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Creative Parts Prices


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The recent thread on clutch repair shop hours and pricing issues had a mention of parts that were billed at prices above the BMW parts fiche. So, that’s happening at other dealerships too!


The local dealership recently changed ownership. They disabled the old web site because they changed the name to integrate with another dealership they have in another city. The new website doesn’t have a parts fiche. You have to call the parts department or submit a parts request online. I did that and got a quote back for the part that was a few bucks above the catalog price- Max, Bob’s, A&S all had the same price, the catalog price. When I questioned the price I got a reply that the prices they use are set by BMW. When I pointed out that three other dealers had a lower catalog price, the reply was that it would be brought to the attention of the parts manager. All the correspondence was from “Parts Department”, never a real person to identify. Since then, radio silence.


Hell of a way to keep customers.

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Depending on each state , the dealer is free to sell parts at whatever price they care to.


Each individual manufacturer may have a dealer agreement about selling factory parts (or advertising) parts below MSRP. 


Years ago, a mid-west bmw dealer was selling bmw parts at I think 15% off msrp and almost lost their franchise because they wouldn’t stop . 

Then they offered a “coupon code” that wasn’t a big secret that eventually went away , and I think in time , they did too. 


Its nothing new , the local big 4 dealer has a monopoly going on the major brands and with no competition , they sell at whatever they choose and have a “that’s the price” answer . 


Some dealers will bump up parts that retail for a dollar or two as they have to be handled, received , put away  the same as a 500.00 part does .


I worked at a japanese bike dealer before bmw and was very surprised how reasonable bmw parts were (apples to apples) compared to the japanese bikes . 


at the time I was told it was due to the # of bikes imported to the us per year and that bmw was a small piece of the pie. 

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This is a real sore point with me.  Ive had it happen and when asked whats up always got an adjustment...…..but......in the aviation world it is generally a huge ripoff as not very often the owner can do anything legally on maintenance.  They know they have you.  I just had my airplane annualed and really got ripped.  Dude charged me $100 to install two sheet metal screws and several other things were wrongful charges. Some work ( which was expensive) they claimed they did clearly didn't happen. If you've noticed my posts I almost always take full service to the dealers..not because I can't do it, but honestly need them to survive.  However survive and make a decent living doesn't mean gouging.   I even get book time versus real time. I don't deny shops need to make a profit, but captive audience gouging is something else.  

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This is a bit of a hot button for me, as well.  I was getting this same "privileged pricing" at the two dealerships here in the Denver area.  Took me a couple of trips to catch on, but once I figured it out, I have searched exclusively for other sources.  I suppose I could have called them on it rather than just “voting with my feet”, but should I have to do that every time I walk in their door?  Honestly, I would prefer to keep my business local, and most times a typical trip to the dealer parts department would maybe only be an additional $10 to $20.  But as others have mentioned, it’s the sense that they are taking advantage of your loyalty – as if “we’re the only game in town, buddy”.  Well…


Luckily, I still do have a great parts source that is local for me – Euro MotoElectrics – and the folks there are super great to deal with.  During a recent parts run, I got the “nickel tour”, and was quite impressed by the breadth of their inventory.  Maybe it just seems like “more stuff” in person, compared to viewing it on the website.  Between EME and Beemer Boneyard (Mike Figelski is also top notch), I am generally covered for most of my maintenance and repair needs.

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