If you’re looking for a new bike to ride, the internet makes it easy to purchase one just by looking at a couple of pictures and chatting with the seller. But not everything is authentic online, so you should know how to check if a bike is stolen.
Whether the price seems too good to be true or the seller is acting weird, you might wonder whether the bike is stolen or if it belongs to the seller. It’s normal to think of this because hundreds of thousands of bikes are stolen yearly. Most of the bikes are sold for profit. Let’s learn more about how to check if a bike is stolen.
When learning how to check if a used bike is stolen, you should look out for some red flags. If you own a bike and want to prevent it from being stolen, you can use the Sportneer Bicycle Chain Lock, as users online find it good.
A solid way to determine if a bike is stolen is to check the serial number and search for it in a bike registry database. Bike Index Trusted Source Bike Index - Bike registration that works The best bike registry: Simple, secure and free. bikeindex.org is a popular online service where you can search for bikes.
But here are some red flags that you should keep in mind.
If the bike’s price is too low, it’s most likely stolen. You might feel lucky that you came across a good deal, but if the bike is being sold for a very low price, then the seller is either scamming you or it was stolen. Thieves sell their bikes very quickly to get rid of them as soon as possible. Sometimes, the price might be unreasonably high as the seller tries to get much out of the bike.
Another method how to check to see if a bike is stolen is if the seller doesn’t post any photos. You need to check photos of the bike before you buy it, but if it’s stolen, some thieves won’t feel comfortable posting the pictures. This is especially since the real owner of the bike might see it online.
Suspicious bikes online usually require you to buy them very quickly. To get the bike off their hands faster, thieves try to sell it cheaply. If you see an ad online that says, ‘Must buy today!’ you should avoid it.
An ad selling a bike with very few details is also suspicious. You should check if the seller wrote a short description. Stolen bikes usually have a description like, ‘Dirt bike for sale, $200, must sell today.’ This is a sign that it is stolen.
Normal ads will have a lot of information and contact details that you can use if you have any questions. If the bike is authentic and has missing parts, the ad will have details. So, if you buy a bike with missing pedals, you can purchase the best pedals for gravel bikes.
Although not many people put their information online, total anonymity from the seller is a red flag. Some anonymity from the seller is expected, but people usually put their first name, phone number, email, or any other social media.
But thieves will post very little information, as short as possible. They might give you a first name but no phone number or email. This should make you suspicious. If you’re unsure about getting the bike, look for the best road bikes under $500.
If the online post looks good or you don’t notice any red flags, check the bike in person when you meet the seller. How to know if a bike is stolen? there are different ways to assess the bike before handing over money.
On how to check if a used bike is stolen, the best way is always the serial number. All bikes feature a stamped serial number that sets them apart from other bikes, so you can check for this number. Depending on the brand, the serial number can be in any spot Trusted Source Locating your Bicycle Serial Number The best chance at recovering a stolen bicycle is having a registered serial number. These numbers are used by police across the nation. dps.usc.edu .
When you get the serial number, put it into a reliable bike registry database. Most people register their bikes online and report this when they get stolen. A good example is Bike Register Trusted Source BikeChecker BikeChecker is a FREE service for people purchasing second-hand bikes who wish to check the status of a bike on the BikeRegister Database. www.bikeregister.com , which is a national database. So, if the bike is reported stolen, you can reject the sale and report it to the authorities.
You should ask the bike seller many questions before you purchase it. This doesn’t only help you put your suspicions at rest, but it also allows you to hear the bike’s history. Ask the seller questions like why they are selling, if any work has been done on it, and where they usually ride it.
If you get vague answers or they keep brushing the questions off, you should consider backing out of the deal. After purchasing the bike, you might have to change some parts, like buying the best flat pedals for road bikes.
Fully examine the bike before you purchase it. For one, the bike might be spray painted to mask the original color so that the original owner won’t recognize it. If you think the bike is spray painted, this is suspicious.
Also, the bike might be damaged. Most people lock their bikes when it’s outside, so you might notice dents or scratches on them. Ask them how the damage got there. If you own a bike and want to prevent theft, you can consider the Master Lock Bike Lock Cable, as this is a top choice based on reviews online. If the bike doesn’t look the same as the advertisement, you should be wary about buying it.
With our guide on how to check if a bike is stolen, you have all that you need to avoid getting scammed online or in person. If you’ve already bought the bike and think it’s stolen, you should report it to the police.
While it might be sad to report it because you’re now without money and a bicycle, you should consider the person that lost it. If they filed a police report, you could return it. This is all the more reason why you should learn how to check if a bike is stolen.