March 8, 2010: Aged inventory option for dealers gaining steam

INDIANAPOLIS — A new company that is touting a self-help program to alleviate one of the biggest parts and accessory department problems is quickly gaining traction.
DustyMoto, an online dealers-only network, has amassed more than 500 dealers across the United States, CEO Bobby Franklin told Powersports Business at the recently held Dealer Expo.
The online company has established a site that allows dealers to post and sell their aged inventory to other dealers. In turn, DustyMoto receives a percentage, 15 percent, from the sale of the aged inventory.
“Dealers have access to each other’s shelves with the sole purpose of turning that back into useable cash,” Franklin said.
The new company was founded by Franklin, who spent 16 years as a dealer principal in a southeast Georgia store. Not unlike other dealerships, Franklin constantly found his parts and accessory department hampered by thousands of dollars in aged inventory.
“I got to thinking, ‘We can’t be the only dealership in the country in that situation,’” he said.
Just by the amount of product that’s now available on DustyMoto, it’s clear he wasn’t the lone dealer with that issue.
Franklin estimated the company would have close to $40 million in aged inventory listed on the company’s Web site just a few weeks after the Indianapolis show.
The process works like this: Dealers send DustyMoto a list of their aged inventory they’re willing to sell on the site. That product is not shipped to DustyMoto, however. Instead, other dealers search that list — even by zip code to find the closest store with the needed product — and then order through DustyMoto. DustyMoto handles all the billing and will send packaging and packaging labels to the selling dealer.
Which dealer pays the shipping on the product depends on the transaction. “Qualified dealers” — those that are buying from dealers that have the same franchise — pay shipping if they are the selling party. “Unqualified dealers” — those that are buying from dealers that have different franchises than they do — pay the shipping if they are buying the part or accessory.
Franklin says the site has attracted quite a few independent dealers. “We have a lot of independent shops because independents are great clearing houses for (franchised)?dealers on aged inventory,” he said.
The site does not establish the definition of “aged inventory,” leaving that up to individual dealers to decide. So dealers could be listing inventory on the site that is six months old or 24 months old.
“The advantage as a whole,” Franklin said of the site and its possible impact on lessening PG&A aged inventory, “ is the dealer network gets a little more healthy and little stronger.”
— Neil Pascale

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