Selling my scooter: what do I do when they arrive at the door?
April 23, 2010 6:20 AM   Subscribe

I'm about to sell my scooter on BikeTrader (I'm in the UK). What should I expect? I've never sold one before. Specific questions follow.

I can place an ad. It's what I'm supposed to do / offer when people ring up and come to see it that I'm not sure about.

It's an '06 Honda 125 Pantheon, under 5,000 miles, good condition. Dealers want £1,600 - £1,900 for similar. How much under this should I ask, allowing for some haggling?

What will buyers expect to be able to do? Not sure about allowing a test drive, for example.

I've lost the service manual. Is this an issue? I have proof of it's recent MOT (it's first).

Anything else I should consider or expect? Sorry about the n00bness of this, but the internets seem a bit light on the actual details / customs of selling a used bike and I don't have biker friends to discuss it with.
posted by dowcrag to Shopping (2 answers total)
I wouldn't allow a test drive unless the buyer gives you the money up front.
posted by wigner3j at 6:25 AM on April 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Normally people do offer a test drive in these situations. Often, if it's someone buying their first bike or car, they'll bring a friend who knows more than they do. There are plenty of problems that just don't show up in a visual inspection, and also people often like to try out a vehicle to see if it 'feels' right.

Since they can't legally ride the bike without a licence, insist on them bringing their licence with them. For security, you've got a few things:

1. You can hold on to their licence while they do a test ride.
2. If they came in a car, they can leave the keys with you.
3. If they brought the cash, they can leave that with you.
4. If they brought a friend/parent etc., they'll generally hang around chatting with you while the other person goes for a ride. This isn't necessarily added security though, because the friend could just leave.

You just have to keep your wits about you a little bit; if the person seems a bit dodgy or won't provide you with any of the above items for security, it's up to you whether they get to ride your bike. But definitely insist on a valid licence.

Decide in advance what your lowest price is, and don't be persuaded to go below this. Don't give any indication that you're willing to go lower than your full asking price, at least until they make an offer or seem about to walk away. At that point, drop your price a little. Ideally they should have to put in quite a lot of work to get down to your lowest price. Don't be afraid to let them walk away. Don't let them take the bike until you have payment in full (if it's a cheque, not until it clears). Make sure you have the registration documents, MOT certificates etc. ready indoors so that you don't have to go searching for them if they buy.

If they find a problem with the bike, don't take their word for it. An experienced buyer will often find various (possibly imaginary) faults and try to use that to get a lower price. If they do, offer to get those things looked at, and let them know they can come back when you've had the bike checked over by your shop/mechanic.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 7:07 AM on April 23, 2010

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