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  1. #1
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    Dealer Cost vs Retail Price

    How much mark up is there on a typical upper end bike? Curious, I know the dealers need to keep the lights on but I'm just wondering how much they really make on a bike deal. My guess is 30% am I close?

  2. #2
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    You don't want to know.

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    Jason
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  3. #3
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    Margins are pretty low on bikes. 20% is pretty much the average on high-end bikes. The margin is much, much higher at the low-end. A bike shop might make as much from the sale of an entry-level mtb as from a high-end road bike. The difference is that the guy who buys the roadie will also buy the $150 helmet, the $300 pedals, the $90 jersey, $150 shorts, and will be in the shop again in five months for a pair of $80 tires -- all of which carry mich higher margins than the actual bike.

    the best way to negotiate when buying a bike is not to get a cut on the price of the bike, but to haggle over the prices of all the other little things...

  4. #4
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    With the exception of complete bicycles, retail is typically based on a 100% markup. That $80 dollar tire cost the shop $40.

    Most products in a shop come from distrubters (QBS, BTI, etc.), which sell at a markup from what they pay to the manufacturer. I have no idea what this margin is, but A wild guess is 20%. (more volume requires lower profit per unit...)

    When I worked at Bike shops (1998-2004) we were able to "Employee Purchase" directly from many manufacturers at a substantial discount below wholesale. This meant parts would cost us about 30% of retail. Sometimes less. Those were the days!

    This being said, don't think shop owners are getting rich. They operate in a seasonal atmosphere with a lot of overhead costs. Especially with competition from online retailers, we should feel lucky that brick and mortar bike shops still exist! It's a rough industry and many do it for the love, not the money.

    As said above, any haggling would best be left to discounted accessories at time of bicycle purchase.

    Support your LBS when you can please!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pritchett View Post
    As said above, any haggling would best be left to discounted accessories at time of bicycle purchase.
    Definitely agree with this. Most of the guys I have seen and worked with in bike stores are there for the love of cycling and the lifestyle. Certainly not to get rich!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pritchett View Post
    Support your LBS when you can please!
    Look after them and they will look after you. Especially when it comes to emergencies or labour.

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    i talked to my lbs guy that said he was in about $975 for a bike that retails for $1600. He would have had it marked closer to $1400 though

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean831 View Post
    i talked to my lbs guy that said he was in about $975 for a bike that retails for $1600. He would have had it marked closer to $1400 though
    That's a 64% markup. Most OEM's give price breaks to shops that move more product. A shop that sells thousands of X brands bike's will pay slightly less for them than a smaller shop that moves less than a hundred of X brands bikes per year. I can't remember if this is based on number of bikes, or total $$$ sales volume.

    Either way, the largest margin I've seen available for complete bikes was 40%. Times may have changed, or I may be remembering incorrectly.

    Even at 64% markup, after overhead costs are taken into account, that's very little money.

    Our small shop required around $1300 in sales a day to break even. That doesn't sound like much, but it is.

    Where shops make the most money is in service and repair. The guy behind the counter probably makes less than $10/Hr... but he can change a tube in 3 minutes and charge you $5 to $13. (yes... people will pay $13 dollars for you to swap a tube...)

    That's how shops survive. Thank god for the lazy/incompetent.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean831 View Post
    ...He would have had it marked closer to $1400 though
    Also, I remember that some OEM's will not allow a shop to display a price lower than the MSRP on current model year bikes. This is done to keep things fair for smaller shops.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pritchett View Post
    Where shops make the most money is in service and repair. The guy behind the counter probably makes less than $10/Hr... but he can change a tube in 3 minutes and charge you $5 to $13. (yes... people will pay $13 dollars for you to swap a tube...)

    That's how shops survive. Thank god for the lazy/incompetent.
    I was always amazed at the sheer number of lazy people out there! Or too afraid to get their hands dirty. Either way, we made quite a bit of money that way!

  10. #10
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    Well...

    The rrp on my local shop's bikes is roughly 100% across the board (I asked the owner).

    But that's the rrp, bikes hardly ever sell for full price these days. Even latest models seem to need something off the recommended price to shift.

    People like buying on finance and credit cards now too, so quite often a bike sold at 'full price' has great chunks taken out of the mark up right from the moment of sale. Bikes sold on interest free finance deals, percentage gets taken by the finance company and then the shop might not see most of the money for a month (or 3, 6... year).

    People who walk in with cash in hand tend to get discounts too. They might get as much as 10-15% off a brand new bike, but it's cash in the till and product out the door. Quite often a cash sale with a hefty discount works out more profitable than someone paying full price but on 24months finance (and you can forget about discounts when mentioning the F word).

    Once the dust settles, the actual mark up he gets varies from close to 100% on the little kids bikes, to 60-40% on proper bikes with the narrower end of that centred on the most expensive models.

    God it's complicated selling stuff to people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fix the Spade View Post
    Well...

    The rrp on my local shop's bikes is roughly 100% across the board (I asked the owner).

    But that's the rrp, bikes hardly ever sell for full price these days. Even latest models seem to need something off the recommended price to shift.

    People like buying on finance and credit cards now too, so quite often a bike sold at 'full price' has great chunks taken out of the mark up right from the moment of sale. Bikes sold on interest free finance deals, percentage gets taken by the finance company and then the shop might not see most of the money for a month (or 3, 6... year).

    People who walk in with cash in hand tend to get discounts too. They might get as much as 10-15% off a brand new bike, but it's cash in the till and product out the door. Quite often a cash sale with a hefty discount works out more profitable than someone paying full price but on 24months finance (and you can forget about discounts when mentioning the F word).

    Once the dust settles, the actual mark up he gets varies from close to 100% on the little kids bikes, to 60-40% on proper bikes with the narrower end of that centred on the most expensive models.

    God it's complicated selling stuff to people.
    Exactly, I don't think I've ever paid full retail for the bikes I've got through an LBS, usually about 25% less as I pay cash...

  12. #12
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    Support your LBS. Please. In my area, these are the guys sponsoring races, supporting advocacy groups, providing assistance with MTB 101 classes, they organize group rides, etc. The prices they have are sometimes in the park with online prices and other times they are higher but I pay them. Why? Because they are a small shop with big passion. Actually, in my area it is true that all of the bike shops give back and help the passion grow. I support them because they support us.

    All the fluffy stuff aside, the mark up here varies depending on demand. On parts and accessories, however, it seems to be almost always 100%. Like mentioned by someone else. It is in the parts and accessories categories that the LBS is truly making money. On some mid-level to higher end bikes I've noticed that the cost of the components was much more than the retail price of the whole bike.

  13. #13
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    Do most lbs haggle on prices? The two I have been to seemed like they were set on price and I didn't even think about offering a lower price.
    Last edited by screaminz2002; 08-05-2011 at 05:43 AM.

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    Anyone who has this knowledge and shares it openly on an online forum is an @$$hole. Shame on you people. Independent bike shops have a hard enough time keeping the doors open with all the online retailers these days. Don't make their job harder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Blonde View Post
    Anyone who has this knowledge and shares it openly on an online forum is an @$$hole. Shame on you people. Independent bike shops have a hard enough time keeping the doors open with all the online retailers these days. Don't make their job harder.
    I can do simple math. Please don't turn this into some sort of a personal issue with me but I contend that what you want to remain concealed is obvious to most. It doesn't take a genius to know that the wheels I was charged $260 were marked up 62.5% since I found the same online for about $160. Did I care? No. Why? The service rocks! And, as I stated before, they fuel the local passion.

    But I agree that our shops have a hard time making sales... well, that's why my favorite shop is moving to Main Street... We have a large MTB community. We have a large trail system in our area and are surrounded by other great trail systems. The boutique like shops that don't open up to the community and are simply trying to sell high dollar bikes without real service are the ones being hit hard by the online retailers. Why? Because we can do without the high and mighty attitude and can bypass the snob that says you must have a Fox fork because a Reba is just a wanna be...

    Anyways, I understand what you are saying and I respect my local shops. That is why I have not posted their names. I have gotten the same review of the local shops from most of the people I talk to. I make it a point for my friends, family, and coworkers to visit all the shops and find out where they want to spend their money and why. I try to educate them when they return to me and say, "I saw this online cheaper." I have not had one person buy a bike online. I have had almost all of my friends and riding buddies support their LBS even though we are all able to repair our own bikes. I posted what I posted earlier in an attempt to help people make the connection between the price they pay for goods and the service they receive in addition to fueling the local economy and biking community.

    Of course, being that common sense isn't common, it is clear that some will simply take the fact that they are paying more for certain things at their LBS and spend their money online. So be it. Have you noticed how the advertisements on this very forum are usually listing prices that our LBSs cannot even come close to in order to make money? If I were to have purchased everything I did over the last year from the online shops listed on MTBr.com and not from my LBS I would be about $300-400 richer right now. But I am not. Again, because I appreciate what a LBS does for the community, what they provide me with, and the local economy.

    Sincerely,

    Ricardo

    P.S. I appreciate the fervor with which you responded and I share in your intensity when it comes to defending my local bike shops. I make it a point to make an argument any time I hear someone recommend that they go online and purchase this or that.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Blonde View Post
    Anyone who has this knowledge and shares it openly on an online forum is an @$$hole. Shame on you people. Independent bike shops have a hard enough time keeping the doors open with all the online retailers these days. Don't make their job harder.
    One word comes to mind....hypocrite. I'm sure when you bought your last car, camera, ipod, computer, etc. that you didn't even consider doing research on the 'net.' Just because one knows what the actual costs to products are does not mean that you can find a store to sell it at the price you want.

    I'm not in the retail industry but I know a LOT about it and how it works. I still support my LBS however I can. Very rarely do I buy something online if my LBS has it. I do purchase clothing online because my shop does not stock some brands I prefer. I've referred many, many people to them. Last month that resulted in over 7K in sales that they would not have seen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Blonde View Post
    Anyone who has this knowledge and shares it openly on an online forum is an @$$hole. Shame on you people. Independent bike shops have a hard enough time keeping the doors open with all the online retailers these days. Don't make their job harder.
    Why is it my responsibility to keep anyone's doors open?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dangeruss View Post
    Margins are pretty low on bikes. 20% is pretty much the average on high-end bikes. The margin is much, much higher at the low-end. A bike shop might make as much from the sale of an entry-level mtb as from a high-end road bike. The difference is that the guy who buys the roadie will also buy the $150 helmet, the $300 pedals, the $90 jersey, $150 shorts, and will be in the shop again in five months for a pair of $80 tires -- all of which carry mich higher margins than the actual bike.

    the best way to negotiate when buying a bike is not to get a cut on the price of the bike, but to haggle over the prices of all the other little things...
    good god in heaven, i've been out of the loop that long? three hundred dollar pedals? are the bearings titanium too?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2Slo4U View Post
    One word comes to mind....hypocrite. I'm sure when you bought your last car, camera, ipod, computer, etc. that you didn't even consider doing research on the 'net.' Just because one knows what the actual costs to products are does not mean that you can find a store to sell it at the price you want.

    I know a LOT about the retail industry and I still support my LBS however I can. Very rarely do I buy something online if my LBS has it. I do purchase clothing online because my shop does not stock some brands I prefer. I've referred many, many people to them. Last month that resulted in over 7K in sales that they would not have seen.
    What? What does doing research before a purchase have to do with openly publishing dealer costs on an open forum? The two are in no way analogous. You clearly have no idea what people do with this information. I have watched groups of roadies with large influence in the local scene come in, knowing cost, and literally strong arm small shops into giving them huge deals. People knowing cost is one of the biggest bs issues bike shops deal with on a regular basis. Also: the little assumption about online prices representing cost is WAYYYYY off base. Online dealers often get distributor pricing, part out completes, and buy in massive quanitities. To top it off they often lose money on some of their deep sales. It's all about economics of scale. The online price might be half of what the ibd pays. I live a city with a VERY strong local buying ethic. I eat at local restaurants and buy local food for 95% of my meals these days. I want bike parts I go into my favorite shop (Carolina Fatz), tell them what I want, wait patiently, make their job as easy as possible, and plop down the plastic without even discussing the exact total. Maybe even bring some good beers. Know what happens? I get treated VERY fairly. If you don't then your shop sucks.

  20. #20
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    "I have watched groups of roadies with large influence in the local scene come in, knowing cost, and literally strong arm small shops into giving them huge deals."

    these are the real a$$holes.

  21. #21
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    "I have watched groups of roadies with large influence in the local scene come in, knowing cost, and literally strong arm small shops into giving them huge deals."

    these are the real a$$holes.

  22. #22
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    "I have watched groups of roadies with large influence in the local scene come in, knowing cost, and literally strong arm small shops into giving them huge deals."

    these are the real a$$holes.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
    Why is it my responsibility to keep anyone's doors open?
    If this is the way you think don't ever walk through the door.

    No it's not your responsibility to keep somebody in business. But that doesn't mean you should work them over on price or abuse there knowledge and service. If you want to buy stuff dirt cheap on line that's fine but ask the black hole that is the internet your questions and don't even think about walking into your LBS when your looking for a warranty.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Blonde View Post
    Anyone who has this knowledge and shares it openly on an online forum is an @$$hole.
    why?

    Plenty of other industries operate successfully with this type of transparency. Sales of automobiles, gasoline, many other commodities and the entire lending industry for example. In fact, any publicly traded corporation is required to operate on this principle.

    Are the blogs who tear apart a new Apple computer, then estimate the cost of the components to post online a$$holes? Do you think Steve jobs loses any sleep over these activities? No. Because anyone who isn't an idiot realizes that many other factors contribute to the actual profit made from any sale. Manufacturers invest in overhead, R&D, Engineering, infrastructure, etc. Retailers invest in various operating costs, including rent, utilities, marketing, etc.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Blonde View Post
    Know what happens? I get treated VERY fairly. If you don't then your shop sucks.
    How do you know you're being treated fairly unless you have some idea of the dealer cost? Without that, you have no reference point to compare against. Kinda goes against the "don't disclose the dealer cost" argument.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    If this is the way you think don't ever walk through the door.

    No it's not your responsibility to keep somebody in business. But that doesn't mean you should work them over on price or abuse there knowledge and service. If you want to buy stuff dirt cheap on line that's fine but ask the black hole that is the internet your questions and don't even think about walking into your LBS when your looking for a warranty.
    Buddy, I buy some stuff online, some stuff in stores and some stuff used. Not just with bikes with everything. But if you don't want my business, PM me with the name of your company, and I will be sure to never darken your doorstep.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marpilli View Post
    How do you know you're being treated fairly unless you have some idea of the dealer cost? Without that, you have no reference point to compare against. Kinda goes against the "don't disclose the dealer cost" argument.
    I think he was referring to service not price. But even if he was talking price. MSRP is fair in my book.

  28. #28
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    Ah, I totally agree with the service aspect. The closest LBS to me doesn't get much business because of this. Every time I go in there and ask a question they act like I'm wasting their time. Because of this, I drive to a shop 20 minutes away that is welcoming and always takes time to listen to what I'm trying to find.

    As others have said, I buy on-line and used also...

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    MSRP is fair in my book.
    Knowing a little bit about how bikes and accessories are priced out, I would agree, especially in the case of full bicycles. I don't even try to negotiate the price there because unlike car dealers, most bike shops are straightforward and fair about pricing.

    And taking the lowest online price you can find, then calculating the difference between it and MSRP to determine markup is making one BIG assumption - that the lowest online price you're seeing is the dealer cost. I have seen many cases of parts being offered online at LESS than dealer cost.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by morphosity View Post
    Exactly, I don't think I've ever paid full retail for the bikes I've got through an LBS, usually about 25% less as I pay cash...
    Man..I have always paid cash for bikes I buy at the LBS and it's always been full price. Except for my hooligan which was a 'last year model', thus 20% off sticker, sales tax brought a chunk of that savings back tho. The deals I have gotten have been on bikes I purchase on via the web.

  31. #31
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    The posting of dealer-only info hurts your LBS and is not cool.

    Mtbr's policy does not allow these posts and it has been removed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fix the Spade View Post
    Well...

    The rrp on my local shop's bikes is roughly 100% across the board (I asked the owner).

    But that's the rrp, bikes hardly ever sell for full price these days. Even latest models seem to need something off the recommended price to shift.

    People like buying on finance and credit cards now too, so quite often a bike sold at 'full price' has great chunks taken out of the mark up right from the moment of sale. Bikes sold on interest free finance deals, percentage gets taken by the finance company and then the shop might not see most of the money for a month (or 3, 6... year).

    People who walk in with cash in hand tend to get discounts too. They might get as much as 10-15% off a brand new bike, but it's cash in the till and product out the door. Quite often a cash sale with a hefty discount works out more profitable than someone paying full price but on 24months finance (and you can forget about discounts when mentioning the F word).

    Once the dust settles, the actual mark up he gets varies from close to 100% on the little kids bikes, to 60-40% on proper bikes with the narrower end of that centred on the most expensive models.

    God it's complicated selling stuff to people.
    Remember that a 100% markup = a 50% margin, and the margin from dealer invoice cost to selling price is way less. Then the cost of shipping, assembly and followup service must come out of the margin. In the long run the LBS does just a bit better than break even on bikes.

    Even most parts and accessories are less than 50% margin at MSRP and obtained from the main distributors.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pritchett View Post
    retail is typically based on a 100% markup. That $80 dollar tire cost the shop $40.
    I have no experience in the cycling business but I was a parts manager at a motorcycle dealership for 4 years. Sold Yamaha, Ducati, Polaris, Honda, Suzuki, Aprilia, BMW, and KTM. Most parts factory or after market have about a 50% markup. Unless its Oakleys or Costa Del Mars, they have 100%. We typically were shooting for a 33% margin of profit at the end of the month. I doubt bike parts are much different.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregg View Post
    The posting of dealer-only info hurts your LBS and is not cool.

    Mtbr's policy does not allow these posts and it has been removed.

    -g
    I agree with your action but not your reasoning... If someone went into a shop knowing dealer cost looking for a deal the dealer has the oppurtunity to say no but at least they walked in the door instead of buying online. Knowing dealer cost wont actually deter someone from buying the product... It actually might help the smaller guys (bike companies) to compete with the bigger brands creating more competition... This wouldn't effect your LBS but would be good for the consumer and the sport as a whole.
    Killing it with close inspection.

  35. #35
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    While it's a competitive market out there it's good to know the other side of the coin as well. LBS do not buy direct from all manufacture they have their middle man. Then the overhead, rent, utility, labor. Avg business run about 30% labor retail may be different but you get the idea. Plus they have to stock the products, not everything they sell are special orders. That's a chunk of cash sitting on the showroom floor loosing value.

    LBS do not buy the same thing online place do either, some online do bulk of their business with OEM parts, and take offs with no box and sometime no warranty.

    I think that it's good that good shops make money, they don't burry the profit in the back yard they put it back in the business, expanding and offer more sales.

    My friend celebrated a sweet deal he scored at an LBS after hecklling them to death by going to a Sushi restaurant ordered amoung other things a $7 California roll that cost about 65 cents to make

    There's no need for transparency, consumer do not need to know how much it cost, just the going price. If an LBS sell an XYZ product for $100 and make $75 profit, another LBS that sell it for $75 would gain the customer by earning less profit, and so on. I don't see one shop making all the money and every shop follow that's not how business work, everyone gets competitive.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pritchett View Post
    Because anyone who isn't an idiot realizes that many other factors contribute to the actual profit made from any sale. Manufacturers invest in overhead, R&D, Engineering, infrastructure, etc. Retailers invest in various operating costs, including rent, utilities, marketing, etc.
    Did you see the "High cost of saddles" thread? It always bugs me to hear people complain about paying so much money for "a few cents worth of metal and plastic."

    I am a machinist and my entire living is made turning metal and plastic into useful items. I do not do this for free. It does not get shipped for free. The engineer did not design it for free. Even the time spent sourcing the material is not free. And material prices are not as cheap as some may like to imagine.

    Anyway, support your local bike shop. If you do, they will likely give you discounts and great service. They love loyal customers.

  37. #37
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    I have seen the prices that my shop buys at. Like someone said above the average is around 30% on bikes, Some shops will haggle on price but some wont. Between insurance, work mans comp, all other operating expense. credit card processing around 1.8 to 2.5% and it widdles down fast And if it is American Express it is more. I run a couple retail shop not bike but i sit down every month and track those expenses and it a whole lot of expense. I give the lbs a lot of credit, tough market and not a lot of return. And a whole lot of competition.

  38. #38
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    I don't ask my shop to match the price for me I just asked if they would work with the price, they say yes and I take it. Turned out a few times it's cheaper than online. Not many shop keep their price up to date most of the time they have not adjust the price and I get discounted on a lower price tag.

    I don't think that the shop is making all kinds of money because if it's that profitable there would be a bike shop on every corner. Most of us who buy and sell used stuffs online or classified would know what kind of idiots that we have to deal with and the kind of profit we made.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by icantdrive65 View Post
    Did you see the "High cost of saddles" thread? It always bugs me to hear people complain about paying so much money for "a few cents worth of metal and plastic."
    I'm the guy who began that thread. It wasn't so much a complaint as a "wonderment". One looks at something sometimes and wonders why it costs what it does. "Why?" is a fair question to ask. Either there is a good answer, or there is room to jump in and compete at a lower price. Henry Ford probably asked himself one day why cars were so darned expensive. The he put together an assembly-line and changed the industry.

    OTOH, used to be I would wonder about the price of restaurant food. Then one day I realized I was not paying for the food at all. What I was *really* paying for was for the food be there, where I wanted it, when I wanted it. That changed my whole line of thinking, and I no longer complain about food prices when I eat out.

  40. #40
    mikeb
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    if you find a good shop and are good to them. they will be good to you in return.

    that's my experience.

  41. #41
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    I did not start this thread to bash local shops, I was just wondering. I realize that they have to keep the lights on - and I have no problem paying a couple extra bucks to keep it local. If they have it, I'll buy it from them. If not they will happily order it. That said I have bought over the internet as well, mostly impulse buys on deals that are too good to pass up. For the most part I like to keep it local. As for loyalty, I've used the same shop for over 30 years - God only knows how much I have spent in that shop. They treat me well and I drop off an Iced Mocha or Pizza every once in a while as a thank you. I could not count the times he as told me 'I'll just get you next time' when it comes to paying for a quick service. That is why I plan to use that same shop for the next 30 years.

  42. #42
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    I prefer to buy from the LBS rather than online. Winters are long around here, so when something on my bike breaks, I need a replacement right away, not in two weeks. It's worth the extra cash for that reason alone, plus with a bit of haggling or buying sale parts, and the lack of shipping costs, pricing isn't much different anyways.

    Service costs are a huge ripoff though, except for **** like headset installs, where the cost of the tools required is over double that of the labor.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalized View Post

    Service costs are a huge ripoff though, except for **** like headset installs, where the cost of the tools required is over double that of the labor.
    Srsly? shop rates here range from $50 to $75 an hour. Compare that to hourly rates in other industries and I think it's in line with the amount of experience and tooling that bicycles require. If the service dept. at your LBS is staffed by seasonal help I complete understand your point. But I really think the average shop rate is pretty fair.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    Srsly? shop rates here range from $50 to $75 an hour. Compare that to hourly rates in other industries and I think it's in line with the amount of experience and tooling that bicycles require. If the service dept. at your LBS is staffed by seasonal help I complete understand your point. But I really think the average shop rate is pretty fair.
    To add to this... I know when I get stuff done at the LBS they charge me actual work time and not some inflated estimated time ... Its not like getting work done on your car. One shop that I have been to charged me roughly $5 for every tool that they had to use to get the job done... so, $5 for installing a crown race, $5 for cutting a steerer tube and $5 for installing a star nut... It made it worth my time to go to them.
    Killing it with close inspection.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pritchett View Post

    This being said, don't think shop owners are getting rich. They operate in a seasonal atmosphere with a lot of overhead costs. Especially with competition from online retailers, we should feel lucky that brick and mortar bike shops still exist! It's a rough industry and many do it for the love, not the money.

    As said above, any haggling would best be left to discounted accessories at time of bicycle purchase.

    Support your LBS when you can please!
    I agree, I just ordered 2 bikes from my LBS. The people at my LBS are awesome and to help them stay in business I will pay more. The help, tips, details and directions are more then worth the premium I pay to my LBS.

  46. #46
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    Thanks for pulling the dealer pricing, it really hurts LBS to have this exposed.
    Shop Mechanic at Bikes Unlimited Williamsburg
    Diamondback and Raleigh Fan

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalized View Post
    Service costs are a huge ripoff though, except for **** like headset installs, where the cost of the tools required is over double that of the labor.
    I disagree w/this comment. Sometimes I feel shops should charge even more than they do.

    One aspect of service that is often overlooked is the assumption of risk. Do a repair yourself, and you bear the risk. Take the repair to the shop, and part of what you pay for is to transfer the risk of failure to the shop. Plus, there's all the usual overhead and labor costs that get discussed ad-nauseam. Labor rates -- at least in the shops I patronize -- are something I won't even consider complaining about.

  48. #48
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    Bikes have a ~30% mark-up, less on the very high end. Parts, clothing, and accessories are "keystoned" or 100% mark. That is why shops always want you to buy lots of things with your bike - they make more money on those items (that is why they are in business). I always thought the mark-ups were pretty standard for a retail business; the bikes weren't marked up as much as I would have thought. I worked at a shop in the mid-90s. To guy that says that giving this info makes me an @sshole, this is all fairly common retail knowledge. I just don't get why people don't understand that to make money you need to buy low and sell high, I don't get too concerned about it when I purchase any goods or services, whether online or in a brick/mortar store. Why is a bike shop such a different experience that say Best Buy, Walmart, etc.? Those places really stick in your rear and people smile about it all day long.
    Last edited by TiGeo; 08-07-2011 at 10:08 AM.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  49. #49
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    I try to do what I feel is middle ground with my purchasing. I buy my bikes, helmets, shoes, consumables (water bottle, chains, lube, etc), and some special order parts ie specialized parts from the LBS. I feel this is giving them my business, but on the other hand, I am not well off so I need to buy other things online that are way cheaper, like pedals and most other parts. I am very grateful that my lbs is there and I use them for most big purchases, but as I said I do not have a ton of extra money so I need to make it go further.

  50. #50
    i also unicycle
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    labor rates in shops generally need to go up. Sure $9 for a tire/tube change is expensive, but when it's a bolt on bmx wheel with pegs, it takes some time. it's also super easy to do yourself. I think my shop charges $20 for a headset install. but if you bought the headset from us, and the bike from us, we'd probably do it for free or $10 especially if we didn't discount the part a ton. if you come in with a headset you got elsewhere, it's $20. that covers the proper tools and the know how to do the job correctly.
    we try to price things on how expensive the tools are and how complicated it is to do/the knowledge required. too many people discount the knowledge required to do a job and troubleshoot things if it isn't a super smooth by the book fix/job.
    mtbr says you should know: i work in a bike shop.
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