Selling your Bike? - Seller Beware..
Buying and Selling bikes has always been a time fraught with risk - Is the Bike genuine? Is the Seller genuine?
But is the Buyer Genuine? Time-waster?........ or maybe its' not their time they are wasting....maybe they are just scoping you out, seeing what else you have. After all, if you are selling one, you likely have a better/newer one that replaced the one you are selling.
There has been many cases recently of people advertising their bikes for sale, and the bike being stolen within days. It is not un common for thieves to view bikes posing as a genuine buyer, either buy a bike, or even say they have others to look at and leave. Both may result in them returning to either steal you new bike, or the one they viewed.
So what can you do to protect yourself?
In truth, there is an element of risk whenever you introduce someone to your property so there is no 'Secure' way to have someone view you bike, however, you can outsmart them with a little thought and ingenuity, and load the odds in your favour.
Ebay, Gumtree and many more sales sites have apps. They help people see items, including the location....make sure the location is NOT ACCURATE, and avoid Apps where it gives a location. You can read more on apps here
Avoid taking images where you can see reg numbers, builders vans and location. Make images generic - a fence with no background, a brick wall - TURN OFF YOU PHONE LOCATION SETTING!
Images state the location they were taken in the Meta Data unless the Location is turned OFF. This enables a thief to find the location of where the picture was taken, without even calling you. Make sure location in GENERIC and LOCATION is OFF on any images taken.
This will likely be the moment you are at risk as you are inviting strangers into your home environment and past your security. But there are ways to protect yourself....
A well Placed Action Camera, or even a phone recording the faces of visitors that come to view - don't rely on CCTV alone, they will try to avoid a direct facial image with the camera is they see it. If your bike is stolen after, then you have a number of faces that Police can look through to see if here is a 'known' offender.
ASK them who they are - Take their name when they call and a number for you to call them back (or note the number they call on) in case there is a problem with the viewing - sold on the viewing before theirs, or popping out for an errand - any excuse will do. Note the name, number and the image - if there is an issue, you have a lot more for Police to go on.
Meet at a location if you can. Services, local Garage etc and take a friend. Again, good excuse to have the Helmet Cam running. ....Genuine buyers will understand the reasons for you meeting away from home in the current climate - but be fair to them and take proof of ownership with you! It puts the odds more in YOUR favour, not theirs, and you don't want to normalise deals in car parks where stolen bikes can be exchanged. But if you have the means, then it is a viable precaution to meet elsewhere......even if you park the bike on the same road, but 500 yards up the road so they don't know what house number....there are ways around it, use your imagination. But when meeting, again, use camera or phone for a discrete image and take a friend.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask - or if you have any suggestions to improve this article, we are a community, so fire away!
Good Luck with your sale!