Author Topic: Tips on Selling a Motorcycle?  (Read 8495 times)

Daughter_of_Hybrid

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Tips on Selling a Motorcycle?
« on: June 23, 2013, 08:02:16 AM »
Hi Everyone!

I'm daughter of Hybrid (a frequent flyer on here).  My Dad told me about MMM and I've been browsing for a while now and joined the forums a few days ago, but this is my first post.  First of all, let me say that I love this place!  I cannot remember the last time I was so excited and determined with a life goal!  Onto the topic at hand...

My SO and I live together and whereas I am the frugal saver he is the lofty spender.  Much to my amazement, SO has recently made the definitive decision to sell his motorcycle.  As he told me, he loves riding motorcycles but he doesn't love the motorcycle he has - it's too big for him.  Even more to my amazement, he's not going to use the money to invest in a new motorcycle - he's going to throw the money at his debts (a loan from me and a credit card). 

So here are the details, does anyone have any advice on how to get the most for his bike, where to sell it, how to sell it, etc.?  Any tips and advice would be much appreciated!

The bike is a 2005 Suzuki Katana (600cc).  He bought it used from his cousin for $700 and put about $300 worth of repairs into it (it wasn't running at the time).  The bike has some rust and wear and tear damage (it's been dropped a few times at 0 or near 0 mph) but overall is in very good running shape (and I'd say good to fair shape on the KBB scale for appearance/outerwear).  He's hoping to get between $1200 and $1500 for it.

Thanks!

clutchy

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Re: Tips on Selling a Motorcycle?
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2013, 04:47:48 PM »
shine it up and then list it on craigslist. 

be honest about the condition and make it obvious that the price you're asking already factors in the problems you mentioned.

with gas prices the way they are I'm sure someone will want a comfortable thrifty commuter moto.

Khan

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Re: Tips on Selling a Motorcycle?
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2013, 02:37:39 AM »
Criagslist, and CycleTrader. I don't have any experience with either, but those are your best bets.

Matt K

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Re: Tips on Selling a Motorcycle?
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2013, 08:25:40 AM »
+1 To craigslist, and kijiji if it is popular around your place, or Used<city>. I'd avoid Cycletrader if they require you to pay for an add (they used to, not sure if they still do. I put an add in my Cycletrader and had the bike sold on Kijiji before the ad ever went up - I never got a call through CycleTrader, so money wasted).

To sell the bike quickly: Give it a real good cleaning, including a wax (on a motorcycle, this takes almost no time, they are much smaller than cars). Take photos of it on a sunny day. Make sure you get some pretty pictures of it (as little in the background as possible, the focus is on the bike), one of the dash showing the odometer, and some close ups of any damage or wear. In the write up list what is new on it, and what still needs work (scraped fairings, etc).

Also, advertise the Katana as what it is - a comfortable sport touring bike, not a race replica. Doing that will attract more of the the guys who want a fast comfortable bike, and fewer kids unable to pay what you want.

Basically, make the ad as professional and honest as possible, and you'll attract buyers fitting that description.

Nate_D

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Re: Tips on Selling a Motorcycle?
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2013, 01:59:25 PM »
Anyone have any suggestions for handling requests for test rides? I have a Yamaha V-Star 1300 Tourer (mid-size touring cruiser) that I'm hoping to sell soon. I'd prefer to sell on craigslist to get the highest market price, but various worst-case-scenarios keep flashing through my mind. The buyer wrecking the bike and injuring him/herself during a test ride is a major one.

I've done some searching for advice online and I've seen everything from "no test rides...period" to "trust your gut" to "test rides are fine as long as they pay cash in full beforehand". The last one seems to be the most popular, but I wonder how this plays out in reality. Even if the buyer hands over the cash before the test ride, has ownership of the bike really changed hands according to the law? What happens if the buyer wrecks the bike while I still technically own it, even if cash has changed hands? Sounds like a total mess to me.

What do you guys think?

Matt K

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Re: Tips on Selling a Motorcycle?
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2013, 07:32:18 AM »
As a buyer, I expect a test ride, especially for an old bike. It'll show things that aren't obvious when inspecting/running the bike in a drive way.

As a seller, I'm of the trust-your-gut type. If someone shows up in a car with a half-helmet wanting to test ride, no way. If they show up on a bike in full riding gear, be my guest. If someone wants to test ride my bike, I pretty much tell them that up front. If someone wants to test drive my manual transmission car, they better arrive in a manual transmission car.

One thing I do for any bike sale or purchase, is have a written contract we both sign. Usually because I pay a deposit and take the bike to a mechanic to be inspected (this is all alid out in the hand written contract). If someone insisted on taking a test drive and my gut was on the fence, I'd write that up in advance with a you-damage-it-you-buy-it clause, take a photo of his license, and him on the bike (so if the bike is dropped I have proof of what it looked like immediately before he set off). If the bike is totalled, I wouldn't care about insurance, since he'd owe me the full amount agreed upon. Its up to him to fight it out with his insurance.

But really, that's getting pretty far down the rabbit hole. My experience buying and selling my own bikes (and cars) and being around my Dad buying and selling his has been pretty good. I think we've had two sketchy characters show up between the both of us (lots of sketchy e-mails form kijiji though).

Daughter_of_Hybrid

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Re: Tips on Selling a Motorcycle?
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2013, 09:59:53 AM »
Thanks for all the advice, everyone!  I too was wondering about test drives.  SO had been adament about no test drives, but I worried about his ability to sell the bike for a fair price without allowing for test drives.  I really like Matt K's policy of "you want to test drive the bike, you show up on a bike in full gear".

I will definitely pass along all of the craig's list photo, details and shining up the bike tips to SO.  Thanks again!

Spork

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Re: Tips on Selling a Motorcycle?
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2013, 10:05:18 AM »
As a seller, I'm of the trust-your-gut type. If someone shows up in a car with a half-helmet wanting to test ride, no way. If they show up on a bike in full riding gear, be my guest. If someone wants to test ride my bike, I pretty much tell them that up front. If someone wants to test drive my manual transmission car, they better arrive in a manual transmission car.

I can see the former (arrive on a bike) ... but not the latter (manual car).   At least with a car, you can go along for the ride.  If they're an idiot, you can stop the ride 10 seconds in and let them know "this ain't gonna work."

Matt K

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Re: Tips on Selling a Motorcycle?
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2013, 10:24:20 AM »
I can see the former (arrive on a bike) ... but not the latter (manual car).   At least with a car, you can go along for the ride.  If they're an idiot, you can stop the ride 10 seconds in and let them know "this ain't gonna work."

You're right. In a car it is a fairly easy situation to deal with. Still, it's a policy that has worked well for me.

clutchy

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Re: Tips on Selling a Motorcycle?
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2013, 07:05:44 PM »
sure you can test ride it... as soon as you hand me the asking price in cash... 

I've never done test rides.  I will ride the bike around with someone on it.. but it's just too risky to let someone else ride your moto.  The skillset of motorcyclists varies widely.

Rollin

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Re: Tips on Selling a Motorcycle?
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2013, 07:29:58 PM »
Not sure what the best and most used forum for that bike is, but you can go there and post in their classifieds.  I just sold my Ducati through a forum (to a guy in Iowa and I'm in Florida).  It was Advrider.com.  Funny that I had it listed on the main Ducati forum and no bites.

For that price bike though just keep renewing it on Craigslist at the same time as the forums.  Be patient and don't lower your price until you are sure that it is too high.  You'll think no one wants it and then all of the sudden you'll get interest.