After spending years cruising the roads with nothing between you and the ground except a powerful bike and a bit of skill, it’s easy to become attached to your bike. However, it’ll eventually be time to move on. Whether you’re getting a bit up there in age and can’t handle the bike, simply want to try a new ride with updated features, or for any number of other reasons, you’ll get to the point where you want to sell.
How do you do that and get the best deal, though? What’s the best place to sell motorcycle accessories after you’ve sold the bike itself?
Today, we’re going to go over just that, and you should have a good idea of what you need to do when the time to sell comes.
Let’s get started.
Why Sell Your Motorcycle?
We’ve already touched on this a bit, but there are many reasons you may want to sell your motorcycle, or you may need to sell it even if you’re not necessarily keen on doing so. After all, you have likely gotten very attached to your bike over the years. Letting go of something that has brought as much joy as your motorcycle isn’t easy.
Here are some of the most common reasons you may need to sell your motorcycle, but don’t let it get you down. We’ll show you how to get the most for it and soften the blow a bit in the next section.
There are plenty of old-timers hitting the roads on bikes, but it’s just a fact of life that most people eventually reach a point where they can’t handle the balancing aspect of riding, and it’s too dangerous to put just two wheels between them and the road. Not to mention the heightened risk posed by wrecking at an older age. These old bikes don’t have the best led headlights, so your visibility won’t be the best. With newer spider bikes and trikes rising in popularity, you can still enjoy the same freedom you always have without as many concerns.
Even if you’re more attached to your bike than you’d like to admit, there’s always going to be a shiny new toy around the corner, and a lot of times, that shiny new toy offers a whole new way to enjoy the road. After a while, it’s a good idea to upgrade and see what the market offers.
Change in Circumstances:
Obviously, there are also the ways that life changes on a dime. From a sudden financial crisis to the onset of a significant disability, circumstances can change, and the bike has to go. In this case, offloading it quickly and without losing too much of your investment is vital.
There are a few ways to sell your motorcycle, and each one we’re going to cover has its pros and cons. How you sell it will largely depend on why you’re selling it and what you’re trying to get out of it when the transaction is completed.
This is one of our least recommended ways to get rid of your bike. Selling to a friend, family member, or just an interested rider who sees your “For Sale” sign is bound to force a discounted price if you want to sell it within a reasonable amount of time, and even then, it can take weeks to offload it. So, this method won’t be for everyone.
However, there are a couple of pros to using this method. First and foremost, you know where your bike is going. If you’ve spent a lot of time growing attached to your bike, knowing that it’s going to a new rider who will appreciate it can mean a world of difference compared to selling to someone who’s going to consider it an old beater they can bang on. Beyond that, you also have more control over your pricing. Unfortunately, if you try to get too much for it, you’ll be unlikely to find a buyer. Finally, this method is entirely private, and it’s a lot simpler than selling it at an auction or fussing with a dealership’s paperwork and lowballing. You have to advertise the bike with a sign or a listing on something such as Facebook Marketplace, wait for a seller, and let the money transfer hands.
There are some tips you should probably follow with this one, though.
- Don’t go too high on your price. It can scare off private buyers. This is one of the biggest cons to selling privately.
- Get cash. Most bikes privately sell for anywhere from $2000 to $10,000. Do you want to let your buyer write a check, they take off with the bike, and then you find out the check bounced? Probably not.
Of course, dealerships are also an option for getting rid of your bike, but we wouldn’t recommend using them to sell the bike. So, this goes against the point of this article a bit. However, dealerships can be helpful if you’re looking to upgrade your ride or try something new.
When it comes to dealerships, we recommend taking advantage of trade-in credit. You can often get more than you would in most types of sales, and that credit goes towards a purchase from the dealership, such as a brand-new bike you’ve been eyeing for the last six months. This can make buying a new bike a lot easier, and if you have plenty of funds to put towards it on your own, you can go from an older mid-range bike to a high-end hog without massive upfront payment or financing.
The problem with this is that it’s not actually selling the bike, and of course, you’re dealing with sales associates. If you’re having financial issues, physically can’t ride anymore, or have no interest in riding anymore, this will not be a good option for you.
As for the dealers themselves, you have to be on your toes just like you do at a car lot. The sales associates try to meet their quota and make the dealership money, not give you the best deal possible or focus on customer service. So, you have to be willing to research your bike and understand its value, stick to your guns when they throw lowball deals at you, and sometimes, be ready to walk away despite a lot of sales pressure. This isn’t something anyone likes to deal with, but it’s just part of using a dealership for anything.
If you’re looking to upgrade your bike and the dealership has what you’re looking for, this can be the best route. However, if you’re looking to sell it for cold, hard cash, you probably want to use another method.
Finally, we’re starting to get into the big-money deals. Well, this one has the potential to net you a hefty paycheck, but it’s not necessarily guaranteed.
Selling at auction is a little bit of a gamble. First, let’s go over the pros of selling at auction.
The main pro is that you usually get to set a starting price with guidance from the auction officials, and then people fight back and forth bidding on it. If the audience shows interest in your bike, you can get well over your asking price. If it’s just two guys increasing the bet by $10 until one gets tired of back and forth, you might get a little more than the base price. It all depends on the audience, but we’ll talk more about that shortly.
Beyond having the potential to make more than you otherwise would, you also have the opportunity to get rid of the bike faster. When you sell it at auction, there’s a set date, or dates, for the auction to take place. Some auction houses have frequent weekly auctions, too. This means that you can sell it the night the auction takes place fairly reliably. With an auction house that frequently operates, you might only have to wait a couple of days for the event to take place. That’s faster than waiting for a private buyer to show interest and commit to the sale.
However, it’s not the best place to sell motorcycles if you can’t afford to deal with their randomness. While there is potential for you to make much more than your asking price, you might also get the bare minimum, or if the audience doesn’t show any interest, you might lose money. If no one bids and the bike doesn’t sell, you get to keep your bike as if nothing happened, but you also have to pay the auction fees required to host your motorcycle during the event.
This comes down to the auction house you’re going to work with. If they want you to put a very lowball starting price on your bike, you might get ripped off by cheap bidders with low interest. However, if you work with an auction house that lets you start the bidding price relatively close to what you’re trying to get, you have a reliable way to sell your bike at either a minor loss or a tremendous gain. Take those factors into account.
Unfortunately, we can’t recommend this method. You absolutely must get the most money possible for your ride. There’s too much room for error.
This is the best place to sell motorcycles. When you sell on motorcycle-specific listing platforms or in online biker groups, your target audience is highly knowledgeable and values motorcycles just as much as you do. They’re not going to give you extreme lowball offers on rare bikes or treat your entry-level bike like a piece of cheap junk. Dealing with this type of setting is like dealing with your own people. Everything is copacetic, and you might even make some good friends by involving yourself in the community.
Thanks to this, you will most likely get an excellent deal on your bike. Whether it’s entry-level or high-end, you know your bike is going to someone who will appreciate it. You can build relationships with other bikers to help you with future transactions or things you’re looking for. It’s also a lot less stressful than an auction or a dealership.
The only real con to this method is that it can take a while if you have a not very sought after bike. In that case, you’ll probably be waiting for someone who wants to pick up an affordable starter bike for their newly-licensed kid or just something a bit more fuel-efficient than what they’re currently running. Many of the other buyers will be looking for real eye candy. On the bright side, that can work in your favor if you’re offloading a mid-range or high-end bike.
The only other potential con is that it shares a lot in common with the traditional private sale method of putting a sign on your bike. You have to make sure you get paid before you hand the bike over, and you do have to wait for a buyer. Luckily, you start with a better, more focused target audience this way. So, waiting on a buyer isn’t too big of a deal.
If you have the time and know a bit about your bike to engage with other bikers, this is easily the best way to sell a motorcycle.
Whether you’re looking for guides on how to sell your bike, maintenance tips and tricks, gear reviews, or even a new high-quality motorcycle helmet to protect your noggin on the road, The Motor Biker has your back. Check out more of our in-depth guides to stay up to date on everything in the motorcycle world.