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Bike Buyer Guru: what to look out for when consigning your bike to a showroom

Is the dealership trustworthy? Will they actually pay you when they sell the bike? Is your bike safe there? Here is what to look out for.

Craig-Langton-Bike-Buyer-GuruCraig Langton has quite the CV. Here at The Bike Show we refer to him as King Midas because, as you might’ve guessed, everything he touches turns to gold. Apart from previous businesses that were massively successful under his watch, he is the owner of Fire It Up in Fourways and within a year of opening its doors it has become the biggest selling motorcycle dealer in the country by a long way. Much of this is down to good honest hard work by him and his team, but much of it also has to do with decades of dealing in motorcycles, spotting trends and noticing nuances. Craig will be passing on much of this knowledge to our esteemed readers in his regular Bike Buyer Guru column. Herewith the first article:

SELLER BEWARE!!! By Seller I don’t mean multiple SA Superbike Champion Clinton Seller, he’s legend in our books and a close friend. As consumers we have always focused on ‘buyer beware’  but gauged by the number of emails I receive from customers seeking advice or assistance, it has become evident that as bike sellers we need to be more vigilant. As more companies and dealerships suffer the effects of a tough industry and have started offering to sell your motorcycle or vehicle on consignment or park ‘n sell basis, as they do not have the cash to purchase the motorcycle outright. There seems to be a trend that a few of these dealers do not have the funds when it comes time to pay. I recently received a cry for help from a customer who had given his motorcycle to a dealership to sell and six months after it had been sold he had still not been paid. The dealership had been giving disingenuous excuses of registration issues, CPA excuses, director being overseas and unable to authorise payment, and now finally they have now offered to pay him off. To add insult to injury the original owner is still paying the monthly instalment and insurance. Is it becoming a South African trend to act without integrity in business as well as government? I am starting to wonder if our society cares less about one another and more about making money? If you are selling your motorcycle this festive season and leaving it somewhere in the hope that the dealership/company is going to sell it without any problems, ask or check (confirm) the following:


  1. Written confirmation that your motorcycle is insured whilst (it is) your bike is for sale. Did you know that if it is damaged or stolen, some insurance companies will not cover bikes that are put on a ‘consignment’ or ‘park n sell’ basis?
  2. Confirmation that the dealership takes full responsibility for your motorcycle whilst in their care and on their floor.
  3. Ask the dealership to make you a cash offer and see if they will pay you immediately. If they do not have the funds or are not ‘buying at the moment’ be wary as this could spell problems later on.
  4. Ensure that only qualified buyers will be allowed to test ride your motorcycle if you are in agreement. Sometimes customers bikes are used as ‘demos’ so that the dealership can upsell a new bike.
  5. Be wary of outlandish and unrealistic claims, although we would all like to achieve the price we want for our motorcycle or what the dealer is promising, in the end the market and a skilled sales team with great facilities, value add on and integrity can achieve good pricing.
  6. Make sure the company has a proven track record by checking (scrutinising) them on social media – reading a few customer reviews is always best.

Be careful out there, when the market is tough people do the craziest things!

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