So you’ve decided to sell your motorcycle. This is a great way to earn cash if you need it or to let go of a bike that you just don’t need anymore. Nevertheless, there are a few hurdles before you can walk away cash in hand. The main one is pricing out just how much are you going to be selling your mechanical baby for. In order to figure that out, there are more than a few things you need to consider and do.
To get the maximum price for your bike, you may want to get a safety check from a mechanic and ensure you can prove you own the motorcycle. After you’ve done that, do some research on your bike like its model year and what country it was manufactured in. In the end, a private appraisal may be a good idea as well. In order to price your motorcycle, there are some pretty necessary steps. Beyond that, it’s an art form and a matter of what the market will bear. We’ve outlined a few key things below that you should look into to get started.
Get A Mechanic To Check Your Bike
The first step to selling your motorcycle and determining what price to sell it at is to take it to the mechanic. This is important for a few reasons. First and foremost is to find any sort of issue that would pass by your eyes when checking for issues that may negatively affect the motorcycle and its value. Doing this alleviates you from any responsibility for incidents caused by mechanical failure after you sell the bike, and also makes a pretty good sale point. Second, this can make sure the motorcycle you want to sell is in the best possible condition it can be in. This fetches you the highest price possible, as buyers aren’t likely to purchase a bike in poor condition for top dollar.
Gather All Documents You Have
The next step in motorcycle valuation is to gather all the documentation you can about the bike and its history. This includes insurance papers and proof of ownership, like the VIN or any legal document with your name on it. For example, you may want to look for the original receipt or any other paperwork that came with the bike when you originally purchased it. Other useful info or documents include anything that shows the previous owners, write-offs, title status, or any other events in the history of the bike. You should also have access to the Bill of Sale that you received when you first purchased the bike as proof of ownership.
As obtained from a mechanic you should be able to also provide a history of any repairs that have had to be done in the form of receipts and repair summaries. Make sure that you have all of these documents before beginning to price out your motorcycle. This is because buyers will want this information to help them know what they are purchasing, and in turn, allow you to know what to ask them to pay.
Do Some Research
The next step in selling your bike is to do some research on what exactly your bike is worth at that particular time. You see, just because you need or want ten thousand dollars for your motorcycle does not mean that’s what it is worth. Instead, you’re going to have to go off of actual values. The best way to go about this is a quick internet search; there are a real whole ton of websites that specialize in the value of motorcycles that have been used and are now needing to be sold.
One such site is Kelly Blue Book, which specializes in vehicular market values in general. It is important to use more than one site though to determine an average market price. After this, make sure that you don’t waste your mechanic’s visit and documentation time and factor those into your new appraisal as well. This leads us to the next point in our list of tips on pricing your used motorcycle, having the right expectations.
Have The Right Expectations
If you charge into selling your bike with high expectations you might be disappointed and discouraged almost immediately. As we said previously, just because you need money or because your bike means a whole lot to you does not mean that it is equally as valuable to others who do not share your attachment. This is especially true when selling your bike in today’s online world.
There are now expanded choices in the market, and people can easily find the same model of bike as yours with a quick web search. So if you want to sell you need to be as competitive as possible without sentimentality to make the best impression you can. Therefore, always go for the average, not the higher end of whatever appraisal you get, if not the lower end, especially if the reason you are selling your bike is for quick cash.
Check To See Where The Market Is At
In the age of the internet, everything is now a buyer’s market. This is because everything can be found being sold by everyone for a variety of prices. Motorcycles are no exception to this. When you are getting ready to sell your bike, whatever your attachment and whatever your reason, you’ve hopefully taken our advice and done your research, and put aside personal needs and feelings as much as you can.
Unfortunately, this is only a place to start when you are trying to determine your motorcycle value, as the biggest thing you should be looking at when figuring out what cost you’re going to be portraying to a buyer is how the market for motorcycles in general and for yours in particular sits. It doesn’t matter what online sites say in the end because they aren’t the ones buying motorcycles, sure they can help give you a baseline of what to expect people to pay, but in actuality, it is the buyer’s ability to spend, and what they believe your motorcycle to be reasonably worth that will determine the final price. This, however, does not mean that you should accept an unreasonably lowballed offer, just that you should be aware of the fact that people will vary in their willingness to close the deal at certain price points.
What Condition Is Your Bike In
So you’ve gone to the mechanic and learned about the condition of your motorcycle, fantastic! That’s the first step towards the next phase of determining where to price your bike, and that’s figuring out what condition the machine is actually in. When we say condition, we don’t just mean if it runs well and fires up on the first turn of the ignition, we mean a whole package of details both mechanical and cosmetic.
This means if there are scratches on the paint job, maybe invest in some professional help or personal effort to get them fixed and painted over. Spend time shining the chrome of your bike and replacing the tires. The better condition your bike is in, the higher the price that it will fetch from prospective buyers.
Have You Customized Your Bike?
If you’ve spent time customizing your bike, I have both good and bad news for you. The good news is that these customizations can help bring a more niche market to your door looking to buy your bike, fetching a potentially higher price point. The bad news is some modifications from the original model’s specifications can alienate a lot of buyers in the mainstream market, so this can make customizations a double-edged sword. Furthermore and unfortunately, many other buyers who don’t value those customizations will not be willing to be anything extra for the upgrades. So, when pricing out your motorcycle, if you’re looking to sell quickly, don’t expect too much of anything for any customizations.
What’s The Model Of The Bike?
Alright, now that we’ve got all of the fun prep stuff out of the way we can get to the nitty-gritty of the bike that you’re trying to sell. The first thing you need to think about is the model of the machine itself. Certain brands will have produced bikes that are more legendary than others, these are the ones that will go for a higher price.
With a tiny bit of research and some knowledge of the biking community, you should be able to know which bikes are popular. If you’re trying to sell a Harley or Triumph, especially a vintage model from the 50s, chances are you’re going to be in luck compared to if you had an off-brand, Suzuki or Yamaha, that you’re trying to offload.
Not everyone is going to know about brands and models though. These are the people that are going to be worried about the little things, things like fuel consumption. So when you are trying to assess your motorcycle price, keep these people in mind as well to maximize your audience.
Chances are you’ll get a better price for one of those off-brand Yamaha motorcycles we mentioned from someone worried about fuel efficiency than from a biker looking for their next pride and joy that is rich in legacy and culture.
Year of Manufacture
The year the motorcycle was manufactured in is also an important thing to consider when you are preparing to sell your bike. This can be a tricky area because bikes must either be relatively new or very old and a classic to fetch top dollar. Those sellers who find their motorcycles are stuck in the middle often are disappointed with lower selling prices.
For example, a classic Harley-Davidson from the 50s will outsell a Harley from the early 2000s any day of the week due to its rarity and iconic look. On the other hand, a brand new Harley motorcycle will also outsell that same early 2000s model due to it being newer and more advanced. The age of a bike must be in a certain sweet spot for maximum profit.
Country of Origin
The country of origin of a bike is also of significant importance to buyers when they purchase your bike as where they are produced can be indicative of the quality of the machine. Bikes produced in the United States and Japan are known for fetching especially high prices in recent years. Though classic bikes like old Triumph brand motorcycles have been known to be popular with collectors too.
One way to price your bike is based on purpose. Different uses for a bike can be indicative of its value. For example, a Yamaha produced for speed and agility on the race track will be infinitely more valued and desirable than a delivery bike made by a smaller and lesser-known manufacturer. Leisure bikes, due to their luxurious builds and materials, are typically some of the most expensive kinds of motorcycles to buy.
The speed of your bike is bound to help make it more appealing to a certain group of buyers. This is because the ability to go fast is one of the key reasons some people love motorcycles in the first place. The feeling of the wind in one’s hair and the road rapidly disappearing before you is an experience many crave.
So when you begin to try and sell your motorcycle, it would be advisable to figure out just how fast it is compared to other bikes in the market. This may be the saving grace for you if your bike is not faring well in much of the other criteria we have laid out but is exceptionally quick.
The last step to take in pricing out your bike, that is if you’re not already sure that you can sell it at a price you have in mind, is to get the help of a professional. A professional appraisal carries with it a significant number of advantages. Prime among these is the fact that it comes with expert opinion and hard facts backing any sort of price that is produced. In the end, experts will know about any atypical conditions with your motorcycle or the market in general. They can also act as an impartial judge and make a fair and unbiased assessment.
Now armed with the proper procedure and tips you should be able to price your bike for sale correctly. Hopefully, after you do manage to set a price, it will become easier to make the sale. Once you know your price, check out the best ways to sell your motorcycle and where to find your next motorcycle.