Top 5 Dealership Myths Busted | RETAIL CONFIDENTIAL

Don’t believe everything you hear about your local dealership.

When Lou Reed said, “Don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you see,” he could have been referring to the myths that pop up around motorcycle retailing. What do you say we bust a few?

Myth. During winter, we sit around the dealership drinking beer and playing cards.

Fact. Sure, things slow down when the weather turns cold, dark, and dreary. But we are a retail business, and while unit sales are slowing, our merchandise sales pick up. We also sell ATVs and UTVs, so snowfall and hunting season helps.

Myth. The best time to buy a motorcycle is in the winter.

Fact. A little truth here. There are certain times when buying a new bike can be advantageous to you. Model closeouts, manufacturer rebates, and just the idea of selling a unit in December can get a dealer to make you a deal. But when manufacturers roll out new models during the riding season is usually when you want to take advantage of any deals on those leftover models we need to sell to make room for new inventory.

Myth. There is such a thing as a "girl's bike."

Fact. The Sportster 883, or any bike that falls into the 600 class of sportbikes for that matter, is not a "girls' bikes." The last time I checked under a bike's features or specifications, there wasn't anything indicating "gender specific." Depending on your skill level, it would be more appropriate to say "beginner," but in most cases the reference to a "girl's bike" means it doesn't have enough attitude, overall size, engine displacement, or cool factor for a guy. I've seen plenty of women handle bikes that some guys can't. Get over it.

Myth. Motorcycle shops and car dealers are the same.

Fact. There are a few similarities between the two: mainly because we both sell vehicles, offer financing, and have a service department. I do know some dealerships have that "car dealer" mentality when it comes to selling motorcycles, but for us it is different. We want to build a relationship and have you come in and hang out and get involved in riding. Motorcycles and powersports in general are fun, and we get involved because it's more than just transportation.

Myth. Dealerships are only interested in selling you a motorcycle.

Fact. Not true. Sure, our main business is to sell and service motorcycles, but we also want our customers to come in, hang out and enjoy everything that we have to offer. There is so much more to a dealership than the selling and buying aspect. Many dealers support bike nights, fund-raisers, group rides and local trackday events. And these are just a small part of what a good dealership experience is all about.

Jeff Maddox is the sales manager for a multi-line dealership in the Midwest. Questions for him? Email us at mcmail@bonniercorp.com with "Retail Confidential" in the subject line.