http://www.ibmwr.org/marketplace/morrow.html ==== also ==== I have had a copy of the title emailed or faxed to me so that I can check the VIN for a history of wrecks. Also, this allows me to pre-insure the bike in the event that I buy. I try to ask a lot of detailed questions via email. This creates a written history of the declared condition of the bike. In the emails, I ask for photos. I ask that each flaw, scratch, dent, or chip be photographed and sent to me. Again, this creates a written documentation of the declared condition. If it differs from what is declared, I don't have to buy. If someone won't send the details, I look elsewhere. I take printed copies of each email when I go to buy the bike. I negotiate to an absolute committed price -- pending condition assessment of the bike. It goes like this. "If the bike is in the condition described, I will pay $XXXX. If it is not, I will not purchase." This lets the seller know that I will not try to further negotiations at the sale. I believe I get a better price this way. Billy ==== also ==== I just purchased a 'new to me' 1988 Concours from Bishop, CA which is about 1025 miles from my home in northwest Washington. I'm not sure I can give you any hard and fast rules but my purchase turned out to be a great experience. I e-mailed the seller several times and got to know him a bit. At first, of course, it all centered around the bike but then bits and pieces from other aspects of life crept in and I started to get a feel for the seller. He was happy to provide pictures of the bike and offered to send me detailed pictures of whatever part of the bike I wanted to see. He was asking a fair price and didn't exaggerate the condition of the bike. He told me it was very good and I think he underplayed it because I would call it excellent. I told him I would be willing to place a deposit in the bike but because I had to travel so far I wanted an assurance that if I decided the bike wasn't for me there would be no argument about returning my deposit. He did me one better and said that if I told him I wanted to purchase the bike he would hold it for me with no money up front. At that point I think we had reached a mutual point of trust; he knew I wanted the bike and I knew he thought it was nice enough that I would take it when I got there. And I did :-). Mostly, trust your instinct and turn off the "I gotta have this bike" voice yelling at you from inside. Unless you're going for something pretty exotic there are lots of examples of almost every bike available somewhere (it sounds as if you're willing to travel). If you think there's something 'funny' about the deal; there probably is. Walk away and move to the next bike. Too good to be true is just that. On a final note, I never actually 'talked' to the seller until I walked down his driveway. All communication was done via e-mail. I think this actually has some advantages in that you can ask questions and probe for information from a neutral position. There is no body language or voice inflections to direct (or mis-direct) the conversation. I realize that in some circumstances this might actually be a negative but for me during my purchase it worked very well. Good shopping, ____o--^\o____________________________ Les Lampman Cornet Bay, Whidbey Island, Washington
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