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THE DOWN FALL OF EBAY

January 24th, 2015 • Studio LifeNo Comments »

Ebay recently announced it was doing some lay offs because of sales being down. I laughed inside when I read that because the reason sales are down is because of their own fault pushing sellers away. Let me tell you about my past 5 years with Ebay.

My user name is feedmybabbies, I sell mainly aftermarket Harley parts that are imported from China, though the past 2 years we have got into the manufacturing end and are producing our own parts here in the good ole USA.

Five years ago on Ebay I had almost 5000 parts listed on Ebay and then Ebay decided to make it where the buyers can leave negative feedback but the sellers can’t and what happened after that was buyers started using that to extort the sellers. I would have guys email me and say “I like the chrome bars but the chrome could be better so if you refund me 10.00 I won’t leave you negative feedback”, or I would have people leave negative feedback and then email me and say “give me $20 bucks and I’ll remove the negative feedback”. It got so annoying I started pulling parts offline things like $100 exhausts it was amazing how many people thought the china chrome finish should look the same as a $900 American exhaust and got down to about 1500 parts. Meaning, I made LESS money and Ebay made LESS money. In dealing with Ebay it seemed like they always took the buyers side with things and the sellers always got screwed. Ebay made their money off the sellers yet treated the sellers like crap.

Recently I had my selling amount lowered from 250K to 5 thousand a month! I called Ebay and they stated it was a mistake and it took them 3 days to fix it, meanwhile my ads were falling off line!  So a few weeks later I’m sitting there looking at 5000 POSITIVE feedbacks with just 2 negatives and rows of 5 stars and Ebay lowers my sellers standard to below average and limits the amount I can sell. I’m sitting there dumb founded and I call Ebay and they tell me on the surface it looks great but they started this “new sellers standards” where they go by defects and my defect rate is high. I go to the page and start looking over what they are calling defects, by the way at this point I now only have a little over 200 items online, just the parts I manufacture, and my sales plummet  from 7-10K a month to $500 because I’m in “below sellers standards” and my rankings in their search engine is lowered and you can not find my parts!

 

So I look over my defects page. Five of the defects were open cases but here is the funny part, all 5 people said they did not mean to open a case they were just emailing me and they clicked on the wrong thing. I called Ebay  when these happened and each time they said they would contact the buyers to confirm they did not mean to open a case and remove it and they never did contact the buyers or remove anything. Ebay now says they have fixed that problem so people cannot accidentally open cases anymore admitting there was a design problem, yet the defects still show. Then one of the defects was I told a guy I would not ship to Puerto Rico and he bought any way, I refunded him immediately and he left negative feedback, then a month later I sold another part to a guy in Puerto Rico, I call Ebay and ask them how to handle this so I would not get another negative feedback and the rep tells me to cancel the sale and I do it while on the phone with him and later I find that me canceling the sale was treated as a defect.

And here is my Favorite, a guy buys a plastic part for a Harley street glide it weighs 6 lbs, I ship it to California and someone at the post office decides I paid the wrong rate and demands $83.00 from the buyer. I tell the buyer I have had this problem before and I have a guy at USPS corporate Randall Anderson and he can resolve the problem tomorrow and the buyer says he does not want to wait and wants me to refund him by midnight and states he is a Diablo nomad 1% biker and that if I do not refund him that “NC is small and he will make life very difficult for me and my family”! That Ebay buyer basically threatens me and my family over a $40 part. I went ahead and refunded him and never got the part back. I call Ebay thinking they will protect me. Three different times with three different reps they looked at the emails and said they would take care of this and remove the negative feedback he left and they NEVER did! I called 3 months later and talked with a supervisor about these problems I have with these defects and he said with Ebay’s system there is only black and white and there are no grey areas  and my problems land in a grey area and even though he would like to, he can not remove ANY of them and then tells me after looking at the emails from the biker guy, he did NOT consider what he wrote a threat. Once again NOT doing anything to help out Ebay sellers!

The other thing Ebay had a problem with is my parts were not shipping out on time. On my handlebars I advertised 3 days to ship but sometimes customers want the handlebars powder coated black, well that adds 3 -4 days more to ship. There weren’t any customers  complaining about the delay but Ebays computer thought I was a bad seller and what pissed me off even more was we started getting so busy I started offering FREE powder coat to customers because we already had so many handlebars already going to powder coat that they were flat rating us, so here I am GIVING EBAY customers a $59.00 powder coat for FREE and Ebay is holding it against me! I bend over backwards for my customers to make them happy  and have almost flawless feedback yet with there new standards I’m a bad seller and a risk, I give up on Ebay and I’m now getting setup on Amazon. It’s sad. I think if Ebay CARED MORE about their SELLERS maybe sales would not be down and maybe some people would not be losing their jobs.

Rossiter’s Harley-Davidson located in sarasota fl in now carrying out 2014 street glide custom handlebars

April 1st, 2014 • New Motorcycle PartsNo Comments »

Rossiter’s Harley-Davidson located in sarasota fl in now carrying out 2014 street glide custom handlebars, the custom ape hangers are called razor back monkeys

North End Harley Davidson is now carrying FMB Choppers CUSTOM MONKEY BARS

March 31st, 2014 • New Motorcycle PartsNo Comments »

North End Harley Davidson located in Plattsburg ny is now carrying all of our custom handlebars including our new razor back monkey bars designed for the 2014 harley street glides

FMB CHOPPERS RELEASES RAZOR BACK MONKEY BARS FOR 2014 HARLEY ROAD GLIDES

March 25th, 2014 • New Motorcycle PartsNo Comments »

We Finally finished up out razor back custom handlebars for the 2014 harley street glides,

FIT 2014  HARLEY STREET GLIDES

KNURLED FOR STANDARD RISERS 3.5 CENTER TO CENTER

1 1/4″ TUBING STEPPED DOWN TO 7.25″ OF 1″ TUBING  FOR HAND CONTROLS

NOTCHED FOR THROTTLE BY WIRE

.120 WALL THICKNESS.

6″ OF 1″ TUBING INSIDE CENTER FOR RISERS

100% TIG WELDED.

PRE DRILLED FOR WIRING

THESE COME POWDERCOATED GLOSSY OR SATIN BLACK

(LET US KNOW YOUR CHOICE)

THESE ARE FMB CHOPPERS OWN DESIGN AND THERE A GREAT FEEL AND LOOK

35″ BAR TIP TO BAR TIP

16″ UP RISE

15″ bottom inside

17.5″ bottom outside

8″ OF PULLBACK

WE CAN MAKE THESE ANY RISE  OR PULLBACK AT NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE

3-5 days to ship

 

 

google lies to steal your personal information

August 4th, 2013 • Studio LifeNo Comments »

I recently purchased a google tablet because of a great app I wanted called torque pro that was not available for my iPad, I went to purchase the app and they said my credit card was denied and put me on a page like this

If you’ve arrived at this page, it means that your Google Wallet online account is currently suspended because we were unable to verify the credit or debit card information for your recent order. To maintain the security of your account, please follow a few simple steps to ensure your account information is up-to-date.
What do I need to complete the form? To confirm your financial identity and protect your account, you’ll need to scan or take pictures of (using your cell phone, for example) your verification documents and then upload them to this form. The verification documents are:
One non-expired government-issued identification
One billing address verification document dated within the last four months and containing the same address on file in your Google Wallet account (if you can’t remember your billing address on file or had multiple on file, use your most recent home address)

Well heres the problem the card was never denied, I called to verify that and it was never even put through, google lied about it to try to get more of my personal information, as far as I’m concerned a company lying about something to force you to give up personal information is illegal and sounds like a good class action law suit, if you have had a similar problem with google please contact me and let me know about your experience.

MIDWEST AND EMPTY BOXES

February 2nd, 2013 • Studio LifeNo Comments »

Midwest motorcycle supply and Jrieh cycles must have some problems in their shipping department that they need to deal with. A builder from Cayton NC about a hour away from me just called, and asked if I have ever heard about anyone else having the problem that he is having with Jireh cycles. The problem being he ordered a LSD 6 speed transmission and when the box arrived at his house all that was in the box was a 45LB dumb bell. I have been a dealer for 8 years and in the past 7 years of dealing with midwest I have had 1 transmission, 2 primary’s (1 from Jrieh’s)  and one complete motor show up at my shop with nothing but weights inside. I also talked to a good friend of mine Frank winn who has been in the industry for over 20 years and he also has talked with dealers that have had the same issues. So either someone in midwest’s warehouse is walking away with parts or someone at fedex  knows when they see a box that says ultima its expensive motorcycle parts and is walking away with the parts. either way Midwest needs to resolve this problem. because it seems to be a growing problem. Just to make a point,  other companies have these same kinds of issues. I talked with Bob Deiss who Owns Trik shift and he said that one time he got a pallet of transmissions in and all the transmissions were missing and replaced with weights. If you have had similar issue’s with Jrieh’s or midwest Plaese contact me and let me know your story.

THE DOWN FALL OF MIDWEST MOTORCYCLE SUPPLY

January 6th, 2013 • Studio LifeNo Comments »

BAD ECONOMY AND BAD DECISSIONS
THE DOWN FALL OF MIDWEST MOTORCYCLE SUPPLY

I decided to get into the motorcycle business three years ago after being pissed off countless times by dealers that had no idea how a motorcycle even worked and then selling me the wrong parts and holding my money for 3 to 4 weeks before telling me that the part was backordered.
The first distributer I got setup with was Midwest motorcycle supply. I had used their products in the past on builds and was quite happy with the products.
You can call me old fashioned, but because they were my first distributer I was very loyal, always trying to get my parts from them even though I had other choices.
My first year out of the box I did 1.4 million in sales and a large chunk of that, was spent with Midwest. My only complaint with Midwest was Jireh Cycles. All motorcycle distributers have some form of a retail outlet (a perfect example is parts unlimited has Dennis Kirk), but they don’t undercut and screw over their dealers. Unfortunately Midwest does. The Owner of Midwest (Jim) has a son Jim JR who runs Jireh Cycles, it has always been a thorn in my side. I have had customers buy parts from me and then see it on Jireh’s website or ebay store for below dealer cost and get mad at me thinking I’m taking them for a ride on what I charged them. It only happened once in awhile but since the economy has took a crapper, on an average I see 100’s of items on Jireh’s ebay store at below dealer cost with free shipping. 99.9% of buyers including people that walk into my shop go to Ebay to see what things are selling for.
Here is where it does not make any sense. In a bad economy Midwest should be trying to make their dealers happy and get them out there pushing their product as much as possible, but instead they’re pissing off their dealers and their dealers are going elsewhere.
Let me give you an example of something that is seriously stupid. Let’s say my dealer cost on a tranny is $550.00, if Midwest lets me -the dealer- go out and sell it they get $550.00 and shipping cost, but when Jireh’s sells it on Ebay for $550 with free shipping after the ebay , paypal and shipping fees are taken out Midwest is only walking with $448.00 and it has gotten to the point that when you look on ebay the only person selling their trannys or primarys is Jireh’s. However if they would just let their dealers sell their product they would be making more money, instead of running off their dealers.
The sad thing is even if they shut down Jireh, dealers are so pissed it would take a long time to get their dealers loyalty back. I know they have lost mine. Six months ago Mid-USA contacted me and gave me the same pricing as Midwest and a better deal on shipping and I have had 2680 orders go to Mid-USA that would of normally gone to Midwest. Midwest motorcycle supply is shooting themselves in the foot and it does not make any sense.
To top it off Midwest constantly denies that Jireh Cycles is a part of them, even though they have some of the same web addresses, ip’s and registrars and every rep working at Midwest knows the truth. So they undercut and lie to their dealers and they wonder why their sales are plummeting? Yes it’s a bad economy but Midwest has made it far worse for them selves. Just to prove a point I sold a ultima primary to a client in Australia so it had to be shipped to me first and then I would forward it to my client in Australia, so instead of buying it from my rep at Midwest I bought it from Jireh cycles Ebay store and Midwest made $68.00 less and I made $68.00 more in profit. How stupid is that? And just incase you did not know, Jireh means Jehovah. It amazes me how these people who claim to be Christians lie and love to screw people over.
I have talked with a few people that use to work in the upper levels of Midwest and they all say that the owner believes as long as he has the cheapest motors out there he can treat his dealers and reps however he wants and people will still come to him, kind of the Sam Walton approach. Well Karama is a bitch, a large part of Midwests parts come from an overseas company called Riverline and Riverline now has a invested interest in Mid Usa and now refuses to sell to Midwest. If you haven’t noticed lately Midwest is back ordered on just about everything and they are having a hard time finding a replacement manufacturer for the same kind of pricing from what I understand most of the people there finding are about 25% higher than what they were paying with Riverline. It will be interesting to see what happens with Midwest when the dust settles. But one things for sure Dealers are pissed and going elsewhere. And even with their motors I doubt you will be seeing many dealers coming back.
Personally I’m sick of waiting on containers from overseas with crap parts and here at FMB Choppers we have been working hard and coming up with our own product line of parts that are made here in the USA and when you make a order your parts will ship within a few days, Currently we are making custom handlebars, Custom Ape hangers, custom oil tanks, shift rods, anchor rods, and choke knobs and were are currently in the process of Building a new building to get some CNC machines put in place so we can expand further. I would like to get to the point where I’m not selling anything except American made parts, like some of my favorite companies like Jaybrake, Accutronixs and joker machine.

A Comment from a good customer on our honda vtx ape hangers

October 21st, 2012 • Shop LifeNo Comments »

I have to say fmb choppers makes some awesome bars. I searched the web and called everywhere for 6 months. Nobody wanted to fabricate bars for my vtx until I talked to fmb. Build ground up for my special specs, great ship time and price!! Thanks fmb I get complements all the time. Vtx owners this is the golden ticket.”

Super Trapp Buys Jay Brake

October 25th, 2011 • Studio LifeNo Comments »

 

SuperTrapp acquires JayBrake

NOTED Cleveland, Ohio based motorcycle exhaust manufacturer SuperTrapp has acquired the popular JayBrake brand and product line from Horschel Motorsports of Springville, New York.

Founded by Jay Brainard in 1981, JayBrake is one of the best known custom V-twin and Harley-Davidson aftermarket brake component and controls manufacturers, with a reputation for robust quality and innovative design.

Speaking to the acquisition of JayBrake assets, SuperTrapp President Kevin Berger said: “We are excited about the addition of the JayBrake line and are confident that the combined talents and resources of the two brands will be of great benefit to our customers and the market place.

“We look forward to continuing the high-level of quality, product development and customer service that JayBrake customers have come to expect over the last 30 years.”

Jay Brainard will be working closely with SuperTrapp in the coming months to assist with product development and the transition of manufacturing to SuperTrapp’s Cleveland facility, and effective immediately all JayBrake orders can be placed with SuperTrapp

 

Harley’s 3rd quarter profits

October 18th, 2011 • Shop LifeNo Comments »

 

Harley reports 5.4 percent motorcycle sales growth for 3rd quarter in USA

harley logoHARLEY-Davidson has reported continued strong improvement in earnings and dealer retail sales in the third quarter of 2011 and through the nine months of the year-to-date, compared to 2010.The company says that third-quarter operating income from Motorcycles and Related Products grew 78.0 percent on higher shipment volumes and operating margin improvements, with operating income from its Financial Services segment grew 21.9 percent due to continued improvement in credit performance, compared to the third quarter of 2010.

Retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles are said to have grown by 5.1 percent worldwide in the third quarter (to 61,838), led by a 5.4 percent rise in the US, with first nine-month retail sales up 4.9 percent (worldwide) to 194,829.

“We are pleased with our sustained progress and we continue to realize strong momentum in the transformation our business,” said Keith Wandell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Harley-Davidson.

“Two years ago we embarked on our strategy to focus solely on the Harley-Davidson brand, provide the flexibility required in today’s market and make Harley-Davidson lean, agile and more effective than ever at delivering remarkable products and extraordinary customer experiences. Today, we continue to see the positive results of the course we have charted,” Wandell said. “The changes underway in manufacturing, product development and retail capability…

“Involves a tremendous amount of highly complex, challenging work across every part of the organization. While much remains to be done, we are well down the road and everyone involved deserves much credit for bringing these changes to life.”

Dealers sold 42,640 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the third quarter in the US, a 5.4 percent increase. In international markets, dealers sold 19,198 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles during the third quarter, an increase of 4.4 percent compared to the year-ago period.

Through nine months US retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles increased 4.7 percent to 127,930 units, with international, retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles increasing by 5.2 percent to 66,899 units. During the same period industry-wide US heavyweight new motorcycle (651cc-plus) retail unit sales are said to have increased 3.7 percent, again pointing to an above market performance.

Revenue from Motorcycle Parts and Accessories (P&A) totaled $235.7 million during the quarter, up 7.6 percent, and revenue from General Merchandise, which includes MotorClothes Apparel and Accessories, was $69.3 million, up 8.2 percent compared to the year-ago period.