What to do with suspicious online ads?

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bychosis
Posts: 5678
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:10 pm
Location: Lake Macquarie

What to do with suspicious online ads?

Postby bychosis » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:56 am

There is a local gumtree user, seems to have two accounts that is regularly selling mid range bikes, like 2-3 at a time different bikes each week. The prices often seem a little high, but the bikes appear to be cleaned,maintained etc so could be a legit flipper. However, being an all to regular gumtree browser, fail to see these bikes before hand and the number would indicate that the seller hasn’t owned them legitimately. They are also not the sort of high end bikes that owners would spend hours online tracking down. I’d hate to think it is so easy to sell on stolen bikes.

Anything that can be done?
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.

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10speedsemiracer
Posts: 1119
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:38 pm
Location: Melbourne, Eastern Suburbs, near the hills,

Re: What to do with suspicious online ads?

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:17 am

Other than cross-checking the stuff he sells with the last month or so on Stolen Bikes Australia or anything similar, I don't know.

We've got one of those in outer Melb as well, but with a huge variation in what he sells from entry level garbage to a very occasional high-end bike. Always has 5-6 listed. Oddly enough, he also has two eBay seller accounts.
Mmm, SunTour

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K2
Posts: 158
Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 5:35 am

Re: What to do with suspicious online ads?

Postby K2 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:47 am

Big leap from not knowing where someone is getting things they're selling to suspecting they're a thief [I've got no idea where most shops get their stock :) ]. Worth remembering that Gumtree, despite your vigilance, is not the only place to acquire used gear legally. So, other than being unaware of where they get 'em, what is so suspicious about it that warrants your concern?

And equating legitimacy of ownership with having ridden the bikes themselves seems a bit of a stretch too. Does a bike become legitimately yours once it's been your daily ride for a week? a month? a year? or does it just require purchasing it?

There's several in the Brisbane area who do the same thing. Sometimes a bike that was rather nicely priced elsewhere last week reappears looking a little more attractive at an increased price with them, but they obviously get most from other sources....perhaps the dump, garage sales, roadside collection, other auction/sale venues [both online and not], facebook groups, 2nd hand shops, etc. I just figure they have some bike maintenance skills and are using them to make some extra cash with a little bit of effort and an additional small outlay [ie a quick clean, fix punctures, perhaps change cables/tape, and ensure it's changing/stopping smoothly]. Folks do similar with guitars all the time [I have occasionally, though I've usually enjoyed them through at least one set of strings first].

There'd likely be less in it for them if everyone had those basic skills and/or could be bothered using them since everyone would be looking for diamonds in the rough rather than something with no work required. But there's obviously enough folk looking for the latter to make it worth their effort.

And selling bikes in the reasonable range makes sense if you'd rather spread your expenditure across several items rather than tying up your investment in an expensive bike which might limit your market and sit for a while [ie not putting all your eggs in one basket].

Also, using a couple of accounts allows them to list a few on each without looking so obviously like a semi/professional seller to the casual observer. And for the same reason, I guess it makes sense to sell in a place other than where you acquired them, if you can.

No doubt there are all kinds of dodginess about wherever there's a dollar to be made. But for mine there's enough things to worry about rather than looking for them where whatever evidence there is seems so slim. Or to put it another way, sans something startlingly amiss, perhaps the razor [Occam's] might fall on the seller just being a seller.

Think about it - even in a capital city, if you were regularly nicking dozens of bikes a month and listing them locally on one of the most obvious places to dispose of same, with photos and contact details, you're not likely to have a lengthy career [or injury free life perhaps] in a near universally connected population with that sort of crime, are you?

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