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  Topic Review (Newest First)
Jun 11th, 2011 5:06 pm
Tracus
Re: buying local

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhittleD
If you notice, I didn't mention any names of the dealers. I don't believe in just badmouthing the dealer names unless I have really been done wrong. The service cost me too much but was done very well and as expected and I was treated decent like I should be at a BMW dealer while I waited. I am by far a very DIY person and do everything to my bike myself but tires are so important to comfort and safety.
I just feel that the dealers take advantage a little bit, not just the BMW guys but all makes. I ran a business for many years track side and on line, I felt I was respected by my customers because I didn't take advantage of them just because I was the only supplier at the track or locally. Of course, Not nearly as profitable.
Agreed and well said. I have my own policy, also. If I hear others complain about a certain dealer I don't repeat it unless I speak from personal experience. Since you've been in the business, as have I, then we know that the what a customer says isn't always the whole story. But the bottom line is always the same. Customers want more bang for their buck and suppliers want more bucks for the bang. Somewhere there's a happy middle. Correct?
Jun 11th, 2011 11:19 am
WhittleD
Re: buying local

If you notice, I didn't mention any names of the dealers. I don't believe in just badmouthing the dealer names unless I have really been done wrong. The service cost me too much but was done very well and as expected and I was treated decent like I should be at a BMW dealer while I waited. I am by far a very DIY person and do everything to my bike myself but tires are so important to comfort and safety.
I just feel that the dealers take advantage a little bit, not just the BMW guys but all makes. I ran a business for many years track side and on line, I felt I was respected by my customers because I didn't take advantage of them just because I was the only supplier at the track or locally. Of course, Not nearly as profitable.
Jun 11th, 2011 7:26 am
Tracus
Re: buying local

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhittleD
I just purchased some new tires for my LT. Feeling loyal I went to the most local BMW dealer where I purchased the bike and ordered and made my appointment. I did get the work done there because I already ordered everything, the problem is I stopped by a more local dealership of a different brand and asked about the same tires. I could have saved $100 on the tires and after getting my invoice I found I could have saved another $100 on service. When I mentioned the quote I received at the other dealer, they just shrugged and swiped the card. How loyal should I be?
That is a problem, unfortunately, and pardon the legalese, it's ex post facto. The work had already been done so they had you. This doesn't necessarily mean you should paint a black "X" on your BMW dealer's door and shun them. If you have competitive quotes ahead of time that gives you some leverage and gives the dealer room for negotiation. If he doesn't, you gave him the chance and so take your business elsewhere.

The attitude of giving you "...a shrug and swiping the card" doesn't sit well with me. The old rule of 10 to 1 still applies. Losing one customer usually results in 10 more not going there either.

Were you dealing with the service manager or the owner or just one of the service people? A phone call to the owner never hurts. You may not get any compensation for your earlier service, but the owner now has a chance to make amends the next time you're in the shop. If he doesn't, so be it.

Pardon my getting on a soap box, but here it goes. What I'm hearing is that there is this attitude by some BMW dealers that they're the only game in town and therefore call the tune that we, the customers, must dance to. (I realize that not all dealers are like this.) My closest dealer is about 15 miles away. The next nearest dealer is 75 miles. After that, it's over 100 miles. These are geographic monopolies, meaning there aren't enough customers to maintain two or more businesses dealing with the same products or services. So, the dealer sees that business is down and contributes that to the economy and figures there's nothing he can do. But, if he hears that it's his fault because his prices are too high or his service is sloppy and now his former customers are going elsewhere, even if it means a round trip of 150 miles, then he better do something or he's going to fail. So, by all means, let him know.

I know this isn't a great solution and we all know it isn't a perfect world, but there you have it.
Jun 10th, 2011 12:39 pm
WhittleD
Re: buying local

I just purchased some new tires for my LT. Feeling loyal I went to the most local BMW dealer where I purchased the bike and ordered and made my appointment. I did get the work done there because I already ordered everything, the problem is I stopped by a more local dealership of a different brand and asked about the same tires. I could have saved $100 on the tires and after getting my invoice I found I could have saved another $100 on service. When I mentioned the quote I received at the other dealer, they just shrugged and swiped the card. How loyal should I be?
Jun 1st, 2011 10:33 am
Tracus
Re: buying local

Salvador Clementi had an essay on this topic a few months ago in Rider magazine. It's worth the read. There's no easy solution to the dilemma and yes I have bought at the dealer and online. Economics is economics but the consequences are never predictable. True - the mark up and profit margin on the bike is minimal. The real profits come from service, after market add-ons, clothing, farkles, etc.

However, consider this scenario as described my Clementi; if too many people buy online, which cuts deeply into the dealer's revenue, and he goes broke, then where do we go the next time to buy a bike or to have service done? Can you buy a valve job online? What's the shipping and handling for new wheels to be mounted and balanced?

Here's my two cents on the issue - unless I'm dealing directly with the manufacturer online, the knowledge base for other online vendors can be questionable, at best. Walking into a showroom and asking questions usually gets me all the information I need, not to mention the fact that my bike's parked right outside.

It's a lousy decision. You want the dealer to stick around, but money is money and times are tough.
May 30th, 2011 5:50 pm
jayjacobson
Re: buying local

Quote:
Originally Posted by living_free
I try to support local retailers, but sometimes they don't make it easy. I wanted to buy a new motor for my center stand. Online it is $46.64 with shipping. The cheapest I could find local was $125. As much as I want local businesses to succeed, the price difference is rediculous. I am not going to waste $80 to support local.
Yeah, Tony, I hear you. Here in Kommyfornia, in LA CO, sales tax is 9.75%. So of course, I buy online as much as possible. Many cyber businesses exploit this by offering free or low cost shipping.
May 29th, 2011 11:58 am
katnapinn
Re: buying local

Quote:
Originally Posted by XMagnaRider
Steve,

How much of that $28k did the dealer get to keep? From what I hear, the bikes don't have much margin; the dealers have to make their profits from parts, accessories, and especially service.
I do not know what the markup is but they ARE making money on the sale. Plus this will be my 3rd bike in the last few years that I've bought from them. Along with ALL the riding gear for me & my wife. That is summer & winter gear. They will also do MOST of the service on the new bike. So yes I support them. My point was after the $28K for the bike I need to save some money on other things.
May 29th, 2011 8:00 am
Boatzo
Re: buying local

I like to support my local dealer (100 miles from home) all I can. However with the S&H plus sales tax, sometimes I buy on line. There is usually always S&H and it varies. I always check ebay first and usually find what I need. For small stuff like seals, gaskets etc, I call the local dealer.
May 27th, 2011 3:58 pm
living_free
Re: buying local

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnbaker15
Tony,

Where are you getting a motor for the center stand, I don't need one but there have been a couple posts from other folks looking to repair theirs. MAX lists the actuator but not a motor separately for $1109.57.

Get the motor here:

http://emsglobaldirect.com/p-820-hs-50n.aspx


It is also used as a starter motor for 93 - 2007 honda CH80 Elite scooter. I called around to local dealers, they wanted $140+ for it. A local electrical shop that boasts cheaper than OEM wanted the $125 for a rebuilt

BMW will only sell you the whole unit, and does not service them.
May 27th, 2011 2:53 pm
johnbaker15
Re: buying local

Tony,

Where are you getting a motor for the center stand, I don't need one but there have been a couple posts from other folks looking to repair theirs. MAX lists the actuator but not a motor separately for $1109.57.
May 27th, 2011 1:20 pm
XMagnaRider
Re: buying local

Quote:
Originally Posted by katnapinn
I feel the same way. I try to support local as mush as I can. I wanted the Ipod cable for the new GTL & the dealer wanted $71.00. I found the same one with the same BMW part number on EBay for $14.00 + free shipping. Guess what way I went. I figure the dealer is getting $28K from me for the bike so I can spend the rest in other places.
Steve,

How much of that $28k did the dealer get to keep? From what I hear, the bikes don't have much margin; the dealers have to make their profits from parts, accessories, and especially service.
May 27th, 2011 10:59 am
katnapinn
Re: buying local

Quote:
Originally Posted by living_free
I try to support local retailers, but sometimes they don't make it easy. I wanted to buy a new motor for my center stand. Online it is $46.64 with shipping. The cheapest I could find local was $125. As much as I want local businesses to succeed, the price difference is rediculous. I am not going to waste $80 to support local.
I feel the same way. I try to support local as mush as I can. I wanted the Ipod cable for the new GTL & the dealer wanted $71.00. I found the same one with the same BMW part number on EBay for $14.00 + free shipping. Guess what way I went. I figure the dealer is getting $28K from me for the bike so I can spend the rest in other places.
May 27th, 2011 8:04 am
living_free
buying local

I try to support local retailers, but sometimes they don't make it easy. I wanted to buy a new motor for my center stand. Online it is $46.64 with shipping. The cheapest I could find local was $125. As much as I want local businesses to succeed, the price difference is rediculous. I am not going to waste $80 to support local.

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