Is Dealer Prep Fee a B.S. Fee?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Buyk, May 27, 2020.

  1. Buyk

    Buyk Adventurer

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    It is in car buying. What about bikes?

    Please only answer if you're a hardball buyer. No dealer shills wanted.
    #1
  2. mtech1950

    mtech1950 Been here awhile

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    of course it's bs, but within your negotiated price, as in "out the door"
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  3. SFC_Ren

    SFC_Ren Been here awhile

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    Most all motorcycles arrive to the dealer in a crate that requires final assembly. Did a technician get paid to put the front wheel and whatever else on, torque the fasteners and do a pre delivery inspection to make sure the rear wheel doesn't fall off when you ride off on your new under warranty motorcycle? That being said it's all negotiable and of course the dealer didn't pay that full amount to the tech. So part of the prep fee is a real service, because they most likely won't let you buy a bike still in the crate. I write all of the above not because I'm a dealer shill, but because of knowing that technicians at multi line motorcycle dealers make jack shit wages, unless they are very Senior technician's.
    #3
  4. theDoktor

    theDoktor Husky Racer

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    Well said, speaking as a former dealer tech for multiple lines. And definitely wasn't a Sr. Tech!
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  5. Bar None

    Bar None Long timer Supporter

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    "because they most likely won't let you buy a bike still in the crate."
    I bought my last three bikes in a crate delivered to my house. The other one I bought used.:lol3
    20200502_082047.jpg
    #5
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  6. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    The dealer does have to pay a tech to uncrate and do some final assembly & prep on the bike. Charging the customer for that increases the profit for the dealer. For me the only figure that matters is the total cost out the door. No way will I pay full MSRP + Freight + dealer prep + doc fee, etc. I have mostly been able to get bikes out the door for under MSRP but then I have mostly bought NOS bikes. The last new current model bike I bought was a new 2018 model at the end of 2018. I paid MSRP + tax. It's up to you to negotiate a price you are comfortable with. Some dealers are more willing to negotiate than others and it also depends on how popular a bike is.
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  7. vince82

    vince82 Been here awhile

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    700$ on a 2700$ new bike (Kawasaki z125) : absolute bullshit.
    I'd be extremely surprised if took them a whole 2 hours.
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  8. sieg

    sieg Wearing out tires......2 at a time, day after day. Supporter

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    They can pay their employees, power bill, and rent however they want, they can write it up however they want on the bill of sale. The amount I write the check for is the only number I care about, and the only number I ask for when buying.
    #8
  9. theDoktor

    theDoktor Husky Racer

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    Having done much final assembly and final prep, I'm DEFINITELY going to bargain for bike delivery in a crate for my next new bike. There's just too much done (or not done) by the factory when prepping the bikes for crating that has a negative impact on the long-term life of the bike to do otherwise. Things like inadequate lubrication of steering head bearings and suspension linkages pop into my mind in particular. I'm going to be tearing into it as soon as it gets home anyway. Might as well do the reassembly just one time (on MY nickel) and be certain everything is properly lubed and torqued.
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  10. Tall Man

    Tall Man Speak as you find.

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    To the extent that a dealer employee lays hands on a new motorcycle to prepare it for sale, that cost has to be recovered somehow. As has been mentioned, the only number I care about is the number that I write on the check. I'm not ignorant of the fact that there are business costs that will be made visible, or hidden, depending on the dealer's conduct, and my own. And that's it, really.

    I paid cash for a new Ural. Correct set-up on those rigs is critical in a way that doesn't really compare to [single track] motorcycles. My dealer got it right, but not every one does, every time...and errors, when they occur, tend to be magnified. So, I didn't begrudge getting dinged for that particular line item.
    #10
  11. Skooter

    Skooter moto-slowpoke

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    OTD is what matters to me. Don't care how the dealer's accounting divides it out. Back when I was poorer, younger, less knowledgeable I was always at dealer mercy (cars back then) because they roll everything into the deal for financing. Your downpayment. Your tradein's value. Your monthly payment. They play one figure against the other to rip you off to the maximum. Being able to pay cash outright for a new bike (or car) nowadays is a real blessing.
    #11
  12. PeterTrocewicz

    PeterTrocewicz Been here awhile

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    Lets see, get the crate, drag the crate onto the workbench, disassemble and unpack the crate, inspect the bike for any shipping damage, remove any tiedowns and clamps holding the bike, install handlebars, lift the bike of the crate, drag the crate bottom out, install the wheels, lower the bike install windshield and saddlebags, check fastener tightness, service and install the battery, checm tire pressures, check spoke tension, check cable adjustment, fill with oil, check all fluids and lubes, check lights and horn and any other electrics,, put gas in, start and run it, check for leaks, test ride, recheck certain fasteners, cable and chain adjustments and for leaks after returning. Then a shop kid to clean and polish the bike. Did I forget anything? It's been a few years. Easily 2+ hours, depending on the bike.
    #12
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  13. sluagh

    sluagh not fade away

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    It doesn't matter what the dealer says the charge is for, it's just part of the price they have established as their starting point for negotiations. They could say it's the fee for dusting the bike while it sat in the showroom. So what.

    It's obviously a psychological ploy so they fix in your mind that the price of the bike is $x, even though it's really $x + $prep.
    #13
  14. telejojo

    telejojo Long timer

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    If you go to Lowes and buy a mower or grill that's put together they don't charge you any kind of prep fee just tax......................
    #14
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  15. sieg

    sieg Wearing out tires......2 at a time, day after day. Supporter

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    They do, they certainly do, it's just included in the final price of the product.
    The grocery store charges you to carry that loaf of bread from the truck to the shelf and to have the checker scan it and put it in the bag and for the use of the cart you push to haul it to your car. It called overhead.
    #15
  16. Florida Lime

    Florida Lime Long timer Supporter

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    As stated and not often enough in Robbinsville, NC
    $700 sounds like Prep and Freight (Destination charge) and something else. ADM ? Doc fees ?
    Kawasaki US (as well as most manufacturers) usually list the destination charge on their websites.
    "destination charge $220 †
    † Specifications and pricing are subject to change.

    Dealer sets the actual destination charge, your price may vary."
    #16
  17. Florida Lime

    Florida Lime Long timer Supporter

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    As stated and not often enough in Robbinsville, NC
    Only because Chinese motorcycle companies have lower standards. :lol2

    Every European and Japanese motorcycle manufacturer I know requires the dealer to set up and verify the bike is ready to ride as part of the dealer agreement. A dealer may do it, but they aren't supposed to.
    #17
  18. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Assembling the bike costs the dealer money. Doing all the checks on the prep sheet (if they do it) even more. You pay for all that in one form or another, either itemized separately or thru the price of the bike.

    I'm with those who focus on OTD less tax and registration. In the end the only thing that matters is the size of the check (and also if it's a dealer I want to work with).
    #18
  19. Buyk

    Buyk Adventurer

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    Holy crap, can I not care less about their labor. If they don't like the arrangement, they can take it up with Yamaha. When they agreed to be a Yamaha dealer, they knew they'd have to assemble bikes.

    It's a B.S. fee.
    #19
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  20. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Still Riding

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    It's only BS in the sense that every consumer product EXCEPT cars and motorcycles are sold with these costs "built in" to the price.

    If I buy a TV at Best Buy, I understand that the truck driver who drove the TV to my local store and the guy who took it out of the crate and carried it into the store don't work for free and that those costs have to be covered somehow.

    It's just that when I buy the TV, the $599.00 that I pay for the TV INCLUDES that cost. It's "built in" to the price I pay.

    My vague recollection is that the practice of "adding on" fees to an already negotiated price is a tactic that goes back to the end of WWII. During WWII automobile production was curtailed, and by contrast all of a sudden lots of people had money (good defense jobs, combat pay, etc.) This created a circumstance where demand was significantly higher than supply when it came to cars. That meant that dealers could charge "whatever the market would bear" and if buyers didn't like it, they could pound sand because the seller was 100% guaranteed to be able to sell to the next person who came in the door.

    For whatever reason, even through economic recessions and significant changes in the car market, this process still exists even though literally no other consumer product is sold this way.

    Want to talk about BS, what about dealers that charge and "assembly" fee on used bikes (as some of them do?) They didn't "assemble" jack shit.

    IMO the only reason to buy a motorcycle from a dealer is if you want a bike you can't afford to pay for outright and need financing. In 38 years of riding I've bought exactly two motorcycles from dealers and I don't ever intend to buy from a dealer again, exactly because of sleazy tactics like this.

    Having said that, as others above have stated (and I'm 100% in agreement), a sale is a negotiation and you can negotiate whatever you want. As the buyer, YOU have the power. If you "allow" a dealer to slap on extra fees after negotiating a price, I'm not going to feel sorry for you because you ALLOWED it to happen.

    As long as buyers put up with this crap, dealers will continue to do it.
    #20
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