How to Sell Your Motorcycle in 5 Steps

By Jackie Eldridge
April 15, 2017 at 10:44 pm  •  Posted in For the Love of the Ride by

We love our motorcycles, don’t we? Deciding to sell your bike can be a difficult decision, as most of us seem have an emotional attachment to them. Bikes represent memories and sometimes those are hard to let go of, for nostalgia’s sake. On the other hand, if you have to unload your old bike in order to buy the new one you’ve been dreaming of, the sale might be a whole lot easier for everyone involved.

First thing you need to do is determine what you’ll sell it for.

Search newspapers, online, magazines, etc. to see what price other private parties and dealers are selling your model for today. Be sure to see what Kelley Blue says your bike is worth. Once you get an idea of what the market will bear, set your price. You might want to add a few hundred bucks on top of your price so your have some wiggle room when negotiating. Have lowest offer figure in your mind because buyers are going to go there.

Get your bike ready to sell!

Cleaned up? Tires shining? Paint glistening? Tank full? Once it’s visually ready, and running well, you’re almost ready to pull the trigger on your advertising. Next, collect all the required legal documents required to sell your bike just in case an interested rider hands you a pile of cash and rides off into the sunset on your once beloved motorcycle. If you have questions about how to do the sale, contact your  DMV. Also have ALL of your maintenance records ready to hand over. If your state has safety certifications available, spend the money to get one. It will give your potential buyer peace of mind about buying your motorcycle. Gather up must-haves like the owner’s and service manuals, spare keys and parts, plus anything else you’d like to include in the sale, such as an extra helmet.

It’s time to advertise.

Ask around in forums, on Facebook, at meet ups and anywhere you rub elbows with riders if they know of digital or print media where other riders have had success selling their bikes. You’ll probably end up paying for the ads, but it’s a cost of selling a bike. Just be sure to factor in these costs to your selling price. When you write your ad, start with several terrific photos (the whole thousand-words thing, right?). Then think about what you would look for in a used bike description. Year, model, make, mileage, driven by a little old lady, professionally maintained, cherry condition, mods, etc. Include ALL the BENEFITS, and bells and whistles you have. And, of course, if you have any negatives you need to disclose, do it. For example, if you’ve had a motorcycle accident on the bike, let them know. You can also take the bike to a motorcycle event and put a for sale sign on it. That’s called target marketing!

Now what? They want to look at your bike!

Your ad is working. You’re getting calls. What now? They want t take a test ride. This is where it all gets a little grey. You can’t just give a stranger your bike, right? What if they don’t return your bike or they damage it? Good rule of thumb is letting them know in advance that you require a$500 cash deposit while they take a ride. That will typically weed out the tire kickers and ensure serious buyers only.

They want to buy your bike!

Are you good negotiator? Are you prepared for someone making an offer and suggesting they pay you in monthly installments, or half now and half next month? You’ll probably hear just about every type of non-traditional payment offers. Just be ready to deal or not to deal. If you think you need some help in the negotiating department, tag-team the buyer by having one of your friends join you in the sale. We wish for you to get a wonderful buyer who pulls out their cash, shakes your hand and drives off into the sunset.


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