One of the absolute best uses of a salvage auction is as a source for parts. Aftermarket or OEM parts are cost-prohibitive; sometimes using them to make significant repairs on a motorcycle or scooter can cost more than replacing it with a running vehicle of the same model and year. To save customers and garages money, many people look to salvage parts for repairing needs. Bikes that are largely intact can be located fairly easily and used to make major repairs or replacements.
However, once the repairs are made there are still many usable parts left on the donor vehicle. Selling these parts online or to local shops can be an efficient and nearly effortless way to generate extra income.
Foraging for Parts
Buying whole bikes and tearing them down for anything usable can produce a treasure trove of surprising value. Bought as a whole, the vehicle might cost only a couple of hundred dollars. Once each part is sold individually, parts sellers can make their money back and a handsome profit to boot. Anything usable that can be pulled off of a bike can usually find some sort of interested buyer.
Looking for Something Special
An alternative is to specialize in a particular part and sell the rest of the vehicle to someone who is more willing to take the rest of the bike apart and contend with finding a buyer for each one. Becoming a specialist with a particular bike part can be a great way to earn a regional reputation as a reliable source. Engines, tires, seats, light housings and body plastics are all in constant demand from repair shops and hobbyists. By being able to offer local vendors with an ample supply of usable salvaged parts, you can quickly become the first person that comes to mind when a damaged bike comes to the shop.
Parts like the ones mentioned above can also be identified fairly easily in the majority of online auction photos. This lessens the risk of buying a bike without a specific purpose in mind and coming up nil in terms of usable parts.
Another lucrative or potentially fun activity can be to keep a large assortment of parts on hand for a particular model or series of bikes. With enough stock, you could even begin to assemble the parts together from a multitude of sources and cobble together a running bike. These bikes won’t be very pretty, and they won’t be marketable as a standard used bike, but selling them cheaply to friends or local enthusiasts can be a great way to give them a second vehicle or something just to enjoy themselves with.
Just be sure that before the vehicle is operated on a public road that the title has been filed for. Most likely, the vehicle will be treated as salvage and require a mandatory safety inspection. In some states, though, scooters under 50cc don’t require registration.
With enough ingenuity and imagination, salvage bikes can produce all sorts of lucrative opportunities. Peruse the auction listings online and see if they don’t get your gears turning!