How to flip Motorcycles: A complete business plan

Below you will find a foolproof bike flipping business plan. Flipping motorcycles is a fun and rewarding hobby that could become a full time job. You can start with as much or as little money as your feel comfortable with. I started with only a few hundred pounds and never looked back.

I have tried lots of different business models over the years but I always end up coming back to the same simple model I started with on day one. The only tool you will need is a smartphone. You don’t even need a laptop or fancy camera. I run the whole business from my phone. I write all the ads take the photos and manage all the enquires from it, it really is that simple.

Finding motorcycles at trade money

You can find used bikes in lots of different ways, you can visit bike auction sites or buy from the various companies suppling ex hire stock, search eBay, Craigslist or biketrader for bikes to resell. But your local franchise dealer is nearly always your best option.

The reason your local franchised dealers are your best bet is that they have a constant supply of used bikes that they need to clear. Every dealer only has a limited amount of money and space. So most garages have a network of traders they pass bikes on to. Saving them time and money and avoiding the cost and uncertainty or using auction houses to clear unwanted stock.

Dealer part-exchanges are normally found round the back of the premises. This isn’t because the dealer is ashamed of them its simply because the bike may be high mileage or be too old for them to put in their showroom, or simply be over aged stock.

To start with all you need to do is simply let the salesman and sales manager know you’re looking to buy trade motorcycles. From there you can build a relationship between yourself and the garages you deal with. Giving the garage a reliable cost effective way of shifting their unwanted stock, and giving you the most efficient and cost effective way of acquiring quality stock.

The reasons this works so well are listed below:

1. Bikes are normally sold at trade value or less. 
2. If you’ve built up a good relationship with the dealership staff often they will call you with a bike.
3. The dealership may sell bikes in job lots allowing you to get even better deals buying in bulk.
4. Locally based saving you time and traveling costs.
5. The bike will (normally) have been HPI checked saving you time and money.
6. Often they give you the price they need for the bike saving you hassle (All you need to do is say yes or not for me)

What to buy and what to avoid

So you’ve established a supply of bikes, what next? Often the best stock is normally the leased exciting. You may like the idea of trading in super bikes or custom Harley’s, but the reality is that the fast moving stock is often the boring run of the mill stuff.

Your focus should be on bikes or scooters with low running and insurance costs. Ideally in a boring none offensive colour scheme.

Most used dealers work on a margin of £500 – £1000 regardless of whether the bike is priced at £2000 or £5,000. So you really need to ask yourself is it worth trading bikes that are worth more than two or three thousand?

Valuing a bike

Putting an exact valuation on a car can be hard we cover how to do this in detail in my article – How to value a motorcycle.

Preparing you bike

Prepping your bike for resale is really important, and if done correctly it gives you the edge over your competition, adds value and make the sales process easier. 

Every bike that you sell needs to be clean, even if you’re going to sell it on for under a thousand. Spending time cleaning your car can add thousands to the bikes value. You could hire a professional, but washing your car yourself will be much cheaper. We have written a comprehensive guide to detailing a bike here –


As you’re not a garage and it’s not 1970s the only affective way to sell your bike is on the internet.

The internet is a very visual experience so great photos are the best way to stand out to buyers. It’s best to take as many as possible, including all the relevant service history and documentation. You can take great photos with a smartphone. I have written a complete guide which you can find here – How to photograph a motorcycle with a smartphone.

Writing a great advert

Next you need to write a great description of the bike detailing the options, colour and any interesting desirable features or extras.

You should alway be 100% honest when advertising a bike. Giving a true description of the bike saves you and the potential purchaser time and money.

Make sure to include the following facts in order:

  • Year of registration & registration plate info
  • List of equipment and custom parts
  • Approximate mileage
  • Full service history if it has it
  • Number of owners if low
  • Price
  • Contact details

Advertising and marketing

So you’ve got the bike looking great, photographed and written a great advert, all you need to do now is pick the best place to advertise on. You can choose from local paper classified ads, eBay, Craigslist or biketrader. But the best option for sell a car is currently Facebook. 

Having tried every option over the years Facebook is currently the fastest and most efficient way to sell bikes. It beats classified websites, paper ads and all other forms of social media. You are simply join your local bike selling or free classified groups. Most areas have several and I advise joining as many as possible.

Then simply post your advert to one of the groups, facebook will automatically ask you if you want to post to the other groups you are a member of. You select the relevant ones and it automatically posts to the chosen groups. The real beauty of this is Facebook has made managing, posting and responding to your adverts super simple and efficient.

You can then manage all the enquires via Facebook messenger. Facebook allows you to manage your adverts across multiple groups all in one place. Without the need to juggle phone calls or email enquires form multiple websites. Once it’s sold you just mark it as so and it’s removed from the listing, anyone who has enquired receives a notification telling them its now a sold item.

I have had huge success with this form of marketing. It allows you to put your car right in front of potential buyers, super fast and it’s easy to manage.

The sales process

If you’ve followed the the rules above half of your job should be done for you. Either way you can turn the odds of success to your favour by following the list below.

1. Always have the bike cleaned before demoing it.
2. Always make sure the bikes is in good mechanical condition, and all the pressures and levels are correct. 
3. Always make sure you have all the relevant paperwork and service history ready for inspection.
4. Buyers will almost always want to haggle so its always best to have your lowest price in mind and stick to it.
5. Never leave the buyer alone with the keys.

Taking payment

In the old day I would normally take payment by cash or cheque. But in the modern world I only except bank transfer and would advice you to do the same. Its simple effective and there really is no reason to accept any other form of payment.

The Paperwork

Once you’ve sealed the deal, you still have a few things to do. Its important to put the deal down in writing and include the following details:

1.  The date
2.  Price
3.  Make and model
4. Registration number
5. Vin number
6. The names and addresses of the buyer and seller

Make two copies – one for you and one for the buyer – and make sure all parties sign both receipts!

Thats about it all thats left is for you to fill in the tear-off at the bottom of the V5C registration document and send it to the DVLA. Give the top part of the V5C to the new owner.


Flipping motorcycles can be an excellent side hustle or a full time venture. You can find all the information you need to run a successful bike flipping business or side hustle on this website. But the most import thing you can do is start!

Good luck and we hope you enjoyed the article.