What’s a reasonable dealer markup for tires?
May 30, 2010 at 2:51 pm #4012eonParticipant
So I’ve posted before that I try to support my local dealers when I can. Well, now my rear is feeling kind of raw and I’m not sure if I’ve been violated or not. I’ve just had new tires fitted and the dealer markup on them seems excessive to me. I can get these tires from Motorcycle Superstore for $43 yet I was charged $68 for them. Assuming the dealer gets them cheaper than I can that’s approaching a 100% markup. Even at retail prices it is still a 58% price bump. And these are my front tires so I needed two of them!
I’ve read before if you supply your own tires you get charged more during fitting but I don’t know enough to tell if this is true or not. I supplied the rear tire but was charged $30 to change each one and I know the rear is a lot harder to change (you need to remove the exhaust). I was charged for 45 minutes of labor but I know he was working on it longer than that, probably closer to 90. Total charge before tax for 2 new tires plus replace all 3 was $288.
I wouldn’t complain (too much) if I received excellent service but it was anything but. I was left standing outside in the rain for 35 minutes as the guy was late getting there. I had asked for the higher speed rated tires but the lower one was fitted. The front tires are supposed to be inflated to around 28psi but were at 20 & 25 respectively. So I didn’t come away thinking that’s a place I would recommend. Sad thing is this is the last Vespa place in this area as I’ve already tried the other service dept and was not impressed (though they are both owned by the same person so perhaps that’s not a huge surprise).
So, am I being too sensitive here, especially around the price? I can live with crappy service (as it seems all too common in bike shops) but I hate being ripped off.May 30, 2010 at 4:47 pm #26822MunchParticipant
Ok…..here’s the thing we deal with also in the automotive industry.
First…. A dealership has no ties to the manufacturer so the price they pay is not going to be as low as you would think. Which means you will pay a touch more then you would think also. The reason place like Tirerack and other “suppliers” charge as little as they do is because they can sell the tire and more often then not be done with you until your silly enough to buy another one from them. Granted they offer warranties and other such. How well is that going to work when your on the side of the road with a blow out and they want you to ship their tire back to them as proof and wait 4 days for your new one to come in?
Yes most, not all, but most will charge you more for mounting a tire you did not purchase from them, and why wouldn’t they…. this is a part of consumers that really gets me…. Would you walk in to a RuthsChris Steakhouse and hand them a steak you bought from the grocery store and expect them to knock the cost down because you supplied the meat yourself? Or even walk in with your own steak period? They are in the business of making money and each time they take in a part from somewhere else they lose money on not selling the tire and the overhead they have in that tire- balancing, recycling fees, etc.
Now as far as the wait cause he was late….. umm…. gonna stay quiet on that one.
For the service you got…. to be honest if you walked out with the lower speed rating tire without raising hell…. that’s on you. I would urge you to go back before you have too many miles on them and demand that they put the tires on you thought you paid for and they get you out promptly and without any other charges. The air pressure thing might just be a difference in pressure gauges, sorry folks, not all gauges are created equal.May 30, 2010 at 6:20 pm #26825RabParticipant
In my area it’s definitely more economical to buy the tire online (get free shipping) and have it fitted at the dealer. Yes, the dealer does charge a little more for fitting owner supplied tires, but all round, it’s a far better deal (for me) than buying the tire from the dealer.
DO shop around for the fitting though as there is one dealer nearby who charges substantially more (see below) for fitting owner supplied tires:
Buy tire from us: $10.00 off bike – $40.00 on bike
Bring in your own tire: $40.00 off bike – $85.00 on bikeMay 30, 2010 at 7:03 pm #26826Sunny123Participant
what is a good site to purchase tires on line ? I just purchased a back tire from a bike shop and didn’t realize tires are expensive just as much as car tires ! Need front one now he told me it would be about
$ 100 plus laborMay 30, 2010 at 7:34 pm #26828June 1, 2010 at 3:50 pm #26858briderdtParticipant
There’s a “local” (about 15 miles away) mechanic who works out of his garage (and it’s a NICE garage — better than most professional shops I see at the dealers), and will do tire swaps for low-carb energy drink and some change. Top-notch mechanic, too, trusted my all the local racers. Anyway, when I brought my rear wheel in last summer to have him patch the tire, he told me that he’ll often have people ship the tires to him, and then ride the bike over to have them swapped and balanced. Awesome service, if you ask me.
Yes, I can agree that a dealer could mark up a LITTLE bit the price of mounting and balancing the tires, but when it’s a separate line item on the invoice, you’re paying for that service SEPARATELY, not as a package deal.June 1, 2010 at 8:10 pm #26866eternal05Participant
I recently ran out of tread on my track bike and bought a new set of Michelin Power Pures. These are a brand new and super-highly-acclaimed set from Michelin, and they were damn hard to get. As a reference, they run about $259 a set tax-free from Sportbike Track Gear, but naturally, I wanted to support my local economy.
Aurora Suzuki wanted to charge me somewhere in the neighborhood of $380 before tax. I needed the tires for the next day, so I almost considered it, but I checked around other places just to be sure. I called the Kawasaki dealer and asked how much they’d charge, only to find out that they didn’t have them in stock, would charge me $10/tire to order them, and then $15/tire to mount them, even off the bike. With them, the pre-tax total came out to $427. With tax, $467. I can’t afford to pay nearly $500 for tires that last me no more than 5-7 days of flogging.
Finally I called the guy who provides Michelin track-side service at most of the track days around here and he offered to sell me the tires and mount/balance them for a pre-tax total of $298. That was with no haggling at all. Now THAT I’m willing to pay. He got my business, and will get my future business as well.
So yes, some dealers do not have good prices. Obviously that’s because some of them don’t get much of a discount on their tires. The Michelin guy I ended up buying from has a very close relationship with Michelin because he is the local Michelin rep and provides support to all of the local Michelin-sponsored racers. Because of that, he gets his tires a lot cheaper than the big dealerships. But the dealerships also charge more fees and they probably try to turn a higher profit as well. In the end I think it’s just really hard to find a good deal on tires in your area.June 1, 2010 at 8:19 pm #26867IBA270Participant
I buy everything I can local…except tires. I even have a good friend who is in the business, and his COSTS are more than what I can get tires for. Beyond that, he says his liability for scuffing wheels is pretty high and pulling a guy off to change tires (rarely if ever is there a reservation made) makes it a money losing proposition. I mount/balance my own and have for years. $298 trackside for Pures is a steal…good for you! The rest is just a hastle…both to you AND your dealer…June 1, 2010 at 10:20 pm #26874Gary856Participant
There’s a local shop I like and trust, and I’ve had 3 sets (pairs) of tires changed there. They charge $30/tire to mount tires purchased thru them, $45/tire if I brought in my own tires, with the wheels/tires on the bike. Their initial tire quotes are usually high (by $30-40), but when I tell them the price I can get from motorcyclesuperstore, they’d get within about $10-20 of motorcyclesuperstore’s prices, so that becomes a wash when factoring in the installation price differences. I ended up ordering all the tires thru them to save the trouble. Plus it makes me feel good to support a good local business.
There are other local stores (including Cycle Gear) that would mount tires for free if you bought from them, but the wheels must be off the bike. That little bit of extra saving is not worth my trouble to take off and put back on tire/wheels myself.
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