Whether you’re a motorbike fanatic or have just taken up the interest, there are plenty of opportunities to be scammed online. You might attempt to buy a bike from someone who has no intention of delivering the goods or sell to someone who can’t actually afford to pay the price.
If you’re looking to buy or sell a bike online, we’re sharing these tips so that you can avoid any scams or risks.
Ask a lot of questions
Anyone who is trying to sell a legitimate product will be more than happy to answer any questions you have. Take time to research the bike they’re selling and ask them plenty of questions about the condition of the bike before committing to a purchase.
Scammers are likely to trip themselves up when it comes to the technical aspects of the bike, so it’s often pretty easy to detect a false sale.
Again, if they really have a bike to sell, they’ll be able to send additional photos. Plus, requesting photos from the side, back, and front while help you gauge the condition of the bike a lot better. You could also ask for a photo of the logbook so that you know it’s available.
Having a scan or a photo of the logbook also means you’ll be able to see that the bike is definitely registered in their name. If this isn’t available, you’ll need to ask why, as it would be risky to buy a bike without proper evidence of ownership.
Talk over the phone
If possible, you should try to speak to the seller or buyer over the phone to make sure they’re a real person. You can tell a lot more from someone’s tone of voice. If someone makes it difficult to speak to them, it’s probably worth avoiding their offer. They could easily arrange to meet you or request payment and then never speak to you again.
Also Read: Top tips for being the perfect host
Marketplaces like eBay offer sellers and buyers feedback so that you can see how reliable the person is before engaging in a sale. If they don’t seem to have any feedback – or worse, bad feedback – it’s probably better to steer clear.
Those that say they are selling for a friend or on behalf of someone else should also set off alarm bells.
Never pay by cheque
When you’ve received a copy of the logbook, and are 100% sure they’re reliable, only then should you pay for the bike. It might even be better to pay for the bike once it’s been delivered or arrange to meet up beforehand.
Set yourself an absolute maximum limit. If you do end up in a bidding war then you need to stick to your budget. It’s amazing how one more bid can often go so badly wrong and leave you with buyer’s remorse.
Use a proper shipping company
The great thing about international shipping is that you can now get great deals from just about anywhere in the world and arrange delivery right to your door. When purchasing a bike online from further afield, using a proper motorcycle shipping company saves you the hassle of getting there and back and will keep the bike protected until it arrives with you. Buying anything online can be scary, as a lot could go wrong. But with plenty of research and some real conversations, you should be able to find your dream bike and have it in your possession within no time.