i figured this would be a good way to share tips and helpful hints for craigslist users...myself i've made around 60-70 sales (including 2 cars, a pickup truck and 3 motorcycles) on CL and bought 3 motorcycles on CL and this is what i have learned to help me not waste my time since i currently/usually have about 20 items up for sale at a time...this may not work for everyone but it has worked for me...the biggest tip is trust no one...this is not meant for tips for what to look for when checking out a bike (there are plenty of those type of threads out there), it's more for tips for buying/selling a bike or anything when using CL...please add your own tips
selling anything on CL:
- information - put as much information in the ad as you can...specs, manufacturer websites, condition, year/make/model #, title status, maintenance done, modifications done, manufacturers of modifications, any extras included, etc...this tells a potential buyer "hey this person knows their sh!t!" which may also make the potential buyer feel like if the seller does their homework and maintains things well
- pictures - people love them so the more the better (a picture is worth a thousand words, right?)...take photos of all angles, show any blemishes on the item (to an extent), tire wear, show a photo of the odometer (if it's a bike) cause people would rather buy from someone that is honest...i think CL allows 12 pictures so use them all if you think you have to and use a real camera not a camera phone if it's a big money item so you can show the detail
- video - if the item is something that works take a video of it, upload it to youtube and post the youtube link in the ad...the link won't work in the CL ad (due to some of the new changes) but just type "copy and paste youtube link below into your browser for video of ...." above the youtube link...if it's a bike take a video of you starting the bike and do a quick walk around showing that all the signals, lights, horn, work...maybe rev it a little and done...this will make a potential buyer have a warm feeling knowing that the item they may buy works as it should...i think this is the reason my motorcycles sold somewhat quickly
- price - state your price in the ad title...some people won't even bother looking at it if it doesn't have a price...either post a firm price and wait it out till you get your number or you may want to start high and drop it as you go cause no matter what you do you will get people who will try to talk you down so if you give them a little money off they will think they are getting a deal...i usually just go with a firm price and stick to it cause i hate haggling and i'm usually in no rush to sell anything...so if you don't like it, go pound sand...sometimes i will state that the price is firm if i am getting a lot of calls on it or i don't want to sell it for less or entertain offers
- condition - clean/fix/maintain it before you show/sell or take photos/video of it...all about presentation
- scams - every time you post/renew your ad you will probably get scam emails...so put something in the ad to tell real buyers to type something in the subject line to help weed out the garbage emails
- flaggers/flagging bots - if you have had issues with them (as i have) then read this thread https://tw200forum.com/forum/off-topi...ging-bots.html
- renewing - i renew once a week and set reminder in my phone for it so i remember to do it cause reposting 20 expired items is a pain..if you want it to sell faster maybe you want to renew more often...just don't piss off the flagging trolls
- serious buyers will call you...if they text or email you tell them to call you...this will help you get a feel for the person as well as weed out the non-serious buyers and flakes that may waste your time
- never meet a buyer at your house or give out your address due to thieves...if you can transport it put it in your vehicle and bring it to a public place like a supermarket that is convenient for you, or meet somewhere on your way to somewhere that you are going anyway...if you can ride it do the same thing...cause if you meet someone half way, somewhere out of your way and they don't buy your item or lowball you for a price you don't want to sell for, now you wasted some gas money and your time...i'm also paranoid enough that i will ride a bike a weird way to get home to make sure no one can follow me without me noticing
- tell the buyer to meet you at X:XXam/pm sharp and tell them to call you when they get there, as well as call you if they are going to be even 5 minutes late cause you have some type of [insert BS appointment here] an hour later or something and you have to be on time...if they don't show, don't wait...there is nothing i hate more than people wasting my time
- no test rides or no test rides without full amount of cash in hand...state this in the ad if you want to go that way
- if you want to minimize wild offers state cash only no trades in your ad
- only take cash...i had a guy i know have his bike stolen with a phony bank check, guys just drove off with his bike in the back of their pickup truck
buying a bike on CL:
- has to have a clean title in hand or i'm probably not going to bother going to look at it
- ask for more photos to make sure it's in the condition described in the ad
- get the VIN # and check if it's been stolen
- check the VIN # against the title to make sure it matches
- have your own bill of sale and state that you want their previous registration as well for registration purposes...the more info you have at the DMV/RMV the better cause we all know how "special" some of those workers are
- obviously check the bike out thoroughly and take it for a test ride...i like to give the owner my car keys and have someone with me to wait there with my car since my car is worth more than their bike...the extra person is there to make sure they don't go through my car...if you give them cash to hold then def recount it to make sure you got the right amount back after the test ride
I have bought many bikes and sold many bikes on CL.
Here is what works for me as a buyer:
Agree on a price that would make you go see the bike. Example: Lets say a seller is asking $2000 for his bike. Say that you will come look at it for $1750 (or whatever your top buying price would be). If he agrees, make sure that is the top price you will pay if the bike checks out like described by the seller. Tell the seller you will be spending $$ on gas/trailer/etc. to come check out his bike. If you find issues with the bike that were not described by the seller, you will either offer less or walk away. Anything you see that is a negative that was not mentioned by the seller becomes a negotiating point for you. BUT NEVER PUT DOWN THE BIKE OR SELLER. Just say that you will have to fix this or that but you really like the bike. Chances are you will walk away with the bike at less than the 'looksie' price.
Don't negotiate a deal with anybody less than 18 years old unless their Momie or Daddy are there. Chances are the deal will fall through at the last minute because young sellers are immature. I once saw an ad for a Super Sherpa in good condition. The seller was asking $1500 which I though was a fair price. I called the guy who said he had a change of mind and now wanted $1700. I should have walked away right there and then. But I thought that was an okay asking price. While talking to the seller it became apparent that he was very young and was 'wishy washy' about everything. I wasted several more days with him and finally told him good luck. He never sold the bike and the ad expired. (a great 2007 TW200 came my way).
The seller has to have a clean Title in their hand. If not, don't waste your time. Even a great deal will become a nightmare.
If you and the seller are far apart distance wise, always see if you can meet someplace in the middle. My best deals occur when both parties are invested in making the deal happen.
Last edited by simbaboy; 12-15-2013 at 05:39 PM.
I've bought and sold several things on CL over the years and have to admit it took me a while to discover some of these tips. I also picked up a couple of new ideas after reading these posts. Thanks Guys! I would add that: any time I have allowed myself to get involved with texting, it goes bad... I usually respond to the 1st text with call me... Btw, last CL purchase was a 2003 Bonneville.... I'm big happy with it...
I will not call on an item that is not priced. If they don't know what they will take for it when they place the ad, they won't know when you show up to buy it. If you sell anything on craigslist you will find there are a lot of lonely people out there that want to talk way more than they want to buy anything.
My son and I buy and sell so many vehicles on Craigslist the state made us get a dealer license. Good part about that is we now have dealer tags and don't have to register anything in our names to drive it a while--saves a bundle.
Anywho, the "neutral site" where we prefer to meet buyers or sellers is the county courthouse during business hours. When selling to private individuals they have to transfer the title right then. Someone rides off on a bike titled to you and crashes it's your future the lawyers go after.