Let's talk about "stealerships" - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Let's talk about "stealerships"

It seems that many of us have been bitten by "MSRP list prices" or "red-headed step-child" style customer service at some local dealerships...myself included.

Since I have been sponsored by LVC Motorsports this season, I have had a good opportunity to get to understand the struggles of a dealership a little better as I have partnered with LVC and had several "heart-to-heart" meetings with the management.

In my opinion, here's a couple things to we need keep in mind:

1. If a dealership like LVC is willing to pay money to be on this site (so we can all blab away for free everyday), then we need to at least give them a chance at earning our business. I'm not saying we have to buy stuff at list price all the time, but at list give them a chance at our business. Keep in mind that sometimes a dealership like LVC can get really good costs on some items through their suppliers and can pass those savings on to us. Vice versa, sometimes they simply can not! At times, their costs on some items are more than some other folk's sales price. It just depends on the product, any specials that might be offered to them, etc. and it is not always the same. WHEN YOU NEED SOMETHING, ASK THEM FIRST! At least give them a chance at the business and if they can be competitive then they will be competitive. If they can't be competitive this time, that's OK, maybe they will be able too next time.

2. In my opinion, if the guys at a dealership like LVC are willing to work with you and help you out, I think it is more than fair that they be compensated fairly ... this is how they put food on the table after all. If they are charging fair prices for labor for instance, pay it! If the helmet is in stock there and it is the one you need, but cost $30 more than you can get it online, buy it locally! Do you think they can get them to the store for free? Do you think it is free to stock stuff so we can have a place to try on gear for sizing purposes? Let's be fair here. When we get up every morning and go to our jobs, we expect a paycheck at the end of the work week. It's no different for a "stealership" as they are so lovingly called.

Again, not trying to rant here. I just think it is really important that we support those who are willing to step up and support us.


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post #2 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 09:53 AM
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Something I have trouble understanding is how every purchase needs it's own thread to ferret out the best deal.

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post #3 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 09:59 AM
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I go to dealerships all the time, especially since I am the king of the impulse buy, I dont like ordering stuff online as it takes too long. I'd rather pay a cople bucks more and buy it locally and have it in my hands instead of paying for shipping and waiting 4 business days, and then of course a weekend pops in there and extends my wait time anymore.

Plus there's another thing that you cant get online, yesterday i was at a yamaha dealer picking up a part for my 125, and I spent probably about a half hour behind the counter with one of their techs, looking at schematics and he was explaining to me all the little tricks he uses when working on carbs. I learned a shitload in that 30 minutes and made a new acquaintance and it didn't cost me anything




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post #4 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 09:59 AM
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Being that they're a sponsor and your sponsor as well there's not much room to say much is there? I'd like us all to remember that we are also here to help each other and we can probably do it in a manner that doesn't make a dealership or sponsor look bad by rash comments, including myself. That said, if the dealer has room to work and doesn't give a good deal off the bat then just walk away without saying a word. The scariest customers I have are the ones who never complain and the ones who just walk away and go to another merchant without saying a single word and a smile on their face. This board is full of savvy, smart people with a lot of common sense.

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post #5 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 10:00 AM
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I will always use a site sponsor first. Even other forums I belong to I will always patronize a sponsor. I am not looking for the cheapest price and will even pay more for good service.

I think think that is what I expect from a sponsor is a little bit better customer service. If I start by saying I saw you on CLSB then I would like you to go the extra distance.

The few times I have contacted current or former sponsors here that is what I got.

I have not been to LVC but when I am bike shopping this fall I will most likely stop by.

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post #6 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Dirtbiker View Post
Something I have trouble understanding is how every purchase needs it's own thread to ferret out the best deal.

Hey guys! Dirtbiker needs a quart of oil. Go fetch!
This does get a little silly around here with that. We should have a rule before you can post it must at least cost $300.00 before you get to start a thread.

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post #7 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 10:04 AM
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This does get a little silly around here with that. We should have a rule before you can post it must at least cost $300.00 before you get to start a thread.
Are you serious??????
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post #8 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by ronhix View Post
Again, not trying to rant here. I just think it is really important that we support those who are willing to step up and support us.
Although I agree with alot of what you say about dealerships and supporting the local guy I do disagree with some points. (I do believe in supporting local guys)

There are some people willing to pay whatever to have it now. That's why dealers stock items. If they can't afford to keep items in stock that's the dealers problem not "us" the consumers.

People who don't have disposable income should shop around online or whatever. That's called being a smart consumer and there is nothing wrong with that mentality. Just wait until the 10% tax hits cook county. You won't find me in any dealer buying stuff in cook county.

Dealers make plenty of money on service, hold backs and many people that don't care about getting the best deal and just buy whatever. And one other thing about dealers in general... most dealers if they know they can get away with something will.... meaning if they have someone in there with no clue they will often over sell or over service them. (not just motorcycle dealers... just dealers in general)

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post #9 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suh-c View Post
Are you serious??????
In my world.

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post #10 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 10:10 AM
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Honest question about LVC: Do they carry Honda parts? If not, I really have no need to visit them. I support my local stealership when I need something factory. LVC is 50 miles from me. There is no logic in driving 100 miles to a place that doesn't have schematics or service for my type of bike.
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post #11 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 10:12 AM
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I have no problem supporting the local dealers. I was somewhat prepared to buy a helmet and ended up checking out Chicago cycle only because I knew they had a pretty broad selection. But for the fact that they want full retail on a lid that has been sitting for over 2 years (manufacture date is right on chinbar on Shoei) AND that this same style is on closeout all over the internet for $150 less - they can sit and spin.

I politely asked if they had any flexibility on pricing but the guy said he'd have to get a manager... to me that means most likely not. I would have paid $50-60 more than internet price - but $150? hell no! Needless to say I left empty handed.

I will keep LVC in mind when I'm ready for a large purchase though!
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post #12 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 10:14 AM
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post #13 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 10:15 AM
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I truely have a hard time with dealerships. I have about 3 maybe 4 select dealerships that I have built up relationships with over many, many years. They know who I am, I know who they are personally. When I call and say "this is Nick" they know I mean business. I've called dealerships before that don't know who I am and they don't want to take me seriously and they want to talk to me like I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about. The lack of knowledge behind the parts counter at many dealerships pisses me off sometimes. The places I order parts from, I will only talk to specific people because I know they know what they are talking about. If that person isn't available I call back or call another one of my resources. When I call a parts counter I want to talk to someone knowledgeable about the sport. And just because they are knowledgable about the sport doesn't mean they need to be a cocky prick about it either. If a parts guy is cocky with me on the phone I hang up and call another resource.

So tell us about LVC Ron. I know nothing about them.

Here's a few questions about LVC:

What is their background (briefly) and who are they?

Are their parts people knowledgable about the sport? Do they ride? If I call the parts counter do they know what a SV650 is?

Do they ship parts to my door?

What brand bikes / parts do they deal with and sell?

Do they order my parts immediately when I order them or do they wait for a big enough bulk of an order to place one? I hate when dealerships do that.

Is the parts guy an asshole?

Where are they located?

How long have they been in business?

What's the labor rate for service?

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post #14 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 10:20 AM
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I try to support the local dealerships as much as possible. One of the great things about a forum is that is gives us a chance to see the "light" as most bad experiences get shared here.

The great news is that we have dealers that are site sponsors like LVC. Shopping online good if you have the time, shopping at local dealer, good for a variety of reasons; supports the local moto economy, get parts faster (if in stock), get knowledge transfer, get a chance to build some relationships.

The key is, don't take advantage of a dealer by trying things on locally, and then ordering online. While sometimes it might make financial sense, doing it as a practice will just force the local stores to stop stocking those items. AT LEAST give the local dealer the option to price match. As Ron said, sometimes they'll be able to help ya, sometimes not.

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post #15 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 10:22 AM
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This could be a good discussion lets try to keep it respectful so it doesn't get closed. I appreciate the fact they sponsor sites like us and give us a place to chat. Most the time it's more convienient to go down the street and pick up a part instead of wait for it. I'll pay an extra few bucks for that anytime

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post #16 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 10:24 AM
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As much as I hate to pull this card right now I think I must. I clicked on that donate button as well in good faith and because I like this site that much. I'd rather not have to constantly hear that we're here only because of the sponors. thanks.
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post #17 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 10:26 AM
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I'm going to move this to the LVC forum guys

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post #18 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 10:28 AM
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I also appreciate them sponsoring the site. Thank you LVC. What I'm saying is I'm not so inclined to jump ship from my people I have spent many years building relationships with.

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post #19 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grasshopper View Post
I also appreciate them sponsoring the site. Thank you LVC. What I'm saying is I'm not so inclined to jump ship from my people I have spent many years building relationships with.
I do not think that is what he is saying. I think he just meant do not expect to get everything below cost.

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post #20 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I also appreciate them sponsoring the site. Thank you LVC. What I'm saying is I'm not so inclined to jump ship from my people I have spent many years building relationships with.
I think we are on the same page Nick. I'm a firm believer in building relationships.

BTW, I wasn't necessarily trying to pimp LVC to the exclusion of every other dealer, rather I wanted to just talk dealerships in general and my experience with LVC lately in particular...specifically what I have learned from the dealership's perspective. I think sometimes we get a little overly self-focused and forget that good business is about relationships and it needs to be good for both parties involved for it to last.

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post #21 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 10:51 AM
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This is going to be a great thread. I can feel it. Seems most people on here are understanding a little bit of what it is like to be on the other side now. Carry on.....
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post #22 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
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I think we are on the same page Nick. I'm a firm believer in building relationships.

BTW, I wasn't necessarily trying to pimp LVC to the exclusion of every other dealer, rather I wanted to just talk dealerships in general and my experience with LVC lately in particular...specifically what I have learned from the dealership's perspective. I think sometimes we get a little overly self-focused and forget that good business is about relationships and it needs to be good for both parties involved for it to last.
It's nice walking in to a place where they know you by name, they know what bike you ride, and are even keeping tabs on your race season. A relationship like that doesn't just happen. Good for both sides indeed.

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post #23 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 11:03 AM
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This is going to be a great thread. I can feel it. Seems most people on here are understanding a little bit of what it is like to be on the other side now. Carry on.....
Other side? We're all on the other side in some form or another. We all sell a service to others in some way. We're all familiar with both sides. You should also know that if you cannot provide competive prices and service then the customers will go elsewhere.
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post #24 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 11:07 AM
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the biggest thing to remember why there is most cost at dealerships is the over head.

online a lot of places are a stuffed 10x10room or drop shipping from the manufacturer.

as it was said something they have a good price sometimes they are not.


the biggest issue i see with dealerships and pricing, and online pricing and the profit margin is overhead and the customer will soon enough cause a limiting factor of available items to stock and provide for a touchy feel experience for purchase when everyone is running online to order it for 10 bucks cheaper.

hopefully LVC does better then the rest around here which is why when i heard all the good things they are going to try to uphold we closed a deal.

hopefully you guys support them when you can.



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post #25 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 11:08 AM
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post #26 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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My dad always says, "Life is a two-way street."
Don't know the man, but I like him already.

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post #27 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 11:22 AM
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Other side? We're all on the other side in some form or another. We all sell a service to others in some way. We're all familiar with both sides. You should also know that if you cannot provide competive prices and service then the customers will go elsewhere.
Keep your "service selling" out of this.

What I meant was that most consumers only look at it from their selfish perspective and expect a dealer to do something that isn't feasible. A good consumer will value more than just price. Everybody wants to get a good deal, but that means much more than price. A good transaction will be good for both parties and not just one. Most shops and dealerships don't necessarily recognize a high volume online seller as a direct competitor. Sure everybody competes in some way for a consumer's business, but both business models are VERY different and the target consumer each are marketing to is very different.
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post #28 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 11:25 AM
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As much as I hate to pull this card right now I think I must. I clicked on that donate button as well in good faith and because I like this site that much. I'd rather not have to constantly hear that we're here only because of the sponors. thanks.
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Other side? We're all on the other side in some form or another. We all sell a service to others in some way. We're all familiar with both sides. You should also know that if you cannot provide competive prices and service then the customers will go elsewhere.
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Keep your "service selling" out of this.

What I meant was that most consumers only look at it from their selfish perspective and expect a dealer to do something that isn't feasible. A good consumer will value more than just price. Everybody wants to get a good deal, but that means much more than price. A good transaction will be good for both parties and not just one. Most shops and dealerships don't necessarily recognize a high volume online seller as a direct competitor. Sure everybody competes in some way for a consumer's business, but both business models are VERY different and the target consumer each are marketing to is very different.
very true even on this "chat forum" i call CLSB. people just dont understand the real word when it comes to owning a business or cost of operation.

if they did, there wouldnt be a need for threads like this.

the consumer is there own worse enemy.



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post #29 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Odysseys View Post
the biggest issue i see with dealerships and pricing, and online pricing and the profit margin is overhead and the customer will soon enough cause a limiting factor of available items to stock and provide for a touchy feel experience for purchase when everyone is running online to order it for 10 bucks cheaper.

Ken, if most of the time there was only a $10 difference in price, I would never buy anything online. As a customer, I just ask that dealerships try to meet us at least half way. I understand they need to make money, but they don't have to make a killing. They need to feed their families, and we need to keep eating and feed our families as well. Before I bought this bike, I wouldn't think of doing any work on any motorized vehicles. I owned 2 cars before this bike and always took them to shops to get work done; I never even changed the oil on any vehicle until I got this bike. This all changed when I had to take my bike in for maintenance and saw the service charges . For some reason the moto industry seems very different from the auto industry, my guess is lack of competition. For example, there are no Jiffy Lubes for bike oil changes . I haven't ordered anything from LVC, but I have ordered items from other dealers, and had to wait weeks for that part. Like Grasshopper said, they are waiting until they get a huge order together, then order your stuff. If they are no longer keeping the parts you need locally, charging you 30% - 70% more for the item, and making you wait 3 times as long as an online vendor, it would be darn tough to rationalize a reason to use them over an online vendor. I would gladly support dealers if they could just meet me half way on price, with gas, food, and taxes going up every year, it will be really tough for an average Joe to use a motorcycle dealer for most services .

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post #30 of 197 (permalink) Old 05-15-2008, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Odysseys View Post
very true even on this "chat forum" i call CLSB. people just dont understand the real word when it comes to owning a business or cost of operation.
I agree with you on this but at the same time, I don't think some businesses realize the cost of running a business. I'm probably going to catch hell for this but motorcycle deslerships are antiquated and more or less a lost cause at this point. They charge more for products and carry less in stock than most internet distributors. The only draw to shopping for gear/accessories at a dealership is that you get to try on the gear and you can use it that day, short of those two things, dealers are worthless for everything except new bike purchases and servicing. Even used bikes you get raped on, they charge exorbitant prices and on top of that, you have to pay taxes? It's ridiculous.

I understand that the dealership is there to make money, but I'm here to keep my money. The only time I'm willing to pay more for the same product is when I'm getting something else out of the deal. Whether that "something else" be better customer service, speed of delivery or more selection, there is something causing them to spend that extra money but truth be told, dealerships (given their rather limited on hand stock, needing to charge more to pay for rent and pay employees) just can't compete with online distributors, so why should I shop there? Where's the draw for me, the consumer?

I think most dealerships would be substantially better off if they didn't stock any gear/accessories, cut the shop size down to 1/3 of the space they had before and only deal in new bikes and service. They'd be cutting their bottom line in half and realize much larger profit margins because paying all that extra $$ for a larger building with space to store motorcycle jackets/helmets and ridiculously priced used bikes that no one ever buys is just silly.

My , but a business must either evolve or fail and since the internet has blown you out of the water in terms of pricing on gear/accessories, time to trim the fat and evolve...

Brian
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Last edited by SmartDrug; 05-15-2008 at 11:44 AM.
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