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Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by ak_diane, Aug 16, 2012.
It's not that I don't get what you mean. It's that I don't agree with you.
Yep. ^ This right here.
So we should just take whatever the dealer offers and be grateful they are willing to take our money?
No, but he is not on here crying about being butt hurt.
some people take the buying process way to personal.
Finally read the entire thread and want to add my own experience of 'things dealers say':
"oh, your scooter will run fine, it doesnt actually need an air filter... You can find the air filter that was in the air box under your seat in the luggage compartment, covered in oil."
Needless to say they never got any of my custom ever again.
When I was buying my Moto Guzzi, I was giving the dealer my information and he looks at my last name and asks if I am related to Ann. Yep she is my sister. She bought a Moto Guzzi from him about 4 years before. My name is a bit unusual but that was good customer service.
Then, later in our conversation he finds out that I install Furnaces. Can I come and look at his? No Problem. I sold a furnace to him. He still remembers the furnace when I come in...
Called the local Kawasaki dealership:
Hey do you have any ninja 1000's in stock?
Ninja 1000? You mean a zx10?
No, a ninja 1000.
You mean a zx10, yeah we have a couple of them.
I call back 1 week later, was told:
you want a zx10
Okay thanks I will pick it up tomorrow.
I then call a dealership 163 miles away and pay a deposit on the mythical ninja 1000 in the color I want and picked it up today.
"There's nothing wrong with your bike."
.....Some months later....
"We put your cams back into time, we have not charged for that, it was our mistake."
.....three weeks later....
"We don't have any idea what is wrong with it. it's fine."
....Three days later.......
"Your bike is ready. It was overfilled with oil. Um, please don't hate us?"
I wouldn't think you're the type to trust a dealer with your bike
This goes back quite a few years...
I was set to buy an R1100RSL - end of '96. There was a BMW dealership not 1/4 mile from where I work (super convenient). Talking to the OWNER - name was right out there on the sign - he did not have the black one that I wanted they could bring one in from Chicago I think. He gave me his best price.
Did some due diligence and found one at a dealership 35 miles away, they had black and they gave me a price that was $1500 less than the first one.
Well, I went back to the close dealership and explained what was happening and I'd really rather get it there etc...would he be able to match the price. He said no and that would have been fine right there. He's a businessman, and he feels he needs such and such margin. I get that. But then he starts this rant to the effect of me being cheap and "What's $1500 bucks over the life of the bike?" I told him that I'd really rather have it in my pocket than his.
Then as I'm already floored by this lecture this old fucker tells me that I shouldn't bother coming in there for service if I don't buy it from him. They wouldn't touch it. One quick fuck off later and I never saw him again. Loved that bike. He died, new ownership, great place now
06 after a 18yr hiatus, time for a new streetbike. I am going to buy a V-Rod, have done all the research homework etc. One concern I have is the solid rims acting like a sail in strong crosswinds and bad air. Scouting the local dealer I ask the sales dimwit-" what about the solid rims effect on handling in cross winds?" him- " no effect what so ever, spoke rims at hiway speeds act just the same way, can't spray water through them". Needless to say I never bought a thing from that place. And for the record same bike, roads and day they make a big difference. HD quit using them a year or two later.
salesman told you the truth. rims make NO differance in the wind. this myth has been busted.
I know who you're speaking of. It was Andy Pelc. Andy was a good friend of mine and a good friend of many other motorcyclists in the area. He opened his first shop back in the 1950s selling BSAs, and moved on to Beemers when BSA went belly up. When he passed, I rode the 70 odd miles to Owosso in the rain to ride in his funeral procession along with several of our friends, then rode home, still in the rain.
I'd be interested to know just what dealer existed 35 miles away who could undercut Andy by $1500 on an R bike 17 years ago. None comes to mind. Andy mentioned someone who did what you did. But according to him, the dealer was a LOT farther away and the price difference was a LOT less. Also, the person wanted him to do the first service on a new bike that he'd bought from someone else because that dealer was too far away. Andy said that he could get to it sometime in the fall after Thanksgiving.
Andy ran the last of the old time shops where there was always a coffee pot on, and if it wasn't busy, he'd always have time to chat about motorcycles. He believed in the soft sell and preferred to let the product sell itself. His wife Sally ran the office and brought home cooked lunch for the staff every day. There was a big table in back, and it wasn't unusual for them to invite a customer to sit in for a family style meal.
I'd bring my K bike in at the end of the riding season and just tell Ralph to do anything that needed done, take your time. It spent several winters there in dry storage, no charge. Andy kind of spoiled me. There was no high pressure from salesmen and service writers on commission. It was a small operation where Andy would write up repair orders and sell parts himself and he usually had Ralph and one other tech in the shop. Today, I hate to have to go to a bike shop because it's so impersonal and everyone's out for the almighty dollar. The current owner is trying hard, but he needs to have his staff handle the business so he can get out and get to know his customer base. I'll be there for his open house in May because he does a great job with it.
in the saddle experience says otherwise as does the water spray test
Felt the burn allllllllllllllllll the way over here.......
You are correct sir. I thought a while about whether to include his name. Although I figured that people living around here might figure it out, I thought that it would be better to not. I would be amazed if the person in the story you heard was me. Could have been, although as I recall there was no mention of the first service. I'm not even sure I knew about the first service at the time and definitely there was no concern about getting one before Thanksgiving. Not saying that it wasn't my story, the service part just doesn't sound familiar. Which only tells me that I'm not the only person that he treated like that for "doing what I did". I got the bike, the panniers, the taxes and still saved a few bucks. What an asshole I was for doing that!
I'm surprised you aren't aware of the only other BMW dealership in SE Michigan. It is in Sterling Heights. That is about 35 miles away from me, and 39 from Canton. I bought it the next day and was riding it the day after.
I don't doubt that he had friends, and you sound like you were a good one to him. I would have loved to have had that experience there. But the fact is that I didn't. I saw this thread and thought that my experience would fit in perfectly here.
I seriously had no problem with him not matching the price. He would have had to pay to get the bike here, which would obviously cut into his profit. But I might have thought twice about turning away service revenue in the manner he did. Over the life of the bike, we all know that would be more profit than any on the sale. He was clearly a proud guy, but in my view it wasn't the smart play. While I'm sure you weren't his only friend, I have found over the years that I wasn't the only one that didn't hold him in as high of regard.
Agreed that you handled Ralph the right way, take your time. He (I'm pretty sure it was him, did he stay around after Andy passed?) once told me that it would be a couple weeks to put new tires on my bike. The other fellow told me to ignore him and did it the same day. This I could chalk up to me being 'the enemy', but it was still my experience with him - and a lame way to treat a customer.
Good stories, guys. Always interesting to read from different perspectives.
Customers judge dealers, and dealers judge customers. We are both in the market to make money to buy food and pay bills.
When a customer comes in for a $30 (labor) oil change, he/she is looking for a good deal. The shop is looking to do the job quick and turn a profit. A customer pulls up on a V-Star or HD with crap load of farkles and exhaust that have to be removed to access the filter. There is often a good chance bolts will be replaced cheap hardware store brands, things rusted, or exhaust rusted on. We don't make any money stripping the bike for just $30. We tell them outright that there will be an extra charge of $$ to remove/install the parts needed. At this point the customer is outraged that we are ripping him off.
We don't change tires on rims that have been painted or power coated. Can we do it? Sure. We do it all the time for good customers. But if we have never seen you before and you drop off a rim that has been badly painted with BBQ grill spray paint, we will turn you away. The chance the paint will nick and the cost of refinishing your rim are too high to be worth the $30 we charge to swap the tire.
Last week a van pulled up with a box of two Chinese mini quads. He wanted us to turn two bikes into one. I turned him away. Not only would it be near impossible to come up with a realistic estimate, I would be wasting hours trying to track down missing parts. The bikes got disassembled for some reason, so there is likely some engine or other problems with them. The cost to do this would be more then buying a new quad would be. He only wanted to spend about $200 and thought I was being a jerk to him for not taking on the job.
I will often turn down simple jobs. If it's so simple that the customer can do it themselves, but want us to do it, it often means something is screwed up. They tried to install it first, stripped or bent things, then bring it to us but don't tell us it's messed up. Then complain when the price goes up.
I rejected a job last week over the phone. The conversion had the words Harley Davidson and sticker in it. I am sorry but if you can't install a sticker on your HD, I am not going to. Then have to remove it because it's 1/4" too low and when I removed it, it peals the paint off the tank. I didn't say that over the phone, but I tried not to sound like a jerk.
It sounds really cruel, but I do judge every customer that walks into the door. If you appear to be more trouble then it's worth, I will send you away. It does not happen often, but it does happen.
This is why I make a list of the part numbers I need when I go to a dealer for parts.
And why I do all the work on my shit myself.