PREPARING A BIKE FOR A SALE
Below are some tips on how you can
prepare for and accomplish the sale of your motorcycle
while getting the best price.
Clean and polish your bike
You obviously want to make your bike look as nice as possible. A clean and polished
bike will be far more enviable to any potential buyer and equate to more money than one
that is unclean and/or not polished. Learn more about
cleaning your bike.
Make cosmetic repairs
Putting a few bucks in to make some minor repairs
will go a long way. If
a cover or panel has some scratches, a broken tail light, or a dented fender, get it
fixed. The price to make the repair will most likely be less
the deduction in price that you will have to incur as a result of the cosmetic damage.
Make sure your bike is tuned up and will start with
It is very likely that if you bike won't start, you will
kill any potential sale instantly. No matter if your
issue is a corroded battery connection or a dead
battery, your sale will be over. Or, you will end up
having a buyer that will hard-ball you into lowering
Receipts for overhauls, repairs, etc.
It is always a good idea to keep your service
records and repair receipts. Maybe you had the valves grounded or a major overhaul
of the engine. Or, perhaps you had oversized pistons and a high performance cam
put in. You want to be able to show your potential buyer
proof of any work that you have done and what the cost
of doing so was. The work you have done will likely have
a strong bearing on what you can get the buyer to pay
for your bike. Also, having service records will
provide assurance that you have had regular oil changes and routine maintenance.
Always keep your original parts
In the event that you put after market accessories on
your bike, make sure you keep all your original accessories cleaned and ready to go.
It is very likely that the buyer will be interested in
having them reinstalled.
Accurately represent condition
Almost every used bike has some sort of performance
issue. It does not matter if you are selling the bike
'as is'. Honesty goes a long way and telling your buyer
about mechanical defects and performance problems will
help you avoid issues after the sale.
Always keep your registration current
Having your registration current can help speed up a
sale in some states.
Know the value of your bike, establish the price and
be ready to negotiate
It is important that you understand how much your bike
is worth so that you do not accept too little. It also
makes certain that you will not waste your time or any
potential buyer's time. Visit the
Auto Dealers Association (N.A.D.A.). This site will provide you with the average wholesale and retail
value of motorcycles of the same model,
year, mileage and condition as yours. You will receive more than the average
trade-in or wholesale value as a private seller. It is
always better to establish your asking price more
towards the higher range. Potential buyers will always
expect to bargain. If you set your price too low, you
have little room for negotiating.
Maximize your advertising
Include clear pictures in your print and online ads. Provide as detailed of
a description as possible. Attract attention by highlighting or bold-typing
specifics from your ad. Offer to provide the VIN to all potential buyers. This
will enable any prospective buyer to trace your bike's history. The VIN will
also be needed if any buyer is going to need to apply for a loan in order to
purchase the bike.
Make sure your title is ready to transfer
In the event that a buyer shows up with cash, you want to be able to
transfer the title instantly. If you have a lien holder holding your title, make
preparations to pay off the loan and transfer the title to your name. The last
thing any buyer wants to do is wait for a title to be transferred.
It is very likely that a potential buyer will request to take the motorcycle
for a test drive. It is crucial that you use your judgment carefully. Most
dealerships will not allow you to test drive a motorcycle before purchasing. The
risk is just too much. If dealers are not prepared to take that risk, why should
you? If you do choose to let a buyer go for a test ride, make sure you select on
open, public area. Choose an area that is high traffic with people. Make sure
you get some sort of collateral from the buyer, like a driver's license.
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