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Motorcycle.com Staff
by Motorcycle.com Staff

How to Buy a Motorcycle Online

By George Obradovich, Apr. 08, 2004
We have all heard of fraudulent sales on Ebay and other internet sites that have left buyers up to tens of thousands of dollars of hard earned money stolen. Since there are good deals to legitimately be had, consider the following methods to protect yourself if you opt for the Internet auction route:

1. If the asking price is dramatically below wholesale book (remember the adage, if its too good to be true, chances are it is).

2. If you see the exact same pictures of the bike for sale on two or more internet sites.

3. Watch for glaring misspellings and grammar errors or other weird inconsistencies (many of these scammers are foreigners who dont speak or write English very well).

4. Make contact with the seller either in person or, at the very least, on the phone; confirm all phone numbers, and, if possible, ask for other contact numbers like work, home, mobile, etc.

5. Have the vehicle inspected by a verifiable reputable third party such as a dealership. It may cost you $30 or $50, but you'll have the added benefit of a safety inspection, as well. If the seller is unwilling to accommodate reasonable requests, look elsewhere; (remember, when you want to sell something and you're honest, you'll do whatever is necessary to accommodate your buyer; frauds simply cannot handle certain reasonable demands) and

6. Obtain all pertinent information such as VIN, plate number and seller's complete contact information and do your best to corroborate this information through the DMV or another similar entity.

If you have other ideas I havent thought of, please share them! You can never be too careful in this day and age.

(NOTE: The idea for this topic was that I have personally found three bikes that were listed fraudulently on both ebay.com and recycler.com. What initially drew my attention to the listings after the very low price were numerous easy misspellings and grammar error. I also recognized them because two of the listings had the very same series of pictures. I sent an email with the item number, description and other identifiable information to [email protected] and they determined them to be frauds. All three bikes I called to their attention were removed with hours. Hope you find the foregoing interesting enough to consider posting, if you haven't already had a similar article.)

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