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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. GPD323

    GPD323 Been here awhile

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    The bike sales tag listed the MSRP, the setup fees and destination fees in the total price, CC price came back with all those fees removed and some off the MSRP. Tell me somehow some was added back into my purchase price and that this is not possible, OK. But I still got some really great deals with zero salesmen hassle.

    BTW: On the trailer, we did have to pay the freight from the east coast to the west coast. That was non-negotiable. I think it was close to $1300.

    PS: Paulsons in Lacey WA is where I purchased my last 2 bikes through CC.
  2. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    They didn't remove a thing, the fees still exist and are in the pricing. Are you naive enough to think they didn't pay someone to get it to the dealer and someone to build and set up the bike? They may hide it by not showing it, but the cost is as real as the cost of the engine or frame of the motorcycle. All they did was change the purchase price. When we sold bikes we may or may not have shown those fees, but they were real. We had the shipping bills and the mechanic hours paid to prove it.

    When we worked a deal we mainly worked with the price all in, including tax, title fees, temp tag if needed, the whole ball of wax. After all, it's about what they're going to pay in total. By the way, that's where a lot of out of state purchases may look like killer deals, but the tax isn't paid until the bike is titled in the state. So buying outside of the state won't reflect the tax cost, making it look like a deal.
    trumpet likes this.
  3. wb57

    wb57 Long timer

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    Yep. I have a couple dealers that I'd consider friends and will certainly ask for the price I'm looking for on something, but I know whatever number they give me is a fair one. I wouldn't hesitate to buy from them and I've bought a few. Not 30, but probably a dozen or so over the last 15 years.
  4. wb57

    wb57 Long timer

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    Unless you're trying to buy from a dealer in FL. They (every one I've ever spoken with) insist on charging FL tags, tax and title even when everything is spelled out crystal clear. FL dealers are the ones that give the rest of the business a bad name, I'm convinced.
  5. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    I got a better price from an out of state dealer on my last bike than I could locally for the bike, paint, accessories, setup, and shipping. I spent 20 minutes in the DOL to file the MSO, pay the tax, title, and licence myself, rather than paying the local dealers $200 fee for them to do it.
  6. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    Being a city P&D driver, I deliver to many motorcycle, car, and boat dealers. It's easy for me to see that there's a wide variety of dealers out there these days.
    When I see comments about the propensity of customers, or dealers being a problem, I have to wounder where the problem really is.
  7. Patek

    Patek Long timer

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    Seriously though, I think most motorcycle shoppers fall into four categories:

    1. Beginners who actually need an explanation and a walk though on the various models.
    2. Old timers who are trading in their 20-year-old bike for a new one of the same model or something like it.
    3. Squids / pirate dentists.
    4. ADV readers who either get a new bike every year or so or have 20 in a shed somewhere (or both).

    A good salesperson should be able to read the room:
    For #1, explain the difference between basic features, seat height, ABS etc. and help them find the right bike for them.
    For #2, walk them to the new version of their bike and try to make them a half-way decent offer on their trade, make your money in financing and on the new bike.
    For #3, thank your lucky stars that you will get paid today and that you are not a facial reconstruction surgeon. Take their money and show them to the rack of matching merch/pirate gear to fatten the deal.
    For #5, these guys know exactly what they want and are just looking for the best price. Get your dealer cost minus any factory incentives, add $200-$500 and just get that bike off the floor. Eventually you get a reputation as the dealer that ADV readers go to and you not only make up for it in volume but you most likely will get factory kickbacks for being a top volume seller.

    Most sales guys pick approach 1-3 and try to cram that down every one's throats and that's where they fail.
    husky390 likes this.
  8. Navy Chief

    Navy Chief Long timer

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    Someone mentioned earlier in the thread that buying a bike should be a pleasurable experience. I can not agree more, unfortunately the dealers have turned the process into a game of how many fees can we try to add on at the end of the sale. I fully understand that these costs have to be paid, nothing is being delivered, assembled, or set up for free but just add those costs into the price on the bike from the start. As a consumer all I am concerned with is the out the door price, when the price on the bike is not even in the same neighborhood as the out the door price due to 9 different added fees (excluding tags and tax of course) it becomes an exercise in frustration. I have a lot of respect for the bike and car dealers that simply post no haggle prices, the price is what it is choose to pay it or not and skip the bullshit nickle and dime haggling.
    mitchxout likes this.
  9. wb57

    wb57 Long timer

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    Freight - it is what it is, I suppose. It's not $750 or whatever. I've seen some dealers charging more than what freight is on an F-150.
    Prep/setup - in most cases, I'm imagining it's a $10-12/hour guy slapping the front wheel and the bars on and checking the oil. $250-300? Right.
    Doc fees - $600-800.00 for an hour or so of clerical work? I read that the DMV in some states charges an "electronic filing fee", but that's another level of bullshit.

    Make me a happy buyer and I'll buy my parts and gear from you. You make a much higher markup on them than the bike anyway. I'm in the computer/networking business. We don't make shit on hardware anymore. Not in many years (thanks, Dell). We make it all in service and that requires making customers happy and gaining their trust. A good chunk of our customers buy their hardware online. What's so fundamentally different about bikes?

    As an aside, I see hotels doing this shit now too. Try to book a place online. Many, if not most are adding a "resort fee" on at the end that can be an additional 20% or so.
  10. ddavidv

    ddavidv The reason we can't have nice things

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    Having worked in the 'back' of several car dealerships I've learned this: most sales people may reside in the same solar system as we do but they are not on the same planet. For most of them you are a 'mark'. Making a sale and gaining a higher commission is a game to them. They enjoy the battle of squeezing the last dime out of you that they can and then bragging about it in the lunch room. It doesn't matter to them if they are selling you a car, motorcycle, or major appliance. They are the hunter and you are the prey.

    Of course this is a 'most, not all' observation. My most successful sales guy at the Saab dealership I worked at was a pleasant, likable, no-pressure guy. People bought multiple cars from him. They would happily pay full list price for a set of OEM floor mats because 'Pete' would offer them the cheap ones free but tell them truthfully how awful they were. He helped our parts department sell accessories and we helped him sell cars. Whenever anyone asked us about buying a car we would send them to Pete because we knew they wouldn't get pissed off by the shenanigans of the other idiots out front. The irony is that Pete sold more cars than the 'salesmen' who had been selling their entire lives. Pete came to us from outside the industry.

    I'd buy a bike or car from a 'Pete'. I won't buy from 90% of the so-called 'sales professionals' I encounter.
    mitchxout likes this.
  11. telejojo

    telejojo Long timer

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    Whenever a dealership starts telling me there is a set up fee and freight and all kind of other charges I hit the door.When I go to Lowes,Wallmart or where ever there is the price plus tax. Can you imagine going to Lowes and buying tools or whatever and being charged shipping,stocking,and doc fees? It's the biggest ripoff in the car and motorcycle business.
    Navy Chief likes this.
  12. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    The airlines are doing the same thing. My wife booked a flight to Europe last year and then got an Email giving her the cost to "reserve" a seat. If she didn't pay to reserve a seat she would get whatever was left. That would be one of those neither aisle or window seats that everyone hates. Need to bring another bag? Expect to pay some big $$$. Bag 1 pound over the weight limit? $$$

    We went on a cruise a few years ago. The price was very reasonable but then we got hit with a fee for every port we stopped at and a mandatory gratuity.

    Buy a TV, Washer, dryer or other big ticket item? They will try to sell you an extended warranty or service plan. At least you can say no to those.

    Visit an amusement park? Once inside they will rip you off if you get hungry or thirsty. If you don't want to wait forever for the rides you have to pay extra.

    Enticing customers with low prices and then adding extra costs is not unique to the motorcycle and auto sales industry. Is it aggravating? It sure is but if you are smart you can still avoid costs much of the time. When you can't you just need to decide it it's still worth it to you and walk away if it isn't.

    BTW, I feel I got a good deal on all the bikes I bought in the last 20+ years. I bought them all from good dealers and had hassle free buying experiences. There where never any unexpected fees. I negotiated an OTD price and that's what I paid.
  13. ozmoses

    ozmoses .

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    You know, as bad as some moto salespeople may be, private sellers can be so much worse.
    husky390 and eight90eight like this.
  14. wb57

    wb57 Long timer

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    To an extent. I don't know if it's the same in every state, but if a dealer in NC charges a "doc fee" to one customer, by law they have to charge it to every customer. I tell them that that's fine if they need to include it as a line item, but an equal dollar amount has to come off the bottom line. But, yes, I don't get too worked up about how they want to get to the OTD price as long as it's close to what I have in mind to begin with.
    klaviator likes this.
  15. Matt-J2

    Matt-J2 Been here awhile

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    This is getting more common with cars, not sure about bikes or atvs or anything like that. It's ok for used vehicles. You can set a price and be done, with the sort-of exception that anyone financing is going to see slightly different numbers here and there due to interest rates and such. It's not going to work well with new vehicles, though, because there are a variety of rebates and discounts from the manufacturers. These aren't available to everyone, so until they're working with a specific buyer they really can't nail the true price down.

    It's also why the cash crowd needs to wise up a bit. There are deals to be had that rely on financing, and that's where dealers make their money on a vehicle sale anyway. So even if they have the $25,000 to buy the thing outright, they might save a few grand by financing and then paying it off in a couple months.



    While we're on tricks, one I recall distinctly at a car lot was having a sale/guaranteed trade in deal. They guaranteed a minimum $2000 on your trade in, but they added $2k to the price of every vehicle on the lot. Maybe just the used ones, I'm not 100% sure on that. I caught it by looking on their website which hadn't been updated to reflect the change!
  16. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    We bought a new SUV for my wife a couple of years ago. We were going to pay cash but the salesman mentioned we would get and additional $500 rebate if we financed at least $7500 of it and paid it off in three months. I think we came out ahead by about $350 after the interest we paid.
    Matt-J2 likes this.
  17. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    Doing deliveries, my transactions are with the parts, and service people. I've noticed there seems to be little interaction between them, and the sales people.
    When my wife was looking for a car, I asked a parts guy I've known for years at a dealer if he could recommend a sales person for her to deal with. He told me he doesn't really know any of them because they come and go so often.
  18. dietDrThunder

    dietDrThunder Why so serious, son? Supporter

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    It isn't both. It is 100% the dealer/industry. Customers had no hand in dictating the model of car and bike buying that involves commissioned sales and finance people and negotiations designed to extract as much money as possible from customers. Any time commission is involved, there is a compelling reason for the sales person to put his or her interests ahead of the customers, and that is singularly the problem.

    Also, all of this 'ya well customers are jerk-offs too' is utter nonsense, regardless of what anecdotes people can regurgitate here. I was in commissioned sales of cars, bikes, and also other consumer stuff for almost 20 years, and I think I encountered maybe 5 or 6 completely unreasonable, asshat-ish customers over that time. I did, however, encounter a giant steaming pile of co-workers who were completely awful. Because success or failure is entirely decided by how many people they can convince to buy, commissioned sales people are on the fast track to total cynicism and disregard for customers if they let themselves go that way...and most do.

    The vast majority of salespeople in dealerships have no appreciation or empathy for the fact that customers have learned to be extremely wary when buying vehicles, because they are about to face off against a team of professionals who's only job is to get them to spend as much as they possibly can, on the most profitable things. I mean, it's no wonder people are on the defensive right from the start. Why wouldn't they be? Most sales people will tell you 'hey, I treat everyone with respect!' Well guess what: if you participate in the whole 'let me talk to my manager' dance without explaining in clear language how this interaction will work and what to expect and why, then you aren't negotiating in good faith, and that is disrespectful.

    When you come back from the sales office with paperwork that emphasizes the monthly payment and you don't explain how much extra money the customer is spending by adding to the term and therefore the interest paid, that is dishonest and disrespectful. When the customer says 'I need to make sure that my payment is under x' and you discover that you can accomplish that and stick in profit-drivers like extended warranties, paint treatment, upholstery treatment etc. and still make the payment by extending the term, and you do that without presenting the shorter term accessory-free deal that has the same payment and less interest, you're being dishonest and disrespectful. When you don't tell the customer about the lower rate financing that they were approved for because the higher rate one pays you a bigger vig on the back end, that is dishonest and disrespectful.

    Every one of those things and much, much worse, happen in hundreds of dealerships in every state, every single day. This is why customers are wary and defensive...not because 'customers are jerks.'

    On top of all of that, the process is inherently unfair because the customer is relatively inexperienced and alone (even if they have the 'expert friend' with them), and is literally facing a team of professionals who are orchestrating a well-rehearsed plan to maximize profit, and this is true even if none of the underhanded stuff mentioned above is going on. So if you're a commissioned salesperson, try to have some empathy and think about what it might be like to be a customer who is not well-versed in the process and is nervous (as they damn well should be, really) about getting taken.

    /soapbox
    Khantahr, Tall Man, JRowland and 4 others like this.
  19. snglfin

    snglfin this statement is untrue

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    i worked as a bicycle mechanic in several areas of the country, and have found that building a mutually beneficial relationship with the customer is the most viable long-term practice... the owner of the first shop i worked at told me, "we're not just selling them a bike today, we're selling them their parts, service and future bikes for as long as we're here." i had clients follow me from one shop to another because they felt i had their best interests in mind when i assessed their bikes and stated goals.

    in contrast, at the last shop i worked, we lost a customer who had spent over $35k in two years on bikes, apparel, parts, etc, because the owner (with dollar signs in his eyes) pushed him to buy something in-stock, but completely inappropriate, rather than special-order what the customer wanted. this was a client who never balked at price, would order pizza or bring beer to the shop regularly, tipped the mechanics, etc. the owner lost that client, and likely, any other prospective clients that guy ever meets and talks bikes with... penny-wise and pound-foolish.

    best regards,

    johnnyg
    Buckstoy and alekkas like this.
  20. phillyrube

    phillyrube Leading Chief

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    Didn't Nancy Pelosi say that?
    3sum and husky390 like this.