Bob Weaver Motorsports & Marine of Tonawanda, New York, decided to stock up on used units during COVID−19. The dealership relentlessly advertised that they buy used motorcycles, ATVs, side-by-sides, PWCs and snowmobiles. The sales team saw positive results quickly and chose to expand its pre-owned initiative. They bought more units from National Powersports Auctions (NPA) and worked the local network to find even more. They found NPA to be their best source for vehicles, followed by former customers and lastly trade-ins.
Sales staff received commissions for these pre-owned vehicles—the same commission made on new vehicle sales. The team would evaluate used units before setting their purchase price, and they would pick up vehicles for free from owners interested in selling them. If they could not agree on a price with the owner, the dealership would return the unit at no charge. The dealership sold more used bikes in 2021 than ever before, and they did so by creating a no-haggling price structure that benefited both salespeople, buyers and sellers.
It’s not all roses and profits for the Bob Weaver team. Storing used units can be a challenge, “because we have so many,” said Bob Weaver. “Sometimes we have 250 to 350 used units in stock. We stock a lot of used. It’s a bit challenging, but we seem to be able to manage pretty well.”
Weaver predicts 2023 will continue the growth for sales of used vehicles. “I’m on a lot of different dealer panels,” said Weaver, “and I hear some people say great, some people say not so great, some people say terrible. I’m still pretty positive.” The low-snow winter of ‘23 has increased customers’ interest in used motorcycles. “The traffic is good already, so I can’t imagine what will happen when we get into the middle of February.”
Finding inventory requires creative thinking. “Pre-owned, every year they’re harder to find,” said Weaver. “We have to work at it more, we have to shop everywhere. We look on Facebook marketplace, and we go chase them. And we advertise constantly. A lot of people walk in the door with their titles and say, ‘Hey I want to sell my bike.’ We’ve earned a reputation for paying a fair price and, as long as we can make a fair mark up, then it works for everybody.”
Nominations for this year’s Best-in-Class awards will open soon. Awards will be handed out at the ACCELERATE conference in Dallas this November, so be sure to register.