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  1. #1
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    Tips for buying from a LBS

    Good Morning all...

    I will be buying my 1st bike from a LBS...mainly because this is my first new bike purchase. I need a 23"/XXL bike and it just so miraculously happens that a LBS (they are a chain of 4 stores) has exactly what I wanted in stock. I went to check out the bike and ride it around the parking lot last weekend and the tires were flat signaling to me there has not been to much interest in this bike.

    I am going to demo the 21.5" version of the bike this coming weekend. This will be my first FS bike and I want to make sure it is something I enjoy first. If I end up buying the bike what are some tips people have for getting the best deal. It is already listed about $150 under the MSRP at $2800.

    I plan on making a cash offer and also want to buy a new hitch mounted bike rack. Should I try to package those 2 things together to get the best possible deal?

  2. #2
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    It depends on the store and your personality. I've never been good at negotiating, but I trust the people at my LBS having gotten to know them a bit from just going in to talk. They have a rewards program though, so instead of getting a discount I was able to turn my bike purchase into free accessories. I have a friend that went to a LBS chain, and he got them to throw in a small tool kit and things like that when he bought his bike, however he doesn't go back there anymore because he didn't like the people. It's hit and miss.

    My suggestion would be to ask and see if they do anything, but if not, no worries. You are in for the long haul, so getting to know them over time and being friendly can pay off more in the end than being a PIA now to get a slightly better deal.
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  3. #3
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    I don't plan to be a PIA and screw them over but I still want the best deal

  4. #4
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    Simple. Try to deal with the store manager/owner or at least a responsive employee. It's not like a hard negotiation. One easy question: What's your best out the door price on this bike right now in cash?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyLXT View Post
    some tips people have for getting the best deal.
    Cash, or check if you are willing to allow them to ensure the funds are there before picking up the bike, saves the bike store the transaction fees, and they'll normally give you a discount because of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    What's your best out the door price on this bike right now in cash?
    ^^This is good.

    Also, rather than trying to nickle and dime your LBS, ask about things like an included tune-up or what after service is included. If you like the store, it's better to have a place that will help you out with a fitting or part issue rather than trying to get a few extra bucks off the price at the expense of being a customer the store is less likely to help for free.

  6. #6
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    Thanks. This is all great advice

  7. #7
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    I've found that if you're convincing that you'll bring further business in the door, they'll work harder to get you the best price (personality traits not withstanding). Over the years, I have made it a point to not showcase my LBS. If I have something in mind that I'm after, when I take the time (mine and theirs) to go to them to get more information, I will buy it there. No exceptions. I also have made it a point to refer them as much business as possible. Over the past several years, I have managed to sell about 10-15 bikes, and a lot of equipment for them.

    They will take care of you when they know you take care of them. It saved me about $500 off of MSRP on a new roadie just yesterday.

    P.S. On my first mtb I got about $100 off the MSRP without negotiation and left it at that. I knew that I would probably have a continued relationship with them over the years so I worked to bring them business so save cash down the road.
    Trying to win hearts and minds, but willing to stomp them if necessary.

  8. #8
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    Some shops have a revenue plan that limits discounts by not allowing salespeople to go below 5% off. Say you are a cash buyer and deal with the owner or manager only. Sometimes that may mean coming back, making an appointment or visiting multiple locations. Have the price you want to pay worked out and state this is where you need to be to get the sale done. 20% off is a good fair area. If you let the purchase go until Labor Day weekend and after you could be looking at 35% off.

  9. #9
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    My LBS gives me 10% off. I've bought bikes at another shop where I'd generally get the same discount because I'd purchased bikes there before. As a first time shopper, you might not get as good of a deal as you will in the future. It can certainly pay to create a relationship with your shop if you are lucky enough to find one you like. a new one opened in a town not far from me that is awesome so that's where I will spend my money from now on. I just got a killer deal on a bike from them a couple weeks ago so I'm looking forward to good future with them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psycle151 View Post
    Friggin' coward. Give me a red chiclet instead of debating like a man. You don't deserve your green blocks.

  10. #10
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    If it's a current model year bike, I bet that's about the best deal you'll get on the bike. However, if you plan to purchase a rack or any other accessories, they should give you at least 10% off of those. And maybe you can talk them in to a little better deal than that. If its by chance last years model bike, then go in there with cash and see what they can do. But do it in good taste. My last bike I got for 30% off because it was the previous year's model, plus I got 20% off a set of pedals.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    20% off is a good fair area. If you let the purchase go until Labor Day weekend and after you could be looking at 35% off.
    I'm very much a discount shopper, but I disagree with the "fairness" of 20% off the price of a current model year bike. The shop is typically only starting with a 35-40% margin not counting: freight, assembly, free 30-day tune-up, credit card fees, capital costs, rent, salaries, etc.

    I think 5-10% off is a good deal for a cash/check transaction with any accessories discounted 10-15% and installed for free.

  12. #12
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    2240 + tax area. Swapping out something you don't like on the bike at purchase is an additional good idea. Depends on the bike. I swapped out the wheels.

  13. #13
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    From my experience discounts are a relationship thing. I never haggled in this town and where I live previous for 25 years. Both LBS. Bought my bikes for the asking price and was nice. The discounts followed. I saved tons on parts and labor.

    Be a dick, you might save $200 on a $3000 bike. Then pay full price for labor, and be asked to front money for special orders.

    Example: I built up my two present bikes. The LBS charged me zero $ to install a HS and fork on my last frameset. I bought the fork and frame thru his shop but not the HS. Did the same on my HT a few years back. I actually tipped the owner on my Superlight install. Guess who got his fork install back in four hours?

    Note: two things I don't do often enough to justify tool purchase and learning a skill set. Headset/fork install and wheel building. Both tend to be two or three times per decade for me.

  14. #14
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    Get an Ibex. I hear they're great.

  15. #15
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    I am hoping that I can get my next bike through CompCyc, ColCyc, or jensons, I don't want to deal with the LBS in my area, they either don't carry the bikes in stock or the shops has an attitude, e,.g., if you aint a racer spending $5-7k every other year then you aint doodoo...

    Best tip for you is be polite, firm, and if you want a better deal then wait until the next year models come out. Second best tip is learn to work on your bike yourself. Like others have said you don't have to bea jerk just asking forntheir best price. However, if you start with a real low-ball number it may not the best way to get acquainted.

  16. #16
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    previous years models usually have great prices. Especially in that size. Around me I often see bikes that discounted on a previous model but they will mostly be Large frames.

  17. #17
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    My bike shop gave me a great discount on a 2013 bike. I didn't ask for anything else. They just knocked 15% off and it includes free labor for a year and the difference in price between parts if I wanted anything else put on. Ive brought the bike to them a couple times due to various things braking and just had to pay a small price for the part.

  18. #18
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    A lot of times shops are a little more willing to budge on prices of really large or really small sizes, especially if they've been sitting in the shop for a while. If it's a current year bike, they might not be willing to drop the price anymore than they already have. They also might offer a bit of a discount on the hitch rack, but I wouldn't expect them to package the rack with the bike to save you a lot of money.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by owensjs View Post
    A lot of times shops are a little more willing to budge on prices of really large or really small sizes, especially if they've been sitting in the shop for a while. If it's a current year bike, they might not be willing to drop the price anymore than they already have.
    In my experience with good, really small shops, they're not that interested in moving current year merchandise, and won't discount deeply. They make most of their money from services, and want to sell you a bike at a fair price to establish a relationship with you as a customer. They'll continue to sell you services at a fair price, hoping that you'll reward them with repeat service business and new customers by way of word-of-mouth.

    As far as hardware, including bikes go, they can't hope to compete with places like Performance Bike in terms of buying power or discounts, so don't expect them to match amazing internet prices on current year hardware. The trade off is that relationship with the LBS when something goes wrong, or you're looking for advice, or you need something that day or want to try it on before buying, or you need regular service you can't do yourself.

  20. #20
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    Tips for buying from a LBS

    I'm actually shopping right now as well. Have checked out all the shops in my area and they each offer perks when purchasing. Some are free basic maintenance for life and some offer it for 3 years. I personally would rather have free basic maintenance then accessories. Although currently I build and tune my bikes myself I'm not sure I'd want to start tinkering with a bike I spent 3k on (my current budget).

    Get a feel for the guys working there and ask questions. Talk about other bike brands they don't stock and see how they react.

  21. #21
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    Just bought 2 new Mtn Bikes at the same time, they were $1899.00 each and I paid $1480.00 each for them. Thought that was a good deal.

  22. #22
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    I got a bike at 25% off. I couldn't afford the tax in VT, however, so I called up a bike shop in NH (Claremont Cycle Depot) and the manager gave me the same deal. So I paid $960 for a bike that was a little more than $1200.
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