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  1. #1
    LDB
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    Making an offer at a LBS

    Anyone with experience on making an offer on a new bike please speak up. My LBS has a 2009 Cannondale Rize 4 NOS originally marked $2499 now marked down to $1499. I'm interested in the bike plus a good lock and a good helmet and a set of USB rechargeable f/r lights I saw at their shop. I was thinking about offering $1500 out the door with the extras.

    Questions.

    1. Does that sound like a reasonable offer?
    2. How receptive are shops to offers?
    3. Should I consider a different offer?

    Thanks for any and all input
    1974 Raleigh International, 2013 Specialized Crossroads, 195x Hercules 3 spd
    My hero was the tortoise not the hare. One mailbox at a time.

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    It's not generally done, but what can it hurt? The guy's sitting on a four-year-old bike.
    On the other hand, you're already getting a decent bike for $1000 off, and you're asking for another $100-$200 in freebies, depending on what the light costs. Most bike shops operate pretty close to the line, so he may say no. I think I would.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
    It's not generally done, but what can it hurt?
    Nonsense. It is always done. Have cash, be polite and confident. If he says no to your offer, ask what he can do. No matter what, be courteous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
    Nonsense. It is always done. Have cash, be polite and confident. If he says no to your offer, ask what he can do. No matter what, be courteous.
    It's not done much around here. I once got a $449 bike (back when that was a lot of money for a bike) for $450 with the dealer paying the tax because I handed him the cash, but that was a long time ago.
    +1 to courtesy and the rest of it, though. No point in arguing, and it's good to be on good terms with the dealer when something you can't fix breaks the night before a big ride.

  5. #5
    LDB
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    Yes, I planned on having all cash on hand so they pay no card fees and I am on good terms with them afaik from visiting the shop and talking bikes as a potential buyer. I figured on having 15 $100's in an envelope and one more set aside in case he said no I could counter with how about $1600 out the door for the package. I'm at least 99 and 44/100 certain he's not going to poke me in the nose for making an offer.
    1974 Raleigh International, 2013 Specialized Crossroads, 195x Hercules 3 spd
    My hero was the tortoise not the hare. One mailbox at a time.

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    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    Let us know how it goes.

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    Try it, what have you got to lose? You don't get unless you ask. 4 year-old bike they can't move...they're desperate to get rid of it- it ain't getting any more valuable just sitting there. They'll probably do it. I'd start even lower, and let them "talk me up" to the price you mentioned.

    I negotiate for almost everything.

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    It's all theoretical for those who are not involved in the shop as a business.

  9. #9
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    I wouldn't even ask myself. I'd just be happy I got a good bike at a good price.

    USB lights, $100, helmet $60-$100 Lock ( I dunno) but that's asking a lot.

    No, I don't work for a shop.

    I'd expect 20% of accessories though!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    I wouldn't even ask myself. I'd just be happy I got a good bike at a good price.

    USB lights, $100, helmet $60-$100 Lock ( I dunno) but that's asking a lot.

    No, I don't work for a shop.

    I'd expect 20% of accessories though!
    I don't think it's asking a lot- If they can't sell that bike off the floor, what would it bring on Ebay at 4 years old, even if it is new? $700 or $800? If I were the shop owner, I'd jump at OP's offer.

  11. #11
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayGloDago View Post
    I don't think it's asking a lot- If they can't sell that bike off the floor, what would it bring on Ebay at 4 years old, even if it is new? $700 or $800? If I were the shop owner, I'd jump at OP's offer.
    Ahh you are correct. I missed the fact it's a 2009.

    I was thinking we're still in 2010.

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    I think the thing most people are missing is you are asking for it for $1500 OTD. Sales tax at approx 8% on $1500 is $120. So your asking for everything for ~$1390 really. Then take off the $200 worth of stuff and then you're asking for the bike for $1190. Hey, never hurts to try, but I wouldn't get upset if they say no.

    Usually the easiest negotiation tactic is ask them if they can do anything instead of making an offer first. If they come back with something reasonable.. then there you go. If it's close you can usually work from there.

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    Senior Member Bahnzo's Avatar
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    I worked retail for a long time (guitar store) so my rule of thumb is everything is marked up 100%. So...take *full* retail, divide by 2 and then add 10% for shipping...that's generally the cost to the store owner. Work from there. This isn't Walmart, any dealer should be willing to negotiate as long as you are respectful. And expect to pay tax, especially on something worth that much.

    In the OP's case, I think the price on the bike isn't bad. He's probably got $1350 in that bike, so a $150 profit isn't asking much. He's gotta eat too. Try to make it up with a few accessories for near cost and you'll both be happy. He gets rid of inventory a few years old, makes a few dollars and you get a good bargain and some extra stuff for cost.

  14. #14
    LDB
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    The lights are marked $54.95. I figured around $50-60 for a helmet and $30-40 for a lock so more like $125-150 retail not $200 for the extras. With tax it's probably around $200-250 total extra discount.

    I might go with the idea of asking about best cash price so no 3-4% card fee is involved and see what they say.
    Last edited by LDB; 02-20-13 at 04:58 AM. Reason: clarity
    1974 Raleigh International, 2013 Specialized Crossroads, 195x Hercules 3 spd
    My hero was the tortoise not the hare. One mailbox at a time.

  15. #15
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    Well, I just bought a new bike yesterday and here was my experience...

    I've taken my road bikes to his shop before for some repairs, service, etc., so I'm on a first-name basis with the owner. I've been looking for mountain bikes and I really liked a brand he wasn't selling, but I still wanted to give him my business as everyone in his shop has always been very courteous and more than helpful. I printed off the specs of the bikes my wife and I were looking at and pretty much set on. I brought that information with me and when I got there, I told him I really wanted to give him my business and I needed him to find me two bikes with very close geometry to the bikes we really liked. He took a while to do so and he thinks he found a few.

    Anyway, the other night I rode this 2012 Cannondale Flash 29er 2 and thought it was okay, but nothing special. He also just pretty much aired the tires and sent me out the door for a spin. Given its $1,899 price, it didn't matter if I liked it anyway because I was looking in the $1,000-$1,400 range.

    ...So when I went back yesterday, he asks me how I liked it and I told him, "Meh, it was nice but way outta my price range." He told me, "Tell ya what, I'll cut you a nice deal on it if you buy two bikes." He threw out $1,519 as that was close to his cost. I thought cutting $380 was a pretty good deal, especially for what it had. I thought about it and told him, "Well, let's set it up a bit and see if I can get comfortable on it." We messed around with the handlebars, seat, and adjusting the fork, and I hopped on for a ride. It was great!

    I told him I really liked the bike and wanted it but wasn't sure what my wife was going to do. He told me he'd give me the deal anyway, so I decided to take the bike. I figured I'd press my luck and ask him if he could do it for $1,419, which was the price of the other bike I was looking at but he couldn't. That wasn't a surprise, as this Flash has far better componentry than the other one.

    ...But here's where he figured he'd help me out. He told me if I came back and purchased a bike for my wife, no matter what I bought, he'd give me 10% to "offset" the price of the Flash for me.

    If you do business there, he's going to recognize you as a regular customer and will be more likely to give you a deal. Just let him know it's important to you to support the local businesses and you'd like to give him your business if he can help you out. That's going to strike a chord with him.

    So anyway, while I wound up with a bike that was a little more than what I wanted to spend, it was still feasible and a very nice bike for the price.

    I would toss out some figures but he's already giving you quite a deal on quite a nice bike. He's probably losing money on it as is. I'd "entertain" some throw-ins but don't be surprised if he declines your offer and don't hold it against him. You may have better luck with negotiating something that doesn't cost him money but costs you money, such as free maintenance or free adjustments for an extra year or something.
    - Dan \m/

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    Quote Originally Posted by aramis View Post
    Usually the easiest negotiation tactic is ask them if they can do anything instead of making an offer first. If they come back with something reasonable.. then there you go. If it's close you can usually work from there.
    I think this is the best advice in the thread.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  17. #17
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LDB View Post
    Yes, I planned on having all cash on hand so they pay no card fees and I am on good terms with them afaik from visiting the shop and talking bikes as a potential buyer. I figured on having 15 $100's in an envelope and one more set aside in case he said no I could counter with how about $1600 out the door for the package. I'm at least 99 and 44/100 certain he's not going to poke me in the nose for making an offer.
    Makes sense to have a bit put by so you've got a bit of wiggle room for a counteroffer. As others have said you never know, and if the bike is a four-year-old model and still doesn't sell then sooner or later he's going to have to cut the price further or ebay it, unless he wants to hang onto it for 25 years and hope it becomes a "mint classic" some day.
    "For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LDB View Post
    Yes, I planned on having all cash on hand so they pay no card fees and I am on good terms with them afaik from visiting the shop and talking bikes as a potential buyer. I figured on having 15 $100's in an envelope and one more set aside in case he said no I could counter with how about $1600 out the door for the package. I'm at least 99 and 44/100 certain he's not going to poke me in the nose for making an offer.
    Walking in with cash will definitely make an impact...for a variety of reasons. First, he's going to like seeing the green, and secondly, he won't wind up paying 3% to the credit card company for accepting your payment. That's 3% you may be able to negotiate with.
    - Dan \m/

  19. #19
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LDB View Post
    The lights are marked $54.95. I figured around $50-60 for a helmet and $30-40 for a lock so more like $125-150 retail not $200 for the extras...
    His cost for that stuff is probably around 50% of the list prices, so that's what it will cost him to throw them in. Another tack would be to ask for 50% a group of accessories. That costs him nothing, except perhaps the profit he would have made if you bought those items at his shop at full price.

    My guess is he's probably already taking a substantial loss selling that bike at that price.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Stun's Avatar
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    I have purchased my last three bikes (over a period of 13 years) for an average of 57% of sticker price (perhaps a reflection of my MBA degree from back in the day??) On the one hand you are already getting a killer deal, but...

    On the other hand, a major +1 to DayGloDago--they would take a pretty big hit on that bike on ebay at this point (the last one sold in used but very good condition for like $820 plus $150 shipping...) The three things I do to get a deal: (1) Make sure you are talking to the person who can make you a deal (differs from shop to shop) (2) Take cash (3) be 100% serious and also 100% willing to walk away. I usually tell them what would make me willing to walk out the door with the bike (my *dream* scenario, if you will, usually more than they can realistically do) and ask if they can do anything. Go in with two numbers in mind: (1) your first offer that would be a dream come true (2) the highest amount you are really willing to pay. Have the numbers in mind before you go in and don't go above the highest number you are willing to pay (for me personally, this would be about $1400 in this case since it IS already a great deal). My experience (cost/margin aside) is that they can come down more percentage wise the more expensive the bike was originally. Also, I have had a lot of luck getting extras thrown in for free or for a discount when buying a more expensive bike. I am not even taking that into account in the 57%. I think on my first bike I got probably $120 worth of stuff...

    Good luck!

  21. #21
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
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    It never, ever hurts to ask. I got my nominally $900 Secteur for $450, as it was two years old and a small frame that they just couldn't get rid of. Sometimes it pays to be a small guy.
    Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.

  22. #22
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    I would put the lock and the helmet and the lights on the counter, take out the cash and and tell him I would buy all that stuff to go with the bike if he can give you the bike for $1250. Works out about the same. If he says no then thank him for considering the offer and leave. Then I would stop back in in a week or two to buy a tube or something and see if he brings it up after having some time to think it over.

  23. #23
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    It never hurts to ask, but if you don't know the people at the LBS well, they may not cut you a deal. I often get good deals, which is why I keep up the rapport, but sometimes there is nothing they can do since the margins are different on different products.

  24. #24
    LDB
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    After more thought, I may go in with something like $1563 in cash in a bank envelope as my absolute total bike budget and see what happens. That pretty much covers the $1499 of the bike plus the dealer cost of the extras so they'd just be covering the sales tax while also saving the 3% or so card fee. Worst case they say no.

    Thanks for all the good advice and helpful comments so far. I appreciate it and welcome any and all additional.
    1974 Raleigh International, 2013 Specialized Crossroads, 195x Hercules 3 spd
    My hero was the tortoise not the hare. One mailbox at a time.

  25. #25
    Senior Member recumbenttoad's Avatar
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    I would let the shop make some money on the accessories since they are not making any money on the bike. It's difficult enough to make a living in a brick and mortar retail setting without giving stuff away.
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