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LBS, EBay, AliExpress, Craigslist, Marketplace

Old 05-26-23, 05:25 PM
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scrandalla
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LBS, EBay, AliExpress, Craigslist, Marketplace

Where do you shop the most for bicycling accessories or parts? What kind of experience have you had with any of the Vendors listed in the title? Please be kind.
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Old 05-26-23, 05:42 PM
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For me it depends. I usually look at the local Craigslist for things I want ("want" is the operative word, I rarely find things I "need" on Craigslist) this ranges from bikes, to parts bikes, to wheels all to have a "stash" of parts for a build. I use eBay for a specific C&V part I may need for a build. For consumables I will usually use one of the online retailers. With the online retailers I comparison shop and generally use the US retailers, but have also ordered internationally when the prices were better. I used to also frequent my favorite LBS (Cupertino Bikes), they also had a C&V expert and C&V parts, but they shutdown.
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Old 05-26-23, 07:31 PM
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I Despise FB marketplace. DESPISE! The algo seems deliberately programmed to not show what what one is specifically searching for. The alerts seem pretty useless. But (at least where I am...) it has become the only game in town. Nobody uses Craigslist anymore- but that means it's worth regularly checking, as that's where the deals are found when people who aren't particularly tech savvy/sales savvy are cleaning out a garage.
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Old 05-26-23, 09:37 PM
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True.

Originally Posted by ehcoplex
I Despise FB marketplace. DESPISE! The algo seems deliberately programmed to not show what what one is specifically searching for. The alerts seem pretty useless. But (at least where I am...) it has become the only game in town. Nobody uses Craigslist anymore- but that means it's worth regularly checking, as that's where the deals are found when people who aren't particularly tech savvy/sales savvy are cleaning out a garage.

Lol. So true about FB Marketplace. Itís the only game in my area too. I just found a 1986 Bianchi there for $25 and I only had to drive 20 miles. So as frustrating as it is there are deals to be had.
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Old 05-26-23, 10:27 PM
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Ebay first, and then Craigslist and FB. I've had some luck on Offerup as well.
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Old 05-26-23, 11:10 PM
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I use mostly eBay to look for vintage components. For tires, I buy from whatever reputable website has the best price. Lately that's been Bike Closet. For most other new parts I buy from Universal Cycles, partly because they have almost everything in stock but also because they have a storefront a few miles from my house where I can pick things up.

AliExpress kind of scares me with how cheap their stuff is. I did buy a set of $6 handlebars from them, just to see how they'd be. The finish and shape was a bit rougher than you'd get with mainstream brands, but the bar seems solid enough. I still feel more comfortable trusting things like bar tape from them.
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Old 05-26-23, 11:20 PM
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You didn't mention the C&V sales forum. You can find some very fair deals there.
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Old 05-27-23, 01:08 AM
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Originally Posted by scrandalla
LBS, EBay, AliExpress, Craigslist, Marketplace
Each source is different. An LBS can be good for an emergency need, although at times I've been disappointed with their selection.

EBay is good for those obscure parts that you won't find elsewhere.

I rarely hunt for bike parts on AliExpress. But, perhaps one might look for some kind of generic parts like odd sized CNC stems, or CNC made aluminum jockey wheels.

Craigslist can be good for some of the most bizarre purchases. Usually vintage bikes or frames one didn't even know what one was looking for. Overall I think of unique stuff, but not when one has a very specific target. Or, sometimes low value stuff like a commuter bike or frame.

I've never really gotten into Facebook Marketplace.

I do purchase through online searches too. In the past I was going to various UK parts outlets until several companies tried to shut down international competition for their products.
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Old 05-27-23, 01:37 AM
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Almost every complete bike I own came from Craigslist. My favorite by far. It's less useful for bike parts, but it's good for all sorts of other stuff too. I have a house full of 1930s-1940s art deco furniture that all came from Craigslist. I'm lucky to be in a great craigslist market, not everywhere is like that I'm sure.

I've bought lots of parts on eBay. As a buyer it's pretty good and it's often the only place to find a given item without waiting for months or years for it to show up on the sales page here. As a seller it's a pain and I hate it.

I have a handful of online retailers that I use regularly for consumables and the odd new part. Jensen, Planet Cyclery, Northwest Bike.

I love my LBS (Recycled Cycles in Seattle) and I try to buy something there every time I go.

I actually have a carbon seat post (not CV lol) from Ali Express, it has held up fine and survived the STP double century.

I don't deal with FB marketplace or use any Meta/FB services, ick.
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Old 05-27-23, 07:44 AM
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I use LBS for clothes so I can try them on. Worth it to pay a little more and this particular shop knows what they are doing
I use EBay for vintage components (Shimano 600 drivetrain, freewheels), you may pay a lot but finding NOS is like that
Another LBS is the nearby REI who carry maintenance items for good prices-linear footage of cable housing, individual cables, tubes, individual spoke nipples
On line I use Jenson, Performance and Bike tires direct-being in So Cal means I get items in one day.
I have used Amazon but not so much since my last Shimano 11 sp chain developed side plate cracks. I probably caused the imbrittlement but prefer to go to bike specialty sources now
Craig's is where I got both my vintage frames (Viner, Benotto) You take a risk (are all threaded areas OK?) but it worked out. I have bought small items too, handlebar, stem. I would tend to not get CF items due to unknown history

I used to sell on Craig's when I was riding MTBs but it is not the same these days. Too many scammers

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Old 05-27-23, 09:46 AM
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LBS if I can find what I want, online specialty shops next, used stuff C&V Market place craigslist or or ebay but that is rare. Never Ali express

I spent 2 years getting parts for a recent build this is my sourced list

MIkes Bikes LBS
Colorado cyclist (before they changed ownership)
Velomine
REI
rivendell
rene herse
bike24
ciclo corsa
king cage
berthoud
biketiresdirect
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Old 05-27-23, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by scrandalla
Where do you shop the most for bicycling accessories or parts? What kind of experience have you had with any of the Vendors listed in the title? Please be kind.
Yes to all, and you get what you ordered if you take care.
I shop prices. I default to my LBS because a good portion of the time their prices are competitive with internet prices, even cheaper on some things.
For specific unusual items, the bay of E. Look at seller feedback and especially on how they respond to neutral or negative feedback. Slow shipping is the least of what I look for. Careful of counterfeits
Amazon is fairly safe seller wise, but careful of counterfeit items both here and on ebay.
REI coop!, free stuff and shipping benefits!
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Old 05-27-23, 11:00 AM
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For vintage parts, I always find the most on eBay.
Sometimes I get lucky on craigslist or marketplace, but it usually means driving a fair distance.
One of my recent nice scores on FB Marketplace involved some unused '71 Nuovo Record brakes.
The seller did not bother trying to clean. I spent thirty minutes and ended up with a brand new pair for $140, shipped.
P.S. Looking closer at my photo, these may not be the brakes. They look nicer than these!

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Old 05-27-23, 11:28 AM
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I have purchased a few bikes advertised on Craigslist where I could drive to fetch.
none were “deals”, but the chance to find another was slim.
‘Have used the BF C&V for sale forum.

ebay, but not much lately.
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Old 05-27-23, 09:44 PM
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Offer Up: had terrible luck with people not following through or not showing up. This also where I see the most suspect merchandise that I fear is stolen.
FB Marketplace: the search function is bizarre to the point of being almost useless. Things here are often only listed here, not on CL or Offer Up. Found some good deals there, but had a few terrible experiences with people who may have been trying to extract personal info
Craigslist: in my area, most of the bike stuff is here. Many great deals and good experiences.

Ebay used: lots of stuff bought, many things sold. selling on ebay is no longer feasible. Still the go-to for purchasing rare items or specific items.

I really try to support my LBS for new things, but sometimes they look at me like I am crazy when I bring in the vintage stuff or request things for old bikes. They seem exasperated and just want to deal with flat black carbon fiber things. I end up on Amazon sometimes and feel sad about it. I probably buy most of the new items from Ebay
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Old 05-27-23, 10:45 PM
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I try not to look at Craigslist or other such sources because I really don't need any more bikes.

For stuff that I need to buy new, I have had pretty good luck with Performance Bike. They don't have everything, but they sometimes have good tires, shoes, etc. on sale. Their shipping is free over $100 and is usually fast and reliable. .

A site that seems to have nearly everything at surprisingly cheap prices is Carson City Bike Shop. Their user interface is terrible and their shipping costs are tiered in an unusual way, so it takes some getting used to, but you can get deals on tires, spokes, and many other things that sometimes need to be bought in bulk.
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Old 05-28-23, 02:18 AM
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Mmmm....

I've bought cycling boots off of E-Bay. I like some of the Shimano Neoprene boots.

I keep an eye out for other cycling shoes at thrift stores. Sometimes one can also pick up a sweet bicycle deal at the thrift stores too.
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Old 05-28-23, 04:36 AM
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Where do I buy
Facebook marketplace - expanding range to 500 miles
Craigslist - including national searches
Ebay
Goodwill - usually local pick up only

Generally my best deals have come buying full bicycles that have a damaged or distressed frames for parts or a higher end group on a low end frame or getting lucky on a facebook post, being first to reply. When I am having bicycles/frames mailed to me, I do try to vet the seller, use Paypal G&S only (no direct cash payment without protection on high end items and I do offer to cover the G&S fee). Also, take time to discuss packing on bicycles & frames. This is based on bad experiences in the past.
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Old 05-28-23, 07:50 AM
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I am just getting back into working on bikes, and have resolved to buy as much as possible (tires and other consumables, tools, etc) from my LBS even if it's more expensive than online. There are a couple of shops I really like in Chicago, even walking distance from my house, and I want to support them.
FB Marketplace is a horror show, though you can find things, like my score of a $20 Bridgestone BB-1 the other day, but there are also specialized FS/Trade groups there. I'm buying some vintage Deore MTB pedals I saw on a mountain bike trading group, for example.
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Old 05-28-23, 07:56 AM
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I use Facebook a lot. For consumables I use my local co-op as they are really cheap. For most substantial new parts I use my local bike shop where my son works.
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Old 05-28-23, 08:11 AM
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In general order of frequency;

- FB marketplace
​​​​- OfferUp
​​​​​​- Universal Cycles which is basically my LBS. I pass a Trek store to get there but itís still close.
- BF C&V sellers
- A co-op close to work
- eBay. I most commonly use it for consumables (bearings, cabling, etc.) and for obtuse stuff.
- Amazon for basic new stuff (i.e. Altus derailleurs, MTB grips)

Iíve never used AliExpress.
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Old 05-28-23, 03:53 PM
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I found a 6207 rear hub on eBay the other day I needed. I'm really glad it was in perfect condition.



Before that, it had been maybe five years since I bought anything used or vintage from the auction site. I usually go there just for new stuff (cables, housing, bearings, etc.), because it's so less expensive than anywhere else.

If I need a vintage component that I can't find in the used bin at my lbs or easily on craigs, I'll check our c&v ISO thread. Usually one of you has it available ... which is nice.
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Old 05-28-23, 04:49 PM
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Mostly, I look in my basement. I never quite know what I'll find there!
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Old 05-28-23, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
Mostly, I look in my basement. I never quite know what I'll find there!
Ain't that the truth. Except I usually buy something and then find I had it in my stash.

For tires, chain reaction cycles.
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Old 05-28-23, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc
Ain't that the truth. Except I usually buy something and then find I had it in my stash.

For tires, chain reaction cycles.
Just bought tires today, near my vacation home, there was a local shop that the Big S bike brand bought, inventory was up but not the 28c Cotton turbos I wanted, did have 26c though and a number of others.
Went next to the local REI, 25% off sale on most tires, sold. Left happy.
For my son’s bike, the Continental was showing a diagonal bulge… time to go.
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