Guess I'll add my 2 cents to this discussion. My opinion is that you need to support your local dealer. Create a good relationship with them and they will take care of you. What incentive do they have to do that if you are constantly ordering from companies out of state and over the internet?!?
Okay, my story.... first-time buyer. No, I had no established relationships, and was wanting to establish them. My buddy and I decided on a PAIR
One local dealer came back with $6k OTD. Not bad. Two others came back with FULL RETAIL PLUS THE BS... this was over $7k per bike... with a promise that "when we were ready to buy they would work with us".
We WERE ready... I told them this. Give me a price and my buddy will wire the money the next morning. No dice... they would not budge.
After two weeks of this, my buddy finally sends an email to every dealer in SoCal telling them what the price to beat was (he gave them a price $100 better than LA Yamaha
). By 10am the next morning, I had 3 messages on my cell phone meeting the price (but none had two bikes in stock for delivery that weekend).
A 4th dealer called the next morning and said "they're ready to roll, come and get them".
So a week later, one of the dealers that offered $7k calls and asks if we've decided where to buy. I told her that she was immediately removed from the list because she highballed us out of the gate.
It works both ways... I'll use a local dealer for parts and accessories, but they have to be willing to at least APPEAR to be competitive. When the local dealer is charging 25% more than online sources, they do not deserve my business. It is foolish to pay more for no good reason. Many of the online discounters ARE "local dealers" such as Bardwells, Cucamonga, etc... They all get the same pricing from the manufacturers, so there's no reason they can't offer the same price in their stores.