Every year dealers all over the US would dispose of thousands of dollars worth of new parts that they would simple have not sold. Why would they do this? Dealerships would be required to pay tax on the inventory that they have been keeping in stock. Therefore, they look after their inventory levels closely. However, when a part reaches a specific period without selling the dealer considers this part obsolete. The period in question would differ depending on the dealer or the opinion of the parts manager. Nonetheless, in a majority of cases, it would be 365 days with no sale. A majority of dealers consider 270 days with no sale to be unsellable or obsolete.
How would you find out what has been out there?
You could use some web resources, but a majority of people would need you to have a part number and some would be only available to the dealers.
Let us suppose that you have been searching for a part for an older bike. You would call the dealer to find the part and he replies that the part has been discontinued. You could ask the dealer to run a parts locator in order to see whether the part has been made available anywhere in the US. In case, the part has been listed you could get the part number and then call the dealer to strike a deal.
Why not ask the dealer to ship the part to you
You might be thinking about asking the dealers to ship the part to you. The reason for not doing it would be when a dealer ships in the part for you, they would be paying a marked up cost on the part. Probability is that the dealer they have been getting the part from has already written off the part and has declared their cost lower than the actual cost of the part. Therefore, in case you have the dealer ship the part, you would be paying full retail for the part along with a good mark up for the shipping. It would be imperative that you contact the dealer that has the part on the shelf. In a majority of cases, the dealer would be ready and willing to part with this old part for a relatively lower amount. It would be far better than paying retail price.
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