November 16, 2015


BTB has both offered tips for vetting Craigslist sellers and passed along the Bike Index field guide How Not To Buy a Stolen Bike in Four Easy Steps. So it's only fitting that you read here about the latest effort to enable cyclists to purchase pre-owned rides without worrying that they're financing a criminal enterprise.

Called—aspirationally, we must assume—Perfecto, the brainchild of L.A. tech entrepreneur Rob Lawson bills itself as a "trusted marketplace for used bikes." It's a website where cycling enthusiasts can "buy or sell a bike, safe in the knowledge that it isn't stolen."

"Unlike ebay, craigslist or other listings sites," the venture's About page reads, "Perfecto is made by cyclists, for cyclists and we don’t tolerate stolen bikes."

Perfecto wants to build trust between buyers and sellers, and has implemented several ways of doing so. Users must create an account, and they are encouraged to log in through Facebook or Strava. Would-be buyers and sellers can chat on Perfecto. And after a transaction has been concluded, each party has the opportunity to rate the other. 

Perfecto also encourages bike sellers to include serial numbers with their listings. This actually surprised me. Why not make divulging a bike's serial number a requirement of hawking it on the site? (It has been almost a year since Project 529 sent the CEOs of Craiglist and eBay the names of 51,203 cyclists who wanted the online sellers to require serial numbers on bike listings. I'll have to look into what, if anything, came of that.) 

The ads I perused on Perfecto did seem to have more detail—and less sketch—than many a Craigslist posting, though, so it's a step in the right direction. If you're on the market for a used bike, check it out.

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