Selling Bikes online - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Selling Bikes online

I have been trading and selling stuff since I was in grade school and have even done some buying and selling online but mostly small stuff, under a $1000.00. Here is my question, any of you bought or sold cycles online? I would like to know the things to watch out for, I can't believe people will buy big ticket items sight unseen but I hear it happens. Your feedback would greatly be appreciated.

Thanks,
Marvin
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 10:02 PM
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Over the years I have bought and sold bikes on line and honestly have never been burned. I have used Ebay, Craigslist, Cycle Trader and MC specific forums. Sometimes it is the only way to find a specific bike you are looking for. As an example I couldn't find a used Versys on the west coast. I ended up buying one out of Texas from a fellow Versys forum member. Maybe I've been lucky but I usually have a good feeling about a purchase after a phone call or two and getting lots of pictures. If I don't feel comfortable with a purchase I have no problem passing on it. One thing that has to be figured in is the cost for getting the bike. Either fly and ride or a shipping company.

If you have any specific questions let me know and I'll try to answer them.

Good Luck!

Cliff
FPD Ret, USN Ret.

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 01:18 AM
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The last year I bought a car.
After a crash (a guy hit me hard and destroyed my old car) I needed a new car. I looked around and I would liked a Renault Megane or a Ford Focus. Near to me I foud only diesel car, but I was searching for a gasoline car for install on a LPG system (I drive LPG cars since 20 years ago). On Internet i foud a Megane 1600cc MY dec. 2007 with LPG system from factory. Get more pics, had some phone contacs and leaved to Rome.
Checked and tried the car, I liked it so we finalized the selling.
Italy is very small compared to USA, so for you can be difficult leaving to see the item. You must to evaluate accurately the item by lot of pics and phone contacts.

Nobody thinks that something is so easy like who is totally unable to do it.

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Ex Aprilia Pegaso 96 Blue
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
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I think you are doing pretty well with your English and thanks for your input.

Marvin
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 02:34 AM
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I sold my last three bikes (BMW R1200GS, Honda VFR759FV, Yamaha FZS1000) by advertising them on the internet. The Yamaha I sold last month when I decided I wanted the Versys and sold in 48 hours after putting it on Gumtree (a free hosting site with no fees like ebay). I've found that an honest description backed up with plenty of photos and (most importantly) priced right is the key.

Good luck exploring the infinite abyss
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 05:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davy F View Post
I sold my last three bikes (BMW R1200GS, Honda VFR759FV, Yamaha FZS1000) by advertising them on the internet. The Yamaha I sold last month when I decided I wanted the Versys and sold in 48 hours after putting it on Gumtree (a free hosting site with no fees like ebay). I've found that an honest description backed up with plenty of photos and (most importantly) priced right is the key.
I bought my Varardero 125 and also my Versys off Gumtree then resold Varadero on Gumtree. As said before, it is free with no fees (just be careful of spammers)

2008 Kawasaki Versys 650
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 06:28 AM
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Brought a BMW 2002 650cc GS about 3 years ago on a site here called trademe for $6000.00 from Nelson which is 350 miles away, it was sent down on general freight truck to Christchurch which is 100 miles north of me, got a lift with a freind that was driving to Christchurch and rode the bike back to my home town of Timaru with no problems. Considering I never test rode it before, it worked out pretty good and sold it a year later for $5900.00 on the same web site.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 08:06 AM
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We bought our Blast on Craigslist over a year ago, and then recently sold our Blast and bought our M50 on Craigslist. There are definitely scammers on there. So for our pattern has been:
  1. Send some emails getting more info.
  2. If that's okay, try a phone conversation.
  3. If that's okay, meet and show/see the bike.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 08:30 AM
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After emailing with Siyeh about his ride report in his signature I bought my Fast Red one from a member here. LINK

Two days before I bought it I messed up my back and had an ambulance ride. I not only called Jimmyjam from the ambulance but sent him a pic. and my wife called him again from the E.R. Long story short. He offered to hold it as long as needed. And not to worry about it. We picked it up on that Saturday. He gave me stuff that he had not even listed. Including a brand new 110 / 12 volt back massager with heat, That I am using at this moment.

My wife bought our Diesel TDI New Beattle online from two states away.

We have had good luck with these purchases.

Craigslist scares the hell out of me. And will only meet them at public place with someone else with me.

Sorry for the book.

Good Luck

Bob

Ride em if ya got em!
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 08:41 AM
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Craigslist scares the hell out of me. And will only meet them at public place with someone else with me.
Excellent advice. We do the same.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 01:24 PM
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I've sold a house and several vehicles on Craigslist with no problems. I've bought vehicles sight unseen from the GAO website and had no problems. Craiglist definitely has scammers and spammers mining the postings, so read between the lines of any Emails you receive in response. Most of the spammer/scammer problem I've experienced was from postings where I was trying to sell something, not from anyone I was trying to buy from. Definitely exchange more than one Email and make phone contact before making a deal. I would also only offer a small downpayment before picking up a vehicle on Craiglist unless you're pretty confident about the seller.

Michael
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- Terry Pratchett

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks

Thanks citizens, I really appreciate all of your input. All of this helps me out a bunch.

Again Thanks,
Marvin
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwesley View Post
I have been trading and selling stuff since I was in grade school and have even done some buying and selling online but mostly small stuff, under a $1000.00. Here is my question, any of you bought or sold cycles online? I would like to know the things to watch out for, I can't believe people will buy big ticket items sight unseen but I hear it happens. Your feedback would greatly be appreciated.

Thanks,
Marvin
I bought my Versys (slightly used 08 with 1700miles) over the phone from over 1000 miles away. It was an Ebay auction. I would normally not have done this but.......

a) used bike prices were and still are about ~50% higher here in eastern Canada
b) i bought from an established and fairly large auto dealer that had taken the bike in trade
c) i had already spent a fair amount of time researching the Versys and had an idea of what i wanted and what to look for
d) i would not consider buying something like this in a private sale remotely


Look for an ad that sounds honest and not hyped. If they for instance say there is a small scratch in the tank and post a picture of the scratch, chances are they would mention the engine is toast if it was.

Last edited by Sprocket; 05-15-2011 at 09:35 PM.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 09:59 PM
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I really took a chance and bought a minivan on Ebay a few years ago. I flew down to Florida and drove it back to Michigan. My chance paid off; it was a good car and I saved thousands from buying one locally. I found my '09 V last Fall and most recently got a John Deere backhoe off craigslist. I went to check 'em out before handing over any money. My advice if you are looking for something is not to get in a hurry, look at as many ads as you can, and you'll soon get a feel for who the scammers are because legitimate people are usually upfront with nothing to hide in their ads. Good luck!

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It has NO point
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 10:41 PM
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Sold my '03 Bandit 1200S a couple years ago, and my '04 KLR650 (a week ago...!) on Kijiji, along w/ MUCH other stuff. Even bought stuff from THIS site!

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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 10:49 PM
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My boyfriend and I have bought every motorcycle we have owned on Craigslist. We also sold them all on CL, except the V and his strom of course, which we still have.
I sold a 96 Triumph Tiger to a guy in Oregon (I'm in AZ). He flew down and bought it, and he and his wife rode it back to Oregon. I held it for him for a week so he could get his arrangements made, while also getting other calls and offers on it. But he seemed like an honest person, and he must have really wanted the bike to go through all that trouble to get it. He said there were only 3 available west of Texas, and mine was the best apparently. I sent him pictures of all of the small flaws it had. He called me several times within that week to let me know what his schedule was and to assure me he was still coming (and to make sure I still had the bike). We even picked them up at the airport. He handed me cash as soon as he saw the bike, and they were gone within a half hour. They were good people.
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 12:08 AM
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Interesting Craigslist experience

So I went to look at a motorcycle listed on Craigslist the other day. He was asking a reasonable price for it. From the ad, it didn't seem like the guy knew much about bikes so I figured I would save my questions until I could see it in person. He listed the bike as a "98 Honda" and from the picture I could tell it was a VFR. When we went to look at the bike, he wanted to meet at a gas station on the corner by him (which is odd because usually someone will give you the address to their house where the bike is). So we met him at the gas station. Immediately we noticed the VIN sticker said the bike was a 96 and not a 98, and when we mentioned that to the guy he acted like he didn't know. The bike had also had a not so good paint job as you could see the original color under some of the parts and corners, etc. The bike did not look too bad, but the title had a lien release on it, which can sometimes be scary because you never really know. So we requested that the guy get the title reprinted just to ensure there wouldn't be any problems. I made him an offer for the bike if he took care of the title.
We left, and as we drove home I remembered seeing an ad a few weeks prior for a 96 VFR that someone was selling pretty hard and kept coming down on the price. As soon as the price was within my range he said it was sold. Then he posted another ad the next day (which was still posted) saying the bike had been stolen because the people who bought it from him paid in counterfeit money. He had reported it to the police and they were looking for the people. We called the guy who posted that ad, described the bike (let him know it had been painted) and the title, and sure enough, it was that guys stolen bike, still in his name with the same plates and all. We gave the original owner the information we had on the guy trying to sell it and advised him to call the police and set up a sting, which is exactly what they did. The original owner went to see the bike that night at the same gas station and brought the cops along. The guys were arrested and the bike was returned to the original owner.

So watch out for stolen bikes. You can call the non-emergency police line and give them the VIN to see if a bike has been reported stolen.
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Finally Done Deal

Thanks guys for all the input and stories. I sold my Vespa on a scooter website, I don't care for ebay or craigslist just because of the con artist out there. The man that got my scooter was several states away but it is exactly what he wanted so being new to this long distance selling I contacted a buddy of mine from church that sells a lot of cars and motorcycles online. This are the rules he gave me to go by for everyone involved to be happy.

Don't deal with email or text messages. Phone calls only!
Give the prospect any and all photo's they want.
Get your local banker involved. Once we made the deal I took my signed title and all the scooters documents to my banker. I emailed my customer the banks website, I didn't even give him the number and had him call and speak with the manager. The banker verified everything and soon as the money hit my account the bank overnighted all the documents. A week later the shipper shows up and everyone is happy.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 08:00 PM
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I sold my MZ by listing it in the MZ forum, and a day later got an email from a guy from IN. He came, looked at it, and we did a deal where he'd leave 10% as a deposit and come back in the spring (It was fall). He came, handed over the cash, and took it home.

I prefer to use a brand specific forum, because the subscribers are usually enthusiasts, and seem to be a higher class of people. If I had to use something like Craigslist, the meetup would be in the local court/cop shop parking lot in the daytime.

I deal in cash only. No paper of any kind.

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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-21-2011, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mchustlr View Post
So I went to look at a motorcycle listed on Craigslist the other day. He was asking a reasonable price for it. From the ad, it didn't seem like the guy knew much about bikes so I figured I would save my questions until I could see it in person. He listed the bike as a "98 Honda" and from the picture I could tell it was a VFR. When we went to look at the bike, he wanted to meet at a gas station on the corner by him (which is odd because usually someone will give you the address to their house where the bike is). So we met him at the gas station. Immediately we noticed the VIN sticker said the bike was a 96 and not a 98, and when we mentioned that to the guy he acted like he didn't know. The bike had also had a not so good paint job as you could see the original color under some of the parts and corners, etc. The bike did not look too bad, but the title had a lien release on it, which can sometimes be scary because you never really know. So we requested that the guy get the title reprinted just to ensure there wouldn't be any problems. I made him an offer for the bike if he took care of the title.
We left, and as we drove home I remembered seeing an ad a few weeks prior for a 96 VFR that someone was selling pretty hard and kept coming down on the price. As soon as the price was within my range he said it was sold. Then he posted another ad the next day (which was still posted) saying the bike had been stolen because the people who bought it from him paid in counterfeit money. He had reported it to the police and they were looking for the people. We called the guy who posted that ad, described the bike (let him know it had been painted) and the title, and sure enough, it was that guys stolen bike, still in his name with the same plates and all. We gave the original owner the information we had on the guy trying to sell it and advised him to call the police and set up a sting, which is exactly what they did. The original owner went to see the bike that night at the same gas station and brought the cops along. The guys were arrested and the bike was returned to the original owner.

So watch out for stolen bikes. You can call the non-emergency police line and give them the VIN to see if a bike has been reported stolen.
Good story, and good for you for putting it together and contacting the real owner!

Michael
Always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual.
- Terry Pratchett

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