Dealing With Dealers

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Aug 29, 2001
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#1
I was sent a copy of some postings dealing with "MXPIMP''s attempts to buy an '02 YZ 125 at Smokey Point Cycle Barn. I was struck by the many inaccuracies and by the apparent need to be rude and insulting. I can't do much about the last part, but maybe soem facts might be made apparent.

1. Hidden costs: WHAT hidden costs? MXPIMP was offered a bike at a price and he did not buy it. That is not hidden cost. That is called shopping. He later bought the bike in Wenatchee from Cory Condotta. That's fine - we would rather have made the sale, but Cory's a fine person.

Many dealers do not give bottom line prices until you sit down to buy the bike because they can't.. every customer comes in with different needs, different credit, different things they wanted added to the bike, etc. As the price is worked out, a good salesperson will point out what all of the costs represent.

If you think the price is too high, you can shop elsewhere or offer a lower amount. None of that makes the salesperson a "saleslime" or requires that you tell them to "shove it."

Shipping Costs: It does not cost that much to ship a bike from a warehouse in Kent, that is true. Today's quiz question: How did the bike get to the warehouse, and who paid for that?

I would not refer to having your intelligence insulted until you learn to spell the word intelligence!

"They are fine when it comes to parts, but..." Has it occurred to you that carrying a large supply of spare parts for a wide variety of models...costs the dealer money? You want to buy your parts locally and then travel to a small dealership to buy the bike. That is certainly your choice, but is it really fair to the local dealer you want to carry all those parts for your bike that you refused to buy there?

"It pays to travel a bit." Well yes, it might. That is, if you do not consider the cost of the travel! Things do cost more in the big city areas. It costs the dealer more to do business there, and so it costs more for you to buy there. With a large dealer, you trade the accessibility, handiness, parts stock , and some other things, for a higher price.

I am not going to argue that Cycle Barn is the best place to buy a motorcycle every time, because I know it is not true. We try hard to make it the best place, but we do not succeed all of the time. Some people do not like the way we choose to figure the bill, some people do not like the staff person they are dealing with, some people even dislike the decor and the design of the building. Then there are some people who come in burdened with an attitude that they appear to save for motorcycle dealers. I do not understand this at all, but I have only worked in this business for a year. I don't recall people being so bitter toward a store like Nordstrom's because they make a profit, or to Boeing! I bought a Ford Focus last year,and I bargained hard with the salesman. I assume they made money on the deal, and I hope so, because I want them to stay open when I need service!

In this case a customer was given a price he felt was too high, and he bought elsewehere. Did he try to offer a lower price? I do not know. I hope he is happy with his new Yamaha, and I am sorry things did not work out for him this time, but I just want to point out that the prices were not hidden, that there are reasons for the way things are done, and nothing in this tale of woe justifies referring to the staff as saleslime or to Cycle Barn as a rip-off joint.

Well, anyway, I feel better!

Ride Well,

Dave Preston
Director of Marketing
Cycle Barn fanatic@cyclebarn.com
 
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#2
Buying over the Internet!!

I would love to support my local dealer more than I do but for someone who is on a budget and still wants to have a competitive bike and keep it running at a high level all the time it is very, VERY hard for them to match the price and the ease of buying over the net.

The mark up dealers have for the large parts inventory they are requried to have by the manufacturer do not effect these internet based companies.

I have been looking at buying the Bell Showtime 5 McGrath replica helemt for a while. I have found it as low as $259 with no shipping on all helemts over a 100 bucks on the net. When I looked at the same helmet at my local dealer they had a price $402.99. The choice is clear in my mind on who any sane person would choose to buy from, THE INTERNET company. That is a huge difference considering there is no sales tax when you mail order. I did end up buying the helmet from the dealer only beacuse the mail order place was out of stock and the dealer matched the price plus knocked another 5% off so with tax it ended up being the exact same price since there would have been no shipping charge.

Even with parts I need from Yamaha for my bike, I can just go to Yamaha of Troy's web site and pull up the same parts break down the dealer. Plus I don't have to mess with some punk kid that has no idea what I am trying to buy. I just click on what I want and, BOOM I have it in 4 or 5 working days.

The dealers are going to have to get a little more creative if they are going to want to hang with all the internet based parts dealers especially since most of them are offering free shipping on all purchases over $100. Now they can't use the shipping exscuse for their high prices.

Just my .02.
 
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Mar 27, 2000
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#3
I hate the fact that the customer has to argue for the best price that a dealer will offer. I understand that dealers are in the business to make money. However, if I'm offered a bike for a fair price then I'll be more prone to shop there for parts. You'll lose more money in the long run by making some money in the short run.

I refuse to pay setup costs. Especially since I'm going to tear the bike apart and re-grease everything anyway. Rumors abound about the factories actually paying for transportation costs. I have no clue if this is true or not. I guess only the factories and the dealership owners would know this. They probably wouldn't tell the sales people this info.

I can't wait to see how this thread turns out.

Dave
 
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#4
Set Up Costs?

Most dealers try to get a set up cost for setting up an MX bike. MX bikes come 95% complete. Handlebars and wheels are not bolted on. They pay some kid $6/hr to set up an MX bike and it MAY take him 30 minutes to do so. Most dealers want to tack on up to $200 for "set up". When buying a bike-never pay for this. Also, when dealing with a dealer over the phone ask what the cash price is out the door. Tell them what state you live in and if you'll have to pay sales tax or not. Any dealer should give you 10%-15% off retail anytime you buy a bike-unless it is a hot bike like the YZ250f. Then expect to get hammered. Just be upfront with the dealer and don't expect to get his best price until you have cash in hand and are prepared to walk out the door with the bike. When you have the money-you are in charge of the price. When you are just shopping-the dealer probably won't give you his lowest price.
 
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#5
moto1313 and others-

A couple of items...

Number one, most dealers aren't going to give you the same price over the phone that you'll get by actually being in the shop with money in hand, acting like you are at least slightly serious about buying a bike instead of wasting his time. Why should he give you a great deal over the phone if he knows that you are only going to call 5 more dealers and tell them that same price and ask if they'll beat it?

Second, if you think a dealer should give you 10-15% off "anytime you buy a bike", then you are disillusioned. That would put some models, oh, about 8% below cost. On most models, that would pretty much amount to 3 or 4 people working to complete your deal for a couple of bucks. The fact is, a shop that gives everything away at extremely low cost won't be around long.

I certainly understand trying to save money. I don't blame you for that. But you must realize that it takes money to open a store every morning. You can sell 50,000 bikes a year for poor profits, and while it might get a nice plaque on the wall from Honda (or whomever), the bank doesn't care about the nice award when the mortgage is due.

Next time you need a bottle of oil on the way to the races at the last minute on Saturday afternoon, think about what would happen if the dealer closed down. Would the mail order house be there for you? If you call up and ask what weight oil your forks came with so you'll know what to buy, does the lady taking phone orders (who probably never touched a motorcycle before) know the answer? If you're running late and call ahead, why should the parts man stay 10 minutes late for you if he knew that the week before that you mail-ordered a jersey to save $5.00? The answer is that he shouldn't. But he probably will, just because it's good customer service. Sometimes good service costs a dollar or two.
 

Lorin

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#6
I believe that it pays to get to know "the punk" behind the counter at your dealer. If he gets used to seeing you with some regularity, he will most likely be able to offer you a discount at some point. I have two local shops that have made an account for me with 10 to 15% off of cost. Not much, but it accounts for any tax that may be added on later. Not only that, but by getting on a first name basis may very well open doors later on. I am now able to call on the phone and order parts without pre-paying or providing a visa number. That alone is worth something. You cant imagine how frustrating it is to have to supply a charge card number to a dealer over the phone to order a $5 main jet, etc. I really think that a relationship with your dealer is a give and take deal. You may have to work a little to get a little. With that said, there are actually a few dealers locally that I refuse to deal with due to bad experiences & price gouging ($16 for a keihin main jet!). Lastly, remember that if you want your local dealer to match price on something, allow him to match the price that it will cost for the same item to be mailed to your door (including shipping, etc).
 

Old CR goat

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#7
I have pretty much accepted the fact that for part's, my dealer is the best bet, for me anyway. I didn't have much luck ordering parts online, never knew when or what was going to show up(all or half the order).They have also had some good advise at times. After a short time I started receiving fair discounts, which made the price near or below mail order.
It's nice to be able to just call and talk to someone you know.
 
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#8
You get what you pay for...

Remember this when you are dealing with anything in life. Sure the dealer may be making a few dollar's here or there but then again he has to in order to stay in business. However, as stated above, oftentimes you get free advice, a place to hang out, and deals later on in the form of discounts. On the other hand, dealers shouldn't be out to gouge their customers and I suspect those that do won't stay in business very long.

I can't remember how many flames have been started about crappy service from mail order companies. My guess is that we deal with many more local shops and the percentage of flames is much lower. I suspect it is due to the 'extras' that we get from our local shops from the mutually beneficial relationship.
 

nephron

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#9
I personally don't understand why everybody's gotta go out and get a good "deal". Know what? There's no g@#$%mn such thing as a good deal. This theorem is about as valid as Newton's first "law of inertia".

My dealer is also a friend and a patient of mine. I don't give her any "breaks" at the office, why should I try to barter her down on a new KX500? What's it going to achieve? Is it fair? Hell no! Why is it acceptable to go into a dealer and barter them down a few hundred bucks, whereas no one would ever think about doing that at a hospital or doctor's office. Oh sure, leave Ruth's Chris steakhouse and try to get them down a few bucks. They'd laugh their asses off. :silly:

The way I view it is the dealer needs to make a profit to keep food on their table, invest in their kids' education and plan for retirement. They're not in it because they "love" to argue price with incipid punks wearing baggy pants and their underwear drooling out (or is that not the style anymore,...who cares?). ;)

Just my view. And DON'T blame me for being a doc and not needing to barter down prices. I've been this way since I was a kid with no money.
 
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#10
I have a few bike shops around me but I drive 45 minute out of my way to shop at a dealer that makes me feel welcome when I go in. The parts guys are knowledgeable and friendly. I'm loyal to that shop even though I have to wait a week for EVERYTHING.

I pay full retail for all of my parts. I figure that selling OEM and aftermarket parts is where the majority of the dealer's money is coming in. I look at it this way. If that dealer takes $500 off his asking price for my bike. I'm going to turn around and buy $500 worth of goodies from him.

Service is the key to every industry. Unless you're Microsoft you have to have good customer service skills. Few bike shops that I've been to have this.
 

LoP

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#11
Damn hope I never encounter a doc like you

Incipid punks?? Probably what goes through your mind when working on your patients huh...
Sure I bartered - asked what I get free for buying this new CR! And was promptly told I get a shiny new triangle stand heh heh. And I shopped around a whole lot..got a good deal and was happy. Pretty sure the dealer was happy offering me a *good deal and having me accept it. Not sure about anyone else but spending that kind of wad needs to be challenged. I found a difference of over 5-600 dollars between dealers. Guess my dealers kids will have to go to Jr. college heh heh:p
 
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#12
Ruth's Chris is a corporation that has set a price for their products. If you go to one in Pittsburgh, PA and buy a steak it should cost you the same as a steak in Columbus, OH. If the prices vary it's because of the cost of living in a given city. Dealers of the same bikes in the same citys vary by hundreds of dollars. They are the ones that have opened the door for bartering.

A good deal is one in which both parties walk away feeling that they were treated fairly. They're out there if you look hard enough.
 
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#13
Originally posted by Lorin
Lastly, remember that if you want your local dealer to match price on something, allow him to match the price that it will cost for the same item to be mailed to your door (including shipping, etc).
That is where sales tax comes in at a local dealer. And besides almost all the adds I see anymore in the back of the MX mags is FREE SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS OVER $100. I guess I am just tired of the dealers never having anything I need. I have found it much easier to go to a companies web site, pic out what I need and just type in the CC # and I have it quicker than if the dealer orders it. Pretty tough for the dealer to compete with.
 

SPD

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#14
I can go to my local parts dealer and order a part and have it in 3 days or I can go to my local husky dealer and wait a minute I don't have a local husky dealer anymore.
 

HiG4s

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#15
anyone thinking about buying a Honda or Yamaha might want to check out this dealer in Mississippi, if they can sell at these prices with no shipping or setup then I would think any dealer could at least sell at MSRP with out additional charges.

www.lakehillmotors.com