In a previous article I talked about the impact a clean, well polished motorcycle can have on your price when selling a used bike. I also discussed the effect of including any unneeded parts and accessories in your bike sale. Here are a few more simple steps that can help you get the most cash for your current bike.
The tasks below should only take an hour or so to accomplish and should help to increase the value of your bike to prospective buyers. Just a bit of preparation will differentiate your bike from all the other used bikes for sale in your area.
Find Your Old Maintenance Records
If your old maintenance receipts are floating around your house, see if your can dig them up. Having records for all your past oil changes, tune-ups, tire changes etc. will set you apart from almost all other bike sellers. Since very few bike owners hold-on to their receipts, it’s just another way to demonstrate to buyers that you have taken very good care of the bike you’re selling.
When buying a bike, I’m always pleasantly surprised to find a seller with repair records since it usually means the bike has been meticulously maintained. So, if you have your receipts buried in a drawer somewhere, take a few minutes and round them up to show to prospective buyers.
Research your Bike’s Current Worth
If you do just one thing before you put your bike up for sale, this is it. This step will take just a few minutes and go a long way to insuring you’re getting a good price for your bike.
There are many sources to check used motorcycle prices but I have a favorite – the N.A.D.A. Appraisal Guide [http://nadaguides.com/]. You can check the motorcycle section of N.A.D.A. out online to get the current retail value of your bike, including many popular options – very helpful! The site gives “Low and Average Retail” pricing for each bike model. If your bike is in good shape and you’ve followed my earlier advice, you should be able to get their top price.
I also recommend that you pick-up your local motorcycle classified publication or auto trader to compare your pricing with the other bikes for sale in your area. Usually, this will confirm the pricing you got from the N.A.D.A. Guide and you can be confident that your bike is priced right.
Write a Good Classified Ad
With a just little preparation, writing an effective classified ad for your motorcycle is a snap. The funny thing is many folks write awful ads for their bikes. The reason many ads are not effective is a lack of critical information. Being a big fan of used bikes, I’ve read thousands of motorcycle classifieds over the years and far too many have been missing essential things like engine size, model year or even price.
So, as you’re writing the ad for your bike, reference this checklist of essential elements:
- Bike year, make & model
- Engine size
- Overall condition
- Current miles
- Any recent parts purchased
- Any extra parts
- Maintenance receipts (If you have them, of course)
- Asking price
- Contact info (Seems obvious but I’ve seen many without this)
I like to have a copy of the motorcycle classifieds handy when I write my ads to reference the common language and abbreviations for my ad. And if you store your bike indoors, mention it in the ad. Since so many bikes are kept outside all year, storing yours inside will set your bike apart to buyers.
And personally. I like to price my bike with an “Asking price” that allows buyers to haggle a bit and still settle on a price you’re comfortable with. And with a little luck, you may get the full asking price from your buyer.