Bargain Hunting – A Guide to Motorcycle Autojumbles
Video killed the radio star and for a good few years eBay killed the auto jumble, but the tides are turning and the humble jumble is proving popular again. Here’s a Bike Social look at the world of the auto jumble.
What is an auto jumble?
It’s just like its name suggests, a jumble sale for all things automotive. Some jumbles focus on just car tat, but I stick to the ones that are solely motorcycle based, though over the years many jumbles merge the two.
What can you expect to find?
Anything and everything. There’s complete bikes for sale, abandoned projects and everything in between.
Parts are the backbone of jumbles. Whether you’re after something for your daily ride or that project in the shed, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Who sells at a jumble?
There’s a hardcore of sellers who’ll go from one jumble to another. The traders will often restock at the events too. Anyone can get a pitch, though at most jumbles the private seller usually wants to go home with an empty van or trailer.
The art of haggling.
Unlike eBay where the price goes up, thanks to the auction style at jumbles prices are designed to go down.
Don’t be shy, often parts or bikes aren’t priced up. You have to interact and ask and if something appears too expensive make an offer, you won’t offend the vendor but if you’re opening gambit is too low you might insult. A conclusion to a sale can be achieved quite quickly, the private sellers are more often open to a cheeky bid. The trader will usually trot out the “I could get that price on eBay” line.
Going to an auto jumble is a good social too, take a flask and a sandwich and make a day of it. Food is often pricey so go prepared. Many sellers etc are happy to natter about bikes and offer advice.
Jumble dos and don’ts.
Take cash. Cheques aren’t welcome and many sellers won’t accept cards. Money talks, people mumble.
Take a van. If you’re in the market for a bike or project, then you need to be able to do the deal there and then. Being able to do an instant transaction will help get the price down too. Go early. Many bargains change hands early, some jumbles allow you early entrance at a premium.