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  1. #1
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    Support your LBS?? NOT ME!

    I keep hearing and seeing what great deals people are getting at their LBS, and I've been looking for a reason to NOT make an online bike purchase...........I haven't found either. I've called every bike shop within 75 miles of me and one thats over a 100 and nobody has any 05 hardtails left that they want to make a deal on..........OK, no problem, lets talk '06's............MSRP!!!!!! I couldn't find one that wanted to come off of MSRP on 06's, not more than $50 or so. I don't get it. Either I live in the wrong area of the country or there are some lieing SOB's on here, or both.

  2. #2
    Get Down Do you
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    Most LBSes won't haggle over the phone. You really need to go into a couple shops and talk with the people to get the prices you want. The phone is just good for finding out what they have in stock then go from there.


    When I bought my 05 Stumpy fsr expert I called a couple shops to see what they had. I then went to the shops and started talking price. After my 2nd visit to one of my LBSes I was able to get the price down significantly under MSRP. But over the phone they quoted MSRP to me. Sales people and Managers like to see you in shop it shows them that you are serious about buying a phone call is just a browser.
    Progression is fine just remember to respect your roots.

  3. #3
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    I bought my bikes through the mtb classifieds, I got a Gary Fisher sugar1 , hardly ridden and I bought a specialized enduro pro with 6 miles on it, both were over $1000 off list, it costs around $70 to have a bike shop box it and ship it ( and you can have them verify what your buying is what they are selling) Seems alot of people buy expensive bikes and then decide they don't like them

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoulMouthFool
    I keep hearing and seeing what great deals people are getting at their LBS, and I've been looking for a reason to NOT make an online bike purchase...........I haven't found either. I've called every bike shop within 75 miles of me and one thats over a 100 and nobody has any 05 hardtails left that they want to make a deal on..........OK, no problem, lets talk '06's............MSRP!!!!!! I couldn't find one that wanted to come off of MSRP on 06's, not more than $50 or so. I don't get it. Either I live in the wrong area of the country or there are some lieing SOB's on here, or both.
    In Oct I paid MSRP for an 05 model, but (1) given that 2005 was an all-time record for bike sales and there were not many 05's left, and (2) you will get support of the bike vs. none online, I found that I could not complain. Though I would have expected it if I was paying more, as I bought a Gary Fisher Marlin. If I paid $2000 or so, I would expect them to come down a bit.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoulMouthFool
    I keep hearing and seeing what great deals people are getting at their LBS, and I've been looking for a reason to NOT make an online bike purchase...........I haven't found either. I've called every bike shop within 75 miles of me and one thats over a 100 and nobody has any 05 hardtails left that they want to make a deal on..........OK, no problem, lets talk '06's............MSRP!!!!!! I couldn't find one that wanted to come off of MSRP on 06's, not more than $50 or so. I don't get it. Either I live in the wrong area of the country or there are some lieing SOB's on here, or both.
    I LOVE my LBS and got great hookups on both bikes from them (next year model). They also helped me sell my bike I bought from them. Customer service has always been exceptional except for the manager (long story). Recently the person that sold me both bikes offered to go riding with me.

    Because they have been so helpful I recommended my father-in-law to them and in the near future I will be buying bikes for my wife and daughter from them.

  6. #6
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    What retailer in ANY business haggles over the phone?

    I cant stand people who think they are entitled to good, special pricing.

    The only thing I hate worse are shops who think they are entitled to my business.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedThrills
    What retailer in ANY business haggles over the phone?

    I cant stand people who think they are entitled to good, special pricing.

    The only thing I hate worse are shops who think they are entitled to my business.

    Well said.

    I believe that it works both ways. A person may choose to be loyal to a shop based on service or sales. A shop is only going to work deals with the customers that they know will be coming back (loyalty) not just every joe that walks in the door.
    '06 Cannondale Cross
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  8. #8
    ballbuster
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    You gonna get on one the internet?

    Good luck. Most bike mfgs have dealer agreements that don't allow online sales. That, and I would not recommend buying online unless you can wrench your own bike because the LBS isn't going to help you without charging you.

    Keep in mind that the markup (gross margin) on a complete bike is only like 35%. Now add to that the time it takes the wrench to build it, take up room on the floor, pay a shop kid to dust it, and do the final setup when you buy it. Okay, now add the year of tune-ups (or lifetime, depending on the shop) and now the LBS is making practically nothing. Serious. Before you start grinding them down on price, keep this in mind.

    Most LBSs sell bikes as a loss leader, pretty much. They sell them as a way to get you in the store to buy stuff they actually make money on, like seat bags, clothes, camelbaks, tires, service, etc.

  9. #9
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    let me hit just a few of the points brought up.

    #1. If my money is not good enough to haggle over the phone then my money isn't good enough to drive 50 miles to haggle over it. You want my business, get to the bottom line on the phone and lets make a deal. By the time I drive 50 miles East, then 50 Miles North, then 50 miles back West to drive another 50 miles West then 100 miles South I've burned more gas and time than its worth. Deal over the phone or kiss my ass.

    #2. OK, lets go with the 35%.............so you're going to stick to your guns and make nothing, or come down a little and at least make something. I would think they would want any sale they could get.

    #3. I can wrench any damn thing that rolls, runs, or rips. I don't NEED an LBS for anything.

  10. #10
    ballbuster
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    Well, that could work for you

    Quote Originally Posted by FoulMouthFool
    #1. If my money is not good enough to haggle over the phone then my money isn't good enough to drive 50 miles to haggle over it. You want my business, get to the bottom line on the phone and lets make a deal. By the time I drive 50 miles East, then 50 Miles North, then 50 miles back West to drive another 50 miles West then 100 miles South I've burned more gas and time than its worth. Deal over the phone or kiss my ass.

    #2. OK, lets go with the 35%.............so you're going to stick to your guns and make nothing, or come down a little and at least make something. I would think they would want any sale they could get.

    #3. I can wrench any damn thing that rolls, runs, or rips. I don't NEED an LBS for anything.
    #1. It's not worth haggling over the phone. If it were me, I would say come in the store and we'll talk. I wouldn't do it for a few reasons. One, who knows what you were told on the phone, and you don't want a bunch of customers driving in from 50 miles away to have the manager saying they were quoted $100 lower than the lowest price they have ever done on that bike. If the manager calls BS on it, they lost a customer permenantly and will come off as a bunch of liars. Two, many dealer agreements forbid phone quotes other than MSRP. Three, only about one in twenty people you quote over the phone actually comes in the store. If I haggled with everybody who called, I would be spending all day on the phone with mostly wankers, while ignoring the customers in the store, or other things that directly and indirectly make the shop money.

    #2. The won't sell you one if they think they are going to loose money on the deal, unless it is old stale stock... something they want to dump like last year's model in an odd size. Discounting the bike undermines the pricing structure of the bike store. If everybody discounted the bikes and gear to the bone, nobody would make enough money to stay in business. LBSs will discount some, but not a lot because they simply can't afford to. Nobody is gettin rich owning a bike shop. You have to loose some sales to keep the perceived value up of what you do sell. It's like real estate. It's worth what you can get people to pay. You want a bike, and if nobody will sell you one at the price you want, you will end up paying either paying more, getting a cheaper bike... or you won't buy one at all... and you will buy one. Nobody wants to turn stock making nothing ('just to make a sale,' as you put it), cause that is just a waste of time and floor space.

    #3. If you go in and haggle bring up the point that you will do your own wheel truing and spoke changing, bearing service, etc. They may be able to convince them that their costs for this sale will be lower. Be honest about it, tho. If they think you are just trying to be a weasel about it, they won't go for it.

    As the saying goes, 'Wanna make a million dollars in the bike industy? Start with two million!'

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoulMouthFool
    #1. If my money is not good enough to haggle over the phone then my money isn't good enough to drive 50 miles to haggle over it. You want my business, get to the bottom line on the phone and lets make a deal. By the time I drive 50 miles East, then 50 Miles North, then 50 miles back West to drive another 50 miles West then 100 miles South I've burned more gas and time than its worth. Deal over the phone or kiss my ass.

    #2. OK, lets go with the 35%.............so you're going to stick to your guns and make nothing, or come down a little and at least make something. I would think they would want any sale they could get.

    #3. I can wrench any damn thing that rolls, runs, or rips. I don't NEED an LBS for anything.
    Define: Bad Customer.

    If I owned a shop, Id tell you to take your business (and your attitude) elsewhere.

  12. #12
    ballbuster
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    True...

    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedThrills
    Define: Bad Customer.

    If I owned a shop, Id tell you to take your business (and your attitude) elsewhere.
    Nobody makes money (motivation) on the customer who buys one item at cost, and is never seen again, or becomes a thorn in their side. The LBS has a vested interest in keeping you as a return customer. You and the LBS are better off if a realionship is built.

    I never asked for discounts on stuff. I would only buy spokes, chainlube... little stuff like that cause they only sold stuff at list price. Nickel and dime items don't really deserve a discount unless you buy a lot of them. Fair enough, they had good service and had good stuff in stock. It was like a 7-11 for me. Now they give me a 10% discount whenever I buy something there, because they know me, and know I know my stuff, so I don't bug them with a lot of dumb questions, or create a stink about stuff that doesn't work cause I bought the wrong thing.

    Yeah, demanding dough off and being mad that they don't give it to you is not the way to get deals. It's all in the attitude. Make them WANT to give you the deals. Be a friend to them, and they will be one back. Make dealing with them a pleasueable thing. If they really help you out with something, bring them some beers or something.

    Again, nobody is in this business becasue they are getting rich, they are in it because they love bikes.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoulMouthFool
    #1. If my money is not good enough to haggle over the phone then my money isn't good enough to drive 50 miles to haggle over it. You want my business, get to the bottom line on the phone and lets make a deal. By the time I drive 50 miles East, then 50 Miles North, then 50 miles back West to drive another 50 miles West then 100 miles South I've burned more gas and time than its worth. Deal over the phone or kiss my ass.

    #2. OK, lets go with the 35%.............so you're going to stick to your guns and make nothing, or come down a little and at least make something. I would think they would want any sale they could get.

    #3. I can wrench any damn thing that rolls, runs, or rips. I don't NEED an LBS for anything.


    Wow not a very good attitude but I guess your handle says it all.


    There are very good reasons to go to bike shops and check out their stock. Say you are calling about bike "a" and they tell you about bike 'a'. Now you go to the shop to check out bike 'a' but in the back behind the new bikes you see a brand new 2yr old bike. Now that bike is a great bike and has been sitting for awhile they will gladly discount the hell out of the bike b/c it's been sitting on the floor and since you went in you got the deal. Otherwise you would have just been quoted on the bike you wanted and never seen the super deal.


    And speaking that you are looking for a hardtail it's not like they vary very much from ht to ht. So hit the shops and make a day out of it. I love going to my local shops and seeing what they have. I even grab friends and we go on test ride runs to different shops just to get a feel for different bikes.

    That's how I got my Fiance her new giant for way way way under msrp b/c it was a 2 yr old bike just sitting in the way back. I even think the sales guys forgot about it so I snatched it up and she is very happy.
    Progression is fine just remember to respect your roots.

  14. #14
    SS Pusher Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedThrills
    Define: Bad Customer.

    If I owned a shop, Id tell you to take your business (and your attitude) elsewhere.
    I would have to agree. This is one customer who would be a constant thorn in your side. You put the shop on the defensive when you immediatley ask: "So, what's my price?" 9 out of 10 times, the shop will not deal or discount. That is the problem with everybody out there these days.....everyone thinks they are entitled to not have to pay MSRP for anything. NObody is entitled to anything.

    Yes, many shops are not allowed to quote prices below MSRP. However once in the shop, the prices will more than likely be lower. I know my lBS is like that.


    just my $.02

    mtnbikej

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by FoulMouthFool
    #3. I can wrench any damn thing that rolls, runs, or rips. I don't NEED an LBS for anything.
    I keep hearing people say this on this site, and I don't see how it can possibly be true. There are a handful of tasks related to building up bikes and working on them that require some fairly expensive equipment. Specifically, when building up a frame you'll need to get it faced and chased prior to installing the bottom bracket and headset. The equipment to do this costs a few hundred dollars and is not cost effective to own. You pretty much have to go to a LBS for this. Likewise, for things like loose ball bearings, small piece parts, derailleur hangers you need a shop that is willing to let you handle the parts yourself and verify that they're the right size.

    I like to be as self sufficient as the next guy, but there are some things that you just HAVE to go to the LBS for. That's why they're there. It really helps to have a good relationship with at least one shop, because sooner or later you're going to need their services.

  16. #16

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    You can get a good deal over the phone, but only if the shop guys know you. It could be a competitor calling around to see what others are willing to sell a bike for. That's why very few if any shops in any business deal over the phone. I've known motorcycle shops that do this.

    Loyalty to a shop will get you better deals than just walking into a shop for the first time and expecting a good deal. Loyalty and some beer for the manager might get you great deals. Bwaaaahahahahaha.

  17. #17
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    This guy is never going to be happy. You want special pricing? you know where that comes from? Profit. you know what profit is? My rent. It's better to have the stock on hand when the return customer that I like is looking than on order because some guy took it at a deep discount.

    That doesn't fly for you? Here's another good reason: These guys are never happy, today it's a discount on the bike, next week it's warranty a new wheel because they tacoed it "just riding along" prety soon after that the bike needs an overhaul because said ahole thinks he can wrench anything but doesn't know his a crescent wrench from a nipple wrench and even if he did he doesn't bother to lube anything and of course it's our fault. So the shop is in the uncomfortable position of doing what the guy asks or telling him he'll have to pay. the bottom line is they can lose a potential sale to a thorn in thier side and be the bad guys because they did exactly what they advertized or they can be the bad guys over and over later.

    This stuff really happens, I'm not stretching the truth. For example I had a customer come in with the dropouts busted off his fork, said it "just fell off the roof rack" and wanted the fork and rack replaced under warranty and he wanted us to pay for the scratch down the side of his jeep. There was still bark embedded in his handlebars, fork and stem. Not ripping down a trail caught a couple little feeler branches, more like he drove it into a tree. I've seen in happen before and seen the results. Of course it just fell off, that's all. wow, the more I think about it the more I could rant and rant about too many of these occasions to count.

    Here's the big deal. If I messed up, the part shouldn't have failed or you are a nice person I'll do everything in my power for you. It just pisses me off that nice people get the shaft and nasty people get what they want because they're nasty.
    Off season? What off season?

  18. #18
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    Damn!

    #1. If my money is not good enough to haggle over the phone then my money isn't good enough to drive 50 miles to haggle over it. You want my business, get to the bottom line on the phone and lets make a deal. By the time I drive 50 miles East, then 50 Miles North, then 50 miles back West to drive another 50 miles West then 100 miles South I've burned more gas and time than its worth. Deal over the phone or kiss my ass.

    Yea, with an attitude like that, it's amazing the kid making 9.00 an hour won't spend a few hours browsing catalogs to see where he can save this guy a buck or two! If you came into my shop, or called with that mouth, you would be asked to leave, wether you had money in your pockets or not. Your cash doesn't give you the right to act like complete ass and I applaud the business people who turned you away rather than put up with your crap.

    Ride carefully, Karma is a b!tch, and so are you.
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  19. #19
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    Yeah! you don't go to a gas station looking to haggle! oil is HIGH profit but you want a businiess that barely scrapes by to give up what pays the bills?
    Off season? What off season?

  20. #20
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    hmmmm.

    #1. If my money is not good enough to haggle over the phone then my money isn't good enough to drive 50 miles to haggle over it. You want my business, get to the bottom line on the phone and lets make a deal. By the time I drive 50 miles East, then 50 Miles North, then 50 miles back West to drive another 50 miles West then 100 miles South I've burned more gas and time than its worth. Deal over the phone or kiss my ass.

    I agree with most people. Your best bet to get the discount you feel entitled to is via e-Bay.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by FoulMouthFool
    I keep hearing and seeing what great deals people are getting at their LBS, and I've been looking for a reason to NOT make an online bike purchase...........I haven't found either. I've called every bike shop within 75 miles of me and one thats over a 100 and nobody has any 05 hardtails left that they want to make a deal on..........OK, no problem, lets talk '06's............MSRP!!!!!! I couldn't find one that wanted to come off of MSRP on 06's, not more than $50 or so. I don't get it. Either I live in the wrong area of the country or there are some lieing SOB's on here, or both.
    I also find that they tend to be extreamly arrogent. If you dont walk in there with a $3000 full suspension then you might as well be the dirt on the bottom of their shoes.

  22. #22
    Your bike is incorrigible
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    just shop online then

    But I've learned that it costs ten times as much doing it yourself, since you constantly have to buy yet another tool or two foot piece of cable housing, or headset riser, or...

    The sneaky way to do it is to demo a bike you've seen online at discount. Find out who in the area has one, demo it, then buy it online. If you truly can wrench, then there shouldn't be any issue. But when you come in looking for a discount on a new wheelset or forks or something else, don't expect the lbs to be friendly!

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedThrills
    Define: Bad Customer.

    If I owned a shop, Id tell you to take your business (and your attitude) elsewhere.
    Elsewhere would have been up his A$$.

    Now why won't the OP get good pricing on the phone? Well, depends on who the manufacturer is, they might not allow undercutting on pricing=they lose their dealer rights. Or, could be a competitor looking for a price match. Why do that?

    It's important to build up a relationship with your LBS. Once you do, you can call in, they'll know you (as mine does) and they will quote over the phone. They worked for and earned my business over the years, and I will give it to them when I can.

  24. #24
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    Why offer deals on '06 models?

    Bike stores just got their '06 stock; they still have a good chance at selling these new bikes at MSRP. Why would they offer anyone a deep discount at this time of year?

  25. #25
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    WOW! Foul, I really gotta hand it to ya', you got your username honestly.

    Many good points in this thread, but if you want to know the "secret" to getting deals with your LBS then i'll tell you what it is. Really, when you stop and think about it, it's not a secret, just common sense. Here you go; (this is from personal experience, btw - with about 10 years experience from years ago AND today)

    Check out the shops in your area. Go in, look around ask questions about bike's, parts or whatever you might be interested in. Maybe you buy something that day, maybe you don't. The point is that you are in there familiarizing yourself with them and vice-versa. Pick one of the places you liked best, for whatever reason - they have a cute girl behind the counter, they know their stuff, they have nice stuff, whatever.

    Now, go back and BUY something, and i'm not talking about a valve stem cap! Do this a few times. It show's them they have a REPEAT cutomer, someone who come's back for more. DON'T think you'll get deals right away because it doesn't work like that. You need to establish a relationship with them. Once you've been in a few times buying stuff then start talking about haggling price's.

    The point is that you need to show your worth. Talk like your's ain't worth much (sorry, not meant in a mean way, just sayin' is all). Show your worth and they'll show you the deals.

    Also, this can pay-off at anytime, like when you break something and need a replacement part right away and don't want to get rooked. "Hey, I just broke my xxxxxx, got any?" / "Yeah, just give me $5 and we'll call it even". Funny, anywhere else you'd have walked into would have charged you $10-15.

    It's a game - play it.
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  26. #26
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTO
    WOW! Foul, I really gotta hand it to ya', you got your username honestly.

    Many good points in this thread, but if you want to know the "secret" to getting deals with your LBS then i'll tell you what it is. Really, when you stop and think about it, it's not a secret, just common sense. Here you go; (this is from personal experience, btw - with about 10 years experience from years ago AND today)

    Check out the shops in your area. Go in, look around ask questions about bike's, parts or whatever you might be interested in. Maybe you buy something that day, maybe you don't. The point is that you are in there familiarizing yourself with them and vice-versa. Pick one of the places you liked best, for whatever reason - they have a cute girl behind the counter, they know their stuff, they have nice stuff, whatever.

    Now, go back and BUY something, and i'm not talking about a valve stem cap! Do this a few times. It show's them they have a REPEAT cutomer, someone who come's back for more. DON'T think you'll get deals right away because it doesn't work like that. You need to establish a relationship with them. Once you've been in a few times buying stuff then start talking about haggling price's.

    The point is that you need to show your worth. Talk like your's ain't worth much (sorry, not meant in a mean way, just sayin' is all). Show your worth and they'll show you the deals.

    Also, this can pay-off at anytime, like when you break something and need a replacement part right away and don't want to get rooked. "Hey, I just broke my xxxxxx, got any?" / "Yeah, just give me $5 and we'll call it even". Funny, anywhere else you'd have walked into would have charged you $10-15.

    It's a game - play it.

    Cha Ching!!!

    That is how you build the relationship that gets discounts and "deals".

    Who knows, you may even meet some new ridding buddies by hanging out at the shop once in a while.
    '06 Cannondale Cross
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    '07 Cannondale SystemSix Team

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbuchanan
    Cha Ching!!!

    That is how you build the relationship that gets discounts and "deals".

    Who knows, you may even meet some new ridding buddies by hanging out at the shop once in a while.
    HAHAHA! Yeah, saw one of those there, too. Redhead with killer legs and one sweet road bike to boot!
    I ..... need ..... DIRT!!!!!

    ... and cookies. :D

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoulMouthFool
    #1. If my money is not good enough to haggle over the phone then my money isn't good enough to drive 50 miles to haggle over it. You want my business, get to the bottom line on the phone and lets make a deal. By the time I drive 50 miles East, then 50 Miles North, then 50 miles back West to drive another 50 miles West then 100 miles South I've burned more gas and time than its worth. Deal over the phone or kiss my ass.

    #2. OK, lets go with the 35%.............so you're going to stick to your guns and make nothing, or come down a little and at least make something. I would think they would want any sale they could get.

    #3. I can wrench any damn thing that rolls, runs, or rips. I don't NEED an LBS for anything.
    If you haven't figured out what the common theme in the equation is, look in the mirror. You're your own worst enemy. With an attitude like your showing here, you are at best a D customer, and no one sale is worth that kind of aggravation.
    I call for a mandate to allow only road bikes on trails to limit our speeds and increase our line picking skills-FB

  29. #29
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    This is kind of a funny story about my LBS who happens to have the only game in town. He only stocks trek hardtails. When I went in for a FS he said he could order a trek FS but really wanted to sell me something off the floor (dusty stock). He didn't even tell me he could order specialized (found out from a friend). The guy didn't want to accomodate me and I went mail order. I bought my son's bike there and my road bike and thought I could still throw him my gear business etc, I mean I really do want to support the LBS. Anyway he found out about my mail order FS and when I went in there to get some gear he went into the back of his shop and wouldn't even wait on me. What a DICK!!!! I'm a business owner and even if my customers stray I will still service their products and work to earn their business again as any good businessman would. Business is a two way street. For starters the LBS needs to woo the customers in with a willingness to provide the customer with what they want and should be able to upsell their products by assuring their customer that they will be able to service their products!

  30. #30
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    A lot will depend on the bike you want as well. Aside from ebaying a used bike, you will not be able to buy a Specialized, Trek, Cannondale, etc. online (unless it's a scam site or the place wants to lose their dealer license) because of the agreements the companies have with their dealers.

    So if that's the case, the lbs knows you have to buy that brand somewhere and there is no point in discounting it seeing as your online threats are empty. You'll be buying from an lbs one way or another (depending on what bike you want).

    As for your attitude towards purchasing the bike, when I tested and shopped around for mine, I had the time of my life. It should be a fun experiance. Lighten up!!!

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudboy
    This is kind of a funny story about my LBS who happens to have the only game in town. He only stocks trek hardtails. When I went in for a FS he said he could order a trek FS but really wanted to sell me something off the floor (dusty stock). He didn't even tell me he could order specialized (found out from a friend). The guy didn't want to accomodate me and I went mail order. I bought my son's bike there and my road bike and thought I could still throw him my gear business etc, I mean I really do want to support the LBS. Anyway he found out about my mail order FS and when I went in there to get some gear he went into the back of his shop and wouldn't even wait on me. What a DICK!!!! I'm a business owner and even if my customers stray I will still service their products and work to earn their business again as any good businessman would. Business is a two way street. For starters the LBS needs to woo the customers in with a willingness to provide the customer with what they want and should be able to upsell their products by assuring their customer that they will be able to service their products!

    That's prety messed up, is the place still open?
    Off season? What off season?

  32. #32
    Oni
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    One time, at the bike shop

    This guy was coming in. Week after week. Spent probably 4 months trying out different bikes. Asking questions, having us take down bikes, test rides. The whole deal. Got to the point we'd ignore him because he would just waste our time (I always wonder how people like this make other decisions, like on dinner, or what underwear to put on...).

    Ended up buying a close out bike at a screaming deal, and then he got annoyed because we wouldn't float him a 20% discount weeks after the sale on seat pack, etc.

    Talk to anyone who's spent anytime in a shop, they'll have stories about all the winners that come in, DEMANDING this and DEMANDING that, simply because they think the plastic in their wallet entitles them to a free butt licking at the local bike shop...

    Oni

    PS Can you tell by the responses that you've touched a nerve here?

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    Somehow, some way, Ive managed to develop a good relationship and get "VIP" treatment with THREE bike shops in my area. And heres the kicker....they all know I buy a lot of stuff from the other shops and even mail order.

    Howd I do that? Simple....I try to "spread the wealth" with what I buy, I dont put the shops into a bidding war with one another or ever imply that I would (but I do disclose after the fact when I bought something elsewhere or even off eBay or mail order), I never DEMAND or EXPECT discounts or that "VIP" service, and I try to treat all the shop owners and employees with respect and courtesy. And oh yeah...I try not to break the "LBS" codes...things like get my MTB built up in ONE shop and then roll it into one of the others to have the brank new shock sent out for warranty..

    Pretty simple formula, really. You dont have to swear loyalty in blood to one shop or learn some secret handshake. Just be honest, be courteous and buy stuff every once in a while.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oni
    This guy was coming in. Week after week. Spent probably 4 months trying out different bikes. Asking questions, having us take down bikes, test rides. The whole deal.
    My favorite is when you spend all of this time with them, answering all of their questions, adjusting everything fathomable, getting to have a good customer-shop relationship, and then they buy the bike from a competitor (same brand of bike) and want you to service it and give them discounts on accessories.
    '06 Cannondale Cross
    '08 Cannondale Cross
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    '07 Cannondale SystemSix Team

  35. #35
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    Hmm

    Must be one of those guys that rides alone.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbuchanan
    My favorite is when you spend all of this time with them, answering all of their questions, adjusting everything fathomable, getting to have a good customer-shop relationship, and then they buy the bike from a competitor (same brand of bike) and want you to service it and give them discounts on accessories.
    Ah...be careful though. WHY did that buyer go elsewhere? If the price difference was that great..or if you just plan couldnt get what he wanted, you cant blame the customer. Im building up a new MTB right now and spent a lot of time with one shop, only to buy the frame mail order. Why? Becuase the shop I spoke to just didnt have access to the frame and someone else did. With price, when one shop wants $50 for a tire and I can get it for$25 somewhere else, thats a pretty big swing and a retailer should understand why Id buy somewhere thats selling it that much cheaper.

    As I mentioned above, I find that as a customer, its about honesty with the shop. "Im sorry, but so-and-so had an unbeatable deal I could not pass up" (again...state this AFTER the fact, dont put shops into bidding wars) or "Im sorry, but you cant get me this frame, but so-and-so has it on his shelf" goes a long way and shows that magical thing.....RESPECT.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbuchanan
    My favorite is when you spend all of this time with them, answering all of their questions, adjusting everything fathomable, getting to have a good customer-shop relationship, and then they buy the bike from a competitor (same brand of bike) and want you to service it and give them discounts on accessories.


    You know just b/c you did all this stuff it doesn't mean that the other shop didn't do the same and more. One of the hardest decisions to make is buying your bike from 2 really cool shops when both shops go out of their way to get your buisness. Although I would never ask for a discount from you but I would expect service for the normal price. Trust me a lot of us non shop workers still know where all good wrenchers work so even though we didn't buy from you I would like my bike serviced by you(not you personnally ) I fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, only have one cool shop within 50miles of me. So they get all my buisness.
    Progression is fine just remember to respect your roots.

  38. #38
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    I rushed into buying a bike from my lbs and was dissapointed with them, not the bike. frame sizing? nope, medium fits you well. My brother and I both bought a bike at the same time. Went in a couple weeks later with a flat, tire and tube in hand, the person that sold us the bikes sold me a tube with the wrong valve. It didn't fit through the rim, my bro couldn't ride that week. The LBS is far away and I stop in after work, wasn't going back. The free tune-ups are a joke, my shifting got worse after i took it in. the main guy told me mountain bikes aren't designed to run in the higher gears (scraping noise).

    I only bought a few accessories there. The chain lube and stuff was outrageous, especially after I saw the prices online. And everything I wanted (helmet, seat, bar-ends, lights) they didn't stock but could order for me. I'm sure not going to make two trips, wait longer than shipping it to my door, not even be able to look/feel, when I can get it cheaper and easier online.

    Now I bought myself the Zinn mtb maintenance book (yes, online) and hope to learn how to do it all myself. Time comes for another bike, and I'll surely be looking to buy it online and put it together myself. If not I'll buy used. I'm talking Bike America here.

  39. #39
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    I frequent my LBS not only because they do good work and try to get me the best deal, they are a great group of guys. Never and issue to walk in, BS, look at sfuff and walk out. When I am in the market for a new part, I do shop the internet and I also shop them. I ask what their price is (we also get a discount here for being members in the local trail advocacy groups and as a docent), and I am honest with them that it may be cheaper elsewhere. They always try to give me their best price. If it's close I also take into consideration that I can always go back to have them replace or repair it and sometimes they will install as well for gratis!

    This of course means I am dedicated to them as they are to me for being a customer. Would I buy a bike from them? If they carried it, yes. But even though they may not, I still get the nice bike comment, as well as "can I give it a go" and support I need from them. Now that I am in the game for a 29' SS, guess who is on the top of the list when I am ready to buy.
    "Welcome to All Things Scottish, if it's not Scottish, it's craaaapp!! Can I help ye?" - Stuart Rankin

  40. #40
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    OK, I can admit when I'm wrong

    with such an overwhelming response from so many people, I can see where I might have been looking at this the wrong way. I still don't see where people say they get these great deals from their LBS though. Most of you jumped to the conclusion that I was an ******* on the phone............nothing could be farther from the truth. And for those of you who made that assumption, here's a good old southern 2 bird salute flying high for you.

  41. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by FoulMouthFool
    with such an overwhelming response from so many people, I can see where I might have been looking at this the wrong way. I still don't see where people say they get these great deals from their LBS though. Most of you jumped to the conclusion that I was an ******* on the phone............nothing could be farther from the truth. And for those of you who made that assumption, here's a good old southern 2 bird salute flying high for you.
    Cartainly does reinforce our thoughts of his attitude, doesn't it?

    Personally, my thoughts stand about the pricing policies and his expectations, not of his outright dipshit attitude.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muggsly
    You know just b/c you did all this stuff it doesn't mean that the other shop didn't do the same and more. One of the hardest decisions to make is buying your bike from 2 really cool shops when both shops go out of their way to get your buisness. Although I would never ask for a discount from you but I would expect service for the normal price. Trust me a lot of us non shop workers still know where all good wrenchers work so even though we didn't buy from you I would like my bike serviced by you(not you personnally ) I fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, only have one cool shop within 50miles of me. So they get all my buisness.
    I may not have worded that correctly. I am more than happy to wrench on anybody's bike no matter what the brand or where it came from. I just want the owner to be able to enjoy their ride. I should have put the emphasis on those persons that expect me to "hook them up" with something. The other "shop" by the way is a large sporting goods chain that does not have any bicycle sales staff. We see a lot of people on improperly sized bikes and it just sucks to see.

    I hope I am not digging my hole any deeper.
    '06 Cannondale Cross
    '08 Cannondale Cross
    '08 Cannondale Scalpel Team
    '07 Cannondale SystemSix Team

  43. #43

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    put the time in

    If you dont then don't expect much.I have bought 3 bikes from my LBS and brought in 2 friends to buy their bikes.I have NEVER asked for special prices. But I am rarely charged for tune-ups. They have offered me deals for when I start to up grade my FR bike and now that I have decided to get a 4th bike from them I will see what they can do for me on this one.The guys are super friendly and they call me by name and I know them all by name and thats what makes me shop there...and they have KONA's..LOL...so I'd say you can't just expect stuff for free without some kind of relationship...why should they give Joe Blow off the street, or in you case on the phone, a discount (as it has been said) you have to earn it a bit...sorry to say..nothing in life is free.....K

  44. #44
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    if you live in an area where you have to call shops over 75 miles away, you're in the wrong neck of the woods. areas with high numbers of lbs' obviously have higher competition so may be predisposed to giving "killer deals" just to get you back in the store for nick nacks, service, referrals, etc. if you drive out 75 miles to go to a shop, odds are you wont be back for the nick nacks.

    if you can work on your bike and cant find a shop with killer deals, what's the point? move on, mail order it, whatever. buy used. no reason to get an "lbs' suck" attitude, they gotta earn a living. they're really in business to help people who dont know what they're doing, dont know what they want, dont know any better, dont have the time or desire to do things for themselves. they dont have to have a negative attitude towards people wanting a good deal, but they dont have to spoon feed you either.

  45. #45
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    What I think is that there are good LBS and some bad LBS. The trick is finding the ones that have good service. Sometimes they may offer good deals, specially on winter on old models.

    About having a LBS servicing a bike I bought otherplace, I'm not expecting a freebie or a discount, but I think they should do the service I ask for and charge me a fair amount. On cars, it works that way. You take your car that you bought at 'X' dealer to 'Y' service center, and 'Y' doesn't get angry or annoyed that you didn't bought your car with them.

    Now, going 'window' shopping at the lbs and then ordering it online, I think it's not the best way to do. Unless you did buy a lot of stuff on the LBS, which would made up for the time the salesman spent with you.

    Being friendly is the best way to make friends, and sometimes it may get you a free service or something.

  46. #46

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    I've found that I order parts online if I find an awsome deal, way cheaper than normal on closeout stuff, other than that I buy local because local I don't have to pay shipping so it ends up to be a very similar price, many people see deals online but don't think about the shipping and having to wait to get it, at my LBS, they have already paid shipping and I can have it now. Plus since I buy stuff at my LBS I actually end up spending less than I would online because when I need stuff they have laying around they give it to me free or close to when I would have had to pay close to msrp online, plus when I buy in the shop I get more information than online, my LBS owner knows the area and knows what parts work in the local conditions. You really are shooting yourself in the foot if you go though life without developing any relationships with people, just demanding everyone to give you what you want isn't going to get you very far.

  47. #47
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    My 2 cents

    We have good bike shops here in town ( I live in El Paso, TX) . And also across the border in Juarez. I buy most of the stuff from them, but every so often if I find a good deal on the www I go for it.
    The thing to keep in mind is that you are paying the shop for goods & services, you should expect good service and all that.
    But because some people try to take advantage of the good old bike shop all of the time, that hurts everybody else. Prices go up, service also takes a punch, etc.
    semper ad excelsum

  48. #48
    SLX
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    But the phrase they like to hear is, always say "I bought a bike here last year, And I need new bushings for the shock could you order some for me." (well its not like im lieing i did buy a bike from them) They scurry around looking for the Cane creek customer service and try to order me some. The other day i needed some alloy nipples, rim strips, spoke keys, and they sold some to me at a price better than online dealers. I keep comming back, for xmass they had another 20% off any thing in the bike shop. I come in once in a while to get maybe a shock pump or somthing and ask when they will have discounts *wink.

    Ne ways I dont think you should be on the poor guy because he wants a bad-ars deal on a bike. He just wants to save money. But I can see how sales persons can get annoyed with some customers. Some of them dont know what they want. o5 or o6? brand? Size? Ever been a stranger in a new town and wanted the same name remembering service at the local food establishment? Then dont be a stranger or just a consumer.

  49. #49
    govt kontrakt projkt mgr
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    here's a thought---lbs ought to be more like car dealers. it always irks me as far as service coz they always ask did u buy it w/ them if their store sticker isnt on it or if they cant find u in their comp. why should it matter--if they are the brand's dealer they ought to cheerfully take care of the potential new customer. some folks move a lot afetr all.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArmySlowRdr
    here's a thought---lbs ought to be more like car dealers. it always irks me as far as service coz they always ask did u buy it w/ them if their store sticker isnt on it or if they cant find u in their comp. why should it matter--if they are the brand's dealer they ought to cheerfully take care of the potential new customer. some folks move a lot afetr all.

    The reason every shop I've ever been to asks is because if you bought it through them, maintenance is free.
    I call for a mandate to allow only road bikes on trails to limit our speeds and increase our line picking skills-FB

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoulMouthFool
    with such an overwhelming response from so many people, I can see where I might have been looking at this the wrong way. I still don't see where people say they get these great deals from their LBS though. Most of you jumped to the conclusion that I was an ******* on the phone............nothing could be farther from the truth. And for those of you who made that assumption, here's a good old southern 2 bird salute flying high for you.
    Doesn't matter if you act with the manners of the british royal party on the phone. Your missing the point. Why would any bike shop give someone who hasn't even taken the time to walk in the door a discount? A discount takes dollars directly out of the lbs owners pocket. Would you give away money to someone who simply called and asked for it? Neither would I. Find a brand you like, find out which shops in the area carry it, drop in on those shops and pick the best one. Now heres the hard part. Act like a respectful human being. Saying something like "I don't really like this stuff anymore, do you guys like beer?" with a 12 pack will further your cause in ways you can't imagine. You have to understand, this isn't a relationship with your doctor or lawyer, it's much more important.
    I call for a mandate to allow only road bikes on trails to limit our speeds and increase our line picking skills-FB

  52. #52
    govt kontrakt projkt mgr
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    yeah

    that's what I'm getting at. if u had 2 move and the bike isnt 2 beat up (that is it'sobviously well maintained) then bike brands ought to have an agreement w/ their dealers that it shouldnt neccessarily matter if the bike wasnt bought there to get free minor tunes/reduced labor rate etc on other maint. And it will bring a new customer who likely just might buy a bike there eventually as well as good mouth the shop etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by 9.8m/s/s
    The reason every shop I've ever been to asks is because if you bought it through them, maintenance is free.

  53. #53
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    WOW, this thread has it all! I laughed, I cried (at both sides). I've never thought going to a bike shop (or not) could be so dramatic?! I'm grateful that I have never experienced this. Boulder County rocks, eh?

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