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View Poll Results: How did the Repair shop arrive at a price 2x what Babbit's charges for an OEM part?
It was a quick estimate, they would have realized it was much cheaper and saved me $$ 0 0%
They inflate the price of parts as part of their business. 8 50.00%
If they order it, they charge more than if you order it. Apparently, a lot more. 2 12.50%
Who knows? 6 37.50%
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Old 08-17-2018, 08:09 AM   #1
Scorch
 
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Question Motorcycle shop and parts prices

Summary: Monday my V-Strom is 200 miles shy of 70,000 miles and darned if it refused to start, first time in 40 years a Suzuki left me stranded away from home. So I called a local MC repair shop and they sent a guy to get me and the bike. He dropped me off at work and said it would be a week before they could start on the bike. I said that was ok. I planned to pick it up and repair it myself. I had replaced the battery a few days earlier and the voltage when at high idle was 12.9v, so I assumed the stator went out.

I did not get to the shop the next day (Tues), but I did go the day after (Weds) at lunch with my trailer. They told me they had the bike partially torn down and had diagnosed the problem as the stator. So they added $50 labor to the $75 bike pickup charge, which I was fine with since I didn't call the shop Monday and explicitly explain NOT to work on it (remember the guy told me there was a week backup). Actually, I think the shop started on my bike promptly as a favor to me, so that was pretty cool.

Here's the crazy part: As the mechanic was telling the owner what the charges were, they told me something like, "You won't believe what a new stator is going to run you." I said, Oh? How much? They said $510....

....Monday evening I had already scoped out the parts on Babbit's Suzuki Parthouse and Bike Bandit, an OEM stator is $221. So what gives? Is this common, for a shop to pad the parts prices? That much? Were they obligated to buy the parts from some supplier that charges them double what they can be bought for? Were they mistaken?
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Old 08-17-2018, 10:14 AM   #2
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Re: Motorcycle shop and parts prices

I worked in an auto repair shop one summer. We charged the MSRP for parts (which is not what the shop pays for parts) but we did not inflate over that.
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Old 08-17-2018, 10:37 AM   #3
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Re: Motorcycle shop and parts prices

I did a quick google and, at least at first blush, don't see a VStrom stator for even as much as you paid. That makes $510 sound even more out of line. It's possible that nobody had actually looked up the price yet, and the mechanic was swagging a number based on some more expensive bikes he'd worked on.

I've been told in the past that some auto shops charge 75-100% markup, but that's over their wholesale price, not dealer retail. And I distinctly remember having to pay to have an electric window lift replaced on a Grand Am - the shop charged me about $300 for a part that I had previously priced at Autozone for $169.
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Old 08-17-2018, 10:45 AM   #4
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Re: Motorcycle shop and parts prices

I have seen several shops with a standard 100% mark up on parts, but they will 'discount' them for certain customers. It seems like common practice for cars too.

Just another reason to do my own maintenance for as long as I possibly can.
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:22 PM   #5
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Re: Motorcycle shop and parts prices

In ‘07 or ‘08, I went to a Honda shop to buy a stock complete seat for an ‘01 CR500R. I had looked it up online and knew both the retail price and what I could buy it for online. I wanted to do business with this shop to support it and I rode single track with the guy working the parts counter. He looked up the seat from the part number I gave him and he came back with a price of $157. The online retail was $135 and I could buy from an online source for $72. I told him the problem I had with the price he was quoting and he said to give him a minute. After punching some keys, he came back and said he could do it for the $72. I understand a local shop has overhead and I’d be willing to pay a little more to support it if it provides good service. But double? No, I don’t think so.
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:47 PM   #6
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Re: Motorcycle shop and parts prices

Jay, sadly, that shop probably couldn't stay in business if they gave everybody the same discount they gave you. That's a real conundrum for all of us these days. On the one hand, we all want the best deal. And why not? We work hard for our money. On the other hand, we have a vested interest in brick and mortar places being here when we need them. I buy a lot of things at Best Buy that I could get more cheaply online. Why? Because every now and then, there's something I really want to be able to test-drive before buying. Or I want to be able to ask the knowledgeable kid in the blue shirt a hundred questions before making a decision. So I pay a little bit more for a TV or a new 5.1 receiver and buy them from BB.

E-commerce is really rocking our world. It's easy to look at the corporate spreadsheets & see why experts predict that appliance and sporting good stores are going the way of the dodo bird. What's a little harder to predict is what life will be like when we can't dash into said store when we need it.
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Old 08-17-2018, 01:03 PM   #7
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Re: Motorcycle shop and parts prices

In the HVAC trade electric parts are marked up the most. It is hard to take say a motor or capacitor back to wholesaler say after 8 months even though a year warranty is given to customer.
Just saying electrical parts seem to have highest mark-up.
Good luck on repair.
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Old 08-17-2018, 01:34 PM   #8
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Re: Motorcycle shop and parts prices

Having worked at a Kawasaki ATV/UTV dealer I can say that they DO NOT mark up the parts above MSRP. Kawasaki determines MSRP and my dealer sells them for that. Now what I can tell you is the price the dealer pays Kawasaki and what the MSRP is. The mark up to MSRP is anywhere from 40% to 100%. Why some parts are 40% and some 100%, I don't know, only the great green father knows that.

You always here about why you should by from the dealer, but when prices are 1000% or more than online you just cant justify that kind of mark up. Here's an example I run into almost every day. A Kawasaki 3010 Mule front axle is almost $700 from Kawasaki. Kawasaki doesn't make that axle, they buy it from a vendor. That same axle on Amazon is only $48!!!! The quality is just as good or better. I can tell you the dealer cost on that axle is about $400, so they make $300 on it.

My local dealer will not budge a penny on their prices. They'd rather have 100% of nothing that give you any type of discount. What I see is that dealers are stuck in the 20th century and are not getting with the wave of the future. Now when I worked at my local Kawasaki dealer I convinced the Parts manager to stock a set of aftermarket axles. At the time they were costing us $150 and we sold them for $300. We made 100% profit and saved the customer over half the cost of OEM. C'mon, dealers sell aftermarket parts all the time from filters to crank sets. Why is it so hard to see a need and fill it for the customer where both parties benefit?
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Old 08-17-2018, 01:41 PM   #9
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Re: Motorcycle shop and parts prices

Oh and let me add to that story. Dealers often do not stock expensive parts and stuff that does not sell in 90 days. As for my local dealer, outside of filters and a few gaskets, they do not have much inventory. They order everything from Kawasaki once a week, charge the customer a $5 flat rate shipping fee, that BTW they pay no shipping on Kawasaki stock orders. So the argument that dealers have to "stock" stuff is out the window, at least when it comes to my dealer.
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Old 08-17-2018, 03:06 PM   #10
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Re: Motorcycle shop and parts prices

I've ran a car dealership parts and service dept. for 32 years. We also sell Kawasaki UTVs. I have always sold at MSRP. It is "manufacture recommended", a dealer can sell for what ever they want. However you have to treat people right if you want repeat business, like we have to have in a small town.
Its also important to compare apple/apple when looking at parts. For some parts, OEM is not so important and some it is very.
Example: today a guy came in with a Dodge diesel. He has put 4 after-market carrier bearings in it, in the last 50k miles. I ask him how long the original Dodge bearing lasted, he said 200k. The OEM was $40 more than the aftermarket.
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Old 08-19-2018, 06:34 PM   #11
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Re: Motorcycle shop and parts prices

I was in the auto repair business in the late 80's and my standard markup was 40%. As I recall the dealers marked up OEM parts to their customers 100%. My cost for OEM was typically 80 - 85% of MSRP. The dealers didn't give me much room to work. I would expect motorcycle parts markups to be similar

I sold AC parts for a few years here lately. Lets just say I considered I was living large on the margins.
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Old 08-20-2018, 05:05 PM   #12
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Re: Motorcycle shop and parts prices

I'm not a HVAC guy. My AC was continually tripping the breaker and I wasn't sure what was causing it. Called a local place with good reviews. They came out and fixed it. Total cost was 380 dollars to put in a new "hard start kit" which from what I gather is just a capacitor.

I talked them down a by about 160 dollars which I was ok with paying since they have the know how and I didn't. They claimed the hardstart kit was 200 dollars by itself. Looked online later hard start kits are 60 dollars all over the place.

I get that you pay a lot for just the knowledge behind fixing things but come on 140 dollar mark up on a part. No thanks.


On the flip side my local dealer out here has decent prices on parts being only 3 or so dollars over ordering online. I'm ok with that and pretty much order all of my OEM parts from them.

On the OEM parts front. Wife's Honda Pilot is pushing 150k miles. The CV joints were going out on it and I priced them at Honda. Would have been someting around 600 for the set. I bought some cheap reman ones online. When we went to replace them we wound up needed the shaft between the half shaft and tranmission with the carrier bearing and Honda is the only ones that carry that. So wound up with a Honda half shaft and a cheap reman. Less than 20k miles later the reman is clicking already.

If I would have just went with Honda OEM on both sides and got another 150k miles out of it, we would have traded it in on another vehicle before that became a problem again. One area where the OEM part would have been worth the money.
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Old 08-20-2018, 05:10 PM   #13
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Re: Motorcycle shop and parts prices

Thank goodness I have an HVAC cousin, so I get all that work done at cost. For auto and bike mechanical, though, I'm at the mercy of shops. I'm at the point where I don't sweat the dollars too much any more, as long as it's done right the first time.
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Old 08-20-2018, 06:12 PM   #14
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Re: Motorcycle shop and parts prices

Quote:
Originally Posted by Downs View Post
... They claimed the hardstart kit was 200 dollars by itself. Looked online later hard start kits are 60 dollars all over the place.

I get that you pay a lot for just the knowledge behind fixing things but come on 140 dollar mark up on a part. No thanks.
I really shouldn't take this further off topic, but.... A lot of times the contractors mark up the parts prices so high because people scream about the labor when the try to recover their driving time, driving time to get parts and their standing around waiting at the part house, which can be a long time on a hot day, as well as the time they have on site.

With that said, your compressor is getting a little week if it needs the bump to get going. I've known of start kits to keep them going for several years though, so hopefully you'll be fixed for a while. The start kit is a relay and a capacitor. There is a wide variety of quality on both, but an American made capacitor and a decent relay should easily be found at wholesale for under $60 and I'd expect to retail for under $100. My previous comment has an effect though. Chinese capacitors are by and arge junk, Mexican made ones are OK, and there is at least one really good American brand sill out there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Downs View Post
On the OEM parts front. Wife's Honda Pilot is pushing 150k miles. The CV joints were going out on it and I priced them at Honda. Would have been someting around 600 for the set. I bought some cheap reman ones online. When we went to replace them we wound up needed the shaft between the half shaft and tranmission with the carrier bearing and Honda is the only ones that carry that. So wound up with a Honda half shaft and a cheap reman. Less than 20k miles later the reman is clicking already.

If I would have just went with Honda OEM on both sides and got another 150k miles out of it, we would have traded it in on another vehicle before that became a problem again. One area where the OEM part would have been worth the money.
There used to be a good local industry in rebuilding CV joints. The Chinese got into the business and ruined it. All of the local rebuilders are out of business and even the guys that know how to do it can't get parts anymore. The Chinese shafts were so cheap that they just couldn't compete. I went through 5 shafts on my wife's old Sienna in order to get 2 that were acceptable. on of them was one that came out of Mexico, but I don't think they're rebuilding many shafts anymore either. Reviews of Toyota rebuilds were pretty mixed, so I wondered where they came from. I did a lot of extra work and self doubting of my troubleshooting over that one.

As for motorcycle parts, I'd be willing to pay a decent price if I could get my hands on the part quickly. Local dealers are stocking very little. I have stopped even checking with them unless time is very important. I have only found two or three parts in stock for all the times I've tried.
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Old 08-20-2018, 06:27 PM   #15
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Re: Motorcycle shop and parts prices

In the BMW world Max has put all the part fiche on line so anyone can look up part numbers and MSRP. It's a helpful diagnostic tool as well. Anyway, Lonestar in Austin had always stuck to MSRP. BMW of the Woodlands inflated the prices about 40%. Best to turn your own wrenches if you have the tools, and buy parts on line. Sometimes the differential between a shop repair and a an hour or two fixing it yourself can buy those tools for you.
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Old 08-20-2018, 06:44 PM   #16
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Re: Motorcycle shop and parts prices

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crew Chief View Post
I really shouldn't take this further off topic, but.... A lot of times the contractors mark up the parts prices so high because people scream about the labor when the try to recover their driving time, driving time to get parts and their standing around waiting at the part house, which can be a long time on a hot day, as well as the time they have on site.

With that said, your compressor is getting a little week if it needs the bump to get going. I've known of start kits to keep them going for several years though, so hopefully you'll be fixed for a while. The start kit is a relay and a capacitor. There is a wide variety of quality on both, but an American made capacitor and a decent relay should easily be found at wholesale for under $60 and I'd expect to retail for under $100. My previous comment has an effect though. Chinese capacitors are by and arge junk, Mexican made ones are OK, and there is at least one really good American brand sill out there.




There used to be a good local industry in rebuilding CV joints. The Chinese got into the business and ruined it. All of the local rebuilders are out of business and even the guys that know how to do it can't get parts anymore. The Chinese shafts were so cheap that they just couldn't compete. I went through 5 shafts on my wife's old Sienna in order to get 2 that were acceptable. on of them was one that came out of Mexico, but I don't think they're rebuilding many shafts anymore either. Reviews of Toyota rebuilds were pretty mixed, so I wondered where they came from. I did a lot of extra work and self doubting of my troubleshooting over that one.

As for motorcycle parts, I'd be willing to pay a decent price if I could get my hands on the part quickly. Local dealers are stocking very little. I have stopped even checking with them unless time is very important. I have only found two or three parts in stock for all the times I've tried.
I dont have to pay for shipping and it's usually in the shop in 2 business days faster than the online places that I've delt with from partzill to RMATV and a few others even with expensive 2 day shipping selected. So in my case the local shop works out pretty good.

Got a pretty good relationship with them. I research on the parts fische before going in and go in with a P/N list. The guys in the back know me now and the sales jockeys dont ask me if I want a new side by side everytime I come in anymore lol

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Old 08-21-2018, 07:13 AM   #17
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Re: Motorcycle shop and parts prices

Our good local shop has pretty much eliminated his discount to us good customers on the accessories lines. In doing this they now mark all helmets, tires, ect pretty much in line with RMATV, and they also stock a lot of stuff, so this is fine with me. I still get my discount on manufacture parts. Pretty good idea to me. Especially if he has what I need in stock. I'm an hour away, if it needs ordering I just do it myself.
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