Selling a motorcycle takes skill. But I bet you figured that out since you’re visiting us. You want to sell your motorcycle but you don’t even know where to begin with. Of course, Craigslist comes to mind but you’re scared that you’ll get ripped off. It’s smart of you to prepare first, that’s the way to get potential buyers. Let’s see how to get a great price for your bike.
This guide consists of 10 simple steps to sell your bike for a great price. Even though placing your bike for sale can be exhausting, you’ll see that most of the steps are quite simple. The hardest thing to do is making sure your machine is in good condition. If you get that in order, the selling part will be easy, you just have to learn a few selling techniques.
1. Know Your Model
So, the first thing you want to do is get familiar with the motorcycle you own. You may know the model but that’s not all. Most buyers are looking for a specific model. What I mean by this is that people don’t go online and just look for a random motorcycle. Instead, they have a certain brand and engine in mind.
Why does this concern you as a seller? Well, by listing all of the right specifications, you’re narrowing down your search for buyers. In other words, you’re targeting the right audience. Make sure to know the: brand, model number, year of production, engine type, gas mileage, mileage past, etc. If you list all of these specs online, the people who are looking for your bike model will find you easily. Also, if you’re selling the bike in person then you want to have answers to questions the person will ask.
To find this information, check out the manual. If you don’t have a manual, look online. Write the brand, model, and the year of production, surely, you’ll find a manual. Any changes in parts you made, you’ll want to name them too. For instance, if you changed the battery, make a note of it.
2. Getting The Price Right
Perhaps now you’ll see how the information you gathered will be useful. You need to find an estimate of how much does the motorcycle cost in its current condition. The best way to do that is to put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer. You can’t just put any random price and hope that someone will buy it. Maybe you’re over the top, maybe you’re leaving money on the table. So, you need something for comparison.
The best way to figure out the estimate is to open up classified sites like Craigslist, try newspaper ads too. But make sure these are motorcycle-specific sites, or at least, they sell both cars and motorcycles. Look for the exact same model you own and compare prices. The listed prices will not be the same but they will not differ that much. If the bike ranges from 1000$-1500$, list an initial price in that range.
Let’s say you think your bike is worth more than the ones listed. Great, then set it at a higher price. You’ll have to explain why it’s worth more though. If you’ve taken care of it, if it’s in perfect condition, then it makes sense to spike up the price. Especially, if you’ve added some brand new parts like new wheels.
Here’s a tip that will be useful. I don’t know about a machine that has been sold for the initial price set by the buyer. There are a starting price and an initial price. Let’s say someone wants to sell you something for 10 dollars. He knows you’re going to ask for a lower price, so he starts at 15 dollars. So, you’ll want to set a slightly higher price. When people start haggling, you’ll not be leaving money on the table. We’ll talk more about this later.
3. Prepare Your Bike
This is the crucial part if you ask me. The more effort you put into prepping your bike, the higher the sale price. An old, rusty bike that was untouched all winter will go for the lowest price possible. But if you do work on it, shine it up a bit, it can go for a higher price.
So, if you want to attract eager buyers you need to prep your bike right. However, if you’re in a hurry to get rid of it, and you are comfortable with selling for the lowest price, skip this part. Try selling to motorcycle dealers to speed up the process.
Now, when it comes to getting your machine ready, some things are necessary, others not so much. I’ll explain how to prep for selling, you decide what you want to do to.
- Make sure the bike is starting without a problem
- Make sure the battery is healthy
- The brakes should be working
- Do a test drive, check for any parts that need maintenance
- Clean it thoroughly, the motorcycle should look as clean as possible
- Optional: Detailing/Paint Job
Can your bike meet these requirements? As you can see, it’s nothing special, just reasonable things that buyers want to see. This is all hypothetical though, I don’t know your situation. I understand that there are parts not worth fixing, and parts that you would rather not fix. At least, get it to start and run without any major issues. If you can’t do that, disclose that it’s not driveable.
Remember, you don’t want to lose money by fixing every part that needs fixing. Just eliminate the annoying things, stuff that will set off a big percent of buyers.
4. Gather All The Documents Needed
It’s weird to me how many complications arise out of problems with the title. By “documents” I actually mean one very important thing, the title, the evidence of ownership. Title errors are very common, not only that, they make things very hard. So, you want to get that straight before you put up your ad.
If you’re having trouble understanding what the title is, let me explain. For instance, if you come to an agreement with a buyer, he’ll want the ownership of the car. Currently, the title states that the vehicle is yours, so you’ll have to change that. But it’s as easy as I described if you have a clean title.
Problems arise when banks are included. If you have a lienholder on your bike, the bank has an interest in the sale you’re going to make. So, you’ll have to set things clear with the bank. You can still sell your bike, just consult with the bank on how to proceed with the title.
Don’t let bureaucratic stuff like this ruin your sale. Just get your things in order, make sure you can transfer ownership of the bike, and set up your methods of payment. Another thing that may be useful is a maintenance record sheet. This will prove to the buyer that you took proper care of the motorcycle.
5. Take Loads Of Photos
Photo evidence is a must in ads nowadays. Posting a bike ad in a newspaper doesn’t require any photos. A person calls you, organizes a meeting, and you meet. But this can lead to unusual encounters. That’s why on websites you can post pictures. I can’t stress how crucial these pictures are to attracting buyers.
You can write all the details you want, you can have a nice ad, in the end, the specs must live up to the picture. Basically, the buyer decides if the bike is worth the time by examining the pictures.
So, you want to take good photos of your bike, and lots of them, have options. Go and find an open spot where you can take photos. If a friend has a good camera, ask if you can use it. Take a few shots of the whole motorcycle. Get it from all sides, then do some close-ups.
What you want to do is have a picture as evidence of every detail that you will advertise. Let’s say you want to advertise that you have new wheels, take a picture of them. Do this for each part of the vehicle, especially for the important parts that steal a buyer’s interest. Stuff you don’t want to capture, don’t, just disclose those in person.
6. Find A Place To Sell
The best way to find the right buyers is to have them come to you. That’s why most people opt for a newspaper ad or a website ad to put their offer out there. But some choose to look for buyers by going to popular motorcycle meetups. If you take a look at motorcycles in newspapers, sites, and venues, you’ll notice that they are all different.
Going with the easiest choice, just posting it on Craigslist can be a mistake. Every selling platform has its users. In venues, you’ll mostly find high-value bikes, you’ll also find the best-paying, prospective buyers. On websites, you’ll find average prices for the average model.
So, what’s the right choice for you? That’s something you’ll have to figure out. If you have a high-value bike, something that you know will get attention, it’s best to go for a venue. Putting a bike that’s really valuable on Craigslist is not that smart. You’ll get too many calls from buyers who are not serious. Also, the average buyer won’t recognize how valuable it is, experts in venues will.
On the other hand, if you have something that’s in relatively good condition but nothing special, it’s best to opt for Craigslist or similar websites. There, you’ll find buyers who are not looking for a special machine but just something to drive. So, that’s where your target is.
Lastly, if you have a damaged bike that won’t even start, websites and newspapers are still an okay choice. Mechanics that are looking for parts tend to be on these sites. You can try visiting venues for damaged vehicles or motorcycle dealers.
RumbleOn is also a popular alternative for sellers that want to get rid of a bike ASAP but also don’t care about the price. This website offer cash for motorcycles service. They evaluate your bike and set a firm price. Be careful, you may not get a fair offer but you will sell your bike with only a minor effort.
7. Free Up Your Schedule
Now, the next step we’ll be covering is the ad. In the ad, you’ll need to specify when you’re free to show the bike in person. You can’t know how many people will call to meet, nor you can’t know how many of them are serious. So, to avoid making your schedule chaotic, it’s best to plan out your meetings.
It takes a lot of effort to sell a vehicle. You’ll need to place yourself in the shoes of a salesperson. The smartest thing you can do is list the available hours when you can meet and show. That way you won’t need to put a lot of effort into scheduling, just make sure you’re free the days and hours you listed in the ad. If you’re lucky enough, you won’t have to keep up with the schedule for a long time.
Be aware, most potential buyers don’t want to reschedule. In fact, a buyer with money ready on hand wants to buy a bike as quickly as possible. If you’re not strict and clear with the schedule, you’re setting off most buyers.
8. Write Your Ad
This is the part where you are showing off your bike before meeting in person. Advertising is the most efficient way to find potential buyers. Whatever your selling platform is, you need a good ad. Even if you’re going to venues, you need something like a sign to promote your bike. Think about it, you need to get their attention.
Writing a good ad that’s attractive to anyone who sees it is crucial for coming to an agreement as quickly as possible. So, you want your ad to be top-notch. How do you do that? Compile all of the specifications and list them in the ad. This includes production date, brand, model, engine, etc… Then, make a list of all the good things about your bike. Things that buyers want to see. And, a list of all the bad things or things that need fixing/changing.
The good things list is what you want to show. Compile that into an ad. List all of the things you recently changed. If you have a maintenance record sheet, include that too. State that your bike is in “start and ride” condition. Post photos of the things you listed, show that you are for real.
You don’t need to list everything bad with your bike. It will set off most people For instance, if the brake pads need changing, you don’t need to include that. Instead, disclose that when you meet in person. The bad things you need to list are defects that the client definitely wants to know. If the bike can’t start, list that in the ad. If there are crucial parts that are not working, include that too.
Once you’ve done that, you need to set a price, and set the hours you will be available. With the price, you have options. If you’re anticipating that people will haggle set a higher price but not a firm price. Setting a lower firm selling price is also a choice. You’ll skip the selling and talking stuff.
Lastly, list the hours when you will be available. Make sure this will not interfere with your life too much, and of course, make sure you’re available. Also, list your preferred payment option. If you have a lien on the bike, list that.
9. Be Honest And Ready To Compromise
Even though lying can be considered a selling technique, with vehicles, that’s not the case. The thing is, buyers, don’t want to be ripped off. So, some people will come with a paid or friendly mechanic. This person will recognize all of the things you listed as features that are not true.
You don’t want to put yourself in this situation. Let’s say you can handle the unpleasant situation. The fact is that you lost all negotiating power. So, if the buyer still thinks it’s worth buying the bike, the sale price will go way down.
All in all, you want to be honest. Someone who has the knowledge will easily spot any issues. That’s why it’s best to disclose all the bad things in person. Here’s where you compromise. Because of those issues, you need to be ready to sell for a lower price.
10. Sell Parts Separately
Here’s our last selling tip. I understand that some of you have bikes with valuable upgrades. Some of you have bikes with huge sustained damage.
Selling a bike with upgrades can be complicated. You want to be compensated for those upgrades but the buyer isn’t interested in those. So, what to do? The smartest thing to do is look for an audience that wants the upgrades. Selling those separately is a good way to go.
Bikes with sustained crash damage can’t be sold the normal way too. The most popular option is scraping the vehicle for parts. A bike like this needs major services and that’s not financially reasonable.
I got no more steps for you, 10 is just enough. I’m sure that if you follow this guide, you’ll find many potential buyers. Just make sure to close the sale and get an agreement.
Related Questions And Other FAQs
Do Motorcycle Dealers Buy Used Bikes
Most motorcycle dealers both buy and sell used bikes. You will get a fair price, depending on the status of your vehicle. The dealer may buy your machine and then sell it. Or, you be offered a consignment agreement. This way, the dealer only gets a commission for the sale.
Are Old Bikes Worth It
It depends on whether we’re talking about a vintage bike or just an old one. There are buyers for both types. Vintage bikes go for a higher sale price. Old bikes are usually sold for parts that are no longer produced.
How Do You Get A Title For A Used Bike
To change the title of a used vehicle you need to go to a nearby DMV. Provide the proof of residency, proof of sale, register for the new title. You need to pay for this process.
How To Sell A Motorcycle With A Lien
Disclose to the buyer that you still haven’t paid off your bike. If he still wants to buy off the bike, go to your bank and tell the teller what you want to do. This shouldn’t be complicated, usually, you just have to go through bank paperwork.
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