With internet sales becoming a huge part of the vehicle trade, the need for reliable transport has risen but with this has created a risk of rogue salesmen when buying over a distance and sometimes without viewing the bike. Follow a few guidelines and avoid buying the proverbial Pup.
- If possible always visit the seller and view the machine, there are things that won’t show in pictures that are obvious to the naked eye, also the character of the individual selling it may tell you a lot about the machine itself.
- Always research the make and model and find out the common issues that certain bikes have.
- If you’re unable to view the bike personally then you have a large amount of technology at your disposal in order to ensure the satisfactory condition of the machine, Whatsapp is a good mobile phone app that transfers high quality pictures and videos from seller to buyer which shows you in close detail the damage or noises that might be present on the machine before you commit to buying. Look out for rusty, badly adjusted chains and oily deposits around the suspension areas.
- Choose your sales platform wisely, Ebay has a very reliable rating system where you can judge the reputation of the seller by their feedback rating. Also the description of the machine on Ebay is legally binding so if you buy the bike by auction and is isn’t accurately described then you can simply give it back and get a refund. Other platforms such as Gumtree and Facebook are less secure but this doesn’t mean that they are to be avoided. Good communication from the seller is important, if they don’t offer up information freely about the machine then move on and find another one.
- Payment can also be a point of caution for buyers especially when buying from a private seller so wherever possible use a secure payment method such as PayPal where you have an option to do so but for full security use the ‘goods and services’ and not the ‘friends and family’ option. This will give you peace of mind that should the bike not be accurately described you will not lose your money.