Mas­ter the art of auc­tion buys

Our man’s been dubbed ‘a bit of a hag­gler’. Sounds like fair com­ment

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

‘A bit of a hag­gler’ it said on the ebay feed­back left for me re­cently. Damn right. In this case, though, the seller had set a classified price of £20 but in­vited of­fers. My first one was re­jected; the sec­ond, for £15, ac­cepted.

I know ebay is a closed book to many peo­ple. They don’t trust it or they’ve had one bad ex­pe­ri­ence that’s put them off, so this week I’m look­ing at how to buy on ebay and next week, how to sell.

First, take a good hard look at the pic­tures on the auc­tion page, be­cause these and the buyer’s de­scrip­tion are all you have to go on. If there are bits of the bike you want to see that aren’t pic­tured, ask the seller if they can put up or email you a cou­ple more. Good sell­ers will usu­ally oblige.

Se­condly, pe­ruse the de­scrip­tion and make note of what is not men­tioned or glossed over. The seller’s idea of what con­sti­tutes ‘nor­mal scuffs and wear and tear’ may not match yours. If there’s no men­tion of an MOT, as­sume it hasn’t got one. If the mileage isn’t men­tioned, and the odome­ter is not pic­tured, as­sume it’s high. You can al­ways ask the seller for clarification be­fore you bid.

Thirdly, look at the seller’s feed­back. Ev­ery­one gets the odd neg­a­tive from time to time, but a his­tory of poor items and ser­vice forms a clear pat­tern.

Fourthly, all the ac­tion takes place in the last 60 sec­onds of bid­ding. You may think that be­cause the bike has only been bid up to £2000 and there’s just 24 hours to go, that it will sell for around that. My rule of thumb is the price rises by 4050% in the last day. I usu­ally put a cou­ple of ex­ploratory bids on early, es­pe­cially if I’m try­ing to sec­ondguess a re­serve price, and then leave it to the end. NEXT WEEK Get the best price when you’re sell­ing a bike on ebay

ebay isn’t the bar­gain-fest it used to be, but if you’re savvy you can still get a good deal...

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