How to avoid being swindled for a knock-off bicycle

Bicycle experts are providing tips and tricks how to protect themselves from buying a stolen bike.

Cycling experts are providing tips and tricks on how people can protect themselves from buying a stolen bike. - Credit: Getty Images/Purestock/Andrew Lally

With the summer weather beginning to beam down on the folks of the Fine City, more people are looking to pull out the bicycle for a trip.

However this comes at a cost to cyclists who have their bikes nicked - only to appear for sale just a few days later.

So how can the public make sure they're not buying a knock-off set of wheels?

Andrew Lally, head of digital marketing at Cycling Revolution, said: "The big one is proof of ownership.

Andrew Lally, head of digital marketing, at Cycling Revolution.

Andrew Lally, head of digital marketing, at Cycling Revolution. - Credit: Andrew Lally

"Of course an original receipt is the ideal proof but if the owner has genuinely misplaced it there are other sources.

"Perhaps they have an email confirmation of the purchase or other relevant correspondence.

"Failing that a couple of photos showing the bike in different locations to prove that they have owned it for a period of time should help.

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"Also check the price - look around and find out the going price for that particular bike.

"Look at the description - is it lacking in detail? Does it contain any of the information you need to make an informed decision?

"Just remember - if it’s too good to be true, you’re probably right.

"Whatever platform you’re on look at ways to check the seller’s back story.

"Look at their selling history and check their feedback.

"You could even resort to Googling the seller’s username - maybe it’ll crop up on a forum somewhere.

"If you want to be totally sure be prepared to put some time into your research."

Nabil Ghanem, store manager at Evans Cycles, in Norwich.

Nabil Ghanem, store manager at Evans Cycles, in Norwich. - Credit: Nabil Ghanem

Nabil Ghanem, store manager at Evans Cycles in Norwich, said: "Usually people are looking for the cheapest bike possible and don't really pay attention to the quality.

"But there's plenty that can be done to protect yourself.

"You can ask the seller for evidence of the service history or maintenance history.

Evans Cycles in Westlegate, Norwich

Evans Cycles in Westlegate, Norwich - Credit: Maya Derrick

 

"Every bike should have a frame number on the bike - get that and you can put it through on www.bikeregister.com/bike-checker.

"If possible try and get the receipt from the seller when they purchased it.

"This is probably the most important thing and best way to make sure it's been purchased legitimately."

What the cops say

Norfolk Police have some tips and tricks for purchasing a bicycle online and what the public can do to help protect themselves as best they can.

• If the price seems too good to be true it probably is - so be very suspicious. 

• Meet the seller at their home or work address if possible and don't hand over any money until you're 100pc certain.

• Never buy from someone that approaches you in the street - there's a chance they are looking to get rid of it quickly.

• Check that the seller knows details about the bike including any security markings

• Check for security markings using a UV pen which can be purchased from any online retailer.

• Look at sites like www.checkmend.com prior to purchase to ensure the bike is not registered stolen.