4 Obstacles You Might Run Into When Trying to Sell Your Motorcycle Online: Do This Instead

in Automobiles

A motorcycle is an exciting vehicle that can provide a freeing driving experience for anyone. Even with the freedom and adventurous value of a motorcycle, it can sometimes be necessary to sell that beloved bike. Unfortunately, this process can be quite difficult for some.

Whether selling the motorcycle to purchase a new bike or making room in the garage, it is important to be prepared for the selling process. Although the internet may seem like the best place to get the bike seen by more people, there are a lot of obstacles that can make the sell miserable.

Dealing with Individuals

When planning to sell a motorcycle online as a private seller, there are often difficulties when dealing with individual buyers. Some may not have much knowledge about the bike, some may want more than the seller is willing to offer. Sometimes, it is best to consider a dealership or online trading company when selling a motorcycle.

Many of the individuals that may be interested in the motorcycle may be unrealistic in their expectations of the bike.  With a dealership or online trading company, sellers can be assured that the bike will be in good hands.

Selling to a dealership or online trading company can also take a lot of the hassle out of the selling process. They can provide a simple offer for the bike allowing the owner to accept or decline. If accepted, the process and transfer of the motorcycle can be handled seamlessly. This can help ease some of the stress of giving up a beloved motorcycle.

Low Ball Offers

When planning to sell a motorcycle, many sellers will clean up their bikes and fix any minor issues the bike may have. They will also research the value of their bike and determine a price that is best suited for their bike. Finally, they will post a picture of the bike online at an acceptable price.

It is important for anyone selling a motorcycle to realize that they will immediately get people trying to get the price lower. Even if the bike is priced well below market value, there are some people that will try to haggle it even lower.

It is important for these sellers to not give in to the pressure to come down on the price. The best option is to tell them to look at the bike before making an offer. If a seller gets several interested people, they could even set up a time for all potential buyers to come. In the end, an auction could ensue, helping to bring the price up for the seller.

If a seller does feel the pressure to come down and decides to do so, it is important to not post this lowered price publicly on the bike listing. Always negotiate in a private message. Posting a price lower will only incentivize others to try to get the price down even lower.


Another big problem that people face when trying to sell their motorcycle online is dealing with scammers. There are a lot of people that will try to steal anything they can. On the internet, it can be hard knowing if the person on the other side is actually who they say they are.

The rule of thumb anyone dealing on the internet should always keep in mind is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Unfortunately, many people get excited at the prospect of something really good and forget their sense of reason.

One of the more common scams involving purchasing a motorcycle is the one where a person claims to be out of the area. The person will want to send the seller a cashier’s check for more than the bike is being sold for. Sometimes, the bike is to be shipped. Sometimes, someone will pick up the bike.

These scams may even include an aspect where more money is sent than required and the remainder is to be sent back to the buyer after the cashier’s check is cashed. Unfortunately, these checks are often fake but are good enough that a bank may not even catch on until weeks later.

When the bank does find that the check is fake, the money will be taken from the bank account it was cashed in. Now the seller is out that money, possibly the bike (if anyone picked it up), and any money returned to the supposed buyer.

It is always better to meet a potential buyer in person. It is also a good idea to take only cash for the sale of the bike. This ensures that there is no possibility of a fake or bounced check. Making the transfer at the buyer’s bank can often be the best option to prevent these situations.

The Test Drive

It is not unreasonable for a person wishing to purchase a motorcycle to want to take it for a test drive. Unfortunately, this can be a very risky situation for the seller. Before letting the complete stranger take off with the bike, it is a good idea to play things safe.

During that test drive, a lot can happen. This complete stranger could drive off and never return. They could drop the bike or even get into an accident. They may even rev the engine to the heavens and blow it up. In any of these situations, the seller is left with no money and a stolen or damaged bike.

Before even considering letting a stranger test drive the motorcycle, the seller should ensure that they have a proper motorcycle license or endorsement. They should also have a helmet with them before the drive. Without these things, the seller could be liable for any damage they cause to themselves or others on the road.

The best option in this situation is to demand the cash upfront while they drive it. The seller can then hold on to the full price of the motorcycle while the buyer test drives it. When they come back, if they do not want to purchase the bike, they can get the money back.

However, if they return and they have damaged or destroyed the bike, the motorcycle is now theirs to keep and the seller has their cash. This is probably the safest method to protect the seller. It also incentivizes the buyer to ride the motorcycle with care.

Although it can be difficult selling a bike online, it is not impossible. It is just important for sellers to understand the risks and obstacles they may face and take steps to protect themselves during the process.

Image Credits: Harley-Davidson

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