Friday, January 28, 2011

When it comes to Exhausts you get what you pay for just like everything even Taco Bell

When it comes to Exhausts you get what you pay for just like everything even Taco Bell or How I stopped listening to the price issue and agreed to eat real meat!

Last week I was talking to a newbie dealer who often buys really inexpensive mainland exhausts and constantly complains about pricing, wants the best but thinks everything should be at rock bottom Chinese pricing. Funny thing is I've been to his store and he drives a nice car, so I know he doesn't like inexpensive things, he just thinks the end users and riders do. My problem is he firmly believes its quality, but what he sells is not. Normally this would be a common story, but I'm happy to say I converted him and saving one soul is worth talking to a thousand people in my book. When I was 15 we spent a summer with Key Club on the weekends cleaning a beach, at first I thought it was a complete waste of time because people would just destroy it again. I probably said it in a much more fashionable way at the time the way teenagers do, but my teacher looked at me and said "watch if its clean they won't dirty it again." He was right and I often think of this when I deal with people who don't understand the difference between price and quality. By the end of the summer we would show up and there was nothing to pick up anymore. This was the guy, he was my project for the week and finally it paid off. One client like him makes my week because it tells me I'm on the correct path. We sell inexpensive parts, everyone has to, but there is still a correlation in the powersports industry between price and quality. There always will be since better labor costs more so you can't outsource the world to India or China and better goods will still cost more.

So new guy, got in the industry at the height and thought he could make a fortune selling cheap. Never thought he should try a quality product. Likes the nice stuff for himself, but sells crap to his clients, I always have a problem with that attitude. He already signed up for the class next month with Josh Rogers so he can hear it first hand from other dealers, but that's next month.

He called MRP because he was told "everyone tells me to call you" and starts with "the inexpensive exhausts I got are breaking and rusting" turns out he purchases from a site which we already know rust after two months and he wants to know "If MRP sells something of better quality." I tell him everything we have is of better quality than the online retailer he buys most of his cheap Chinese scooter parts from, but that I suggest trying one or two and seeing the difference.

I've told him before, but he's got that JIT mentality. Buys only one because the customer pre-paid it. I tell him with all certainty "you could save money by stocking, but you won't until you see what I meant." He says he's willing to listen this time because the amount of returns are giving him headaches, but he wants to see it first before buying more. The difference in price wholesale is only about $40 so he says "give me a few days," I stress it's not about price (the performance and quality difference is enormous) so he does it. He doesn't really care who he buys from which is his first mistake as he expands online despite all the times I've pointed it out. All he does is make his competition stronger (He buys from someone who sells on Ebay, sells direct online, plus will lowball the consumer when called directly) So I already think he's making a huge mistake representing their product, but now he realizes it since his clients are upset, he needs to make a change. He needs to stop eating at Taco Bell and try some real food.

It's like the guy who wants a good meal, but instead of going to a family dinner that serves a 100% real AMERICAN grass fed meat goes to Taco Bell and to quote the CEO of Taco Bell Greg Creed "88% is beef and the remainder consists of water and/or spices." That "and/or" part makes me nervous because it could be anything the FDA thinks is humanly digestible and we live in a world where the FDA and corporations will bend the truth to say that 12% is healthy.

I wouldn't want 88% medicine and 12% water and/or spices if I was sick, and if I buy something for my car or scooter I don't want 88% performance, but that's what many dealers settle for. We live with this 88% mentality. Has anyone ever tried real Tex Mex steak 100% made in America beef without spices and filler? Same thing when you get in a car or on a motorcycle. You can tell the difference between a 700cc Chinese Sportbike and a Ducati. I'm off the subject now so let's get back to it.

So we try to stock the best brands including exhausts from Turbo Kit ( Made in Spain for the last 40 years ) Polini, TK PRO series ( same as Stage 6 / Koso ), Doppler, PM Tunning, Two Brothers Racing ( all brands we carry ) they settler for fake private label V8 or V9 brand from China. Look anyone can slap a sticker on a piece of tubing, but has it been dyno tested, do you have world class racers use it, do they even run ads or testing in consumer publications? That's the difference. So of course the cheap exhaust is going to rust and of course clients won't trust your dealership for selling gear that breaks. Let's get it straight stock and offer them a quality product from the beginning.

He calls me a week later. His client is happy. He got the exhaust, he realizes the 12% makes all the difference in the world. Eating Taco Bell everyday for a year much like Mc Donalds will kill you, I don't have to live the experience of Super Size Me to know this is a universal truth. I explain that Turbo Kit exhausts are an excellent product, I have some Polini Evo exhausts on sale and if he buys 5 TK Exhausts we can give him a nice rack for his wall. He says he'll think about it, but will take two to start off with. As a salesman I always want more, but I converted him. I did my job and hopefully he gets it now.

So I didn't make a big sale. That's ok, at least now he's converted, he might still be eating Taco Bell on the weekends, but he's gotten a taste, his clients know he's got better stuff, and eventually he will say we need more. He won't look at his Chinese pusher the same way, he will think about the quality issue. He will ask what is that other 12%?

The end users like the good stuff, so they will come back.

They always do....

MRP EXHAUSTS IN ACTION - We distribute and sell Turbo Kit of Spain ( Polini PM Tunning Two Brothers Racing and more! Call us about stocking some of these fine brands in your dealership. Skip the 12% go for 100% REAL EXHAUSTS!
You can get these from

Testing our MRP QMB139 GY6 50 exhaust

How MRP Exhausts are made in Taiwan:

Turbo Kit Exhaust on Kymco Exciting 500cc available from MRP

Turbo Kit Exhaust on Burgman 650cc available from MRP

The owner of TK Exhausts in Spain testing his exhaust on a TMAX 2008 Yamaha T-Max Dynometer testing


MRP Exhausts used by all the top racers in San Juan Puerto Rico

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