This is a subject that comes up over and over. You go in and see the list cost of the bikes and have a heart attack. Your buddy tells you what a great deal he got ‘elsewhere’. You go to trade in and get pissed off that the ‘value’ .. or lack of .. of the bike you want to upgrade from. Then there are the competing OEMs that supposedly ‘keep their value’ better ( but the buyer payed LIST). The ‘metrics’ that are cheaper. The list goes on and on. Many of us that ride the Indian Motorcycle brand do so for dozens of reasons; mainly that they are simply drop dead beautiful bikes! And, the SLs are solid well running bikes. Indian Motorcycle has been shipping them since September of ’13, give or take a month. The new Spirit Lake bikes (contrast that to Gilroy and Kings Mountain) have proven solid, selling like hot cakes and stealing market share.
Sooner or later, the subject of price comes up.. usually when you’re trying to ‘close the deal!’ for your new baby. If you saddle it with accessories, price goes up. Custom paint? Price goes up. Trade it in later; painful. But is shopping for the lowest price the best option. Well, we all want a low price. I want a fair price. And when the deal is done, I’d like to be handing my money to someone I trust. All this brings me to the below. I’ve taken the liberty of quoting (you know .. copy/pasting!) the words of a Dealer located 150 miles NE of the State to Texas. I’ve become so fond of this dealer that I take my bike(s) there whenever possible. I’ve purchased bikes from him. Yet, I’ve got multiple dealers closer to me within the Great State of Texas. Are they good? Maybe. Do I know the management staff of them? No. Do I know the owners? No. Are there other good / great dealers withing a 250 miles radius of me? Probably. The words from the dealer I’m referencing, from the owner… at some level apply to many.
If nothing else, our takeaway from this is .. understand the dealer has to keep the lights on. They have to pay their staff. These are not ‘non-profit’ entities. They are not run by corporate. They are franchises. They have families to take care of. Something to consider the next time you don’t agree with paying a fair price for a bike that seems too high. Do your research . Get educated on it all. But, my god… don’t throw the dealers under the bus because you don’t qualify for a loan or they won’t give you thousands and thousands off the bike … or .. your trade in value of your ‘perfect’ bike , seems to low.
Here is an excellent read from one of my favorites dealers.. and someone I consider a close friend
“ Ok Guys and gals. Here’s the facts of running a biz you should all consider if you want a dealership to survive. I will start out by saying I am probably not the cheapest and in some cases may just tell you I may be the highest. I do want all my customers to know they got a fair deal especially the repeat customers who in my opinion deserve being recognized for loyalty.
Things to consider about any dealership on this planet.
The building and land has a price. That was an expense.
The franchise has a price. And it was an expense.
The business has a license FEE to operate within city limits. Expense.
We all love electricity to a building. Expense.
We all need a bathroom toilet cleaned and water to flush it. Expense.
How bout toilet paper or will you bring your own. Expense.
When a truck arrives I’ve never driven a free forklift and trust me, the right lift with triple stacker and side shift along with extra outer tires aren’t just for the load capacity they are also safer. The right fork lifts are a huuuuuge expense and most dealers need at least 2.
Safety is an expense all the way down to legal and large fire extinguishers at each door of the facility.
Insurance is unnnnnbelievable because of gasoline , yep the sheer thought of a flash fire or threat of you touched it last when you did the spark plugs has to be why my tire went flat and I wrecked lawsuit possibilities in this biz.
Anybody added this process up in their heads yet cause we haven’t even hired the employees and their cost yet.
An employee makes an order, that’s an expense.
So a truck arrives without free freight. Expense, why because all the above has been paid for but wait, now we need an employee to drive a forklift and unload the freight. That’s an expense.
Now an employee needs to uncrate what appears to be a put together bike, and depending on the model it’s fairly quick or a Roadmaster which isn’t . During the unwrapping TWO yes 2 employees will go over the unit before it is removed from the crate to verify the condition report for any scratches, why because if a scratch is found, that is the no hassle warranty for this unit. This is an expense.
Now the unit is uncrated and a trained tech, yep I said trained, can you say expense.
The tech services the unit with a hot battery, gang chargers are an expense,but it won’t start, how could that be, it’s brand new.
The unit needs gas, how do we get gas at the store, now a vehicle and gas can and employee goes to get that or larger dealerships have a fuel tank station ( which requires more insurance) can you say expense.
The customer now enters the showroom nicely kept and air conditioned and a salesperson can give them attention and discuss the unit that magically appeared. More expense.
The salesperson works to get you a deal you are comfortable with and regardless of where it was sold your happy to be on your Indian. Expense.
There is still tons more after you leave, funding packet processed with lender, accounting for payoff of unit and trade ins, filing clerk for your deal jacket. Constant expense.
Please stop bickering amongst yourselves and let’s all be able to ride together and introduce ourselves to each other without wondering if your gonna be meeting the guy that just bashed you on a post. Trust me guys, the margins don’t allow us to have steak dinners everyday at your expense. “