X30 Overpriced in american market

The MondoKart website will take the VAT off the prices shown once it knows that you are logging in outside of the EU or UK.
John K

They are probably including VAT for UK IP addresses and not so for outside Europe IP addresses. That pretty typical for some stores.

I’m playing a little bit devils advocate here. But, if you bought an engine from dealer 1, you would expect dealer 2 to support you. That should be the case on an international level too no?

I thought that was the case for Rotax but maybe it was just within the EU.

I don’t think I follow your comment (I’ve had a few :beer: :sweat_smile:)

Dealer 1 sells X engine. Dealer 2 (not local) sells X engine for $100 less. Customer chooses Dealer 2, but then is upset that Dealer 1 doesn’t want to help them out with service or support.

Why should Dealer 1 make any special considerations or want to support Customer when Customer doesn’t support Dealer 1? In my experience, the “you scratch my back, I scratch yours” goes a long way in karting.

I haven’t/don’t sell karts/parts/engines etc., but speaking as someone who has worked for shops/teams that did, it really sucked to see customers of ours go to other places because some vendors are willing to sell at cost/give stuff away to get the sale. A race to the bottom in terms of profits for small karting businesses. Good for the customer, bad for shops trying to make a buck.

A race to the bottom always ends up with everyone losing.

Also, that’s why I have my engine builder (Doug Huggler at HRE), also order my engines, etc. Keeps everything in the family, and also he takes care that my stuff runs.

Keeps life simple, and I know that Doug isn’t ever screwing me over.

Further Devils advocate:

I believe Nick G’s question is analogous to if I buy a Mercedes, I expect any dealership to service.

I do not expect that in the USA in regards to kart engines, even sealed ones. I expect to work with a guy I like and trust and if hes good to me, I am good to him.

From what I understand, the $$$ in Euro karting is significantly higher than here. It seems to be a bigger business, less Mom and Pop. I understand that several 100K is not unusual for high levels there. If that’s true, that might explain things as we are a bit more “club” overall. It might just be a different situation with different unwritten rules and expectations…

It’s on a grander scale but it’s the same as buying a car from one Ford dealer during their discount season then another Ford dealer refusing to service your vehicle.

It’s just good customer service to serve everyone you can, that may inspire loyalty that someone will stay with you even if you are more expensive and it may not.

Good point, but… Yes and no. That’s how I ended up with over 500 households in my book of business and guess who makes me all my money? The top 25 households that are loyal to me and I have all their money and trust.

So If i decide my dude is a plonker, and I take my service elsewhere, I take all of it. It would be beyond rude to show up with a new engine and say “Jerry, put this on my kart”. I love that man, literally. I could never do that to him. He would never trust me again and I’d be just a “customer” and not a “Client”.

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In general when shopping prioritizing price over service, convenience, etc. is seldom my strategy. On the other hand if I pay more because of service I expect service. If that does not happen low price wins.

Any racing purchase, price moves further down the line for consideration. I determine who I want to work with and then I buy from them. I typically have not even asked their price on typical purchases. What have I got for that? A parts store that sent me a bill once a month instead of hassling with settling up every race. Even better for races they were not going to be at they gave me a care package. It had all the parts they thought I might brake or bend. Then after the race I paid for what I did not use. They supported because I supported them.

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I like you Dom! Keep preaching the gospel there. Loyalty is an amazing thing and I have to say I’ve been very fortunate to have mostly loyal customers over the years. Folks like you are what make it possible for folks like me to stay in the sport. What you get in intangibles from Gerry is priceless I’m sure - borrowed tools, an extra set of eyes watching you on track, a sprint back to the trailer for a part or tool to make sure you don’t miss a session, the late night or weekend texts & calls… :+1:

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How about 3rd in finals after I blew my engine in final lap of pre? In 1/2 hr Jerry sourced an engine from a competitor (Bonanno) and got me out for finals. He pulls stuff off like this and I am grateful.

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I’m not so sure that service is being denied by many. Of course I;m talking about paid service not freebies.
What get’s the dealer/customer relationship sideways is the racer that buys an item from an online store or from another dealer because he saved 5 bucks and then asks another dealer to advise him on installing or even using it. Often they expect it to be free.
It’s early, I hope that made sense.

Maybe I’ve implied it as too black and white. Of course there’s a scale and I like your comparison of “customer” and “client” but for me at least the main dead end is always cost so wherever I can get a deal I have to go or I’m not racing at all.

Now I’m fortunate that I don’t need to ask “Jerry” (is that a real person?) to put an engine on my kart because I have a lot of experience in karting so maybe its different for me. But if I bought an IAME engine from IAME West I’d expect my local IAME dealer to service it. So why not an IAME Italy engine.

The true reason is the importers take on some risk, they have to have a large outlay to get stock (or even to get the rights) and they understandably don’t want their sales being undercut. And the same is true on a smaller scale for dealers. Additionally karting has the problem that really rich people set up a team and can undercut everyone, but then get bored and leave.

So I think what always confuses me is the US is all about capitalism and free markets etc etc until it can’t compete then its like close everything down and I see the big importers as different to mom and pop stores, loyalty doesn’t work for them so they close everything down at the detriment to the average competitor. Now that’s not to say they don’t give something back but its usually to the top echelon of competitor, not the everyday guy.

@NikG I think your experience and mine differ in terms of “scale”. If I was in a traveling series and I have service needs and I am not tenting with Jerry, than yah, Id have no problem going to some team at that location and asking for service. I would assume that if they had the bandwidth, they’d accommodate. No issues there.

But my racing is small time. My engineer goes to every race I go to (and transports, preps etc) and I would have no reason, other than price, to go elsewhere. And, the intangibles make value a difficult thing to quantify in dollar terms.

So I could go to 4 other guys at the track to get bids. I trust my guy and am confident he will charge fair and reasonable rate on parts. So, I don’t do that. But, that was earned by delivering value above and beyond what I paid for. The relationship is immensely valuable, imho.

I’m not saying that pricing shouldn’t be competitive. But, if you try to make money only through volume by undercutting your peers dramatically, I think you are borked longer term.

You’ve created expectations of value around price rather than service.

Heck, most if not all of the guys I know that make a “living” serving the karting community have real jobs too. Example: John Bonanno used to be the go to guy for equipment before he sold the team. He has a career in the real world as well and I’m pretty sure he’d rather just be racing!

Bear I mind I am lowly club racer with club needs and problems. This is my n00b perspective.

Edited thought: it is perfectly normal and accepted to not operate like I do. I am sure there are plenty of folks that will hit each tent looking for the best price. That’s fine. You are a customer in that scenario, not a client. So, a self-reliant karter could choose that path. I’d personally rather have Jerry on my team as opposed to knowing him as just a “vendor”. Because, intangibles.

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I guess my perspective was more driven toward parts or services. The engine thing is a bit different, and I suppose I tend to agree with you @NikG that buying an IAME engine from somewhere shouldn’t really have a bearing on which IAME dealer you want to service it.

The issue I have is more like, if you buy parts from a competing dealer for cheaper and then expect your local guy to install the parts or something. In which case, car dealers tend to have the same sort of policy. They usually don’t like you bringing in your own parts you’ve bought for them to install.

I would agree that if you shouldn’t buy parts online and expect the local guy to install them. You can’t bring in your water pump from rockauto.com (where it’s 35 bucks vs 100 at the dealer) to the ford dealer and ask them to install it.

Agreed about installing, to a degree. You’d expect any OTK dealer to tell you where to fit the seat for example, but not necessarily fit it, regardless of where you bought the seat from. Fitting it might be an added benefit of buying it from the vendor, for example.

I’m probably coming to it from a different angle, being fortunate enough to have a wealth of experience and generally not needing advice from vendors. Back when I started we traveled to every race with the same mechanic (North America fancy pants call them tuners or engineers lol) and for the most part would run alone but for big races run with a team and would typically stay with that team for the season. Now until this past season I had been loyal to my detriment (I would of ceased racing rather then jump ship) but jumping ship this past year was what kept me racing.

So in summary my expectations (not necessarily reality). If I buy a piece of equipment (engine or chassis) from somewhere else I’d expect (and have experienced) my local dealer of said equipment to:

  • Provide advice (seat position, starting jetting etc)
  • Sell me parts
  • Rebuild stuff (for a normal price)

What I don’t expect my local dealer to do (but would if I bought it off them):

  • Build stuff (fit seats, take my engines apart to diagnose a failure, help when I have a problem removing stuff) to an extent (obviously they are not acting as my servant)
  • Provide specific day of advice (like what his team is doing with gearing).

That kinda sounds like my pal Tanguy’s experience when he was doing the euro championship. He did not seem to have a personal type relationship with the team he ran with. I don’t think it was good in his case. What I found odd was that he was stuck with a chassis he hated but couldn’t change because that’s what the team ran. Probably shoulda just gone to a different program/team.

Yeah most of the euro teams stick with a chassis for at least a season (at least officially).

Unless he signed a contract he could move teams though.

My issue was more personal loyalty then anything else, so too much personal relationship lol. When you spend 16hours+ a day with some people its hard not to.

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I agree with the loyalty piece for sure, at least where you are getting good service in return for that loyalty. For me my chassis guy and engine builder are awesome and I’m not going anywhere just to save a few bucks. But I can’t help but buy from Mondo a lot of other things besides chassis and engines.

I’m fortunate enough to have actually been there before in person, The place is totally legit and huge. I always keep my orders under 1000 bucks or so to avoid duties. You have to watch because not everything has low shipping cost…but plenty of things do, and it shows up very fast. (And completely taped top to bottom in Mondo Kart tape… those who know this are smiling; it’s crazy) And as you have seen many of the prices are like half price… not just a few bucks cheaper!

Bearings, rear bumper mount kits, gloves, shoes, radiator hose, rain suit, radiators, are the types of things I get from there… way cheaper.

My local loyalty prevents me from getting brake and sprocket carriers, brake pads, hubs, spindles, and axles, but those are incredibly priced also. I flew back from Italy once with a ‘carry on’ OTK 50mm axle from there… half price of US.

They also sold me a Mychron 5 for less than 400 USD as sort of a thank you gift for visiting Italia - they have incredible national pride. They didn’t even charge me local VAT since they knew I was heading back that afternoon, they wrote it up as an internet order to the US. I can’t say enough good about these guys.