Advice for private sellers
Dealing locally is best.
- Never let a buyer test drive your bike unless you hold their original id card passport.
- Make sure they have a valid driving licence and suitable insurance cover, or you could be liable for any accidents
- Ask a close friend or relative to be with you.
- Keep hold of the motor cycle keys at all times and never leave the buyer with the motor bike with the keys
Make sure you’ve prepared your motorbike for sale:
- Allow the buyer to take their time and view the bike properly
- Avoid distracting the buyer from carrying out their own checks
- Most buyers will want to start the motorbike when the engine is cold, so try not to drive the motorcycle shortly before a viewing
Professional used motorbike inspections are popular. The buyer must pay the cost and, if you’re serious about selling, you shouldn’t have any objections.
Negotiating the price
Buyers will be keen to bargain down your asking price. Try to be firm, without being unreasonable. Usually 80% of sellers will drop the price to get a quick sale and buyers know this.
So, your asking price should be a bit more than you would actually settle for. Before you begin negotiations, make sure you have worked out the lowest price you’re willing to sell the bike for. Don’t decline a sale if a buyer’s highest offer is only slightly below your set price – it could cost you far more in re-advertising fees, time and hassle.
The best way to take payment is in cash and at a bank, so you can pay the money straight into your account and the cashier can check for fake notes:
- Ask to be paid in cash – this is the safest method of payment
- If you receive payment by cheque or electronic transfer, keep possesion of the bike until the funds transfer
- Ask the buyer for a copy of their ID with an address and landline telephone number
If a buyer makes an offer on your motorbike but cannot pay the full asking price on the day, you can either continue to advertise it and offer it to other buyers, on a first come first buy basis, or take a non refundable deposit (a figure agreed between buyer and seller) in return for holding the bike for an agreed period of time, enough for the buyer to arrange finance or money transfers. Make sure, both parties agree both the deposit amount and the time period in writing. This can be done in the form of a hand written and signed receipt, or exchange of emails. Don’t rely on verbal agreements.
If you are requested to take the motorbike to the buyer for viewing you can request a non-refundable deposit to cover your expenses to do so.
Avoid complicated payment schemes.
Be suspicious of a payment process that involves many steps. One popular scam involves sending you a cashier's check for more than the purchase amount and asking you to wire the difference back to the buyer. These cashier's checks could be counterfeit and your bank will hold you liable. Any overpayment you wire back to the buyer will come directly out of your pocket.
Do not transfer title of your bike to the buyer until the buyer's check or bank transfer has cleared or you have received full cash payment for your vehicle. You should always verify the authenticity of any cashier's or certified check with the issuing bank. Do not rely on the phone number printed on the check; look it up yourself. Never accept a check for more than your asking price.
PREPARE YOUR BIKE FOR SALE
Preparing your bike properly can make a used bike or scooter look new, adding to its value.
Motorbike maintenance checks
Most motorcycle buyers will check the engine when viewing. Remember to:-
- Check the oil level and top it up if needed.
- Fill all water and coolant vessels – again, check the handbook
- Check tyre pressures and replace any worn or damaged tyres
- Repair damage to trim if possible
Washing your Motorbike
Spending a few hours cleaning your bike could add to the value by giving it a cared-for look. Give it a wash and remove watermarks with a chamois leather cloth. Wheel cleaner helps remove stubborn dirt from wheels.
Buyers will want to see the bike’s history, so gather it all together and put it in a folder. Don’t forget to include:
- The registration document (Greenbook) Service history – receipts and service book
- Warranty documents
- The bike’s handbook