I have to say, I am a happy dude. I recently bought my first motorcycle, and I got a great deal on it. Surprisingly, I bought it from Craigslist, and had no issues at all. You can see some photos of it below. So, how did I get a great deal on a bike you ask? Well, it was a combination of patience and some tech savvy-ness. Read on for more!
First of all, do research on what bike you are looking for. Join forums and communities and figure out what bike is your best fit. If you have never ridden a motorcycle, check out your local Motorcycle Safety courses, and take it. In Arizona, they will give you a waiver that allows you to get your motorcycle endorsement on your license. You can also try out several different bikes and see which one you like best. After about a week of searching and research, I decided that I wanted a 2002-2004 Honda Shadow Spirit, with a 750cc engine. This bike has enough power to make it on the highways, but not too much to overpower a new rider like me. I also wanted a cruiser for my first bike, because I wanted to enjoy my rides. I am not in a hurry, I will get where I’m going eventually, with no need to rush.
So, now we know what bike we want. Now comes the hard part, waiting for a perfect bike. I knew I wanted to use craigslist, and I wanted to pay for it cash since I don’t want to finance a new first bike, so I set up a search for what I wanted, like the image below:
Ok, so now, this is the general search for what we are looking for. Off the bat, there are 3 options, non of which I am really interested in, but again, the name of the game is patience. Now, we could come on here every day, and search and see what deals get posted. Unfortunately, not only will I forget, but at work, I don’t have time to be cruising craigslist everyday. That is where the RSS button comes in.
RSS (Rich Site Summary) is a format for delivering regularly changing web content. Many news-related sites, weblogs and other online publishers syndicate their content as an RSS Feed to whoever wants it. Basically its a way for you to pull the latest information from a site, using programs or sites like Google reader. Now, here is the fun part. If you use windows, you can install a program called Feed Notifier (if you are running a Mac, you can use Snackr). These programs check the RSS link every 30 minutes, to see if there is anything new, and if there is, it pops up on your screen like the image below:
So, what does this mean? Basically, you have a person checking Craigslist for you 24/7 looking for exactly what you want! So lets finish up the howto. Go back to your craigslist search, and click on the RSS button. It will take you to a very weird page, something like this:
Don’t Panic! This is what RSS is! It’s simply a page with text that is easy for computers and programs to read! Now, you don’t need to read it, simply go to the top of your browser, and copy the link (in my case it is: http://tucson.craigslist.org/search/mca?maxAsk=2000&minAsk=600&query=honda%20shadow&srchType=A&format=rss). Now, open up feed notifier and copy the link where it asks for the RSS link. hit ok, and you’re good to go! Now, everytime it finds a new result that meets the criteria that you were looking for, a window will pop up, which you can then click on, and it will take you to the craigslist page.
It took me 4 months to find exactly what I was looking for, and it was well worth the wait. Keep in mind, that winter is usually a better time to buy your bike, even though it might not be the best time to ride it. Remember, a little bit of patience and Tech know how, will go a long way.