Monday, January 26, 2009

That’s Firm?

I made it to the motorcycle show in Salem on Sunday, where I actually saw a motorcycle worth haggling over. “Sorry, the price is firm” the dealer tells me. Firm? Have you ever heard of such a thing? No worry, I thought, people are just looking. I’ll call them on Monday and see if they want to talk.

Before I contact the dealer, I do some homework. I use the Kelley Blue Book and investigate trade-in value and retail value. I’m generous in the accessory department. I’m trying to be fair to the dealer. Then I write a polite note about the bike. The note is brief, asking that if the bike remains unsold after the show, I’d be interested in talking price if they are open to that suggestion. The reply is short and tells me basically the same message I heard at the show, the price is firm. In addition they tell me they have already listed the price $300 below the NADA value.

I’m in shock. I’ve never heard of any dealer not willing to haggle over a price. In a soft economy it seems ridiculous not to want to talk turkey. OK, let me go the NADA listings and see if what I’m told is true. Once again, I am generous with the accessories. Still the dealer price comes out $300 over the NADA price, not under. To make matter’s even murkier; Kelley Blue Book and the NADA are about $1000 apart in value quoted.

Off I go the New England Rider forum to ask my good friends what they think. So far, the only reply I get is that when financing, registering or being taxed on a car, motorcycle etc, the NADA listing will be used. I think I will check Edmunds, but discover they only list automobiles.

Before I drafted my polite note to the dealer, I asked advice from the guy who owns our company building. He has many commercial buildings and is a shrewd business man. He suggested how I should draft the note to the dealer, and I followed his advice. When he reads their response, he instructs me to “say nothing” and wait them out. The assumption is this: If they want my money, the will get back in touch. If they find a fool to pay their price, then it isn’t the only model of its kind on the market. He also suggests that they may be playing on my “need to have it now” and warns me against weakening in my resolve to get a fair price.

I can wait. The snow still covers the ground, the arctic temperatures have once again descended on the region, and more snow is in the forecast. My “need to have it now” barometer is still manageable. I hope I possess the where-with-all to remain strong when the ice starts melting.


JoeRocket said...


Lots of bikes can suit your needs. And now is not the time to buy, unless you get a killer deal. Otherwise, you're stuck transporting it and storing it for another month or two.

Wait them out and shop elsewhere, while you wait.

Joe Rocket

fasthair said...

Ms. Pat: Are you going to clue us in as to what you have decided on for the new bike yet? Or do we have to wait to read about it here first? It’s been killing me not knowing :)


PatnWilton said...

Now Mr Fasthair, if I told now, what would I blog about later? The unveiling would be anticlimactic and not so much fun.

fasthair said...

Ms. Pat: I knew I was going to get that answer :) It's not even me getting the new bike and I'm excited!