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Old 04-21-2012, 02:23 AM   #1
JetFalcon
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So I went to two bike shops: one in SD, one in OC. And I looked at their ninja 250s. Even though MSRP is like $4200, they put all these fees on it and comes out to $5000-5300 out the door. Are these fees legitiment or is just an excuse to put a higher price on these bikes? Well, every dealer has the final out the door price, but it lists all the fees like freight, set up, etc. I can understand if I can't take the tax off, but I really would like to not pay those dealer fees and pay MSRP if possible.

Because I know when my dad wanted to buy a Mercedes E55 AMG back 10 years ago, it was like $100,000 and my dad waited it out. And then the dealership came running back to him and offered $80,000 so shaved off $20 grand just to wait I think six months.

I just have no idea if something like a ninja 250 can be negotiated as easily. Because I assume more ninja 250s go out the door more often than Mercedes AMGs do. I really don't want to pay $5000 for my first bike, especially knowing craigslist people are offering 08s or above for around $3-4 grand. But then I never made a big purchase off craigslist so I'm kind of wary if it would be worth the risk to possibly later find out I have to pay alot to repair it to the point where I could have just bought a new one for just a little more.

Since I'm in no rush to get one now and I don't even have money, I would like to start looking now in hopes a dealer will be willing to give me a good deal. Maybe a used ninja 250 will come in and they call me and offer me a good price. Or possibly a big discount on gear if I have to pay all their stupid fees, more than 20% which both bike stores offered so I guess it's a normal discount nothing amazing.

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Old 04-21-2012, 03:38 AM   #2
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Not sure you'd have a whole lot of haggle room on a bike like the Ninja 250. I've read in various places that dealers don't really pull in a lot of profit on the low priced starter bikes such as the Ninjette, at least from an individual sale standpoint. They're more a "volume" money maker.

Basically you have to understand that an HONEST dealer isn't going to be making a ton of money off of selling you a Ninjette. If you try to haggle them way down you might just end up shooting yourself in the foot and walking away empty handed. Meanwhile, they'll move that bike anyway due to their popularity. Don't think Ninja 250's tend to rot on the show room floor.

I've never bought a new vehicle from a dealer (only used), so I'm not real up to snuff on fees such as freight and set up in regards to what's reasonable. Perhaps someone that's more in the know can chime in and take it from here.

As for buying used off of Craigslist...

It's not that scary if you do your homework. There is a good check list for used bike purchasing here on this forum: http://www.motorcycleforum.com/showthread.php?t=97790
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Old 04-21-2012, 08:06 AM   #3
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Old 04-21-2012, 10:47 AM   #4
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Considering this is your first bike, lower your standards a little. There are TONS of gently pre-owned 250's on Craigslist. A guy on the Kawasaki forums is working with girl that has a beautiful green 2012 with 48 miles on it, and he's gonna save a bundle vs. buying from a dealer. She's lowered her price to $4000, and the bike doesn't have a scratch on it.

Don't resign yourself to a brand new bike first time out. I'd hate for you to throw all that cash away on dealer fees just to find out you don't like the bike, or don't even like riding.
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Old 04-21-2012, 02:00 PM   #5
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Now you know how they can advertise those low prices.

Even back before 2000 we had to sell against dealers that would advertise prices under cost, sometimes literally thousands below. They CAN'T do it. They load on shipping, handling, transport, and any other fee they can think of to build it up again. They figure once they have you in the door and in the seat you'll buy. Especially if you are looking at payments and not the total cost.

We used to give the full price and work from there. We were always competitive, as low or even lower than those discount dealers. Get your general range of price you want to pay, then go to a good dealership you would like to patronize and make your offer that you would like to do. Show them the money and see if they will do it. If nothing else you'll see what they will do.
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gereke View Post
Not sure you'd have a whole lot of haggle room on a bike like the Ninja 250. I've read in various places that dealers don't really pull in a lot of profit on the low priced starter bikes such as the Ninjette, at least from an individual sale standpoint. They're more a "volume" money maker.
So you're saying that there's no way I will be able to haggle down to something significantly lower. Since this is a starter bike and probably the cheaper bikes in the dealership?

I would not mind buying a used one. But seems the used ones sell fast. And I missed out on times dealerships had barely used ninjas because I had no money. But hopefully a used bike will turn up by the time I make around $4-5 grand and maybe have some left over.
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:51 AM   #7
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I forgot to mention, back in 2006 Kawasaki had the Ninja 250 at $3399 at the start of the season. The dealers raised a stink about the higher MSRP than the other 250s, the cruisers. So Kawasaki cut the price to $2999... but didn't cut the wholesale price to the dealer. Talk about dealers complaints again! If the dealer sold the bike at full list with fees that actually covered the extraneous costs, they made a grand total of $150. Hardly enough to allow much price cutting. They'd have been better off to leave the price at $3399 and be able to shave $300 off the price - looks better for the customer. Just goes to show you have to be careful what you ask for... you might just get it!
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JetFalcon View Post
Since I'm in no rush to get one now and I don't even have money, I would like to start looking now in hopes a dealer will be willing to give me a good deal. Maybe a used ninja 250 will come in and they call me and offer me a good price. Or possibly a big discount on gear if I have to pay all their stupid fees, more than 20% which both bike stores offered so I guess it's a normal discount nothing amazing.
If you're nervous about doing the Craigslist thing, just know that sales guys love sure things. I'd go in and strike up a conversation with one sales guy, tell him your situation (working at Smashburger, getting ready to graduate, going to take the MSF). Tell him you're really looking for a good used Ninja 250, but you're a few months out from being able to get one. Get his card, touch base from time to time with him (phone, email, occasional drop by -- Maybe stop back in and get some of your gear there for the MSF).

Once the guy gets to know you, he'll take care of you when the time comes because he's got some emotional investment tied up in you (you're the eager, first time buyer, who isn't so sure about what to look out for, and he was like that once, too). When you're ready to buy and good Ninja 250 comes in, you'll be one of the first calls the guy makes.

But you just need to resign yourself to the fact that you're just not going to get a great deal on a used 250 at a dealership. Dealerships have overhead (rent, taxes, utilities, employee salaries, etc). Ninjas are a low margin, high volume product, and they are wildly popular with newer riders. Like someone said earlier, they have no reason to haggle because if you don't buy it the next guy will.

Personally, knowing your financial situation, I'd go the Craigslist route and save several hundo off the dealer price (the money you save could pay for the MSF and some gear).
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