It’s the go to place to buy and sell everything these days. If you are looking for a used motorcycle, it’s where most people tend to start their shopping experience. For two decades now it’s been serving us up adverts in either auction, buy it now or classifieds formats. Are there still bargains to be had or is it more hassle than it’s worth? At the end of the day its ‘buyer beware’, but here’s a few pointers to help save you from having a negative experience.
• Never, ever bid more than you want to pay. If you see a bike advertised be strict and set yourself an upper limit.
• Try to resist bidding too early. If it’s got a week to go, wait until the last day, ideally the last few minutes as that’s when all the action happens.
• Sticking bikes on your watch list also allows you to see what they are selling for? Do your homework beforehand.
• Avoid a bidding war. It’s amazing how quickly you can bid well over your limit. If you don’t win the auction simply wait for the next one to come along.
• Limits are not only about money. Set yourself a search area. If you’re happy to travel 100 miles then obviously this will reap you more potential bikes to bid on, but an eBay mile is calculated on how the crow flies, so try to avoid ending up with a longer trip than you anticipated on to collect your new bike.
• Don’t be shy. Ask lots of questions to get some communication going with the seller. Are you sure that they are a private seller? Check their feedback. Are there other bikes on there? Challenge them if there are.
• Arrange a viewing. Digital photos make everything look good. You can’t beat seeing the bike before bidding.
• Always ask the seller if there’s a buy it now price, you’d be amazed just how many bikes get sold outside of eBay.
• Despite what sellers say, there’s no requirement to pay deposits etc after the end of an auction, this is usually down to the seller having had bad experiences in the past.
• If a bike looks too good to be true, then the chances are is. Never believe everything that you read in a listing.
A popular way for people to advertise their bikes is on a classified format. The listing lasts 28 days and gives the seller much more control over their transaction. Often though sellers forget to end these after selling the bike which can be annoying for buyers who think they’ve stumbled upon a bike to buy.
If you do buy a bike that’s the wrong end of the country, there’s no shortage of courier companies that’ll sort the logistics out for you at a price. Some are excellent, others less so. Try to get a recommendation if you need to hire the services of these guys, most will have a Facebook page where customers often leave a review.
On the whole eBay is still the easiest way to look for a bike. There’s always a decent selection of machines on there from private and trade sellers. Stick to these pointers and your experience should be a positive one.