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motorcycle salesmen—is it just ME??

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by sshbsn, Aug 1, 2019.

  1. Norty01

    Norty01 Occupant

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    First question I ask a potential salesman/woman is, "Do you ride? And if so, what do you ride?"

    If They don't ride yet, but are enrolled in a class to get licensed, they get a pass. Otherwise, NEXT!
    #81
  2. neanderthal

    neanderthal globeriding wannabe

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    Here, but lost. Am I lost if i know i'm here?
    The day I was moving, I rode to work (I was leaving straight from work) and though my load was secure it was too high and behind the axle to work for a ride from Los Angeles to Dallas. I hadn't tried it, just checked the fit and that it was secure. I stopped at a large multi line dealer in San Bernadino and wanted to buy the OE panniers for my Africa Twin. None in stock. "OK, I'll take those" i point to the OE panniers on a bike they have on the floor.
    I'm sorry sir those go with the bike. But I can order a set for you and have them on Wednesday.
    Me "yeah, but i'm leaving now, and not coming back. So I can't come back for those on Wednesday. I'll be in Dallas"
    I'm sorry sir I can't sell those separate from the bike.
    Me "dude, are you sure?"
    Yeah. I'm sorry sir. (he did sound contrite.)
    Me "Ok, it is what it is. But instead of making a $700 sale now, you're gonna make a $30 sale."
    I bought the $30 Nelson Rigg panniers they had on the shelf.
    #82
  3. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    The big dship we have here has a ev er rotating staff of apparently, 17 year olds. Mind you,they are the accessories staff but none of them ride and I cringe when I see them selling a helmet to someone.

    The sales staff have been there forever,all good guys but I have never bought a new bike,never will.

    My favourite salesman actually spent time with me on the computer at his desk browsing the used market online ads for used bikes,and telling me which ones were a good deal and which weren't. He also commented on whatever extras were included.

    He actually picked out the used bike that I went and bought. How about that?!
    #83
  4. schmik

    schmik Been here awhile

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    I don’t understand the complications. I don’t shop around for a new laptop. I go to apple. The rrp is what it is. I want to get in and out fast and know I have warranty.

    A bike is no different, just a bit more expensive. I don’t give a rats about the salesman and his techniques. I want a fair price and a quick painless deal.

    Usually it’s the salesman that makes the complications!!! You have to see the finance guy.... “but we have cash”. The I hear some crap about sales people policy.

    Wow! Just shut up and take my money.
    #84
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  5. Vistavette

    Vistavette Been here awhile

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    The complications are that often these sales-kids make it impossible to buy a bike. I've had that happen more than than once. I don't know if it's that they're really just that stupid, lazy, or both! My bother and I walked into a BMW dealership in 2009 with the intention of him riding out on a new 1200RT. The sales guy said, Well, were closing in an hour or so come back Tuesday, it'll still be here. We bought one in California.
    #85
  6. telejojo

    telejojo Long timer

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    I think some just put a body out there whether they know anything or not.........................................
    #86
  7. DR Donk

    DR Donk Been here awhile

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    I made an online request for a used bike from the dealers website. They normally list the price but not on this one. The salesman keeps ignoring my request for the otd price instead, predictably, telling me to come in to see it in person. Nah, I'll pass, if he won't give me the otd price they must be asking too much.
    #87
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  8. GPD323

    GPD323 Been here awhile

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    Costco.

    I got an up front price, no setup fess, no destination fees and no document fee. The C14 MSRP was $16,999 at the time. We pay 10% sales tax and licencing which is high (this year I paid $183 for new tabs) when it was new it was much more. Even so, OTD price was $15,500.

    Bought my Z900RS this way also, $11,800 OTD

    Our 2017 F150 was $44K MSRP, we got it $34K OTD. Current tabs cost over $500

    Our 2017 travel trailer was $23K MSRP, we got it at $16,400 OTD. Tabs are cheap like under 50 bucks.

    I'm retired, I have played the game so many times in the past buying vehicles and that sucked at times, CC is a fair buying experience and no mind games!

    Cheers! Greg D
    #88
  9. wb57

    wb57 Long timer

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    That's why people spending money on expensive products have such a horrible reputation.
    #89
  10. Vistavette

    Vistavette Been here awhile

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    DMV fees in NV are off the charts. It's about 2%. My 2015 BMW K1600GTL was over $250 and my 2017 Corvette was over $1,000. Sales tax here also sucks, 8.25% but luckily they don't collect it on private party used sales.
    #90
  11. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    That is what a good salesperson should be - a consultant. Figure out what the customer is saying they want/need and figure out how to fill it. Be willing to find answers if you don't have one. I was good at that part, lousy at closing. It takes a good combination of the consultant and closer to sell.

    That is corporate life in the U.S. - make others look bad to look like the best. I worked the other way. Work with everyone to make us all look good. It's much easier and you will seldom screw yourself over. Everyone has something to give and I will take it to build us up.


    In many cases it requires management approval if the price drops so far. I worked a small dealership, myself and the owner. It was his money, he knew what he needed to make. Occasionally I would take a deal I knew I could make and talk with my boss, but more often than not, it was "can we afford to do this?"
    When you ask for the lowest price and get the lowest price, why do you think there is more to go? If I had a hot seller, MSRP was the lowest I'm going, I'll sell it, but maybe not to you. If I have a slow seller you might find a price that has me saying your next quote, but not lying about it when I do it. We did sell at losses sometimes.
    It happens. If we sold a bike at cost, it was a loser, because of floor plan costs and the cost of actually having the dealership. Seems people forget that.
    See the above two...
    Do you have to risk your reputation on a private sales? There has to be a margin in the event of an unforseen issue that has to be dealt with. I saw a perfect bike trade in that ended up with a full engine rebuild. Seems the seller had drag raced the bike... you think he told us that?
    Might surprise you how often that is true. I dumped a number of sales on the dealer/owner when I had no money for any kind of commission - not even a $10 commission. There was no value in the sale. This usually happened with customers (using the term loosely) who tried to wring every last nickle out of me and entirely gutted the situation of any enjoyment for either of us. I was an enthusiast and very knowledgeable, I enjoyed bikes, but this was the kind of stuff that drained the fun. I eventually quit selling to any GoldWing people for that reason. I was looked at as some thief if I made anything on the bike.
    If I said that I would tell them no bike is held without a deposit. If they wanted the bike, put a deposit on it, then it is sold, the contract is signed. First one with money down gets the bike.


    And so could I. Sure there are times when I used some excuse to give some quiet time for both the customer and I to think a bit, but mostly if I said any of your lines they were true.

    I love that "no freight, no set-up fees" thing. That is the biggest lie anyone can tell. No one is shipping that bike for free, no one is assembling and prepping it for free. You paid fees in the price, period. If you ever figure out how to actually eliminate those fees you will be a miracle worker. The truth - "all shipping and fees are included". That is what we would tell people. After all, it is the final price that counts. How much is it including everything. That was where we worked. We'd probably have worked well with Costco. We tried that set price method for some time, tagging the bikes with our best price, didn't work well. Just sets the bar lower for another dealer to do the sale. I would bet the Costco dealer that would only price if there was a deposit done was fed up with giving out the low agreed upon Costco price to only see the customer drive away to save $20 at another dealer by telling them the Costco price.

    This also brings up the BS pricing given out, where the tag has an impossible price to sell, it will be padded with multiple fees (gotta have more than one so they can knock a couple off) and all that often bring it up higher than the price you'd have gotten from a dealer who puts MSRP on the tags and prefers to work down instead of jacking you up. We had a guy drive 5 or more hours one way to buy a bike listed $2000 under MSRP and below cost. When the guy got back with the bike the price was either $3 more or $3 less than we showed him when he came in to us.

    Ever hear of putting a deposit on the bike? I took a credit card deposit over the phone from a customer 10 hours away, guaranteed the bike would be there for him when he showed up - absolutely. No money down no sale pending on the bike, unless other arrangements are made. I had people say they'd buy the bike, but never follow through.


    If most riders ever sold bikes they would change their tune on many of their prejudices. It isn't an excuse for the poor salespeople or those who try to push you toward what they want to sell, not what you want or need. It isn't an excuse for a dealership that pressures their staff to sell certain bikes. It isn't an excuse for salespeople lacking in knowledge, but remember not everyone has that drive. Most don't expect that kind of knowledge from their auto or appliance sales people.

    In sales the Golden Rule is totally in effect - both ways. You don't deserve the right to run me down or denigrate me because you happen to have the money to buy a bike from me. You and I both get the respect we earn. The dealership where I worked had a good reputation and we earned it. When I was helping someone get a decent deal and actually make enough to consider it a living, selling was enjoyable. When the rider rode away happy I was happy. Too many ATV and Gold Wing people go away never happy, afraid they may not have squeezed "blood from a stone".
    #91
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  12. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    The industry made it a game, not the customer. IMO, its their job to deal with the customer on their terms.

    I'm only interested in their best competitive out the door final price so I can comparison shop. If they won't answer that simple question up front without any song and dance I'm out the door.
    #92
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  13. Vistavette

    Vistavette Been here awhile

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    IMO it's both, the industry and customer. Unfortunately, customers "terms" are more often than not unreasonable and their attitude towards a salesperson is often jaw dropping horrible. I spent 12 years in the car business and I can tell you for sure that it goes both ways.
    #93
  14. mitchxout

    mitchxout Long timer

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    I agree with this. Buying a new car should be a pleasurable experience. However, the industry's predatory practices were not unlike selling aluminum siding to the public. Except Congress put consumer protections on the home improvement sector while giving the auto industry a free reign of terror.
    #94
  15. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    And there in lies the problem. Riders don't want to pay enough for a shop to stay in business.

    We would give a fair price and half the people would run 500 miles to save $25. I actually had that sort of situation with power equipment. We sold Honda HR215 mowers, MSRP $495, for $425 - a $25 gross. Some lady calls us and wants a price. I give it to her and she says that's too high, she thinks she can get a better deal in Kentucky, we're in Ohio, I learn she is in West Virginia. I said, "You're willing to drive four hours to go 200 miles to save $25?" She says yes. Duh! I said sorry I can't help you.

    Gold Wing riders would go hundreds or thousands of miles to save a buck, we quit carrying Wings. Riders come in, "Where's the Wing?" We flat out told them we can't make any money selling them, it makes more sense to put two ATVs in that spot, we turn them over four or five times the Wing and make as much money on a $4000 ATV as we would on an $18,000 Wing. The cut throat dealers caused that situation. Oh, and when it came to service, our customers came first. No special treatment for those who bought in North Carolina or the like, but our own customers, we may go after hours if needed to help them.

    Apparently fewer and fewer riders have enough brains to work the system. Do the shopping outside their area to know what pricing will be like, then decide what they are willing to spend. I'd spend $200 more in a heart beat to buy at a preferred and close dealer. Then go to the dealer and tell them what they want to spend and see if the dealer will do it or what it will take. That way they might actually develop a decent working relationship to a dealer instead of some prostitutional relationship, where the goal is to screw the dealer as bad as possible.

    It was great to work with a customer who actually knew what they wanted and how much they wanted to pay - and they were ready to buy now. Usually we worked it out in most cases. We had a shot at the sale and if we didn't sell at least we tried.

    We'd have people come in and say "What's your best deal?" We started telling them our best deal was to sell at full list, but do they want to work something out and are they ready to buy if the price is right? Negotiation is a two way street. Really, if we marked the bikes at cost the customer would still want the price cut. We tried marking at what we wanted to sell, but it just set up for them to run to another dealer with our price. Of course the question is "If I can cut the price by $100 will you buy?" You set us up for failure unless somehow we are that dealer realizing we either undercut or lose the sale.

    If you want the real price you need to have the check book out and ready to write the check. No number is firm until the deposit happens. I can tell you anything you want to hear on the phone, but when you come in and the number changes don't be shocked. Some dealerships will lie to get you in then hope they can get the price and sell you.

    The song and dance will happen when someone does comparison shopping. If we gave a good price most people would tell the next dealer, who would undercut if they could, and so on. Then there are the customers that flat out lie. We had a guy tell us XX Honda will sell a TRX250 for X dollars - the owner, being good friends with the other dealership owner happened to be on the phone with that dealer at the time. He says, "Let's ask them." Of course the guy was lying and the other dealer said so, the bike was in high demand and no way they were price cutting to that level. So how do we figure out what kind of person is talking to us - the liar, the "price and tell", or an honest to goodness informed buyer that will buy if we have a good price?

    You want to know why you get crap salespeople and crap dealers, look at how the product is shopped. I got to the point where the pay wasn't that great and I just didn't like working with the customers anymore. No good salesperson wants a job where they can't make a living, so they move on. The owners do whatever they have to do to survive.
    #95
  16. sshbsn

    sshbsn Been here awhile

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    wow, lots of finger pointing in here!

    to the salesmen who have posted: ive never sold bikes for a living, sorry for your misery. please stop assuming i took days away from work simply to drive around and NOT buy a bike. ive already said i dont haggle, and never have i mentioned price or dealer fees. but true to form, the salesmen replying to this thread failed to listen and discern. in fact, no motorcycle was sold to me because of sales practices ranging from tone deaf to offensive.

    i average a bike purchase every year and a half. i alternate new/used/new/used. this year it was “new” and i still really like the z900rs cafe and triumph speed twin.

    BUT im just tired of the bs. blaming customers is lame, its their money that keeps you in a job. take control of your business and train your people. ive decided not to buy any more motorcycles, i work too hard for my money to be ticked off during the entire process of handing it over.

    my old road king is pretty fantastic, and it looks like i will keep on riding it until i no longer ride. thats not such a bad outcome!
    #96
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  17. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    My way works for some dealers, I only need one dealer to be fair, and easy to work with. They get my business.

    I might not get rock bottom price, but I do my homework so I know what's reasonable, and the savings in aggravation are priceless.
    #97
  18. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    Odds are you will get better pricing with each bike you may buy from them. I know we had a number of riders who would get rock bottom, no skin left, pricing because they bought numerous bikes and ATVs. One family and some of their friends bought probably around 30 motorcycles and ATVs from us. You know they got the best we could do without question. The other thing is when a relationship develops you get treated as a friend as well as a customer. We did work for friends hours after closing. Plus some would stop in after hours for our bench racing sessions and tip a few beers - if not riding.
    #98
  19. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    That's the thing, I'm not in the business, they are. What other customers may have done isn't my problem.
    #99
  20. Vistavette

    Vistavette Been here awhile

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    Of course it shouldn't be, but unfortunately, it is your problem and everyone else's. Just as what other salesmen have done become the problem for other salesmen.