Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons
Your motorcycle is really so much more than just transportation. It’s your pride and joy. It’s about going for a long ride on a pretty day with the warmth of the sun’s rays beating down on you, a feeling of freedom and adventure that non-riders will never know or understand. It’s about feeling alive and enjoying the camaraderie of friends who also enjoy riding. It’s a lifestyle.
As much affection as motorcycle enthusiasts often feel for their two-wheeled rides, there comes a time – typically after a few years of ownership – when it’s time to sell. Maybe a new model has caught your eye. Or perhaps you want to upgrade to a more powerful bike. Whatever the reason, you need to sell your current ride before you can buy a new one.
List Your Bike Online For Maximum Exposure
When selling your bike, your options for getting the word out are usually limited to one of three things: word of mouth, listing in a local publication, and listing online. Word of mouth will only get you so far. If you already have someone in mind who might be interested in buying your bike, then great. Buying a listing in a local publication is definitely better, but the number of eyes that will see your listing are still somewhat limited.
What if there was a way for people all across the nation – even around the world – to see your listing? What if buying a listing with such exposure was as inexpensive as listing your ad in a local publication? Think that might be worth checking out?
The third option for selling your bike – listing online – is absolutely the best way to ensure a quick sale. By placing an ad for your bike on a site like Motorcycle Trading Post, it will be seen by thousands of people who are interested in buying a used motorcycle. Maybe yours will be exactly what they are looking for.
There are some things you should consider, however, to ensure your listing is appealing to potential buyers. There is a right way and a wrong way to do this. A well-written listing that is visually appealing will draw people in. On the other hand, many will skip over a hastily written listing with bad images.
Take Great Pictures
The pictures you include in your listing are critical. You want to portray you motorcycle in the best light, and to do this you need to capture some great images of your pride and joy.
First, you want to make sure your bike is ready for the camera. And this means giving it a good wash. You might also want to consider waxing some of the painted parts, like the tank, fenders, and other areas. Don’t forget to polish the chrome!
When taking pictures of your bike, be sure you do so on a sunny day. This will ensure the images are bright and all of the bike’s details are visible. You will also want to take several pictures of your bike from different angles. If your bike has any damage, like a dent in the gas tank, take a closeup of the damage and include it in your listing.
Write a Great Description
Aside from having some great pictures, one of the best things you can do for your listing is to write a description that grabs people’s attention and draws them in. Don’t just write about the basic features. Tell people all about your bike. Tell them about why your bike is special. You can even tell the story of an amazing trip you once took on the bike. This is the key to making your listing stand out from all the others.
Price Your Motorcycle Competitively
It’s so hard to put a dollar amount on something that has brought so much joy to your life over the years. While all of those cross country trips you took are essentially priceless, it’s the bike you’re selling, not the memories you made with the bike.
To make sure your bike finds a willing buyer, you need to price your bike to sell. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to accept any less than what it’s worth, but it does mean you have to be competitive in your pricing, being careful not to overprice.
Finding the right price for your bike isn’t hard. You can simply do a search online for the make, model, and year of your bike. The price you choose should reflect the condition of the bike as well as any accessories you are including. Be sure to include a little “wiggle room” in your pricing for negotiations.
Always Meet Potential Buyers in Person
Don’t sell your motorcycle to anyone without that person seeing and inspecting it in person. Selling a bike to someone who has not checked it out is a recipe for disaster. You want to give potential buyers the opportunity to listen to the engine running and to visually inspect everything to ensure there are no surprises.
When you meet potential buyers, always meet them in a public place during the day for safety. Public parking lots of big box stores and grocery stores are usually good places. Avoid meeting at any place where there are few people around.
Only Accept a Cashier’s Check
Never accept a personal check from someone who wants to buy your motorcycle. You have no way of knowing whether the buyer’s bank account contains sufficient funds. The only type of payment you should accept is a cashier’s check for the full amount. No partial payments with promises to pay later, either.
You also don’t want to accept any form of online payment or wire transfers. There’s simply too many things that can go wrong. Someone offering to wire the money to your bank account, for example, may not even really want to buy your bike. That person may just be a scammer who is mainly interested in obtaining your bank account information. Scammers aren’t interested in putting money into your account. They only want to make withdrawals.
Selling your motorcycle online is definitely something you can do. A well-written listing with great images posted on a website like Motorcycle Trading Post may not guarantee that your bike will sell, but it will guarantee that your listing will be seen by thousands of potential buyers.
The author is a freelance writer and motorcycle aficionado. Although Indians are his preferred ride, he’s never seen a bike he didn’t like.