I’ve heard the horror stories and read some comments about people getting burned when buying a scooter or motorcycle on eBay so I thought I’d offer up some tips on how I have been able to purchase motorcycles, essentially risk free, on eBay.

Now eBay can be a magical place to find deals and items at great prices. And you can regularly find Suzuki Burgman scooters for sale on eBay. Although I’ve noticed lately that the number of Burgman scooters for sale is smaller than it used to be. Now that’s understandable. After all, who would want to sell one if they didn’t have to?

As far as I’m concerned the biggest concerns about buying a Suzuki Burgman scooter on eBay are:

  1. Mechanical & Cosmetic Condition As Described
  2. A Very Safe and Fair Exchange of Cash and Scooter
  3. Delivery

All of these issues can be easily overcome and I suggest that you never purchase a Burgman scooter on eBay without following the advice below. let’s call it the Steve Rhode BurgmanRiders.com plan. I like the way that sounds! 🙂

This is the process that I use and it would be very hard to get royally screwed if you adopt this approach. With a good insurance policy you exchange money for protection. And when buying a scooter or motorcycle on eBay you can essentially do the same thing. If you have found a Burgman scooter that you want to purchase and you have looked it over online and it seems like the one for you then follow these two steps.

  1. Find the Nearest Suzuki Dealer – Call the service shop and ask to speak to the service manager. Explain to them that you are purchasing a Burgman scooter long distance and you would like to pay them to look the scooter over and give you a report on its condition. Here is the most important part, ask the service manager to agree to not release the scooter without your permission and that you will make arrangements for it to be picked up by a transport company from them following the completion of the sale. You can find the nearest Suzuki dealer to the seller, online.
  2. Contact the Seller Before the End of the Sale – Any reasonable seller will be willing to allow you to have the scooter looked over by the dealer service shop following your winning bid. Just explain that since you are long distance you want to make sure that the scooter is in good shape and as listed before you transfer the funds. If everything is as stated in the auction, the seller can deliver the title to the dealer for them to hold until you transfer the money to the seller. This will ease the mind of the seller.

Your insurance premium here is that you will need to pay the dealer for their assistance in making this safe transaction. There is a cost to do this but it is usually less than $150 more than the mechanical review by the dealer service shop.

If everything looks good and the dealer gives you a clean bill of health you can ask the seller to deliver the title to the dealer and once the dealer confirms they have the title, ask them to fax it to you so you can make sure the title is in order for a smooth transfer to you. Next, transfer the money to the seller, I prefer to do this via a wire transfer for one primary reason. A wire transfer is a same day transfer of funds from your bank to the bank of the seller. The funds are guaranteed and good on arrival. This is a bonus inducement for you to offer to the seller to ask them to participate with this process.

I don’t like to ship the title with the scooter or motorcycle so I ask the dealer to express mail me the title separately from the scooter. The last thing I want is a stranger with both the scooter and title in their hands. This might be a bit of overkill here but this is why this process is about as safe as it can be for a long distance purchase.

There are extra costs for this approach to safely buying a motorcycle or scooter long distance. Extra costs will be:

  • Service visit to look scooter over.
  • Dealer service to handle safe transfer.
  • Cost of wire transfer of funds.
  • Cost to express mail title.

But like I said, all of this is your insurance to protect you from getting burned by a seller you don’t know, taking your money and running. Sadly it has happened before and it will happen again.

The last step of this process is to make arrangements for either yourself or a professional motorcycle transfer company to pick up the scooter from the dealer and deliver it to you. Again there is a charge for this service but it can be cheaper than flying across country to ride an unfamiliar scooter home. Also, professional transporters are bonded and insured to protect you and the scooter in transit.

Here are a few places that advertise motorcycle shipping online that you might want to look at.

I’ve used Federal a couple of times and they always did a very prompt and professional job. The motorcycle was picked up and arrived as promised and I could track it on its journey as well. Now that doesn’t mean that the others don’t look interesting as well. Use who you want to. It looks like both Haul Bikes and Federal charge about the same rate to ship a scooter across country.

To give you an approximate idea of what it would cost to ship your scooter cross country, it looks like around $620 is the average charge.

Secret: If you want to save some money, you can ask for a custom shipping quote from the eBay item page for the specific scooter. Federal has a relationship with eBay for motorcycle and scooter shipping and you’ll get a cheaper price asking for a quote through the scooter auction page on eBay.

Just click on the shipping tab on the scooter auction page on eBay and press the “Get Custom Quotes” button, as shown below.

Discounted Scooter Shipping Quote

Discounted Scooter Shipping Quote

When I started this article I said that my major concerns when buying a Burgman scooter long distance were:

  1. Mechanical & Cosmetic Condition As Described
  2. A Very Safe and Fair Exchange of Cash and Scooter
  3. Delivery

By using this approach you can significantly minimize your risks when buying a Suzuki Burgman scooter or any motorcycle on eBay long distance. Using the dealer approach you can get an independent assessment of the condition of the scooter and match it up with the auction listing to see if they synch up. If the scooter isn’t as described the only thing you’ve lost is the service cost of the dealer to look it over. Now that’s cheap protection to avoid getting a bad scooter.

Using this approach you’ll also be able to exchange scooter, title and money using the dealer as an escrow agent and delivery can be a cinch using a professional transport company.

Let Me Head Off Some Questions At The Pass

Steve, doesn’t this process make purchasing the Burgman more expensive?

Yes it does but it makes it safer and less risky. Would you rather invest some money in safety and connivence or risk losing all your money by getting screwed?

Steve, how do I know the dealer isn’t going to screw me over?

The cost of your service is so insignificant in the grand scheme of the dealer’s income that it is illogical a dealer would risk their name and reputation by screwing you over a $150 tab. This is why I also suggest a Suzuki dealer, if you have any issues, you can escalate it through Suzuki. But you won’t have any issues.

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15 Responses to “How to Safely Buy a Suzuki Burgman Scooter on eBay”

  1. Horror story Already got screwed by a dealer (name withheld due to future Court action) and Suzuki themselves. Feel its me against the big boys – but I have to see this through now – as whichever way I go I am going to probably loose big time. There is a principle at stake. Continued failed/burnt out clutch on a low mileage and age scooter. Not given the model agreed – but old stock fobbed off on me.

  2. One word about buying anything from ebay. Don’t.

  3. eBay… douchebags!

  4. I have successfully bought many items thru eBay using the methods Steve has described above (these include a scooter and…yes…even a car! All have been great buys and have been thoroughly inspected by a third party as well as spending money for a carfax for additional security and peace of mind. You just have to be careful in how you do it!

  5. I have bought (and sold) several vehicles, including motorcycles, using eBay.
    Never had a problem … last time around, while haggling with the seller, I wound up getting “free” shipping on a big old Suzuki C90T …. they had previously quoted it at $ 480 from Dallas, TX to my door in south GA …. they young man that delivered it was late, but he got here OK …. I don’t think there is a better place to shop for vehicles than Ebay …. you just need to be careful, same as you would if you went to a used car lot. Pay attention to the seller’s feed back …. Good Luck, Mike

  6. Nice site design and good information. Thanks, looking forward to your feed updates…

  7. Theres a big scam on ebay US atm so be careful, you wouldn’t catch me on one of those hairdryers anyway..
    .-= ebay selling tips´s last blog ..eBay hot selling items – i9 Sciphone Mobile Phone =-.

  8. Great article…much good information since I’ve been looking on e-bay…thanks

  9. Hello may I use some of the material here in this blog if I reference you with a link back to your site?

  10. Great tips guys! We’ll be sure to use a few of these along the way.

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