He works up a mental image of how the motorcycle might
look under all the grime and grunge, and he thinks he’ll
have a gem after a good wash job. Of course, when he
gets home, the bike can’t possibly match the picture that
his imagination drew.
Never pay for an ad. Real buyers aren’t looking in newspapers or on really popular sites. That’s where dealers go
handful of die-hard enthusiasts go. They might not have
the big numbers, but they have high-quality numbers.
Nonsense. When I sell anything, it might as well be a
kidney. First of all, I wouldn’t sell a motorcycle unless I
needed the money, and there’s nothing happy about financial distress. I love my stuff. I’ve never owned a motorcycle
that wasn’t a dear friend. If I sell one, I feel like it’s going
on my permanent record of betrayal and treachery. Also,
I think the people who say that are probably salesmen of
some sort who are trying to get slightly more than what an
object is worth. I’m never that guy. I have this unfortunate
mentality that makes me believe that whatever I want to
sell is worthless and the thing I want to buy is priceless. I’m
not putting down salesmen; just the opposite. I think having true sales skills is a gift from heaven. It’s the ability to
wholeheartedly believe that you’re doing someone a favor
by letting them pay you slightly too much money. I know
exactly how to do it, though. These are a few of my ideas
on how to abandon your best friend.
Leave it dirty. This runs contrary to mainstream salesmanship, but follow my logic. When a bike is dirty, you
can’t see the scuffs on the plastic. When a chain is covered
in thick, dirty grease, you can’t see the rust. When the tires
have dried mud an inch thick, you can’t tell how worn they
are. If you ever watch any of those pawnshop or picker
shows on channel 1278, you know that the more beat up
and disgusting the item, the more the buyer is intrigued.
By Ron Lawson
“ When I sell anything, it might as well
be a kidney.”
“Make the buyer fill out an application.”
Be absolutely honest when you sell a bike. Bring out all
your receipts and show the prospective buyer what you’ve
done over the last few racing seasons. In fact, if you have
race logs showing that you’ve lined up for 100 motos in the
past 50 weeks, it will really impress him. Show him photos
of you racing and crashing, as that goes to your credibility.
Show him your scars, X-rays and CAT scans. Show him
which injuries can be credited to this particular bike.
Make the buyer meet you at the track. Come on, there
are a lot of people out there who shouldn’t own motorcycles at all. It won’t do any of us any good in the long run
if the percentage of goons to real riders takes a shift in the
wrong direction. If he takes a few laps so that you can tell
he’s a real motorcycle rider, the seller, the buyer and the
motorcycle world are a whole lot better off.
Along the same lines, make the buyer fill out an application. This is, after all, a kind of adoption, so look to that
world for examples. When prospective parents want to
give a child a new home, there are months of background
checks and interviews. Psychological profiles are created,
and the process is exhaustive. In many cases, there are
trial periods where the compatibility of the child and his
new parents is under constant scrutiny. This should be
a model for motorcycle purchases. The idea that anyone
could walk in off the street, wave money and become the
new caretaker for your former family member is scary.
What if the person lives in an apartment? Is he going to
leave your bike chained up to a fence post or what? What
if he has a record of motorcycle abuse and will eventually
throw your bike into a scrap heap? What if there are shallow graves somewhere? It’s simply too big of a risk to take.
There should be a national registry of motorcycle offenders
somewhere. If there isn’t one already, maybe I’ll create one.
Then, if he decides to buy it, make him give you cash
and wait three weeks before handing over the bike. This is
a cooling-down period that will ensure that the bike will be
eagerly wanted when it arrives.
If you follow your gut instincts as well as these rules,
you should be able to sell your bike properly. Of course, I
should point out that I haven’t actually sold a bike in about
20 years. But if gas gets any higher, I might put a kidney or
two on the market. ❑
There’s a popular lie you hear all the time. When it comes to boats, planes, RVs and motorcycles, people
like to say the two happiest days are when they are purchased and when they are sold.