One of the best ways to recoup some of the cost of restoring or rebuilding a motorcycle is to sell as many of the old parts as possible. I’ve done this many times. In fact, I once rebuilt a Honda CB750 that came with a lot of extras and I sold all the parts for more than I bought the motorcycle for.
So how do you sell motorcycle parts? The most effective way to sell motorcycle parts is using online platforms like eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and CycleTrader. It’s important to clean and prep your parts appropriately. You’ll also need to make sure you take several pictures at different angles.
I have sold hundreds of motorcycle parts over the past few years and have learned how to sell parts quickly and for a good profit. Keep reading below to learn where to sell them, how to prep them, how to take good pictures, and what to expect when you’re selling parts online.
Best Websites To Sell Your Motorcycle Parts
Whether you’re trying to find creative ways to fund certain fixes or upgrades on your motorcycle or your partner is nagging at you to get rid of some of your stuff, selling some of those extra parts from your motorcycle that you don’t need any more is an excellent place to start.
From my personal experience, the best online platform to sell both new and used motorcycle parts is eBay. eBay has the largest amount of users worldwide and is also the easiest to use which makes it my top choice. They charge 9% of the selling price up to $50 USD. They also have the least amount of online scammers which is a bonus.
A word for the wise, don’t sell really large or heavy items on eBay because the seller pays the shipping cost. So only sell items on eBay if you can make a good return after the shipping cost. For large or heavy items use some of the local listings that I will talk about below.
My new second favorite platform for locally selling parts is Facebook Marketplace. I only recently just got access to Marketplace. I’ve posted a few things for sale and have had fairly good luck with selling the parts. I really like how easy it is to use, and that I have not had to deal with scammers from Marketplace yet.
Something I don’t like about Marketplace is that it allows all the flaky people on Facebook to message you and say things like, “I’ll be by on Tuesday to pick up the item” and then they never show. It’s very frustrating to deal with people like that, and Facebook has a lot of them.
Craigslist is another excellent choice for selling extra motorcycle parts. But it is only effective as a selling platform for motorcycle parts if you’re willing to deal with scammers sending you text messages. It’s incredibly easy to spot scammers though, so I don’t mind dealing with it. I’ll give a list of things to look out for below in the section What To Expect From Buyers.
Another platfrom that has been around for a long time that I have never personally used is CycleTrader. I’ve sold actual motorcycles on there with no problems, but I’ve never sold parts on CycleTrader. There is not as much traffic on the CycleTrader parts section as there is on eBay Motors, so I tend to use eBay the most, but depending on where you live you may have some luck using this platform.
If you are working on a project motorcycle and looking for other ways to save, see my article here for information on how to do so.
How To Prep Parts For Selling
The most important point to always keep in mind when selling motorcycle parts is this: they don’t have to look perfect, they just have to look better than the other person you’re competing with. It amazes me sometimes at how little effort some people put into selling their motorcycle parts.
If you expect to sell your stuff then you need to clean it and present it appropriately! You can sell an old carburetor for sometimes double the price just by cleaning it with soap and carb cleaner. It is always in your best interest to present your parts in the cleanest possible way so you can attract more attention to them.
This should be simple but some people don’t get it. If it’s stainless steel or chrome then use steel wool and soap to shine the metal. If it’s greasy then clean it all off with a pressure washer. Pressure washers are very handy when you need to clean motorcycle parts, especially if there’s grease and caked on dirt involved. Pressurewashr.com is an excellent place to look if you’re in the market and their article “The Best Pressure Washers” (link to article) is a great source to help you find the best pressure washer that fits your needs.
Another quick tip that can double or triple your income from selling parts is putting a fresh coat of spray paint on the part before you post it for sale. Anything you can do to help catch the eye of a potential buyer is worth it. Unless of course the thing you’re selling is really big and would take tons of time to paint.
When you create the listing, look at your competition and see what similar parts are being listed for. When you find the few parts that most closely resemble the quality of what you’re selling then list yours for slightly cheaper. Even if it’s only a few dollars cheaper, people will be automatically drawn to your listing over the other person’s.
Taking Good Pictures
Poor quality pictures on classifieds listing is one of my biggest pet peeves. Almost everyone owns a decent smartphone these days, and if you don’t then one of your friends does. So when you get ready to list your items for sale, put them in a well-lit area without distracting things in the background to take pictures.
Take close up pictures of the items from many different angles to give the buyers the best possible idea of what quality of item they can expect. And don’t copy and paste manufacturer pictures of the item from a web search. Take your own pictures, it will attract more people.
When taking the picture, stay away from dark spots, big shadows, cluttered areas, and pictures from too far away. People want to be able to zoom in and look at the quality of the part, so make sure you’re using a decent smartphone or camera.
If you put the pictures on the listing and they look blurry and pixelated then take new pictures. It only takes a few minutes so just do it again correctly. Also, don’t have people in your pictures. Even if you think your girlfriend is the most beautiful person in the world, nobody else wants to see her holding the motorcycle part. Just post pictures of the item.
What To Expect From Buyers
Every online platform has its own set of challenges to deal with, so when you get ready to sell parts online just know that dealing with people can be challenging but it’s worth it since they’re paying you.
When selling parts on eBay expect a fairly seamless transaction, but sometimes the sell can take time. I like posting my items on eBay with just a Buy It Now price, not an auction price. Just list it for a few dollars less than the competition so you don’t have to deal with people trying to nickel and dime you on the price.
Buyers on eBay have 2 days to pay for the item they won on, and if they still don’t pay then you can relist it. This has only happened to me twice in over ten years of being on eBay. I only sell items to people in the United States so I don’t have to deal with shipping items internationally, it just makes it easier.
Be sure to ship the item quickly once someone has paid or else you’ll get bad feedback and less people will buy your items in the future. eBay is hands down my favorite parts place online, I have bought and sold thousands of dollars worth of parts over the years on it.
When using Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist be careful with giving out your address or PayPal account information. I always try to meet people at a large parking lot or store when selling them items so they don’t know where I live. I also don’t let people pay me on PayPal because of some common scams.
If anyone messages you and wants to pay you with a personal check, a cashiers check, or wire you money then you automatically know it’s a scam. Just stop messaging them back, no matter how legitimate they make it sound!
Also, if people message you and have very poor grammar then it’s also a scam, don’t waste your time and stop responding to them. Most scammers are from developing countries and English is their second or third language, so their spelling skills are pretty poor.
Overall, selling parts online is really not that hard and there is a lot of money to be made. Don’t be scared to do it, I’ve been doing it for over a decade and have had very few problems.
What should you look for when buying a project motorcycle? Ask the seller about the history of the motorcycle as well as for proper documentation. Check for signs in case it was in an accident and calculate how much it will cost to fix everything it needs. Click here to see my article for more information.
Is it possible to sell motorcycle parts to local businesses? It is possible to sell parts to businesses near you. You’ll need to do some research as to who accepts them. Note that you probably will not get as much money from them as you would privately selling your spare parts.