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.
I mean, just look at it!
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.
The Buying Process
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.
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.
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.
What Went Wrong
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?
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:
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.
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.
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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