If you or someone you know is contemplating letting a dealer sell their bike on consignment, then you should read this story.
According to WFLA, News Channel 8, this past February, Mark Traider gave his Suzuki sport bike to Freedom Cycles Motor Co. in Seminole Florida to sell on consignment.
A consignment sale is when a dealership agrees to sell your bike for a set amount, usually $500 and you keep the rest. You set the price, usually with input from the dealer. It's a way for dealerships to get more used inventory, without having to shell out any money.
So you can imagine Traider's enthusiasm in late March when he found out his bike was sold.
After a few weeks, and no money forthcoming from the dealership, his enthusiasm turned into dismay and then anger. That's when he contacted the local television station for help.
Weeks later, Traider eventually gets a check for $8,000 but when he tries to cash it at the bank, it bounced higher than an kangaroo on a pogo stick. So now Traider is out the cash and his motorcycle. Legal experts say Traider probably has a good case for breach of contract, but the case will be complicated because the dealership has changed hands since his agreement, and the new dealer may not be legally obligated to honor the previous owners contracts. However with giving Traider a bad check, one that it should have known would not be honored at the bank, the dealership may have put itself in legal hot water as well. The moral of the story? If possible, keep the title to your bike in consignment sales and only release it when you have been paid. Otherwise, do a little digging into the dealer you're consigning with and if they're on shaky cash financial footing, find another dealer.