Guest Author - Nancy Brotherton
Most bikers love to sport the clothing and merchandise of their motorcycles manufacturer and I am no exception. We are proud of our brand of rides and want to show it.
Just last weekend my husband and I were out shopping at the Harley Davidson dealerships in the Maryland area looking for Harley Davidson branded merchandise that was unusual or that we didn't have. We were at the Annapolis Harley Davidson dealership and saw they were having a "Sale". We purchased the Harley Davidson Billiard starter set. The box said the retail price was normally $299.00 and it was one sale for $50.00 off. For $249.00 we could get the billiard starter set at the Annapolis dealer and that would be $50.00 off the retail price, most probably cheaper than any other dealers. We purchased the set because we thought the dealer was giving us a "deal".
When we purchased the item the cashier was confused and said there was a mix up on the price and the receipt said wrong price but had a $0.00 under the $249.00. The dealership sold it to us for $249.00 and took $2 off because one of the chalk cubes was missing.
While browsing at another dealership that same day we saw the same exact item number and set on sale for $175.00. We asked the dealership about it and they said the MSRP was $249.00 and they were trying to clear these out and had a price of $175.00. Needless to say, we were a little confused. We called Annapolis Harley Davidson and explained that the MSRP was supposed to be $249.00, the price we paid and could they give us a $50.00 credit. The Sales Manager was polite but after speaking with the Owner of the dealership, said sorry you already got your $50.00 off, but you can bring it back.
We were over an hour away on our vacation and had to spend two hours going to and from to return the set. When we went in, we didn't get an apology, no explanation, nothing, so I assume that the Annapolis dealership is in the habit of raising their prices and then saying there is a sale which is technically price gouging. Maybe they just made a mistake initially on the pricing but they should have explained. They were polite but very, very cold. I will make sure that the 500+ member group I am affiliated with knows about this and they communicate the experience to the Annapolis members.
We returned the item and went to the other dealership and saved $75.00. Moral of this story is shop around. If you are like my husband and me, we love our branded merchandise but this has really opened our eyes. We had a similar experience with another Owner of a dealership where they acted like they were a God (that experience lost them a motorcycle sale because we cancelled the contract and called Harley corporate to get results). The owners of these dealerships need to remember who is putting money in their pockets (the riders).
At this point, we are not even sure if we want to buy any more Harley items just because of the repeated "you are nothing" treatment we receive from some of the dealerships. I have been in other brands of motorcycle dealerships and they don't seem to have this type of attitude.
Just wanted to pass this experience on and make sure that any Harley riders out there are informed and know to shop around and give your business to a vendor that appreciates it.
Until next week, bikers beware and ride safe.