There comes a point in any motorcyclist’s life when you buy or sell a bike. But regardless of which side of the equation you are on, it is important that you not enter it without doing some homework. Sadly, both buying and selling come with people out to scam the opposite entity. You must do your part to protect yourself.

Scams To Watch for When Selling

  • Motorcycle scamsLetting someone take it for a solo spin around the block. It is usual for a prospective buyer to want to take a ride. However, there are unethical people whose idea of a ride around the block is really a ride off to places unknown. You will be left empty-handed. Worse yet, they rode up on a stolen bike, and now you have a stolen bike in exchange for your now-stolen bike.
  • Never hand over your bike until a check has cleared your account. Otherwise, you could get left with no bike and no money!
  • Be wary of third-party buyers. You get a call from someone claiming to purchase your bike on someone else’s behalf. However, they will only complete the sale if you pay them a ‘seller’s fee.’
  • You receive a text from someone who claims they want to buy the bike, but they can’t speak with you by phone or may try to limit communication to email. Don’t give them any information. Block them and walk away.

Scams To Watch for When Buying

  • Watch out for large down payments to hold the bike until you get there to look at it. Often, one will make the down payment and never hear from the seller again.
  • If you get to the seller’s location and they say a version of “We just sold that bike, but we have something else like it…’ walk away. They are likely pulling a bait-and-switch scam.
  • Ask to check the Vehicle Identification Number on the bike and check it against the title. If they don’t match, find another bike. Also, get the title info and check public records to see if it is clean. A clean title has no bank or mechanic liens, or the bike is not salvaged. A salvaged motorcycle is one the insurance company totaled and is worth a lot less money.
  • Pay careful attention to the casing around the odometer. Some unsavory sellers will wind back the odometer to make it look like it has fewer miles. You can identify this by scrape marks around the odometer casing.
  • Do your homework and know the value of a used bike of that particular make and model. Learn everything you can about potential problems or common maintenance concerns. Then, you can ask specific questions and know what type of answers would be typical.

Of course, whether buying or selling a motorcycle, you want to do your part to keep a bike in prime condition.  One way to do this is using AMSOIL 100% Synthetic Motorcycle Oil and the Motorcycle Octane Boost available from Minnesota dealer Lifetime Oil. These products will give you confidence in your bike’s performance and even pay you closer to your asking price.  After all, it’s a good bet there will be some negotiating on price!

Don’t get scammed when buying or selling a motorcycle. Pay attention, do your homework, and walk away from any scenario that makes you uncomfortable.  It might take longer to complete a transaction, but the outcome will be worth it if it protects your time and money.