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  1. #1
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    LBS selling bike at MSRP?

    So the other day I went back to my LBS to return/exchange my bike for the 2009 model. Over the phone, the salesperson said that they didn't have definitive pricing on the bike yet, but it will be $600 and above.

    When I initially went to this LBS, they had been very informative in helping me pick a bike, and they were very patient and answered all my questions. So much so, that I felt comfortable with them and didn't shop around at other stores.

    So anyway, I go in to exchange the bike and order the 2009 model. So the salesperson calls over a senior salesperson and explains to them what I want to do. The senior salesperson asks the salesperson how much the 2009 model is, to which the salesperson responds "we don't have an exact price, around $600". So the senior salesperson logs into their system, and reads out loud "MSRP is $600", then asks me if I'll pay the difference, and I said sure. I was just happy I'm getting the newer model.

    But after leaving the store I thought about how other businesses (i.e. cars, retail) usually sell items below MSRP. And that the MSRP is just that, suggested retail price. But I'm new to this whole biking thing, so I wanted to see what other people on here think of this.

    Do LBS's traditionally sell bikes at MSRP?
    ______________
    2009 Trek 7.3FX

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Yes, they do. If you want a discounted product buy a bike online and deal with any service problems you may have out of your own pocket.

  3. #3
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Bike stores don't always take trade-ins, so if they paid you anything for your old bike, they saved you the trouble of selling it.

    Bike stores do often sell below retail, but in free market exchanges the process is:

    Offer

    (possible haggling goes here)

    Acceptance or rejection of offer/counter-offer

    What you got was fair, whether it is more than everyone else in the world pays or not.

    Don't second guess yourself over whether you paid an extra $30 after the fact, it isn't worth it...
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  4. #4
    I like my car ShadowGray's Avatar
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    It depends on the store really. Some people have luck with their LBSes selling below MSRP... mine sells at full MSRP.

    I go to them for bike work, but I order everything else online. Including my bike.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Do you haggle over the price of milk in a grocery store, a tv at the electronics store, or do you think you should have tried haggling over the price of that dinner in the restaruant?

    no?

    then don't worry about it and enjoy your new bike.

    "The world will end, not with a "bang" but with a "do'oh!""

  6. #6
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    I have noticed my regular LBS sells some models below MSRP while others are matching or slightly higher.

    I politely asked the sales clerk who I normally seek out when visiting and asked why the difference in some prices against the manufacture webs sites.

    In short he explained that there are manufacturer or distributor incentives for certain models, or price breaks at order levels. The floor pricing in the store is often based on on the cost plus % for retail on many items, if they save, $s on a model, and it is a proven mover for them, they will stock heavier and therefore offer a better price than maybe found elsewhere. He also indicated he can not do that on all products, but they try.

    I also suspect on special orders or advance orders, MSRP is the standard, if they locked you in at that price it is a 50/50 shot, if the price is higher than promo materials indicate they may lose, if less, they may pass along to you, either case you could be ahead.

  7. #7
    Supreme Commander of CATO
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    I had an LBS quote me a price above MSRP. The bike was quoted at about $100 over MSRP and accessories were another $30 above MSRP.

    I didn't understand it, perhaps they bundled a lifetime service plan with their bicycles, but again I did not ask for it.

    -Taser

  8. #8
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    A bikes not a car.

  9. #9
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    MSRP= Manufacturer's SUGGESTED Retail Price...that is all it is...a suggestion. Depending on their contract with the particular distributor/manufacturer they may have to sell it at that or they may not. Also with the rapid rise in energy/shipping costs upcharges are quite often necessary. FWIW we own a small retail store and have had to start adding $10 to the price of a lot of products to cover the increases in shipping passed onto us by the distributors.

    I have paid MSRP, more than MSRP and less than MSRP on the various bikes I have purchased in the past couple of years. As pointed out above, different reasons for different pricing.

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  10. #10
    Roadie shundaroni's Avatar
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    By and large, an LBS will charge what the local/regional market will bear. I had the "good fortune" of buying my bikes in an area full of fat people that think bicycles are only for those under 12 years old. None of the local shops were asking MSRP.

    I will say, however, that there is plenty of room for haggling. This isn't milk or bread...unless your local grocer asks $1000 for it's produce, the analogy is bad. Even considering that, most retailers will offer price matching if you can find a competitor charging less. So, absolutely try to haggle. If they refuse to budge, exploit them for their fitting and test-rides and take that knowledge to another LBS.
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  11. #11
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I don't know how uniformly the bike manufacturers price their products. But there are some products sold with an inflated MSRP simply to try to make the product look better. With bikes, I would think this would be more of an issue with offbrand bikes, or cheap or oddball bikes, not with the mainstream companies.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  12. #12
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    The OP didn't mention the brand of bike, but all vendors have differing approaches to pricing.

    Some will have a single MSRP with a fixed margin. Others will have an MSRP, an "advertised price" as well as a minimum price. The minimum price is contracted and bikes can't be sold for less or the shop risks losing their distributorship. Sometimes this minimum is only applicable for a certain time period, allowing for late season closeouts, etc.

    Keep in mind that due to the spike in fuel prices and short availability for many bikes and parts, dealers may be less likely to negotiate lower prices, not more.
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  13. #13
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    When I bought my Giant FCR3, it was priced $50 above MSRP on online sites, but I negotiated a 10% discount by offering to pay w/ cash, making it the regular MSRP price.

    $500 - $50 = $450 MSRP
    -- Ron
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  14. #14
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    As you stated, MSRP is the Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price. Seems to me they suggested it and you agreed to it.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  15. #15
    Codger & Geezer Old Pa's Avatar
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    MSRP = Full Boat; never pay Full Boat.
    Doing my duty . . . . the way I see it.

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  16. #16
    Its Freakin HammerTime!!! C_Heath's Avatar
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    I buy some things from the LBS but not bikes. I mean, if they were making a couple hundred or even 3, I would but Ive seen bikes sell brand new in the box for half the MSRP dso you know they are making really good money when they sell at MSRP. I just bought one on ebay for almost half price. Details and pics to come This Thursday!

  17. #17
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_Heath View Post
    I buy some things from the LBS but not bikes. I mean, if they were making a couple hundred or even 3, I would but Ive seen bikes sell brand new in the box for half the MSRP dso you know they are making really good money when they sell at MSRP. I just bought one on ebay for almost half price. Details and pics to come This Thursday!
    Hopefully none of those are stolen, gray market or worse: derailed recalls.

    Also, if you think that selling bicycles is really good money, you've never worked in the bicycle industry.
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  18. #18
    apocryphal sobriquet J.C. Koto's Avatar
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    Ahh, bikeforums ate my post yesterday... In short, if you *must* haggle, you're probably better off trying for a *slight* discount on accessories or older model bikes (clearance bikes), or just asking for some shop schwag (shop-branded bottles, shirts/jerseys, etc). The profit margin for new bikes is actually pretty low. Consider the additional shop costs of final assembly, initial tuning, 30-day re-tuning, etc. which can push the profit margin to near 0 for all but the most expensive bikes.

    If the LBS is offering a bike at MSRP, and the bike is in good mechanical order, consider it a fair deal. Otherwise, get it somewhere else, and decide how much your time investment to get it into good, road-worthy shape is worth...

    EDIT: It just goes back to the old maxim -- "You're buying the shop more than just the bike"...

  19. #19
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post
    Also, if you think that selling bicycles is really good money, you've never worked in the bicycle industry.
    +1 Seriously

    I love how people think they own the store when they come in buying a "big-ticket" item like a bike when it is our least profitable item in the store.
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  20. #20
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    +1 Seriously

    I love how people think they own the store when they come in buying a "big-ticket" item like a bike when it is our least profitable item in the store.
    Least profitable perhaps, but it is the largest ticket item in the store.

    While I can understand it's a huge deal for most folks to buy a bike, there's nowhere near the same margin as a car or even most other retail items that no one even haggles for.

    Sorry to be the bearer of truth folks. If you keep haggling, the shops will just hire better hagglers, not cyclists that care about finding the right bike for your needs.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post
    Sorry to be the bearer of truth folks. If you keep haggling, the shops will just hire better hagglers, not cyclists that care about finding the right bike for your needs.
    Since they do a pretty poor job finding the right bike for my people's needs anyway (as opposed to indoctrinating folks into cycling myths and group think) I think we'd be better off with better hagglers.

    Profit margins may be low for the shops, but they're pretty huge for the distributors. If the shops haggled with the distributors a bit more then maybe they could offer lower prices and more products for us customers.

    According to Sheldon Brown a typical good quality bike frame costs about $8 to manufacture.
    Last edited by makeinu; 07-13-08 at 02:43 PM.

  22. #22
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
    Since they do a pretty poor job finding the right bike for my people's needs anyway (as opposed to indoctrinating folks into cycling myths and group think) I think we'd be better off with better hagglers.

    Profit margins may be low for the shops, but they're pretty huge for the distributors. If the shops haggled with the distributors a bit more then maybe they could offer lower prices and more products for us customers.

    According to Sheldon Brown a typical good quality bike frame costs about $8 to manufacture.
    There's always WalMart.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  23. #23
    Senior Member madcalicojack's Avatar
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    Talking with the guy at an LBS here it was clear that different manufacturers use different MSRP pricing strategies. He was willing to discount Specialized below MSRP quite a bit, but the other brands were all priced at/near MSRP. If you thought the price was fair when you paid it then have no regrets. Next time, you might do some research and know the market price before swiping your debit card.

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