Things Dealers tell Customers

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by ak_diane, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. the_sandman_454

    the_sandman_454 Been here awhile

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    I suspect it involves them being petty about the fact that you're not using their service department to perform the work, so they're going to get back at you by making you wait. It is hard to even imagine them being so poorly mismanaged as to not have basic parts for their service folks to use and remain in business long. It is sort of funny, but what many dealers seem to fail to realize is that if the customer is going to have to order something anyway, he will likely do it online and skip the markup. Yet another way brick and mortar stores seemingly willingly shoot themselves in the foot.

    Dealer here wanted to charge me $120 for the same crappy maintenance type battery that failed within a couple of years. I got a much better maintenance free AGM battery for $65 shipped to my door. I realize the dealer needs to make a reasonable amount but seriously, they could buy the battery I did at retail, mark it up $20-25 and sell them all day long vs having excessively marked up stock junk clogging the shelves. Of course that ignores the fact they can get them wholesale and make even more. Many people are willing to pay a premium to have the item same day, myself included.
  2. Navy Chief

    Navy Chief Long timer

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    I would gladly pay their 25% markup all day long if they would have the common parts I need when I need them, there is no reason in the world for me to "special order" through them for the parts I need.

    I can get them cheaper and faster delivered to my house.... :deal
  3. 1911fan

    1911fan Master of the Obvious

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    When I needed a battery for my 990, the one the dealer had was $249! Honda had the same Yuasa in stock, minus the KTM logo, for $139. I found one online for, IIRC, $115 delivered. I bought the Honda one because it was in stock, and told my dealer about the online place I'd found them, and also that they had a raft of Yuasa batteries at very low prices. Figured they could save money, sell batteries for less than anyone else in town, and still make a profit. Nope. "Oh, we don't do that. If it's outside of our regular suppliers we won't deal with them." Ummm, ok?
    This is the same dealer that took a year to get me a new visor for the XD3 they sold me. I found one and forgot I had one still on order, until they called me. The summer after I ordered it. A year later.

    1911fan
  4. PFFOG

    PFFOG Richard Alps-aholic

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    How do you get 3k out of a PR@??? Mine were bald edge to edge in 2750!!!

    (Boy I had a lot of fun in NC)
  5. TobyG

    TobyG be happy :)

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    Only ordered form a dealer once, so far.
    Let's say it was a rather unpleasant affair.

    I needed to replace the swingarm and linkage bearings and bushings, a new chain slider and some shims for my 650GS,
    I got the bearings locally, probably waaaay cheaper than what BMW would've billed me,
    however, I'd ordered everything else from a dealer.


    Of course, they've had nothing in stock, as expected.
    First of all it took over a week for the parts to arrive, surprise, surprise, although I'd clearly stated I needed the bushings,
    They'd ordered a couple of bearings (it wasn't even the right number of bearings, they forgot nearly half of them :lol3).

    Then they'd been a bit confused about which parts they needed, so they went ahead and asked me to go on their computer in their store to look up the part numbers in the fiche :huh

    Well, whatever, I needed those parts.
    Of course, two of the bushings were not available anymore, luckily another one was nearly the same size, so I'd just ordered 2 more of those and had them turned down by a friend on his lathe. After I finally got them.

    I mean, I did get them, after all, they'd sad they'd order them overnight.
    I called 4 days later only to be told they'll be in tomorrow.
    Some days later, another call they promised the parts would already sit on the counter and wait for me to pick them up. Only to be called back a couple minutes later and be told that they are still in the shiping compartment.

    Long short story, I finally got the parts a good 4 weeks after I'd initially placed the order.


    Never again am I gonna visit them.







    I've also made positive experiences, though, in a small, independent MC garage where the owner is the only mechanic, awesome guy.
    He got me the tire I needed within a day, made me a good deal including mounting&balancing and even installed it right when I brought the wheel in,
    even though I could've easily waited a couple days, which he knew.
  6. Thanantos

    Thanantos Ride hard.

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    I've never owned a European rig (nothing against them), so I can't say anything about them.

    However, I can say the dealer mark up/ignorance at Japanese dealerships is about the same as "Made in America" dealers.

    I buy my parts either online or from a local parts unlimited dealer/independent service shop.
  7. MJS

    MJS Long timer

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    You do realize that the retail prices are set by the manufacturer's importer and parts distributor, don't you?

    The dealer can discount (or mark up) the suggested retail price but most generally work from the list price in the manufacturer's parts list. And part of their dealer franchise agreement is that they buy their OEM replacement parts from the manufacturer's distribution center. That's the difference between OEM and aftermarket. And the battery pricing you experienced. (I also bought my replacement 950 KTM battery from the Honda dealer.). The manufacturers and distributors cover their warranty costs as well as make a good portion of their operating budget from parts sales.

    Smart dealers would offer you the choice of OEM or aftermarket with the appropriate price differential. But there really isn't much incentive for that. If I get 40% mark up, I make twice as much on the OEM KTM battery for the same effort as the $115 aftermarket battery. And I have the manufacturer's warranty on that part.
  8. wb57

    wb57 Long timer

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    No problem at all with dealers not keeping every single SKU in stock for every single bike ever made. I understand that they have a limited budget to work with and need to stock the parts that are going to turn most frequently. I do have a problem with Parts guys that can't react to obvious discrepancies between what their recommended stock levels are on a given part and the real world.
    Example: an air filter for a YZ250F is the exact same part number/SKU for well over 100 different Yamahas. The local guy didn't think he needed to carry it. OEM or aftermarket and he did stock Uni, TwinAir, etc.
    I have dozens of examples similar to this, especially from when my son and I were riding dirt about 150 days/year and breaking/wearing out a lot of parts.

    And like lots of folks here, I have NO problem paying a local guy a premium to have the parts I need in stock. I try fairly hard to support the local guys. I want them to stay in business. They need to realize that their competition isn't the guy down the road anymore, but the Internet. "I can order it for you" is a ridiculous statement to make anymore. I can order it myself, for cheaper and likely have it on my front doorstep before they've even keyed in the order.

    Unfortunately, it *seems* that getting the cheapest parts guys behind the counter is the prime consideration for a lot of shops. I do business with a good number of shops within 50 miles of me to the point where most of the part guys, and the owners in many cases, are on a first name basis with me. Two good friends - parts managers at the two shops nearest me - have quit and left the industry in the last two weeks. These were guys who have been in the industry for at least the 15+ years I've known them.

    Had a decent talk with the owner of another shop a while back about this situation. Was telling him that when I worked in a parts department back in high school (mid 1970s) we DID keep just about everything in stock and it was frustrating having to deal with situations like the air filter example above. He's been in business that long and responded that, yes, that is the case, but back then, ordering a part was frequently done by filling out a piece of paper, snail mailing it to the vendor and waiting the several weeks or so to get it in. If it wasn't backordered. Now, there's likely to be a distribution center within 1-2 days shipping time and it's all done online. So, they feel in many cases, it's more efficient to let the vendor be their warehouse. I get this and in a perfect world, it would probably work pretty well. But as we've all seen, there are a LOT of flaws in the system.
  9. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Very short sighted.:deal

    40% of zero isn't much. The incentive is to produce sales. Walmart makes big money on a 3% or less mark-up by selling voulme. If you sell a non OEM part for 20% mark-up, but sell 100 of them it beats the hell out of 40% mark-up on 20 sales. As for warranty, the aftermarket also honors warranty through authorized retailers.

    Jim :brow
  10. Navy Chief

    Navy Chief Long timer

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    I am with you on this, but I have an issue with them not even stocking simply maintenance parts like valve shims. These things are tiny, take up almost no space, and are cheap..

    Any dealer I have called in the area (out to 50 miles from my house) has informed me that they are special order parts and that it will be 3-5 business days to get them. I can get them faster and cheaper to my doorstep, why would I order through them? If you had them in stock I would pay the premium to be able to complete the maintenance on my bike in a single day. :deal

    How on earth do they do valve adjustments on customer bikes? Tear them down and take up shop space for a week waiting on parts? :huh
  11. Disco Stu

    Disco Stu Long timer

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    That's assuming that you actually have someone buy the OEM battery. some in here have said they walked instead of buying the OEM battery. I did the same 2 months ago when the local BMW Dealer wanted $189 for the OEM battery.

    That dealer got 40% of $0 since he had no sale.
  12. Disco Stu

    Disco Stu Long timer

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    The Guzzi dealer in St. Louis considers oil filters to be be 'special item parts' :rofl
  13. tommysmothers

    tommysmothers Flamesuit equipped

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    I work part-time as a "parts guy" for a chain saw dealer/rental equip center.

    It sucks.

    The mechanics want parts now. Your boss has an inventory budget. The mechanics get chewed if stuff takes too long to get fixed. Your boss gets chewed if we spend too much in parts. Everyone blames it on you.

    Now, 95% of the parts we order are for our own equipment or customer equipment that is being repaired by one of our mechanics. There's usually a 3-4 day lag on repairing equipment, that's pretty standard I believe. We make parts orders once or twice a week, and everything runs pretty smoothly.

    But then a customer comes in with a 20 year old saw, and expects us to have an OEM carburetor or shaped fuel line that is specific to that model. Sorry, 3-4 days. Though we do try to keep all of the basics for every model on hand.
  14. 1911fan

    1911fan Master of the Obvious

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    Neatly made the point I was going to.


    1911fan
  15. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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  16. SgtDuster

    SgtDuster Long timer

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    Like others, I can pay premium to support a local business if they support me as a customer in return.

    By offering a good service, by having the common parts in stock, by helping me in some ways if things goes wrong, etc.

    I understand that they have to pay a building, employees, inventory...hence the mark-up.

    But if the only thing they can do is ordering every parts I'm trying to buy from them...I'll do it myself and save money.

    I mean, if their employees are just middle men with next to no knowledge, if I have to find the exact part I need before ordering it because they have no fucking idea what I'm talking about, if the only thing they do is checking a button on an online ordering form...why should I pay their wages? I can fill an online form myself, thanks.

    If their building (parts service wise) sole purpose is to host a computer to order parts, why should I pay for that? I have a computer at home, thanks.

    If they support no inventory, why should I pay for that? I'll order online and build my own inventory, thanks.
  17. MJS

    MJS Long timer

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    No argument from me, I'm in complete agreement with you.

    When I worked parts (many, many years ago) for an import dealer, I actually researched old parts books for obsolete parts that were no longer shown on micro fiche but were still available from the mfg. We actually increased our monthly sales numbers quite a bit by supplying customers who were doing restorations. We also sold a large amount of aftermarket parts at prices competitive with mail order and local aftermarket stores.

    I thought this was a nice deal since I was paid commission. The dealer principal thought I was making to much with those increased commissions and told me he was going to cut my pay rate. He actually told me that I was being paid to much for a "part's guy" :eek1. I gave my notice.
  18. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    That is insane! You are making more money because you increased sales and the profit of the dealership! :huh

    Jim :brow
  19. PFFOG

    PFFOG Richard Alps-aholic

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    Not uncommon, the franchise I worked for was acquired by a big mega dealer, and although highly successful through spending millions on advertising, NOT by customer service.

    I hired a young mechanic, HARD worker, worked through lunches and breaks, good diagnostician and very efficient tech, he was flat rate like all the techs were, he only got paid for the work he did.

    Well the Moron Service Director called me in one day and said Russ is making too much $$, he is making more than some of the 20 year tech's, even though his pay scale/ FR hour was less. Everyone in the shop was busy, and not running out of work, so he wasn't "hogging or cherry picking jobs. I looked at him and said, So? he is working his a$$ off, and earning every cent. He replied that I needed to give him less work and if that lengthened the back log for appointments hire another tech, because we couldn't have him making those $$.

    Dumbfounded, I replied that I would like to find 5 more like him, and why would we want to hire an additional tech, pay his benefits, when he was so productive. He said well then we will have to lower his FR pay scale!!!! Needless to say after that experience, and putting up with the stupidity of the mega dealer for a short time, I left a 20 year service manager career and got an Engineering degree.
  20. ronandkat

    ronandkat Been here awhile

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    With a local shop here for 5-6 years now. Been with them through several bikes, even when they didnt service / sell them.
    There are times when I could have saved 5-10 bucks ordering something online, however, I consider the service I get from the shop to be worth a few extra dollars. The amount of time the service manager spent on the phone with me AND in the shop while looking for hard to find new OEM parts for a restoration, and making nothing on it, tells me I made a good decision in supporting them.

    I think , if the dealer as a whole , really puts effort into service and building relationships, then I say support them. If not, screw em.