The other day I was browsing Facebook's marketplace and came across an add for a wheelset. The seller is in Mitchells Plain and he's selling quite a lot of bike parts (XX1 12 speed cassette, Shimano Brakes, etc).
I enquired and asked whether he bought the items new. I was told that he bought it from someone 2nd hand. Now I know this game - you buy things at a bargain and sell it for a profit. But to be able to sell bike parts at a profit at these prices you have to buy it for next to nothing.
Thing is, I then got suspicious, looked int he stolen bikes section and found a Giant stolen a few years back with the same wheelset. It's a relatively unique wheelset and might be a total coincidence..I asked to meet up and didn't hear a word back from the guy which was then also very weird. I also noticed the same seller selling on our Classifieds but here the wheelset was marked as sold and he explicitly told me that it's still available.
We know the drill - bikes get stolen and it has become increasingly difficult to then sell said bike. It seems the new thing is to strip it for spares and sell it to a chain of people with those same parts then ending up here.
There are similar sellers/adds here on our classifieds and I suspect a lot of these items must be stolen:
- Lots of spelling mistakes on adds for very expensive/scarce bike parts.
- Seller locations in Cape Town's dodgy neighbourhoods (for expensive bike parts this is very unusual).
- Relatively new profiles that are selling a range of bike parts.
A combination of the above is highly unlikely and raises questions. Question is, how the heck do we keep the classifieds free from parts that could have been stolen from its members in the first place.