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Old 09-20-2012, 06:47 AM   #151
slide
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I had a similar experience. In my case, the dealer wouldn't install the tire on a bike which wasn't his brand even though I offered to take the wheel off.

Gee, a wheel is a wheel. I can't believe that a Brand X wheel is so different from the Brand Y one that the dealer was at risk to install the tire.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:45 AM   #152
Joe3
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On trip I tipped the bike over in the hotel parking lot and broke the end off of my clutch lever. Lever was usable but didn't feel right. I stopped at a a dealer in Knoxville, TN the next day. The parts guy didn't have a lever in stock so he went into the showroom to find a new bike he could take a lever off of so I could continue my trip in comfort. I was very impressed.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:33 PM   #153
stiles
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A few notes from the other side of the counter:

Tires are, in fact, volume priced over multiple tiers - and the price difference is huge between buying one and buying 700 of them at once. Open any big distributor's catalog (Tucker Rocky, Parts Unlimited) and the standard dealer cost of any popular tire in there will be more than the selling price from the big tire mail order websites.

That said, full retail price as listed in those catalogs is essentially a myth, especially for popular sizes and brands. If you want to sell any tires at all, you need to discount them at least somewhat. I have run three euro multiline dealership service departments so far in major markets, and set pricing for tires and installation. Those were midsized shops - 3 techs.

All were smaller volume dealers, selling maybe 3,000 tires a year tops. That sounds like a lot until you consider the big mail order outfits sell that many in a week during season. The reason dealers don't want to mail order tires themselves is that the total dollar volume of their aftermarket sales is counted for setting pricing for all parts from those big nationwide distributors - the more you buy, the better your margin. Also, adding duplicate part numbers with different costs from different suppliers is a headache in Lightspeed, the dealer admin computer program used to do everything from repair orders to parts sales, accounts receivable, bike sales and inventory. The staff time spent ordering/labeling/receiving/editing info in lightspeed/issuing a separate payment outside of normal channels is time that could be better spent on a million other things, like helping customers at the counter, dispatching parts to service dept or handling your own mail order/internet sales.

I did as much pre-season volume ordering as possible, took advantage of volume deals from the manufacturer when I could, cut tire pricing as much as I could (down to 15% over my cost, typically) and preserved my install labor rate as best as possible. I also didn't charge more labor for installing mail order tires. Customers who brought in the wheel off the bike got a cheaper price on labor, as they should, so I could offer a lower cost option for buyers comfortable with doing their own R&R.

As parts go, like everything else, dealers stock what sells. A good parts manager will track monthly sales and lost sales (requested but not in stock and not sold when the customer leaves without ordering) of any given part number through Lightspeed, and look at sales history, particularly when the last one sold. A $200 part sitting on the shelf for two years ties up that capital and makes you nothing (actually costs you money, in fact, since it takes up space you're paying for, required inventorying,stocking, receiving, ordering, etc.) while that same $200 spent on a popular open clutch cover that you sell every month with a 25% margin makes you $1200 in gross profit on $4800 in gross sales over the same two years. Add in a state inventory tax and the much stiffer requirements/higher interest rates to get a working capital loan or bank line of credit and you have dealer owners taking a much harder line on stocking inventory dollar limits. Also remember that tires, like fresh produce, age out. Throwing away a new, unused 5 year old $200 tire that has tied up your working capital while sitting on a shelf for 4 years without making you a penny is something nobody wants to explain to your general manager.

This is the other reason why your tire may not be in stock, especially if it is an off size or specialty model that only fits your bike; even more so if that bike wasn't a big seller where that dealership is. All things being equal, if you haven't sold one of those parts in the last 12 months or so they are not worth keeping in stock. This is also the big reason why special ordered parts must be paid for in advance.Dealers are often hit with a 20%+ restocking fee plus return shipping if they need to return special ordered parts, and special ordered electrical parts simply aren't returnable to most manufacturers.

Also note that there may be other forces at work for parts pricing - one manufacturer gives better hard parts prices to dealers that sell a lot of apparel under a specific program.
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:09 AM   #154
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Dealerships are the reason I learned to work on my own cars/bikes/sleds and do my own research for parts. After working as a mechanic and knowing the amount of markup I just can't bring myself to pay all the extras without at least trying to find a cheaper way first.

The local big powersports dealer is kind of shady. Its not like they'll try to cheat you, but they sure won't go out of their way to help you. Sales guys are high pressure, don't give you the full story on their inventory (probably because they don't know anything other than specs on the newest models). The parts guys are always uncaring. They'll help you, but they never act like they're enjoying it. I've never had a real problem with them, but I think that's because I know what to expect.


Now my local Skidoo/Bombardier dealer is bad ass. Just a little family owned place. Great customer service, knowledgable and friendly. They even host a couple open houses in the fall that they let me try to sell my old sled and let me post for sale fliers in the building. I was really surprised when I went in there last August to talk about buying a 2012 sled. Things came up and I didn't back in to talk to them again until October and the sales guy remembered my name and exactly what sled I had been looking at before. I was also surprised for being such a small dealer, their parts still came in at the same cost as buying online if I took shipping into account. I always try to buy local if the price difference is the same or smallish.
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:17 AM   #155
hooliken
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stiles View Post
A few notes from the other side of the counter:
Thanks for posting up man. Nice to hear both sides of the story.

Never had issues with the tire thing personally, but know many others that have, or claim to have.
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:22 AM   #156
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Having worked in dealerships, I'll give you an analogy: Suppose you walked into a diner with all of the fixin's for breakfast in a sack and asked them to cook your breakfast for you using them. Would you feel put out if they refused?

Like it or not, the shop usually covers the cost of opening the doors each day. It's up to sales to make a profit, and you bought over the internet instead of the dealer.

Now, there are independent places who will mount your tires for a fee. I have one nearby that charges 30 bucks if you bring the wheel to them, and it's cheaper if you buy the tire there.
If I ran that restaurant, I wouldn't tell them that I didn't want to sell them my food ever, either.

I DON'T WANT YOUR BUSINESS.

That expression should be saved for people who come in and cause trouble.
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:46 PM   #157
Tuna Helper
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Things dealers tell customers...

"Well that bike needs the handlebars tightened up, but we can do that before you come back."

Two days later I come back...

"We haven't got to it yet, we weren't expecting you until 1:30"

I never told them when I'd be there.

"We'll work it in for you."

"It's going to be about an hour and a half. If you want to leave we'll call you."

I leave. About three hours later I get the call.

"The handlebar clamp on that is wallered out, so we have to replace it. Unfortunately we don't have one in stock, so it'll be a few days to a week."

Really? As long as I have it by Monday.

No word all weekend, so I call on Monday.

"The part came in today, so we'll get right on it and let you know."

My relief was short lived.

"The service manager something something and that part actually goes to a different bike. they don't put the bike model on the box, just the designation. Yours will be h3ere either later today or tomorrow"

Fuck fuckity fuck!

About 20 minutes later I get a text, that someone checked and my parts will be tomorrow.

Now it's tomorrow, and no call. I call them about 5:15, no answer from the sales manager/finance guy that I've been talking to. I think that number rings at his desk.

At 5:30 I get a call, the bike is off the rack, but it is too late for me to come out. Now I have to either wait two days for another day off or take a vacation day to go pick it up.

Why didn't I just cruise craigslist?

Tuna Helper screwed with this post 09-25-2012 at 04:31 PM
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Old 09-25-2012, 03:43 PM   #158
jpgrego
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When I bought my Buell, I was really surprised what a great price they were willing to agree to. I had seen the bike on their showroom floor for quite awhile so I figured they just wanted it off the books and were willing to deal.....

Six months later when it came time to replace the first set of tires I wanted to give them my business even though it's a bit farther from my house than I wanted to go. I had scheduled my time slot in advance and had a friend follow me so I didn't have to sit around the shop and wait. When I arrived I was told that they weren't carrying Buell anymore and as a result they wouldn't work on them either.... The fact I bought the bike there only months earlier didn't matter, they weren't going to touch it.....
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Old 09-25-2012, 03:50 PM   #159
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Originally Posted by jpgrego View Post
When I bought my Buell, I was really surprised what a great price they were willing to agree to. I had seen the bike on their showroom floor for quite awhile so I figured they just wanted it off the books and were willing to deal.....

Six months later when it came time to replace the first set of tires I wanted to give them my business even though it's a bit farther from my house than I wanted to go. I had scheduled my time slot in advance and had a friend follow me so I didn't have to sit around the shop and wait. When I arrived I was told that they weren't carrying Buell anymore and as a result they wouldn't work on them either.... The fact I bought the bike there only months earlier didn't matter, they weren't going to touch it..... :
Harley really screwed Buell over. I shopped a Uly against the Tiger years ago. I went to the HD dealer to look at one & the guy greeted me warmly but when I said I wanted to check out the Uly, he acted as if I was the plague.

He took me in the back - the hallway leading to the service area - and showed me a partly assembled Uly. He wouldn't even put it on the floor with the Holy Harleys. I decided that no way would I buy a bike - no matter how interesting - if I had to deal with these fools for parts, etc.

So I bought the Tiger & am happy.
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:01 AM   #160
Tome
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I have a lot of time for good dealers, especially with new bikes under warranty
I have found myself wondering about the service and/or parts dept on more than one occasion with 'information' they've given me but I have to remind myself (having been a parts person at one point) that home/forum/OTR fixes are NOT what an official dealer is about. They have procedures and official ways of doing things because of liability, etc. A number of dealers won't adjust suspension away from 'the book' incase you bin it 2 miles down the road and blame the suspension settings they gave you and I can totally see their point in this day an age.
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:31 PM   #161
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The local shop won't load or tie down a bike on a trailer or truck because of the liability if it falls over,off,or out.
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:49 PM   #162
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Dealer here has done that for years. They will help you load it, but not tie down.
I'm sure someone has sued them, and that is the reason for it.
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:49 PM   #163
slartidbartfast
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The local shop won't load or tie down a bike on a trailer or truck because of the liability if it falls over,off,or out.
So the people with (usually) the most experience at the task are not allowed to tie bikes down - which will probably lead to MORE such incidents. Society has got so f**ing stupid about this sort of stuff
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:54 PM   #164
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you are going to have to bring us a new copy of your cedula(soc sec card) and voter reg. card as our staff used the one you gave us yesterday for scratch paper and though we sell scanner/printers we dont have one that our customers can use. I really dont want to buy a bike from these assholes but they the only shop within a few hours and the nearest shop is in fucking guayaquil which is a real shithole i walked out pissed off and i am pretty sure i will go back monday and pay the 1400$ cash for the bike i want.
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Old 09-29-2012, 04:18 PM   #165
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Originally Posted by slartidbartfast View Post
So the people with (usually) the most experience at the task are not allowed to tie bikes down - which will probably lead to MORE such incidents. Society has got so f**ing stupid about this sort of stuff
The truth spoken here!

Jim
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