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Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by outdoornate65, Nov 19, 2012.
I wouldn't want to buy anything from pond scum. I have accepted tips as High as $100 for making the buying experience fun but it was after the sale... I would NEVER take a bribe and would never buy anything from someone that does.
I'm not saying it's okay but everyone isn't me and you, Dakez. Some, okay lots, of people don't give a shit.
I know, I am fortunate and actually love my boss/owner. I have known him since the mid-80's Not only is he very passionate about all things motorcycle... He is a great guy and lives his life above reproach. At his big store there are 65 employees +/- ... He pays himself $1/year for that dealership. No Joke. ONE DOLLAR.
2010 was not a very good year and the store was in the Red. 2011 we turned it around and this year we are continuing that trend and doing well.
I overheard someone ask George if it were true what he pays himself for such a large store? He confirmed it. The person then asked him why he does it. (?) I will never forget his reply: "I employ 65 full time people WITH benefits and do so by providing our customers with the Joy and Passion that only Motorcycles can bring... How cool is that!"
Here, catch a little of what George Latus is about here in this video, He comes on at about 50 second mark.
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I would rather be dead than take advantage of or steel from a man like that. I understand that not all stores are like this... That some stores, owners and people working in the industry have somehow lost the passion along the way. For Team Latus (and MANY other good stores) It is still all about the riding!
Not because it is our "job"... We do it because we WANT TO! And as George says: "How Cool is that!"
That dealer must be, what, one in a million. The ones i've come across, are purely after your cash, and some of them arrogant know everything, types. I've practically stopped buying anything from the dealer's, i get it on the net, even with a risk of getting a wrong size and having to send it back. Getting your bike serviced can be a frigging nightmare, part's not available, bike actually running worse than when you took it in, and into the bargain, get treated like retard. I am an old fart, but i still got most of my marbels left.
Good story Dakez - In the early 70's I worked the parts counter PT at a store called Grand Prix Cycles. I was attending San Jose State on the GI Bill. It was the most fun job I ever had. It was a bit of a motocross race shop owned by Ian MacLachlan and a physics professor named Geoff Fox. After a few months they let me work the sales floor, which gave me an opportunity to earn a little more. The main line was Kawasaki, but we also sold CZ, Penton and Maico. I raced a little Penton Six Days. Life was good.
I had a little savings and Ian let me buy his Maico's to put on the floor (generally four at a time). This way he could use his floor financing to buy more high turnover Kawasaki's. The deal was: if I sold a Maico, I got all the profit, and if anybody else sold one I got half. It wasn't long before I built a following among the +30 class and +40 class racers. They were tradesmen and professionals alike. Older guys who grew up racing motorcycles and could finally afford to have new equipment every season.
It was a sad day in June 1975 when I graduated college and left Grand Prix to join a Wall Street firm. Meanwhile, Ian and Geoff split up. Geoff took our catalog business and renamed it Motocross Fox with the little foxtail logo we all remember.
I try and do all my business with shops like yours. The owners and the people they employ are the reason. We race with them and race against them. They never fail to scramble for us when we need help to make the next grid or next race weekend. They become our friends. People we want to hang with in the paddock or at the next Ducati unveiling event. I'm going to buy from my friends whenever I can.
I have driven well over 100 miles to LOOK at a bike at a dealer that has a known good reputation. For a dealer such as mentioned above, I'd do a fly and ride to give that man my business. Contrary to what others in this thread may believe, I understand dealers need to make a profit when selling a bike to keep their doors open, something not everyone realizes. Customers that try to gouge dealers are no better than dealers that try to gouge customers. If everyone is on the same sheet of paper, negotiations should take a few minutes and everyone is happy, or you are just too far apart on price. I'd gladly go out of my way to do business with the dealership and staff listed above. I hope they keep their doors open.
Regarding negotiations... I bought a Tahoe after about 5 minutes of discussing price, and an RV in about the save time. Both myself and the sales staff reached a price we were happy with that fast! So that was a win win.... which is what I shoot for when purchasing, vice trying to steal an item by beating down the dealer with the expectation of an unreasonable price. I was thinking how many buy or sell transactions of bikes (let alone numerous parts and gear transactions) I've completed with inmates here. I lost track at about 10. Negotiations usually lasted a very short time, and everyone was happy.
Used to do business with a bicycle shop that was very similar to the moto shop mentioned above. I actually asked the guy to charge me over the discounted price (as did my now business partner) he typically offered us. The owner's son, the manager, asked me "WHY?" one day. I told him simple... I wanted him and the shop there as a resource for me, and I don't mind paying for that. If he gives crazy discounts and ends up folding, that doesn't do me OR him any good. He was quite surprised by that attitude.
Sorry for the rant... first cup of strong morning coffee. Hopefully I made my point somewhat clearly.
I generally try to pay a little under MSRP out the door. Sometimes it works, sometimes I walk!
I would like to hear what kind of deals some of you guys have gotten.
I got my DR650 for $5400 OTD, it was last years model, so I think that helped.
I truly isn't. I would like to think that Team Latus shines brighter than everyone else... The truth is as I mentioned earlier we in the Northwest Part of the USA (MT, ID, WA, OR) are blessed with MANY great stores a Bunch of good ones and the truly Bad ones are few.
"Mistakes can happen. It is how you handle the mistakes that sets you apart."
Where I am now WAS one of the BAD ones. George bought it to change all that. The comments I receive daily from people coming in are along the lines of. "I have not stepped through those doors in __ YEARS!" "I would not buy oil from those crooks" They are Extremely glad we are here and we are pleased at the reception and happy to serve them. Helping people get what THEY are looking for in a motorcycle or related items is a good way to spend a day IMO.
I could easily make more money (2-3 times more) at a "JOB" somewhere else. I choose to work in the motorcycle industry.
Just remember that even in the not so stellar stores... They are staffed by people. Make their day... Go in with a smile like you are happy to be there... Tell a joke, laugh a little... They will be happy you are there and Make your day.
I bought a lot of parts from Grand Prix Cycles, and maybe you. I recall Ian gave me a new frame for my PUCH 125. I did not even buy it from them. It was a good shop to deal with.
Well Davis53...If you bought parts from Grand Prix Cycles in 1972-5, you bought some from me at least a couple times. They let me work any hours I could make. I generally had early morning classes and one late afternoon class. So I worked a few hours in the middle of the day and came back for the evening hours. I worked every weekend both days except for race season. I got Sundays off to do that.
Here is an image of my shop jersey (which I still have), but I never wore it with the Fox pants. The pants I had then were some sort of JC Whitney leather things with race stripes down the sides. Red white blue as I recall. . I wore High Point Boots, though. The best boots money could buy. Somehow I lost them after life took over...
Here is an image of the helmet I wore taken recently too:
We had an occasional staff member who raced a Puch 125 for Ian. He was a teenage 6 footer about 140lbs with curley brown hair and glasses. I've been trying to think of his name for decades. Is that you?
We had some other interesting youngsters hanging around there and racing with us on weekends. These young guys went on to invent great sporting products. Keith Bontrager of mountain bike fame comes to mind first, and a kid by the name of Simons, who invented the inverted fork (although it was air charged as I recall).
Anyways, Grand Prix Cycles was at the heart of the emerging Northern California motocross scene; Sand Hill, Hang Town, Dixon Landing, Sears Point, Baylands, Watsonvile Fairgrounds.
I know you know those places...
Accepting that cash would be cause for not only being fired but for having your sales license revoked. Sure, you may get away with it but if you get caught, it is not only the end of that job, but the end of any vehicle sales job.
Besides that, most bikes don't have the level of mark-up that a bribe such as this would cover. A $20K BMW might have less than $2K mark-up so how good of a deal do you think the salesman can get you and is it worth $500 in his pocket to get that? Probably not.
^^ You have some funny laws over there.
Reminds me- I need to call and ask about whatever happened to the parts they were supposed to order to fix a TSB issue for me... in July.
That said, when my T800XC's ECU needed to be re-flashed, they got me in and out the same day I called them.
The free market at work.
Had to reread this a couple times to make sure I read it correctly. As a customer, I need to prove I'm worthy of your product? Seriously? I need to be personable and witty to make a deal at your shop? Doesn't sound like the retailer/customer relationship I'm familiar with.
I contend you've got it 180 degrees out of phase here. The retailer needs to prove to me that he's worthy of my cash/business.
Had a dealer that I gave most of my new bike business and all of my parts/gear/accessories business for close to ten years. I spent an average of $5-6000/year in there. Shopping for a new bike last year, I called him (the owner) with a price I wanted to pay on a new bike. I had that price in hand from another dealer and asked if he'd match it. He told me he wouldn't take less than about 15% more than that. He's got his own methods and practices for staying in business and has been around for a good while. Went to the other dealer and bought the bike and took the rest of my business with me. In the previous ten years, I'd sent him plenty of other business and I've been more than "jovial" during that time. I know all the employees in parts and most in service and saw them off hours at races, etc.
I've been jovial, friendly, loyal and sent him business as well as spending well over $50K in there, but apparently that wasn't enough to even get a price match on a soon to be leftover model new bike. The other dealer was friendly to me and went above and beyond, in my opinion, what someone should do to get and keep a customer. I'll be damned if I'm going to be made to feel that it's MY job to make the dealer feel loved.
I think all Dakez is saying is that it's a two way street. People who treat each other with respect can do better. Nobody wants to deal with a jerk. There isn't enough money at stake to put up with it and it's no fun.
Not sure why you are upset with your former dealer. He couldn't do your deal so you found one who would. Who knows why, but you got satisfaction anyway. He did you a favor.
I think the bottom line is people just need to treat each other with respect...If you don't get it from the dealership walk out if a customer doesn't show respect to the dealer don't expect it back or a good deal for that matter. I have walked out of plenty of car and bike dealerships when I am not treated like the intelligent informed buyer that I am....One questioned my manhood becuase I had to talk about the purchase with my wife....they didn't get the sale.
I deal with clients on a daily basis some are great, easy to deal with and treat my time like it has value. Others treat me with less respect but I still treat them with respect. However, guess which ones I go the extra mile for and those I don't....
Nope. He has it right. The arrogant, obnoxious prick customer is often the one who gets the best "deal" but that guy whom little money is made is often also the one who demands favors and extras down the line and the one who kills you on a customer satisfaction survey. It isn't worth selling vehicles to people like that. The cost to the dealer outweighs the of the benefits of the sale. The friendly, respectful customer is the one we should be giving the better deals to because in the long run, that's who we develop positive relationships with. It doesn't always work out that way because pushy and loud people are often very difficult to reject.
Your story is a sad tale to me. If you had such a good relationship with that dealer, why did you need to shop his price? Sounds like it wasn't such a good relationship after all. Who knows... maybe your story is complete and the dealer was foolish. Then again, maybe the other dealer had an incentive the first one didn't and was able to make a deal your original guy couldn't. Maybe the original dealer had a good reason why he couldn't come down on that particular model and maybe he tried everything he could to make the deal make sense for all parties.
Maybe the dealer looked at your history and realized that while you spent lots of money with him, he wasn't actually making any money and that you were costing him an inordinate amount of time and aggravation. I don't know. I wasn't there but your story is VERY familiar to me.
It's worse when the "arrogant, obnoxious prick" is family. Family will do and say things nobody else will, because they've got an 'in' at the dealership. Either gross them, or let somebody else sell them.
I have to second the comments about mutual respect made above. I get to deal with people all day, and the polite ones get the extra efforts. The jerks get what's required, no more. They'll complain to management and tube you on a survey even if you go 110%, because they're jerks. I save my best efforts for those who appreciate it.
Why do people piss off people they want something from? We just banned a customer who has completely alienated the sales and service staff by being a loud, demanding, arrogant asshole to every one, every time he came in. Complained to the manufacturer when we wouldn't do stuff for free, tanked us on a survey for reasons that had nothing to do with his service, and then refused to pay charges he'd authorized, claiming he 'thought it was warranty'. And more. Now, to get anything done, he gets to drive almost 200 miles to the nearest other dealer.
A little politeness goes a long way. I don't think people realize how much ability dealership staff has to make things better for the customer.... or not.