eBay is hands down one of the cheapest, easiest ways to shop for a used bicycle. However, dropping a bunch of cash on something you can't see is always worrisome, especially when it's something that needs to fit you properly. The folks at Global Cycling Network have a few tips to find something that will work for you.
It's almost always best to buy a bike you can actually test ride, but eBay expands the choices you have and usually offers up some good deals. Here are a few tips from GCN:
- Buy a familiar brand: This seems obvious, but there are a lot of weird bike brands out there, and a lot of bizarre knockoffs. So, generally speaking, go for something from a brand you know. If something looks cool but you've never heard of it before, do a little research into a frame or the components.
- Check for cleanliness: If a bike is clean, it's a good sign that it's also been taken care of. It's a simple thing, but really, if a seller goes through the trouble to make a bike look good in the photo, you know they at least care a little bit.
- Factor in price to replace parts: Sometimes a bike might be pretty worn down, but that doesn't mean the frame isn't still worth it. Just because it doesn't shift, or the chain looks like it spent a month in a mud pile doesn't mean it's not worth it provided you don't mind shopping for a new set of components. It's a decent way to save some money when others might ignore a bike.
One of the best ways to save money is to buy stuff used — whether we're talking computers smartphones, or even cars. Buying used comes with a bit of extra responsibility, though. Here are some guides on how to avoid getting screwed, no matter what you're buying.
How to Buy a Bike On eBay [YouTube]