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How to Become a Wholesale Motorcycle Parts Dealer

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The overall sales of motorcycles in the U.S. have been falling every year since 2007. While the first quarter sales in 2011 were better than the comparative sales from the previous year, the industry forecasts remain apprehensive. The dropping demand for new motorbikes offers opportunities for wholesale accessories dealers to market repair tools, maintenance equipment and gear.

Learn about the motorcycle industry. One way to keep abreast with the industry news and information is to subscribe to trade magazines and newsletters. You can also become a member of the National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA) or a member of an association at the state level and benefit from their member services. While the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) doesn't offer memberships to wholesalers, it is a good place to buy annual data and reports to know more about the industry. The American Motorcyclist Association is another resource for information about state and federal laws governing the industry.

Get a state issued license for your business. No supplier will offer you a contract without a business license. While the license requirements may differ from state to state, typically, your application to the Secretary of State should include: an approved zoning certification from the local zoning authorities, the state sales tax ID number obtained from the state revenue department, the certificate of business insurance with a valid policy number and a security bond along with power of attorney. In most states, the amount required as a surety bond ranges from $10,000 to $15,000.

Shop for a supplier. Motorcycle accessories include motorcycle carriages, helmets, mufflers, engines, pipes, kickstands, handlebars, clutches, lights, mirrors, carburetors, gears and fenders. A wholesaler, as per contract, may be restricted to selling only parts and brands that a supplier carries. It is, therefore, important to find a place which carries a wide range of new and used motorcycle accessories and brands. Also, don't settle on a supplier before taking industry advice on prices, discounts and other matters of contract. The motorcycle associations mentioned in Step 1 can be a resource for this.

Sign with the supplier. After all required inquiries and negotiations, the next step is to sign the dealer application form and other forms such as a credit application and consent forms. Typically, suppliers will require you to buy at least $5,000 worth of accessories as a first purchase and lower amounts of inventory on a periodic basis.


Market your business. Design brochures and a professional website with information on available inventory; advertise in trade publications; and attend industry conferences. Another way to grow your business is to sell used parts and accessories for popular brands of motorcycles.


This article is for informational purposes only. Seek legal and tax advice on all matters of business and state law.


Kiran Bharthapudi has more than seven years of experience in print, broadcast and new media journalism. He has contributed to several major news agencies, including United Nations radio, BBC online and "Consumer Reports" magazine. His articles specialize in the areas of business, technology and new media. He has a Ph.D. in mass communications.