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July 11, 2011 – Change your eBay Motors password to avoid hackers

July 19, 2011
Filed under Columns

Dealership eBay Motors accounts are getting hacked by culprits in Nigeria. That’s right. Hackers in Nigeria are trying to steal the identity of dealerships that use eBay Motors and communicate with the dealership’s customers. The hackers, pretending to be from the dealership, uncover email addresses of visitors who had shopped on the dealership’s eBay Motors page. The hackers send an email, offering lower pricing on a unit and asking the dealership’s visitor to send money for the purchase.

What’s the most effective way to eliminate the chance of dealership identity theft by hackers?

“Dealers should routinely change their password on eBay Motors, I would say every other week,” according to a source in the know.

Here’s how the scam works. Let’s say I was on eBay Motors and looked at a bike on a dealer’s page. I sent the dealership some emails and had some questions about the bike, but didn’t buy it.

Meanwhile, the culprit hacks into the dealership’s account and can see that I had communication with the dealership. Maybe the dealership was asking $10,000 for a bike that interested me. The hacker then sends an officlal-looking email to me, complete with dealership letterhead. The hacker, acting as if he’s from the dealership, informs me in the letter that the price is being reduced to $8,000, so if I’m interested, send an email. The followup email from the hacker would then provide the transaction information.

Simple solution to a potentially disastrous problem? Change your password.

For additional ways to ensure that your business remains safe from potential financial pitfalls like credit card fraud, check out the F&I insight from Peter Jones on page 31. Jones will be among the many speakers who will be presenting seminars that will benefit your bottom line at Profit Xcelerator Sept. 25-27 in Las Vegas. If you want to become educated on the latest ways to improve your business, you need to be there. Powersports Business organizes and administers the dealer conference and trade show, so you know the presentations will be bottom-line oriented.

Speaking of ways to guide your dealership in a positive direction, American Biker owner Rich Worley is using his retail background to help bring revenue into his store in Charleston, S.C. Check out how he generates additional customer traffic by filling a niche market in our story on page 13. And while Worley reaches a female audience with his apparel sales, it has helped him move bikes, too. Worley reports the Victory Cross Country touring bike has been the top seller in recent months, going to “average guys” in their lows-30s to mid-40s, he said. “Victory is really taking off. We’ve sold a lot more of those bikes than we thought we would,” he added.

For an up-close look at other dealers who know retail secrets that move bikes, you’ll want to book that flight to Las Vegas for ProfitX. The “3 Hottest Events That Move Bikes” and “Dealer Solutions Panel” seminars simply will provide you with tested methods that will improve your business.

Snowmobile sales rise
The numbers show it and the dealers back it up — U.S. snowmobile sales are indeed on the rise, and there were plenty of positive results from spring snow checks. Read our report on page 24 to take a look at the 2010-11 snowmobile season trends and sales numbers.

OEM production has been getting such high marks that one dealer noticed some potential problems with the aftermarket. “The way sleds are coming out of the box, it’s making it tough. It’s difficult to find what the customer wants, they’re building such incredible machines now.”

Another snowmobile dealer described the importance of snow checks: “Units sell trailers sell accessories sell clothing sell units,” is how he describes the selling cycle. “Whenever we have a good spring, fall is always good, too.”

House of Sports in Mason City, Iowa, once again had no carryover of snowmobiles. Dealership owner John Helgren has been selling snowmobiles since the 1960s, but could use some new blood riding those sleds. “You have a certain amount of new buyers, but one thing this industry lacks is a lot of new fresh faces,” Helgren said. “So much of the snowmobile business is the diehard customer base. Maybe they’ll jump brands from time to time, but we’re lacking in gaining a lot of new faces.”

Don’t be surprised if you have to pass on additional costs to your snowmobile customers in the coming months. The rising price of the composite material UHMW (known to you and me as ultra high molecular weight polyethylene), used to manufacture snowmobile skis, has risen in price for the second time since March. The product is now being used in batteries for electric and hybrid cards, and thus is in high demand.

Industry news and notes
Here’s how one powersports dealer described the business of selling the Can-Am Spyder. “That’s a good, good, good business to be in,” he said. “It’s still selling at sticker price. They don’t work on their own bikes, they don’t do their own tire changes, they don’t do their own first service. We had a husband and wife passing by to get their oil changed. But they started looking around and buying saddlebags and clothing and accessories and they walked out with $3,200 worth of stuff.”

  • Appearance is important to powersports riders. One OEM made minimal graphic changes to one of its 2011 machines, despite some enhanced design features. “Some of our customers saw the new unit and said ‘Hmmm, it looks the same and for the difference in price, I’ll keep what I’ve got.’”
  • What’s the unlikelihood of sitting next to one of your Twitter followers on an airplane? KTM North America president Jon-Erik Burleson boarded a plane recently, only to eventually discover that the unknown passenger sitting next to him had responded earlier that week to one of his tweets. Not surprisingly, they talked KTM bikes for the next two hours.
  • Dave McMahon is senior editor of Powersports Business. He can be reached at dmcmahon@
    powersportsbusiness.com or 763-383-4411.

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