How NOT to buy a stolen bike online

One of the most common things I deal with here at the Bike Index is the wildly problematic area of online bike sales.

Every day I field situations like:

1) A bike theft victim has found their stolen bike for sale online, and needs help and advice on how to get it back.

2) A buyer is looking at a specific bike for sale online, and wants tips to making sure the bike they are looking at isn't stolen.

3) Someone bought a bike from a seller online, took it home, and ran its serial on Bike Index – only to discover it was stolen.

While this gets a little tiring, the good news is this: We've built up a pretty good playbook when it comes to advising people on these situations. And so many people asked us for these tips that we wanted to codify them into something awesome. So we did :)

I've been working with Aubree Holliman, a Portland-based graphic designer and proprietor of Ah-Ha Creative to bring you this a new Bike Index field guide: How Not To Buy a Stolen Bike in Four Easy Steps

This guide codifies our advice, and shows you some easy steps such as:

1) Check the ad - how to spot red flags in online ads

2) Check the seller - how to vet a seller before meeting up

3) Check the serial - how to check a bike's serial - before you buy - to see if it is stolen

4) Check the bike - how to spot red flags that often signal a bike is stolen

This easy to follow, simplified guide is our new go-to when people ask us for advice, and we hope you'll share it far and wide.

Thanks to Aubree for her amazing work, and be sure to check out Ah-Ha Creative!

Here's our new guide, in glorious PDF format, and thanks for reading!