Motorcycles inspire feelings of nostalgia, sentimentality and freedom from the restrictions of a normal life. The decision to sell a motorcycle is a hard one, but sometimes it’s necessary to take that next step. If you’re going to part with your favorite machine, make sure you get a fair price for it. Here’s how to sell a motorcycle for as much money as you can get for it.
10 Tips on Selling a Motorcycle
1) Know your vehicle
If a buyer knows more about your motorcycle than you do he or she is at a big advantage. Even worse, your buyer will start to doubt your credibility on the maintenance of the vehicle. By being able to communicate the attributes of the motorcycle, along with sharing first hand experience with it, a seller can clearly explain the benefits of his/her motorcycle and make them easy to understand.
2) Be prepared
Have all your documentation ready, examples include:
- Ownership – the legal document with your name and the motorcycles VIN #.
- Used Vehicle Information Package – this is a document in Ontario which has information such as the list of previous owners, title status of the vehicle (clean, salvage, write-off), and more. This document will change names based on the state or province.
- Bill of Sale – samples can be found online, but at a minimum the bill of sale should clearly state the date, the VIN#, the purchase price, the name of the buyer and seller, and their signatures.
- Safety Certification – Vehicles can be sold either in “as-is” condition, or certified by a mechanic. Generally a certified vehicle can be insured and then plated immediately, but a vehicle sold “as-is” must be certified before it can legally be put on the road.
- Certified vehicles also inspire more confidence in shoppers, as your bike will have to be inspected by a professional in order to get certified. Thus, vehicles being sold certified can often sell for a bit more than those sold as-is.
- Past History – Whether you’ve maintained your motorcycle at a dealership, garage, or yourself, you should have some receipts for service and parts. These will prove to your buyer that your motorcycle has been as carefully maintained as you say it has.
- Various miscellaneous – Extra keys, owner’s manual, spare parts, service manual, etc.
3) Sell to everyone, but be selective with who gets to a test ride
List your bike in every form of free classified you can. Kijiji, Craigslist, Trader, local niche sites, get your motorcycle listed everywhere. Want to reach an even wider audience? Bring your bike to a local motorcycle meet and throw a “FOR SALE” sign on the seat.
When it comes to test rides, use a “test rides only with cash in hand” policy. If a rider wants to test ride your bike, let them, but hold on to a sum of cash that you agree on, and will return when they bring back the bike undamaged.
4) Be flexible
Not everyone can have cash available on short notice. If it makes the difference between having or losing a sale, I will take a cash deposit, on agreement that the buyer will pay out the remainder by a set date. You can also have them receive a partial payment receipt, similar to the Bill of Sale.
The document should contain all of the info previously mentioned under Bill of Sale, plus a mention that they’ve left a non-refundable partial payment for X amount and have Y amount outstanding, with the outstanding balance to be paid on a specific date. This protects both the buyer and the seller, so you should each have a copy.