have made more of an effort to make this right. V/r Shawn
 

cyclingday

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
One things for sure, if you’re in this hobby for very long, you’re bound to get a few deals like that.
I call those, the Hot Potatoes.
They can’t get rid of it fast enough, and neither can you.
Of course the guys not going to tell you, the potato is hot.
He wants to get rid of it!
Then, so do you, as soon as you get your hands on it, and feel the burn.
I chalk those up, to the high cost of an education.
I bet the next bike you buy, you’ll look past that pretty green paint, and see more of what’s really there.
Calling someone a used car salesman is an insult for a reason.
Those guys would sell their mothers without disclosing the rheumatoid arthritis, and the ingrown toenails.
It sucks when you get burned like that, but if there’s any solace in the old saying, that misery loves company.
We’ve all been there.
 

Oldbikeguy1960

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Let me get this right. The seller lied, misrepresented and most likely even created some of the problems with this bike, says he is an "expert" and should be trusted on his word as such, but in the end the buyer is the one at fault?

Come on guys!

This self proclaimed "expert" obviously is one of two things.
A Lying con artist who uses his "expert" status to pass off crappy bikes he dug out of garages, basements, or flower gardens and maybe washed them off, looked at them for a while and said to himself "I bet I can rook some eager to buy sucker (no offense to the OP meant) for a grand on this!
Or;
A lying snake who took a piece of crap or a pile of crappy parts and dressed them up with a little paint and stuck them in his "collection for a while to say he owned one. Then he shot glamor photos to hide his work and put the bike out for sale as part of a "Collection Reduction" sale.

Then along comes the OP, eager to buy a bike to relive his childhood for a few moments at a time. He sees this bike for sale on of all places, THE CABE!!!!!
I thought we were a close knot group of guys trying to help each other out, share a love for a part of our lives no matter what bike we ride or love, and yes, sell some parts and bikes in Classifieds.
It should go without saying that those parts and bikes should be what we say they are to the best of our knowledge and abilities.
If this MEMBER is indeed an "EXPERT" as he claims, he knew what a piece of crap the bike was and maliciously covered it up by shooting the best glamor poses he could of the bike.

Not showing the rip in the seat? The bent crank and pedal? The horrible paint job made apparent by the big white spot (that was the crap coming through) and the elementary school grade rim painting and pinstripe job?
These are things that an amateur buyer would (and did by the words of the OP) notice with a 5 minutes or less examination of the bike.

So what do I here about this? Correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds like the seller is getting a pass on his complete fraudulent non-disclosure of the condition of the bike and the buyer is being spanked for his inability to see the flaws in those glamor shots, and for succumbing to some of the oldest USED CAR SALESMAN AND TELEMARKETER tricks like "Act now"! Don't wait"! Don't think about it or you will miss out"! "I am the expert and you are the layman"! (Wait, that sounds more like a Doctor.)

To top it off, the buyer cannot post these photos with the sellers name and a post titled "Buyer Beware"?

This forum is huge and I guess there will always be disreputable "USED BIKE SALESMEN" so I fail to see why the forum doesn't have a "BUYER BEWARE" thread and ban sellers like this for life! Other forums I am a member of do this.

I will only do PayPal F&F with people I get a good feeling about. I understand the new screwing our government is giving us on sales over $600 being reported to the IRS.
But if I haven't bought from a seller before, or have excellent photos and full disclosure and honesty from the seller they will either take PayPal goods and services or find another buyer to scam.

I will say I have had good luck with the sellers I have bought from so far and will buy from them on their preferred payment method. A seller I have never bought from had better be nice, honest and show me the damage, not just the dazzle.

To summarize, I am with the buyer 200% on this believeI believe all of us should feel outraged and these sellers should be outed and banned for life!

My name is Rob and I support this message.
Rob
 

cyclingday

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Let me clarify.
Non Disclosure of obvious issues, is never justifiable.
But, some guys are Con Artists, and they love gullible people.
Don’t be gullible!
Educate yourself, so that you know what you’re looking at, and if the Con Artist won’t show you the left side of the bike, it probably means, that’s where the big dent is.
Lack of information can be just as valuable.
You just learned who not to buy from.
 

Oldbikeguy1960

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Thanks for clarifying.

Now I want to clarify as well.

It is wrong and irresponsible of us all and the forum to let these guys get away with this fraud and theft!

There is a sucker born every minute. So the OP learned his lesson for a $1000 tuition fee.
He will never do this again.
So the next minute this seller finds another mark and defraud him for another $1000. Now the teacher is ahead $2000 and the only lesson the teacher taught them is "Don't trust the Teacher".
This forum is, in effect the Teacher as well. So now the buyer loses trust in us because we all are in effect accomplices to what this seller just did right here in front of us all?

What benefit is this to us or the hobby, or as I call it lifestyle. This is not a hobby for me nor is it a living. I sell some stuff here and there but I probably will not make $1000 all year. I am 62 years old and will probably die with most of the bikes I have left. Other than my posts most of you don't know anything about me other than what I tell you.

So why would you or the OP be willing to purchase anything from me, especially after this highly overpaid "Teacher" just defrauded a member here for $1000 and all everybody seems to say is Caveat Emptor and tell him the one thing he already paid $1000 to learn.

Don't do it again.

I do not want to make any enemies here, with the exception of the scrotum toad that did this and any other buttclowns out there that do or are contemplating doing the same thing.

We should a be outraged at the seller!!!!!

We should all band together and do everything in our power to prevent these buttmunches from doing this to anyone on
OUR FORUM.

Dave is the creator and owner and I am not trying to take anything away from him.
But this forum belongs to all of us and would not be the megaforum it is without every one of us. We cannot afford to lose one good member to this or any other problem arising here, and we cannot afford to retain even one bottom dwelling shyster like this seller for any reason. I don't care if you know the person, or if they are your friend or even a family member. If the person does something like this, they do not deserve the benefits of this forum, or the anonymity they are being given. It's like they just got a free pass to do it again. Maybe next time they will be the ones using a photo they gleaned off the internet and maybe it will be me or one of you that takes the bait. I am certain you will feel much differently when it's you losing $1000 tuition or more to this "Teacher". I know what I would do but I am not allowed to say it here.

It would involve a few day vacation with my new purchase backtracking it to its original shipping address and working out a refund with the seller in person.

Hey wait. If the OP still has the original photos and the ones you showed, this purchase if it crossed state lines is a Felony Fraud and the FBI has jurisdiction here. If the OP is over 55 that also is another Felony. The seller could be looking at a long vacation in one if the Federal Governments privately run Vatention Centers.

Maybe I would do that first. Prison life is hell and people like him can end up in some very painful positions with guys in there for all day who don't give a crap about the consequences.

I hope this makes everyone here think about how this transaction affected YOU.
As well as the respect and trust anyone looking into this forum for information or membership may lose when they stumble on this thread by accident like I did.
Rob
 

Oldbikeguy1960

Wore out three sets of tires already!
I am sorry to hear that.. I hope it did not happen here.
The swelling was probably from water inside the frame that froze and thawed. The freezing damage can be like what happens to water pipes in a freezing situation.
Did the bike come from somewhere that has cold winters?
 

BikesGuru

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Thanks for the insights and spirited discourse Cabers.

Yes, a learning experience indeed. In total nearly $1400 out of pocket with disassembly, boxing and shipping (and new parts) for the wisdom.

A bit ironic that to arrive at where I intended to go in the first place (a good solid rider that I could enjoy) cost me nearly $2500 (closer to $2000 minus what I got for the turd). $2000 could have bought quite a bit of bike.

But the happy part of this outcome is that I found / was led to an absolute dream boat of a bike for just over $1000 from fellow Caber and class act Bob U (I owe you one Bob!)

So yes... back to the turd/hot potato. Definite red flags I should have recognized.

Here are a few of the actual pics, in their full resolution as sent by the seller.

Seems like the rim pic was trying to suggest "that's the defect on the rims". Looks pretty normal other than the blob, doesn't it?

And I thought the strange texture on the green finish was just the low resolution photograph, but no, it looked exactly like this, the strange gooey coating all over the paint.

-7578126170514939357.jpg


7071033600490603357.jpg
 
Last edited:
Status
Top