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Discussion Starter #1
I see that several of you, like Bob, have owned and sold a number of bikes over the years. My first bike, a Yamaha Radian, was traded in on my Gold Wing in 1987. When I sold that bike in 2005, it was still running fairly well but I pretty much gave it away because we ended the space in the garage ASAP and my partner's 1985 Gold Wing Limited Edition had major electrical problems and was not running well at all.

So now I would like to get some cash from my Shadow to help offset the cost of the CTX. I have considered using the Shadow as a trade-in, but I think I might do better selling it outright. The bike has been extremely well maintained and has very low miles (just over 3,000) for its age. It's a 2006 1100cc Sabre, but I bought it NEW in 2011. (It was an orphan on the showroom floor.) I have added quite a few accessories to it and I hope those will add value to the bike. I have also had a couple of friends ask about the possibility of buying it from me.

So now I need your advice. How do I decide how much to ask for the Shadow? I have the Kelley Blue Book info for the bike, and some of the options are priced as well. In your experience, is the KBB estimate a decent number? I have receipts for just about every option added to the bike. I paid $6000 for the bike itself and have easily added $2-3K of options, probably more.

Also, is it a bad idea to sell to someone who is a friend and a co-worker? If something went wrong with the bike after they bought it I would feel awful, but as long as it worked fine when I sold it I shouldn't be responsible, right?

Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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I find it much less stressful to just trade the bike rather than sell it outright. When you post it on Craigslist or eBay you end up fending off a bunch of folks who just waste your time. You make appointments to show the bike to folks who don't show up. You have to deal with folks who want you to take something they own on trade.

If you owe money on the vehicle you're trading, the dealer handles the buyout for you as well.

It's just easier to let the dealer handle it.

When you think about what your time is worth, it does not take long to make up the difference between trade-in and sale price.

I am reluctant to sell a bike to someone I will see on a regular basis. It can lead to a bad situation if anything goes wrong with the bike in the first couple of years after the sale.

I sold my Harley to a guy at work and it worked out really well. This was not his first Harley and he knew what he was getting. I hated that bike and he loves it. But I suspect this kind of experience is rare when selling to someone you know.
 

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If your machine only has 3000 miles on it,is in excellent shape,has been maintained properly,and has not been beat on,I wouldn't be afraid to sell it to anyone as it would be a good find for anyone interested in that model.When I sold my RSV,it was 11 years old,had 200,000 miles on it, was well maintained by me,and was never obused in any way,shape or form.The guy that I sold it to was a good friend and thought he died and went to heaven after he bought it.So if your machine meets that criteria, don't be afraid of selling it to someone you know for a fair price. Dave!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
...don't be afraid of selling it to someone you know for a fair price.
Now the question becomes, what's a fair price, for both of us? I know how much I have spent on the bike and what good shape it's in, so I will be wanting a higher price. Any buyer is going to want to get it for a lower price. And I tend to be overly generous with friends, so I might lowball myself as a result. *sigh* This is my dilemma. Is it possible to get a bike appraised by a neutral party to come up with a fair market value, or do you guys just decide how much you want for the bike and start with that? I admit I'm not much for haggling.

But I have a feeling that Ken and Ed are telling me I should probably just trade it in. Luckily I paid cash for the bike so there is no financing to worry about, and I have clear title.
 

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The most you could get for it would be book value,even if you lined the wheels with solid GOLD.lol So cut your losses and move it for book value or even a little less.Start at book value,and negotiate down.But don't go over board on price or hold out for too long cause you'll die with that machine.The longer you wait,the more the price is gonna drop.And since Spring is right around the corner, the boys will all be out looking for motorcycles.So sell em one!! Good luck!! Dave!!!
 

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I'm only relating my preferences here. I know there are people who would rather sell their own outright and don't mind dealing with whatever comes with it in exchange for more cash in their pockets. I know someone personally who does extremely well buying and selling -- he has a nose for absurdly great deals, and then has this uncanny ability to turn around and find buyers who are willing to pay top dollar. He's the kind of guy who would sell his old ride himself, and then go talk a dealer down to his skivvies buying something new, or finding another incredible deal on something used but as good as new. That's just not me (and I have the bills to prove it!). You gotta go with what you're most comfortable doing. If you have the patience to put your old ride up for sale and wait for the right buyer, you can make out well, and then usually get a better deal buying without a trade. I just don't have that kind of patience to wait or to deal with people who only want to waste my time.
 

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Normally,I'd agree with ya Ed.But now a days,shoppers are getting smarter and looking at book values,hence know what the worth of said vehicle/MC is.Follow me?? The not so smart shopper,which is what you're referring to,will not have any idea,but if you guys are like me,chances of finding that shopper are nil.lol lol lol Dave!!!
 

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I did both along the way. My Burgman I traded with purchase of my ST. I know I would have brought a better price if I sold it myself but I was lazy with that one. I have more time than money. You will always get more money selling yourself than trading. But having said that you must also realize that there will be a bit of hassle as Ed mentions to sell it yourself. I don't mind putting up with that. I figure I can wait a little bit on someone wanting to look and if they don't show within a reasonable time I go on with what I need to do and forget about them, not really much of a hassle for me. But I do have some patience... or so my wife tells me. I also don't cater to those who offer to trade something they have. The answer is simply "No" and if they aren't interested in paying me cash (only, no checks or cashiers checks) for the bike they can go elsewhere. Everyone can bring cash to buy if they are really interested and that's the bottom line.

As to price, I agree with Dave!!! Check NADA also and compare with KBB. You cannot expect to get back all the money you put into the bike for extras. The bike will be worth what it is worth to the buyer. You MAY be able to get a little more than NADA or KBB indicates but that's up to the market you're in. I was able to do that with my GW and sold it to a guy from Canada who took the bus to central Iowa to pick it up and ride it home! I'll not get into the issue of selling to a friend. That's a really personal decision. How much of a friend and how confident you are of the bike when you sell is all I'll say on that matter. Spring time is a great time to be able to be firm with what ever price you decide since this is when riders want to buy and ride. I sold my Vulcan and my GW in June. Tried to sell my Burgman 650 in the fall but didn't get any serious buyers and that's why I traded (other than the lazy thing). No one is interested in buying a bike just to store in the garage for the first 6-8 months they have it, at least not where it normally snows this time of year. :)
You are the one who has to be happy with the price you get for it. Just remember you won't recover the cost of those extras. You put those on at your expense and for your convenience (even though they may be really nice for the next owner). You should be able to be more firm on price because of the extras but you can't really boost the price for them. I would be looking at the same situation with my ST1100. Need to sell it to offset the price of a CTX1300. I'm sure I have a few thousand in extras added but expect that it will only sell for somewhat less than I bought the bike initially.
Something I've been learning lately- many people try to consider what their time is worth. Another way, and I think a better way, to think of it is to consider how much of your life you give up to pay for something or take a discount on trading vs. selling. After all, it takes a part of your life to earn the money to make up for what you don't get by trading and what you spend by buying.

Hope this is somewhat helpful. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I went over to the dealer and asked about trade-in value today. They gave me an estimate of $2800, with "maybe a little more if our service manager says your bike is in as good a shape as he says it is". I'm sure that will happen, since that person has several times complimented me on how great the bike is maintained, and he said it again today in front of the sales rep. So perhaps I could get $3000 for it if I'm lucky.

According to KBB, the value of the basic bike with no add-ons is $3840. Adding pretty minor values for the windshield, upgraded seat, crash bars, floorboards, etc. (based on KBB estimates) brings the value to just over $4000. I think I would ask $4000 from an outside buyer; that seems fair to me. Though it is a 2006 model, it was new (1 mile on the odometer) and still under warranty when I bought it in 2011; I paid $6000 for it. It has less than 4500 miles on it now.

After considering the GREAT comments from you guys, I think I will first offer it to one or two friends who have expressed interest in the bike, for $4000. I really don't want to deal with people I don't know, so Plan B will be to go ahead and trade it in and take the loss. It will at least save me some sales tax, according to the sales guy, since the tax is based on what I pay after the trade-in is subtracted.

Does this sound like a reasonable plan? I am confident that the bike is in good enough shape that selling it to a friend is not going to be a problem. I'm sure they will be thrilled to get it, and I would like to see it go to a good home.
 

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I think that is a good plan. Too bad the dealer doesn't offer a little more. Maybe they will after checking it out. I like the idea of selling to one of your friends. Hope that option takes. You would still get a better deal even if you did accept a lower offer from one of them than $4000. Do start there, but weigh the difference in what you would get from the dealer vs. what any of them offers of course. Better to pay a few hundred more sales tax to the dealer and get a few thousand more on selling the Shadow to a friend than the other way around. Of course, if none of them wants it for anything near what you want to sell it (hard to believe though) there is still the option to trade.
 

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When trying to see how much your bike is worth look at buying one. Look on the buy sell trades like craigslist or other local forums to see how much a motorcycle is worth similar to the one you are selling.

You will always get more selling it yourself. Dealers need to make money so they will never give you as much as you can get by selling it yourself.

I don't see a problem with selling it to your friend, unless you know something is wrong with it. But if you say you have taken very good care of it. There is nothing that can happen that your friend can really blaim on you. At the same time your friend who is buying it should do his own digging and have a mechanic inspect the motorcycle. Don't let him just take your word for it.
 
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