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Old 01-08-08, 09:30 AM   #1
bank5
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Best way to negotiate with an LBS

I'm planning picking up a Trek 69er. There's a number of good Trek bike stores in my area and I'm wondering how to negotiate the best deal. Is there usually some wiggle room on the sticker price? Anyway to have some small freebies included? How do the service options differ from LBS to LBS?
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Old 01-08-08, 09:45 AM   #2
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Old 01-08-08, 09:58 AM   #3
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Pick your price (make it reasonable) and offer to pay it cash. As you say this, take out the cash and hand it to the owner (don't try to negotiate with a low-level salesperson, they generally are not allowed). This seems to be the best way to work with the price of the bike alone. However, don't make unreasonable offers, like $800 for a $1400 2008 model that was just built up yesterday. Often if you name a price that the shop is not willing to give you, you will open a negotiation, and you will get a counter offer.

If you are talking about a 2008 69er, there probably isn't much wiggle room, as the margins on bikes tend to be quite low. You would be in a much stronger position if you could find a 2007 69er around, which may be possible since you have a number of Trek dealers in your area. In this case, though the margins are low, you are helping them free up floor space for a 2008.

As far as "freebies," parts and accessories are where the margins are for the LBS, so if you can't negotiate a lower price on the bike, it is not unreasonable to ask for a discount on bottle cages, bottles, pedals, and other accessories you are purchasing at the same time.

In summary, bring cash, look for last year's model, and if all else fails, go for the accessories. Good luck!
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Old 01-08-08, 09:59 AM   #4
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There is usually a little wiggle room on the sticker price - what you want to know from the shop is what thier policy is on shop work/repairs. My expereince has been that if you've bought the bike at that shop, service is free on that bike - you pay for parts, not labor. If you're a good, steady customer, you will find that your shop will give you a discount on parts, too. Sometimes a shop will toss in a jersey with a new bike.

But basically, until you become a steady customer, you shouldn't expect a lot of discounts or freebies.
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Old 01-08-08, 10:02 AM   #5
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The cash suggestion is good. Cards cost shops a lot of money.

For a bike in the $1500 range, that isn't old stock, don't expect to drop the price by more than $100. As said before, margins on bikes are low.
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Old 01-08-08, 10:02 AM   #6
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There is usually a little wiggle room on the sticker price - what you want to know from the shop is what thier policy is on shop work/repairs. My expereince has been that if you've bought the bike at that shop, service is free on that bike - you pay for parts, not labor. If you're a good, steady customer, you will find that your shop will give you a discount on parts, too. Sometimes a shop will toss in a jersey with a new bike.

But basically, until you become a steady customer, you shouldn't expect a lot of discounts or freebies.
why should service be free?
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Old 01-08-08, 10:08 AM   #7
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why should service be free?
As an incentive to buy a bike at that shop...

We do free service for a year. That's usually 1 or 2 10 minute checkups, so it doesn't cost us much. Helps make the decision for a lot of people though.
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Old 01-08-08, 10:24 AM   #8
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The shop I bought one of my road bikes at does free lifetime flat repairs, free lifetime tune-ups, and 20% off of accessories bought with the bike.
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Old 01-08-08, 10:34 AM   #9
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Old 01-08-08, 01:01 PM   #10
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I'm a web developer with a lot of experience developing web sites. Maybe I'll try bartering my services too. Seems like most LBS websites are lacking.
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Old 01-08-08, 01:50 PM   #11
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Most shop owner don't have an inkling of what it REALLY takes, money- or time-wise to build, maintain, revamp a web presence. You'd be best off getting the bike, establishing a relationship with the shop of your choice and offering web work in trade for parts, accessories, etc. down the road.
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Old 01-09-08, 09:39 PM   #12
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yeah people will want a whizbang website and you to maintain it for practically nothing.. I don't do any more websites for any small biz
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Old 01-09-08, 10:08 PM   #13
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If they have a lot of the same model and sell to a lot of people, then your odds aren't that great that they'll lower the price.
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Old 01-09-08, 10:35 PM   #14
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As an incentive to buy a bike at that shop...

We do free service for a year. That's usually 1 or 2 10 minute checkups, so it doesn't cost us much. Helps make the decision for a lot of people though.
Very similar to what we do, 2 free services with every bike sold...we give it maybe a 20 - 30min over though depending on what needs doing.
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Old 01-10-08, 03:48 AM   #15
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I'll be in the market for a new bike in a few weeks time, and i'm sad to have to change shops to get the bike i want - the one i usually go to is great, I can't speak high enough of them. So it means i'll have to "start again" with my shop/customer rapport, but thats ok. I do in fact plan on buying an item or two adding to a couple of hundred dollars with the bike, so there may be a little wiggling room on sticker price. But i never budget to get things cheaper, i'm saving for the bike, so im saving the full RRP. After all, i am a new customer.
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Old 01-10-08, 07:44 AM   #16
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I'd go with a case of beer in hand. Works for me. Then again, the owner of the shop is my friend.
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Old 01-10-08, 07:49 AM   #17
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I'd go with a case of beer in hand. Works for me. Then again, the owner of the shop is my friend.
I carry a case of beer with me everywhere.
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Old 01-10-08, 02:07 PM   #18
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Try this approach:

If bike costs $X, say "I'll give you $Y for it".

If you spent the last month drooling over the bike and getting fitted and test riding then pay them the asking price. They earned it. If you come in off the street and know what you want, then you can see if they'll take a few bucks off.
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