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Today I looked at a Honda Nighthawk I found on craigslist. At first I tried to get the seller to meet somewhere public with an empty parking lot for a quick demo ride. He refused and I met him at his home instead. There he told me that I couldn't take it anywhere without cash up front. The deal fell through and I left with a bad taste in my mouth.

It's left me thinking. As a seller what do you consider to be "proper" as far as meeting buyers and interacting with them, and what can I do as a buyer to make the seller feel more comfortable during a sale?

My original strategy is contacting the seller, setting up an inspection & demo ride, and finally purchase the bike & getting it home. Am I doing it wrong or asking too much?
 

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i never let anyone ride the bikes i sell without cash in hand.
 

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I once read a story about someone who pulled up in a newer mustang and took the bike for a ride and never came back, turned out the car was stolen and used it to steal the bike with keys, also sellers want the cash in hand in case you drop it or wreck, this way if you wreck the bike you just paid for it, there are scum bags on both sides and the decent people have to pay for it.

Dauntae
 

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Today I looked at a Honda Nighthawk I found on craigslist. At first I tried to get the seller to meet somewhere public with an empty parking lot for a quick demo ride. He refused and I met him at his home instead. There he told me that I couldn't take it anywhere without cash up front. The deal fell through and I left with a bad taste in my mouth.

It's left me thinking. As a seller what do you consider to be "proper" as far as meeting buyers and interacting with them, and what can I do as a buyer to make the seller feel more comfortable during a sale?

My original strategy is contacting the seller, setting up an inspection & demo ride, and finally purchase the bike & getting it home. Am I doing it wrong or asking too much?
Yep that happens, I probably wouldn't let just anyone ride mine either if I was selling, it's strictly a judgement call, they can sit on it, start it up but riding it is a question, 1-what type of a security deposit would you take, 2-do they have a motorcycle license?
 

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I see no problem with the way you handled it. But I do see where the seller is coming from about wanting cash up front just in case something were to happen while you were test driving his bike.(No offence to you.) About not wanting to meet at a public place, I guess its just a matter of preference. I prefer to meet half way. Plus I usually pack heat just in case.;)
 

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It all depends on the seller. Sometimes sellers would rather meet away from their home so they don't have a random crazy craigslister in their domain with wife/kids around.

As far as the test rides go, it's a tough one. When I sold my Sabre, it was to an older man, said he had been on bikes for years, seemed like a nice guy so I let him test drive it... but during his ride he rounded the corner of my street totally out of control, leaving a rut in my neighbors lawn, narrowly escaping dumping the bike (which was still owned by me at the time)... this left me with a different feeling about allowing people I just met to ride my bike without cash in hand.

The last 2 bikes I sold I put in my post "no test rides without cash in hand" so noone had any preconceptions about what was going to go down when they came to see the bike. Not one person complained, put the total purchase price in my hand before they took the bikes out for a spin, then proceeded to buy the bike. I'm sure it pisses some people off and that I lose some interested parties since you want to be able to ride the bike you are going to buy, but I found that it eliminates the saturday-afternoon-test-ride-guy and brings people that are more serious about the purchase since they have the dough on hand.

Personally, I do want to be able to ride the bikes I am going to buy and luckily, most of the time I have bought a bike in the past, I have been granted permission to ride which is much appreciated. But I am also the kind of guy that would absolutely pay up if I dumped it. Some people are not as responsible and would try to get out of it if something went bad, and legally, I don't know how that would go in court since you gave the keys to them.

It all depends on the person and the situation I guess.
 

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I would not let anyone ride a bike I was selling without cash in hand. It simply is not worth the risk. If that doesn't work for someone then I would simply move on to the next buyer. I am a man of limited resources, so I just can't afford to take chances like that. In fact I traded my last two bikes in when I purchased my Thunderbird because it was so much easier...no risk involved.
 

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If he has your bike, you have to have his cash. Or his wife. ;-) If I'm selling, I do so from my home; I expect the same from another seller. If I go to his home, I never go alone. So far, so good.
 

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It should never be a problem to have a potential buyer leave cash in your hand to take a test drive.

Why would someone need a test drive if they weren't ready to purchase the bike? The test drive is the final test before purchase, isn't it? Theoretically if the bike rides good then there's no reason they won't buy it if they get that far.

Oh, and an endorsement is important too. If they just want to test drive it they need an endorsement. If they buy it without the test drive, I'm not the DMV or the police. I don't check ID.
 

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i never let anyone ride the bikes i sell without cash in hand.
+1 Also, even with cash in hand if the person were to go down you could get sued.

As a seller I got all sorts of calls from people just wanting to take a spin with no intention of buying.

Like Lantesh I too traded my last two bikes for the Liner and got well over book for them.
 

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When I sold my VT1100C3, there were a couple of guys that swore up and down that they were serious about buying my bike. They kept wanting to take the bike for a ride. I would not allow them to ride it unless they gave me $500 in cash as a deposit. If they returned from the ride without any damage, they'd get the $500 back if they weren't going to buy the bike.

The guys turned out to be full of crap and never were serious. Glad I wouldn't let them take my bike for a ride....
 

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It's always a trust issue with something as expensive as a bike. I would never let anyone take my bike or car for that matter without having their cash in my hand and ID.
It's not worth the risk.
 

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If he has your bike, you have to have his cash. Or his wife. ;-) If I'm selling, I do so from my home; I expect the same from another seller. If I go to his home, I never go alone. So far, so good.
This /\/\/\/\/\

Have yet to sell a bike, but I expect that when I buy or sell, there will be two things definitely at the point of sale, a bike and a wad of cash = full purchase price of the bike. The rest is personal preference.
 

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Here's the deal I don't expect anything from a seller except honesty and a fair price. I go to where they want to meet. I take a friend or wife to leave as colateral, instead of cash. They won't do that I do the test ride with the seller on the back.
 

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In fact I traded my last two bikes in when I purchased my Thunderbird because it was so much easier...no risk involved.
Similar situation here. Had the dealership sell mine. I had to pay a commission but did not have to deal with any of the headache of selling. All I did was pick up the check. Another bonus was that the bike was stored inside a nice climate controlled building while up for sale.

Let's hope this doesn't happen to anyone here.
‪Allstate TV Ad: Motorcycle Mayhem‬‏ - YouTube
 

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Having bought three bikes and sold three bikes (I had once picked up a running old Honda GL500i Silverwing for free and I was going to fix it up, but sold it after a few months when the economy first crashed; wish I still had it), here's what I expect.

As a buyer, I expect to be able to test ride. I expect that if the seller has stipulations before granting a test ride, he/she tells me before I meet with him/her. At bare minimum, I expect them to want to see a driver's license to verify who I am and if I have a motorcycle endorsement and I will also leave my keys to the vehicle I came in as collateral. I always come with cash in hand, but I don't expect to give them their full asking price because I've never paid their asking price (if they are not willing to negotiate on price, they should state it in their ad). I will meet where ever they choose to meet me at, their house, a parking lot, etc. I expect them to tell me if there are any issues with the title, some I'm okay with dealing with (pay off lien holders, sometimes salvage/rebuilt titles although I've never bought a salvage title bike), others I am not (lost title).

As a seller, I use my judgement on whether or not I ask for cash deposit for them to test ride (but I state in all my ads no test rides unless they have an ID/motorcycle endorsement and cash in hand). Usually, their motorcycle endorsement/ID and keys to their vehicle is more than enough for me. I'm not selling gold here, my bikes are never worth more than $3k. If it were a high end bike, I might think differently. I always have them meet me in a public place (usually an empty parking lot about a half mile away from me), because I'm not comfortable with people I don't know knowing where I live just because I'm a single female and because of previous experience. I also always state whether my price is negotiable or not, and that I have a clean title in hand.

I've always had serious buyers this way. First person to come see the bike has always been the person that buys it. They don't always want a test ride either. The guy that bought my VLX had me ride it to his house sight unseen, we negotiated a price (I was asking $2400, settled for $2100), talked bikes for a while, and then I left. I must seem like a very trustworthy person. :)
 

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I've always had serious buyers this way. First person to come see the bike has always been the person that buys it. They don't always want a test ride either. The guy that bought my VLX had me ride it to his house sight unseen, we negotiated a price (I was asking $2400, settled for $2100), talked bikes for a while, and then I left. I must seem like a very trustworthy person. :)
How did you handle the title transfer?
 

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I take a friend or wife to leave as colateral, instead of cash.
Now that's love. ;)

I personally would not buy a bike without test driving it first. Leaving cash in the seller's hand, what makes you think he won't take off with it? I guess I trust sellers as much as they trust me.

All jokes aside, I think it's a good idea to "leave a friend as collateral"...maybe even a kid, but I probably wouldn't go back for them.:D j/k
 
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