How can I check if a bike's legitimately for sale (or stolen?)

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  • How can I check if a bike's legitimately for sale (or stolen?)
  • Jujuuk68

    Looking at a listing on ebay right now, and I am just a tiny bit suspicious of it. Which is a shame, as its exactly what I want. So I am wanting to see if it has any “history”.

    Firstly, where should I go? Is there a central location for checking? What else should I be looking for in the listing?

    Not pointing out the listing here at the moment, as I don’t want to “call out” a genuine seller on just an ill informed hunch, nor do I want to alert seller if it is “iffy”.

    It’s a frame being sold as the seller says it’s a bit too xc for them. They have a photograph of the whole bike only, fully built up on the listing. I am aware people break down stolen bikes to make them easier to dispose of.

    So I sent a message, asking if they had a purchase receipt (the item is nearly new – a few months old, allegedly used 7-8 times).

    The answer I got was not to my mind satisfactory – they say they used to work for the manufacturers a few years ago and bought direct from them – so no handbook/warranty manual or receipt. Surely, even if you bought direct from a manufacturer, you’d get a receipt and warranty info, right?

    Checking feeback on the bay – the seller has listed a couple of bikes in the last 15m, and several sets of forks, brakes, wheels, not enough to look like a fence, but more than most, unless a real enthusiast”. 4 sets of forks, 3 sets of disc brakes, 2 sets of wheels, couple of posts, saddle ect.

    The manufacturer is English, and based at one end of the country, and the seller is on the South coast. Sure people move around, but with all the other little things wrong…

    Am I being too suspicious? If they had a receipt, I’d be 100% sure it was fine. Or should I bid away? Having had 3 bikes stolen, I don’t want to support or encourage supply of stolen goods, but then there are a lot of bikes for sale these days, and many/most of them will be legitimate second hand purchases.

    Premier Icon schmiken

    If in doubt, leave well alone. I’d say dodgy personally.


    As far as I know thwere isn’t a central registry of stolen bikes, but the plae to check would be your local police station.
    But the seller probably doesn’t know that so ask for the frame number. Tell him you want to do a search on the bike. See how cooperative he is.


    ask the seller for a picture of his face … if he looks shifty walk away


    ask the seller for a picture of his face … if he looks shifty walk away

    uh huh, works everytime

    Get a work email, work tel no and call them to discuss frame size, cable routing or something. if it feels wrong don’t buy it

    Neil F

    I’d simply ask for the frame number, if they don’t want to give it up then its obviously something iffy. Nothing wrong with asking a few questions, especially if the outlay from yourself is pretty substantial.


    Could the manufacturer not provide any info (although over xmas may be difficult to contact)? Those frames aren’t that common IMO.

    Seems a bit strange that he worked for them a few years ago but has a 2011 frame!

    Looks nice though so I can see your dilema.


    So that would be the Ora…… As above, ask for the frame number (or better still a photo of the frame number in case he just makes on up). My local police force offered free electrical tagging and hold a record of frame numbers (all 5 bikes in my household are tagged and/or have the frame numbers registered) – It’s a long shot though but once you have the frame number you might be able to check on

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

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