‘Say hello my piece of the auc­tion ac­tion’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - MCN Garage - Neil Mur­ray makes a liv­ing buy­ing & sell­ing pre-loved metal

Yes, I did it. I bought my BMW R100RS, and for a grand less than I’d bud­geted.

I now own a su­per-clean 1980 R100RS with a year’s MOT, 51,000 miles (that’s noth­ing for an old air­head), pan­niers, Corbin seat plus the hard-to-find orig­i­nal, pan­niers, af­ter­mar­ket taller screen, elec­tronic ig­ni­tion, twin-plug heads (a su­perb mod, im­prov­ing both power and econ­omy), and a mas­sive ar­chive in­clud­ing the no­ti­fi­ca­tion of the front wheel be­ing re­placed un­der re­call in 1982.

I won the ebay auc­tion for £3001. That was £1 more than the sec­ond-high­est bid­der, who must have been curs­ing. There are lessons here. The first is to sell­ers – don’t have your auc­tion end dur­ing work­ing hours – in this case, 4.18pm. Not ev­ery­one has ac­cess to a com­puter 24/ 7, and be­fore you say ‘smart­phone’ peo­ple tend to for­get to bid when they’re busy at work.

Sec­ondly, for buy­ers – look for ad­di­tional clues. In one of the pics of the RS, there was a clean­ing bucket in the back­ground, with a pair of yel­low rub­ber gloves hang­ing on it – sug­gest­ing a fas­tid­i­ous owner. Fi­nally, never bid a round num­ber. I placed a few ex­ploratory bids, and in the last 15 sec­onds, de­cided to go for broke. I’d just been out­bid at £2800. The next min­i­mum bid would have been £2850. But if I was out­bid at that, I wouldn’t have time to bid again. I de­cided to go for £3001 on the ba­sis that if some­one had bid £3000, the first bid placed would have won it, not mine. Some­one had, and I pipped them by a quid.

Next week

Why shop­ping for scoot­ers is never fun

A bit of ebay cun­ning bagged Neil this bar­gain R100RS

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