Beware of fake bicycle shops on the internet – this is how you can recognize them

Do you want to buy a bicycle or e-bike online? Then beware of the many fake shops. How to recognize them.

It’s getting warmer again and cycling is becoming more popular again. If you need a new bike or e-bike, you look around the internet, but there are many fake bike shops out there trying to trick consumers. The Austrian consumer advocates from Watchlist Internet are currently warning of these often very professional fake shops and are giving tips on how consumers can identify dubious providers.

The best e-bikes of 2022: trekking and mountain bikes, or are mentioned as examples of such often elaborately designed and professional-looking fake shops. Such and similar fake shops often try to attract customers with Google advertising. They promise e-bikes and bicycles at comparatively low prices, but no delivery takes place after ordering and payment.

How to recognize fake bike shops on the internet

The following tips should help to identify dubious bicycle shops on the Internet:

  • Price comparison:

    The fake shops offer the bikes at much lower prices than reputable dealers or have models on offer that are otherwise sold out. Here the price for a bike should be compared using a price comparison tool such as or If the price is too low, alarm bells should ring.

  • No advance payment:

    In the fake shops, consumers can only pay in advance, although according to the “dealer’s” terms of payment, other payment options should also be available. “The fake shop is trying to give the impression that the other payment options are not available at the moment. Technical problems with a PayPal payment also indicate fraud,” warns Watchlist Internet.

  • Simply check the seriousness of the dealer via Google:

    Consumer advocates recommend checking the seriousness of a retailer before placing an order. It is often sufficient to search Google for the name of the dealer with the addition “experience” or “fake”. Most of the time you will quickly find negative reviews this way if it is a fake shop. On the other hand, you should also be careful if there are no reviews at all for the dealer. It is also worth taking a look at the dealer’s imprint and checking the address he has given via Google.

fell in? You should do that immediately!

Consumers who have been taken in by a fake shop and have ordered a bike in advance but have not received it should act quickly. The same applies if you find out after placing your order and paying in advance that you have been taken in by a scam. Consumer advocates recommend contacting your own bank immediately. The sooner the bank is contacted, the higher the probability of getting your money back. However, the chances of success with advance payments are low.

In any case, a police report should be filed against the fake shop. In Germany, for example, you can report this via this website.

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