So you finally decided to sell your motorcycle. Your local dealer will most likely not give you much money for it, it’s a known fact. eBay is where your motorcycle would have the greatest exposure and many more buyers then in your local paper. Learn some great tricks that will help you get your bike sell quick and for the top dollar.
FIGURE OUT THE MINIMUM PRICE FOR YOUR MOTORCYCLE
First, figure out what is the minimum amount of money you’d be happy to get for your motorcycle. Of course, you need to know the blue book value of your motorcycle in order to answer that question. You can use many online sources to figure out what your motorcycle is worth.
Kelley Blue Book is my first choice for the blue book value to use on motorcycles. National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) is my second source for the motorcycle blue book value. Completed listings on eBay would be my third source to find the true motorcycle resale value for your bike (you need to be registered with eBay to be able to do this).
PREPARE MOTORCYCLE PAPERWORK
Make sure you have the title on your motorcycle readily available. If you don’t have the title, obtain a new copy so that the sales transaction can be completed without delays.
If you have a lien on your motorcycle, you need to disclose this in the auction description. You may need to contact your lien holder to determine timing and steps of acquiring the title.
PREPARE YOUR MOTORCYCLE
This is an obvious thing, but many people don’t do it. Wash your motorbike and shine it – make it look like new. Polish those chrome wheels. The better it looks, the more buyers it will attract. Make any affordable repairs to make the bike more desirable to potential buyers – fix that cracked taillight. The time you’ll spend on this will be well paid off later.
PREPARE MOTORBIKE DESCRIPTION AND FACTS
Write a good description for your bike. The description will come from the facts – Year, Brand, Model, Mileage, VIN, Engine size, Type, Color – and from the motorcycle history. Make sure you tell them if you are the first owner, how long you’ve had it for, any major accidents its been at (this will most likely decrease the value of your motorbike, but you’ve got to be honest about these things), whether you have the title or not.
Always describe any major or minor scratches or dents. Being upfront with buyers will show them that they are dealing with an honest person. After all, wouldn’t you want to know about these things if you were to be buying a motorcycle?
Describe the condition of your motorcycle: how great it is, how all the parts work (signals, switches, lights), how easily it starts, how smoothly it shifts through gears, how great it runs, tell them whether you have the original paint, how shiny the chrome parts are, how extra clean it is (make sure you read the previous step) and what else you’re including in the auction (original manuals, extra parts, etc). Also describe things that don’t work so well. Showing a minor defect will tell buyers that you are an honest seller and they don’t have to worry about any major problems. You want this experience to be pleasant for you and for the buyer.
TAKE MANY GOOD PICTURES OF YOUR MOTORBIKE
A good picture is worth thousand words. A good photo will bring you more money for your bike. It will attract more potential buyers who will place more bids, which will drive your final selling price higher. But you need to take many good photos, not just one. Photos provide buyers with added confidence in the seller and ultimately in their bidding and purchase behavior.
Prepare to spend some time on this. It’s best to use a good quality digital camera for this since you’ll be uploading your photos as digital images to eBay. Plan to take many shots of your motorbike, not just one or two. Choose a sunny day, but not when the sun is right above. Your main objective is that the sun light should come straight at your bike from about 30 to 45 degrees angle and not from right above you when it’s noon. Choose the time in the morning or in the early evening. Make sure there is no shade from trees or buildings (you don’t want your shade to be part of the picture neither). Try it without flash and with the forced flash. Turn off the flash if you’re getting a glare from short distance shots.
Take pictures from far and from close, from different angles, a little higher, a little lower, from the front, from the back. Make sure you take the pictures of both sides of your motorbike and from the top (sit on it and take a picture). Focus on the shiny chrome parts, but also don’t forget to shoot any scratches you have on your bike. Take pictures of the handles, the seat, the lights, the front, the back, etc. Take close-up photos of the odometer reading so the mileage appears clearly in the photo.
PREPARE YOUR eBAY LISTING
Since eBay buyers can’t look at your motorcycle, make sure your listing looks great and appealing to the potential buyers. Many times I’ve seen great items on eBay that don’t have many or any bids, not because the item is bad, but because of the bad listing (poor description, only one photo, etc).
Your description prepared earlier with the motorcycle pictures will be the basis for your eBay listing. eBay provides an easy form-driven web interface for adding a listing. However, if you’ve never done it before, this process could take lots of your time and could cost you lots of money if you don’t do it right. Knowledge of Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is not required but is very desirable if you want your listing to stand out.
FIGURE OUT eBAY LISTING OPTIONS
You’ll have to decide whether you want a classified ad, a BuyItNow only option, a BuyItNow with Bids option, or a true auction without BuyItNow feature with bids only.
Let me tell you, I don’t see many classified ads do well on eBay. For some reason buyers are more attracted to auctions, maybe because usually ads show higher prices than auctions.
If your main objective is to sell your motorbike quick, add the BuyItNow option with what you think would be a good price for your bike, which might be a little below the blue book value. You should know it buy now since you’ve already done your research for your motorcycle blue book value (process described in the first step).
If your main objective is to sell it for a high price and you don’t care that much about how quickly it sells, set it at a low starting price to start with (let’s say $ 1), but set a Reserve Price to the minimum dollar amount you’d agree to sell it for.
Don’t limit your motorcycle auction to “local pickup only”. Limiting to local pickup will greatly reduce your potential buyer universe, which would potentially reduce your final sell price.
Make sure you clearly state how you will agree to ship the bike, what are the options and whose responsibility it will be upon the auction end. Usually sellers pass that responsibility on buyers by simply indicating in the listing that “Buyer is responsible for vehicle pickup or shipping.”
What, did you think this was free? Be prepared to give some money to eBay to include your motorcycle listing on their site.
eBay charges $ 100 listing fee for the first 4 motorcycles per year ($ 80 after that), extra $ 7 if you set a reserve price. In addition, eBay charges the final value fees after your bike sells which is a percentage of the total selling price. Additional listing features such as Bold, Highlight, Featured Plus!, Motor Pro Pack and others are extra.
To give you an idea, if you bought a Featured Plus! option (which makes your motorcycle listing to be placed in the top section where all featured plus listings are) and your motorcycle sells for $ 3,000, you would have to pay $ 100 insertion fee, plus $ 19.95 Featured Plus! fee, plus $ 65.94 final value fee, which totals to $ 185.89.
THINK LIKE A BUYER WHEN PLACING YOUR MOTORCYCLE LISTING
Are you ready to submit your listing? Not so fast. Consider the day of the week and time of the day of when your auction ends. Depending on the length of your auction listing, this may play a big role in the final price. The highest bids often occur at the end of a motorcycle auction.
Most buyers don’t just bid, they usually take their time to think about the item and see how high the price will go up to. They think and think about whether to bid on your motorcycle or not, sign in and check back every day, and monitor your auction. They observe how many bids it has, its current price, etc. If they like the motorcycle and are thinking about bidding on it, they remember what time your auction ends, they sign in and make that final decision often in the last 5 minutes. That’s when you suddenly see the price go higher and higher and more bids suddenly are flowing in. Buyers who liked your motorcycle suddenly realize that if they don’t get it NOW, somebody else will. This realization often drives them to make that bid in the last 5 minutes of your motorcycle auction.
It’s very important what day of the week and what time your motorbike auction listing is ending since you want most of your potential buyers/bidders to be available to make that final bid.