How to Buy a Motorcycle on eBay

CitizenShipper CitizenShipper · Updated: March 8, 2023 / Published: April 18, 2021
motorcycle, dirt road

eBay Motors can be a great place to begin your research for a new or used motorcycle. You can find sellers in your area, but also use the vast range of a national market. At this moment, there are almost 6000 motorbikes available on eBay – this range makes it possible to discover great bargains and unique pieces. It heightens your chance to find precisely the motorbike you were dreaming of. 

How Safe is eBay for Customers?

One of the most significant advantages of eBay or similar providers is customer protection in comparison to marketplace providers like a newspaper or Craigslist. Customer protection becomes even more important when you’re buying outside your local area and therefore can’t look at the motorcycle yourself and have to use a delivery service. eBay’s Vehicle Purchase Protection (VPP) protects in certain fraud cases, like non-delivery or undisclosed defects. It’s essential to know VPP covers the price of your vehicle up to a maximum of $100,000. To gain this protection, you must pay with one of the transaction methods via the eBay platform. We highly recommend not to make the transaction off the platform because it can lead to being caught in a scam with no recourse.

Another plus is that eBay offers a comprehensive seller and buyer review system, which we will introduce to you in more detail later in the article. Other people’s good experiences provide a feeling of trust between seller and buyer.  

Step-by-Step Guide

This article will guide you through the process of buying a motorbike on eBay. Before you start scrolling the eBay marketspace, you should consider what kind of motorcycle you want and what type of motorcycle you need. You should decide on brands you like, think about the size and weight that suits you, maybe even get an idea about the color. Set a price range, inform yourself about state regulation safety and emission, and don’t forget to find out about specific motorbikes insurance possibilities and prices. Finally, you should put some thought into the where: You could cooperate with a shipping provider like CitizenShipper, which works with a vast network of drivers all in the U.S. and offers a lot of flexibility for shipping routes. You can get quotes for your shipping helping you to determine if door-to-door shipping is in your price range.  If you want to look at your motorbike yourself, you should limit the research area to a distance that you can comfortably travel to.

Create An eBay Account

After getting an idea of what you are searching for, you need to set up an eBay account to get started. To do so, you just need your name, your mail address, and to set a password. Once you are registered, you can start browsing.

Searching on eBay

You can filter your results by condition, size, brand, price, location, year, and more to narrow your search. Add all of the factors you previously thought of, which make a suitable motorcycle for you.

If you are interested in a motorcycle, you should read the description in detail to gather information about its condition, warranty status, potential damages, and similar. An attentive look at pictures doesn’t tell you if you like the vehicle’s style but can also reveal unmentioned damage. 

Once you find a motorcycle that you’re interested in, you can add it to your watchlist. Here you can save all of the potential vehicles to compare them later. To do so, you just have to click on the heart icon in the eBay listing. 

Check the Seller for Trustworthiness

Before you bid on the motorcycle you want, you should have a good look at the seller. As previously mentioned, eBay has a rating system that gives every user a rating percentage based on negative, neutral, and positive reviews by other users. This rating system is based on a user’s activity as a buyer and a seller. If you want to be on the safe side, you should just work with sellers with a 100% rating or similar. However, in addition to this rating is also good to have a close look at a seller’s reviews. 

At this point, you can’t just see other people’s comments and ratings on how the purchase went, but also which products a seller sold previously. If you feel a need for extra security measures, you might want to decide on a professional who sold many motorcycles before. If you’re going to buy from a one-time seller or a new business, you could put more significant effort into checking the seller in direct communication.

Generally, it makes sense to ask a seller plenty of questions, which you can do through the listing’s contact seller button. In asking about the motorbike details, you will get a sense of whether the seller is competent.

If you can’t look at the vehicle yourself because it’s too far away and you feel insecure about purchasing it without seeing the motorcycle and getting to know the seller, have a professional inspector or mechanic in the region look at the vehicle. If they approve, you can be on the safe side to place your first bid!

Bidding and Buying

There are two possibilities of buying on eBay: Either you bid, or sometimes you can buy it directly for a fixed price. Not all auctions come with the second possibility. 

Once you won an auction, the seller is usually setting the terms of payment and will probably ask you for a deposit. The full payment is then due about a week later. This can be completed using PayPal, Credit, or Debit Card.

Make sure you communicate with the seller beforehand about which payment methods they accept, then nothing should stand between you and your new motorcycle. We wish you a great first ride!