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  1. #1
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    talking to your LBS

    anyone got any tips and tricks on how to talk to the reps at your LBS to get a better price on a bike?

  2. #2
    GUIDANCE COUNSELOR
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    Bring them beer and get them drunk....
    NOAH SEARS
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  3. #3
    himom!
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    Wait until fall/winter.

    Seriously, why would they want to give a break now on brand new bikes at the beginning of the riding season?

  4. #4
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    ask for discounts on other things. margin on bikes is small. we won't drop the price on a new bike unless it can be found in the area, in stock, at a lower price.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by the Inbred
    ask for discounts on other things. margin on bikes is small. we won't drop the price on a new bike unless it can be found in the area, in stock, at a lower price.
    what do you mean by "other things?

  6. #6
    Fearing the Reaper
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    2 words: Race Resume.

    Ask for them to sponsor you (given you are a solid rider and will represent the shop in the light that they would represent themselves).

    Or just buy last years bike on sale, haggle with them some more until they realize what a PITA you are and they just want you out the door, you both go your separate ways, then they squeeze you in maintenance costs whereby you eventually allow them the profit you would have provided in the first place, not to mention establishing a good relationship from the start (which would pay dividends in the long run).

    And, like Noah mentioned....beer.

  7. #7
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    "other things" = accessories.

    if you don't plan on buying any accessories, i really wouldn't expect to get a deal on a bike.

    beer will work on mechanics, but not on sales staff.

  8. #8
    Ride Everything
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    Anyone got any tips and tricks on how to talk to the reps at your grocery store to get a better price on a gallon of milk?
    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MileHighMark
    Anyone got any tips and tricks on how to talk to the reps at your grocery store to get a better price on a gallon of milk?

    haha, good one

  10. #10
    Aquaman
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    What is the "margin" for bikes? and while we are at it whatís the margin for accessories.

    And to the Op. What kind of bike are you looking at? In my experience the more expensive the bike is the more of a discount they are likey to give you on the bike.

  11. #11
    I need a new name
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    At my favorite LBS it's simple, I stop in or call and say "Hey Brian, What's the best price you can get me on..." It's never retail and always a smokin deal.

  12. #12
    Its got what plants crave
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    Have your buddy distract the guy at the counter while you sneak out the back door. I find I can typically get 100% off MSRP that way.

  13. #13
    local trails rider
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    Depends on the shop.

    Visit often enough that they remember you. Ask questions, talk to them, but not when they are too busy with lots of customers. Buy something, at least occasionally.

  14. #14
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    [QUOTE=perttimeVisit often enough that they remember you. Ask questions, talk to them, but not when they are too busy with lots of customers. Buy something, at least occasionally.[/QUOTE]

    I agree with this. Also, I'll say I simply won't knickel-and-dime them. It's important to me that the shop exists, so I want them to do well. If that means I spend an extra ten or twenty bucks here and there over an online shop, so be it. The shops help keep the local scene alive, and help keep our sport credible.

    One thing I've done is offer cash for deeper discounts. I won't press it, but I've had luck offering cash and getting another hundred off a complete bike.

  15. #15
    Wanderer
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    Buy used. Keep your eye out and a smoking deal will be had for at least 50% off msrp.

  16. #16
    FriendlyNeighborhoodMTBer
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    Depends on a lot of things. Like the time of year. If they're clearing out last years model to make room for the new ones, they might be amenable.
    Perhaps you can also tell them that you'll be working on your bike and won't be bothering their service department with free tune ups and adjustments.
    Try and find a friend and tell them you're buying two (or three).
    Do you live in a high rent district? MSRP is MSRP regardless if you live in CA or ND. Move to a low overhead state.
    Tell them you'll put in a full day's worth of work at their next trail maintenance day.
    (Repeat) If there's more XTR, there's more wiggle room.
    If times are tough and merchandise ain't moving, ask nicely. Most of the time, it's better to turn last year's inventory into cash for next year's model.
    Last edited by kabayan; 04-07-2008 at 12:40 PM.

  17. #17
    The Hutch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linga115
    anyone got any tips and tricks on how to talk to the reps at your LBS to get a better price on a bike?
    The mark up on a new bike at the LBS isn't that much they make there money on service, parts and ect.. I would just buy a used one from the LBS like others have said and build a relationship with them.. Then the next time you buy you will get a sweet deal and have service free most of the time..

  18. #18
    Aquaman
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    What is the mark up????? on bikes and accessories. Why do I have a feeling itís at least 35%-50%

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ffwlwhite
    What is the "margin" for bikes? and while we are at it whatís the margin for accessories.

    And to the Op. What kind of bike are you looking at? In my experience the more expensive the bike is the more of a discount they are likey to give you on the bike.
    im specifically looking at a stumpjumper. just doing my research at several LBS's so far. just to see who would offer the best deal.

    to jim311... LOL

  20. #20
    bi-winning
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    Offer to pay cash if you can.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  21. #21
    The Hutch
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    Quote Originally Posted by ffwlwhite
    What is the mark up????? on bikes and accessories. Why do I have a feeling itís at least 35%-50%
    let me put it this way when I bought my heckler in January of this year, I got a 20% discount
    cause I am a team member and built a relationship with the LBS and they told me it ended up costing them little under $100.00 so I think the mark up depends on the bike, but my guess is under 20%

  22. #22
    GUIDANCE COUNSELOR
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    Quote Originally Posted by ffwlwhite
    What is the mark up????? on bikes and accessories. Why do I have a feeling itís at least 35%-50%
    Mark-up and margin are differnet things. If you sell things for a 35% (even 50%) markup you'll go broke and out of business pretty fast.

    The bicycle industry is the same as any business, you sell things at a profit over cost and use the money to grow your business, pay employees, interest on debt, and so forth. I think too many people think that (for example) the profit a bike shop makes off a bike sale goes straight to the pockets of the owner. Once everyone has gotten thier piece of the pie there usually ain't too much left.

    If you want to get a good deal then buy the stuff thats marked as being on sale (seasonal leftovers, ec.). Everyone is happy with that, you get a good deal and the shop gets rid of unwanted overhead. If you are looking for the best deal on a Stumpjumper - I think most shops are bound by Specialized to sell at a certain price minimum. Any shop that is willing to give you a smoking deal on a current M.Y. bike is probably either in hot water, about to lose the dealership, or desparate for business due to bad business practices.

    My $.02....
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  23. #23
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    I never ask for a discount!

    I am always offered a discount and its usually pretty good. The catch is I spend lots of cash at the two local LBS's. And I get great service when I need it. I also spend a chunk online also because sometimes some parts are just to hard to get or the deal online is too hard to pass up.

    And once in a while I do drop a case of beer off also


    And If my wife reads any of this she will....

  24. #24
    Aquaman
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    Well let me just say that I have never worked at a bike shop. I used to work for a major outdoor equipment supply store. The mark up was about 100% on everything. Clothes, snow shoes, hiking boots, snowboards, kayaks, watches, bike parts, there bikes, and everything else sold there. Now when I go to buy ANYTHING I do not want to pay msrp ever. Unless I need it rite now or its something in very high demand. Now I have to say I am not "that" guy who wants a deal all or most of the time. The two times I have tried to make a "deal" on a bike came out with mixed results. 1st time (great bike store in auburn) I tell him my price range and he shows me some bikes and then shows me a SC blur. I loved that bike but kinda over what I told him I wanted to spend. So I asked him how flexible he was on the price and I even offered to forgo the single tune up bike shops offer these days. He then goes on to tell me that his profit margin on SC is not very much and offers 10-15% off. Sweet. 2nd time was at maybe the best bike shop in the south bay. It is easily the best shop I have ever been to. Again I told him my range and he showed me something more. I said it's outside my budget, do you have any wiggle room. It's like time stopped rite there, he looked rite at me and said" no...That is not the way we do business, we deal in very high end bikes and excellent service and parts selection. If you want a "to deal" you should go to the store down the street who mite not be there next month". He did not tell any boring stories about profit margins or anything like that, just straight up and very very polite. Now let me finish and get off my soap box saying there is nothing wrong with asking for a discount especially when you are buying today’s $2500+ Mt. bikes, people just want to feel like there getting something on sale that’s all.

  25. #25
    Nightmare on Lyrik st. VI
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    Quote Originally Posted by ffwlwhite
    I said it's outside my budget, do you have any wiggle room. It's like time stopped rite there, he looked rite at me and said" no...That is not the way we do business, we deal in very high end bikes and excellent service and parts selection. If you want a "to deal" you should go to the store down the street who mite not be there next month".
    I got an answer like that before, just a little more rude. Guess what, I went to the other store, got the discount, got the bike, got the equipment, got two friends to buy bike and equipment from them and I'll buy a second bike, all in one year. I hate buying from places that have attitudes like "I'm making you a favor for selling you this". When I have a choice I don't.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by ffwlwhite
    What is the mark up????? on bikes and accessories. Why do I have a feeling itís at least 35%-50%

    This is funny. All these LBS employees and owners complain about people buying online, paying with CC and asking for discounts. However if you ask them what they do to motivate customers to pay with cash or what the markup is they will not answer.

    I really do not know what the deal is here, but just really damages my view on local bike shops which is already damaged by several incidents with them.

    Support local shops? Yeah! Show me a good service first.
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  27. #27
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    If Joe Consumer walks into his LBS hoping or even expecting to get some sort of discount on a complete; I think that may be asking a bit much. As it has been stated already, margins are pretty thin and there just isn't enough wiggle room to offer deals to everyone that comes in looking for a bike. Those types of privileges are usually reserved for regular customers that have already spent some cash at the shop or have sent business their way. Most decent shops will recognize this and offer deals alot of the time without having to ask. You can't underestimate the value of a good relationship with your LBS. Look out for them and they'll look out for you.
    "If you can get both wheels sliding with no brakes, that's when you really know that you're cookin." Nathan Rennie

  28. #28
    The Hutch
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    Quote Originally Posted by gratefulbiker
    If Joe Consumer walks into his LBS hoping or even expecting to get some sort of discount on a complete; I think that may be asking a bit much. As it has been stated already, margins are pretty thin and there just isn't enough wiggle room to offer deals to everyone that comes in looking for a bike. Those types of privileges are usually reserved for regular customers that have already spent some cash at the shop or have sent business their way. Most decent shops will recognize this and offer deals alot of the time without having to ask. You can't underestimate the value of a good relationship with your LBS. Look out for them and they'll look out for you.
    exactly what I said several post ago...

  29. #29
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    haha, i am joe consumer.

    would you guys go for a local small bike store that does not have as good selection or a bigger chain of stores that has almost everything? if you live in san francisco, the stores i had in mind were ocean cyclery, and nomad, vs mikes bikes.

  30. #30
    The Hutch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linga115
    haha, i am joe consumer.

    would you guys go for a local small bike store that does not have as good selection or a bigger chain of stores that has almost everything? if you live in san francisco, the stores i had in mind were ocean cyclery, and nomad, vs mikes bikes.
    I would try out both and feel them out.. Most likely your find the smaller shop (even tho it has a smaller selection) will remember you and get you the better deals (long term) , also it will have a friendlier staff, that not just trying to reach its corporate sales quota. The small store owner most likely loves the sport.. the larger store chain will have better deals up front, better selection, but the mechanics may lack the care or skill for your bike. The only care about your money.

  31. #31
    Aquaman
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    I would go with what feels the best. Who had the best service and the least attitude. Bigger is not always better. Like performance bikes. I like that shop, but if you want a higher end parts forget it, it is not in stock. If you are kinda new to mountain biking make it down to Trail Head bikes in San Jose, thatís a good shop.

  32. #32
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    ive been a performance customer for a few years now. they dicked me on the credit when i bought my GT. i decided its time to upgrade from that GT and get a stumpjumper. i hear you on the high end bike part stuff. what they got in the store is not too bad of deals tho.

  33. #33
    In exile
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozvena
    This is funny. All these LBS employees and owners complain about people buying online, paying with CC and asking for discounts. However if you ask them what they do to motivate customers to pay with cash or what the markup is they will not answer.

    I really do not know what the deal is here, but just really damages my view on local bike shops which is already damaged by several incidents with them.

    Support local shops? Yeah! Show me a good service first.

    How many businesses, or people for that matter, are going to tell you what they make??? If that makes for bad service then I guess I provide bad service. Most people don't go bolstering about cash discounts since that can open things up for audit or other issues in regards to collecting sales tax. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but offering it to a complete stranger is stupid. I'm not going to argue the merits of a good shop, but I know who I will help first at my shop. I'll help everyone, but I have a list to prioritize by. I wonder where you rate on your LBS's list.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by MileHighMark
    Anyone got any tips and tricks on how to talk to the reps at your grocery store to get a better price on a gallon of milk?
    Yeah...if they got too much milk about to go sour, I think they'd make a deal...

    When the milk's fresh and the population thirsty though, doubt they'd slap the sale sticker on it.

    Course, if bikes were subsidized like dairy, doubt we'd be having this thread
    Citius. Altius. Fortius.

  35. #35
    Aquaman
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    Fom another simular post

    To all the naysayers. WTF..... March you have bikes on sale for 10% off but when someone on here wants 10% off in April oohh god its like someone is trying to rip you off.

    Excuse #1. Our margin is not that High. BS, I used to work at REI I know what there margin is and I know yours can not be that different.
    Excuse #2. Customers suck. Ya you know? what they do. In fact I will admit sometimes as a customer I suck not to often though. If you do not like it leave, but IMO there are not many jobs were you do not serve "customers". I have to serve a lot of customers all day long and lots of them are not very good but I serve the 100% 100% of the time because its my job that I get paid to do.
    Excuse #3. Bring us beer and food, be really cool to use. Sorry I am going to get on my soapbox. This I think is the biggest problem with A LOT of shops. A lot of times you go into a shop and there seems to be this attitude, I am not sure attitude is the rite word but I ll use it. If you do not look "cool" or a "real rider" a lot of time they will not ask if you need any help or if they do they will give you half ass service. FYI I have never had this happen to me at Mikeís bikes or Performance. I know the knowledge base at these places is not as deep as say Madcat, BP, City bikes, or River Rat. Now I have to say I have received very good service at those places but it is really hit or miss. Ok so back on point. Bring you beer and snacks to get good service, really? Last time I looked LBS were in the business of serving us the customer. I know of now industry where this is the norm. Unless you have a product that can only be had at your establishment. Oh wait everything you sell can be had online for 20%-50% off of what you sell it at.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by loco-gringo
    How many businesses, or people for that matter, are going to tell you what they make??? If that makes for bad service then I guess I provide bad service. Most people don't go bolstering about cash discounts since that can open things up for audit or other issues in regards to collecting sales tax. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but offering it to a complete stranger is stupid. I'm not going to argue the merits of a good shop, but I know who I will help first at my shop. I'll help everyone, but I have a list to prioritize by. I wonder where you rate on your LBS's list.
    a) No one is asking about how much anybody makes.
    b) No one is saying that not disclosing markup makes for a bad service.
    c) cash discounts & audit or other issues in regards to collecting sales tax? What are you talking about? Giving 5-10% off makes you a bad taxpayer?
    d) Where I rate? I sucks as I do not look cool, talk bike trash, nor I bring beer or food.

    ffwlwhite, thanks for summarizing!
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  37. #37
    Killer of Chains
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    I shop around.

    My LBS knows that I'm short on cash. I've known the owner for years, he knows I'm in college, he knows I drive a crappy car. I bragged to him when I made $200 profit off selling some bike parts I got for $40. He knows I'm cheap and I'll by most of my stuff online.

    However, when I want something done right, he knows I'll take it to him. Wheels, fork installs, small parts, etc, I either buy or have him build.

    Someday, down the line, when I've got a good job, he'll get my business on new bikes, so long as Jamis ups their game.

  38. #38
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    I've a good relationship with my LBS. That's what's important - the relationship between you and your LBS. When buying my latest bike, I asked for a discount (yes I was a bastard) and the owner gave me a great one. If the owner is uncomfortable offering a discounted price, he wouldn't have. But since he knows I am a source of business for him (not only myself, but friends I've gotten to head his way too) he wants to make me happy. And I want to make him happy by buying a bike and putting a bit of money in the LBS pocket.

    Now onto the facts. Retail blows, I worked retail out of college and what an eye opener that was. Evidently nobody wanted to pay retail, and felt entitled to discounted prices (the churches were the worst, but I won't go into that) I, often had to cut prices just to make a sale. I wasn't happy- as a salesperson, but the company wanted to make a sale so they bent over backwards to please these bastards. Now I'm a bastard too, but a benevolent one. There's nothing wrong with asking for a discount, especially if you have a comfortable relationship with your LBS. Any good shop owner will explain why or why not they can't afford a discount.

    I also learned very much about the margins and markups on retail gear. And it varies, each shop/store gets different rates based upon how well they sell that particular manufacturer's products. If you move 10 Jamis bikes a week, chances are that shop is getting much better deals than the shop moving 10 Jamis bikes a month. Now, I don't know for certain the average markup on bikes, but I've a strong feeling it's pretty lofty, especially if said shop sells a LOT of the brand you're looking at.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim311
    Have your buddy distract the guy at the counter while you sneak out the back door. I find I can typically get 100% off MSRP that way.
    lmao, this made me burst out laughing

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