Check out a seller’s history before handing over cash
Let’s talk about traders of motorcycles and their related parts. It’s getting increasingly difficult to determine who’s a private seller and who’s actually running a business on the sly. Print classified adverts highlight trade sales in bold type, or mark them as ‘Trade’, and they also tally how many adverts you place. If they think you’re doing more than a private individual should, they may insist you declare yourself a trader.
The taxman allows a ‘profitable hobby’ – meaning if you have a stamp collection, and you sell a few and make a few quid on them, or even sell an entire collection and make a lot, you will pay no tax unless they think you bought with the intention of selling for a profit.
ebay is notorious for people having multiple identities and addresses. People also change their ebay names. Some just punt out stuff and hope nobody will notice. I’m currently looking at the history of a bod who sells bike brochures and service books.
He’s sold about 100 in the last year: that’s two a week, and he may use other sales methods too. That’s trading, and he is likely to be caught sooner or later (the taxman monitors ebay).
You can click on a seller’s feedback rating, next to their username, and examine their feedback. That can be fun – I remember one buyer I had whose feedback revealed, a couple of years previously, that he’d bought a load of vintage porn and something called a ‘cock and ball clamp’ (I am ignorant of these devices and happy to remain so). If you click on the username itself, it will show you whether the seller has changed his handle, and when.
It’s all something to remember if you are sold a pup and the seller proves uncooperative.
NEXT WEEK Why older bikes can have hidden expenses.
Is Emma a shifty bike trader in disguise?