It’s dawn on sunday morn’ and you’re awakened by a loud knock on the door. Seeing a uniformed Peace Officer on the other side of the door, you check your ‘jammies for full coverage and open it. The officer explains that there’s a crashed motorcycle out front, and they’re asking the neighbors if they’d perhaps seen the missing rider(s).

You say no, and quickly throw on some shoes to inspect the two wheeled carnage. It looks vaguely like the bike you bought on eBay weeks ago that still hasn’t been delivered by the low bidder from uShip. But the bike you bought was pristine… What happened? You explain everything to the officers, and being that they know you to be a relatively solid citizen, they don’t cuff you… ‘Cause the bike lists as stolen!

Then the paper carrier returns from his route and informs all concerned that he saw the bike literally pushed off a beat up trailer pulled by a ratty SUV a couple hours ago. Gee, the low bidder for the load on uShip promised to haul it with an enclosed van with a tail lift, even had pictures of it on his page.

The tow truck driver hauls the beat up bike off to the impound lot, and you commiserate by surfing ebay some more. Gee… The guy who sold you the bike is nowhere to be found. Next day the police call and inform you that the insurance company already paid the theft claim and doesn’t want the bike, It’s yours if you want it. You pay the tow bill and haul it home.

Cursory examination of the sorry specimen reveal a number of missing parts as well as evidence of it having traveled down the road on parts other than it’s wheels. So you go back online to eBay to shop for the missing parts… gee, this guys got exactly the parts you need, and in the same color!

What can I say… We never learn!

Over the years I’ve heard the same stories hundreds of times- Crooked eBay sellers using photos they smirfed off someone else’s page of a clean and complete bike or car when the one they’re selling is an incomplete wreck, cosmetic and otherwise. Then there’s the problem of getting your “prize” hauled halfway across the country… Legit trucker’s don’t work for free, and if it’s a car or even a bike and sidecar the cost of shipping is often more than your new “prize” is worth, even if it was as described.

So you go to uShip and a handful of “truckers” bid on your haul. A couple seem way high… That’s because they’re legit truckers with proper insurance, operating authority, and equipment for the job. You go with the low bid, seems like an OK guy with pictures of “his” truck on his page. But many of the “truckers” on uShip are weekend moonlighters or unemployed/unemployable guys with a pickup and a cheap trailer racing to stay one step ahead of the repo man or run 2000 miles between quittin’ time friday afternoon and startin’ time monday morning. Took weeks to get your bike “delivered” because your “trucker” was waiting for more loads on the same route to fill out his overloaded trailer. Then he found a better paying load and subbed your haul to his buddy from the bar…

OK, it’s fine to surf eBay for amusement, but when it’s time to buy go to craigslist.com . And no need to procure your dream machine from the opposite coast- A search of craigslist.com for sidecars, Buells, and BMW motorcycles within a day’s round trip of my rural retreat found over a dozen of each. You find the machine you want, inspect the merchandise and meet the P.O., and haul home happy… What’s not to like!

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