The worst time to buy a new motorcycle is obviously just before it is heavily discounted. But how can you know when a discount promotion is imminent?
Imagine you just bought a new motorcycle and a few days later the manufacturer or distributor announced a nationwide promotion with a massive discount price.
You’d feel pretty annoyed, wouldn’t you?
You’d probably also think you’d be justified in claiming a discount for the difference between what you paid and the new price.
Unfortunately, the ACCC, Choice and Fair Trade say the customer does not have a legal leg to stand on.
Fortunately, some reputable retailers will offer a bit of cash back, a free service or free goods to “buy your goodwill”.
However, the only time we can recall a company issuing a full refund after heavily discounting a big-ticket item was in 2004 when Holden slashed the price of its off-road Adventra wagon by $4000.
The refunds cost Holden more than $5 million in goodwill.
But that wasn’t a discount promotion. That was simply Holden getting their pricing wrong and being undercut by the new Ford Territory.
We have never heard of a motorcycle company offering a full refund after introducing a discount promotion.
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Best times to buy
So it is important that motorcycle customers learn the best times to buy a bike.
Some promotions are budgeted months in advance and are fairly predictable while some are last-minute promotions as a knee-jerk reaction to excess unsold stock.
There are periods when discounts are likely: in the run-up to Christmas; in January to clear unsold stock from showroom floors after Christmas; in June just before the end of financial year; and in spring to get people riding again after winter.
They can also follow the official quarterly release of sales results by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries. Check out our articles on motorcycle sales and you can expect those not doing so well to initiate discount promotions.
Discounts are also offered on current stock just before new models are introduced. Most brands release their new models at the same time every year, usually autumn or spring.
So find out when your preferred brand releases its new models and wait for their associated discount offers on existing stock.
Even if there are no formal discount offers in these periods, these are good times to bargain with your dealer.
In a perfect world, there would be an “amnesty period” between when a dealer is informed of a pending discount promotion and when it goes public.
In that time, the dealer should only sell a vehicle at full price if they offer an extended “cooling-off” period to the customer or offer a full refund or commensurate-value service.
But it’s not a perfect world, is it?
Instead, we are at the mercy of reputable dealers showing goodwill toward customers.
Thankfully for customers, it’s a highly competitive industry and most dealers are keen to get your business, so good sense and good business usually prevails. Disreputable dealers don’t last long.
In fact, we’ve heard of some honest salespeople who quietly tell a prospective buyer to “come back next week” and give them a wink and a nod!
Meanwhile, do your homework on the best times to buy your particular brand.