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Having to sell a motorcycle isn’t necessarily the most enjoyable task. Knowing you’ll be dealing with flaky people and not knowing how long it’ll take for it to be gone and have the cash in your hand can be frustrating.
The best and fastest way to sell a motorcycle is ensuring you’ve formulated the right ad. Every detail in the advertisement can make a difference. In the past few years, I have sold more than a dozen motorcycles and can advise you on what to include in your motorcycle advertisement that will help it sell quickly.
Find the Right Platform
The first thing you’ll need to do when creating an ad for your motorcycle is figuring out which platforms you’ll be using to show the ad in the first place. While newspaper and magazine ads can be effective, they often cost money and aren’t looked at as much by potential buyers.
Your best option is to post your motorcycle ad online. This is the direction society is moving, so you’ll need to use at least some form of online advertising if you wish to sell your motorcycle quickly.
There are many online platforms available that are free and frequently used by potential buyers. My favourite online sites to use include Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist and Cycle Trader. All of these platforms are simple to use, easily accessible, and best of all they’re free. You can buy additional packages from Cycle Trader that allow you to post more pictures and highlight ads on their site. However, you can get away with the free one-year subscription.
It’s also good practice to post your motorcycle for sale on several different platforms at the same time. You’ll want to get the word out there and everyone has a preference of where they look for motorcycles that are for sale. Essentially, you’ll be making your net wider and catching more people’s attention by doing this.
Take Lots Of Pictures
It is a crucial step in the advertising process and should not be missed. This is something that sellers often neglect. I’ve seen far too many ads where there weren’t any pictures posted at all of the motorcycle.
Make sure you take good photos of your motorcycle before you begin to create your ad.. Take a lot. You may not be able to post all of them, but you’ll be able to pick out your favorite ones. You can take your motorcycle to any beautiful place, such as a canyon or a cool street, or even an artistic brick wall.
You don’t need to be a photographer to get good pictures. Pictures taken from your smartphone should work perfectly. Make sure your pictures are clear and focused so that the motorcycle’s details can be seen clearly. Posting photos will increase your chances of selling your motorcycle for the best price and at a faster pace.
Don’t forget to get close ups up the instrument panel, gas tank, and engine. Take pictures of your motorcycle at all different angles so potential buyers feel like you’re not hiding anything. If the platform allows, I will post at least 8-10 photos of the motorcycle.
Give a detailed description
Once you feel you’ve taken some good pictures of your motorcycle and have picked out at least 8-10 pictures you’re going to post on your ad, you’ll need to begin creating the ad on whatever platform you’re using. It’s easy to create a motorcycle ad online.
A section will allow you to add a description about the motorcycle. You can also upload photos. The description of your motorcycle is the most critical aspect of your selling experience. Write a detailed description of your bike and not a 2-3 sentence explanation.
There’s a lot of psychology that goes into the description of a motorcycle ad. Writing minimal sentences subconsciously tells potential buyers that you don’t care to sell your motorcycle and will often cause an automatic pass before they even click on your ad.
A lack of description also means that the potential buyer has more work to do in a sense they need to call or contact you for more information which is what most people don’t want to do. Help them feel like they’re getting to know the motorcycle and that all their questions are being answered through your description.
Now, that’s not to say you need to write a novel about your motorcycle. It’s possible to keep the description of your motorcycle simple but informative. Write 2-3 paragraphs that are relevant to the motorcycle. This article is long enough to be read by potential buyers and to spark their interest, but not too lengthy to bore them.
Transparency is key
You’ll want to be as transparent as possible while creating an ad for your motorcycle. That doesn’t mean you need to list every single thing that’s wrong with it, but be honest about some of the big problems it may have so potential buyers aren’t so surprised when they come to see it.
Personally, when I’m looking to buy a motorcycle and go to look at one only to find it had major problems with no indication as such on the original ad, I’m automatically turned off because I don’t know what else the seller is trying to hide. Honesty from the start and letting the viewers know that the motorcycle might have a problem helps to build trust in you as the seller.
It’s also not a bad idea to include why you’re selling the motorcycle. There’s really no wrong answer for this unless, of course, you’re trying to scam someone into buying a lemon (which should never be done). If you’re selling it because your spouse is making you, say that. If you’re selling it to fund another project or that you just need some cash, say that. One of the first questions people will ask you when they come look at your motorcycle is why you’re selling it in the first place. It’s okay to be honest with this.
Once a potential buyer has come to look at your motorcycle, you’ll need to continue to be honest with the transaction. If they ask a question that you know they won’t like the answer to, you still need to tell them the truth. But hopefully you’ve set the price right that your answer shouldn’t surprise them.
Don’t Forget Contact Information
I’ve helped a handful of people sell their motorcycle. One of the biggest complaints people get is that they haven’t gotten a single email, text, or phone call. I often find out that the person who created the ad forgot to enter their contact information. People can’t call you if you don’t have your phone number listed.
Before hitting “submit” on your motorcycle ad, make sure your contact information is easily seen and that viewers don’t have to go on a treasure hunt to find it. Yes, having contact information available like this will likely attract a few scammers, but that’s just something you have to deal with when selling a motorcycle.
Be as accessible as possible Post your phone number and report you take phone calls or texts if you’re willing. In case someone prefers to communicate that way, add your email. Facebook Marketplace and other places will automatically send you messages if there is interest in your motorcycle. If you are unsure about how Facebook Marketplace works, you can still add your phone number.
Also, be prepared to answer any unknown texts or phone calls. You’re going to get a lot of those when you are selling a motorcycle. If you work during the day and can’t take phone calls for a while, make sure your phone inbox isn’t full so people can leave a message.
Get the Right Price
When creating an ad for your motorcycle, you’ll need to set a price for it. You should do some research to determine how much your motorcycle is worth. There are plenty of resources out there such as NADA Guides and Kelley Blue Book that can help you understand the ballpark of what it’s worth.
Once you’ve decided how much you want out of your motorcycle you can start to build it. Your ad should be priced slightly higher than the amount you are expecting to receive. Buyers believe sellers are willing to negotiate on price. Being completely firm on the price isn’t necessarily bad, but it could drive away a lot of potential buyers.
Buyers like to feel like they’re getting a good deal. Setting the price higher than what you want to get out of it will mean you’re negotiable which is attractive to potential buyers.
Here are some things to avoid
There are some things that you should avoid when writing an advertisement for your motorcycle. These will most likely scare potential buyers and viewers. As a recap from what we’ve already discussed, avoid using minimal pictures and a short description on your ad. Don’t lie about your motorcycle and it’s functionality.
A lot of people use all capital letters to describe their motorcycle ads. Not only is this grammatically incorrect, but it’s extremely annoying for people who are reading it. To ensure that your advertisement is clear and understandable, it might be worthwhile to have another person read the description. (and that they don’t get the sense you’re yelling at them through all caps).
Avoid using acronyms. You’ll often see people say something like “$2,500 OBO.” Many people are familiar with the concept. “OBO” It means “or best offer,” But not everyone will be able to read it. Avoid using any type code like this so you have total transparency and you won’t leave a single person in confusion while reading your motorcycle ad.