Dealers try to recoup losses after DustyMoto goes dark

Publish Date: 
Nov 5, 2013
By Holly J. Wagner

HILLIARD, Fla. – DustyMoto.com seems to have bitten the dust. The online parts exchange service went dark on Oct. 30 with dealers across the country wondering how or if they will be able to recoup losses.

By many accounts, DustyMoto.com was a great idea. Powersports dealers signed up to join a network that let them search each other’s inventory for hard-to find parts, which meant that dealers were moving stale inventory off their shelves to other shops who needed it.

"It was a great resource to find stuff that you couldn't find, or sell things you wanted to get rid of."

-- Dan Ball, North End Cycle

“It was good while it lasted. We got rid of thousands of dollars of stuff, but we did order stuff, too,” said Jenn McKay, a sales and finance representative at Cycle Sport Yamaha in Hobart, Ind.

Some dealers listed their entire parts inventories while others listed just dead and new old stock inventory. “It was a great resource to find stuff that you couldn’t find, or sell things you wanted to get rid of,” said Dan Ball, parts manager at North End Cycle in Elkhart Ind.

Dealernews has made efforts on multiple fronts to contact DustyMoto CEO Bobby Young Franklin II, who said in September 2010 that DustyMoto had 750 members in the United States and Canada. He has not returned calls, messages or emails or responded in any form. Sales rep Bryan Wilson also has not returned calls.

Dealernews confirms that there may be as many as 764 dealer members, but it’s unclear how many dropped out along the way and how many DustyMoto still had when it imploded.

While a few dealers had good experiences, many say they are holding the bag for credits they earned for parts “sold” to other dealers over the last four years, ranging from $1,300 to several thousand dollars per shop. Some shops had credits as high as $10,000 over the summer but were able to spend some of it down by the time the company went under.

'Everything came blind.'
Here's how it worked: Member dealers would upload their available parts inventory to the DustyMoto system, making it searchable for dealers who were looking for parts. Dealer buyers would pay for their purchases at first by credit card. As dealers sold parts from their own inventory, they were paid with DustyMoto credits that they could either redeem when buying parts from other dealers or by requesting checks at the end of the month.
 
DustyMoto took a 15 percent management fee on transactions, billing that and shipping charges to members' credit cards, then sent the shipping label to the selling dealer, who shipped the parts directly to the buyer. Sellers knew what stores they were shipping to but remained anonymous to the buyers. (continued)