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Old 04-21-2013, 01:25 PM   #511
DGraham
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This goes back quite a few years...
I was set to buy an R1100RSL - end of '96. There was a BMW dealership not 1/4 mile from where I work (super convenient). Talking to the OWNER - name was right out there on the sign - he did not have the black one that I wanted they could bring one in from Chicago I think. He gave me his best price.

Did some due diligence and found one at a dealership 35 miles away, they had black and they gave me a price that was $1500 less than the first one.

Well, I went back to the close dealership and explained what was happening and I'd really rather get it there etc...would he be able to match the price. He said no and that would have been fine right there. He's a businessman, and he feels he needs such and such margin. I get that. But then he starts this rant to the effect of me being cheap and "What's $1500 bucks over the life of the bike?" I told him that I'd really rather have it in my pocket than his.

Then as I'm already floored by this lecture this old fucker tells me that I shouldn't bother coming in there for service if I don't buy it from him. They wouldn't touch it. One quick fuck off later and I never saw him again. Loved that bike. He died, new ownership, great place now
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:36 PM   #512
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06 after a 18yr hiatus, time for a new streetbike. I am going to buy a V-Rod, have done all the research homework etc. One concern I have is the solid rims acting like a sail in strong crosswinds and bad air. Scouting the local dealer I ask the sales dimwit-" what about the solid rims effect on handling in cross winds?" him- " no effect what so ever, spoke rims at hiway speeds act just the same way, can't spray water through them". Needless to say I never bought a thing from that place. And for the record same bike, roads and day they make a big difference. HD quit using them a year or two later.
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:44 PM   #513
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Originally Posted by raebear View Post
06 after a 18yr hiatus, time for a new streetbike. I am going to buy a V-Rod, have done all the research homework etc. One concern I have is the solid rims acting like a sail in strong crosswinds and bad air. Scouting the local dealer I ask the sales dimwit-" what about the solid rims effect on handling in cross winds?" him- " no effect what so ever, spoke rims at hiway speeds act just the same way, can't spray water through them". Needless to say I never bought a thing from that place. And for the record same bike, roads and day they make a big difference. HD quit using them a year or two later.
salesman told you the truth. rims make NO differance in the wind. this myth has been busted.
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:53 PM   #514
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DGraham View Post
This goes back quite a few years...
I was set to buy an R1100RSL - end of '96. There was a BMW dealership not 1/4 mile from where I work (super convenient). Talking to the OWNER - name was right out there on the sign - he did not have the black one that I wanted they could bring one in from Chicago I think. He gave me his best price.

Did some due diligence and found one at a dealership 35 miles away, they had black and they gave me a price that was $1500 less than the first one.

Well, I went back to the close dealership and explained what was happening and I'd really rather get it there etc...would he be able to match the price. He said no and that would have been fine right there. He's a businessman, and he feels he needs such and such margin. I get that. But then he starts this rant to the effect of me being cheap and "What's $1500 bucks over the life of the bike?" I told him that I'd really rather have it in my pocket than his.

Then as I'm already floored by this lecture this old fucker tells me that I shouldn't bother coming in there for service if I don't buy it from him. They wouldn't touch it. One quick fuck off later and I never saw him again. Loved that bike. He died, new ownership, great place now
I know who you're speaking of. It was Andy Pelc. Andy was a good friend of mine and a good friend of many other motorcyclists in the area. He opened his first shop back in the 1950s selling BSAs, and moved on to Beemers when BSA went belly up. When he passed, I rode the 70 odd miles to Owosso in the rain to ride in his funeral procession along with several of our friends, then rode home, still in the rain.

I'd be interested to know just what dealer existed 35 miles away who could undercut Andy by $1500 on an R bike 17 years ago. None comes to mind. Andy mentioned someone who did what you did. But according to him, the dealer was a LOT farther away and the price difference was a LOT less. Also, the person wanted him to do the first service on a new bike that he'd bought from someone else because that dealer was too far away. Andy said that he could get to it sometime in the fall after Thanksgiving.

Andy ran the last of the old time shops where there was always a coffee pot on, and if it wasn't busy, he'd always have time to chat about motorcycles. He believed in the soft sell and preferred to let the product sell itself. His wife Sally ran the office and brought home cooked lunch for the staff every day. There was a big table in back, and it wasn't unusual for them to invite a customer to sit in for a family style meal.

I'd bring my K bike in at the end of the riding season and just tell Ralph to do anything that needed done, take your time. It spent several winters there in dry storage, no charge. Andy kind of spoiled me. There was no high pressure from salesmen and service writers on commission. It was a small operation where Andy would write up repair orders and sell parts himself and he usually had Ralph and one other tech in the shop. Today, I hate to have to go to a bike shop because it's so impersonal and everyone's out for the almighty dollar. The current owner is trying hard, but he needs to have his staff handle the business so he can get out and get to know his customer base. I'll be there for his open house in May because he does a great job with it.
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:04 PM   #515
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Originally Posted by farmerstu View Post
salesman told you the truth. rims make NO differance in the wind. this myth has been busted.

BS

in the saddle experience says otherwise as does the water spray test
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:10 PM   #516
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttpete View Post
I know who you're speaking of. It was Andy Pelc. Andy was a good friend of mine and a good friend of many other motorcyclists in the area. He opened his first shop back in the 1950s selling BSAs, and moved on to Beemers when BSA went belly up. When he passed, I rode the 70 odd miles to Owosso in the rain to ride in his funeral procession along with several of our friends, then rode home, still in the rain.

I'd be interested to know just what dealer existed 35 miles away who could undercut Andy by $1500 on an R bike 17 years ago. None comes to mind. Andy mentioned someone who did what you did. But according to him, the dealer was a LOT farther away and the price difference was a LOT less. Also, the person wanted him to do the first service on a new bike that he'd bought from someone else because that dealer was too far away. Andy said that he could get to it sometime in the fall after Thanksgiving.

Andy ran the last of the old time shops where there was always a coffee pot on, and if it wasn't busy, he'd always have time to chat about motorcycles. He believed in the soft sell and preferred to let the product sell itself. His wife Sally ran the office and brought home cooked lunch for the staff every day. There was a big table in back, and it wasn't unusual for them to invite a customer to sit in for a family style meal.

I'd bring my K bike in at the end of the riding season and just tell Ralph to do anything that needed done, take your time. It spent several winters there in dry storage, no charge. Andy kind of spoiled me. There was no high pressure from salesmen and service writers on commission. It was a small operation where Andy would write up repair orders and sell parts himself and he usually had Ralph and one other tech in the shop. Today, I hate to have to go to a bike shop because it's so impersonal and everyone's out for the almighty dollar. The current owner is trying hard, but he needs to have his staff handle the business so he can get out and get to know his customer base. I'll be there for his open house in May because he does a great job with it.





Felt the burn allllllllllllllllll the way over here.......
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:46 AM   #517
DGraham
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttpete View Post
I know who you're speaking of. It was Andy Pelc. Andy was a good friend of mine and a good friend of many other motorcyclists in the area. He opened his first shop back in the 1950s selling BSAs, and moved on to Beemers when BSA went belly up. When he passed, I rode the 70 odd miles to Owosso in the rain to ride in his funeral procession along with several of our friends, then rode home, still in the rain.

I'd be interested to know just what dealer existed 35 miles away who could undercut Andy by $1500 on an R bike 17 years ago. None comes to mind. Andy mentioned someone who did what you did. But according to him, the dealer was a LOT farther away and the price difference was a LOT less. Also, the person wanted him to do the first service on a new bike that he'd bought from someone else because that dealer was too far away. Andy said that he could get to it sometime in the fall after Thanksgiving.

Andy ran the last of the old time shops where there was always a coffee pot on, and if it wasn't busy, he'd always have time to chat about motorcycles. He believed in the soft sell and preferred to let the product sell itself. His wife Sally ran the office and brought home cooked lunch for the staff every day. There was a big table in back, and it wasn't unusual for them to invite a customer to sit in for a family style meal.

I'd bring my K bike in at the end of the riding season and just tell Ralph to do anything that needed done, take your time. It spent several winters there in dry storage, no charge. Andy kind of spoiled me. There was no high pressure from salesmen and service writers on commission. It was a small operation where Andy would write up repair orders and sell parts himself and he usually had Ralph and one other tech in the shop. Today, I hate to have to go to a bike shop because it's so impersonal and everyone's out for the almighty dollar. The current owner is trying hard, but he needs to have his staff handle the business so he can get out and get to know his customer base. I'll be there for his open house in May because he does a great job with it.
You are correct sir. I thought a while about whether to include his name. Although I figured that people living around here might figure it out, I thought that it would be better to not. I would be amazed if the person in the story you heard was me. Could have been, although as I recall there was no mention of the first service. I'm not even sure I knew about the first service at the time and definitely there was no concern about getting one before Thanksgiving. Not saying that it wasn't my story, the service part just doesn't sound familiar. Which only tells me that I'm not the only person that he treated like that for "doing what I did". I got the bike, the panniers, the taxes and still saved a few bucks. What an asshole I was for doing that!

I'm surprised you aren't aware of the only other BMW dealership in SE Michigan. It is in Sterling Heights. That is about 35 miles away from me, and 39 from Canton. I bought it the next day and was riding it the day after.

I don't doubt that he had friends, and you sound like you were a good one to him. I would have loved to have had that experience there. But the fact is that I didn't. I saw this thread and thought that my experience would fit in perfectly here.

I seriously had no problem with him not matching the price. He would have had to pay to get the bike here, which would obviously cut into his profit. But I might have thought twice about turning away service revenue in the manner he did. Over the life of the bike, we all know that would be more profit than any on the sale. He was clearly a proud guy, but in my view it wasn't the smart play. While I'm sure you weren't his only friend, I have found over the years that I wasn't the only one that didn't hold him in as high of regard.

Agreed that you handled Ralph the right way, take your time. He (I'm pretty sure it was him, did he stay around after Andy passed?) once told me that it would be a couple weeks to put new tires on my bike. The other fellow told me to ignore him and did it the same day. This I could chalk up to me being 'the enemy', but it was still my experience with him - and a lame way to treat a customer.

DGraham screwed with this post 04-22-2013 at 05:57 AM
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:54 AM   #518
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Good stories, guys. Always interesting to read from different perspectives.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:43 AM   #519
GoNOW
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Customers judge dealers, and dealers judge customers. We are both in the market to make money to buy food and pay bills.

When a customer comes in for a $30 (labor) oil change, he/she is looking for a good deal. The shop is looking to do the job quick and turn a profit. A customer pulls up on a V-Star or HD with crap load of farkles and exhaust that have to be removed to access the filter. There is often a good chance bolts will be replaced cheap hardware store brands, things rusted, or exhaust rusted on. We don't make any money stripping the bike for just $30. We tell them outright that there will be an extra charge of $$ to remove/install the parts needed. At this point the customer is outraged that we are ripping him off.

We don't change tires on rims that have been painted or power coated. Can we do it? Sure. We do it all the time for good customers. But if we have never seen you before and you drop off a rim that has been badly painted with BBQ grill spray paint, we will turn you away. The chance the paint will nick and the cost of refinishing your rim are too high to be worth the $30 we charge to swap the tire.

Last week a van pulled up with a box of two Chinese mini quads. He wanted us to turn two bikes into one. I turned him away. Not only would it be near impossible to come up with a realistic estimate, I would be wasting hours trying to track down missing parts. The bikes got disassembled for some reason, so there is likely some engine or other problems with them. The cost to do this would be more then buying a new quad would be. He only wanted to spend about $200 and thought I was being a jerk to him for not taking on the job.

I will often turn down simple jobs. If it's so simple that the customer can do it themselves, but want us to do it, it often means something is screwed up. They tried to install it first, stripped or bent things, then bring it to us but don't tell us it's messed up. Then complain when the price goes up.

I rejected a job last week over the phone. The conversion had the words Harley Davidson and sticker in it. I am sorry but if you can't install a sticker on your HD, I am not going to. Then have to remove it because it's 1/4" too low and when I removed it, it peals the paint off the tank. I didn't say that over the phone, but I tried not to sound like a jerk.

It sounds really cruel, but I do judge every customer that walks into the door. If you appear to be more trouble then it's worth, I will send you away. It does not happen often, but it does happen.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:04 AM   #520
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This is why I make a list of the part numbers I need when I go to a dealer for parts.

And why I do all the work on my shit myself.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:11 AM   #521
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Amen brother.


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Old 04-22-2013, 12:48 PM   #522
GoNOW
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This is why I make a list of the part numbers I need when I go to a dealer for parts.

And why I do all the work on my shit myself.
I appreciate customers that know what they want. Saturday I stayed 15 minutes after we closed trying to find a throttle cable for a customer who came in with the cable in hand, but didn't know what bike it was from. He got on the phone with his GF and had her search for the VIN number and I was able to look it up. As he left, he left the front door open and some customers come in for some tires swapped. Everyone ended up saying an hour after work (and off the clock) to get everything done.
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:53 PM   #523
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Everyone ended up saying an hour after work (and off the clock) to get everything done.
That's poor form if anyone who stayed late was an employee and not a partner in the business. Please tell me you took them out for dinner, or at least a beer after.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:25 PM   #524
GoNOW
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I am a wrench monkey and not the owner and have no control over operating hours. Staying late is common, but not an hour late. The customer had a ride planned the next day and really wanted new tires so nobody wanted to kick them out.

And I love answring the phone and having someone ask when we close. I tell them 6pm, and it's already 6:30pm. I can hear the gears in their head grind to a halt. It's one of my small joys in life.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:54 PM   #525
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I am a wrench monkey and not the owner and have no control over operating hours. Staying late is common, but not an hour late. The customer had a ride planned the next day and really wanted new tires so nobody wanted to kick them out.

And I love answring the phone and having someone ask when we close. I tell them 6pm, and it's already 6:30pm. I can hear the gears in their head grind to a halt. It's one of my small joys in life.
That customer is a dumbass showing up at or after closing to get tires put on, and a saturday no less screwing up your weekend. I hope never to be in that situation but if i was i would try to make it up to the guys staying late like getting them some pizzas or something.
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