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Thread: Why do the motorcycle dealers rip us off compared to the car dealers?

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    Why do the motorcycle dealers rip us off compared to the car dealers?

    Anytime I can find a part number that is shared by the car side of BMW, I buy it from a car dealership. Why? Because it will be about 30% cheaper. There are many BMW car dealers who offer parts discounts for everybody, and all of them offer a token discount for BMWCCA members. I can't even think of BMW moto dealer that offers even a token 10% discount for MOA membership. What gives?

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    More cars thus more dealers and online retailers and aftermarket companies allows for more competition thus lower car part prices vs small volume, small aftermarket and small dealer networks for bikes.

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    Registered User sal's Avatar
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    Simple business economics.
    They sell way more cars than bikes. Overhead is higher for bikes.
    Personally I will spend the five or ten dollars more per part, can't imagine your going to find a bike part more than a hundred dollars-that will work on our bike, to help keep my dealer in business.

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    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richshayegan View Post
    Anytime I can find a part number that is shared by the car side of BMW, I buy it from a car dealership. Why? Because it will be about 30% cheaper. There are many BMW car dealers who offer parts discounts for everybody, and all of them offer a token discount for BMWCCA members. I can't even think of BMW moto dealer that offers even a token 10% discount for MOA membership. What gives?
    When you get a chance, maybe you can fill in your profile a bit so others in your area, who are happy with their supplier, can share the source.

    Quote Originally Posted by sal View Post
    Simple business economics.
    They sell way more cars than bikes. Overhead is higher for bikes.
    Personally I will spend the five or ten dollars more per part, can't imagine your going to find a bike part more than a hundred dollars-that will work on our bike, to help keep my dealer in business.
    IMO, Sal has some good advice. If you can find a dealer that you can develop a relationship with, you may be surprised at the deals that can be had.
    OM
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    Quote Originally Posted by sal View Post
    Simple business economics.
    They sell way more cars than bikes. Overhead is higher for bikes.
    Personally I will spend the five or ten dollars more per part, can't imagine your going to find a bike part more than a hundred dollars-that will work on our bike, to help keep my dealer in business.
    On big ticket items you can't find at a car dealership, the German market parts prices are WAY cheaper (e.g. $145 for a valve cover in Germany vs $258 for the same valve cover in the US).

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    Quote Originally Posted by richshayegan View Post
    On big ticket items you can't find at a car dealership, the German market parts prices are WAY cheaper (e.g. $145 for a valve cover in Germany vs $258 for the same valve cover in the US).
    Very true. I bought a top case and lock for a R1200RT from a dealer in Germany for $600 delivered to my front door. The dealer cost including tax was close to $1,000.
    ,
    2015 R1200GS

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    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    IMO, Sal has some good advice. If you can find a dealer that you can develop a relationship with, you may be surprised at the deals that can be had.
    OM
    Or, on the other hand, the dealer could treat all customers the same. Then, those folks that aren't part of the "in" crowd don't get pissed when they find that the "in" crowd gets a better price.
    IMHO, non-standard pricing is an excellent method of telling new customers to look elsewhere for a dealer.
    Cave contents: 99 R11RS, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & DW744

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    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    Or, on the other hand, the dealer could treat all customers the same. Then, those folks that aren't part of the "in" crowd don't get pissed when they find that the "in" crowd gets a better price.
    IMHO, non-standard pricing is an excellent method of telling new customers to look elsewhere for a dealer.
    Not what I was getting at-really. Anyone that has operated in the retail world knows how customers actually act. When a customer is reasonable, courteous and respects the dealer, "generally" it works both ways.
    It could be as simple as the dealership staying a couple of minutes late to get a customer a part they really needed.
    IMO, if every time a customer has to go to a dealer with the attitude that "I'm gonna git screwed again", that transmits to the dealer..........And then why fight it? It would be time to change to a more suitable dealer whether it's parts, service or price.
    YMMV
    OM
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
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    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    In Albuquerque/Santa Fe, car club (national) members get a discount on the car side and (local) bike club members get a discount on the bike side. There aren't enough common parts beyond light bulbs between cars and bikes to make it worth discussing.

    For the car club, national dues pay for membership in local chapter. Doesn't work that way with MOA and RA.
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    There aren't enough common parts beyond light bulbs between cars and bikes to make it worth discussing.
    $20 saved on oil and filter alone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    In Albuquerque/Santa Fe, car club (national) members get a discount on the car side and (local) bike club members get a discount on the bike side. There aren't enough common parts beyond light bulbs between cars and bikes to make it worth discussing.

    For the car club, national dues pay for membership in local chapter. Doesn't work that way with MOA and RA.
    Bouncing around the BMW NA website, I now see that BMWNA is offering a rebate to BMWCCA members on the purchase of a new bike. Someday, I might regret dropping the BMWCCA membership, but it will be a small amount of sorrow.......
    Cave contents: 99 R11RS, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & DW744

  12. #12
    George K1200RS GeorgeR1200RT's Avatar
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    Since I started riding BMW's in the late 1970's, at least 9 dealers I did business with in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Indiana no longer exist.

    I have been doing business with Mathias BMW, New Philadelphia, Ohio for nearly 20 years. Excellent relationship, outstanding service and fair treatment. Whenever possible, I purchase from that dealership.

    Yes, it may cost me more, but I am able and willing to pay to keep that excellent dealer operating.
    George
    R1200RT, K1200RS. Previous K1200LT, R80RT, R100R, R75/5

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeK1200RS View Post
    Since I started riding BMW's in the late 1970's, at least 9 dealers I did business with in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Indiana no longer exist.

    I have been doing business with Mathias BMW, New Philadelphia, Ohio for nearly 20 years. Excellent relationship, outstanding service and fair treatment. Whenever possible, I purchase from that dealership.

    Yes, it may cost me more, but I am able and willing to pay to keep that excellent dealer operating.
    I guess if my local dealer could ship me parts, or wasn't such a pain to get to (not their fault, this area has bad infrastructure and I'm on the wrong side of a tunnel that destroys the traffic pattern), I would support them. Maybe I just don't feel the love since I order parts online from a dealer far away. I just view it as a business transaction, and while I'll pay some premium for service, when there is a way for me to get good service and 30% lower prices (and about 50% lower if it's big enough to be worth buying from Germany), it's hard to justify.

  14. #14
    Enjoy The Ride saddleman's Avatar
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    I support my local dealer as much as I can. I just had to order all new gear because of a crash. The gear cost about the same as if I had ordered it online. I did have to pay sales tax that I would not have had to pay had I bought online. My local dealer is 25 miles from me & they treat me very well. I send them business every time I can.
    Dave
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  15. #15
    Just me rad's Avatar
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    Everybody wants a deal.

    Motorcycle shops are a tough way to make a living. We had every major brand in Santa Cruz until the economy went south. Every dealership folded, BMW, Honda, Ducati,HD, Suzuki and Kawasaki. Only KTM survived and that is only because it is a very old dealership that I'm pretty sure owns the very small building it is in and the brother of the owner runs and owns the boat business in the other half. I think only the main mechanic, Tom, is not a family member. Overhead for them must be lower than most.

    I tried my best to help keep what was a fantastic local BMW shop in business by buying from them as much as I could, they folded.

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