Launched last month, Perfecto is a bike marketplace that verifies buyers, sellers, and bicycles, essentially eradicates the potential of stolen bikes being sold as legit ones.
As bicycle commutes becomes a larger trend in cities worldwide, the market for secondhand bikes is skyrocketing. Traditional marketplaces like Craigslist are exacerbating this problem, as there is no safeguards in place to detect and stop the purchase of a stolen bike.
This problem is much bigger than most people think: over 1.5 million bikes are stolen each year, totaling over $350 million.
Here’s how Perfecto works: When first signing up, users have the option of connecting their account with Strava, a performance tracking platform for cyclists. They can then create a bike listing by pulling existing bike and ride history from their Strava account.
This allows potential buyers to see how long the owner has had the bike, where they have ridden it, and even how many miles it has traveled…essentially making the platform a Carfax for bikes.
Perfecto also asks sellers to include their bike’s serial number, which they check against databases of stolen bikes. The platform also includes more traditional verification methods like buyer and seller ratings and buyer-seller chats.
Rob Lawson, founder of Perfecto, explained that by using integrations like Strava and stolen bike databases, the company hopes to create a smart marketplace that eliminates stolen bikes.
The rise of bicycle commuting plus new technology coming to bikes is resulting in more and more expensive bikes entering the market each year. If this trend continues, expect smart, focused marketplaces like Perfecto to continue growing, and eventually replace generalized sites like Craigslist and eBay.