Will online swapping make motorcycle parts swap meets a thing of the past and will riders choose to swap their bikes online rather than sell them and buy a new bike?
At least one online start-up hopes the future will move toward online swapping just as our habits are shifting toward on-line shopping.
Nicholas Robertson who has founded the Australian online site SwapU.com.au believes there is a future in online swapping.
There are already selling sites that also allow you to swap, but they are not geared up specifically for swapping, so there are few items offered for a swap.
SwapU.com.au is specifically set up for swapping only.
It makes good economic and sustainability sense to swap.
I have checked out the site and there are several motorcycles and motorcycle parts being offered for a swap, among a range of other items such as cars, furniture, crafts, electronics, etc.
It even includes a “swipe” section which is similar to those dating apps where you swipe right or left depending on your level of interest.
Nic admits his site is in its early stages and is “pretty glitchy in parts”.
“It is what happens when it is a part-time gig, I guess,” says the former Kawasaki KX125 owner.
“There are a lot of interesting ways at coming at the swapping experience from the perspective of the customers.
“Many people want to have more experiences and don’t have a way to get the cash that they want from a sale to buy their new item. So they swap.
“Others are just interested in what they might be able to swap for their item. People swap for a range of reasons.”
Swapping an item on SwapU requires the two parties to agree on the swap and whether any money also needs to change hands.
It’s pretty straight forward for most items.
However, there are legal issues involved in swapping vehicles such as stamp duty, registration, roadworthy certificates, etc.
Swappers will have to check the legal requirements in their state and there are details about that on the website.
As usual, buyers and sellers should be aware of online scams and issues such as insurances write-offs, stolen vehicles and money still owning on a vehicle to finance companies or banks.
I can see that it would be great for swapping parts as it gives you access to parts that may be on the other side of the continent rather than just what is available at a local swap meet.
And if your part is quite rare, a site like this gives you more chance of finding it.
Swapping vehicles appears more problematic.
However, if it cuts out the middle man and saves you money, then it could be worth a go.
You can find out more details on their “blog” section.