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Old 08-25-10, 10:50 PM   #1
buffalowings
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what can I expect or request from my LBS

up until now, all my bikes were bought from big box stores, but I am about to buy a hardtail mountain bike around the $500 range from the LBS (trek 4300, 4500, or specialized hardrock etc etc,I really haven't chosen a trusty steed yet) but when I do make the purchase, what should I expect? can I expect to get a slight discount from the store's asking price? If so, about how much? also, The shop provides one free tuneup within 90 days, but could I ask for more? let's say, twice per year for the life of the bike? and how about accessories, could I expect a 15% discount and free installation or possibly a free pump etc etc? I ask these questions because this is the first time I am dealing with a LBS and I want to get the best deal possible


thanks in advance!

James
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Old 08-26-10, 12:31 AM   #2
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I thought every shop will give you free pump? No?
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Old 08-26-10, 01:48 AM   #3
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A bike shop generally doesn't make too much on bikes, especially a relatively lower end one you're thinking about. After all, they are usually only small businesses and can't offer what the larger stores offer.

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can I expect to get a slight discount from the store's asking price? If so, about how much?
It wouldn't hurt to ask. Worse that could happen is "no," which it may likely be because again, it's a lower end bike.

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The shop provides one free tuneup within 90 days, but could I ask for more? let's say, twice per year for the life of the bike?
This probably isn't going to happen. Policies are policies, and again, the smaller amount of money they made off a $500 bike can't really cover this kind of support. My bike shop happens to offer infinite 2 annual tuneups for as long as the bike remains w/ the original owner, but most shops will probably only give this for two years.

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and how about accessories, could I expect a 15% discount and free installation or possibly a free pump etc etc?
Yes, it is likely that the shop will throw in some kind of benefit, be it free bottles and cages or a discount. My shop happens to offer 20% off all accessories w/ each new bike. Probably not a free pump, because they run for around $30. But there's a good chance of free installations for whatever you buy that day, as long it isn't too complicated, like components.

Just make sure to return the favor by offering them service in case you need anything else! And you are definitely getting a quality product.

Last edited by eyeclan; 08-26-10 at 01:58 AM.
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Old 08-26-10, 03:57 AM   #4
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Depends on the shop. The main one I use may or may not discount the price of the bike, but do offer 1 year of free tuneups and a discount on any accessories purchased at the same time you buy the bike, installation of those accessories is free. If you treat them nice (ie don't try to haggle pricing with an attitude, and don't be an a-hole) and keep coming back they may offer you a discount on future items too.

FWIW I don't haggle on prices at most small businesses unless it is expected, like at Flea Markets. Small businesses are what drive the American Economy and especially the smallest ones are struggling right now. I used to co-own a Bridal and Formal shop an got tired of the first words out of people's mouths asking for a discount, or "I can get it cheaper at X place 50 miles down the road, do you price match?"

Do you go to Wmart, Sports Authority, Target or any other big box store and ask for a discount? If not then why beat up the small business owner for one? Do you discount your services? Small businesses, especially retail operate on a very thin margin. The only place they can really beat out the big box stores is on service. Hopefully they provide that.

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Old 08-26-10, 05:21 AM   #5
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As said above, it depends on the shop. In a post-Katrina New Orleans-area era, half the shops do not "offer discounts" but may throw in something small (bottle, cage, etc.) as a thank you. The other half don't budge a penny - and I respect that. What seems to be relatively consistent are warrnaty/tune-up policies - "we sold it, bring it back in in 500 miles for a quickie going over/adjustment of cables" - basically <$20 or free except for one shop which I no longer deal with at all.

Personally, I'd never ask directly for a discount on any bike purchase. I have thought aloud about the total costs involved for a touring bike set up and mentioned Internet prices/budget constraints --- which labelled me as a certain type of rider/profit center for the LBS. I got offers about custom fitting/ordering the bikes/equipment "at no extra cost" but the reality is none of the shops here are touring-oriented. The roadies are in "hog heaven" in comparison, most are well-supported but few seem to get great "deep discounts" even on the Fort Knox-value bikes. If I was into mountain bikes, two shops north of Lake Ponchatrain, 45 mile away are where I'd go - more mountain bike-oriented guys, mechs, and definitely more tolerant of all types of rider. But 45 miles from me is a bit much.

Unfortuantely, it also seems to depend on exactly which sales guy in each shop one deals with and on the day/time. I've had widely varying experiences within all but two shops - one I now prefer above all the others and one that's lost any chance for my business completely. Two have zero problems with dealing with "not sold here" bikes at all, a couple have "snob appeal" mechs and management attitudes. Most don't want to play with "big box, el cheapo, mass market" bikes but do understand economic realities. The snobs actively discourage people from patronizing their own stores with such bikes - even if they don't realize they are doing so. All that being said, it's basically a crap shoot until you find the right shop/location match for you. The shop I prefer is twice as far away from me as the shop I avoid like the plague (which others swear by). YMMV

Last edited by drmweaver2; 08-26-10 at 05:29 AM.
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Old 08-27-10, 09:57 AM   #6
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Where I live pretty standard is 15% and free installation for accessories purchased with the bike. Also free mounting of accessories/components that you provide such as pedals or saddles.
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Old 08-27-10, 04:17 PM   #7
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My LBS has "Free Air and Oil" .
It is so cool that my bike came with inflated tires and lubed chain!
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Old 08-27-10, 04:24 PM   #8
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annual tuneups are often a pretty low cost labor charge.

point of purchase accessories are discounted with bike bought , so a good time to add racks, baskets. pumps
bag for sparetube , tire levers and a patch kit. lights ..
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Old 08-31-10, 11:50 AM   #9
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Expect to get a warm feeling knowing you are patronizing a local business that contributes to local revenue, keeps some of your neighbors employed, and develops an ongoing relationship with people who promote/enjoy cycling. Ultimately, that's the "better deal". Decisions based on exclusively financial considerations are myoptic. What could possibly be motivating your behavior modification away from department stores?
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