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Discussion Starter #1
There have been lots of posts regarding buying a used bike and knowing what to look for.

How about the reverse? Would anyone like to donate their knowledge on selling a used bike? Have any horror stories of the purchaser crashing the bike?
 

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I've always used Craigslist. If you're selling a Triumph usually, but not always, the buyer has done his homework. Test rides are a tricky subject. I've allowed them as have others I've bought from but you're taking a chance there. The logic is to have cash in hand before letting it go out for a ride. Then if they wreck it they own it.
 

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Both selling and buying to me are very much the same.
While I do look at the bike (car or whatever) for obvious items, what I spend more time on is interviewing the owner. Is the person a real fanatic about bikes? Does he love them or just use them as an appliance? What is his idea of careing or maintaining the bike? Where is it kept? Check things like the oil, is it clean, the chain, is it adjusted correctly, it it clean.

So if interviewing the owner works for buying, if you are selling, you are in fact selling yourself and how much you love the bike, how well you maintain it and so on. If you are enthusiastic about the bike, it will come across.

Finnally, I have always had good luck selling on Craigslist. Try to be somewhat careful about who you have come to your home to see the bike. If , when speaking with a caller, you don't get a good feeling about him, agree to meet somewhere other than your home. You don't want strangers :"casing" your home.
 

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Classified ads until I got into eBay, and now it's eBay every time. My thoughts:

  • Get the bike surgically clean. Wheels out, clean everywhere, especially the bits that don't normally see a sponge. Make it sparkle, especially around the swingarm and underneath. People will look.
  • Take lots of really good photographs, all angles, and especially of faults that you mention so buyers can see you are not hiding anything
  • Good, detailed description with a bit of history.
  • Photos of all the documentation show organisation and help to prove authenticity.
  • Service history: don't just say 'FSH' or 'fully serviced'. List each service with mileages and dates. Good solid evidence of a well-maintained bike and a conscientious owner - what everone wants to see.
  • Check spelling and grammar - as others have said, they are buying you as much as the bike, and badly-spelt, illiterate ramblings don't inspire confidence. Get someone to help if it's an issue for you.
  • Answer all questions fully and honestly. Buyers will expect a few faults on a second-hand bike, and if you are open about it they are more likely believe you are trustworthy.
  • If possible, sell it with a fresh MoT (or whatever vehicle inspection certification you have in your area) or offer to do it for the winning bidder. It shows confidence in the bike and gives the buyer one less hassle to deal with after purchase.
  • Make it clear that you will allow any reasonable inspection, including a test ride if required. (No buyer of mine has ever asked for one, but if they did I would require the full selling price in cash, in my hand, before I handed over the keys. A reasonable buyer will understand why.) That would include organisations like RAC or AA (in the UK) or Uncle Fred who lives nearby and used to have a bike in 1962. Be patient and tolerant. Nothing to hide, nothing to fear.
  • Be factual. "Starts first time every time" is more convincing than "cracking little bike".
A lot of this would apply to a classified ad or a listing on Craigslist too.
 

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Sold my Daytona on Ebay as a classified ad. Sold it within a week. bloke came to test ride it. i kept his Gixer and keys incase he decided not to come back. all was well. He paid the asking price minus a bit and left very happy.
 

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I would use Craigslist, since that's the only game in town anymore. The last used bike I bought, we met at the local High School. He had a buddy with him. No, it was his wife. Anyway it's always good to have someone with you. You can advertise "cash in hand" before you let him ride it, but let him do everything but that if he doesn't have the money with him.

Be very honest in your ad. If you're bored with the bike say it. If you have too many say it. If you're not desperate say that.

I won't even look at a bike if there's statements like "no lowballs" etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So far I've hit: this site, cycletrader, ebay classifieds, and craigslist. How long does it usually take before you get a nibble?

I bought a used beemer off a guy. He was dishonest about the mileage in the advertisement. When I got there it was obvious that it wasn't a 30k bike. More like a 70k bike if you ask me. He explained the the odos on these beasts break all of the time. :( I haggled him down on that point.
 

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There have been lots of posts regarding buying a used bike and knowing what to look for.

How about the reverse? Would anyone like to donate their knowledge on selling a used bike? Have any horror stories of the purchaser crashing the bike?
When I sell one (usually via cycletrader.com), I don't allow test rides before the sale. However, once the sale has occurred (cash has changed hands and it's documented on a bill of sale with the appropriate provisions), the potential buyer can test ride it for an hour or so. Provided he/she returns the bike from the test ride with (1) NO damage and (2) no more than 50 additional miles, the buyer can receive a full refund according to the bill of sale.

It may be a little harder to sell but well worth it.

.
 

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I'll only let seriously interested buyers have a test ride, & that's only after I've notified my insurance company.
 

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I advertised my Vstrom for sale and a buyer turned up for a test ride one night and I was a bit reluctant to let him ride off on it with no security but he was with his elderly mother and left her with me while he rode off on the bike. That was 6 months ago and at first I was REALLY p*ssed off when he didn`t bring my bike back but the old girl has settled in quite nicely in our home and we`re starting to get very fond of her.
 

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Sell two

I've only sold two bikes privately,
The first was when a neighbour walked up my driveway and said "I used to have one of those, want to sell it?" when I was washing my CBX750 one day. Since I had already bought its replacement the decision wasn't very hard.

The second one was when my wife and I needed to raise some cash and lower ongoing costs just after we bought our first house.
At the time we had one car and the two bikes, we decided that one of our two bikes had to go. Since the wife's bike was a fairly decent ride (Zephyr 750) it didn't matter which one.

So the ad read "One of these two bikes has to go". We sold the wife's bike in two days and was still getting enquiries for the pair of them for quite a while.
 

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When I sold my 955 Sprint I had videos on my ad with both the stock and aftermarket cans running. Didn't take long to sell that bike. I also posted links to reviews on the bike.
 

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I sold a dirt bike very easily using craigslist. I spelled out everything about the bike regarding new parts and service. It sold in 4 days. I did the same with my Ninja 500 but wasn't getting serious buyers. I got a ton of scammer email and low ball offers. What sold that bike is everyone I knew knew it was for sale. A friend saw someone come onto a forum that was looking for one. He put the guy in touch with me. The funny part is that I became friends with the guy who bought it. We email each other all the time. I sold that bike at the end of January after several bad snowstorms so the new owner couldn't test ride it. But, he was satisfied with the service history and how well it started.

Yes, I always clean the snot out of anything I put for sale and keep all receipts for parts and service, including receipts for oil and filters, etc. When it comes to cars and trucks I've never actually had to advertise. A friend has always bought it. They know how anal I am about maintenance.

I figure if they leave their children and mothers with me, they will come back with the vehicle. Or if they leave behind a vehicle better than the one I'm selling, I figure they will come back. If they are by themselves, I ask for cash in hand.

I once helped someone else on a forum sell his bike. I went and test rode it and took pictures for a potential buyer that was 2 hours away so he could have an independent observation of the bike and decide if it was worth his traveling to see it. He came out and bought it based on what I told him, and is still happily riding it. Also the guy selling it wasn't computer literate enough to email pics, which is why I took them. So I helped someone on a forum and someone helped me on the same forum.
 

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Be prepared for flakes, no shows, and email scam attempts using bad English from con men from far away, regardless of where you post the bike. I sold two through Craigslist and one through Cycletrader in the last 10 years. All thee bikes were immaculate with good clear pixs. I pointed out flaws before the buyers saw them. I started the bikes and rode them on my street so the buyers could see and hear them. Cash was exchanged prior to the title transfer by a notary. All of this was done in daylight with other people around. Meeting someone alone in a place that you don't know or trust is risky.
 

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I've sold six bikes over the last 14 years. Three were ebay auctions (CA, TN, and ND - so the bikes were shipped a long way from FL), one was on Craig's List (local sale) and another was Ebay Classifieds (nearby but not local), which is a relatively new service that worked really well for me. The last one I sold in less than an hour. I sent an email to a couple of friends and one wrote back "I'll take it." That was the easiest sale I've ever made and my friend is still enjoying that bike...
 
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