Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

[VIC] Motorbike Brokers - Unlawful or just dodgy? - Bit long

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by Jbot, Nov 23, 2007.

  1. I advertised my 1999 Ducati Monster 750 on Bikepoint on Sunday.

    I got a call today from a Melbourne 'motorbike broker' offering to either buy it from me as he "wanted one for the shop and had a couple of people interested", or "if we can't reach an agreement, we can sell it for you on consignment".

    Sounded a bit iffy to me, I suspect if I go there to show the bike to him, he will (at best) make a ridiculously low offer and when I refuse it, then offer to sell it for me for a fee + commission on consignment.

    This gets me and my bike to his premises under a false premise (ha ha) of potentially selling my bike to him in order for him to convince me to let him sell it for me for a fee.

    There are a couple of other threads on these guys, one where many warn against their use and suggest their practice may be illegal - https://netrider.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?t=38277&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

    Another where Vic has got netrider discount with them and indicates that their practice is ok as they do not operate under an LMCT - https://netrider.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?t=42907&highlight=melbourne+motorbike+brokers

    Now, I really do want to sell my monster (new Buells arrive soon and I want one) so I was considering going over there to talk to him.

    Unfortunately I think after reading the other posts that they may be a crock and my reading of the Motor Car Traders Act 1986 is that what they are doing contravenes the Act.

    Questions (finally) -

    1. Has anyone bought or sold sold a bike through Melbourne Motorbike Brokers? How did it go?

    2. Is their operation legal? (Lawyers reveal yourselves, ok, you can say you asked a 'friend')
  2. May I?


    It would have been Peter calling you up?

    I actually worked there for a month or so.

    I won't go into the legalities of the operation and how that particular business is run, that just wouldn't be fair.

    The offer for you to take your bike there is genuine. They will offer you a wholesale price, not a retail one. They too need to make money.

    They do charge you a $199 fee + GST this is to cover the rent on the premises.
    I suggested to them many times that it is near on impossible to get bikes on the floor when you are charging people $220 a month in the HOPE that you sell their bike. Some bikes have been there for over 6 months (stupid Triumphs, as if any one would want to buy one on purpose).

    Others have sold before the engine has finished cooling down after the owner has delivered it.

    The business has a tonne of potential but sadly the charging of an upfront fee is it's stumbling block in my opinion.

    I was employed to get bikes through the door but out of the 300 people that I called, I managed to get 1 bike in. Yup, one. Everyone told me it was too expensive to pay $220 upfront and then to cop a commission on top of that at sale time anywhere between 7-10% depending on the value of the bike.

    They are a nice way to sell a bike as you don't need to deal with the tyre kickers, you leave that to them. However, they are not going to do it because they are feeling generous, they are there to make money.

    I haven't been back there for over a month if not more. They are a startup and they really couldn't afford to pay me and I couldn't afford to keep going there.

    Am I disgruntled, not at all. I really enjoyed selling/talking bikes to lots of different people.
    I would do it full time but alas they can't afford me ;)
  3. Yo Vic, thanks for the reply.

    I got no problem with a lower-than-retail offer, as you say, they gotta have their margin.

    I was just curious as to whether the (potential) offer to buy it off me outright was genuine or was more likely a ploy to entice me to deal with them consignment style.

    Given you say it's legit, maybe I'll trundle over there after all. See how I feel after voting...
  4. They want your bike, they need the stock, if you are desperate and you are willing to cop wholesale then they will buy it on the spot.
  5. If they are genuinely interested in the bike, they'll come visit you like all other interested buyers.

    That they are asking you to bring the bike to them tells me your suspicions seem reasonable.

    IMHO, I don't expect the business to be around for too long. And I would be suspect of where/who is holding my bike if and when that happened.
  6. If they can't afford to keep you on, I wonder where the money to purchase my bike would come from?

    Then again, maybe they *said* they couldn't afford you so as to let you go without hurting your feelings :wink:

    I do also think that the legal foundation of their business model is shaky.
  7. Would you like the emails from them that were asking me to go back and work for them? :p

    They gave me 5 hours work the week of the MotoGP and that was it. "It looks like it's going to be a slow week, take the rest of it off"

    Which is cool and all but I wanna buy food for my kids n stuff ;)
  8. Just out of curiosity, do the brokers take responsibility if the bike is damaged in their care? Eg. Someone knocks it over while looking, or worse, crashes it on a test ride. Then there's the risk of it being stolen from a site where thieves know there are plenty of bikes waiting for them.

    Is this something to be covered by the owner's insurance (thus paying the excess and higher future premiums) or do the brokers take responsibility and pay out the asking price of totaled bikes? :)
  9. They are responsible for teh bike if it falls over or is binned during a test ride.

    They say that your insurance covers your bike whilst it is housed there. If you don't have insurance, they insure it for $20 a week.
  10. This sounds like a croc to me.

    If they're charging a monthly 'storage' fee, or whatever they want to call it, what's their incentive to sell the bike ?

    As for telling customers that their bike is covered (insurance wise)while it's at their premises, that is (more than likely) not true. I would check individual policies and or check with your broker, maybe even get a cover note or ammendment to the policy IN WRITING.
    I'm picking the $20 p/w insurance they're offering won't be worth the paper it's written on.
  11. I had these guys offering me the same deal when I sold my scoot (I now ride a real bike :p ) The impression I got was that my scoot was a "desirable" scoot and that it wouldn't take long for them to sell it.

    Legalities aside, My logic is that if it's easy for them to sell, it'll be easy for me to sell too. I managed to sell in about 2 days after advertising on bikesales, which only cost me $20.

    If you bike is "desirable" then people won't just be looking in a shop, they'll be looking online for it too.