Choose your budget. This is not a cheap hobby, but don’t be too extravagant with your budget when looking for a bike. In the $300-$600 price range, you can expect to get a bike you need to put a little money and work into. If you spend less than that, you will be harnessed a bike that needs a lot of work, effort, and money. Also, don’t spend you entire budget on the bike, as there will always be unexpected costs.
Determine the type and size that you want. The type of bike you get is totally up to you. 2-stroke, 4-stroke, big, or small. If you’re not sure, just search the web!
Check out the prices online. Finding the right deal is the heart of buying a bike, and oftentimes bikes on places like Craigslist are overpriced. Compare bike prices using eBay; If you find a bike you like, look at past auctions to see the going price.
Commit to a bike. If you decide to buy one through Craigslist, it will be easy to get more information about the bike without committing too much information to the seller. Make sure to always contact the seller in the way they ask so you don’t tick them off.
Know something about the sport. The more you know about different bikes, how they work, and the motor sport world, the more details you will have to talk about with the seller. When you know what you are talking about, you can find ways to lower the sellers asking price.
Negotiate. Negotiations start with the first contact. If you are too eager, the seller will get anxious and likely keep his price high because you make him feel like it’s worth more than it is. You can never be too calm about a deal. The more calm and confident you are the better results you will have. However, don’t be cocky, it will turn your seller off and tell him you know nothing about what you are talking about.
Talk the owner down on the prospective bike. If the headlight doesn’t work, bring it up. Tell him that it’s not exactly what you are looking for and that you don’t know if you should take it home or not. Don’t go too far though, nothing is worse than a seller that comes to look at your bike and all he does is talk bad about it.
Make an offer. Give him your bottom line and he might come closer to it than you think. If he doesn’t seem to like it, don’t give in to his game. He simply wants to get the most money for his bike. If you act like you don’t care if you get this bike or not, you will have better chances at coming away with a good deal.
At some point you either say, “I like this deal” or “the bike looked better in pictures”. Hopefully, the latter will convince the seller to drop his price further. Don’t be afraid to walk about. But know that there is a limited amount of resources posted on Craigslist, when you find a good or average deal don’t be afraid to commit.
Pay the seller cash and pat yourself on the back because you have just bought your very first dirt bike!