Positive Bike Selling / Buying Experiences

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Rick G, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. Rick G

    Rick G Ranger Rick

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,159
    Location:
    Euclid, OH
    There have been numerous threads about the crazy shit that happens when you are looking to buy or sell a bike. So how about a few positive stories to even things out?

    OK, I'll start.

    Today I just completed the sale of my much loved 1150GS to Sean (he found my bike on the MOA site) from Baltimore who did a fly and ride. The negotiation was a little screwy with him first by getting me to come down a couple hundred on the price, which was OK as I priced it to allow for a little dickery. The price we settled on I felt was fair for both of us as my bike came with a lot of extras but did have almost 80,000 miles. I agreed to pick him up at the airport and to make sure the bike was worthy for the 400 mile ride back to Baltimore. We agreed on the following weekend. Then the fun began.

    He calls me 2 days after we entered into a verbal agreement telling me his Credit Union is giving him grief over a loan for a 9 year old bike with 80,000 miles and that he is sorry that he might not be able to complete the sale. I say, no problem I have other interest, I know the bike will sale, thanks anyway. I then start to talk to potential out of town buyer #2 who had expressed interest but hadn't made an offer yet. He tells me not to worry that if he offers to buy he has cash and will let me know in a day or two. Still no deal.

    Not 15 minutes after exchanging emails with #2, I get an email from Sean tellig me that the CU relented and gave him the loan so the sale is on again. He also PayPal's me $500 for good faith. I send an email to #2 to let him know and he is good about it.

    Now I had asked #1 to bring cash for the balance as he is out of state and my bank wouldn't immediately cash the check but put a hold on it. He agrees and all is well untill I get his phone call 2 days before his arrival to tell me that his CU is an electronic bank only and doesn't have cash on hand. WTF??? I think about it for a few minutes, and tell him that I have trust that he is not going to screw me and to just bring a cashiers check from his CU. All is well again.

    This morning I pick him up at the airport, bring him to my home to see the bike for the first time (other than pics) and he is elated, telling me it is much nicer it is with even more goodies than he expected. I then show him a few things that were not included in the sale and he wants to buy my AStitch Tank Panniers for my $50 asking price. He doesn't have enough cash and asks if he can just write a check? I say sure, as by now we have gotten to know each other and I trust him. He proceeds to write me the check and when I look at it, it is for a couple hundred more than the panniers. He then tells me that I have been so good about everything and the bike is better than expected so he wanted to give me my original asking price. WOW! That has never happened before. Usually the buyer finds a little defect and tries to get an extra hundred knocked off, not the opposite! I told him if I knew he was going to do that I would have just given him the panniers.

    So we head to the DMV to sign the title over and for him to get a temp tag to ride home with. I make a nice gesture back by picking up the $20 tag cost and then on the way home I stopped at the ATM to pick up a little cash as I was going to ride with him a bit till lunch and I needed cash. He then asks me how much the tolls are on the turnpike as he forgot to hit the bank up before leaving Baltimore and only has $20 cash, his checkbook + credit cards. So I give him $40 back so he will have some cash for the ride home and we rode together for a bit as he headed home. When we split, he had the most humongous shit eating grin on his face, he thanked me again and off he went.

    So, have you ever had someone insist on paying you more for a bike you were selling him?

    Lets hear about those positive bike buying / selling experieces! :clap

    Rick G
    #1
  2. surly357

    surly357 Cochetopa dreamin'

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    590
    Location:
    Colorado
    i've sold my last 3 craigslist bikes to the first/only person that's contacted me, they've shown up with cash and on time.

    it CAN happen!

    :D
    #2
  3. bbagwell

    bbagwell Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    96
    Location:
    Salem,OR
    Buying my TW200 went pretty well. My friend alerted me of the ad at around 9 PM on a Thursday night. I called and talked to the owner and everything sounded good. He was a 3 hour drive from me. He owned a muffler shop and had the bike at the shop and said he was there all day. I told him I would be there around noon Friday. I called Friday morning to confirm he still had it. He laughed and said yes it was still there.

    Me and my buddy showed up, the bike looked great. I didn't have my endorsement yet so my buddy took it for a test ride. I rode it around the parking lot. He was selling because he bought a newer t-dub from one of his friends.

    I asked how firm he was on the price, he laughed and said the ad had been up less then 24 hours he was pretty firm. I told him I wanted to go have lunch and I would get back to him. He told us about a good pizza place and off we went. We came back and he asked if I wanted to make an offer. I offered $50 less then he was asking he accepted.

    I was excited my first motorcycle! He handed me a workbook from the Team Oregon class and said I should take the class to get my endorsement. I told him I planned on doing that.

    I got a good deal, and he was a great guy and easy to deal with. Same buddy and I just took another road trip to get him a Husky SM610, it was another good experience. It always seems like the good deals are far from home! :D
    #3
  4. nukemm

    nukemm Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    114
    Location:
    Mukilteo, WA
    When I bought my KLR650 the original owner had all of the service records, the manual, the tool kit, a cover and he knocked a bit off the price when he saw my DOD decals and we shot the breeze for a good half hour as we went over all of the paperwork to make sure everything was right. The bike was better than listed and had another 18 months of warranty on it, and only had 2000 miles on it, too. The older guy who had it wanted to get his feet wet into adventure touring but couldn't handle the seat height and bought another Goldwing.
    #4
  5. Gonzoso

    Gonzoso Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    179
    Location:
    Pocono Mt.s PA
    In fall of 2007 my buddy was riding around a 2001 Suzuki Marauder 800cc cruiser.

    I've known him since I was about 4-5 years old.

    In February 2008 he said he wanted to sell it, 10k on the odometer.

    The next day I paid 2k cash and got a bike. Put 14k miles on it, crashed it once at 15 mph on cinders in may 2008, superficial scratches on the bar end and peg.

    Sold it 3/13 w/ 24k miles for 1,800.:D

    In all my craigslist/autotrader transactions I've found if you read between the lines you can get great smooth deals. 3/12 I got an 04 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport, 5 speed, 91k miles, in almost perfect condition for 5,300.
    #5
  6. Sox Fan

    Sox Fan SoxFan

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    922
    Location:
    Southeast Michigan
    #6
  7. Gonzoso

    Gonzoso Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    179
    Location:
    Pocono Mt.s PA

    Stupid people are stupid, and shady people are usually not the sharpest.

    The kind of person I would like to buy a bike from is the kind of person who can operate a camera and take okay pictures of their item.

    The kind of person I want to buy a bike from is someone who knows the basics of grammar and can spell at least at a sixth grade level, and writes in sentences.

    If someone can't figure out how to communicate in our written language I don't want a machine they took care of.
    #7
  8. Roadracer_Al

    Roadracer_Al louder, louder, louder!

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,726
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    I'm a lot better at buying bikes than selling them.

    I must be a Craig's List Asshat Magnet. I've been trying to sell a Ninja 650 recently. I bought it cheap - it was crashed and had a lot of deferred maintenance. I did all the maintenance and put new tires on it, added luggage, and rode it for a year. I'm selling it cheap, too.

    The worst one of all was a little Chinese girl (I asked, not generalizing), she couldn't have been more than 5' tall, and couldn't lift it off the sidestand. But she kept dickering aggressively, offering less than half what I had advertised it for. She kept saying it was too heavy, and then low-balling me. WTF? I finally had to tell her that I wan't going to sell it to her at all.
    #8
  9. davethegoat

    davethegoat bahhh....bah...

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    209
    Location:
    Walking my dogs

    +1
    #9
  10. Rick G

    Rick G Ranger Rick

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,159
    Location:
    Euclid, OH
    OP here.

    We are getting a bit off track. This thread is about POSITIVE experieces. We have enough threads about wackos.

    Rick G
    #10
  11. VxZeroKnots

    VxZeroKnots Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,946
    Location:
    Durango CO
    Pretty much this, it takes about 1.5 strikes before I call off the deal either buying or selling and haven't had a bad experience yet. I also only deal with cash, no financing on either end.

    I purchased me first bike, a drz400, off craigslist and rode the wheels off it.

    I also got my 640ADV off an inmate, drove three hours tooled around a parking lot and paid cash for it. Took it to Baja a month later. :clap

    Also got my XS1100 off craigslist which I turned into a brat bike

    I was selling my 2000 RM250 named "earth muffin" that I rode as a trail bike through college. It was pretty clapped out when I got it, and I sunk an obscene amount of money into it trying to turn a Japanese MX bike into a European trail bike. It eventually blew up on me, I rebuilt it, threw more money at it and smashed a radiator first time out. I bought an actual European trail bike in the mean time (well traded my 640 Adventure for one stupid me) and so it sat until I got a new radiator, fixed that rode it twice and the bolt that holds the main gear to the crankshaft backed out of the case. (This happened once before to myself and at least once to the PO but I didn't pick up on it when I bought it. It was torqued properly and lock tighted under my watch) So I cleaned out the trans once again, tack welded the bolt onto the main gear so it couldn't back out, put it all back together and threw it up on the Craigslist for parts. Some Brotocrosser was interested and had the money so I met him in the highschool parking lot, he had a broken arm from wadding his last bike, his wife was driving him since he was in a sling and was about to have a baby on the spot. I rode it around for him, made sure he knew it was a timebomb and loaded it into the truck for him. Done deal.

    I Sold the Husky I traded my adventure for to an inmate who drove three hours to a localish riding area and I met him there about an hour from me. We did a 20 mile single track loop together and he took it home. I put the cash in my camel back and went and rode an other 40 miles.

    I just bought a 950Adv off craigslist, ad was up for less than an hour but when buying adventures I usually have ten or so sell out from under me before i can get to them so I told the guy I'd be there the next morning with cash. Drove nine hours, rode it around a little bit, and loaded it into the truck. If i'm doing that I assume if it blows up it's all part of the fun.

    trust your gut and it's pretty straight forward, if someone starts giving you a hard time pass on them. someone else will be interested in your deal.
    #11
  12. WeazyBuddha

    WeazyBuddha Carbon-Based Humanoid

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,049
    Location:
    RGV Texas
    Just got this from a gent here in Texas the Friday of MotoGP in Austin. We hauled it around in the bed of my buddy's pickup the entire weekend.

    As we drove up I could see it was pristine, looking at how well kept the seller's house, property, shop and other bikes were and after conversation I was ready to just hand over the cash. My buddy suggested I ride it first so I did, for about 100 yards.

    Pic from it's first run with me. 'Gonna put a lot more miles on it than the 1,600 it had. :D

    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. bigalsmith101

    bigalsmith101 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    933
    Location:
    Lake Stevens, WA
    In October or November of 2011(can't remember now), I sent a $500 deposit via paypal to ADVBilly to secure the purchase of his outrageously farkled 2009 DR650 that he had listed in the fleamarket. The bike had been on the market for a little while, with interest but no sale. Billy didn't try to dicker with me on the price, he simply offered me a deal on the bike I couldn't turn down. Turns out, he had read my ride report, got inspired, and then decided he needed a DR650 with all the goodies. So he bought one, farkled it out, and then promptly bought an F650GS. Selling it to me was better than selling it to someone else he said!

    This is while I was holed up in Azogues, Ecuador, 80% done with an 8 month trip from Seattle to Argentina on my then current 2007 DR650.

    A month and a half later I flew home to the Seattle area from Buenos Aires, Argentina where I had just sold my '07DR650 to a 24yr old Australia. Then a full month later flew down to Alabama after a work contract to pick up the new bike. It was everything he said it was going to be and then some. He picked me up at the airport, and took me out to his hunting cabin where I met his father in law and several of his friends. We stayed out at the cabin (by cabin, I mean lake house...) and drank beer and Billy fed me with the southern hospitality that is common to the area. I.E. Steak and Shrimp Gumbo and more food then I needed, all while taking me on two different 100mi day trips around the area before on a solid sunny morning, I took off and road across the country to get my new to me bike back home to the homestead just north of Seattle, WA.

    Not only did Billy hold the bike on a simple $500 deposit, he sent the second set of wheels that came with it to my house. The wheels were worth more than the deposit. I could have left it there and came out ahead. But no. He stored the bike, for nearly 3 months until I was able to come get it. He then accepted a check for the bike, as there wasn't a local Key Bank branch in Alabama. He then packed up my extra shit and mailed it home for me, while I rode home on the bike.

    Best buying experience that I've ever had.

    This is how it looks now.
    [​IMG]
    #13
  14. Tom48

    Tom48 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Oddometer:
    510
    Location:
    Fremont NH
    I brought a 2009 Honda 230l from a guy in Ma. It had 1200 miles on it and the engine ran well. I provided 3350 for it and am happy with it.
    #14
  15. Rick G

    Rick G Ranger Rick

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,159
    Location:
    Euclid, OH
    Now that is what I am talking about. :clap Great story!! (two posts above)

    Rick G
    #15
  16. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,067
    Location:
    Binghamton, NY
    I've had very good luck buying and selling on CL. Last night a guy showed up with full price on my 84 Honda scooter and was very happy to have found it. He didn't even ask for a test ride, only to see me ride it around a bit.
    Found my Tiger in NYC (3 hours away) and was the first caller. The seller took a small paypal deposit and held it for a day until I could get there. The bike was way under priced and I got a hell of a deal.
    Did a fly and ride to NC for a Sprint before that. Owner met me at the airport and again, got a hell of a deal. He even threw in a jacket, gloves and helmet for free and had a new rear tire put on for my ride home.
    The Sprint before that was also from NYC and the seller rode it here for me to look at it. I bought him a $40 bus ticket for his return trip.
    Yesterday was a banner CL day. Aside from selling the scoot I bought a pair of lightly used BMW Gortex boots for $75 and an Arai wired helmet (need a spare for the occasional passenger) for $30. Also sold my too tight Sidi boots to offset the boots I bought.:clap I'd bought the Sidi boots from the same guy last year for $60.
    #16
  17. rgoers

    rgoers Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    372
    Location:
    Northern Utah
    I have BEEN the one to pay more when the seller is straight with me, and I think the price is beyond fair. I figure if I can encourage just a few individual sellers that honesty pays off, it might just catch on...
    #17
  18. ddavidv

    ddavidv Thrifty not cheap

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,268
    Location:
    Elizabethtown, PA
    Back in August 2010 I had made the decision to get back into motorcycling. Hadn't been on one since I was a teen, never had my MC endorsement. Thanks to the corruptive influence of this site :wink: I knew I had to get a dual sport. After endless research, I decided the KLR would be the perfect way to dip my toe. If I could find one cheap enough, I could ride it and decide if it was for me or not. If I hated it, should be an easy sell. So I shopped...local dealer had one, but it was overpriced. Then inmate delftvanp posted a hideous but somewhat farkled 1989 KLR 650 in the flea market for the whopping sum of $1200. The photos and description made it apparent it was 'style challenged' but mechanically sound. We agreed to meet, and I drove the pickup down to his place to have a look. Any time you meet a guy who has clean, vintage motorcycles in his living room you know you've found the right seller. The KLR was ugly, but he started it and it sounded great. Not having a MC endorsement I didn't ride it, just told him to help me load it up. Paid the asking price because I could part it out for what I paid even if it blew up within the week. The bike performed flawlessly the whole time I owned it. A great deal for both of us.

    So, after two years, additional farkling, a doohickey and a respray I finally accept that as good as the KLR is, it's not quite the right tool for the job for me. I need something a little more road oriented and smoother. More research. A dalliance with Tigers and a lust for Capanords, but ultimately accept a Wee Strom is probably the solution. Once again, the flea market comes into play. A seller (whose screen name I've sadly misplaced) advertises a very clean looking '04 Wee in an ad...where he's hoping to part trade for a cheap, more off-road oriented dual sport. :huh Could I be so lucky? We talk. I send him photos of my bedliner painted, dented KLR. In disbelief I get word from him that this may be exactly what he is looking for. Certain he will change his mind once he sees my KLR, I load it in the truck and drive 2 hrs to see him and the Wee. The Wee is perfect, 40,000 miles but nary a scratch on it and with a full set of Givi luggage. We offload the battle weary KLR, he rides it around the block, and we make a deal for the KLR plus a very reasonable amount for his Wee. I toss him a brand new tire for the rear which is soon done since I can't use it as a bonus.

    I've bought/sold over 50 four wheeled vehicles and have made some good deals. But my experiences on ADV working with inmates have surpassed most all of them.
    #18
  19. R_Rick

    R_Rick Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    422
    Location:
    Halifax, NS
    On a cold Monday morning last Spring, on a whim, I posted my low mileage 2005 Thruxton on Kijiji (similar to CL but more popular in my neck of the woods). At the time there were 2 or 3 similarly aged Thruxtons listed for sale in Canada with prices varying from $4K to 7K. I priced mine a bit higher than the lowest with the expectation that I would pull the ad in a week and keep it.

    I want a prospective buyer to know that it is not perfect so in the write up I said something along the lines of 'this is not a garage queen - it only looks clean because I drive it in the rain / sleet / hail'.

    Within an hour of posting I had an email from a guy asking if he could come by with a friend and take a look. We arranged a time the next evening at 6pm.

    About 530 next evening a guy on an ST1300 stops in front of house and introduces himself as the friend. He asks a bunch of questions about the bike - I start it, run through the lights, he sits on it to feel out the suspension, steering. Told me they will not be asking for a test drive. We shoot the shit for 1/2 hour or so when the prospective buyer shows up. He comes over and introduces himself, looks at his friend and asks him what he thinks .... "if you don't buy it, I might." was the reply.

    I spend some time running through the bike with him. Point out a few flaws, a few mods, etc. He asks how firm I am on the price - tell him I am reasonably firm, that I priced it very well for the year and condition. He then says "what if I tell you I have a money order in my pocket written out to you for $200 less than your asking". Thinking he was bullshitting me, I said "I'd tell you that you just wasted $10 at the bank to get a money order that you need to return". He laughs and says "how bout a $100 off asking". Sure, I can do that. He pulls a money order out of one pocket and $100 out of the other. Guess he wasn't bullshitting! :rofl

    We do up the paperwork, I gather up some bits and pieces (shop manual, cover, maintenance receipts) for him and hand him the keys. He goes to his car, grabs a jacket, gloves and helmet; tells me he'll be back for his car later that evening, and drives off into the sunset.

    At bike was driving down the road I had a big case of sellers regret - I had hoped that it wouldn't sell so I could tell the wife that I have not choice but to have 2 bikes. Moped around the house for a week or two before finding the Transalp for sale. I keep checking kijiji to see if the guy has gotten tired of the Thruxton yet and hopefully get chance to buy it back.

    Cheers,
    #19
  20. Celtic Curmudgeon

    Celtic Curmudgeon Indiana Jones wanabe

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    285
    Location:
    Boca Raton
    Getting back into riding after a 10-year break, I was looking for an ADV bike and came across a 2002 Aprilia Caponord on Craigslist. It was a decent, but not smoking deal. I monitored it for several weeks as the asking price dropped. I finally contacted the owner (who lived less than 3 miles from me!) and went to look at the bike. It was "as advertised", and I got him down an additional $200. He had a friend at a local dealership and also took care of the title transfer and registration for me (on a Saturday!), so I didn't have to take off work to stand in line. :deal

    Turns out he's an inmate here, and is currently on a year+ trans Africa ride. We've become friends over the past year and half. Couldn't ask for a better experience buying a used bike, especially in S. Florida, where cons, ripoffs, and douchebags are epidemic.
    #20