You’ve placed your ad and buyers are starting to contact you. These tips will help you prepare for buyers’ questions about your ad and the bike you are selling.
Make contacting you easy
Be sure the number you use on your ad is the best number to contact you on, and respond to any messages at your earliest convenience. Your bike may not be the only one on your potential buyer’s shopping list, so it’s important you make it as easy as possible. The easier you make it the quicker your bike can sell!
First impressions last
It is important that you are prompt in your response to potential buyers and that you are polite, respectful and provide as much detail as possible. Buying privately relies heavily on trust so give them confidence by being your best self! It may also be seen as a reflection of how you treated your bike during the ownership period.
Scrub up on the ad details
Few vehicles are sold solely through messaging. Get ready provide more details about your bike via phone or at a meet up. The time you invested creating your ad can help you in conversation with the buyer (so make sure it’s all truthful).
Use the ad as a quick-reference sheet for the basics such as engine size, transmission type, mileage, and options. With everything you say, be accurate and honest. Remember, if you’re dishonest your trustworthiness and credibility may be a turn off.
Some initial questions to expect
Further to the bike details you may get some additional questions from the buyer, here are some commons ones to expect:
Why are you selling the bike? Understand that potential buyers ask this question because they are looking for reassurances that you’re not selling a vehicle with problems.
How long have you owned it? Was there a previous owner? This is usually the buyer seeking reassurance, they want to know it has been in good hands. If you didn’t own it from new, be prepared to be asked questions about the previous owner.
Has the bike been regularly serviced? Where do you service? Knowing (and having proof of) your bike's service history makes your vehicle a safer purchase for the buyer. Better maintained vehicles sell for more than those with no verifiable service history. The buyer may even ask where you have had it serviced to call and ask about the bike.
What condition is the bike in, and are there any issues not shown in the photos? Most bike's will have the usual wear and tear, however it might be an idea to make minor improvements like touching up scratches, dents or replacing any broken parts, provided that won’t take too long and will boost the appearance of your bike dramatically.
Are you selling with a seaworthy? In some states, you will be required to provide a seaworthy certificate before selling your bike. The buyer will often ask you to sell with a seaworthy if required, so be sure to factor this into your price negotiation.
It can be a good idea to let potential buyers know other people are interested and you have other viewings scheduled, this will build urgency and convey to them that it’s a good deal.
Not heard back? Consider a follow up
It might be a good idea to follow up with the buyer if you have not heard back from them in a few days. Buyers may enquire on a number of bike's and could forget the sellers they have contacted. The key is not to sound desperate. If they sense desperation, they may use this this to lower the price.
Organising a meeting
It is important to be patient and flexible when arranging a time to meet with a potential buyer; be prepared to drive a bit further to meet them, and understand the test drive and inspection will be unique each time. Make it clear that you expect to see their driver’s licence and if asked provide proof of insurance before the test drive.
Related article: how do I meet a potential buyer for my car?
Prepare to negotiate
Some people love to haggle; others hate it. There will always be some level of negotiation, so remember not to accept the first offer. Before going into any negotiation about price, make sure you know the ‘market’ value of your bike – do your research and have a clear idea of your starting and ending price. Unless you’re in a hurry to sell your bike don’t be afraid to turn down offers.
Selling to Dealers
Expect calls from the used bikes departments of dealerships. Dealers may offer you less money, but you may want to consider their offers if you need a quick sale.
Be wary of scammers!
If the buyer wants to keep all contact over message or online and refuses to call or arrange a meeting, this can be an indicator of a scam.
You should not have the bike picked up by a company without having met the buyer. Furthermore, if you receive an enquiry via SMS about your bike, however, the number to call is disconnected, this can also be an indicator of a scam.
If you receive a suspicious email or SMS, report it to bikesales by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and please include screenshots of the SMS or email.
The key to selling is to be responsive and honest – it will help you get a better price for your bike.
Many buyers will be willing to pay a little bit extra if you are trustworthy and they are confident they are getting a good deal.