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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Came across this CL ad today but something just seems fishy about it: https://sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/bik/d/aptos-2018-transition-vanquish-29/6883896268.html.

It's a rare-ish high end hardtail. Seller claims they put $8k+ into it and they're asking for about half that. Those facts alone aren't too off putting but the bike description just doesn't seem like it was written by someone throwing down that kind of scratch on a bike and, according to the ad, winning enduro races. The photos also make it look like the bike has been neglected, though it might be due to crappy resolution.

Is my radar off? How do you guys weed out sketchy bike ads?
 

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Up In Smoke
Dirt Roadë
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I wouldn't call that one fishy, usually that bike would be selling for $500-$700 to qualify for a shady listing. Looks legit to me.
 

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Ask questions and for more photos. Very specific things like a close up of the rear hub or bottom bracket or something like that. Plus the seller appears to be older so maybe his computer/typing skills aren't the best.
 

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Shartacular Spectacular
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Hmmm... if English. The mispellings and grammar suggest English isnt a first language, but I dont see anything particularly MTB-ignorant in the description. I'd ask for a picture of the medal on the right handlebar grip. That should tell you if they actually have the bike...
 

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I've had nothing but great luck buying and selling all sorts of stuff on CL. I ask questions and can typically get a good feel for the seller or buyer and if I have any misgivings, I just go to the next person. Half the people I buy and sell from use their work emails and almost always seem very honest.
 

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The description matches the bike. There is a sea otter jersey posted.
It could have been a legitimate ad that is reposted by a spam post, but the bike and description are a match, in my opinion.
I don't know if it is $3500 used bike and I have a hard time seeing $8000 in it. Installed items are high end. If you were to buy a brand new bike for $3500 you'd get less, but at the end of the day you are buying a used bike for a LOT of money.

Is the cassette/chain dusty, or rusty?

Make up a junk email account and respond. If it's a bogus ad and you get overly spammed, you can delete the email account.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If you were to buy a brand new bike for $3500 you'd get less, but at the end of the day you are buying a used bike for a LOT of money.

Is the cassette/chain dusty, or rusty?
That's what made me think twice. It's a really nice bike with top shelf components but the cassette looks rusted? The overall condition doesn't look great, though that might be quality the pics.

Overall, I think I'm gonna have to pass because it's too much $$$ for a race bike that may have maintenance issues. Shame, b/c I'm interested in a Vanquish and this is the first listing I've seen around here.
 

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One time I thought I was possibly talking to a guy that was selling a bike cheaper than it should be. He came to my house to show me the bike and turned out to be a very well known professional mountain biker. He got the bike for free rode it for a season and was selling it because he got a the next years model. Before he came to the house I kept thinking to myself this seems too cheap to be legit but figured I'd look into it because I always hate hearing my buddies talk about these awesome deals they got.
 

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Nobody
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The cassette is gold XX1 as stated in the listing. It’s not rusted; its a gold cassette that has grease and dirt on it because it’s a mountain bike. He’s giving a pretty honest view of the bike instead of making it look brand new and perfect.

No harm in going and looking at it. My mountain bike looks used and beat until I give it a bath. A thorough inspection in 5 min will tell you if things are worn out. BB, hubs, pedal it and shift through the gears, put a chain indicator on it to make sure it’s not stretched past full drivetrain replacement limits. Tell him your planning to inspect so he knows what to expect when you get there.
 

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That's pretty much what a dirty gold XX1 eagle cassette/chain looks like. Don't think it's a good deal (like, if the guy couldn't clean the bike even before selling it, don't think he maintained the bike all that well). I could imagine $8K of upgrades going in if the guy broke/wore out the drive train and fork a few times and replaced it :)
 

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With C/L if they put a phone # (your seller did) I tend to trust a bit more. Then I google the phone # and see what pops. That # appears to be a mountain biker. Most scams are not local and involve some cruddy credit card or check scam. If you are concerned, don't bring cash to the first meeting.
 

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I actually don't think that this listing is shady. I do think that the price is too high. Maybe it is an $8k bike if you were to part out each one out, buy at your local shop and hire them to install it.

Shady listing:

Offer is too good to be true.
Description doesn't seem to be written by someone who knows what they are selling (e.g. they say Shimano but not what type when it's a high end bike)
Seat is slammed too low or high (esp on road bikes)
Few photos of the bike
I hesitate to say poor grammar/sentence structure - some people are just lazy when they type.
 
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