Author Topic: Harley motorcycle sales salary and commish?  (Read 15372 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Partsman64

  • Member
  • Posts: 44
  • Country: 00
  • "Ride like you're invisible"
Harley motorcycle sales salary and commish?
« on: Sunday, August 23, 2009. 08:48:28 AM. »
Is anyone here in Harley sales, or know anyone that sells H-D bikes and might know if you can make a decent living selling bikes?  (ex: commission, salary, etc)  Thinking about the possibility.  Any help appreciated.

Thanks

Offline CndUltra88

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1365
  • Country: ca
Re: Harley motorcycle sales salary and commish?
« Reply #1 on: Sunday, August 23, 2009. 09:12:26 AM. »
Go apply and tell us what you found out.
Just because you apply and go for an inteview ( if your lucky )
doesnt mean you have to take the offer or they will offer you a job.
I see lots of adverts on dealerships web pages .
I know of one member who works as a leo and works p/t at a dealership
I dont think he works for a M/C shop to get rich or suppliment his/her income, maybe does it for personal growth ???
You know a  good full time job is hard to find.
Just my .02.
Rob
Infantryman Terry Street
End of Tour April,4,2008 Panjwayi district Afghanistan

Offline Jeffd

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 6478
Re: Harley motorcycle sales salary and commish?
« Reply #2 on: Sunday, August 23, 2009. 09:20:02 AM. »
I know a couple of guys that were sales managers at the local dealership and both said the same thing.  Money was very good work hours sucked.  Both said pretty much 7 days a week.

Offline blindspot

  • Member
  • Posts: 39
Re: Harley motorcycle sales salary and commish?
« Reply #3 on: Sunday, August 23, 2009. 11:14:55 AM. »
A buddy of mine switched from selling cars to selling HD's.  He liked the work atmosphere much better, but said the money sucked compared to the car business.  He stuck it out for 6 months, then went back to the car business.  He tried to explain the difference in how they paid commissions, but it was all greek to me.  I don't know if independent dealers have a choice in how they pay commission, or if it's driven by corporate.
Aurora, Colorado, USA

Offline 02roadcling

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 3836
  • Country: us
  • GMR98"SBChead204CV40 ThndrhdDTT3.37VPC112.94/96.25
Re: Harley motorcycle sales salary and commish?
« Reply #4 on: Sunday, August 23, 2009. 11:22:29 AM. »
>>> I don't know if independent dealers have a choice in how they pay commission, or if it's driven by corporate. <<<

Its completely up to the generousity or lack of, of the dealer.
02roadcling
NW corner of Washington

Offline 4DWUDS

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 356
  • Phx, AZ 2004 Winnebagger
Re: Harley motorcycle sales salary and commish?
« Reply #5 on: Sunday, August 23, 2009. 11:28:29 AM. »
I bought my 04 Ultra new from a dealer. A year later I ran into my salesman at a swap meet, we got to talking and he quit the dealer cause it didn't pay his bills. He said he only got $150. commishion off my bike. He said they make the most off selling you the extra chrome. That was $.0 he made on chrome sales to me. I guess it would depend on how good of a salesman YOU are.
To Err is human, To Forgive Divine. Neither of which is Marine Corps Policy.

Offline thealaskan©

  • Member
  • Posts: 27
Re: Harley motorcycle sales salary and commish?
« Reply #6 on: Sunday, August 23, 2009. 01:33:53 PM. »
I've talked to several HD sales peeps.  Seems all dealers will offer different salary, bonuses and/or commissions.  Some have a base salary, some don't.  H-D corporate sets no dealership rules here.  Some dealers pay higher commissions than others.  Benefits will vary also, so it might be wise to check around.  If you have little or no sales experience you're going to be a tougher sell to get hired.  Don't think that just because you love and know Harley's you're an automatic shoe in.  You'll have to sell yourself!
« Last Edit: Sunday, August 23, 2009. 01:36:10 PM. by thealaskan¬© »

Offline One4Tone

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 554
Re: Harley motorcycle sales salary and commish?
« Reply #7 on: Sunday, August 23, 2009. 02:17:35 PM. »
...from what I can see..find out how many units they alloted to sell...divide that by number of salesmen..sometimes being new may have advantages since some customers are tired of dealing with someone that will consistenly offer them a low trade in..in my case it was so bad when i bought my 03  FLHT I left my bike at home..because i had walked out too many times disgusted at their low ball offers..and I wanted the centenial model..in fact the new management offered an extra 1000 dollars but I bought outright anyway..now I'm glad I kept my '72 FL popo.. with the hand shift..some things are irreplaceable..

Online Rags722

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 4869
  • Country: 00
Re: Harley motorcycle sales salary and commish?
« Reply #8 on: Sunday, August 23, 2009. 02:49:10 PM. »
I would say in today's economy, jumping into a sales position could be a tough leap.  If the dealer is paying anything decent, he's probably looking at shrinking rather than expanding his sales staff to save dollars.  After all, if all you get is 400 units a year, how many inexperienced sales guys do you need?  You may get lucky and find a place that recently lost a few guys in sales, but then you have to ask yourself, why did they leave?  It probably had something to do with not making enough to pay the bills.  I wish you luck, but I think the best advice you got was to walk on down to the local H-D dealer, talk to the owner, and see what he is offering.  Then stack the base pay plus potential for commission ( divide number of units by the number of sales guys and only figure yourself in for 1/2 a person).  Then divide that by the number of hours you have to work and see if it still makes any sense to take the leap.
Rags

Offline Clintster

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1478
Re: Harley motorcycle sales salary and commish?
« Reply #9 on: Sunday, August 23, 2009. 03:33:26 PM. »
Takes a lot of nerve to do sales, you don't sell you don't eat.  Sold cars for a few years, didn't have the stomach for it, not certain income.  It takes a while to build a clientele.  Some dealers flip sales people, you sell all your friends and relatives etc.  Then when the slow times come you just can't make a living.  In a slow economy I would be careful.  If you are financially set and the pay and benefits are something you can live on, go for it.  Seems folks who get in the business do less riding for burnout, not all, but some I know.  I thought it would be cool just talking bikes, but sales is sales.
« Last Edit: Sunday, August 23, 2009. 04:58:44 PM. by Clintster »
Drive fast, take chances

Offline Jim Bronson

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1447
  • Country: us
Re: Harley motorcycle sales salary and commish?
« Reply #10 on: Sunday, August 23, 2009. 06:09:57 PM. »
I don't know anyone who's been in sales for more than a few months. Based on personal discussions with ex-sales people, it's really hard to make a living. If it's a second job you don't really need and you like just being around new bikes and bikers, then it may be a good diversion from the 9-5. Be prepared to work every weekend until you get some seniority.
Going down that long, lonesome highway.

Offline Beerad

  • Member
  • Posts: 34
  • Country: us
  • Your number 1
Re: Harley motorcycle sales salary and commish?
« Reply #11 on: Sunday, August 23, 2009. 07:03:06 PM. »
It depends on the dealership. Our local HD dealer (N.Georgia) put all sales persons on straight commission only. Everytime I go in, :wtf: I see a crew of salesmen. Can't keep anybody.

Offline Anthony

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 100
Re: Harley motorcycle sales salary and commish?
« Reply #12 on: Sunday, August 23, 2009. 07:13:29 PM. »
You need to find a well run up to date dealership. You can make 70-80k a year at the right store , after a few years of course! I see alot of folks that think it would be all fun and games or fufilling a dream to sell H-D's , at times this can be true , but it is a real business that is expected to make money. It can be rewarding but it is indeed a job. I never hire a person that says " H-D's sell themselves".  They do not sell themselves , it is very hard work. If you think you are up to it put your name out there. Most good dealerships are always looking for salespeople. Beware........the hours stink , they are long , you dont get weekends off. If someone offers you someting better than that think hard. The $$$$$$$$$ probably isnt there. One last comment.........I have seen many enthusiasts enter the dealership workforce only to leave hating the dealership and losing their passion and interest in H-D's.........Me personally , I love it......Anthony                                

Offline harleyjt

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 3471
  • Country: us
  • North MS, just south of Memphrica
Re: Harley motorcycle sales salary and commish?
« Reply #13 on: Sunday, August 23, 2009. 07:37:45 PM. »
One last comment.........I have seen many enthusiasts enter the dealership workforce only to leave hating the dealership and losing their passion and interest in H-D's.......

Good advice from Anthony.  And that's not just with Harley's.  Anytime you make your hobby your living - your job - you run the very real risk of losing your hobby.  It happened to me when I went into the car business with one of the Big 3 automakers.   
jt
2014 Ultra Classic - Mysterious Red/Blackened Cayenne

Offline codyshop

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1794
Re: Harley motorcycle sales salary and commish?
« Reply #14 on: Sunday, August 23, 2009. 07:41:18 PM. »
Is anyone here in Harley sales, or know anyone that sells H-D bikes and might know if you can make a decent living selling bikes?  (ex: commission, salary, etc)  Thinking about the possibility.  Any help appreciated.

Thanks

With the huge number of dealerships closing, you would think that there would be no sales openings anywhere with the influx of newly unemployed HD salesmen.  If any dealership is advertising for sales floor help, it simply means that those with experience are not applying because unemployment is paying better.  Ray

Offline Jeffd

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 6478
Re: Harley motorcycle sales salary and commish?
« Reply #15 on: Sunday, August 23, 2009. 07:41:43 PM. »
probably why I did not become a gynocologist besides the fact I can't spell it LOL.

Offline Anthony

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 100
Re: Harley motorcycle sales salary and commish?
« Reply #16 on: Sunday, August 23, 2009. 07:48:46 PM. »
Ray I respectfully disagree...........Dealerships are driven by vehicle sales. If the sales force has no structure ,  process or leadership it wont be long before the bikes stop selling , then we know what is next. A few dealerships in my own back yard have gone or are about to go. I would not hire one of their sales people....Anthony

Offline Skullfork

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 591
  • Country: us
  • Tobaccoville, NC
Re: Harley motorcycle sales salary and commish?
« Reply #17 on: Sunday, August 23, 2009. 07:50:57 PM. »
A buddy of mine is a "Chrome Consultant" at Adventure H-D and makes his commission on all the add-ons a buyer wants when he/she buys a new bike at the dealership. Says he makes a helluva a lot more money than he'd ever make as a bike only sales person ...

Offline codyshop

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1794
Re: Harley motorcycle sales salary and commish?
« Reply #18 on: Sunday, August 23, 2009. 09:34:34 PM. »
Ray I respectfully disagree...........Dealerships are driven by vehicle sales.

And Anthony, I return the respect.  Dealerships are driven by clothing, accessories and parts.  They sell units only as a necessary inconvenience.  If vehicle unit sales were the driving force, then why all the mall/tourist "dealerships" that have neither bikes, parts or service?   HD is "boutiqueing" itself out of the motorcycle business.    Ray

Offline LT611

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 62
Re: Harley motorcycle sales salary and commish?
« Reply #19 on: Monday, August 24, 2009. 05:30:22 AM. »
Ray I respectfully disagree...........Dealerships are driven by vehicle sales.

And Anthony, I return the respect.  Dealerships are driven by clothing, accessories and parts.  They sell units only as a necessary inconvenience.  If vehicle unit sales were the driving force, then why all the mall/tourist "dealerships" that have neither bikes, parts or service?   HD is "boutiqueing" itself out of the motorcycle business.    Ray
  :agree:,I think Ray nailed it with this comment,not all dealer's but a lot of them.Sevice suck's,employee's with no knowledge and act like,well you know.I know time's are changing,but it seem's like greed is taking place of customer satisfaction these day's.More money is probably made in the boutique section so that is what they push.

Offline Dennis The Menace

  • 2010 FLTRX - Scarlet O'Hell
  • Past Admin
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7298
  • Country: us
Re: Harley motorcycle sales salary and commish?
« Reply #20 on: Monday, August 24, 2009. 05:37:07 AM. »
Ray and Anthony, you are both right.  Dealer has to sell bikes to be viable as a true dealer.  I suppose he could renegotiate his deal with MoCo to do a boutique only, but I dont know of any owner that has a boutique that does not have a full dealership.  I suspect they only let experienced dealers open a "shop" boutique.

That said, I also understand retail business model.  The margins are lower on bikes themselves (probably in the 10-25% range), where the margins on P&A and Motorclothes and trinkets are likely at least 50% or maybe more. That is why its easy to see the dealers offering deals of 10-15% off all parts and clothes with a bike purchase, they have more room to negotiate and still make money.

Typical business model actually.  Same whether a car dealer, motorcycle dealer, bicycle dealer, etc.  Hell, even Sears does the same thing with appliance sales.

As Harley consumers, its important when we go in to make a deal to understand how this model works.  Knowing whether the dealer is giving you a deal or screwing you to some degree.

But, if you are interested in doing the HD sales thing, keep in mind selling the bike isnt going to be enough.  If you dont add the bling to the deal, you wont make much on the sale, as noted by several here.  You have to take that 18K Fatboy sale up to 20K out the door to make money for yourself, and the dealer.  If you cant do that, look for another line of work.  And, its harder than it sounds.

menace

Offline Anthony

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 100
Re: Harley motorcycle sales salary and commish?
« Reply #21 on: Monday, August 24, 2009. 06:26:27 AM. »
First off.....partsman sent me an e mail asking a question so I now feel we are not hijacking his thread ! Dennis you pretty much covered my thoughts but I will comment anyway. Almost all stand alone boutiques are in an airport or in a tourist stop. Almost all are owned by a company that operates a full line dealership. Vehicle sales hold the lowest gross profit %%% while the hold the highest gross profit $$$ amount. P&A is the opposite although not quite 50 %. MotorClothes as well at or above 50 %......A point being missed is service labor. A good dealership is holding 70% gross on labor.  The bottom line is this.....no bike sales...........no business......anthony

Offline Dennis The Menace

  • 2010 FLTRX - Scarlet O'Hell
  • Past Admin
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7298
  • Country: us
Re: Harley motorcycle sales salary and commish?
« Reply #22 on: Monday, August 24, 2009. 06:45:12 AM. »
Anthony, good info.  Especially for those wanting to negotiate a great deal at a dealer.

Me, I am considering a '10 RG this year.  I dont expect to get anything "free" from a  dealer.  That isnt right, cause I wont work for free, why should I expect the same from anyone else.

So, I will pay MSRP on the bike, whihc is what my dealer gives, and ask for 20% on parts and at least that for install labor.  My dealer in Oregon gave me free labor to install parts, but I paid full price on parts.  Either way, its a discount for me off MSRP of the TOTAL out the door price, and the dealer is still making money.  Maybe not as much, but they are still making margins that keep the doors open.

I have bought 2 bikes from them in the past, and over 10K in parts over the years (according to my points card purchases).  So, as a loyal customer, they will give me the deal I am after.

Let this be a lesson for everyone looking to go into a dealer.  If you are joe schmuck off the street who will not give repeat business and be loyal to the dealer, then they will be less likely to make a great deal.  They will want to make their moeny off you now, and know they wont get more from you downt the road.

If, however, you are a loyal customer and they know you, its very likely they will cut you some slack and know they will make up some margin on your purchases and services down the road. That is what a good salesman, and dealer, do to earn and keep your business.  The payoff is in the long term relationship.

Just my thoughts as a business oriented professional.

menace

Online tomcat64

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1384
Re: Harley motorcycle sales salary and commish?
« Reply #23 on: Monday, August 24, 2009. 11:31:51 AM. »
we pay a small salary, plus commish, plus F&I spiffs, it is a great way to earn a living but you have to be able to budget your money, dealers in the north like us are very seasonal, if you can't save some of the big summer bucks then you will starve in the winter. as for working on commish,,, heck everybody should do it at some point in there life, gives you a whole new prospective on work,  and productivity.

one spot in the dealership that can pay real good money is the F&I office, if i was to take a different position here it would be in the biz office...

t-c

Online texaskatfish

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4174
  • Country: us
  • Katy Texas (west Houston)
    • BACA International
Re: Harley motorcycle sales salary and commish?
« Reply #24 on: Monday, August 24, 2009. 05:13:08 PM. »

Menace yanno - come to think of it (even though I do not plan to buy a new bike anytime soon) - based on the way Mile Hi treated me all during Gracie's life I'd travel the 1000 miles back to do 'new bike biz' with them. Mile Hi treated me very extremely well and I didn't even buy Gracie from them!

Freedom HD got my purchase cash (way under MSRP at the time if I recall) and not another dime.
Katfish  Vice President   Cypress Chapter BACA
RIP Jester http://bacaworld.org/