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  1. #1
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    LBS or bike shop an hour away?

    I'm ready to drop $5k on a new bike and am wondering if it's worth saving the $300 in state sales tax to drive an hour over the state line and buy from a bike shop without sales tax. I do my own wrenching so the only thing I'd be concerned about is warranty issues. I know some will say what's another $300 when you're spending $5k, but I'm already pushing the budget and am buying a helmet, back pack, pedals, etc. I asked the LBS closest to me if they were willing to work with me on the price and it was a no go and they don't stock much on their floor. This is a Trek bike no one has in stock and will have to order, so either way I'll be supporting a LBS, just maybe not local to me.
    2014 Trek Fuel EX 9.8 29er
    2003 Klein Palomino
    2000 Klein Adept Pro
    1999 Specialized Hardrock

  2. #2
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    I would. In the rare event of needing warranty, just make the drive again.

    Your LBS is not to smart. Maybe ask $200 off.

    $300 will buy you a nice helmet, back pack and pedals.

  3. #3
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    Yea I'm shocked they wouldn't budge on the $300. I say make the drive if you don't need their after sale service.

  4. #4
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    I'm shocked too given I just bought my wife an $800 road bike from the guy last year and I bought my first mountain bike from him back in 99. Trek lists the bike at MSRP $5,250, but everyone is selling them for $4,999. Even the multiple-location-we-never-negotiate-prices bike shop. I guess maybe because its a Fuel 29er they know they'll sell well and won't budge? Dunno.
    2014 Trek Fuel EX 9.8 29er
    2003 Klein Palomino
    2000 Klein Adept Pro
    1999 Specialized Hardrock

  5. #5
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    I have the same dilemma too! Most LBS around me only offers 2 years of minor repairs and adjustments (with a purchase of a brand new bike) while a bike shop with also an hour drive offers the same service for as long as I own the bike.

  6. #6
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    The fact the shop wont budge is questionable.

    It's a buyers market, understandable to maintain margin but a few hundred on a 5K bike is reasonable.

    I never understood the pay more because it is not stocked.

    Not stocked means no floorplan, collect full payment up front, tack on a steep restocking fee, order bike, build bike, deliver bike to happy customer, count profit on your guaranteed sale.

  7. #7
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    That's what I was figuring. I asked for $5k with tax, which is about $280 off the sticker. I didn't think that was outrageous by any means. His reply was "they'd kill me if I sold it for that" and started looking at the 9.7 online and saying he could build it up for $5k. Then started showing me Niners when one of his mechanics walked over and started telling me he preferred the Fuel to the Niner.

    I'm assuming margins are greater the higher priced the bike. I almost bought a $7,600 2012 Scalpel Carbon 1 for $4,600 while I was in Canada. They said they'd make about $100-200 after credit card fees and just wanted it off the floor. I think it had been sitting there since March '12.
    2014 Trek Fuel EX 9.8 29er
    2003 Klein Palomino
    2000 Klein Adept Pro
    1999 Specialized Hardrock

  8. #8
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    Margins are lower on more expensive bikes. Much lower. You make more money per unit, but your percentage of profit is significantly reduced versus a $3-400 bike. If he won't budge, apologize and let him know that it's purely a price thing. No need to feel guilty about it.

  9. #9
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    Well I went with the bike shop an hour away. They are a highly rated shop from what I've been able to research. They took my offer price over the phone. Ended up being a total of $500 less than the LBS. Thanks all for the advice!
    2014 Trek Fuel EX 9.8 29er
    2003 Klein Palomino
    2000 Klein Adept Pro
    1999 Specialized Hardrock

  10. #10
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    FYI.....in the event that you do have a warranty problem with the frame....you can take it to ANY Trek dealer for warranty service. Just keep your paperwork.

    If the local shop refuses to help you on warranty....let Trek know, I am sure they would like to know that one of their dealers isn't standing up to their end of the deal of being a dealer.
    I crashed hard enough on my Tallboy to break my leg,
    The carbon is way more durable than most people.

  11. #11
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    LBS or bike shop an hour away?

    Congrats on the new bike.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikej View Post
    FYI.....in the event that you do have a warranty problem with the frame....you can take it to ANY Trek dealer for warranty service. Just keep your paperwork.

    If the local shop refuses to help you on warranty....let Trek know, I am sure they would like to know that one of their dealers isn't standing up to their end of the deal of being a dealer.
    If he bought it from the hour away shop then he should take it back there for warranty. asking a local dealer to invest their time is a shi$y thing to do. If they couldn't earn his business don't expect them to help later and actually invest their time which in reality is also money.

    BTW...close by dealer should have tossed in a free helmet and camelback and pedals, this would have been adding value to the sale and also using retail dollars on high margin items to get to the customers total price for the package thereby adding value to the transaction and not cheapening the product. Sounds like a poor businessman to me.
    Monte
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrogs View Post
    Congrats on the new bike.
    Thanks! I rode the Fuel 29er this past Saturday when Trek was at Patapsco doing a bike demo and was sold. Now I just have to wait for Sept/Oct for it to come in.
    2014 Trek Fuel EX 9.8 29er
    2003 Klein Palomino
    2000 Klein Adept Pro
    1999 Specialized Hardrock

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    If he bought it from the hour away shop then he should take it back there for warranty. asking a local dealer to invest their time is a shi$y thing to do. If they couldn't earn his business don't expect them to help later and actually invest their time which in reality is also money.

    BTW...close by dealer should have tossed in a free helmet and camelback and pedals, this would have been adding value to the sale and also using retail dollars on high margin items to get to the customers total price for the package thereby adding value to the transaction and not cheapening the product. Sounds like a poor businessman to me.
    Doesn't Trek compensate shops for warranty work? If so, then what's the difference? If not, then at what point does it become OK for me to bring warranty work into a LBS I didn't buy my bike from? Two tunes ups and a pair of socks later? What if I just moved into the area? Should I take my bike all the way back to the original LBS I bought it from?

    Throwing in $300 worth of LBS MSRP or more accessories still doesn't equate to the same bottom line. Yet, there is a possibility that I would have parted with an extra couple dollars since he would be making an effort to earn my business and develop a relationship. A lot of shops offer a % off accessories the day you buy your bike and that wasn't even mentioned. Poor businessman indeed.
    2014 Trek Fuel EX 9.8 29er
    2003 Klein Palomino
    2000 Klein Adept Pro
    1999 Specialized Hardrock

  15. #15
    I'm SUCH a square....
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    Not trying to be a snob, but I've never bought a complete bike from a shop. I buy online, buy parts online, build up myself. (I expect that, for my 60th B-Day, I'll be buying a complete bike {Electra Rat Fink}.) I shop around for smokin' deals, and do pretty well.
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

  16. #16
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    That's what I did with my last bike, the Palomino. I got the frame as a year end steal and built it up with all XTR. Saved a ton doing it that way. I haven't seen the Fuel 29er frame listed for sale and the wait for the 9.9 is January so I'd expect the wait for the frames to be just as long.
    2014 Trek Fuel EX 9.8 29er
    2003 Klein Palomino
    2000 Klein Adept Pro
    1999 Specialized Hardrock

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbn_designs View Post
    That's what I did with my last bike, the Palomino. I got the frame as a year end steal and built it up with all XTR. Saved a ton doing it that way. I haven't seen the Fuel 29er frame listed for sale and the wait for the 9.9 is January so I'd expect the wait for the frames to be just as long.

    Plus, Trek doesn't allow online sales of their bikes or frames. So you would have still had to go through a LBS.
    I crashed hard enough on my Tallboy to break my leg,
    The carbon is way more durable than most people.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbn_designs View Post
    Doesn't Trek compensate shops for warranty work? If so, then what's the difference? If not, then at what point does it become OK for me to bring warranty work into a LBS I didn't buy my bike from? Two tunes ups and a pair of socks later? What if I just moved into the area? Should I take my bike all the way back to the original LBS I bought it from?

    Throwing in $300 worth of LBS MSRP or more accessories still doesn't equate to the same bottom line. Yet, there is a possibility that I would have parted with an extra couple dollars since he would be making an effort to earn my business and develop a relationship. A lot of shops offer a % off accessories the day you buy your bike and that wasn't even mentioned. Poor businessman indeed.
    You didn't just move.....you made a decision to get a better price an hour away.

    Generally bicycle companies do not reimburse shops for warranty labor and (I know Trek does not) work the way car or motorcycle manufacturers do. This is built into the profit of the sale. So when you buy at one shop and want another to warranty service your bike in essence you're asking them to work on you stuff for free and to me that is unethical. They were not good enough for you when it came time to buy (you placed a greater value on initial price then convenience of after the sale service..and that's ok) but for you to expect the LBS to do free work is not cool or ethical in my opinion.

    However, why not just tell the guys at the LBS the truth...$500 (or whatever it was) is real money and you chose to buy elsewhere but you would like to continue the relationship with them you've built together.

    A set of XT Trail pedals, a high quality helmet and Camelback retail at near five bills....cost is about 55%-60% for $275 a dealer can give you $500 worth of value, if that makes sense.

    BTW.....you chose a great bike in my opinion!!!!!
    Monte
    Lodging & Guiding for SW Utah Trails
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  19. #19
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    I agree that it would be unethical to take warranty work to the shop I didn't offer my business knowing that they aren't reimbursed, but where do you draw the line of reason for not taking it back to the shop you bought it? If you moved is it then OK for another shop to have to incur the cost? I was just on the west coast on vacation and almost bought a Cannondale at a LBS there and was going to ship it back myself. If I needed warranty work would it be ethical to take it to my LBS here? And what if I take all my bikes to my LBS for service and had referred friends there who bought bikes, etc., would it not be OK to expect them to do warranty work on a bike I did not buy there? Just trying to figure out the line of reasoning.

    I just got a hard tail loaner from a friend and needless to say cannot wait for the Fuel to come in.
    2014 Trek Fuel EX 9.8 29er
    2003 Klein Palomino
    2000 Klein Adept Pro
    1999 Specialized Hardrock

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbn_designs View Post
    I agree that it would be unethical to take warranty work to the shop I didn't offer my business knowing that they aren't reimbursed, but where do you draw the line of reason for not taking it back to the shop you bought it? If you moved is it then OK for another shop to have to incur the cost? I was just on the west coast on vacation and almost bought a Cannondale at a LBS there and was going to ship it back myself. If I needed warranty work would it be ethical to take it to my LBS here? And what if I take all my bikes to my LBS for service and had referred friends there who bought bikes, etc., would it not be OK to expect them to do warranty work on a bike I did not buy there? Just trying to figure out the line of reasoning.

    I just got a hard tail loaner from a friend and needless to say cannot wait for the Fuel to come in.
    Personally I offer to pay labor on any warranty work or buy lunch, beer, pizza....etc. We also take our shop owner and his wife out to dinner occasionally as a "thank you" for such great service. You're a smart guy, you'll figure it out, sounds like the relationship is one you want to continue.
    Monte
    Lodging & Guiding for SW Utah Trails
    http://www.vrbo.com/298759
    www.UtahMountainBikingAdventures.com
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