The Soft Science of Pricing #2-Painting Costs

Posted by Scot Wilson on

When looking at purchasing OEM Ducati bodywork, it is important to understand what is involved. The decision for you the buyer is whether it makes more sense to repair your own item or to purchase one of our  refurbished items? 

As mentioned in previous posts, when incurring the costs of repair, color matching and applying new clear, there is an obvious cost to that. I get exceptionally good prices from very talented craftsman here in Tucson, Arizona and share that with our customers. These very competitive costs are not typically found in our larger US cities. This is a nice competitive advantage.


As Ducatisti, we know that we own the "Ferrari of Motorcycles". As such, there is a cost associated with the ownership of these amazing machines. When dealing with the re-painting of the bodywork for your Ducati, it is critical to understand that Red and Yellow are 2 of the most expensive paint colors available. The paint industry continues to increase the price of paint to keep up with inflation and the cost of governmental regulations related to using these items. Additionally, paint codes often do not transfer correctly between countries. That we cannot help.

How does this effect pricing? My painter charges me very low labor rates due to the volume of business that I bring him. However, on a full size panel for a modern Ducati 900 ss in my example, there were enough scratches and chips from shipping from Europe to warrant a re-painting of a large portion of the panel. We also need to figure out what is the most efficient and cost effective way to blend in a good color-match with the existing paint of the panel. The cost to me for this particular red 900 ss full fairing was $120 for labor, material and his expertise. OEM decals, if needed and available, can also increase the cost.

I received an offer through Ebay on this panel for $300. For illustration purposes, I paid $150 for the panel and now needed to add $120 for the paint job into cost of goods for a total of $270. If I were to pay $60 to Ebay and PayPal at check-out for their respective fees, then my total Expense or Cost would be $330. Selling a panel that costs me $330 for $300 through Ebay/PayPal does not make sense if you wish to stay in business. The question is whether you would ever voluntarily sell an item for a loss?

Even if Ebay/PayPal fees were reasonable or 10% and Italiainiron's Total Cost for selling this panel was $300 the result is a net sale of $0.00. This example did not include Ebay/PayPal fees on shipping charges. Average domestic shipping fees are $50 for a panel of this size with FedEx Ground. At 20% combined Ebay/PayPal fees, that is $10 in additional cost or a greater loss. International shipment costs would create even greater Ebay/PayPal fees and would result in our loosing more money. 

It is our hope that sharing the mathematics of pricing is helpful to you in understanding the cost of our doing business. We must also operate with efficient profit margins to cover our fixed business costs. From this understanding, we can collectively work to achieve an effective Win:Win that will allow us to continue to find these bits, refurbish them and make them available to satisfied customers. I like a Win:Win:Win but not a Win:Lose. There must be a balance. 

In conclusion, It is also important to state that we always color-match to the panel. We do this because of the huge inconsistencies in color within the same model ranges of Ducati motorcycles. As such, we work hard to be upfront and clear about our process. We are always open to answering questions and in offering additional photos to provide the buyer with the most comprehensive understanding of what we are offering for sale. 

Being upfront and honorable has been our philosophy from the beginning which for Italianiron Classics has been for almost 30 years. Please feel comfortable in contacting us at for clarification on anything regarding pricing and shipment of an item or an inquiry into an item that you may be looking for. We continue to open up boxes and find additional Vintage Ducati bits. 

Please also follow the introduction of our new products that are available for the Ducati TT racebikes from Two Wheel Classics-UK, SAMCO racing hoses and from our new affiliation with SmartCarbs




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