How to Negotiate a Used Motorcycle Deal

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When it comes to the art of negotiating for a used motorcycle, there is no substitute for being an educated buyer. It is true the economy is on the downside and money is tight. So, to get the most bang for your buck and prevent getting ripped off by sellers who twist facts, a buyer in today's market needs to follow five easy steps when it comes to purchasing a seasoned motorcycle.

  • When negotiating the purchase price for a used bike, have a set price in mind and stick with it. Many times a potential buyer will see the bike of his dreams and the plan of only spending $800 goes out the window. Try to find bikes with advertisements that say, "or best offer" or "need to sell ASAP." A seller with these words in his ad is going to be open to a lower price. A buyer can get an idea of how much a motorcycle should cost by visiting kbb.com/motorcycle. This Kelley Blue Book site is comparable to the automobile site and will give you the trade-in or retail value.

  • Once a price has been attained for a bike in excellent shape, take the bike for a spin. Look it over closely. Ask the owner if he did regular maintenance like oil changes and lube jobs. In addition, make sure everything is in order like a clear title and current inspection. All these facts will give you leverage when negotiating a price. Once a buyer starts picking away at the major and minor things wrong with the bike, the price can start coming down.

  • After the initial meeting has taken place, walk away. Yes, walk away and tell the seller, "I want to think about it." If the seller is in a pickle, he will want to start negotiating at this point. Never let on the bike is perfect and you will pay anything for it.

  • If the seller is a retail store, the salesman will not want to stand there and argue. A buyer will have better luck with a private owner, which can be found in the local newspaper or traders guide. A good deal may also be found on craigslist.com. Watch out for eBay.com, however. There is no negotiating on this site.

  • Finally, always leave the door open to negotiate the cost of moving the bike. A buyer can state it will cost him so much money to transport the bike so the purchasing cost needs to go down. A seller will more than likely will understand this point and possibly knock off the cost to haul the vehicle.

Tips & Warnings

  • All in all, a buyer needs to be aware of what to look at when purchasing a bike. This will give a person the ultimate leverage when it comes to negotiating a price and prevent unnecessary misfortunes. If a novice or beginner rider is purchasing a bike, take someone along to assist with the particulars. Also, remember cash does the talking. A seller may allow a lower price to someone who has cash to transfer.
  • There is no worse feeling than purchasing a motorcycle, getting it home and realizing it is not what was advertised. A buyer needs to be aware of scam artists who mislead a buyer by false advertising a bike. To prevent this, buyers need to know when a good deal is too good to be true. Remember, buy with your head and not your heart.

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