Harley Davidson motorcycle passenger footboards, $50.

These Harley motorcycle footboards are an exceptional example of why this company has such a huge worldwide following. They're big, solid and fancy! What's weird is that this seller had actually advertised 'Harley parts' in his yard sale ad, which guaranteed that lots of people would see these pieces before I did, but they were still there....

When you think of motorcycle footboards, you probably don't think big dollars, but these aren't your usual footboards. They're big, heavy duty pieces that weigh four pounds apiece, fold up out of the way when they're not in use, and are covered with heavy chrome plating. I held one of these footboards up and looked at it carefully, and I remember thinking that there's no way in the world it was going to sell for less than $25 on eBay. As it turns out, just the replaceable rubber pads and chrome inserts for these footboards sell for more than $50 on eBay!

So, although I did have to pay a little more than I wanted to for these footboards, it turned out to be a good deal. The profit isn't the thousand percent I like to make, but remember that deals come in all different varieties and percentages, and I have to make money where I can. Now, I'd like to address the real reason these footboards are here in the Gallery, which is a very important lesson about something you will encounter sooner or later in the world of Harley motorcycle parts.

At the estate sale where I found these footpads, the guy kept trying to make me a 'package deal' of $350 for all the Harley stuff that he had left over on the table. To justify his price, he started showing me the price stickers on the boxes of new parts he had on the table - 'Look at the price on this box - $109. And this one is also over $100. I tell ya, there's a small fortune here!' Well, that's how it may appear to the untrained eye, but in truth, all of his expensive parts were worth much less than he thought they were worth. Here's why....

You cannot deal with Harley Davidson motorcycle parts without familiarizing yourself with the name Screamin' Eagle, which is Harley's line of high performance parts and accessories. Screamin' Eagle parts are available in everything from chromed turn signal switches to high performance engine crankshafts, to everything in between. And they're all conveniently available right from your local Harley dealership. You can buy your Screamin' Eagle parts and put them on yourself, or you can have the dealership do the installation for you, which is the route that many people take.

You can also think of Screamin' Eagle as a sort of 'dealer upgrade,' because you can buy a brand new Harley Davidson motorcycle, and then have all the Screamin' Eagle parts you want, installed right there at the dealership before you even ride the bike! Not too long ago, I bought a big lot of brand new stock Harley parts from a guy who did just that. He bought a new Harley Road King from his local Harley dealership, and then had the dealership install more than $10,000 worth of Screamin' Eagle parts - from the crankshaft to the gas cap - before he even rode the bike out of the showroom! And what about the parts they took off? This is important.... the dealership carefully placed all the 'old' (but still brand new) parts they removed from the bike right back into their corresponding Screamin' Eagle boxes, and then returned them all to the bike's owner.

See where I'm going with this?

The little brown Screamin' Eagle box in the photo below is a perfect example of those offending critters that will trip you up if you're not careful. Whenever you see a Screamin' Eagle box at a yard sale or auction, the chances are very good that it contains the old part that was removed from the bike to install what used to be in that box, which is naturally worth a small fraction of the price marked on the box. This is a very deceptive scenario because the stock parts that are now in the boxes often look brand new, so people are fooled. The last thing I want is for you to end up with a bunch of parts worth a fraction of the price writen on the box. And a little research into what real Screamin' Eagle parts sell for will show you how important it is to know whether you're looking at the real thing or not!

The lesson here is that whenever you see one of those little brown Screamin' Eagle boxes with 'brand new' parts inside, beware! Just like so much else in this business, things aren't always as they seem!

These Harley Davidson passenger footboards sold on eBay for $245.

Photo of Harley Davidson motorcycle passenger footboards