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Derish

Bike Selling Etiquette (update: SOLD!!!)

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Hi everyone,

Last time I asked you for advice on how to ride on UK roads like a gentleman, which was really helpful. I've now been doing it for a while now and your tips were spot on.

Now I'm afraid it's time to sell my noble steed and upgrade to something heavier. This bike has been a family member for the last 7 years, so I'd rather sell it privately rather than part exchange. The legal aspect of it seems pretty easy - a few signatures and a tear-away slip on the registration document, but I'm unsure how to handle the actual sale process.

Suppose I put up an ad, a prospect buyer shows up and we have a little chat - is it customary to then allow a test ride? Seems to me like the obvious thing to do, but I lived in some countries where this was a big no-no for insurance and theft reasons. Also, if I do allow a test ride - is it acceptable to ask the person to leave me his/her driver's license or some form of identification? Just so I have something to show the police later if they never come back...

Next thing is a technical inspection, which I assume the buyer might request. I usually have no problem with it, are there any red flags I should be looking for?

Finally - how do you guys handle payments? My bike should fetch about £1500-2000 (hopefully), is this an amount you'd pay in cash, bank transfer, or otherwise?

This and any other advice is welcome. I live in West Yorkshire, if it's relevant. Thank you in advance.

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unfortunatly in this day and age, I'd treat selling to the public as though they will tried and steal it off you.

 

there's plenty of intellegent gangs out there who can persuade you to part with your bike.

Likewise there will be peeps who will be just as paranoid buying bikes from peeps they do not know.

 

If you are buying your bike from a dealer, why not see if a part ex deal might be better?

 

ebay is also a good place to sell on, but again whatch for unsolicited emails etc.

 

 

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HI Derish, as above but NEVER let the buyer ride the bike unless he puts the full amount in cash in your hand, if he wants an inspection done, that's fine, but it's at his expense, as for payment well cash is king of course then a bank transfer and last is a cheque, now with cheques you need 3 days for it to clear, so he gets the bike as soon as the cheque clears not before. Anything else is up to you of course if he wants to trade his grand dad's watch or some such then just say "no thanks" and wait for the next victim to call.

If you trade it then you have to allow for the dealer to low ball you on the price cos he has to sell it on and make a profit plus cover any faults that the next owner will find, so if your bike is worth £1500 then expect to get around £800 for it maybe less.

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I've only ever sold one bike privately - my little YBR, so hardly words of experience, but here goes...

I listed it on eBay and MCN. Only ever got interest off eBay.

I made sure I detailed everything about the bike - well written and with ample photos. Certainly when I'm looking to buy things I like to see that the person I'm getting it off has put some effort into their listing. Builds some degree of trust I think.

I made it very clear that I didn't want time wasters. On eBay, as it was an auction I made sure they knew that if they won - they bought it. It wasn't then an opportunity to come to my house and haggle further.

No rides whatsoever. But if I did want to offer this I'd personally be asking for the cash on the table, some ID, proof they're insured. If also let it be known that if they stacked it - they bought it. Sounds harsh for sure - but ties in with what Dewpy said - I just wouldn't trust them!

Just be mindful about the type of people coming round, in case they are scoping out the joint to steal it later. Get everything out and ready - don't let them see where you grab the bike keys from, or keys for any security devices. Just use your noggin...

I'm sure some of the more seasoned bike sellers on here will offer better advice. But in the meantime maybe have a look online at some of the wording etc others have done for their bike sales?

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Thanks everyone, not what I expected to hear but makes sense. Guess that's globalisation for you, when even criminal techniques are aligned and uniform between the UK and some of the world's worst. :rolleyes:

General safety is less of a concern for me, where I come from you never show a car or a bike near your house, only in public places and preferably those with security cameras. Some of my past locations also had issues with posting your phone number or license plate online - the phone number would quickly be put on numerous spam lists and the license plate would be used by gangs to trace your home address and pay you a nightly visit. Gladly, the UK doesn't seem to have gone this far yet.

I'll look at the wording, pictures I think are fine. This is a 9 y/o bike that a realistic buyer should have no problems with, but dealers will no doubt fuss about some scratches and cosmetic things to get the price down. So MCN it is, I guess PistonHeads can be another good resource, a bit apprehensive about eBay... How about big boards like AutoTrader, should I just disregard them to keep time wasters away?

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Don't forget the hassle with road tax too, the moment they part with the cash the tax is void.

You will be liable if they ride through a checkpoint unless you have a proper receipt. TIMED for the sale. Just to be sure.

The low ball from the dealer may actually be worth it soon, was when we got rid of our last caravan, we bought from them and instead of me selling it they sold it for me. On their forecourt. For a value I agreed with them.

They actually shifted it for 600 quid more than I agreed with the dealer for it and I thought I had done ok, but no selling hassle, tyre kickers etc. It was just gone. One in one out.

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That's true, it's just hard for me to gauge the amount of wankers in this country. Guess I'll find out soon.

For some reason these heavy scooters aren't too popular in Yorkshire, although they make great commuters. Scarcity might be good for business, but only if there is demand.

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20 minutes ago, Derish said:

it's just hard for me to gauge the amount of wankers in this country.

Trust me this country is full of them

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4 hours ago, meatloaf said:

Trust me this country is full of them

There's a fair few over here too !  You can tell by the English accents . (Just Kidding , lol )

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eBay is brilliant for selling, dont get me wrong but i sell a few vans,cars,number plates- you name it il sell it if it's worth it. 

The one massive problem with eBay is if someone presses the buy it now button, or win the auction and don't turn up, your still lumped with the auction fees ect and trying to talk to eBay to resolve the problem is a massive pain in the arse. I've started to sway towards 'classified' ads or autotrader, so if someone's intrested they come to veiw the vehicle and you then do a deal rather then doing it online.

you also have an option on autotrader to stop sales calls before you list your contact details which is good. 

Best of luck selling!

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Well then... The ads are up, a free one on PistonHeads and a £14 basic one on MCN. Staying out of eBay for the moment, as it has a few similar bikes with rock bottom pricing.

Less than 24 hours passed and I got a text from MCN with some lady asking me to contact her by email. I did, then she proceeded to ask me redundant questions like why I'm selling, and told a sad story about not being able to view the bike, just being out of hospital, her phone being inactive, etc. I suspected a scam, so told her thanks and good luck with her search.

I think I'll give it a week and then go visit some dealers in my area. To be continued...

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1 hour ago, Derish said:

Well then... The ads are up, a free one on PistonHeads and a £14 basic one on MCN. Staying out of eBay for the moment, as it has a few similar bikes with rock bottom pricing.

Less than 24 hours passed and I got a text from MCN with some lady asking me to contact her by email. I did, then she proceeded to ask me redundant questions like why I'm selling, and told a sad story about not being able to view the bike, just being out of hospital, her phone being inactive, etc. I suspected a scam, so told her thanks and good luck with her search.

I think I'll give it a week and then go visit some dealers in my area. To be continued...

Let me guess, did they ask you to send it miles and miles away and they would Pay you once they received the bike?? lol :D 

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We didn't get that far, but I certainly had the feeling it was going that way, so nipped it at the bud.

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Yea scam - I had almost the exact same story when selling mine. Maybe you will have better luck as the weather is nicer now - but I ended up just letting the dealer buy - significantly less than a private sale but significantly more than I was willing to except anyway.

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Another success story.

Middle Eastern gent tries to low-ball me over messages, I make it clear I'll only go so far (about 20% flexible). He says OK, then comes around and starts pointing out scratches and blemishes that were clearly mentioned in the ad, as if I promised him a brand new product. Based on that evidence, he tries to low-ball me again, practically doing me a favour taking it off my hands at 50% value. Sadly he didn't realise I spent many years in the Middle East myself and was impervious to his street market tactics.

Used my best British face to politely send him on his merry way without explaining in detail what his mother does for a living. Next customer please!

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A couple of weeks went by with exactly zero additional calls or viewings. I've been busy with other things, but today found the time to make my first dealer run.

I wasn't sure what price to advertise for, so when everyone else was asking for £1800-2000 I put £1600, allowing for an extra 15-25% to come off in negotiation. My local town dealer has a similar bike two years younger advertised for £2400, so I started with him. Sadly, while he may price his bikes on the high end of the scale, he wasn't able (or willing) to buy mine for more than £700. I proceeded to a few other small shops that said flat out 'no thanks', and ended with a big Honda dealership where the sales guy awkwardly explained 2007 might be too old for them. So no happy ending quite yet, but I have a few more places to visit on the other side of Leeds, and perhaps I'll have better luck there.

I guess my next step will be to lower the advertised prices towards £1k and see what happens. Honestly, for less than that I may as well just hang it on the wall above the telly.

P.S. The MCN printed ad was ridiculous, with just a few words and a mis-registered picture. Why do they even bother?

 

 

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You may find Facebook a useful selling tool, there are many for sale/wanted pages out there but as is always the way with facebook you WILL get emails from people wanting to swap it for a pitbike and/or iPhone, others who want to buy it for nothing and general timewasters however there are also genuine peeps out there who will ask the right questions and hopefully go through with a sale, and it's all FREE!. Example, I posted a car for sale on one of the groups last year and within an hour i had a bite, the guy spent an hour and half looking over it (and under it) and bought it then and there, some of these groups have over 100000 members so thats potentially 100000 people who will see your advert in their news feed.

 

Other than that, as much as it pains me to say it eBay is useful if you NEED to get it gone, I found classified ads to be a waste of time as they run for 30 days and after it finishes you will get the emails from timewasters, if you put it on an auction it runs for 7 days or so, and it sells (or not) when the hammer falls, so if there is anyone out there who wants it they have to put their bid in or miss out.

 

Never tried magazine ads, bit too old school for me, i remember selling a gameboy in the local paper many moons ago though.

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Thank you.

Unfortunately Facebook groups in my area have a problematic record, so that would be my last resort. For now I got some more dealers to try, as well as apps like LetGo. Eventually something will work.

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