Monday, March 26, 2018


That's what my scooter forum buddy Jerry calls the big multi-brand dealerships in the Phoenix area.  My experience has pretty much duplicated that.

Last night, I saw a new, non-current (2016) Suzuki Burgman at one of those dealerships for $2999.  IF it could be bought for somewhere near that price, it would be a good deal over the $5495 price of a current model new.

So, today, we went out and about on the scoots...

We avoid the Interstates with these scoots, but we get close.  ;-)

Nah - the RV park we are in is just south of I-10, so anywhere we go north means going under the Interstate.

So not to speak directly about where we went to look at the Burgman 200, I'll just say it is a multi-brand dealership... named Ride Now, located on Bell Road in Surprise...

The first person to greet us was a nice young man who was mostly a dirt rider - he knew they had a Burgman 200, he knew it was a scooter, and that was about it.  Joan and I spent some time poking around the scoot...

The price on the bike was only $500 higher than what was listed online.  When I pointed that out, the young man told me, "We will honor that price."

I asked, "Without all the bullshit fees?"  He looked down at his feet.  I asked if we could get the key to check out the storage.  It took them 10 minutes and a lot of scurrying to come up with the key.

Wanting to know about the maintenance, I asked about battery access.  He went to the shop to bring a tech out to answer us... and came back alone.  "He said it is somewhere under where your feet go."  Joan looked it up on the internet

I told the young man that we should probably talk price and reminded him of my feelings about all the over-inflated fees.  "We'll treat you right," he said.

Another guy came out to look at my PCX for a trade and said, "That is in really nice shape."

"Yep, we take care of 'em."

I went back inside to look around the Burgman some more; Joan had a seat at a table.  Another 10 minutes and a 3rd guy came out to "do the dealing."

When he put the sales sheet down on the table, I looked at the bottom line and asked, "Did you forget about my trade-in?"  I was being facetious - even though I told them I didn't want to play the "stick 'em with big fees, then show 'em how you'll discount" game, that's what they were going to do.  Not wanting to publicly shame this person, I'll just say his initials are: Brian, with a lot of tattoos and a bushy beard.

Before he could start to explain all the over-inflated prices, I said, "We're done here."

"Wait, wait - let's talk about this.  This is just a starting point..."

I took the sheet and started going over each bullshit item: "Did you really pay that much to get it shipped to you?  Wow, you guys really got ripped off; that is more than twice what it really costs.  Almost $400 to set it up?  How bad are your mechanics that it takes them that kind of time?  Sales tax and license have to be paid - but it Texas, not in Arizona.  Let's just say that one is close.  A $395 document fee?  You want me to pay for your secretary to type up the sales sheet?  She must be getting paid $800 per hour!  Oh, and that is YOUR JOB to write up the sale and do the paperwork.  Apparently, you think I am stupid?"

He said, "I don't think you are stupid..."

"Well then, YOU must be stupid.  'Cause there are only two of us at this table, and one of us is definitely stupid, and you don't think it is me - so it must be you.  Listen, Brian, I don't want to be combative, but this is a terrible way to try to do business."

He said, "I didn't mean to make you mad..."

"I'm not mad, Brian.  Well, OK, I'm a bit peeved that you think ANYONE goes for this crap, but mostly I feel sorry for you that you have to lie and try to cheat people as your job."

They wanted $1150 dollars and my scooter MORE than the advertised price of their scoot.  A total of $4145 difference... yes, on a scooter priced at $2999.

"Wait - that's just a starting point.  Now you make me an offer..."

"I told you I don't want to play that stupid game.  If you could have done better, you should have come to me with that.  NOW, you say you can give me a better price?  So, you were willing to cheat me if I didn't complain about it?  I was willing to go $2 grand difference, on a bike that you've had sitting for a couple years, and trading my very desirable scoot, which you would be able to sell easily.  IF you came to what I was willing to pay originally, I would not do business with such a lying cheating bunch.  So, we're done."

He said, "Give me 30 seconds."

I said, "That's about the amount of time it will take me to walk out your door and to our scoots.  Don't waste your time."

As we were putting on our helmets, he came out the door and said, "We'll go $2500 difference."

"Not with me you won't."

He started telling me that he has a $30,000 Harley that is only worth $11,000 to this dealership... I said, "That should teach you something about working for an outfit like this."

"Oh, well," he said, "ya can't get every sale."

"I can't believe you can get ANY sales with this crap."

Joan decided to jump in when she heard what they were originally asking for a difference: "So you want to charge us almost $1800 to take his trade in?  That's crazy."

"Yeah, we discussed this," I said, "more stupid than crazy."  ;-)

We left.  On the bright side, it was a nice urban scooter ride today.  We stopped at Mickey D's for some ice cream and a chance to talk about this stealership.

Heading for home...


Conchscooter said...

Great scooter stupid dealership. I ended up going used and skipping the fees.

Captain Jim and the Blonde said...

Yeah, Michael, my experience today would lead me in that direction. A question about your Vespa(s): did you have a 300 or were they both 150s? I keep reading that the GTS 300 has a top speed of about 80. Real world?

Pat Anderson said...

If you are looking to go bigger, I have a very nice low mileage 2014 Honda Forza 300, no crap fees! Really! Now that Patty and I both have PCX 150s, the Forza is just taking up space in our garage!

Captain Jim and the Blonde said...

The Forza is a nice scoot, Pat, but it feels cramped to me. Design differences. The PCX is a better fit, even though it is overall smaller. I wondered if you were doing anything with the Forza. Like the Bergman 200, the Forza hasn't been a big seller for Honda in the US. Some dealers have non-current model years on the showroom floor.

PNW GUY said...

The $2999.00 was for the Burgman 200, right?? I test rode one of those before deciding on the 400. Nice bike but I wanted a bit more room and power. I originally wanted a Forza but since I am 6' tall, it was far too cramped. Our local Vespa dealership went out of business last year. Right before they closed, the owner of the shop said the price point was just too high and there was a dealership close by that sold the junk Chinese scoots. People love the price - if they only knew they would self implode prior to 5K miles. The Vespas are high quality and a great reputation, but so expensive and I am not a fan of the step-through. Maybe as I get older I will change my mind!! Greg

Captain Jim and the Blonde said...

Yeah, Greg, that price was for the 200. A bit less weight and bulk with that compared to the 400. I test sat on a 400 at a different dealership and it seemed very comfortable. Same with the large frame Vespa. The more I ride my PCX, the less inclined I am to look around.

The cheap Chinese scooters were a real blight on the scooter market in the US - seems that a LOT of people thought all scooters should cost $300 0r $400 dollars. Back home, we were out on the scoots and a guy asked how much they were... when I told him $3500 a piece, I thought he was going to crap his pants! "Hey, that's what they go for - I'm not trying to sell you mine!) ;-)

PNW GUY said...

Well if you ever make it back out to the Islands, I will ride the Burgman 400 up and you can take it for a spin. I do miss some aspects of the PCX for sure, but the main thing I like about the Burgman is enough power to get out of trouble if needed, and VERY stable in windy conditions. I dont have to hold on so tightly. When I go longer distances, I do not come home as tired. My next bike in the future will NOT be belt drive though.

Captain Jim and the Blonde said...

Hi Greg,

Another lap around the White Tank Mountains today, taking the PCXes on I-10 to get to the west side. A bit of buffeting from passing semis; it is rare that we take these scoots on the highway. I used to think anything less than 1,000cc was a small bike... oh, how things come around. ;-)