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Tuesday 24 January 2023


H-D1 Marketplace Now Accepting Private-Party Listings

When Harley first announced its H-D1 Marketplace for used motorcycle sales two and a half years ago, it was initially launched as a dealer-only used motorcycle sales platform.

As such it was a welcome but long overdue and blindingly obvious idea that should have been implemented years earlier - even before the 'More Roads' strategic fail first attempted to formerly address used models as the new 'entry-level' on a structured basis.

At the time, Harley did state that eventually it would be expanded to include 'private-party' pre-owned Harley model listings, and so the announcement that came out with the MY2023 news last week should come as no surprise. Harley has described the decision to now start hosting 'private- party' sale listings as an "exciting step to connect a wider range of riders to their next bikes.

"All motorcycles listed for sale may be viewed by the thousands of customers visiting the H-D1 Marketplace website. Customers who are interested in purchasing a bike from the H-D1 Marketplace can either contact the private party seller or the dealer directly through the site. Rider-to-Rider financing options are available to customers purchasing from a private party, in addition to in-dealership financing."

Now, the financing option is interesting. It is potentially a good idea from the buyer's point of view - not that H-DFS is what you would term a "value" financing option. Its rates have premium stamped all over them and its T&Cs are no less draconian or no more 'brand friendly' than those associated with conventional retail finance channels.

Where, of course, it is clever, from a Harley point of view, is that it gives an ongoing profit stream opportunity as late model sales age. If you can make money from the metal once, why not try to make money from the same metal as many times and in as many ways as possible, right?

"H-D1 Marketplace has redefined the online marketplace for pre-owned Harley-Davidson motorcycles," said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman, CEO and President, Harley-Davidson. "This new private-party feature will bring together even more buyers and sellers of Harley bikes. This is our next step in building the ultimate online home for the sale and purchase of pre-owned Harley-Davidson motorcycles."

Yeah, right. According to what we here at AMD have been hearing in the past 12 months, even though over 500 US dealers are participating, and some 34,000 plus sales are claimed to have been made through the platform (in two and a half years), site traffic has been poorer than had been expected. Indeed, one of the primary reasons for doing this at this time has been the growing share of such sales that the plethora of rival online platforms and alternate channels (such as auctions) are taking from authorized dealers as well as "punters."

Harley says that private-party listings on H-D1 Marketplace will be limited to Harley-Davidson models located in the United States. Each listing will include photos and details about the motorcycle. All bikes will also be validated by VIN and go through a review-and-approval process before the listing is launched.