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 Buying a used bike - is this a good deal?
 Ebay and Craigslist prices signficantly higher than KBB.
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Roger Smith
Starting Member
2 Posts


Cambridge, MA
USA

(None)

Posted - 05/07/2010 :  6:54 PM                       Like
I've been looking for a used motorcycle. Seeing some ads on Ebay and Craigslist, I checked out Kelly Blue Book pricing for those models. In most cases, the asking price on the selling web sites were anywhere from $500 to $2000 ABOVE the retail price that KBB suggests is the starting point for a negotiation.

I realize that anyone can ask for any kind of a price when selling something. However, many of these ads advise against giving them a lowball price or in some cases, even negotiating. Therefore, expecting them to take a bid seriously that is either AT or BELOW KBB pricing seems to be completely unreasonable. If they're asking $6800 for a bike that has a KBB price of $4500, there seems no way that you're going to get them down to a price that is KBB or lower.

How do you proceed here? Should you offer the guy who is asking $6800 for a $4500 bike $4000?

Thanks
Rog


rkfire
Advanced Member
1713 Posts


Stratford, CT
USA

Suzuki

Bandit

Peer Review: Blocked

Posted - 05/07/2010 :  10:12 PM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
I'd bet many selling a bike don't really know it's real value.

The thing about KBB is, which price are you looking at. On the one hand you can check a trade-in price, but that would be low for a bike in the classified ads. That's a price a dealer would give on a trade-in.

The other price is retail, and that price would be too high for a classified. It assumes a dealer selling price, with a probable warrantee of some sort (30 days even), and them fixing and replacing tires, chains, brakes etc if needed.

Often too, the seller adds up the extras he might have done. That means nothing to me, especially if it's some accessory I'm likely to remove.

You might have better results actually quoting the KBB book value in your reply to the ad. It should be somewhere between retail and trade-in though.
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bachman1961
Male Advanced Member
2265 Posts
[Mentor]


colorado springs, co
USA

Honda

CB750 NightHawk

Posted - 05/08/2010 :  4:22 AM

Even with added accessories on a bike (like them or not) many times those are quoted at retail or list price as value-added to pump up the perceived value of the bike. Those accessories have no 'real value' other than market prices as used or out of the box. You can confirm this on the KBB or NADA sites as options that can add some value but not a 1:1 type of thing.

Based on the large asking/offering differences, sure... go ahead and offer $4000.00 if you think it a fair price, but better than that, back it up with why and how you arrived at that number and be ready for the seller to justify his/her asking price.

I'd find it hard to imagine your research and the sellers numbers ending that far apart if it's apples to apples on the make, model, year, condition and mileage.

Market area, timing and season can effect the prices. Even recently, with the cost of fuel in the past few years, bike sales are up. With some extra demands, there may no glut of good priced used bikes for a while.

I just looked up mine on NADA and KBB. It comes back as $2100 or $1400. Maybe one is with a full tank of gas !
I've always felt it's value / asking price would be at $2300 and that was pretty close to the 'market' around most of the country last year. Market asking price that is.

~brian
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rayg50
Male Moderator
2083 Posts
[Mentor]


NYC, NY
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 05/08/2010 :  7:33 AM
When I did my search for my bike I hit every local motorcycle dealer in my area and did some window shopping. I decided I liked how the Vulcan 900, Vstar 650, Spirit 750, and Boulevard 50 (883?) felt when I sat on them.

I jotted down the mileage (when visible), the condition, extras, and asking price of any of these that were on display. I looked up the specs, the KBB retail and trade in prices and the cost of the extras. I looked up the original price for that model in the range of years that were of interest, and I read the reviews. I looked up local Craigslist, Ebay, and pennysaver offerings and went to see as many bikes as I could. I came to the conclusion that in my area KBB was consistently lower than the asking price from any of these sources. I came to the conclusion that the Ouija board was the major tool in determining a price. I found that a dealer with ten of one model was more reasonable in pricing then if they only had one. I found that at the larger dealers the exact same bike on opposite ends of the "showroom" could be hundreds of dollars apart in price.

When the smoke cleared I learned, that for ME, my wallet was the major factor. I won't go into my long story of how I bought 2 bikes in the space of a few months but in both instances they were 2006 models (this was around Dec 08 / Jan09 for the first), both had 600 or less miles on them, and for both the price we settled on was about halfway between the KBB retail and trade-in prices. One was a Vstar 650 and the one I now have is a Spirit 750DC. The advantage I carried into the negotiations was that at least one of us knew a ballpark fair price range and the maximum that the deal would go for. Most private sellers seemed to want to recover almost 100% of their bike associated costs. If they got taken on their purchase they were looking to pass it on. I told more than one seller that their "hosing" was not transferable.

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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6914 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 1090 Adv R

Posted - 05/08/2010 :  9:15 AM
When I was looking for an XR650L I looked up both the KBB and NADA prices for all of the model years available. I felt that KBB was more accurate than NADA for older bikes, by the way. I then made a chart that looked like this:

Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail and (trade-in) of XR650L, XR650R
Year Avg (low), Avg (low)
2008 $4796 ($3425)
2007 $4455 ($3060), $4520 ($3105)
2006 $4030 ($2765), $4095 ($2810)
2005 $3660 ($2500), $3775 ($2580)
2004 $3325 ($2265), $3455 ($2355)
2003 $3040 ($2065), $3195 ($2175)
2002 $2770 ($1875), $2940 ($1990)
2001 $2565 ($1725), $2730 ($1845)
2000 $2395 ($1610), $2565 ($1725)
1999 $2255 ($1510), $1930 ($1275) XR600R
1998 $2110 ($1410), $1830 ($1200) Etc.
1997 $2005 ($1330), $1730 ($1130)
1996 $1905 ($1255), $1625 ($1055)
1995 $1805 ($1185), $1535 ($995)
1994 $1715 ($1120), $1460 ($940)
1993 $1640 ($1065), $1375 ($875)


I figured that these numbers could help me talk the price down on an overpriced bike. My idea was that I would show them to the seller and ask him to justify why his bike was worth more.

As for extras, if it's not something that I want on the bike, it is worth exactly zero to me. It turned out that the XR650L that I purchased had only upgrades that I wanted anyway, and the price was below the average listed in KBB. I was prepared to negotiate the price down, but after a test ride I was more than happy to pay full asking price. I still feel that I got one of the best deals possible on that bike purchase.
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rayg50
Male Moderator
2083 Posts
[Mentor]


NYC, NY
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 05/08/2010 :  11:02 AM
Scott, I had the same spreadsheet. The only difference is that mine had the KBB retail and trade in prices for all 4 bikes that were of interest. I printed them landscape on 1 sheet and carried a copy in my back pocket at all times. A couple of times I stopped to look at bikes sitting at the end of a driveway with a 4-sale sign and was able to quickly look up the appropriate range.

quote:

How do you proceed here? Should you offer the guy who is asking $6800 for a $4500 bike $4000?




Just realized that I never answered your question, sorry. Yes it is definitely appropriate to offer what you are willing to pay. The worse that can happen is the person says no. Most people raised in the US find haggling to be bad form. In many countries it is a natural part of any purchase.

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James R. Davis
Male Administrator
17322 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, TX
USA

Honda

GoldWing 1500

Posted - 05/09/2010 :  8:43 AM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Then there is the possibility that the KBB prices, for example, are wrong.

Well, more to the point, if someone is willing to pay more than the KBB listed price, then by definition that listing is too low.

Markets work. The actual value of a particular motorcycle is what someone is actually willing to pay for it.
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dhalen32
Male Moderator
846 Posts
[Mentor]


Omaha, NE
USA

BMW

R1200RT

Posted - 05/10/2010 :  6:11 AM
quote:
Originally posted by James R. Davis

Markets work. The actual value of a particular motorcycle is what someone is actually willing to pay for it.



And we have a winner! Way to go Jim. You have a way of cutting to the chase.

My advice to any used bike purchaser is to do the research on the model in which you are interested (KBB, NADA, local advertisements, etc). Then decide upon how much, up to a maximum amount, you are willing to pay, including the value of any modifications you wish to make anyway. Then take a look at the seller's machine, take a ride if it is offered and ask if you could take it to your mechanic to have it checked it out. If you get that far and no alarm bells are going off in your head then make the seller an offer. If you cannot agree at or below your predetemined maximum expenditure then simply walk away. Patience is a virtue in purchasing any used vehicle. Good luck with your search Roger.
Dave
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SkootchNC
Male Advanced Member
1062 Posts
[Mentor]


raleigh, north carolina
USA

Harley-Davidson

road glide

Posted - 05/10/2010 :  7:58 AM
KBB, and NADA are guides.... it gives everyone a starting point. Neither reflect the current market.
No bike is worth more than you are willing to pay for it. Research the bike, and it's local value.

1) research the local value
2) have the bike inspected by an independent mechanic (at your expense)
3) set your limit, and make an offer based on what you can afford.
4) be prepared to walk away, if the price is too high (to you)

There are many reasons for a bike to be "over priced". The seller might have an inflated value. They may be asking the "pay off" of the loan. Or? they may not "want to sell".
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House_of_Dexter
Male Senior Member
325 Posts


Richardson, Tx
USA

Triumph

Thunderbird Sport

Peer Review: Blocked

Posted - 05/11/2010 :  9:38 AM
Also some people place the price at what they have left to pay off the bike...being the min. that they would let it go without owing the bank any money...
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aidanspa
Male Advanced Member
1740 Posts
[Mentor]


Omaha, NE
USA

Harley-Davidson

Road King

Posted - 05/12/2010 :  4:45 PM
I think buying (and selling) a bike is an emotional process. Sellers are often in a financial bind and are naturally upset about having to sell a bike that they themselves got all emotional about buying not so long ago. In many cases, selling the bike may be the last resort (comic book collection - SOLD!...table saw - SOLD!) and it's easier emotionally to overprice the bike to avoid any interest in it. As the money crunch squeezes tighter, the asking price will drop in direct proportion to the increased pressure.

Make no offers except in person. Decide how much you are willing to spend on the bike, regardless of the asking price, and take that amount IN CASH with you to look at the bike and meet its grieving owner.

Spend as much time as possible looking at the bike and getting to know the (soon to be ex-) owners. Have a cup of coffee if offered. The more time the seller invests in you, the harder it will be for him/her to say "no" to you when you offer your price as you are pulling the cash out of your pocket.

My .02
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Roger Smith
Starting Member
2 Posts


Cambridge, MA
USA

(None)

Posted - 05/13/2010 :  2:23 PM
One more question. Is it reasonable once you settle on the price of a bike to make the sale conditional on having it inspected by the local dealer? Who typically pays for that?

Thanks
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6914 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 1090 Adv R

Posted - 05/13/2010 :  3:15 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Roger Smith

One more question. Is it reasonable once you settle on the price of a bike to make the sale conditional on having it inspected by the local dealer? Who typically pays for that?

Thanks
Some people will go for that and some won't. If you buy the bike before it is inspected, you have to agree on what would be reasonable to cancel the sale or adjust the price. If a buyer wanted to do that with one of my bikes, I would choose the place for the inspection because I don't want anybody touching the bike that I don't trust. For Ducatis it would only be the one Ducati mechanic that has worked on my bike.

The buyer pays for all inspections.

There are a few dealers and mechanics around here who offer free purchase inspections. Unfortunately, the one I like the best is about 70 miles away.
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SkootchNC
Male Advanced Member
1062 Posts
[Mentor]


raleigh, north carolina
USA

Harley-Davidson

road glide

Posted - 05/13/2010 :  6:11 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Roger Smith

One more question. Is it reasonable once you settle on the price of a bike to make the sale conditional on having it inspected by the local dealer? Who typically pays for that?

Thanks



The buyer always pays for the inspection.... I'd be leery of any inspection, the seller paid for.
If the seller refuses to allow the inspection, I'd drop out.
You can by pass the inspection, if YOU are qualified.... but an independent set of eyes, is a good, over all idea
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bachman1961
Male Advanced Member
2265 Posts
[Mentor]


colorado springs, co
USA

Honda

CB750 NightHawk

Posted - 05/14/2010 :  2:03 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Roger Smith

One more question. Is it reasonable once you settle on the price of a bike to make the sale conditional on having it inspected by the local dealer? Who typically pays for that?

Thanks




If you do get a bike inspected, it can serve as a bargaining chip in the event that the bike does need something corrected.

I'd state up front that;

"I'm a serious buyer and won't nit pick for nickles and dimes. Just the same, I will invest the cost of a good detailed inspection to make sure I'm not buying into hidden costs or anything unsafe. I'm sure you wouldn't knowingly sell me a heap of problems but a good inspection might uncover some unknowns. If we find something in need of repair, can we negotiate some wiggle room that allows for some concession to allow for my added costs?"

~brian



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dhalen32
Male Moderator
846 Posts
[Mentor]


Omaha, NE
USA

BMW

R1200RT

Posted - 05/14/2010 :  7:24 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Roger Smith

One more question. Is it reasonable once you settle on the price of a bike to make the sale conditional on having it inspected by the local dealer? Who typically pays for that?

Thanks




Roger:
I ask the question before any negotiations take place rather than after. If the buyer will not allow the inspection then it is another reason to be skeptical and walk away. If it is permitted and problems are discovered during the inspection then you have more leverage when determining the sale price.
Dave
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Robus
Male Senior Member
293 Posts


Chicago, IL
USA

BMW

R1200RT, HD FLTRU

Posted - 09/03/2010 :  10:18 PM
I've noticed too that Craigslist prices are...well, optimistic. Keep in mind that there are a glut of used bikes for sale. It's a buyer's market.
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marco-polo
Male Junior Member
30 Posts


Philadelphia, PA
USA

Suzuki

'03 SV650S

Posted - 09/10/2010 :  5:51 PM
It may be a buyer's market (especially in fall), but the first poster is right that eBay/Craigslist prices are by and large significantly higher than KBB. Well, they'd have to be, since they're negotiated down at purchase time, but moving on ...

I think that this is what statisticians call "survival bias". Bikes that were correctly priced are snapped up quickly and disappear from the listings. Bikes that are incorrectly priced (or at least have an improperly priced ask) hang on forever. That's why the ads are choked with them.

I wouldn't ever assume that a given ask price on CL is in any way firm. I bought my first bike (off CL) for just over 2/3rds the ask. I bought my second bike (again off CL) for the exact ask. I'm sure that you can ask around here and find participants with an even rider range than that.

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CorbinD
Male Junior Member
49 Posts


North Port, Florida
USA

Suzuki

Intruder 800

Posted - 10/01/2012 :  12:31 AM
I found my new bike on CL, the Seller wanted 1200. I went and looked at the bike, and even jump started it for the seller.
I took it for a test spin and loved how it fit me. I told the seller I had to go to work and would let him know. I called back 2 days later and reminded him who I was, after pointing out the clean up and repairs I would need to do. He agreed to selling it to me for 600.
After several months and over 5k miles on the bike, I have replaced the front tire(I knew I would), and the battery. That was also a known issue, I am happy with the bike, and think I paid what it was worth.

Dont be afraid to let the seller know that what needs to be done to the bike, and what you would be willing to pay for it. That is the only way for you to feel like you got a good deal.
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