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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those who don't care to read my entire rant, feel free to read my clif notes version:

Don't ever agree to sell somebody a bicycle through installments

I had a bicycle for sale. I was contacted about said bicycle and was made an offer. The person asked me to call him back in a few days when he gets paid. No problem, I called him back last wednesday (Christmas Eve). He said he would be picking up his paycheck later that day. Later, I call him back and he informs me his check was less than expected and he cannot afford to pay the full price at once. I am feeling generous, so I agree to take a deposit on the bike and I keep the bike until he can come up with the rest.

I agree to meet him at 6pm on my way to my folk's house for a little holiday get-together. Finally, he shows up at 7pm without his deposit money. He still needed to run by the check cashing place. I let him check the bike out then follow him over to the check place. Finally, I have my deposit and an agreement that the remainder of the money would be paid in a week when he gets paid next.

Today, I call him to make arrangements to finish the deal. He said he just needs to pick up his check and he would be good to go. Then, he starts telling me how much it is going to cost him to replace brake pads and cables on the bike. I replied that those items were fully disclosed up front and this was no time to negotiate given that I had already dropped the price $50. A few hours later I receive a text message that his paycheck was only $125, leaving him $25 short of what he needed. I call him to discuss. He gives me some story about how he got laid off and that is why his check was less.

I told him I could not go any lower on the price, once again reminding him of the previous price break. Being generous, I offered to return his deposit so long as he drove to get it rather than me wasting time and gas to meet him. I seriously don't know why somebody would spend every last penny they have on a non-essential item such as this old BMX bike. I should have known the odds were stacked against me when he couldn't come up with all the money the first time. Perhaps I am partly to blame, but I really hate dealing with irresponsible morons.

Rant complete.
 

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When I read "sell somebody a bicycle through installments" I thought this was going to turn out really, really bad. I thought the guy would have screwed you out of a lot of money. I'm glad you have the bike back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I never let him take possession of the bike because I knew better than that. I was more so just annoyed with the whole situation and wanted to blow off some steam.
 

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You've got to just get full payment, no ifs, ands or buts (if that was the agreement of sale), otherwise you'll be inconvenienced like you wrote. First red flag is when the buyer asked you to call him back in a few days when he gets paid. No way - buyer calls when he has the money and meanwhile if someone else calls and has the money and shows up with it before him, too bad.

Have sold alot on Craigslist that's how you have to be. First come, first serve. I would love to trust people but there is too many wackos out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have sold close to 300 bikes on craigslist and this was the first time I ever have done this. I have had a few people ask if they could make payments on a $80 bike and I knew there was no way that somebody who can't afford $80 is ever going to complete making payments. This time, I had not gotten a lot of response on the bike, so I figured I would give him a shot since it seemed fairly promising at first. Oh well, you live and learn

On a side note, I have another buyer lined up who is hopefully going to purchase the bike for the full asking price. We'll see how this goes.
 

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I sold a bike in 1999 to someone in a reliable place. He was still around, but didn't pay the second half, so I kept calling, and then finally his mom asked me what was up and I said he owed $200. I got the money the next day. If not, he was in a mutual place all the time and I wouldn't have been out. Never again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Screamer said:
Keep the deposit !!!
I tend to believe in Karma. He is just a dumb kid and I don't think it is right to keep his money. He will probably waste it on something else, but I have no reason to keep it.

Funny thing, he called me today to ask about getting his deposit back. I kinda figured I wouldn't hear from him. He asked if the bike was still available. I told him I have another offer for $50 more than what he was going to pay and that the person was going to drive up and get it Sunday. I told him I would call him later when I got off work to figure out when he could come get his money. So I call him this evening and he must have it in his head that he is still going to buy the bike. He asked if I could wait until Sunday before he came and got his money. He wants to make sure the bike is sold before he commits to not buying it. Whatever.
 

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i had a lot of luck on cl- selling and buying. sold a lot of cubs tickets- very easy. i agree with the first come firest served. it can be a hassle of broken promises. i sold (or my wife was in charge of it) our car on cl- not too bad.

i met a lot of nice people- cool how there are so many nice and honest people around- just too bad you come across some lame ducks once in a while.

i also got my gf 29er from a bike shop at a close to employee pricing this way- great deals still to be found.

glad you weren't out any money, op! did you end up selling it to someone else?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Eric Z said:
i had a lot of luck on cl- selling and buying. sold a lot of cubs tickets- very easy. i agree with the first come firest served. it can be a hassle of broken promises. i sold (or my wife was in charge of it) our car on cl- not too bad.

i met a lot of nice people- cool how there are so many nice and honest people around- just too bad you come across some lame ducks once in a while.

i also got my gf 29er from a bike shop at a close to employee pricing this way- great deals still to be found.

glad you weren't out any money, op! did you end up selling it to someone else?
I hope to sell it Sunday. The buyer is 90 miles down the road and Sunday is the first mutually convenient day for him to drive up and get it.
 
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