Wednesday, November 21, 2007

ASK Powersports ATV Dealer reaches settlement in Ohio

At issue was ASK Powersports practice of slipping "freight" and "dealer" charges - sometimes totaling more than $600 - into sales contracts with its customers in violation of Ohio consumer protection laws.

The laws say a motor vehicle dealer may not “advertise any price for a motor vehicle unless such price includes all costs to the consumer except tax, title and registration fees, and a documentary service charge.

The main point I wanted to make here is not the details of this case, but rather how one should approach the purchase price of an ATV. Additional charges such as freight and setup have nothing to do with the ATV or manufacturer, but allow dealers to start at a higher profit. Then a discount can be offered while still maintaining a desired profit level. So always focus on the total price before sales tax and title fees. Realizing that dealers need to make some amount of profit to stay in business and offer their services to you, don't waste time arguing about whether they should charge for freight and setup. If the total price is acceptable, then it really doesn't matter how it is broken down.