Buying a Motorcycle Online – Don’t Get Burned

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If you’ve ever considered buying a bike online, you may have wondered how you could take advantage of a great out-of-state bargain without getting scammed in the process. There are plenty of horror stories out there, but with a little planning and common sense, you may just find yourself in possession of the bike of your dreams, even if it’s from a seller 2000 miles away.

Use common sense. Just picture your Dad looking over your shoulder saying “If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.” PLEASE don’t fall for the “I’ll send you a cashier’s check for over the amount, you keep the rest” scam.

Get an inspection. If you’re serious, find a nearby dealer or mechanic and have the seller get the bike inspected. You’ll have to pay the fee, but an unbiased opinion may save you a ton of heartache (and cash) in the end. Since it’s unlikely that you will be able to see the bike yourself, it is an advantage to have an unbiased third party check over the bike.

Check the seller’s feedback. Make sure your seller has a lot of successful transactions under their belt. A seller’s reputation is their most valuable sales tool, and their feedback rating gives you a good feel for their integrity.

Get lots of pictures. Don’t hesitate to ask for more, different angles, or even a video of the bike starting up.

Know what you’re buying. With so much information at your fingertips, there’s no excuse for not knowing the ballpark value of a bike. Check Kelley Blue Book for estimates of what a bike is worth according to condition, mileage, and geographic location.

Make sure the title is clean. Here’s a nightmare: Imagine paying out $10,000 for a motorcycle that you cannot title. It’s happened before. Have your third party check to make sure the title is clean and the serial numbers all match up. Sometimes a call to a local police department is all you need. It would be a shame to get your bike and have a problem titling it because of some type of creative title enhancements.

Protect yourself and the seller by using escrow.  When you use, they collect the money from the buyer and hold it until the buyer and seller agree that the terms of the sale have been met. Escrow services are available for a small fee for purchases over $500. If your seller refuses to use escrow services, keep in mind that you’re taking your chances!

Allow money for transportation. Now that you own it, you need to get it home. Give us a call at HAULBIKES – we may know somebody who hauls bikes (ha ha).

Ship extra parts separately. 

Double check everything. Remember, not only are you buying your dream bike, you are paying out a lot of money for it. Double check everything so you are satisfied with your purchase and not disappointed


Photo by Avi Richards on Unsplash


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