It's a common scam. There is no "eBay Vehicle Purchase Protection" escrow service. They'll have you transfer money to a fake escrow web site that looks perfectly legitimate. You'll never hear from them again.
I've been watching Kawi 250 Ninjas come and go on Craig's List the past month and an excellent one became available for $3200, about $200 less than a new one. About four more came and went all 1 to 3 years old and asking prices from $2100 to $2600. After those disappeared the $3200 one was re-offered for $3000 and may still be listed.
That is the reality of legitimate bike selling on Craig's list.
The only bargain I noticed during this time was a complete and running 1965 Tiger Cub for $1400 - a steal at that price. I inquired about it one day too late and it sold out from under me.
Simple way of figuring out if it's a scam. Offer to forget the shipping, insurance, Ebay protection, and all the other bullshyt and offer to pick it up in person and pay in cash even if you can't do it. Scammers will never get back to you.
I did this once and the guy took me up on it; I said there was no way I'm buying an 800 dollar plane ticket to look at a bike I might not buy, and he said 'lets drive and meet halfway.' He knew I wouldn't do either one though. He also said he was in MI; plain and simple scammer.
Scam, Scam, Scam. The buyer will get his money through the pay pal account, but unless you can see the bike, it's current condition, confirm vin info, etc you can almost be sure you will get screwed. Hey - he might even thank you while he's screwing you. The locations is a clue. Currently the market is flooded(no pun intended) with vehicles damaged from the huricanes and the florida location is not that far from L.A... If you really want it, tell the guy you are on your way down to see the bike with a pickup and ask that he meet with you at the location. An ounce of prevention...
One of the guys working for me just sent $4k away for a new Rhino 4-wheeler he found on e-bay. Last he heard the money was wired to Italy. A task force in NY has been in touch with him but they admitted the money is gone.
I don't have the heart to bring it up. He's a great guy and retired machinist that really can't afford the $4k.
I've only purchased one bike in 20 that was "too good to be true" (in person with cash)
Save yourself alot of heartache, lost money and purchase local or brand new from the dealer. usually if its too good to be true, it is. I've read about a few guys on 1000rr.net forums who have been taken by scams just like this: lives in one location while the bike is at another. DON'T DO IT!
"Part of me wanted to buy it but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I felt that if the deal was legit that it would be cheating the seller. I also felt that the odds of the deal being legit where slim to none."
Everyone dreams of calling that classified ad in the paper about an old Chevy only to find that it is a 65 fuelie vette that a clueless person is selling.
I found it interesting is how they prey on greed. I was thinking when I first saw the ad wow if it is in Miami I could go and check it out in person and even take it to a shop down there to check it out . I had already told the person in the ad, thanks but no thanks before I posted it here.
I posted this mainly so everyone could see what to watch out for. This seemed like a classic scam.