Once upon a time a plucky young man decided to go on a journey. It would take him far away from home to a place of Wonder and Excitement. Amazing things he would see and Fantastic Experiences he would have on his journey. This place he travelled to was called…
And while it would bring the most entertaining tales to tell, it has a tragic and costly ending….
To set the scene, you need to know that in December 2017 I traveled to New Zealand. You can read about my exploits in this wondrous country from previous blog entries. The most significant of which was my choice to purchase a motorcycle. At the time, I reasoned that by buying a motorcycle instead of renting it, I could spend my time enjoying the road and enjoying the ride without fear of a costly bill if I accidentally dinked the paint work slightly. In addition, when I had been researching this trip, I found that it would cost about £1,500 GBP to rent a motorcycle for the 1 month I want to travel. This would be guaranteed money lost to rent and I reasoned that if I bought a bike and then sold it for £1,500 less I would be no worse off. But if i managed to sell it for anything more than that, I’d be better off. Also, deciding to buy a bike meant I could get something a little more interesting than the rental places had to offer. Arguably, the more desirable the bike I bought to do the trip, the more fun I would have and the easier I would find it to sell at the end… or so I thought < ominous foreboding…
I found a motorbike shop and test rode a few bikes and ended up procuring Ducati Multistrada 1000 DS. This is a fairly rare bike and not something you see you riding around every day. It’s rarity and exclusivity appeals to my nature to do things a little bit differently. After all, I could have done what every other backpacker does and travel the country by bus and public transport. I think this decision to go for a more ahem unique bike contributed to the tale of woe you will shortly hear.
It is worth mentioning that everything went swimmingly and the trip was a fantastic success. The multistrada was a dream to ride, interesting, powerful and kept my heart racing the entire journey. It was everything I had hoped the trip would be and I was sad to leave it behind in New Zealand. I left the bike in the care of my cousins cousin, who dutifully passed it off to a motorcycle shop who would sell it on my behalf.
I started the price at what I bought it for. There is no reason why I shouldn’t give the universe the chance to make my naive and idealistic plans come true. But after three months I had had no interest and I decided to drop the price. After all, I had spent the New Zealand summer motorcycling around the country and now it was approaching winter there. This was not peak motorcycle buying season so on reflection I was not surprised that it did not sell immediately.
I resigned myself, suspecting that I may have to wait 6-8 months before the bike would sell. I dropped the price again and left it in the care of the motorcycle dealership for them to do what they could do. I was back in the UK and enjoying the summer, working on my new property projects and also finding a girlfriend.
The New Zealand dollar is approximately twice as much as the british pound. 6 months had passed since I left New Zealand and I dropped the price by $1,000 NZD. When I bought the motorbike I had spent $7,000 or £3,500, so a £500 reduction was a massive percentage of what it was really worth. Nonetheless it was not shifted and I knew that I was still better off having sold it at this price than if I had rented a motorcycle.
But it did not sell and this pattern continued until I had reduced the price by $3,000!!!! My buffer was gone and I spent 12 months waiting for a bike to sell that was clearly not as desirable to everyone else as I found it to be.
I decided to make some inquiries about importing the motorcycle back to the UK. I was shocked to find out that it would only cost about £500 to send it the 11,000 miles from New Zealand to the UK. While I still owned the motorcycle, I had not crystallized the loss that I had offered it to be sold at. I argued with myself that at least if I had the motorcycle in the UK, I would have control and could market it myself, take good photos and give it the best possible chance of being sold for a price that would not lose me too much money.
This meant that I had to go through the process of importing a motorcycle, something which I had never done before.