It is nearly that time again….
When summer changes to autumn and the rains begin to arrive again, it is a time for us to start looking around for something new. When the warm summer evenings shorten into long dark nights, it is time to get on the computer and look at web sites our partners might prefer us to leave well alone. When the summer days start to have the first hints of winter chill mixed in it is time for us to consider major changes in our lives.
Yes, winter is on its way and you know what that means, yes, born again’s who have decided that they were happy with their memories, people who tried and decided “no” and others who had more money than sense are all advertising their bikes for sale. It is a fact that as winter comes on the second hand market fills up with bikes, and of course, when the market is saturated prices come down and it is easier to pick up a bargain.
Of course you have to make sure it really is a bargain and that what you are getting is what you expect and this is what today’s post is all about. Loads of great articles have been written about this before explaining the mechanical perils of buying a bike, so I will try not to reinvent the wheel, instead I will do my best to be original!!
In a previous post I mentioned it is not a good idea to add custom paintwork to your bike. As a buyer you should be aware of this and ask yourself “why has this bike had a paint job, has it been dropped?” This also goes for a bike with a standard paint job that is just a bit too perfect for the age of the bike, after all how many 20,000 mile bikes do you know without even a stone chip? Of course neither of these mean the bike is bad, it is just something to question the owner about and be aware of.
There is a lot to be said for taking a mate or two with you when you go to look at a possible purchase. A real friend will help you get rid of the buy me filter in front of your eyes and give you an unbiased opinion about the bike you are about to spend your hard earned money on.
Another advantage of taking a friend is the security side of things. When I go to buy a new second hand bike I always take cash with me. Cash is the best and easiest way of paying and for haggling a good. If the buyer can see the money they are more likely to settle for a few hundred less. Unfortunately people know this happens and some people might think that it is a good idea to try to take this money from you without exchanging the bike. This is far less likely to happen if there is more than just you on hand, and if there are a couple more mates parked around the corner, even better! Another type of sting that can be avoided with a friend there is when someone steals a bike and then offers it for sale. You turn to buy it, ask for a test ride and hand over the cash price as security. If your friend wasn’t there the “seller” could just disappear off with your money leaving you with a stolen bike and possibly a lot of explaining to do.
One careful owner....and a thousand not so careful ones
If a deal seems too good to be true then it probably is. Don’t bite the sellers hand off to buy, think about it seriously, why is it such a good deal? Do some research, question, and in the end go with your gut feeling. You might miss out on a deal, but you won’t be conned either.
Above all be prepared to walk away, it is a buyer’s market and if you are not getting the deal you want then walk. Leave your phone number so the seller can contact you if he changes his mind, this happens a lot, but don’t leave your address….the seller could then change his mind, sell you the bike and then come back with a spare key and “borrow” it back!!
I might sound paranoid but that is probably because I am, there are a lot of dodgy people out there, so I prefer to be paranoid than taken for a ride….so to speak!!!