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The Newbie Guide To Pricing Motorcycles

Posted on 19 April 2017

If you're new to buying motorcycles or want to sell your current ride, then you may be wondering how to price yourself into the market so you get the best bang for your bike.

It may not even be a money issue if you're loaded with cash or if you're in a hurry to get rid of your bike (God forbid), but knowing the price estimate of a motorcycle can help you identify a dud if you're buying and can help ensure you get serious buyers more quickly if you're offloading.

Sell it too expensive and you risk never selling. Sell too cheap and you'll get a hundred non-serious buyers. Buy too high and you're telling your dealer you don't know your bike, buy too low and it might turn out to be junk.

If you're confused, read on for some help on pricing.

1. Check out the benchmarks
If you're in the USA, then the two guides you'll want to use as your dual bibles are the NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) guide and the Kelley Blue Book (now 90 years in print and still the reference for dealers). Seasoned dealers will realise that these two guides can get outdated quickly and can be inaccurate once it gets down to precise details but for a beginner, to have all makes and models in one place is a start.
Here's a tip, put your price in between NADA's over-estimations and Kelley's under-estimations. Then go on eBay and Cycle Trader for even more comparisons.

2. Include maintenance costs
Retail price means brand new, ready to roll. If you're selling, bear in mind that the buyer will have to pay for maintenance, be it new tyres, derusting, or even regular oil fill-ups. Mileage is a starting point to estimating maintenance costs: the higher the mileage, the more the maintenance. It's usually fair to split that cost between buyer and seller, and to
knock that share off the retail price.

3. Cosmetics costs
This can be a gray area. Some people consider slight road rash or paint damage to be negligible on used machines, others expect pristine conditions for a second-hand. Customised parts also can increase or decrease the value, depending on the buyer. Paintwork can cost hundreds of dollars, while not everyone will appreciate the super long jet black forks you thought were cool.

4. Timing
The average price of bikes in similar condition in your region rises and falls with the climate. When temperatures drop regularly below 55 degrees or so, prices follow. During the off-season, you'll also want to use eBay and Cycle Trader to find out the "winter depreciation": look for what bikes in the same class in your region are selling for during the winter, and compare that price to what they sold for in the summer.

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