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Old 08-29-04, 06:52 AM   #1
smoline
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Pay Full Price?

I'm in the market for a new bike and have been doing a fair amount of research and having discussions at the local bike shops. I'm looking at bikes around the $1200 range, give or take a hundred or two.

I haven't bought a bike in many years (current ride is a Trek 720), so I need some advice on purchase etiquette. When dealing with the local bike shop, should one expect to pay the full advertised price or MSRP? Is this like car shopping, where you expect to haggle and negotiate on an agreed price? I'm sure each LBS is different, but in general, what are the expectations and what is the norm? I don't want to pinch my LBS, but at the same time I don't want to get pinched either.

A little help please -- conventional etiquette says a shopper should expect to pay what percent of the LBS's listed price?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-29-04, 07:35 AM   #2
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In my experience the only time an lbs will be willing to knock off some money is if it's last years model. If the bike you are looking at is an '04 you should be able to shave some money off it by saying something like "any way to get me a deal on it since it's an '04" or whatever. If it's a brand new '05 then they aren't as likely to deal as someone else could come in and buy the bike on the spot, but with a previous year model the bike has been sitting there unsold and they need to move to make room for the new ones. But I never say never, worse thing is the lbs will say no we don't deal on '05's or recommend something in your price range.

I just bought my bike and got $100 off since it was an '04, luckily though it had never been ridden 'cause it was built the day of. What type of bike are you looking at?
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Old 08-29-04, 08:11 AM   #3
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I've never worked in a bike shop, but I've been told the markup on bikes is low but the markup on accessories is high.

So, if the lbs won't come off the list price of the bike any try to get them to throw in free bottle cages and water bottles and maybe a bike computer.
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Old 08-29-04, 09:18 AM   #4
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what moonshot said...
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Old 08-29-04, 10:34 AM   #5
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Gasp, choke, hack,hack!!! PAY FULL PRICE! for anything???!!!!
NEVER!!

I find I can do better in the barely used catagory....everytime.
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Old 08-29-04, 12:12 PM   #6
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It probably depends on the LBS though. When I bought my 01 Sirrus Pro leftover (MSRP about $1250.00 I think) in 02, the LBS knocked off a lot ($500+) without me even asking. I gave the LBS that I dealt with 1st a chance to match but they didn't come remotely close to the price.
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Old 08-29-04, 02:03 PM   #7
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Thanks so far for the good advice. Sounds like one should not EXPECT to get a price reduction (like at a car dealership), although it occassionally may happen.

I had been offered half off of an '04 Jamis ($850 discounted to $425), which seemed like a great deal except the bike was way too tall for me. Which is the primary reason why I'm not likely to buy something used. I really want a new bike that is properly fitted by the LBS (and even specially ordered, if necessary) to fit ME.

I've been looking at Trek 520, Giant OCR Touring, and most recently, Specialized Sequoia. I like them all, even though they vary somewhat and the pricing is a little different. But I like the LBS that is sellling the Specialized the best. I trust them, and therefore the Sequoia is leading my selection.

However, the Sequoia is also an '04 model and the '05s are inbound. Perhaps I should wait for the newer model?

Thanks again to all!
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Old 08-29-04, 05:13 PM   #8
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usually not much changes year to year, if you can get a good deal on the 2004 go for it.
oh and I should throw in that my lbs offered 10% off all accessories I bought with the bike (actually gave me the week to decide what I needed) so maybe you can work out a deal like that as well.
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Old 08-29-04, 05:30 PM   #9
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you can ALWAYS negotiate on a bike price. if the LBS refuses to, spend an hour on the phone. i GUARANTEE you that the hour on the phone in that price range will save you at least 200 bucks. You don't have to argue, just say you need a price on a bike, and tell them that your best deal so far is (Retail - 175.00). See what they say. they will either say i can beat that and give you 200 off, or they will say, no, sorry, i can only take 150 off. I have NEVER paid Full Retail Price.
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Old 08-29-04, 10:45 PM   #10
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I don't get the obsession with saving money, but that's just me. Will you really drop dead if you pay a few extra percent for something, instead of being an arse for hours until they pay the remainder of the price out of their pocket?

I mean, shops have to stay in business, and if they sell everything with a 0.0001% markup, how can they cover costs?
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Old 08-30-04, 12:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMan2k
I don't get the obsession with saving money, but that's just me. Will you really drop dead if you pay a few extra percent for something, instead of being an arse for hours until they pay the remainder of the price out of their pocket?

I mean, shops have to stay in business, and if they sell everything with a 0.0001% markup, how can they cover costs?
If you save $150 with an hour on the tele than you just made earned 150 dollars an hour. Its up to the business owner how low they will go, they know their books and they aren't going to put themselves out of business.
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Old 08-30-04, 07:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMan2k
I don't get the obsession with saving money, but that's just me. Will you really drop dead if you pay a few extra percent for something, instead of being an arse for hours until they pay the remainder of the price out of their pocket?

I mean, shops have to stay in business, and if they sell everything with a 0.0001% markup, how can they cover costs?
Good point. What goes around comes around.

It's good to have an lbs that you can rely on and that is looking out for your interests. In the long run, you may save more money by dickering lightly and taking a small hit in the wallet than if you dicker hard and cajole the owner into knocking off another $50 or so.
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Old 08-30-04, 10:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capsicum
If you save $150 with an hour on the tele than you just made earned 150 dollars an hour. Its up to the business owner how low they will go, they know their books and they aren't going to put themselves out of business.
And how much did you lose because you weren't working not including the cost of the bike?
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Old 08-30-04, 10:11 AM   #14
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And how much did you lose because you weren't working not including the cost of the bike?

A whole heckuva lot less than 150 dollars. Probably wouldn't be relevant unless you were self employed.
A person could also do it off the clock. Than what is he losing?
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Old 08-30-04, 12:13 PM   #15
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a mans most valuable possesion is his time. its up to each individual to place a price on it.
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Old 08-30-04, 01:43 PM   #16
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All:

I see this has devolved into discussions other than the topic, but thanks to all who provided useful insight. To be clear, I'm perfectly happy to pay full price if that's what conventional protocol calls for. I just did not want to discover the day AFTER I did so that one can normally expect X-percentage discounts. My LBS has not offered any discount off the Specialized Sequoia I have been looking at, and I haven't asked for any. I'm hoping to make up any l"ost money" by engaging in a long and trusting relationship with the owner, who will (ideally) provide more value through his expertice and advice than I would have saved by asking for a few dollars off.

Thanks again!
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Old 08-30-04, 03:26 PM   #17
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On a brand new 04 Litespeed, new model that was hard to find, I simply said, "Can you do anything on the price?" I instantly saved 10% off of MSRP.

It doesn't hurt to ask. All they can say is no. And then they will usually offer you a discount on accessories and throw in cages and water bottles.
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Old 08-30-04, 03:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
I don't get the obsession with saving money, but that's just me. Will you really drop dead if you pay a few extra percent for something, instead of being an arse for hours until they pay the remainder of the price out of their pocket?

I mean, shops have to stay in business, and if they sell everything with a 0.0001% markup, how can they cover costs?
Thank you for keeping the economy stoked up.

I am a consultant for major corporations. I wish I could go in and say "this much" and they would say "OK, you have to stay in business". There is always negotiation. Well, for the companies that want to stay in business anyway.
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Old 09-02-04, 10:56 AM   #19
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Just to follow up with everyone who provided helpful advice . . .

I got my new bike and, as it turned out, I never had to ask for any discount or deal. My LBS worked with me for about two hours selecting and (most importantly) properly sizing the right bike for me. The selection and sizing included several 20-30 minute rides on each option. With that degree of thoroughness, I would have been content to pay full price. However, I was wearing a USMC shirt during the riding and after I made my selection the shop owner asked "Are you a Marine?" "Yes; retired," I said. "Military people don't pay full price in this store," he responded, and provided me a significant discount. I didn't ask for it, but I sure appreciated the gesture.

And by the way, the selection of choice was a Specialized Sequoia.

Thanks again for your help and advice.
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Old 09-02-04, 12:45 PM   #20
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Good to hear, hope you enjoy your purchase.
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Old 09-03-04, 01:16 AM   #21
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Generally, bikes at a good lbs are marked up around 40%, so a bike costing the dealer $1,000 would retail for around $1,395. Out of the $395 comes shipping: paying a competent mechanic a decent wage to assemble, adjust, & test ride the bike: displaying the bike; spending a good deal of time getting to know the customer, answering questions, sharing expertise & experience, and readying the appropriate bike(s) for a test ride; cleaning the bike up after the ride; and performing a couple of post sale adjustments. After that are the fixed costs of rent, utilities, inventory, liability insurance, some advertising, local advocacy, and lest we forget, hopefully a bit of salary for the owner. It would seem that $395 buys a lot, and I haven't even mentioned the value of the satisfaction the customer feels about the experience of buying the right bike from a quality shop.

In short, pay the asking price. It's already a bargain!
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Old 09-03-04, 06:18 AM   #22
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In the end the shop owner is the one who knows his books. In this example the owner had no problem giving a discount to a marine, I'm sure he didn't loose any money on the deal. Just how much he made after that shops costs were covered is known only to that owner... and the IRS.
In other words a business owner will not go below what [s]he feels is needed to stay in business and a fair profit. They are running the business let them keep the place in the black, all you have to do is give them a fair shot at your patronage.

Last edited by capsicum; 09-04-04 at 02:30 AM.
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Old 09-03-04, 07:40 AM   #23
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Concur . . . and due to their professionalism and courtesy, this particular bike shop will forevermore have my patronage.
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Old 09-03-04, 06:26 PM   #24
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What are you looking for? What size? Frame material. etc??
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