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Discussion Starter #1
All things being equal, I would prefer to support my local motorcycle dealers rather than order parts/accessories/apparel from elsewhere. But things are far from equal. I checked two local shops this week for prices on a front tire (Dunlop D207, street compound). The first priced it around $145 and would take a week to 10 days to get it in. The second shop quoted about the same price and could get it in around 4-5 days. I couldn't believe it. I've never paid more than around $115-120 for a front tire. I ordered one from TireExpress.com for $91 including shipping and it is supposed to be here within a couple of days.

My friend priced a rear tire yesterday at one of these dealers. At first the parts guy told him $200. This is for a Dunlop D204K (OEM for Superhawk). After a bit of talking, we got him to tell us that they get 30% off and it would actually be around $150. WTF?! Would he have told us the correct price if we hadn't pushed him?

I apologize for the length of this post. It's just that I can't justify spending so much more money to support dealers who obviously don't care. Maybe it's just my market and they're more concerned with cruiser and ATV sales. You'd be hard pressed to find a decent pair of gloves in a shop around here, much less jackets, boots, pants, exhaust, or even turn signals for a sportbike. I realize that they can't keep a lot of selection in inventory to keep down overhead. But they sure don't have to try to screw us on everything when we come in and try to give them business.
 

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I know that it seems like the dealers are trying to rip you off but they aren't at least for the most part. I was a partner in a dealership for about 6 months before I got smart and sold. It is a very cut throat business that is very hard to make money doing. Your dealer was smart to quote you a high price to begin with, you can always go down in price but you can't go up. Unfortunatley people feel the way you do and are turning to the net to by stuff. The problem is if to many people do that the dealers won't be able to stay in business and then we won't have anyone to service the bikes for warranty or any other repairs. On an average motorcycle sale a dealer makes between $200-500 which on a $10,000 motorcycle is pretty pathetic. So in order to make any money they count on parts and service. If you take the parts away you are left with just 1 money making dept to keep the whole business going. I hope that helps you understand why things are higher priced.
 

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WMAC, that may be true at some dealers, but not all. Several dealers around here jack the price up cause they know many people don't care to shop around to save the money. They usually make their money off the uninformed or the "new to the sport" buyers. That is for parts, gear, or motorcycles.
The local car dealers do the same thing. I can drive to a podunk town just into south GA and save thousands. Did it when I bought my most present car, and went south to get my bike. My roomate went to Daytona to buy his F4i at a discount, when the local shop charged him full price, even though they had a deposit in hand and then told him they couldn't get the bike. And then he bought an extra $600 in gear. Some dealers just don't care. That is what tigerblades story sounds like, +30% on a tire! Only thing is, there are plenty of stupid people to keep paying the jacked up rates.
Hey, tiger, where did you say you bought your tire? ;)
 

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The tire business, cars or bikes, is run by whores. Unless your dealer is a MAJOR tire buyer, he buys at the same price as anybody off the street.
 

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funksouljon said:
WMAC, that may be true at some dealers, but not all. Several dealers around here jack the price up cause they know many people don't care to shop around to save the money. They usually make their money off the uninformed or the "new to the sport" buyers. That is for parts, gear, or motorcycles.
The local car dealers do the same thing. I can drive to a podunk town just into south GA and save thousands. Did it when I bought my most present car, and went south to get my bike. My roomate went to Daytona to buy his F4i at a discount, when the local shop charged him full price, even though they had a deposit in hand and then told him they couldn't get the bike. And then he bought an extra $600 in gear. Some dealers just don't care. That is what tigerblades story sounds like, +30% on a tire! Only thing is, there are plenty of stupid people to keep paying the jacked up rates.
Hey, tiger, where did you say you bought your tire? ;)
Unfortunatley dealers like that give the rest of them a bad name. Around here they are the exception. I hope that around there they are to other wise I can understand why you would go else where.
 

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Most of the dealers around here are pretty high priced. One in particular stands out in my mind. They have a great selection on everything, but you pay for it. I usually go there to see what I like and then order from the internet and save a lot of money.

I was on my way home last Friday from being out of town all week with work and stopped by the bike shop I bought my 9R at last year to see what they had. They had a brand new 01 9R for $8369.00. I was talking to the guy there and he told me that Kawasaki had factory to dealer incentives going on right now so they were able sell them at that price. I stopped by the dealership with the great selection on Saturday and they had the exact same 9R for $10,399. That's $200 over retail and they wouldn't budge off the price. When I talked to the salesman about it he said he could sell them all day for $10,399. I guess I couldn't argue with that. From his perspective I guess it makes more sense to make as much money as possible. Sooner or later though, they'll take advantage of enough people and start losing business.
 

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I ride with, and am friends with, the parts manager for my local dealer. Whenever I find a price online I always give him a chance to try to match it. I'm not shy about it. I'll take in a printout from the web and say "This is what I can get it for. How close can you get?" Since I value my local dealer and recognize that someday I will need them there, and be glad that they are there, I will usually buy through them if they can get reasonably close. An example would be tires. When I showed him the MAW price for tires he called his supplier and actually had to bargain his supplier down just so he could get the tire for that price. In the end I paid about $15 more than MAW (no shipping, but I had to pay tax) and that's OK with me because I like not having to ride an extra hour to find a dealer.

My point is at least give the local guy a shot. Don't assume they won't bargain. If they won't budge, you can say you went out of your way to try to support them.
 

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Kawboy and Birdman, I agree with you about let them try. The smaller shops around here, that is what I do.
The local Ducati shop I only go to if I have to. I would rather use the one when I am visiting my girlfriend in south Florida, or Jacksonville, or anywhere else for that matter. Took em 2.5 months to get the bolt and washer that bolts into the tail section bodywork up near the front.
We have a local "mega-shop". They sell Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Harley. Some of the guys there are cool, but..........I went into the store one day to buy 2 replacement visors cash in hand. After standing at the parts counter for 10 minutes, I grabbed the book and found the parts number. After another 10 minutes I just left. This is also the same shop that effed around with my roomie on the new F4i. Never, will I give them my money unless I am desperate. For bike stuff that is.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I always give the dealer the first shot. I bought my last rear tire from one of the same shops since they were only a few dollars more than the online price. But $145 for the front? I paid the same dealer $120 for the same exact tire last time. They suddenly "forgot" that they don't have to charge me that much? Anyway, I'd still be waiting for the tire if I'd ordered from them. I got my tire from TireExpress today after ordering it last Thursday evening.
 
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Birdman said:
Whenever I find a price online I always give him a chance to try to match it. I'm not shy about it. I'll take in a printout from the web and say "This is what I can get it for. How close can you get?"
Hell, I did the same thing for my *bike.* I walked in with a web printout, and told him I wanted it for that price, plus the cost of me having to ship or go get the bike, and we'll have a deal. Worked well.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I got this e-mail from my friend today:


(the dealer) called yesterday and said the chain I ordered was back-ordered
until mid-September! He then went on to explain that was from Parts
Unlimited and that perhaps another company might have the same chain and
be able to get it faster, and asked me if I wanted him to check to see
if that was a possibility. Duh!! I don't work there, but it just seems
like common sense that if one supplier doesn't have it, you check w/ a
different supplier. Incompetence abundant.
 

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Check this one out-

I buy my bike from a dealer and he cuts me a break on the rest of my gear (I replaced everything at once). New helmet, two piece leathers, gloves, etc... All in all I've spent alot of money. I go back to the same dealer for my 600 mile break in service and I'm told the best they can do is have my bike back to me in 3 weeks, unless I pay $1500 for a preferred member card, then I can have it back tomorrow. I don't f-in think so! After getting nowhere with the guy behind the counter, I get the manager. After I have a 10 minute talk with him about the merits of customer service, TQM, and other various topics, and get to the point where I am about to make a scene in the middle of his store, he agree's to make an "exception, just this once", and I get my bike back the next day. It is amazing how little business sense these people have.

I truly wanted to develop a relationship with these guys because I was very happy with the initial purchase process, which is normally the distastful part. Now I see where they make their money and how they treat their customers. No way in hell will I go back there for anything ever again. :angry:
 
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after hearing the customers side of the story and being a shopper myself, here's my side to the post. I own a small shop and give 10% off retail to damn near anybody that calls or comes through the door, the tire thing really pisses me off for one because everyone thinks that all dealers are out to rape you and praise god for places like tire express. I give 10% off tires and free mounting & balancing to try to combat the internet tire thing and still can't win. heres my prices on tires and what I'm suppost to sell them for:

120/70-17 207, my cost if I buy 8 at a wack $111.50
180/55-17 207, my cost if I buy 8, $143.40

so thats $254.90 per set if I buy 8 sets, 16 tires. now when someone brings in a tire from tire express and it has a tucker rocky sticker on it and a $82.50 price tag how the f#*k can I compete with that!! thats a $29 difference. when I asked the T/R rep whats going on he says stop mounting internet tires, like I want to lose customers because they can buy tires for $29 less than me and I'm suppost to be there supplier. I do what I can for my customers but when asked if I can beat internet prices I tell them to buy the tires fom the website, I own a shop and a website and can't take a 29+ dollar loss to sell you tires. you local shops are not trying to screw you there trying to survive in a market that has pushed the dealers aside to cater to big business. keep buying from the internet and sooner or late we will all be gone, maybe your computer will mount your tires then or you can order a tune & service via the web.

I'll sell a 120/70-17 207 for 134.99 with free mounting & balancing, if I pay 111.50 for the tire, knock off the $25 mount & balance labor that a total of $136.50 do the math and thats a $1.55 loss in revenue every tire just to keep happy customers. its not fair that some places get to buy tires for prices so low that they can sell for $29 below dealer, are they taking a loss on to make there customers happy? I don't think so. the choice is yours, so don't be upset when your favorite shops start closing down and you have nowhere but on line parts houses and forums to turn to. sorry so long but this topic pisses me off to no end, as a dealer I should be able to offer my customers these prices without fighting with my distriubters and never getting the good prices.
 

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For those of you who order tires online, how dificult is it to find a dealer who will mount and balance the tire? Do they try to jack up the service charge since you didn't buy the tire from them?
 

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This pisses me off.
Southbay Motorsports in San Diego, sells D207s for: 120/60-17 is 95.00 a D207 180/55-17 is 135.00. This information you guys are giving is insane. Right or wrong, its insane. These prices are at about a 30% mark-up. Ask me how I know. Go ahead. Ask.
 

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RedVTR said:
This pisses me off.
Southbay Motorsports in San Diego, sells D207s for: 120/60-17 is 95.00 a D207 180/55-17 is 135.00. This information you guys are giving is insane. Right or wrong, its insane. These prices are at about a 30% mark-up. Ask me how I know. Go ahead. Ask.
Okay, I will bite. How do you know that the price tigerblade was quoted an then told us was insane?
 

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Sage said:
after hearing the customers side of the story and being a shopper myself, here's my side to the post.
Hey Bro,
Personally, I would pay the higher price to develop a relationship with a shop. I WANT a place to take my bike to when I have questions/concerns. I have no desire to see the small businesses go down. Sadly, more and more of the places selling and servicing (at least in this neck of the woods) are the Wal-Mart sized super stores, and they are the ones who don't give a shit about their customers. Unfortunately, I have yet to find any shop around here that I actually trust. Maybe I'll move out to Oregon. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Sage,
I completely understand your point of view. The dealers of course have to make a profit. If they'd quoted me $110 or $115 for the front, I would have ordered it from them intstead of over the 'Net. I think I mentioned it before; I ordered the exact same tire last year from them for a lot less. I'll pay a little more to support the local dealer but I won't bend over for him if he's not trying his best. It also kinda pisses me off when they tell me they're backed up on service but when I go to pick the tire up after working my ass off all day, they're all standing around watching the Crusty Demons of Dirt video... Not all dealers are created equal, granted. Maybe a little price competition will 'thin the herd'?
 
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RedVTR said:
This pisses me off.
Southbay Motorsports in San Diego, sells D207s for: 120/60-17 is 95.00 a D207 180/55-17 is 135.00. This information you guys are giving is insane. Right or wrong, its insane. These prices are at about a 30% mark-up. Ask me how I know. Go ahead. Ask.
Ok, i'm asking, how do you know? I assume you work there, so who do you or the shop buy tires from? if you think i'm making up these prices I'll post a page from my Parts Unlimited or Tucker Rocky dealer catalogs showing you my cost.
 
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