How to Get the Best Price From a Motorcycle Dealer

Get your new ride for the best price with prepared negotiation techniques.

Get your new ride for the best price with prepared negotiation techniques.

You’ll land the best price when negotiating with a motorcycle dealer when you do your homework. If you walk into a bike dealership armed with basic knowledge about the rebates the manufacturer is offering, how much an extended warranty costs, types of financing the dealer offers and how much the dealer charges for freight and other incidentals, you’re in a much stronger position to deal.

Items you will need

  • Rebates
  • Financing
  • Fair market price

Step 1

Check out the manufacturer’s website before you enter the dealership. Many times, salespeople at the dealership keep the news about rebates to themselves, hoping they can close the deal without the offer. By holding back, they make you think they’re giving you additional money off your purchase when all they’re really doing is giving you a rebate you are due in the first place.

Step 2

Investigate through phone calls, friends and online searches the sales prices of the particular model you’re interested in. Look at classifieds and read dealership ads for a few weeks before you actually make the trip to the dealership. Check the Kelley Blue Book value of the bike you’re considering.

Step 3

Get pre-approved for financing at your bank or credit union before you start hitting the motorcycle lots. Dealers receive additional kickbacks from banks and finance companies for sending them contracts. Additionally, you generally pay higher interest rates at a dealership than you do at your bank. The bank also can give you information on fair market prices for the bike you’ve got your eye on.

Step 4

Develop a budget before you go shopping so you can effectively turn down the extras you may be tempted to buy once you get in the finance office. Your final costs can increase significantly when you add on extended warranties, service contracts and extra insurance.

Step 5

Hold back from telling the salesperson everything about yourself until you learn more about the dealership, its bikes and the service department. Listen more than talk and the salesperson may give you clues that will help you make a final decision.

Step 6

Stick with the price you believe is fair market value for the bike and be prepared to leave if the dealer won’t come down enough in price to suit your needs. The more time the dealer invests in working with you, the better your odds are at arriving at a reasonable price. If you need any add-ons, continue negotiating for a better price as there is room for discounts on the add-ons as well as on the bike itself.

Tip

  • Wait until the end of the month to get your new ride. You’ll have a couple things going in your favor. Salespeople and dealerships have monthly quotas to meet and your sale may be just the one that fulfills their quota. If so, you’re in a much stronger position to get a good deal. Also, many bike salespeople receive incentives for the number of bikes they sell in a month. They may receive a bonus of $25 per sale if they sell four bikes in a month and $100 per bike if they sell 10. Your deal, late in the month, could put the salesperson trying to make a higher bonus on your side in the negotiations. She’ll try to get you everything you want to close the deal and secure her bonus.

About the Author

Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."

Photo Credits

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