1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
    Going for a ride......
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    Anyone care to offer some haggling tips?

    I'm about to buy my first duallie - after much research and thought.
    All figures are in Australian Dollars:

    Trance 3 size small (16"). I have a qoute from a couple of stores from which I would have to get the bike shipped (cost about $65). One qote is $1760, the other $1850.

    My LBS doesn't have any on the floor and not getting them in unless I buy one - so I can't even test ride before a purchase regardless where I get it from. Anyway they quoted their great price at $1980.

    I'd like to haggle a bit with them and hopefully get the price down to somewhere near $1800 - and spend around $400 on accessories.

    So any tips - should I negotiate over the phone, or is it better in person? Credit card or cash does it make much of a difference?

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers,
    energetix



  2. #2
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    Always haggle in person, you can read the person much better. Cash is king as the saying goes, people love to toutch & count cold cash & credit cards have a handeling charge. Depending on how it goes you can mention you are also looking to buy gear & accesories if that wil help sweeten the deal.
    Staying in trouble i hope!
    Cheers

  3. #3
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    Yell really loud, try to be intimidating(it helps to be 6'7" and all muscle for this to work), carry a baseball bat with a large nail driven threw it and swing it menacingly(is that a word?) occasionally...thats all i got.

  4. #4
    Going for a ride......
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    Well ok, I'll just take my two kids in (1.5yr old & 3yr old) half dressed all snotty nosed and make them think if they charge me full price that the kids will have to starve!


    Credit is my preferred payment method so reckon I'll see how far that will get me first, take a bit longer to get my hands on some cash.
    Probably go in on Monday when I'm free of the kids.
    energetix



  5. #5
    ride hard take risks
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    Hahaha oy i was just comming back to suggest taking the kids with you, future customers. You might be comming back to buy the kids bikes if they can work the deal. We got some good deals working the kid bike thing, did buy 3 bikes in 2 years. Credit card yup knew you were going to say that, i dont have that cash sitting around either otherwise id send you a loan.

  6. #6
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    Well since I run a home biz at the moment I could swipe it through my merchant facility and get the cash in my business account then take it out. But it would cost me 2.4% for the privelage - probably not worth it in the end as I guess it's about what it would cost the LBS anyway. Otherwise there is money against a home loan we could take out - but would have to wait a week or two for that as it's in my husbands name and he's at work atm and going to Perth for a wedding next stint.

    Kids already have bikes - just brought a really cool one off ebay for James - and he loves it, he wouldn't ride his one with trainere remember, but he thinks this is great!

    (sorry if I'm off topic a bit
    energetix



  7. #7
    ride hard take risks
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    Give them the credit card with heavy haggeling. That bike is awsome, bet he can rip going downhill or stairs with that.

  8. #8
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    The block around the corner - the bigger jumps are no longer there it's pretty much just stuff you would call "bumps" he absolutely loves going over those, on grass, down gutters whatever. Yeah it's only 3kg compared to his other bike which weighed in at 8kg. I'm surprised how much he loves it considering he wouldn't really ride the other one!
    energetix



  9. #9
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    Some thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by energetix
    I'm about to buy my first duallie - after much research and thought.
    All figures are in Australian Dollars:

    So any tips - should I negotiate over the phone, or is it better in person? Credit card or cash does it make much of a difference?

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers,
    First off, as others have said, negotiate in person and have cash in hand. Credit card is second choice. I would go in with a specific price in mind, but be prepared to spend a bit more than you expect. I would take an understated approach (not demanding, but still firm). Explain that you would like to negotiate on a lump sum for the bike and the accessories you plan to buy. This means you have to do some homework on the accessories you plan to buy and what the list price of thoise items will be. Bottom line, the LBS needs to make some money somewhere. It's either going to be on the bike or the accessories. My understanding is that the percentage of markup on the accessories will be more than on the bike.

    My thought is to tell them you have $2100 to spend and that you want to buy the bike and the accessories (that you say total about $400). They will probably come back with "no" or another quote. Haggle a bit and hopefully get them down to $2200 or $2250. If they don't, then your ace card is to tell them that you respect their need to make a living, but that you also need to be a smart buyer, and that you have a dealer ready to sell you the bike for $1825 (no need to disclose that it's being shipped to you...that works against you). Let them know that you would rather support their business and that you will continue to support which ever bike shop you purchase from. To me, this is key in negotiations. The LBS recognizes that they will make a small profit on the bike, but that it's the accessories, wrenching and other products and services that come down the line AFTER the bike sale that make their business prosper.

    Case in point (and certainly not the exact same situation you're in, but it has it's relevance)-I just purchased a NOS BMX frame and cranks for well under the LBS cost. They had been sitting for over three years, and were part of the original inventory that the shop owner inherited when he purchased the business. I got them for a total of $60.00 because he knew they weren't going to move other wise, and because I told him that I would be coming to him for about 1/2 of the rest of the parts I need for the build and that I would pay list price for the remaining items I purchased from him. I have since spent another $200 on parts at his shop, all at list price. He also gets all the repairs that I can't do on my own.

    The point I make is that the LBS will take a hit on one product if they know you will purchase other items and in hopes that you will be a loyal customer who solicits business from them over the years.

    I hope this approach makes sense and the advice is helpful. Let us know how you make out.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  10. #10
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    Thanks Call_Me_Clyde your advice is helpful. Not sure if I'll go for the lump sum option though because like you say it would require alot of research and a bit more difficult is the fact that I'm not sure exactly which specific accessories I'll need - for example my list is something like this at the moment:

    Helmet - up to $150 but that could end up being around $100 depends what fits and what they have.
    Bike Computer - (this could be around $70 (their prices seemed a bit marked up on these when I last looked) or it could be more if they have a wireless one there)
    Shock Pump - I guess around $60 and I believer the T3 doesn't come with one.
    Chainstay protector- guess $30 at the most
    Brake Bleed Kit? Multitool?
    Some sort of rotor cleaning fluid for sure.
    And it wouldn't be too hard to make up the difference

    But yes at this stage the plan is to see what they can do on the bike, and as part of my cards I can say if they do it for x price I'll buy all those accessories from them, and I can easily use the qotes from the other shops - if they ask where well I'll tell them, and the fact is that my husband is going through both the cities next week to attend a wedding so he could theoretically bring a bike back for me from either place if he wanted to.

    And if they give me equivalent discount to the shop that offered 20% then I would be more than happy to pay list price for the accessories - although I'm not sure if this is right but if they give me a discount on those then I can get more for same amount of money and they should still make the same sort of profit?

    I'm not going to be greedy - I'd like to get it for no more than $1900 ($1800 would be better though), I think that's pretty reasonable considering the best offer at the moment is $1760 (add on $40 to $80 for freight or hubby could bring it back on a plane with him).

    I guess mainly because I never got to test ride it, and it will very soon be "last years bike". When they gave me the last price they said that they could give me the good deal because it's straight in and out - never on their shop floor- and that deal was 10% off.

    Actually last night I had a dream that they matched the lowest offer but tried to sell me one of those bike racks with it - you know the type of thing you carry panniers on - why do dreams always have to have a weird twist in them? Geeez even dreaming about bikes now!

    Anyway MONDAY hopefully all will be revealed, and if it goes well I should have a new bike a week after that!
    energetix



  11. #11
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    Some thoughts

    From what I've read you're better off trying to get discounts on the accessories than the bike itself. Apparently the margins are higher on the small stuff.

    Your shopping list looks pretty sensible for the most part. I'm under the impression that rubbing alcohol is sufficient for cleaning rotors, and hopefully you won't need the bleed kit for a while. But a good floor pump is crucial, since it makes it possible for you to fine-tune your tire pressure.

    Good luck!

  12. #12
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    Hmmm yes the thought of a floor pump did cross my mind briefly and then I forgot about it but I'm not generally that fussy with tyre pressure, I check them every few rides (one of those gagues that do cars as well - and only have a mini pump at the moment) but seem to have got away with running them probably as low as 25psi before (due to lack of checking for a while). I usually aim for about 35 to 40psi from memory - and can definitely feel the difference on a ride if they were a bit down previously but I can get away with a bit less. Mind you I think the pump struggles to do much more than 40psi anyway. Never had a pinch flat in my life, but have never had tyres wit real thin sidewalls before either. Besides that there are a couple of air compressors mounted in the 4WD and will do the job at a flick of a switch, but I never can be bothered in using them. But yes thanks for bringing that up I probably could at least use a better pump, and the floor pump sounds like a good idea.

    Good point too - if they won't move on the price of the bike then I could see what they will do for me accessory wise - I guess most shops like to look after their customers by giving a good discount on the accessories. I did hear that down the road (talking about 1700km's - basically the major city in our state) they apparently offer 20% off new bikes and all accessories purchased at that time, now that would be hard to beat! Guess it all comes down to how keen I am to get a bike locally.
    energetix



  13. #13
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    Latex skirt & spiked heals.

  14. #14
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    He he he he he - throw in the fishnet stockings etc etc
    Dress up like that & they would probably wonder why the hell I'm buying that particular bike - or probably any bike I guess.

    Yeah they say that flirting can get you a long way when buying stuff in general.

    but lets put it this way - I don't own any makeup! (lipstic etc anyway) and only have about two dresses - I think one of those is my wedding dress, and two skirts - which I find alot hotter to wear than shorts (in the temperature / climate sense). So yeah never been a real girly type girl - more of a tomboy during my childhood.
    energetix



  15. #15
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    Just funnin you, tom boyish lucky you or shal i say lucky hubby. Glad to hear your on the road to the trail.

  16. #16
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    yeah at first I though "whaat?" and then I figured it out - I knew you were just kidding around regardless. I'm not the sort of person who will take stuff too seroiusly or get offended easily - well I guess particulaly on forums like this. You got to be able to have a laugh!

    I'll try & get a photo up when I fianlly get it.
    energetix



  17. #17
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    Good luck on Monday

    Sounds like you have a pretty good game plan in store. One last thought, and please take this in the spirit in which I offer it. Don't let them take advantage of the fact that they're dealing with a woman. Statistics show that for whatever reason, women are treated differently than men in price negotiations. Stand firm and walk away from the deal if you don't feel you're getting a fair shake. Latch on to what it is you want, and like a pit bull, don't let go.....but do so nicely

    Let us know how you make out.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  18. #18
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    Make sure when you pull up in the expensive clean car they dont see it... dont dress in your Sunday best ar flash anything that speaks money.. If you look good they think you can afford it.. If you dont look like you have modest wealth the shop will feel it needs to earn your cash....

    either way whatever you do, cant get what you dont ask for.. dont be shy..

    my last purchase, I told them I found it less expensive elsewhere, but wanted to to support the local shop, as I will service it here... can you work with me as the diference is substantial in my eyes......wow the shop looks nice, made some changes??

  19. #19
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    Well being end of month - or close enough to it, I figured better to go there today rather than Monday. So I will actually have to take the kids with me too - hence why going today, bit quiter than the weekend so at least they will have the time to talk without worrying about attending to all the other customres.

    Let you know what happens.
    energetix



  20. #20
    ride hard take risks
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    Quote Originally Posted by energetix
    Well being end of month - or close enough to it, I figured better to go there today rather than Monday. So I will actually have to take the kids with me too - hence why going today, bit quiter than the weekend so at least they will have the time to talk without worrying about attending to all the other customres.

    Let you know what happens.
    I cant wait any longer, i have chewed my nails down so they are bleeding, bike, new bike????? Well!! Im not going to chew my toe nails.

  21. #21
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    Here's some advice.

    1) You be the aggressive personality. Most sales people are taught to be outgoing and conversationalist. Use their tactics against them. Brisky walk up to a salesperson and introduce yourself and say "Do you want to sell a bike today?"

    2) Let them know your expectations up front. Say "I want that bike, and I will give you $X for it, here's my checkbook, do we have a deal?" I've worked in sales, and we referred to the people that came in and wasted your time with no intent to buy as "strokers." We hated getting strokers, and we got good at picking them out before we greeted them. No matter what terminology your local salespeople use, they have a term for someone who comes in just to shop, or to get a feel of something before they buy it on the internet, etc...and they get good at finding you. They won't want to waste time with you, especially if the floor is busy. It is important to establish yourself as a "buyer" right away, hence "here's my checkbook."

    3) Now that the salesperson is happy because he knows he'll make some money, further reinforce your commitment "My bike rack is already on my car, I'm ready to do this, etc."

    4) The YES tactic. Maybe someone's used this on you, the conditioned 'YES' response. They ask you a series of questions where the obvious answer is yes, and then say "so let's get you set up to take this home today"...
    example:
    sales: looks like we have the right bike for you right?
    you: yes.
    sales: you're ready to start riding again right?
    you: yes
    sales: so how about we write this up and seal the deal (notice the head nodding YES! YES!)
    OK, well you get the point...guess what, you can use that too.
    you: you want to sell me a bike?
    sales: yes
    you: you want to earn my ongoing business for service etc. right?
    sales: yes
    you: so you'll sell me the bike I want for $1200 right?

    5) Fib a little. I just bought my bike last week and used this for my case. I told the salesperson there was a nice FS Trek I saw at another local bike shop, but it was out of stock. I'm just getting back into riding so I don't need anything top of the line. I want a bike today, but your bike is $1300, I can't justify spending $250 more when I can wait a few days and get a cheaper bike. I'm sure the $1300 bike is better, but it's more than I need. Tell your boss to knock $150 off this bike and I'll take it today. Three minutes later I was ringing up my bike at the price I thought was fair.

    It's all about confidence, go in there knowing you're going to get a good deal. But also don't let them catch on that it's your dream bike, make them think "that bike is just OK, it will do." Most people are passive and just accept the MSRP...it's those kind of people that set the stage for a good negotiation. If everyone haggled prices, it would be hard to get a discount. And think like a sales person. I recently went with a buddy to help him buy a truck. We got close to the price we wanted but we're ready to leave becuase they were still too high. The manager was involved at this point and said something to the fact "I've done the best I can to meet your offer, and we're only talking about $500 more than what you wanted to pay." To which I quickly replied "well if it's ONLY $500, you should have no problem meeting our offer....$500 means a lot more to an individual than a large company." He didn't have a good answer and my buddy got the truck at the price he wanted. Keep things light and jovial too, if they don't meet your deal say something funny like "what's wrong, you don't like me man...did I say something to hurt your feelings?" When it's all said and done, you want to be able to show your face in the LBS again and have a good relationship.

    Hope that helps....if not, hey, it's free advice
    Last edited by u4ic; 04-28-2006 at 03:14 PM.
    Tampa, FL
    '06 Cannondale Rush 400

  22. #22
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    u4ic that is some real great advice. I'm probably half an half, in certain situations I'll haggle a bit, or at least ask for the deal and other times I'll just accept msrp. Anyway would have been good to read your post yesterday. However I've been to the store several times - a few times asking "so are you getting a Trance in". See I started eyeing it off probably a month or so ago, then the week I went in to show my Hubby it happens they sold the only Trance & Reign that they had on the floor and due to up coming release of new giant range up here in a couple of months and being in a small town (as opposed to big city) the owner decided he wasn't going to order any more in.

    So I didn't have a few advantages that you outlined - like taking bike straight away without having to order it in, hell I couldn't even test ride one. And they are the only bikeshop that sells Giant within at least 400km - so they know any prices I went to them with from other stores would in fact cost me more, wether it be freight, driving time and fuel whatever.

    Anyway - sorry Dogonfr to keep you in suspense, I lost this thread but did post on another Trance related one I had. This is how we went:

    Driving there I turned up the radio to get in the mood. Got there about 10am - and it was a Friday so I knew it wouldn't be busy. Basically I went straight to the salesman. It was a different person this time - not the owner and not the bloke who quoted me $1980 for cash. I told him that I've been looking at the Trance for a while now and asked what his best price was (or what deal he could do - can't remember now exactly what I said). He said "well first I'll have to find out if we have one to sell - and looked it up in the book for availability. Anyway he came back with $2000. Then I said I had got a few prices from other stores and the best price was $1760 and asked if he could do better on his price. His comment was something like "yes but it wouldn't have been here - as in locally and that it would cost $120 to freight it" That's when I said my husband was going interstate next week and could pick it up. I think he came back with $1950 so I asked him to write it down for me and said something about buying accessories and supporting the bike shop going there for servicing. He said servicing wasn't that much of an issue as they do it free for 12 months so can't go any lower in their price. So I asked if I just got the first service free how much that would bring the price down, and also asked if I get a discount on any accessories I buy. Then he came back with $1900 for the bike, first service free and 10% off accessories, he wrote it down on their business card, I took the card then I said "I'll take you up on that deal". I can't remember exactly at what point but somewhere in there he rang someone and asked if there ware any specials at the moment (giant I suppose) there wasn't so the price stayed.

    Wooohooo the bike is mine - 20% deposit and it should be here in a week.

    I probably paid a bit more than I could have if I got it somewhere else but in the end I alway did say that it's worth paying a bit more to support the LBS. In the end I'm very happy with the result.
    energetix



  23. #23
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    Hey great job, sounds like you did well. As long as you pay under retail you've accomplished something. And you only pay too much if you think you've payed too much, sounds like you had a fair price set in your head and that what you got, that's a victory in my book. Congrats on the new wheels!
    Tampa, FL
    '06 Cannondale Rush 400

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    very nicely stated U4... fun read...

    the only thing that precipitates this is having done your homework already... and knowing what you want...

    Also in my town, stating inventory about another LBS would not work...too small nit a group of owners...so know your other local shops...

  25. #25
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    Yes I kind of got the feeling from one of the bike shops that maybe things aren't that tight nit in this town - I picked up a bit of a negative attitude from one particular shop about the fact that a certain other shop (they didn't disclose which one) offers 12 months free service (I think two of the shops actually offer that sort of thing) and the said shop thought it was nothing more than a gimmick. Anyway nothing against the shop who said this and I would have loved to buy a bike from them but they just didn't sell the one I was most interested in, and in a way what they said is true but I think overall the 12 month service is a good thing particularly if youre completely new to bikes.

    Apart from Toys R Us I think there are about 4 bike shops here, but each seem to specialize in different brands. Although somehow I don't think it would have done much if I said for example that I could get a Specialized bike for x amount etc etc when I reckon the bike shop would probably have known that I was really interested in the Trance. I believe they have the advantage particularly if they know you're keen on their bike and well really just trying to haggle probably shows in itself that you want to buy it.

    Shop 1: Norco, Rocky Mountain, Kona, Ironhorse. This was my favourite shop in town but I wasn't too keen on Konas, but seriously thought about Norco Fluid 2 they had - they offered a $200 discount straigh up before I was even seriously looking at a purchase. They support the local club.
    Shop 2: Well only Trek in the FS department - probably more rodie oriented. Still if I was 100% happy with the Trek when I test rode it I would have had no problems purchasing off them, nice and friendly, good service.
    Shop 3: Specialized / Avanti , saw some Norcos there too - dh, I think the guys there like their DH most. They support the local club as well. Great service - although first few times I went in looking at pedals and stuff I didn't find the service as friendly. The bike I tested there was good - my 2nd choice though, but if I had to go with it for whatever reason I'm pretty sure I would have been happy.
    Shop 4: Giant, some Norco, a good range of road bikes too. Not sure what other brands - I was too busy looking at the Trance. By far the biggest shop - space wise. Always friendly but a bit tight on price and the one I got my bike from.

    I'm yet to visit a mystery shop in town, I spotted it when driving past, it's not in the phone book or anything - have a feeling that perhaps they sell stuff like Cannondale? I'm curious.
    energetix



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