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Like new cars, getting a new motorcycle can be very expensive. If you don’t have the money or have poor credit, shopping for a used or like-new motorcycle may be the better option. A used motorcycle is also better for beginners who want a more entry-level bike before they upgrade to the big leagues.

You can get a used motorcycle through many of the same avenues as buying a used car. However, just like buying a used car, there are some things you should know about each selling platform before you commit to buy. Here are a few places you can look for motorcycles both online and in person.


This is where you will find the most variety of motorcycles. Many people enjoy eBay for the convenience factor. You won’t have to drive around to different dealerships or bike shops looking for the best deal. You can compare asking prices on eBay with the actual value of the bike from websites like Kelley Blue Book.

While you have the option of ordering your potential new bike from anywhere in the U.S., you will likely have to cover the shipping charges, unless the seller is local. Additionally, you won’t be able to test drive the motorcycle before you buy it, so you’ll have to rely on the accuracy of the photos provided by the seller.

Luckily eBay has a great return policy, but the process of arranging to ship a motorcycle back across multiple states could be a hassle. Take note of the seller’s feedback and request extra photos if necessary. 


Like eBay, you don’t even have to leave your house while shopping for used motorcycles on Craigslist. This website is divided into different sectors based on each state, so you can shop for motorcycles in your general area without having to worry about expensive shipping costs. There’s also a good chance that the seller will let you test drive the motorcycle before you buy it.

However, Craigslist does not have a feedback system like eBay, so there’s no way to check the integrity of the seller. This means you’re more likely to run into scammers or people trying to sell stolen bikes. When you go to look at the bike, make sure to give it a thorough visual inspection for anything that the seller may have left out of the photos. You should always make sure that the VIN matches up with the title documents.

Classified ads

There are many motorcycle websites online that have classified sections where users can post listings for bikes that they want to sell. Since the users know that they will be selling to other motorcycle enthusiasts, you’re more likely to get a realistic price. However, if the seller isn’t local, you’ll have to pay for shipping fees and won’t be able to test drive the bike.

If you’re less tech-savvy, you can still find classified ads in newspapers as well, though these are few and far between. Still, there’s always the chance that a rare motorcycle will pop up in your local paper and you’ll get first dibs.


Shopping for a used motorcycle at a dealership allows you to look at a wide variety of bikes up close and personal. Unlike private sellers, a dealership will help you find financing even if you have a bad credit history. They’ll also be able to provide you with a vehicle history report, which will include any accidents, repairs, or title changes the bike has had.

Unfortunately, like car dealerships, you may run into a pushy salesperson who will try to pressure you into buying a bike even if you’re not 100% interested. Know the signs of dishonest sales reps and avoid them at all costs.