Standard protocols for buying a bike?

Hi guys,

With the help of this great forum, I think I will be ready to buy my first moped soon. However I want to buy it off of someone on this forum because It will make me feel more comfortable than buying it off of some person off CL.

If/when I buy my moped off of this forum, what are the standard shipping/payment protocols? I will most likely get it shipped here since I am in california. I have a paypal, but do I pay upfront, or what?


Re: Standard protocols for buying a bike?

I'd really recommend buying your first bike locally so you can test drive it and look it over real well.

Some people aren't willing to ship and some are, so you better check on that first. The two main ways to ship a moped are disassembled and shipped through a ground carrier, or through something like USHIP. Make sure your able to put it together if you receive it disassembled. A seller typically isn't going to do anything until they've received payment. One tip I can offer is to search the sellers forum user name or their email through the forum and Google. This way you can see if anyone has any problems with the seller. There really are no guarantee's so stay vigilant and avoid any potential scammers. One last thing, pay as little as possible. You don't want to end up with a sorry pile of junk that looked ok in the pictures. You don't want to have more money into it than you can sell it for.

Re: Standard protocols for buying a bike?

Hi Leon, and welcome. I would recommend buying mopeds in person if it's practical to do so, and here are my reasons:

1) If this is your first moped ever, then reassembling it from its shipped state is going to be pretty daunting.

2) There are no issues of Paypal/shipping screwups or scams.

3) You can see the moped, feel it, touch it, ride it, before you even buy it, and make sure that it's right for you.

According to your profile, you're in Palo Alto. I would highly recommend paying a visit to 1977 Mopeds in SF if you haven't already. They'll be able to answer any questions you have and they'll have plenty of mopeds for you to try riding.

I would recommend either a Puch or a Tomos.

If you're still set on buying from here then make sure to check up on the person's reputation; have they been on MA for a long time? Have they sold other mopeds before? Etc. Apart from that it's up to you and the seller to arrange payment. Generally it's pay first, then receive moped.

Re: Standard protocols for buying a bike?

i sold one to some one in cali while i was in MI total pain in the but on both our parts i don't think he minded and neither did I. but i hated knowing that if some thing went wrong i could do nothing to make it right. if he couldn't put it back together what was i suppose to do?

Re: Standard protocols for buying a bike?

people on here know what hey got. people on CL will sell you KILLER bikes on the low low. this is what i do:

1) find out year, make, model, and engine.

2) make post about it on moped

3) go see the bike.

4) if it's running, ride it. allow it to warm up them see how fast it will go. listen to it, check brakes, tires, jankyness. if it souds like a can of scissors it ain't gonna be running long.

5) if it's dead (like most bikes i have come accross) them the haggling begins. try to turn the motor. it should spin and make a chuggy motor sound. if it's all locked up this can actually be good. you say "this motor appears to be seized." and they say something like "uh it ran fine when my grandmother rode it 15 years ago." this will allow you do be like "how about a little less loot." and sometimes (a lot) they are just stuck. make sure the bike is in some condition near fixable. look for rusty tank. look for bent wheels, missing parts, carburator? constantly whittling away at the price.

6) if the motor turns check for spark. read about this in your new best friend, the wiki. see if the lights work.

7) just be weird. when i go to get stuff i'll be all like "uhhhhhh.....hmmm.......weeeeeellll..........and this welllll,,,,hmmmm....gonna need a new one of these......ahhhh, and this looks broken." smell like whiskey. wear weird glasses. your that guy from the swamp that needs a moped.

8) if you like in a state that requires paper work make sure that's ok. if not at least get a bill of sale so if it comes up stolen your not liable.

9) buy it, or not.

10) make a post about it on MA.

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