5 TIPS FOR SELLING YOUR BIKE ONLINE
5 Things to know when selling your motorcycle online:
Selling your motorcycle online can help you fetch a fair market price. Online transactions are generally safe and we want to help keep it that way. We get real-time feedback from thousands of sellers every year and thought we would pass some tips on to help you. As bikers ourselves we have certainly bought and sold a few bikes on our own, so we believe that following certain guidelines can be vital to a successful sales transaction. There are also a few other companies we outline below who offer services and tools that you can take advantage of to assist a smooth transaction.
1) Communicate to Mediate
Great communication is vital for a smooth sale and there are few areas in which to practice this art.
Don’t be short on information, post all the details. Here are few points of interest that many sellers forget to include:
- How long have you owned the bike?
- What is the title and registration status?
- What type of riding do you do?
- How is the suspension set up?
- What repairs have been done?
- Are there any factory recalls that are needed or have been performed already?
- Who performs the repairs and maintenance
- Are you willing to assist in arranging the delivery through a shipping company?
- How long does the buyer have to wait for you to release the bike after the payment clears?
- Damage, no matter how small, should be shown.
- Shoot a quick video. Begin with starting the bike. Rev it a bit while warm and then capture the sound near the engine at idle for a few seconds. Complete a a 360 degree walk-around to showcase the condition, pausing on any modifications, damage, or area of concern.
- Upload the video to YouTube so that you can post it in the description of the bike.
When a buyer contacts you via email and is interested in learning more about your bike get their phone number. A quick call makes buyers feel more connected to you and comfortable with the transaction. A large purchase is an emotional decision for many buyers, and most will state the reason that they finalized the online sale is that they had confidence in the communication and many state that they “feel” the seller is trustworthy.
For serious buyers:
- Provide copies of the title and registration
- Ask the buyer to contact their State Vehicle Registration department to find out what documents and fee’s will be needed in order to register the bike. We have seen transactions take a turn for the worst over something as avoidable as this.
2) PayPal is Your Pal
PayPal is a good option for payment. Their user agreement governs all transactions but we have summarized a few important aspects and tips from inside the industry:
- The PayPal payment you receive will indicate the eligibility for seller protection. All eBay transaction are eligible. PayPal Seller Protection Requirements.
- PayPal seller protection requires a signature upon delivery for items over $750. Use a motorcycle shipping company that requires a signature to help protect yourself.
- Go the extra mile to request a copy of the buyers Driver’s License to verify their identity and address before releasing the bike.
- Wait three days after the payment clears to release the bike. This provides protection in case any issues with the payment are uncovered by PayPal, buyer’s bank or buyer’s credit card company. Shipment is required within the time-frame specified in your item listing, so don’t wait any longer than you have promised.
3) Escrow.com gives you Peace of Mind
This is a Licensed Escrow Service, a layer of protection but you will have to pay a them a fair price for their services.
- Online Fee Calculator
- Simple 5 step process
4) Common Sense Makes Cents
Plenty of transactions are handled successfully outside of the two financial transfer options listed above, but if you’re going to use an option other than Paypal or Escrow.com here are some common sense rules to follow.
- Request a copy of the buyers Driver’s License to verify their identity
- If they are using a credit card request a printed copy of their credit card statement.
- If you accept a cashiers check make sure you have given your bank enough time to clear the check as you would any check before releasing the bike. Phony cashier’s checks have become a more common instrument for many cyber criminals in the recent years.
- Avoid doing business with a buyer that doesn’t want to speak with you by phone, this is a sign of a buyer that wants to hide his identity.
- Be wary of buyer who insists on using a particular site for escrow, besides escrow.com. Fraudulent buyers have been known to set up phone sites that look real but disappear after you have released the bike to them.
5) Happy Buyer = Happy Seller
- If there is ever an issue with the buyer, no matter what the claim, do everything in your power to make that buyer happy. For example, if the buyer claims that the bike “was not as described”, ask them what you can do to make it right. In this situation you’re better off spending a few dollars to replace a scratched mirror (this is a common complaint) that the buyer wasn’t expecting rather than having the issue escalate to something more severe. If you are ever involved with a dispute make sure to communicate via email so that everything is documented.
- Last Tip: Ship the keys and the title separate from the bike. Use a service like FedEx Express so you have great tracking and an expeditious service. Replacing these items if lost can be costly and delays will only foster unrest with your transaction
Clint Lawrence, Founder of Motorcycleshippers, is an avid motorcycle enthusiast, industry consultant and board member for a major logistics provider. [email protected]