I’ve been trying to sell my motorcycle (2003 Nighthawk 750) on Craigslist. The last time I sold a bike on Craigslist, it was a success. I had interested buyers come look at the bike, and the second person to see and ride the bike bought it.
This time around, things are different. I’ve been contacted four times. The first time it was from a service that offered to sell the bike for a fee. The second offer seemed serious, but the guy was more than 20 minutes late for our meeting to see and test ride the bike, so I left. I was tired and hungry, and I probably should have swallowed my pride and stuck around, but interactions I had with the man via text made him seem untrustworthy, and I thought maybe he was keeping me waiting on purpose in some kind of power play.
The last two people to contact me wanted VIN reports from a specific site I’ve never heard of before (and won’t name because I don’t want to give them any exposure). The first one started out asking me if the bike was still for sale. When I told him it was, he asked if I had a VIN report from the website I refuse to mention. When I told him I didn’t have one, he asked me to buy one from the referenced site. I told him that such reports are often worthless because many shops don’t report repairs to whatever agency keeps track of them. I offered to take the bike to any mechanic he wanted (within reason) and I never heard from him again. Then, earlier this week, I got another e-mail from a man named Todd. Todd asked if the bike had ever been in a major accident. I told him it might have been in a minor accident before I bought it with 6,000 miles on the odometer due to a couple tell tale signs most experienced motorcyclists would notice. He thanked me for my honesty and asked for a VIN report, again referring me to the same website as the last guy. That is when I figured out it is a scam. Someone is sitting at a desk somewhere trolling Craigslist and convincing people to buy VIN reports, pretending to be interested in the motor vehicles for sale.
I responded to Todd that if he shows me he is serious by coming to see the bike and test ride it, and the only thing keeping him from buying it is a clean VIN report, I would buy a VIN report from Carfax on the spot (on my tablet or phone). I never heard back from Todd.
What a scam. Luckily, I’m in no rush to sell the bike.