Purchasing a scooter and driving it through Vietnam was a great way to explore the country, and you can find out what I thought in my previous post here. I wouldn’t have done it any other way. But now that I’ve completed my journey and sold my bike, there are definitely things I would do differently the second time around.
Selling my motorbike wasn’t as much of a breeze as everyone made it to be. I was unfortunate to have coordinated selling my bike with the rainy season. Even though it only rained twice during my entire trip, travellers were still unconvinced.
I tried all the usual ways to selling my bike:
- Posting it on Facebook, Craigslist and Travel Swop
- Post physical posters at all the hostels
- Have a for sale sign on my bike
- Bringing it into conversations
But all to no luck. There were just a handful of travellers looking for bikes and too many looking to sell. Eventually I gave up and drove my scooter to a local mechanic. Skip the mechanics hanging around the backpackers area though, the prices they offer are guaranteed low balls.
Reflecting on my experience, I wish I was smarter when I originally bought my bike, as I knew selling my bike was a crucial part of my journey.
To prevent you from making the same mistakes, here’s what I would’ve done differently:
Focus on brand
I should’ve paid more attention to what other backpackers were doing (which I often never do). But selling your bike to a fellow backpacker is a pretty sure way to get the majority of your money back, even make a few bucks sometimes.I learned the hard way that backpackers only want Honda Win (manual) and Honda Wave (semi-automatic). Regardless of what their conditions are (I completely stress on this point). Counterfeit or not , backpackers always chose these over other brands.
I bought my scooter in Ha Noi from a mechanic and sold it in Ho Chi Minh City. I should’ve asked my mechanic for his contacts in HCMC . This way, the mechanic in HCMC would’ve had more confidence in the state of my bike and might have given me a better deal.
Get a lousier bike
I bought a pretty great bike, maybe too great. With that, came a higher price tag. I honestly don’t think it would’ve made that big of a difference in my adventure. Thinking back, I should’ve gotten a cheaper bike in all aspects. Maybe the gears would’ve been more sticky or I’d have to kick it a certain way to start it, but these are such trivial characteristics I didn’t think was worth the extra money.
Even if I had to replace parts during my journey, that would’ve still been worth it since it’s so inexpensive to bring it to a mechanic. And honestly, my bike only needed to last for several months