I know you want to get rid of that motorcycle on CL. So, in this article, you will learn how to sell a motorcycle on Craigslist fast without getting scammed. But hey, you must be smarter than you used to be (*winks*).
To put your motorcycle up for sale on craigslist, it is imperative to know the dos and don’ts. Otherwise, you cheat yourself, especially if you are selling your motorcycle without a title.
A buyer searching for a motorcycle on Craigslist is well-prepared for the worst; they see you as a scammer. And if you manage to prove you’re not a scammer, they see you as a “Big Liar”.
Sellers get scammed on CL, but smarter sellers often secure the best deal. As a seller, you must understand what to put out to ward off scammers, attract real buyers and receive payment.
How much does it cost to list a motorcycle on Craigslist?
It costs $5 to list a motorcycle ad on Craigslist. $5 is quite trivial, plus Craigslist needs the revenue because they do not run ads. This nominal fee also improves the quality and legitimacy of postings on the platform. Somehow, the ad charge tanks the number of motorcycle ads on CL, considering that Facebook Marketplace allows free bike ads. Meanwhile, I belong in the motorcycle niche and have been selling bikes on various platforms, but I source on Craigslist the most.
How to Sell a Motorcycle Fast on Craigslist
How do you go about selling your motorcycle on CL? What are the things/tips to gain from the deal with minimal loss? We will find them out in this section!
Below are the steps regarding how to sell a motorcycle on Craigslist:
Know Your Motorcycle Worth
Before you put out a motorcycle for sale on Craigslist, know the current worth. You can assess your motorcycle with the following:
- Purchase date
- Current condition
- Actual market value
You can determine the actual market value using online platforms to estimate your price. Read consumer reviews and note the common problems in the motorcycle.
Typically, before I sell a motorcycle, I value each part, beginning from the tires, head/tail lights, wheels, engine, tank, suspension, brake functionality, etc. Do not leave out any part while evaluating the cost of your motorcycle. If it is challenging for you, get a mechanic or an expert to appraise it.
Finally, navigate Craigslist for similar motorcycles and the price others value theirs. Note that other ads of a similar model must not influence your bike value.
Prepare the Motorcycle
Of course, you will prepare the motorcycle for sale, alongside the relevant paperwork. Clean up, wash, and get rid of grease.
Change the oil if necessary and flush the fuel tank to get rid of water. If possible, replace minor and less expensive parts. Check the recall status of the motorcycle, and if it was recalled, it affects the market value.
Prepare the VIN and title. If your VIN is clean from theft, goo deal. Also, you must have a title. Nevertheless, you can sell your motorcycle without a title, but it affects the value because the buyer bears the burden of registering the motorcycle without a title.
Prepare the maintenance record. If you have none, it signifies you did not maintain the motorcycle well enough.
List the Bike
If you have no Craigslist account, create a new account on Craigslist.org to post your motorcycle ad. Make sure to fill out the information in the Motorcycles and scooters category.
To post on CL, log into your account, select the nearest city, click Post to Classifieds, and follow on-screen instructions.
Clean up your motorcycle and take pictures of it. Keep the pictures neat, choose a decent scene and use a top-quality camera. Endeavor to take close-up shots of critical areas to convince buyers.
Next, describe your motorcycle ad clearly. Highlight its current condition, disclose defects or damages to present you as an honest seller.
Also, include critical information such as odometer mileage, title (availability status and lien/title in hand), number of previous owners, and theft status. If you will be selling a motorcycle reported as stolen, you’ll need a fake bill of sale and fake license plate for motorcycle.
You can sell your motorcycle faster on Craigslist by including the reason for selling it.
Disclose your payment method. Do you only accept cash? Checks? Typically, most sellers prefer cash over checking.
Earn Your Potential Buyer’s Trust
Patience, intelligence, and carefulness factor in selling a bike on Craigslist without getting scammed. Craigslist is not devoid of scammers. Nonetheless, there are several legit buyers too.
To filter scammers, read through the pitches you receive via email. Once you read the first paragraph, you can tell whether it’s a scammer’s message or not. Some will demand you purchase whatever legal form using a link sent to you for the deal to commence. Do not click any link to whatever study, except you feel the links are legit.
A legit buyer that contacts you is scared too. He feels he is getting scammed the next moment and will not want to lose their guard. I recommend reading how to buy a motorcycle off Craigslist to learn legit buyer’s typical approach.
Meet a Potential Buyer
Always check your email and respond to them earlier. I do not list my phone number; I give it out when I receive a legit buyer’s email.
Make sure to keep the transaction semi-formal. You may phone the potential buyer, or they may call you upon getting your phone number.
You can also tell a legit buyer from their responses, demands, and readiness to purchase the bike.
Most buyers will run checks on your phone number to ensure you have no scam reports on the phone number. You could do the same using an app like Truecaller or looking up bikers’ forums for possible reports.
Your bike VIN will be requested by the buyer for a VIN check. They may also request a picture of the title certificate or pink slip to be sure to have a title.
Do not say “mint” when your motorcycle has scratches all over the pegs, fairings, levers, and exhaust. Next, pad your asking price and avoid out-of-state buyers (if you are extremely fearful of getting scammed) or PayPal users.
While giving your rate, understand that your motorcycle is not a gift to humanity. Moreover, a buyer won’t pay twice the NADA/KBB retail value. Be upfront if you must haggle the price and give a reasonable price.
Potential buyers haggle on CL; inflate your price between $300 and $400 more for a buyer to beat it down and feel like they got a perfect deal. For instance, if you are okay with $1,400, list the bike at $1,700 for the buyer to beat it to $1,400. You can make a couple of bucks more but be fair with the price.
Decide a Location
Choose a popular public spot for the inspection location and go with a friend. I advise against meeting strangers at your house because you have no clue who they are.
Most people recommend choosing a retail store, fast food restaurant, etc., but you can meet the buyer in the bank lobby where you keep the money. There are cameras to capture the scene, and you can deposit the money immediately after the deal is done.
Accept Test Ride
Do not allow a test ride if the person has no full-asking price in cash. Secondly, do not allow a test ride if the buyer has no valid driver’s license. Hold at least 50% of the payment and key the title and bill of sale while the buyer goes for a test ride. Know the course they are using too.
Take Down the Listing
Paid ads remain active for 30 days on Craigslist. Do not hesitate to take down the motorcycle ad on Craigslist after a successful deal to keep people from contacting you for a non-existing vehicle.
Documents Needed When Selling a Motorcycle on Craigslist
When selling a motorcycle on Craigslist, below are the needed documents:
Make two copies of the bill of sale, a copy each for you and the buyer. The bill of sale must be original copies and not photocopied.
You need the title to sign it over with the correct information at the back. If you misplaced your title, apply for a replacement title.
Depending on your state, you may have to turn in the number plates. If you have the vanity (personalized) plate, do not turn it in, except you want to. However, you must inform your motor vehicle department. In Illinois, for instance, it’s not mandatory to turn in your motorcycle license plate.
If your state issues new plates when a motor vehicle is sold, take off your plate and do not allow the buyer to ride home with them.
What to Do After Selling a Motorcycle on Craigslist
Do the following after selling a motorcycle on Craigslist:
- Prepare the Bill of Sale
Make two copies of the original bills of sale.
- Sign Over Ownership
Usually, you sign the title at the back, and it informs the motor vehicle department that you no longer own the motorcycle.
- Retrieve the License Plate
Remove the license plate and keep it. The buyer may request to ride the motorcycle home after purchase with your plate and mail it back to you. Do not accept it. Tell the buyer to obtain a temporary permit at the motor vehicle department. They will need a valid photo ID, bill of sale, and the motorcycle. Depending on the state, the temporary license lasts 2-30 days.
- Inform Your Insurance
Get in touch with your insurance company after the sale to cancel your insurance.
How to Avoid Getting Scammed Selling a Motorcycle on Craigslist
In this section, I cover the tips to avoid getting scammed on Craigslist when selling a motorcycle.
If a buyer refuses to pay in cash, meet in person or send an inspection team, it signifies a scam. Accept cash payments or certified checks only. Once, I accepted a cashier’s check as payment, but I called their bank (credit union) and confirmed it was legit. If you are taking a cashier’s check, make sure to confirm it is legit too.
Do not allow a test ride if the potential buyer does not put your in-cash asking price in your hand. If they prefer to give just 50%, keep the title, plate, and bill of sale and follow them.
Finally, if you list your phone number, spell it out like “one, two, three, nine…” instead of “1239…”. It does not eliminate scammers, but it reduces the number of scammers that contact you.
Endeavor to keep the engine cold because your buyer wants to meet a cold engine to be sure it starts easily. Also, use a public location as the meeting point.
Specifying “no low balling” does not keep scammers and real buyers from offering less than your asking price. So, always be open to negotiations to secure the best deal. You can always begin the asking price above your preferred selling price.