The Vintage MotorCycle Club Ltd.


Website updated 20th February 2018

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Since I published the last round of mailnotes our Area Representative, Gary Sleeman, has forwarded the following which I think really needs to be published too. In his mailnote Gary mentions a replacement voting form. Here is the link to this form.

From: Gary Sleeman
Date: 18 February 2018 at 22:38:53 GMT
Subject: Fwd: Fw: Bikes

Hello all,
Please find below another email from Alastair but which also contains information from Rob Reaney (Chairman) and David Sellars (Director). There is a replacement voting form attached should you wish to re-consider your vote if you have already sent it in. I think Rob's position on the club selling bikes is widely known but his email is copied to give his thoughts on the subject. Also for additional information to allow you to make an informed choice when voting, Justin Harvey-James rang me to say that he is against the club selling bikes and also that his CV for his application to be considered for a Director had not been printed in full in the club magazine.

Regards, Gary Sleeman.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: 18 February 2018 at 20:24
Subject: Fw: Bikes

Could you please circulate this email to your members.

Dear Member
Please find attached an email written by the Chairman, Rob Reaney. It is not marked as confidential so I am sending it to you because it contains important information for you as a Club member. It outlines how the new business, planned by the Directors, to buy and sell motorcycles will be conducted.

Now to the matter of voting at the AGM. I have major concerns and these are that the voting forms went out with the January Journal and the CVs or descriptions provided by the three Directors up for election did not appear until the February Journal. The CV prepared by Justin Harvey-James had been cropped so his full submission was not available for you to consider. I am also concerned that some of you may have voted before seeing the CVs in the February Journal and now having more information at your disposal might wish to vote in a different way. If so, the attached voting form can be used to submit a new form and ask for the old one to be destroyed. Please be aware that you need to nominate someone who will attend the AGM and will need to include their Membership Number. If you leave the top of the form blank the Chairman, who is a candidate, can use your votes for all three candidates. Whatever your voting intentions I urge you to exercise your votes to help the Club and ensure your Proxy Vote gets to Allen House by 28 February 2018.

Alastair Alexander
President-Elect and Area Rep. for Scotland

----Original Message----
Date: 12/02/2018 21:45
To: "David Sellars", "Rodney Hann, "Justin Harvey-James", "John Donaldson", "jim lee", "Brian Southam", "Alastair Alexander"
Subj: Re: Bikes

Thanks Dave.

Let me pose a question to you way of playing devils advocate if you please all think about what I am about to tell you and don't all get shouting.....because I am purposely posing a question to make you all think.

So, before the experiment, selling bikes via the VMCC was a firm no. Correct ?.

What we have done is to add another string to our bow. If in future a future committee is offered an amazing machine at a bargain price, that committee is now free to buy and sell it if they wish without recrimination. We have added a new facility and a new rule which the club is now perfectly free to use as and when they wish. If they do not wish to use that facility, then that's fine...but the fact remains the facility is now there where as previously it was not. So in summary, previously... we had.... for what ever reason, chosen to restrict ourselves.....but now have voted and changed a rule that would allow us to do something different as and when it is advantageous for us to do so. Is everyone with me so far ?

OK, next step. If you now choose to restrict that facility to commission only automatically put a ceiling on what we could ever earn on a deal to the usual commercial commission rates which are circa 10 to 15 %. Now most of the time deals can be in that region......but as a trader, I regularly do deals where I earn a higher level of return...sometimes 20 or 30 or 40 %. I also occasionally double my money...and on rare occasions have made more than that....often because of adding value. In business you learn to keep your options open, because occasionally you will be presented with an opportunity too good to miss. However, if we make a rule that states we trade on a commission only are voluntarily restricting us forever more to never make more than the ordinary commission level.....which frankly, is a greater risk than anything else and puts us bang into the same market as all other auction houses and prevents us from differentiating ourselves from them.

So...if we go commission only....have you ever heard of anyone agreeing to pay say a 30 or a 40 or a 50 % commission ?. The answer is of course no. Where as when we own bikes......we are not limited to what we can earn. So....why would we therefore again choose to voluntarily limit ourselves out of some miss guided sense of moral rights or moral wrongs.? There's no problem asking people to give us money under donations is there and that's us making 100% for doing nothing. You could argue that morally, that is more ambiguous. We also see in the latest survey 25% ....a quarter of our members are interested in seeing us engage in this market.

Let me explain something to you all........often you need the higher margin to cover your costs, because often you have to invest a little time and money in a machine to make it more saleable. think about this scenario....

A client passes us a machine to sell. It has been stood and is not running. It will make say £ 3,000 in the market as a project....and the seller is happy with £3,000 as a price...making us perhaps £ 300 commission if we sell it on a commission basis. However....if we as sellers decide to spend £400 required to make that machine run.......and then as a running machine it will fetch perhaps £6,000 do we invest that money ? How can we afford to do that when we had agreed to limit ourselves to only 10 % commission....£ 300. Sometimes, a higher return is available if we choose to invest, an option denied to us if we limit our percentage return. Most of the money made in my industry is made by ADDING VALUE. How do I as a seller add value?.....well often by putting the extra effort into getting a machine running, or by getting it registered, or back together..or simply even cleaning it up properly.....or something. On a commission only basis, it is not economic to do anything extra. We automatically limit ourselves to the lowest possible return.

So.....whilst we might agree that we make selling on commission the general preferred route, I advise against closing off all other options. Why would we logically place a barrier in our own way and put in place a rule that would kill off all other opportunities ? That does not make sense in business.....which is what we are in....

The answer is of course, in remain open and alive to all opportunities. Whilst we might state a preferred mode of does not make logical sense to rule out completely all other options. I am not even sure that you could argue that to do so is in the best interest of the business...which is after all our prime goal as Directors. It appears to me that there is a headlong rush to strangle off this new part of our business before we have even got it off of the ground.

You have my thoughts. Make commission sales the "preferred" route.....but do not make that a cast iron rule and restrict all other avenues because you will kill this stone dead before it even lifts off. I would personally not vote for a strict commission only rule for the reasons stated above.


On Monday, 12 February 2018, 20:06, David Sellars wrote:


Been giving this a bit of thought but not too much BUT,

This is my take on the club buying and selling bikes and stuff.

I don't believe that we should actively go out and buy bikes for resale and become a dealer in bikes instead; i think we should offer it as a service for the members, families or widows.

Members who want to sell a bike or two who don't want people to see what they have in their garages could be offered to either sell them, show them etc from the club and we take a commission 10% ?? 5% ??? or the member and club agree a price, the club buys the bike and then tries to resell them. Profit is unknown and it all comes down to knowing what is what and prices of things.

On the forum someone suggested something similar or the same BUT also said that we should become the 'Honest Broker' that everyone trusts and i think it would be good if we could get that reputation.

What does everyone think about this ??

Regards Dave


Comments, suggestions and articles for inclusion to: Will Curry ()