A week or two ago, I did the unthinkable: I bought a bike through eBay, more specifically a 2006 Cannondale hardtail with a headshock. I paid about $550. Then I left on vacation for a week. Just yesterday, the bike arrived via Fedex. When I opened the box, the first thing that caught my attention was a splotch of silver where there should’ve been blue. Here, take a look:
Of course, I did what any rational eBayer would do: I sent a scathing email asking why the guy didn’t tell me about the dent (and, yes, it’s dented, not just scratched). He responded that there was no dent when he sent it. After going back and forth with him and doing some additional research, I realized he wasn’t lying. The dent appears to have been caused by incorrect packing, i.e. a skewer was placed against the tube, and the box probably got dropped on the skewer a few times in transit.
So now, he’s asking me what I think a proper price is for a damaged bike. I’m hoping Fedex will offer to ship it back for free (and refund him for his shipping), but if that doesn’t happen, I need to give him a price. So what do you think? What’s a proper price for this thing? How much does that dent reduce the price from $550? Does it even look rideable? If the frame’s dented, is it even safe? I appreciate any input you can give.