the art of haggleing

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by JWG, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. JWG

    JWG Been here awhile

    Jun 11, 2011
    mustang rd Alvin tx
    share you secrets here

    I am looking to buy a bike I have a pretty good Idea as to handling a private seller and working out a good deal
    but what would you say are the rules to negotiation with a dealer on both new and used bikes.
    it seems to me they price there used ones so high to steer you towrds a new one . im sure they have a ton of mark up
    on the used ones

    lets do an for instance
    if a dealr has a used bike, we'll say its an 08 and there asking 8,500
    what would you offer?
  2. 2tallnwide

    2tallnwide Long timer

    Sep 24, 2005
    Nature Coast, Florida
    If it was an '08 R1200GSA I'd say ...SOLD! :lol3

    I use and find out what the bike they are selling is worth, and if I am trading, what I want to get for mine. I juggle the numbers to make me happy, and then make them an offer....last time I did that I was turned down...that bike is still for sale as well, but I have another one now at a price I wanted to pay.:deal
  3. Whitebread117

    Whitebread117 I do what I want

    Apr 11, 2011
    Not many secrets per se, just be willing to walk away.

    use kbb and craigslist to get an idea on what that model is selling for in your area. Take $100s with you and make a reasonable cash offer on the spot. If they refuse, leave your number and walk away. If they are interested you'll hear back in 24-48 hours. If not, keep looking.
  4. scrannel

    scrannel Scrannel

    Oct 29, 2006
    Malibu, CA
    Depending upon the desirability of the bike, of course... I go into a dealer, and if I want a bike they have, make a real offer at what I really want to pay. If the dealer says 'no', I leave him my phone number and say -- "give me a call if you change your mind." Then, Shut up and walk. Psychologically, that bike is now 'sold'... if he wants. And after a day or two (if there's no action), he will most likely call. They will most likely take your offer... or they wouldn't be calling. The "haggling" takes place in his mind.
  5. wmax351

    wmax351 Been here awhile

    Mar 13, 2011
    Marin County and Berkeley, CA
    Just find someone who needs to sell to buy meth. They are happy to bargain.
  6. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

    Sep 25, 2011
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    if the bike is in mint condition, the deal is fair to both parties and you are ready to buy ... jump on it.
    my rule fair to both parties is... if I made a mistake buying bike... can I reasonably hope to get my $$ back?

    if the answer is NO... no way you can get your $$ back. if for some reason something doesn't work out. then generally I'll pass...

    if price is low enough that I can reasonably hope to get most of my $$ back. then the deal is fair to both parties.

    a simple way to find out what fair market value is ... do a national search on Craigslist. example 2008 BMW R1200GSA ... enter into google search bar:

    2008 BMW R1200 gsa

    above will give prices/condition/location, etc for other parties selling a 2008 BMW R1200GSA
    this is way more accurate than any blue book, etc. .. insert what ever model you are looking for before search string....

    if your seller doesn't want to sell for fair market value... then you've got pages of other sellers to deal with. then if you can find a deal below market... makes it sweeter yet. by doing above research you are armed with real time information.
  7. 9secondsflat

    9secondsflat Been here awhile

    Oct 4, 2011
    start the offer with kbb not nada dealer trade in price.

    go to and do a search for the exact year,make model to show the seller there are many bikes just like his....nothing makes his special...shipping 500-1000 miles is only about 400 bucks with uship let him know you have purchased bikes and had them shipped in the past...its no big deal.

    make the seller produce receipts of any internal engine work done if any- if he cant...its not there example having the heads ported or a big bore/ stroker

    make the seller produce receipts of proof of service, most of the time sellers try to say...yeah..uh..i do all my service work. if that is the case you know the miles on the bike in advance so you should know the most recent service history as required by the mfg...look it up and question him.....Mr. Seller please tell me exactly what you did to the bike at xxxx miles etc. If he cant...he didnt do the work and the price needs to be adjusted accordingly.

    look at the condition of the tires, if you see them down to the wear bar or close...add on the cost of having new tires, mounted, balenced etc...this is a part of the price reduction...immediate work needed.

    if the bike is bone stock and you want a bike with a full exhaust can say...well I really like your bike but its not exactly what I needed, you see I want one with a pipe, pc3 (jetted if a carb) and since yours does not have it that is going to cost me X dollars.

    prior to seeing the bike get the vin and do a vin check
    ideally the seller owns the bike with title in hand

    He wants 8500, I would start at dealer trade in price - above conditions

    and then say I am prepared to offer you...and pull out the money seperated in advance and set it on the seat...and say X dollars cash now!

    dont speak, shut up and wait for his answer.

    I have purchased high end cars bikes etc in the past using the above and came out ahead most of the time, getting my price..

    Lastly if you cant get it at your price you have the option of stepping up the offer a couple hundred at a time that being said, if they dont bite...walk away...and dont forget to take your money.
  8. JWG

    JWG Been here awhile

    Jun 11, 2011
    mustang rd Alvin tx
    great info on this thread , I am going to check that google search out for sure right after i search for meth heads that own nice bikes. for sale
  9. kraven

    kraven Hegelian Scum

    Jul 7, 2005
    Asheville NC

    No mind games. No hat tricks. Just make a fair offer that you can live with, and then see if they accept it. They may, depending on the market, bike, and how they haggle, make a counter offer. Be prepared for that.
    Otherwise, just slap your line o credit or checkbook on the table and uncap your pen and wait for a yes.

    Make sure they know that you're ready to take the bike right now.

    The sight of cash may make some guys weak in the knees, but checks are just as good. It's all money.

    Some dealers, this time of year in North America, are willing to wait for full pop on a used machine over a skinny deal right now. It's awfully close to the buying season. And when some 18 year old kid walks in with a cosignor or dad's credit card and buys the machine at full price just because, there's not much you can say about that.

    This is a rough time of year to be trying to drive a deal like a hard-ass, or learn to haggle.
    Dealers know their market and their product. There's a wide variety of factors that go into the decision to take or not take a skinny deal. Maybe they haven't sold any units that day? Maybe they are behind for the month and need to free some capital from the used inventory to buy something they KNOW will sell for full pop in a week or three.

    There's no magic button to make them take your offer. So, just make a fair offer and see what happens.
  10. doogiepooch

    doogiepooch Been here awhile

    Jul 27, 2010
    Canton, NC
    I'll share my recent experience.....

    Decided for some odd reason that a Ninja 250 would make a good next bike. Used selection seemed thin over the last couple months close to where I live, miles were to high or condition was to bad. I found one at my local dealer, 09 special edition 2,500 miles. I went in to have a look and the sticker said $3,999. That was the sticker price when new. Right now a new one is 4,400ish and alot of folks use them for comuter bikes in my area so dealer wouldn't budge on a new one, out the door on those would have been in the $4,800 range.
    I offered $3,200 otd.
    They came back at $3,900 otd on the 09.
    I said $3,300 otd.
    They came back at $3,800 otd.
    and 2 more back and forths later I got it for $3,500 out the door. When I got to $3,500 I looked at the Ms and said if he comes back at $3,600 you make me stand up and walk out.
    KBB worked in my case, $3,500 is average retail. Which I don't feel to bad about, I don't think steals at dealerships exist. Anytime you can get it out the door for a fair price, walk out and be happy with your new purchase. Know your limit when you walk in the door and stick to your guns. And what the previous poster/s said about being ready to deal, you have to be willing to pay for that bike right then to get the best deal. Although I didn't walk in prepared, I gave him a credit card to let him know I was serious and I could have paid for it right then if I'd had to. I came back the following Monday and wrote them a check (the haggling happened on a Saturday).
  11. concours

    concours WFO for 44 years

    Dec 2, 2008
    Kensington, NH USA
    CASH is king private sale, used to be a welcome at dealers as well. The tide has turned. Dealers LOVE people who come in with NOTHING and finance them while bending them over. So, they LOVE to see people with $12 in their pocket, guys with a lunch bag full of 100's just makes them cringe. DAMHIK:lol3
  12. rockmurf

    rockmurf IBA #31100

    Feb 27, 2006
    I think right now using kbb retail is too high to pay. As stated earlier these are tough times to see anything and you know on the used stuff they don't pay squat for it. Also a good place to look for selling prices is ebay sold. Not list but what the bike actually sold for. Alot of stuff is being listed but if you go back after the auction ends you may see no one bid on it or the highest bid is thousands under the asking price. Also as stated earlier you have to buy it right or you will end up eating thousands when you try to sell. Especially with a dealer, they don't have to take your offer and business is business, their is nothing buddy buddy about it. Good luck, do your research and make sure you get the bike checked out before you buy it, private or dealer.
  13. Garry

    Garry Old and In The Way

    May 2, 2005
    Murrysville, PA
    RE: Buying a new bike

    It's easy to find out dealer cost on cars on the internet, but bikes are different. A web site called used to sell dealer invoice reports for like $10 a piece, but I'm not sure if it still exists or not. It listed dealer cost, holdback, what they get PAID for setup (from the factory) as well as any incentives to either the buyer or dealer. Seemed that Japanese street bikes had a dealer cost about 15-18% below MSRP. That's not a lot of margin. Giving people peanuts for a nice used bike on trade, then selling it at retail generally makes them more money.

    Profit is not a four letter word. Dealers are people too and need to feed families, etc. If you can get a current model new bike for 10% below MSRP (before sales tax and plate), that's a reasonable (not great) deal. 15% off MSRP is pretty good deal IMO. Much more than that requires some incentives from the factory or a highly motivated seller.

    It really comes down to finding a motivated seller. If you know you want to add some mods or buy some riding gear, get a 20% (or more discount) on that stuff bundled in with the bike. The dealer is still making money and your get some stuff below MSRP.

    As others have said, if you know the price you are offering is fair, be prepared to walk. The dealer may choose to sit on the bike and wait for someone willing to pay full list for it. That's their option. They only get so many bikes to sell in a year, and may not want to blow out their limited inventory on low margin deals (especially on popular models).

    Last thought is to look at the bottom line, OTD price between dealers. Some will advertise a low price, then gouge you with non-negotiable fees (well, everything is negotiable). All that matters is the bottom line, out the door price when comparing one deal to another.
  14. joef

    joef Been here awhile

    Oct 9, 2011
    Western Ct.
    Thats it willingness to walk away, I tell them while pointing at my shoes, remember I did not walk here on these and leave them my number where I can be reached. Also if its a left over or used sell it before you buy it.
  15. gmiguy

    gmiguy You rode a what to where?

    Oct 17, 2006
    Western NC
    I don't agree with the "bring lots of cash" school of dealership purchases.

    The sales guy at the dealer doesn't care if you're paying with cash, or a credit card, or gold doubloons; and he's sure not going to give you a better deal because you brought a paper sack full of hundos.

    Actually, even if you have the cash on hand, I think it works better to act like a rube and do the purchase as a finance deal at the dealership. They get a cut of the finance charges, and will be more inclined to agree to a smaller price upfront if they think they'll make it back on interest and kickbacks. Then just pay it off in full the next week.

    We did this at a buy-here-pay-here car lot a year ago when buying an "off to college" car for a relative.
    Dealership's cash price for car = $5000
    Actual value of car = $3800
    Finance price agreed to = $3000, with some crazy 20+% interest rate and 5 years of payments
    Early payoff fee = 0

    Clearly, the way to go here is to let the guy drop the purchase price because he thinks he's going to make a killing on interest; and then pay off the note instantly instead. It's a more effective approach than carrying around bags of money, more convenient, and far less risky.
  16. 2tallnwide

    2tallnwide Long timer

    Sep 24, 2005
    Nature Coast, Florida
    I agree in most cases, unless it's a bike that is really hot at the time, hard to find, etc.

    KBB retail on my cruiser is $4600+ -....I'd be lucky to get the $3105 trade in value for it right now though.
  17. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

    Mar 18, 2007
    Begin Op Zoom
    If the dealership is a good one it really is going to be different from bike to bike.

    As an example: Today I sold a bike that was listed at $15,995.00 for $14,387.00. I will not go into the reasons for the odd Number... I will say the customer offered $14k. and the price he paid was due to how much we owned it for and the new tires, brake pads and a few other things were also taken into account.

    The listed price was slightly higher than NADA book.

    Another example: We had a bike listed at $13,995.00. It was basically a new 2009 as it had only 540 miles on it. We were offered $13,000.00 and had to say "No". The reason was that we had sold the bike new in 2009 then the purchaser needed to have a knee replaced and never did get to a point where he felt comfortable riding it.... Thus the low miles. When he asked us to buy it back we took pity on him and gave him all the money. We had no wiggle room in the price to mark it down.
    In the end it worked out as it was a beautiful bike and worth every penny of the asking price.

    A reputable dealer will price their used bikes based on what they own them for with book values as a guide... NOT just what they can get.

    Where I work, if we have two similar bikes and we took one in for a thousand less than the other it IS reflected in both the asking price and the selling price. Not only so but we will park them side by sideĀ… The good deals go fast.

    We buy bikes from other dealerships and car dealerships as well. Sometimes we get them cheeper than normal. Occationally we will get a good deal at an auction or an owner will ride in and ask will you buy my bike for $xxx.xx? Where I work when we get a good deal it gets a good deal it get's passed along.

    We do have a building to maintain, employees to pay and a power bill that needs to be covered. A dealership should be supported buy its customers if they want it to be around when they need it. A good dealership that treats people fairly will likely be able to stay in business.

    We are nice but we are also willing to say "No" As a buyer just be nice and remember that You can't even get a "NO" if you don't ask the question.

    Stepping off soap box. :1drink
  18. It'sNotTheBike

    It'sNotTheBike Banned

    Jul 20, 2011
    The blue book might be wrong in either direction. It is at best a suggestion
    and is never the final determinant of what an item is worth, most especially
    in the case of an item which is both rare and sought after, for example a BMW R90S
    or a KTM 950 Super Enduro.

    The MARKET is what decides what something is worth. In other words, the only thing that
    matters is whether the seller and buyer can agree on a price.

    Bring at least enough cash for a deposit if you are serious about buying something,
    and if you and the seller can agree on a price, you then give the seller that cash
    and he gives you a signed bill of sale which indicates the date, VIN, balance due
    at time of exchange of title ( final sale ), etc. It is best if you have a third person also
    sign the bill of sale as "witness" in case the seller decides to back out. With such a document you
    have a legally binding contract. WIthout such a document you don't have any legal recourse, in the event the seller
    decides to change his mind.

    And if you KNOW you want to lowball the seller, do him and yourself both a favor and get that out of the way
    up front. There is no advantage conferred by waiting until the end to spring a lowball offer on a seller, it just
    wastes time to pretend to be interested at the asking price when you have no intention of paying it.

    Dealers need to make money in order to survive. I buy stuff at the local dealer whenever possible even
    though I know it means paying a bit more. When you need the sort of help only a dealer can provide,
    that won't be available if the dealer has gone out of business. And going out of business is exactly what
    a dealer who makes no profit is going to do. Many have done just that in the past few years, and the worst
    is not over yet. So don't beat your dealer up too badly, unless you want to see a "for rent" sign in the
    window where there used to be bikes.
  19. Tubulchain

    Tubulchain ODAAT

    Oct 10, 2009
    Rhode Island
    Haggling is not an artform because its never pretty. It sucks and it's draining. It is however easy to learn the basics of solid negotiation.

    For a toy which is what a motorcycle is, value is subjective. There is no true price it's all marketplace and timing and marketing.

    Best thing is to buy the bike you want from someone you like and trust and accept that you are going to pay for the thrill of motorcycling all along the way from start to finish. Remember they are inexpensive to own, not to buy but to own for the most part. Look at it compared to a boat or sportscar or girlfriend or gambling binge. Waaaaaayyyyy more value than any of those!

    The only must is to BUY THE RIGHT ONE FOR YOU!

    Take the time to know yourself, be willing to pay for the thrills, find a good dealer.

    Blow your cash it's about the fun. Invest in fun.
  20. gmiguy

    gmiguy You rode a what to where?

    Oct 17, 2006
    Western NC
    Other than warranty and recall work, what sort of help can only a dealer provide?