If you are preparing to sell your car or motorcycle, follow these tips to maximize your profit and improve your chances of selling the bike or car in a timely manner.
- Research the current market value of your motorcycle or automobile. Don’t be surprised if this value is far below what you paid for your vehicle new. Many style of bikes retain 55-65% of their value in their first year and then drop in value every year after. Depending on a car’s make, model, and mileage will greatly affect its resale value. You will also need to take into account how well maintenance your motorcycle or vehicle is and any cosmetic issues it has. You can use Kelley Blue Book, NADAguides, and local classifieds to determine the current resale value for your motorcycle or car.
- Clean up your motor vehicle and prepare it for inspection. Prospective buyers will be more open to your sale if you go through the effort of thoroughly cleaning your motorcycle or car. You want it to look as new as possible for prospective buyers. A good-looking vehicle will also positively affect your asking price. If your bike or car is close to needing maintenance, go ahead and have it done and you can use the maintenance as a selling point. While having the maintenance done, ask the mechanic for an all-around inspection that you can provide a copy of to prospective buyers.
- Take plenty of pictures. Taking plenty of pictures will also help you and potential buyers. Close-ups and multiple angles will limit the request from buyers for more pictures and give them a good idea of what to expect before they arrive to see the vehicle. Taking pictures will also protect you if any damage is incurred during a test drive; prospective buyers won’t be able to claim that a scratch or dent was already there.
- Advertise. Advertise. Advertise. The only way your vehicle is going to get sold is if people know about it. Luckily, in this day and age there are more places to advertise your motorcycle or car for sale than just the local newspaper. Online classifieds websites, online resale sites, social media, and evens smartphone apps are all places you can list your vehicle. Be sure to include the year, make, model, asking price (including if you are willing to negotiate or take trades), and your best contact information. Avoid listing your address to avoid theft or unscheduled visits to see the motorcycle or car. If you don’t usually answer for unknown numbers, listing your email or “text me only” will help you to avoid missing a potential buyer.
- Work with the buyer and be understanding of requests made. Odds are that the buyer is going to ask for documentation of all kinds. Be sure to have your maintenance records, title/proof of ownership, motorcycle or automobile history, and any warranty info that is transferable available to provide to prospective buyers. You may have taken your bike or car to a mechanic and even showed the buyer a copy of the report but the buyer may still want to have the vehicle inspected by their own mechanic. Don’t fight the issue and request that they pay for the second opinion. Allowing a prospective buyer to take the vehicle for a test drive is up to you but you may want to first check with your insurance company to make sure that any damage incurred during the test drive is covered. Getting a copy of the buyer’s license and insurance is also a good preemptive step.
- Complete the sale. Once you have come to an agreed upon price and terms of sale, begin to finalize the sale. Provide all documentation to the buyer needed for them to transfer the title and registration into their name. We recommend completing a bill of sale (you can easily find free, printable versions online). When it comes to payment, you want to make sure that the funds you receive are valid. You can ask to meet at your local bank to complete the sale. The bank can verify that the cash or money order (or cashier’s check) is legitimate. It is not recommended to accept personal checks as they can be canceled before your bank can verify the funds.
- Trust your gut. Scams are out there and seller beware. Never complete a sale over the phone or internet and do not accept payments that are mailed or wired to you. If you think a buyer is making unusual requests or even unfair request, you can refuse the sale. A buyer should be as cautious as you are and understand your need to verify funds – just like they may want to verify the accuracy of your maintenance and ownership of the motorcycle or automobile.