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

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I wouldn't be surprised ( I was thinkin 8 or 900 ) looks like BikesGuru made the best out of a turd, and don't think anyone is saying it's his fault but any red flags should not be ignored, as Marty said it's happened to all of us ( not just with bikes ) sometimes you put on blinders when you really want something, to bad he didn't get blocked sooner, any others fall victim here?
I think in the thread he said he put $2500 total in the bike and ended up with 12 people coming to look. Eleven of them left and the 12th would only offer $500. He took that. He made the turd into something but he lost $2000 on it.
Not where I would want to be.

The OP got photos of a bike to purchase from a (former) member and self proclaimed "Expert". The bike looked great in the photos.

OP paid $1000 for the bike.

When OP received the bike weeks later it was not even close to as nice as the glamor shots made it look.

OP attempted to work this out but seller basically told him to pound sand. Said if you do not like it sell it on CL and cut your losses.

OP spent another $1500 to make the bike presentable, having $2500 total in the bike.

OP posted the bike. After 11 people saw it and walked away OP sold it to a buyer for $500 and took a $2000 loss.

OP asked what we thought.

Members chimed in, including myself. I was the most agitated by this next to the OP, I am probably the one responsible for the confusion since I wrote the two longer posts next to the OP.

A debate ensued and a member contacted me thru PM, and invited the Webmaster and System Administrator Dave on to hear the story, maybe since I had followed it from Post #1.

After Dave reading the ENTIRE thread and knowing who the seller was, he promptly BANNED him (for life I am guessing).

Much celebration (at least at the OPS house and my house) since now we have one less scammer and all around scrotum toad to worry about.

❌ You are here.
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:

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If one pic could convey the quality of this bike

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Is that done with a paintbrush? Maybe house paint?

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Completely twisted crank and pedal axles

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Dented rim

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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.
Why in the world you went ahead with this purchase staggers the imagination.......you had every warning sign, yet you still moved forward.....amazing.....what a stupid decision
This is one of those situations that make all of us cringe! Sorry for what you've gone thru!
Someone please clarify for me. I read where his name was Kevin Crowe, but more important, what was his handle here on the CABE?
Also it's stated he's "suspended". Does this mean after the slap on the hand, he can come back and pull this crap again???

In closing! If you feel red flags walk away!!
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