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Buying and Selling (flipping) Motorcycles Can Be Emotional

As I look through my Facebook photos it dawned on me that I've flipped 16 motorcycles in less than 4 years. These motorbikes have ranged from scooters to big bore cruisers. Though the whole process is what I call FUN, there is the other side to the whole process. I never really talk about it with people I know because I never paid attention to it until I was buying another motorcycle. In this article we'll discuss some of the emotions that involved with this hobby.

When I'm going through the buying process a few things come up, excitement, desperation and hopelessness. Yes all those things happen within a few short moments. You see when I'm on Craigslist there's this excitement that I get when I'm perusing the pages for my next buy. Then I start thinking about my budget and wishing that I just had a bit more so I can buy a bigger or better bike. When I stick to my budget, I feel the desperation and think, "well this one has a ton of work...but I'm sure it will be ok..."

That right there will be your biggest enemy because of the fact that you're settling. This came up a few times when I was checking out a motorcycle. I wanted to trade my Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 for some 1500 Metric Cruiser. I get there and the chrome is pitted, gas leaking from the carbs, bald tires and tags were expired. I started to think a few things...1. I can fix the carb issue 2. I can just polish out the chrome 3. I can change the tires myself. But I had to take a step back and think, "is this really worth it?" The answer was NO. Another occasion was when I was checking out a scooter. Something was definitely wrong with it since I couldn't get it to go over 30mph. I've owned the same model before and I know it could hit 45 easily. Stupid me I offered some money for it because I thought I could fix it myself. Luckily the seller didn't accept my offer and I went home, sorta relieved.

The last emotion I typically feel after searching for a bike for days or even weeks is hopelessness. This feeling could literally stop anyone from doing anything. Just think, when you feel hopeless in any situation, you feel like giving up, right? Well the same goes for motorbikes. This is the point where you really have to push through and make it happen. To me I'm motivated by the idea of riding a different bike and by the all mighty DOLLAR. Yes money motivates me to find my next deal. I often will think how much I can make off that purchase and if my potential profits are high enough, then my mojo kicks in.

Remember all those things I experienced when buying a bike? Well, it's the same thing when it comes to selling. When the bike is ready to sell, I get super excited because of all the money I can make. Posting it on Craigslist or Cycletrader is rather fun for me. Basically when its time to sell, it symbolizes a good job I have done in getting the motorbike ready. You see its rather rare that I can flip a bike without having to do some sort of improvements. My most recent item that I sold needed new tires. If you know anything about changing your own tires, it can be difficult, thus the reason why some shops charge as much as $50 per tire to install. So having to change tires on my own, takes some back breaking effort on my part.

Desperation kicks in about 2 weeks after I've posted my ad. That's when I start entertaining low ball offers that I get from buyers. Again, you gotta stay strong because you know that low ball offers won't yield a profit. Sticking to my guns during a potential deal will also yield bigger profits. So what ever you do, don't get desperate and settle for the first offer. The last cruiser I had was on CL for almost 3 months. I learned quickly that bikes just don't sell all that well from October through January...but that's for another article.

Hopelessness kicks in with me when the bike hasn't sold. As I mentioned earlier, it took my cruiser 3 months to be sold. But all I could really do is keep relisting my ads and change out the photos to make it look fresh and eventually, the bike will sell.

So what's the lesson to be learned here? You will need to be steadfast and remain strong during the whole process. When you start feeling all those emotions, reel it back in, keep things in perspective and keep in mind that your bottom line and your ability to buy another bike will be determined on how much profit you can make when flipping.


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