Play it safe with a purchase contract

At the supermarket, you get a receipt; for house repairs, you get an invoice. And when you buy a used bike? How do you prove that the bike is officially yours?

Foto von Nils Riedemann

A purchase contract is the proof of ownership of a bicycle. Whether you buy a new bike in a bike shop or a used bike from the bike market, you will always receive a purchase contract here. But if you buy privately, for example from eBay, you probably have to take care of the contract yourself. Here we clarify some questions that often arise when it comes to sales contracts for used bicycles.

Why is the contract so important?
The contract proves that you officially bought the bike and that it is yours. Unfortunately, it can happen, especially with sellers of online platforms, that they offer stolen bikes. If you got hold of such a bike, the actual owner could demand it back from you or even file charges. After all, you ride his bike through the city, so you must have been the one who stole it, right? However, if you can provide a contract, you have all proof that you legally bought the bike. In addition, the data of the seller are on the contract. (So ​​you could forward the charges 😉)

What has to be in the contract?
First the information of the seller and buyer. Make sure all information are correct! Scammers will try to enter false names and addresses. Ask for ID to verify details. If the seller refuses to fill out the contract or show you their ID... we don't need to say anything about that.
Information about the bike also belongs in the contract. These are bike type (e.g. city bike, Dutch bike, mountain bike), brand (e.g. Gazelle, KTM, Pegasus), age and frame color.
In addition, the frame number must be entered. Unfortunately, there isn't a standardized spot on the frame where the number is stamped, so you'll have to find it. You can find the number either on the handlebar head, on the seat post, on the frame or on the underside of the bottom bracket. The frame number has at least six digits and consists of numbers and letters.
In addition to the frame number, there can also be a code number. Bicycles can be coded and registered with the police free of charge. With the number, the bike can be assigned to the owner.
Accessories such as the bicycle basket, bell, bags, attached air pumps, etc. must of course also be included in the contract. It is better to document too much than too little.
Finally, flaws. Feel free to write down everything from small dents and scrapes to a bent basket.

What about the previous owner's code number?
Sales contracts are particularly important for coded bicycles. This is how you prove that you bought the coded bike and that it is now yours. If you want, you can re-code the bike, or remove the old code. If the code is still running via the previous owner, the current owner can also be found using the old code.

What does the frame number do?
If you report your bike stolen, you must (should) also provide the frame number. If your bike turns up again, the police can then assign it to you. However, it is faster and safer if you have the bike coded. Because some bicycle manufacturers use the same frame number for complete batches, for example.

What do I have to consider besides the contract?
Be sure to test ride the bike! Test to make sure it drives straight, is well balanced, brakes and lights work. Handlebars and wheels must not be bent, which indicates a fall and impairs driving safety. Also check the chain to make sure it is well oiled and runs smoothly. The frame must not be damaged - apart from small scratches and normal signs of wear. If you are unsure, better keep your hands off it. Maybe a friend will come with you who knows a little more about bikes and would be happy to help you

How ​​much is the bike worth?
There is a rule of thumb: When you buy a new bike, it loses 20% in value. After two years, the value is 50% and continues to be halved every 4 years. Then the condition of the bike comes into play. So if you know the new price and the age of the bike, you can determine the price and then deduct defects from it.

Where can I get a sales contract?
Here you will find a template for a German sales contract, which you can fill out directly online and can print. For legal reasons we have to inform you that we do not guarantee the contract or the sale. The purchase and sale is your private matter, for which we assume no guarantee or liability.

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