After buying my new bike I learned four things:
- Germans are really nice
- When a seller is nice it doesn’t mean that what he is selling is any good, even when he believes it to be
- Always test a bike on a large road and not just in a small courtyard
- Always go to a bike shop for a check-up after buying a second-hand bike
An hour before I bought this sturdy Peugeot I bought another bike from a very nice guy in Prenzlauer Berg. The bike was old and worn but seemed to be more or less okay mechanically. Yet, happy as I was with my new bike, when I was cycling home I noticed that it had a severely buckled rear wheel, something I didn’t notice while trying it in the courtyard as I couldn’t make any speed there.
“They told me literally that they had seen scrap metal which was in better shape than my bike and that any reparation would be a waste of time and money”
I went to a bicycle shop nearby to see if it could be repaired easily. They told me literally that they had seen scrap metal which was in better shape than my bike and that any reparation would be a waste of time and money. So, I went back the seller again, which was just one street away, to tell him about my findings. He responded surprisingly open-heartedly to my story and, at some point, even asked me if I wanted my money back. He said he was aware of the rules on Ebay and that he is not obliged to give a refund, but that he wanted me to have a good bike, that he didn’t know is was in such a bad shape, and that he would be disappointed too if he were me.
Before this encounter I don’t think I would have responded in the same way as he did, I would have been happy that I got rid of the bike. I realise now how selfish this is even though Ebay, or marktplaats, legitimise such reactions.