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Aug. 10, 2009 – A dealer wholesale opportunity

August 10, 2009
Filed under Features

Dealers looking to add to their preowned inventory could consider the nation’s largest motorcycle rental company as a potential source for specific bike brands.
EagleRider is offering wholesale prices to dealers for their aged inventory of Harley-Davidsons, Honda, BMW and other select motorcycle brands. Recently the rental company had a wholesale inventory of 1,500 motorcycles, says David Goff, EagleRider’s marketing manager.
Preowned sales of powersports units were up in the first quarter of 2009 compared to a year ago, according to R.L. Polk data, so it’s likely dealers are looking at different wholesale opportunities.
Unlike auctions, EagleRider does not have a planned sales schedule. Dealers are free to access the rental company’s Web site anytime for information on EagleRider’s current wholesale inventory. The company also can e-mail or fax its inventory of bikes to dealers.
Dealers also are allowed to visit EagleRider’s wholesale warehouse in California to view the bikes there. Goff says the company has negotiated with dealers on packages where EagleRider picked up travel expenses if dealers purchase a certain number of bikes.
EagleRider offers traditional floor planning as well as up to 180 days of free floor planning for dealers, the company said. EagleRider also offers fleet floor planning to EagleRider dealers and affiliate dealers and retail financing through EagleRider dealers and affiliate dealers selling EagleRider-owned motorcycles.
EagleRider has offered the wholesale opportunity for more than a year now as a way to turn over its inventory. The company has an annual fleet of 3,500 factory stock motorcycles and it seeks to keep that fleet with as many newer vehicles as possible, Goff says. Thus, much of the wholesale inventory is comprised of motorcycles that are model years 2008/2007 Harley models.
“Our goal, on the rental side, is to give people the best experience we can, not only the location they’re going, the routes they’re taking but also the motorcycle they have,” he said.
A common misconception the company deals with is the quality of the rental bike once it hits the wholesale inventory. Goff says dealers often believe consumers treat rental motorcycles just like rental cars: with little care or caution.
In fact, Goff says the opposite is true for two reasons. First and foremost is the safety factor. “They’re going to use this bike carefully and with as much discretion as they can because if something happens to them on that bike …” Goff said of consumers.
Secondly, EagleRider requires a minimum of $1,000 for a credit card deposit on each of its rentals bikes. As a result, Goff said, “people treat them better than their own bikes.”
Motorcycles also are inspected before and after each rental to ensure the vehicle is running well.
Goff says most of EagleRider’s wholesale bikes have between high-teens to the high 20,000s in terms of mileage, although those are “mostly highway miles, not a lot of stop and go on our bikes” due to the number of touring riders the company draws.
EagleRider prices the bikes competitively, Goff says, and already works with dealers both in the United States and Canada. Shipping also is available through EagleRider.
“They found it was a great way to find a large selection of factory stock motorcycles in one location so they didn’t have to go to 20 different places to find the inventory they’re looking for,” Goff said of dealer interest. psb

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