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From digest.v7.n1010 Fri Jan 23 22:20:51 1998
From: Phil Marx <>
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 1998 19:01:19 -0500
Subject: <misc> BMW list vs. dealer prices

My last few posts have been answers to questions where I supplied BMW factory part numbers. Please remember that each dealer may have a different idea of how to retail their BMW parts and each may chose to "bump" the retail price in their computer. This practice is quite common and was not invented by BMW dealers. GM is notorious for it. What simpler way for a Parts Manager to show a better bottom line to his owner/manager than to simply inflate the selling price, up to a point? Let me sight a real example:

Purchased three part numbers from local dealer. At one price level the discount for Club members is 15% off "dealer list". But the Dealer List price is severely inflated.

Here are the examples:

                     Dealer list          "discount" price         Factory list
touch-up paint:         22.77                   19.35                   16.50
Hub cap emblem:          7.48                    6.36                    3.56
Hood emblem:            18.45                   15.68

In the case of the hub emblem the dealer inflated the list price over double! These are real examples, I have the invoices here to prove it. In this case purchasing 4 hub emblems, one touch up set and one hood emblem at the "discount" price would have cost $60.47 while simply paying true BMW list price would have only cost $43.04. Had you been unlucky enough to have paid Dealer list price the total would have been $71.14! Unbelievable! The only way to protect yourself is to check the price with other sources, or get the BMW retail price book for yourself. It's hard to trust them unless you check on them. In most cases if you inquire discretely, the parts rep may change the price for you. (Often this form of embarassment is forced upon them by the owners and they don't like the dishonesty of it any more than you do.)

BTW. "Reporting" this practice to BMWNA does no good as the dealers are independent retailers and can set their own prices. Making note of it as you are queried for CSI polls may attract some attention to the problem: "My service visit was an excellent experience however the dealer's insistance on charging over BMW list price for parts makes me not want to buy another car from this dealership."

Support the honest ones.

  • -Phil Marx BMWCCA #6021
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