So I tried to sell a bike yesterday... - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 18 Old 08-07-2011, 05:58 AM Thread Starter
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So I tried to sell a bike yesterday...

I buy and sell a lot of cars, trucks and bikes, and help friends do the same. One of my employees has a Vulcan 900 and I told her I'd sell it for her. Have been advertising it on Craigslist for a few weeks and fielding the usual calls, texts and emails. Yesterday morning I get a call from an interested party and the guy asks if he can come see it. We make an appointment for 4pm and I go about my day. The bike is stored at my office which is about 20 minutes from home, and I wanted to wipe it down before he arrived. So, I toss a chamois and towels in the FJR and get ready to head that way about 3pm, then receive a phone call saying he's running late and it will be closer to 4:30. No big deal, I enjoy the ride to the office, get the Vulcan out and all shined up, then go read through some work emails while I wait for him to show up.

He finally arrives at 4:50pm, has his wife along and is driving a Prius. They seem ok, older couple and a bit crunchy but pleasant enough. They look at the bike, both say how nice and clean it is, of course it should be as it only has 500 miles. He asks if he can ride it and I ask if he has a license. He says he has 40 years of riding experience and offers to show me his license. They're both wearing shorts and tshirts, he goes to the Prius and gets out a couple of half helmets. I told him that I wasn't all that comfortable with him taking it two up, perhaps he should ride it by himself first. He said if I'm going to buy it my wife has to know if she likes it, so I relented and off they went, shorts, sneakers and brain buckets.

I hate that part of selling a bike, time never moves slower than when you're waiting for someone to return from a test ride. They finally come back after about 20 minutes and I invite them up to my office so we can talk in air conditioning. They sat down and we made small chat for a bit, I finally asked how he liked the bike and if he wanted to make an offer. I'm asking $5000 for it and book is in the high 4's. She bought it new in '07 and barely rode it, really is like it just came off the showroom floor. He gave me the usual "it's more than I was looking to spend" line, and I said well make me an offer. He said he could go $4500 and I started the bartering process, countering with $4800. He just sat there. I looked at him, his wife looked at him, still he just sat there. I finally said, this is the part when you make a counter offer and we agree on a price. He replied that $4500 was his top dollar and he couldn't spend any more. At this point I've wasted 2 hours of my day jacking around and just wanted to sell the bike. I said look, give me $4600 and it's yours. Again he sat there with me and his wife looking at him. I said do we have a deal? He sat there some more and finally said, no, I think I'm going to walk away. I said, really, over $100? You were almost an hour late for our appointment, you took a 20 minute joy ride, I've spent two hours out of my Saturday afternoon messing around showing you the bike, negotiated down $400 from my asking price and you haven't budged, and you're going to walk away over $100? I'm sure my frustration was evident as I curtly shook their hands and escorted them to the door.


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post #2 of 18 Old 08-07-2011, 06:03 AM
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THat sucks, I hate trying to sell stuff just for that reason. I can't believe they walked over $100

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post #3 of 18 Old 08-07-2011, 06:19 AM
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I hope you're getting commission for your troubles!!

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post #4 of 18 Old 08-07-2011, 06:27 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ottawa919 View Post
I hope you're getting commission for your troubles!!
No, just a favor to a long time employee. That made my frustration worse I suppose, not even going to get any money in my pocket for my troubles.

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post #5 of 18 Old 08-07-2011, 06:32 AM
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dang sounds like a pretty good deal to me. I've been kind of thinking about buying a 900 vulcan myself to use as a cruiser for me and my lady as her back can't take the 9er that well. 4600 dollars for one with 500 miles on it doesn't sound too bad at all, but at the moment I'd need to get rid of the 9er and I'm not so sure that'll happen.

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post #6 of 18 Old 08-07-2011, 06:32 AM
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He's going to save a hundred bucks and get one with 10,000 miles instead. What a F'ing bonehead!

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post #7 of 18 Old 08-07-2011, 06:39 AM
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I know your frustration, but remember that it works both ways.

He gave you his top dollar, and you said you'd sell it for $100 more. He walked away because of $100 and you lost a sale over $100.

He likely assumed that you would cave when he started to walk. You didn't, neither did he. Sounds like hubris got in the way.

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post #8 of 18 Old 08-07-2011, 06:47 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peoples1234 View Post
I know your frustration, but remember that it works both ways.

He gave you his top dollar, and you said you'd sell it for $100 more. He walked away because of $100 and you lost a sale over $100.

He likely assumed that you would cave when he started to walk. You didn't, neither did he. Sounds like hubris got in the way.
Dude had no idea how to negotiate, and I had already dropped my price $400, wasn't going any lower. This is also not my bike so I'm trying to get top dollar for the owner.

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post #9 of 18 Old 08-07-2011, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbeau1960 View Post
Dude had no idea how to negotiate, and I had already dropped my price $400, wasn't going any lower. This is also not my bike so I'm trying to get top dollar for the owner.
Alot of people don't know how and/or don't like to negotiate, hence the proliferation of dealerships like Carmax and fixed pricing.

Personally, when I buy something I set a top price I am willing to pay for something. I let the seller know that is my top price and they either accept it or not. The whole going back an forth and quibbling over X numbers of dollars seems like a waste of time to me.

I prefer the upfront approach, but that is just me.

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post #10 of 18 Old 08-07-2011, 07:13 AM
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When I bought my 1982 Nighthawk 750 used from a guy he asked $1600. I told him I had $1000 cash on me. He talked to his wife, came back and said OK...
The wife got me my price on that one!!

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post #11 of 18 Old 08-07-2011, 07:14 AM
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Good for you to not cave in. It's funny that you bring this up today as my fiance's uncle just asked me to help him sell his 07 Vulcan with 700 miles last night. He told me his bottom dollar is $4600. No, I'm not making this up.

Travis - 2006 919
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post #12 of 18 Old 08-07-2011, 07:23 AM
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I hate the idiots that want to negotiate price over the phone, then show up and start nitpicking and wanting to lower the price even further... last one that tried that, I took the price right back to the original asking price, said we can start negotiating from there. Another pet peeve is the nimrods that call with ridiculous lowball offers; I have a 89 PC800 I'm selling as a favor to my wife's boss, listed for 2500.00, have been flooded by offers of 1500.00; if I wanted to give it as a gift, I would put a bow on it.

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post #13 of 18 Old 08-07-2011, 07:35 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peoples1234 View Post
Alot of people don't know how and/or don't like to negotiate, hence the proliferation of dealerships like Carmax and fixed pricing.

Personally, when I buy something I set a top price I am willing to pay for something. I let the seller know that is my top price and they either accept it or not. The whole going back an forth and quibbling over X numbers of dollars seems like a waste of time to me.

I prefer the upfront approach, but that is just me.
I have a dealer license and buy vehicles for my fleet, as well as cars and bikes to flip or for friends. Negotiation is part of the business, just the way it works in my world. Car Max and those types of places are certainly a trend, but you're not really getting the best deal, they just pretend that their pricing is low when in reality they're the same as any other dealership and you've given up your right to negotiate a better deal.

I never get too hung up with one buyer, always know there's another one waiting. I've refused to sell things simply because I didn't like the person, especially if it was a car or bike I cared about. It's all about the approach, it helps when a buyer clicks with me and plays the game right, when someone gets prickish I tend to shut them down.

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post #14 of 18 Old 08-07-2011, 07:48 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogjaw View Post
I hate the idiots that want to negotiate price over the phone, then show up and start nitpicking and wanting to lower the price even further... last one that tried that, I took the price right back to the original asking price, said we can start negotiating from there. Another pet peeve is the nimrods that call with ridiculous lowball offers; I have a 89 PC800 I'm selling as a favor to my wife's boss, listed for 2500.00, have been flooded by offers of 1500.00; if I wanted to give it as a gift, I would put a bow on it.
Exactly! The phone negotiators I just tell to come and look at it, then we can talk. I've had a couple of offers at 3500 for this bike, really? Don't try to talk down an obviously nice machine either, I know exactly what I have, and if it has any flaws I will disclose them to you.

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post #15 of 18 Old 08-07-2011, 07:49 AM
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The best part about buying/selling is that either party can just say no. You went out of your way to help a friend/employee sell their bike. Obviously this buyer was not the right one and he lost out. Currently it's a "buyers market" and he was looking for a desperation deal.

You could have said: "this isn't Burger King.........you can't have it your way."


Doc



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post #16 of 18 Old 08-07-2011, 07:57 AM
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I have a friend of many years who was a bike mechanic and did lots of builds and sells.(One was displayed in Cycle Canada, hand made carbon fibre tank, etc). He always set his price, a fair price, and the price was the price, period. He had a very interesting approach to hagglers. 5000 please. I'll give you 4600. The price just went up, it's now 5400. Rather effective, and created some hilarious moments.

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post #17 of 18 Old 08-07-2011, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ST-DocLizard1 View Post
You could have said: "this isn't Burger King.........you can't have it your way."


Doc
I love it! Will try to remember that if the situation arises.

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post #18 of 18 Old 08-07-2011, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbeau1960 View Post
I have a dealer license and buy vehicles for my fleet, as well as cars and bikes to flip or for friends. Negotiation is part of the business, just the way it works in my world. Car Max and those types of places are certainly a trend, but you're not really getting the best deal, they just pretend that their pricing is low when in reality they're the same as any other dealership and you've given up your right to negotiate a better deal.

I never get too hung up with one buyer, always know there's another one waiting. I've refused to sell things simply because I didn't like the person, especially if it was a car or bike I cared about. It's all about the approach, it helps when a buyer clicks with me and plays the game right, when someone gets prickish I tend to shut them down.
If you buy and sell enough cars to need a dealers license then negotiation is necessary for you to make money. For everyone else that buys a bike once every few years or a car every fewer years, saving 100 dollars is not worth the time and effort.

The rise of fixed pricing at dealerships is because the customers like it. You said yourself the price is the same as other dealers, you just don't waste time getting to the same price.

Time is valuable and I don't waste it negotiating.

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