One in four marriages fail. This proves that relationships are not by definition eternal. The same goes for classics. Even for the BFG we recently in AMK – you already have such a dirt cheap subscription? – after twenty+ years with his owner, it turned out to be time for an adoption. Then you offer your classic on the Internet or in print, in AMK – and as a subscriber you can advertise there for free – and you wait for the things to come.
With online advertising, you can completely lose faith in humanity
There are often single-celled organisms that fillet your offer, quality and price with the sharpest knife. Or offer 600 euros for the bike for which you ask a reasonable 4.500 euros.
And then there are quite a few things. Like the fact that you get strangers over. Those kinds of acquaintances can be the foundation of long-lasting friendships, but things can also go wrong. Because there are quite a lot of rogue people – let's call them 'traders' – who have thought that the idea that the profit is on the purchasing side can be taken very seriously as in 'get, but not pay'. When looking at the classic for sale, they look at many more things than just the motorcycle. For example, they look at the hinges and locks of a garage or shed. The sale does not go through there and at that time. The prospective buyers want to reconsider.
And then there is a reasonable chance that the bike will be gone one morning and you will wonder if there will be a second visit to be able to take what was not taken the first time. Also annoying: Because many buyers are extremely mature nowadays, they have no problem coming back excited after half a year because the battery of their purchase has died or something. And if you just want to arrange a new battery for them “Otherwise I'll tell all my friends what a jerk you are”. To that last comment, an acquaintance had the definitive answer: "I don't believe that someone like you has even one friend."
Get the laundry out the door!
That was the battle cry in the laundry industry decades ago, but it also applies metaphorically to the sale of your classic. And for the feeling of the owner of the unique BFG, it was also the approach that gave him the most pleasant feeling. The idea came up when we ended up at Gallery Aaldering during the photo session for that BFG.
During the musings at lunch there in Brummen, Nick Aaldering, who is also a motorcycle enthusiast, proposed to take the French four-cylinder on consignment. Also because such a unique thing in the (digital) showroom is a nice attention grabber. Giving that on consignment – certainly in a market where demand is strong – is simple. The selling party and the classic car entrepreneur finalize a price that both parties consider realistic. That will never be the Internet's highest dream prize. Because owners of classic shops also have to pay for their groceries somehow. The case is then recorded administratively. After that, after a professional cleaning and polishing, for which you easily pay 300 euros as a private person, the classic goes into the store and onto the Internet. After that, the business can run smoothly, with all 'risk' resting with the selling party, the classic specialist. In short: consignment is a realistic, safe selling option. And almost every classic specialist wants to participate.
And in the meantime, you already have room in the garage for your new dream bike. Because the ideal number of motorcycles in your possession follows from the formula ideal=N+1. The N stands for the number of motorcycles you already have.
If this is your collection, and you want to sell one of them, it's not smart to show everything to the potential buyer.