Home » Dealers Who Marked Up Honda Motocompacto Prices As High As 50% Tell Us It’s All A Mistake

Dealers Who Marked Up Honda Motocompacto Prices As High As 50% Tell Us It’s All A Mistake

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Yesterday, the Honda Motocompacto officially went on sale. I’ve been waiting for November 1st ever since Jason wrote about the Motocompacto back in mid-September. As I promised, Honda couldn’t take my money fast enough. After taxes, my total for the $995 scooter came out to $1,077. Others weren’t so lucky and found that some dealers were charging what appeared to be markups as high as 50 percent. We reached out to those dealers and now, you should be able to buy Motocompactos for Honda’s advertised price. Here’s how this worked out.

If you couldn’t tell by my comments in our Motocompacto stories, I’ve been chuffed about this little scooter. As someone who lives near country roads and cornfields, I’m not really the target demographic for a last-mile eScooter thing. Yet, I cheered reading our articles about the Honda Motocompacto and the fact that it is just $995. Why? I fell in love with the original Motocompo years ago and have been disappointed that, nowadays, buying even a rough one would cost me more than the price I paid for a big honkin’ Triumph Rocket III. I’ve had dreams of putting this little guy in the back of a Smart and just scooting around places.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

I mean, just look at it!

Honda

So, I’ve been sitting on the sidelines waiting for something to change. Honestly, I never expected Honda to create a spiritual successor to the Motocompo. That alone blew my mind. I’m pretty sure a breaker tripped in my brain when I first saw photos of the little guy. Even better is the price. At $995 I could buy a second Motocompacto to do experiments with and I might do just that! I wonder if I could turn one into a minibike.

Anyway, I couldn’t buy one fast enough and I cannot wait for it to show up. Our readers haven’t had as easy of a time and I decided to figure out why.

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The Buying Process

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Honda

Some readers have asked how you’re supposed to buy a Honda Motocompacto. I’m happy to say it’s pretty easy! You can start your journey at the Motocompacto’s website, which has a “Shop Now” button on the upper right side to redirect you to Honda’s DreamShop. Alternatively, you could just go to the DreamShop without going to the Motocompacto’s site first. DreamShop is a platform for Honda owners to buy parts, merch, and accessories. It’s also the place to buy the Motocompacto.

Indeed, you won’t find the Honda Motocompacto on the site for Honda Powersports or for Honda Automobiles. As of right now, neither site openly advertises the scooter, either. So, like me, you would have had to read the press release about the Motocompacto or read a news story containing the link to know where to buy it online. Some dealerships are advertising it, but again, you’d have to know to visit a dealer website. Hopefully, Honda will make it clearer where you can buy the little scoot.

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Honda

Anyway, once you’re in the DreamShop catalog, you’ll see the Motocompacto on the front page. The site gives you the option to buy from a Honda dealership or from an Acura dealership, but the process is the same no matter the button chosen.

Next you enter in your Zip Code to find your nearest Honda or Acura car dealership. When you select a dealership, you’ll be presented with the Motocompacto and what your chosen dealership is charging for it. For me, the price was $995 plus state tax. Shipping is free if you choose the option to have your Motocompacto shipped to your nearest dealer. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay for shipping, which in my case would have been around $28.

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Honda

I’m a cheapskate, so I chose to have my Motocompacto sent to the dealership. The purchasing process was painless. Honda does not care if you do or do not own a Honda or Acura product, and you don’t even need an account to purchase something. That’s neat! Unfortunately, upon purchase, you do not get any information about when you’ll receive the Motocompacto, just that your dealer will contact you when it’s ready for pickup. Based on reports, it appears the scooters will begin shipping sometime this month.

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What Went Wrong

Muller1
Honda

Not long after we published David’s review of the scooter, readers started reporting that dealers were already charging a markup on the Motocompacto. Folsom Lake Honda in Rancho Cordova, California showed a price of $1,243.75. Meanwhile, Muller Honda of Gurnee, Illinois showed a price of $1,492.50, exactly a 50 percent markup. That’s very nearly the price of a Honda Navi!

Initially, I wasn’t surprised by this. Some Honda Powersports dealers have been known to mark up the prices of motorcycles. I’ve personally seen Honda’s cheap and cheerful $1,807 Navi miniMOTO marked up about $500 (before destination, freight, and other fees) at one dealership during the summer. While the Motocompacto apparently isn’t a Powersports product, maybe it was being treated like it was one?

David Tracy

I called and emailed the two above dealerships to figure out exactly what’s going on. Is a 50 percent markup on a Motocompacto a typo?

Karl Novitskiy, the General Manager of Muller Honda of Gurnee, first wanted to know where I saw the price. After I guided him to the DreamShop, he found and corrected the price. As of this morning, Gurnee’s DreamShop is showing the correct $995 price.

Thank you for reaching out. Where did you find that information? Typically, we do not have markups above the suggested retail price.

Thank you, Mercedes. We found the culprit and corrected the pricing. We truly appreciate you reaching out.

Folsom Lake was next, and General Sales Manager Oscar Calderon gave me a similar answer:

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Thank you for brigning this to our attention. Yes, that price is a typo as we are in the beginning stages of set up with our dreamshop digital storefront. We are currently in the proccess of making the neccessary changes and pricing should be updated to MSRP ($995) for the Motocompacto in the near future.

Apparently, both of these dealers hadn’t set up their DreamShops, which is why the prices of the Motocompacto weren’t correct. As of this morning, Folsom Lake still displays the inflated price. But why were the prices incorrect in the first place?

For that, a reader who works with a Honda dealership, TheBarber, reached out:

The funny thing about DreamShop is that it pulls from the selected dealership’s pricing matrix. So the specific dealer markup for that specific part number list price will be added. Since the part number for the MotoCompacto is new most of the parts managers haven’t gone in and modified the matrix pricing for them. Some of them, like my dealer, modified them beforehand. Judging by our zone-side allocation request numbers, there were a lot of dealers that had zero interest in these scooters so I expect they didn’t explore the parts numbers/catalog before they went on sale and we are seeing that being reflected in the pricing once they went live. Once they get pointed out, they fix it.

David Tracy

In other words, dealerships have a system that sets the prices of parts and accessories for them. Based on that, does this mean that Gurnee has a 50 percent markup on some parts? TheBarber continues:

Honestly, it depends on the system they use. Some go off raw list price on a weird sliding scale.

As far as refunds go, it would appear that I caught the issue at the above dealers before orders were placed. But this makes me wonder. What about other dealers? What if you did buy a Motocompacto for a 50 percent markup, just for the dealer to realize the error and cut the price back down to $995?

TheBarber told me it would depend on the specific dealer. Most should issue refunds for the difference paid.

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In the end, if you’re looking to buy a Motocompacto this season, watch out for advertised prices. If your local dealer is marking up the scooter, give it a call and point it out. There’s a non-zero chance the dealer doesn’t know they’re charging you extra for a Motocompacto like it would some other part or accessory. If the dealer tells you that’s the price, I’d say find a dealer willing to sell you a scooter for $995. Happy scooting and hopefully, you’ll enjoy your second coming of the Motocompo as much as I will.

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CoastieLenn
CoastieLenn
7 months ago

Where I live, there’s only one Honda power sports dealer. I priced a Navi from them when they first came out- $1995 MSRP, $4750 OTD. Needless to say, I didn’t buy.

Opa Carriker
Opa Carriker
7 months ago

This was a lot more interesting before you made a video of it that pops up every 3 or 4 entries.

Jeff Jefferson
Jeff Jefferson
7 months ago

So I ordered mine for delivery and it was $1,096.02 after tax and delivery fee. The next morning they canceled my order and said no shipping you have to pick it up at a dealership. So I re-ordered and it some how came out to $1,089.55 without the $28 delivery fee. How does that math work out? Where did the mysterious $23.53 go?

Kalieaire
Kalieaire
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Jefferson

For me, specifically, we have different sales tax depending on the city pickedup/delivered.

Some unincorporated areas only get charged state and county sales taxes, whereas dealerships may be in more populated areas (read metropolitan areas), have more services, etc, and have less subsidies and require the people to pay for them by way of sales taxes.

Naterator
Naterator
7 months ago

Report them on markups.org. The dealers knew what they were doing.

VanGuy
VanGuy
7 months ago

Honestly, doesn’t look bad. If electric scooters and the like weren’t in still a legal grey area in PA I might buy one.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
7 months ago

In other words, dealerships have a system that sets the prices of parts and accessories for them”

It’s interesting how this ‘system’ defaults to charging people above MSRP… funny how that happens.

H4llelujah
H4llelujah
7 months ago

No, this actually makes sense, because there is no “MSRP” for parts at a dealership, there’s a cost and a “list” price which is where that “Matrix” comes in. Example, our dealership marks tires up by about 12-15% from our cost. This is neccessary to stay competitive. But parts like headlight bulbs and fuses? They’re 200, even 300 percent markup, because if you pay 4 dollars for a oil filter, you’re not going to keep the lights on selling it for $4.15. No, you’re selling that for $7.99.

So it got loaded in as a “part” and the pricing structure for a $900 cost part for them probably dictates it gets sold at whatever markup that store uses for thier parts. Which, I might add, and more to mercedes’ point, is different from store to store.

Eggsalad
Eggsalad
7 months ago
Reply to  H4llelujah

Over the course of a lifetime of working on cars, I’ve determined that most (but certainly not all) car dealers, regardless of brand, do not want to be in the retail parts business. Their Parts Departments exist mostly to “sell” parts to the Service Department. To a lesser extent, to sell to independent shops. But retail parts probably represents 0.1% of their overall profits, so they don’t care, or mark things up obscenely.

My local Hyundai dealer parts department offered to sell me a rear wiper blade for $25.00, or approximately 250% of “list price”. Fortunately there are online sellers who offer Genuine Hyundai parts at or below “list price”.

H4llelujah
H4llelujah
7 months ago
Reply to  Eggsalad

Because quite often your dealership parts counterperson is paid HEAVILY on department profit. They almost want you to be a business within a business.

RootWyrm
RootWyrm
7 months ago

In other words, dealerships have a system that sets the prices of parts and accessories for them. Based on that, does this mean that Gurnee has a 50 percent markup on some parts? TheBarber continues:

Honestly, it depends on the system they use. Some go off raw list price on a weird sliding scale.

So I can provide some rather valuable insight here. It’s not a ‘weird sliding scale’ here in most cases, it’s a “make it so ridiculous we SEE IT” system. So an unassigned / new part number going into the system with only a wholesale cost or an estimated retail will come in and be, by default, marked up 50%, 100%, 250%, whatever. I use 250%.

The purpose of this isn’t to gouge customers or anything like that. It’s literally so that if there’s a new part in the system and you didn’t set the price, you see it. Immediately. At least that’s the theory. Things will slip through, like 250% marked up fasteners, because that’s a whole $3.25 instead of like $1.30. Which is relatively harmless.
But for example, when I add a new motherboard subassembly and I plug it into a build, and a UP board rings up at $1747.50, I know to immediately go look because I didn’t set the price correctly.

Basically the whole idea is that if you don’t configure a new part, as soon as someone tries to order it, you go “WOAH that’s wrong,” and fix it. Understand, dealers are working with hundreds of times the number of parts I am. And my current catalog is at 227,329 distinct parts.
People will bitch up a storm if everything’s a flat 10% (and I’ll lose money,) and I’ll definitely lose money if it’s all wholesale by default because I have to honor that price, but if it’s 250% marked up? Somebody (even if it’s not me) will notice and hopefully will tell me so I can fix it.

TheBarber
TheBarber
7 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

Yes, it all depends on the DMS the dealership is using as well. I suspect some of these outrageous prices are from low volume dealers that have that kind of scheme set up. I’ve known several that just set a % and leave it at that, mostly because of laziness. Also because the manager doesn’t want to babysit the counter people to make sure the pricing is correct before someone says “that’s too much money and I can buy it blah blah blah.” A lot of counter people have no idea what something should cost depending on the DMS they may not even see how much it is marked up at POS. Multiple part number supersessions can happen weekly and now with the DreamShop being a thing, there is yet another way for people to window shop. So we try and just do a low % on everything initially. Maybe they’ll modify it later, maybe they won’t.

Last edited 7 months ago by TheBarber
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

I’ll bet you’d fix it a lot faster if it came up at $0.00.

Who knows, you might (maybe, possibly) even fix it proactively.

RootWyrm
RootWyrm
7 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

I think you should try this reading thing.

current catalog is at 227,329 distinct parts.

That’s my catalog.
Unless you’re going to volunteer to manually price 221,000 parts for me. You’re going to need to do eBay research for at least 75,000. And no, ST1917N is not the OPN. There’s ~16 OPNs, each with a different price.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

And that’s YOUR problem. You’re going to be doing that anyway whether your system “mistakenly” prices those parts at twice what they should be or charges nothing at all. The difference is you’re shifting the responsibility for error checking from you and your team to your customers. You also stand to benefit from customers that don’t play or know that game is even played which is a dick move.

I know as an overcharged customer I’d not only be pissed I’d call it out on social media…if I actually used social media. Plenty of others do though. The ones who do know that game may expose you. It’s up to you whether the costs of tarnishing your business’s reputation is worth that risk.

Last edited 7 months ago by Cheap Bastard
Mrbrown89
Mrbrown89
7 months ago

Thanks for this article. I was able to snag one at MSRP last night. Now is just a waiting game, maybe next autopian meeting I will take it with me for free rides lol the perfect accessory I was missing for my Honda Insight Gen 1

100percentjake
100percentjake
7 months ago
Reply to  Mrbrown89

I also got one to go with my gen 1 Insight!

BunkyTheMelon
BunkyTheMelon
7 months ago

The dealership closest to me that’s participating (Greencastle PA) wants $2165.12

https://dreamshop.honda.com/s/category/honda/0ZG6g0000004HolGAE

BunkyTheMelon
BunkyTheMelon
7 months ago
Reply to  BunkyTheMelon

UPDATE: I emailed them and they said the “error” will be fixed by tomorrow.

Rock Burner
Rock Burner
7 months ago

At least it’s on sale in the US…..

Nathan Williams
Nathan Williams
7 months ago
Reply to  Rock Burner

I’m in the UK and there’s no confirmation of sales here. My guess is that they’re waiting on the legal status to be established.

Rock Burner
Rock Burner
7 months ago

Wouldn’t be surprised. These very small electric short-distance transport devices (VSESDTDs – it just trips off the tongue…), have got weird legal statuses everywhere.

Jim Stock
Jim Stock
7 months ago

Wow, somehow this ended up being worse than I suspected. Instead of a single act of wonton greed, it ended up being systemic greed.

Eggsalad
Eggsalad
7 months ago

In Las Vegas, the closest Honda dealer has it at MSRP, $995. Oddly, the closest Acura dealer has it at $895!

HowintheNameofZeus
HowintheNameofZeus
7 months ago
Reply to  Eggsalad

Ugh. I bought one yesterday after checking 3 of the 4 dealers in town. Guess which one I didn’t check.

Eggsalad
Eggsalad
7 months ago

I want a test ride!

Scott
Scott
7 months ago
Reply to  Eggsalad

I’m not going to buy one of these, but if a dealer near me had it for $100 BELOW MSRP, I’d be tempted to get it just for sh1ts and giggles!

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
7 months ago

Honda dealers are marking desirable products up? What are you going to tell me next?!? That bears shit in the woods?! That David Tracy appreciates rust?!

Drew
Drew
7 months ago

Doing some searching, it looks like I can get MSRP locally, MSRP near my parents, or markups from about $100-$500 at some other dealers in Washington and Oregon. Some of which are near enough to dealers asking MSRP that I would hope no one buys at a markup.

Alexk98
Alexk98
7 months ago

Big FYI to anyone looking to order but does not have dealers willing to play ball at MSRP – Some dealers are listed on the dream shop website as willing to ship to all 50 states, and some DO list at MSRP, so you’ve at least got that as an option. I’ve found Priority Honda Roanoke, ZIP 24019 that will ship anywhere at sticker

Alexk98
Alexk98
7 months ago
Reply to  Alexk98

And for VA residents looking to snag one of these, Joyce Koons Honda lists price at $945.25, not much but $50 off more than covers the $29 premium for shipping (in state only) which would be $1,030.85 after tax/shipping. Not a huge savings over what Mercedes paid, but not nothing!

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
7 months ago
Reply to  Alexk98

But Priority Honda Roanoke is still listing it at $1,044.75.
-that’s the Honda dealer near me I posted earlier as being higher than our Acura dealer.
Maybe you have to call & talk to them?

Alexk98
Alexk98
7 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

That’s really bizarre, It was showing as MSRP on the Honda Dream site for Priority earlier in the day, but now is showing as 1,044.75 before shipping/tax. Either way I’m not in a position to buy one quite yet so hopefully some dealers will offer discounts within the state by the time I can justify it.

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
7 months ago

I just looked, Honda and Acura dealers both wanted $995 in my area

Chris Stevenson
Chris Stevenson
7 months ago

My local dealer is under MSRP: $847.75. Wild. Honda on Grand in Elmhurst, IL.

https://i.imgur.com/YU48CN1.png

Alexk98
Alexk98
7 months ago

Only ships within state, sad days, otherwise I’d impulsively order right now.

Drew
Drew
7 months ago

Wow, that could be a great deal. They won’t ship to me, or I’d be tempted.

TheBarber
TheBarber
7 months ago

Get it while you can because I suspect some poor employee is about to get chewed out for listing it below cost. The dealership is literally losing money on that deal.

Glutton for Piëch
Glutton for Piëch
7 months ago
Reply to  TheBarber

I’m wondering if they’re a wholesale dealer. I don’t know how it works in Hondaland, but I know with Toyota and Mercedes-Benz, the really big wholesale dealers get spiffs and/or reduced cost because of the volume they do. I’m also sad they only ship in state, cause I 100% would’ve ordered.

TheBarber
TheBarber
7 months ago

We don’t get spiffs for volume but you are right, some do sell for list just to get some profit through sheer volume. Looking at my catalog that might be the case here since that is what my employee pricing is on one which is basically list price. I was mistaken earlier, cost is in the upper $700 range on these units.

Glutton for Piëch
Glutton for Piëch
7 months ago
Reply to  TheBarber

I might have to see what the guys down the street at Honda will do for me on it. All the dealers in my area have it for straight list, but the big wholesale dealer in our area has it on the dreamshop at $895. I always give them employee price when it’s a personal vehicle, so I wonder if they’ll return the favor.

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
7 months ago

That’s MY local dealer too! Unfortunately I am over the weight limit of one of these, but I’m tempted to buy it anyways.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
7 months ago

$1044.75 at my local Honda dealer, but MSRP at the Acura dealer nearby

Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
7 months ago

In Perd Hapley’s voice:
“The story of this story is, that Mercedes called out the dealerships and embarrassed them into doing… the right thing.”

Good job Mercedes!

Torque
Torque
7 months ago
Reply to  Dar Khorse

Or some dealers have an automatic “add xx%” set up so Everything bought at that dealer is overpriced by xx% above and beyond msrp.

Either way sounds like a good “only red m&m backstage” kind of way to find and avoid said dealers…

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
7 months ago
Reply to  Dar Khorse

So glad to find another Perd-vert.

Beasy Mist
Beasy Mist
7 months ago

Just looked out of curiosity. One in my area is MSRP. Another is over $1900.

Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
7 months ago

How does a general manager of a dealership not know how their products are being priced?

Since the part number for the MotoCompacto is new most of the parts managers haven’t gone in and modified the matrix pricing for them.

And why is it the parts department responsible for pricing new vehicles?

Dealerships are ridiculous.

Last edited 7 months ago by Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Chris Stevenson
Chris Stevenson
7 months ago

It’s sold as a “part” because Honda is using their parts distribution system. They can’t use the same system they use to order cars.

Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
7 months ago

I get that, but surely there is metadata available to signify this is not a part for markup but a part to sell at MSRP and plenty of warning of new parts coming in. It’s not like they haven’t gotten new vehicles not subject to mark up before. Maybe it’s Honda’s fault.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
7 months ago

That’s what they said about COVID too. Not buying that.

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