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Question for bike shop employees

Old 06-10-21, 06:07 AM
  #1  
Tandem Tom
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Question for bike shop employees

For those of you who work either full or or in a shop what type of discount do you get?
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Old 06-10-21, 06:35 AM
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Years since I worked in a shop, but the most common scheme was cost + 10%. Depends on the item but this usually worked out to a ~30-40% discount.
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Old 06-10-21, 07:11 AM
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Last shop I worked at the discount on parts/accessories/clothing was cost + 10%. Complete bikes were only available pro-form. The nice part is the shop still extends me the cost + 10% on any special order parts & accessories even thought I haven't worked there in 5+ years.

Edit: I forgot to include this: I was a mechanic at the last shop. All tools were at cost. Occasionally the owner would give us the tools.

Last edited by RGMN; 06-10-21 at 07:16 AM.
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Old 06-10-21, 08:47 AM
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Cost + 10%, as mentioned, is the common discount. I'll add that as a shop owner (in a former life) I did restrict employee purchases in a couple of ways. One was if the product was in short supply. Or if we had too few on hand, I would "strongly suggest" the employee wait for their want to be ordered, to get the discount. The other was when I learned the item wasn't for them but for a friend or a repair they were doing "on the side". Andy
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Old 06-10-21, 12:04 PM
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I guess I was lucky, I got all items at cost.
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Old 06-10-21, 12:07 PM
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It really depends on the manufacturer or distributor. Some shops may only allow employee purchase through the shop and some may allow you to do it yourself and some manufacturers require you to go through the shop. In the end I will say it is well worth it to work in a shop not just for discounts but valuable learning and a potentially more fun work environment.
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Old 06-10-21, 12:28 PM
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I pay cost + 12% but we can put our purchases bon layaway.
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Old 06-10-21, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson View Post
Years since I worked in a shop, but the most common scheme was cost + 10%. Depends on the item but this usually worked out to a ~30-40% discount.
So, typical markup in LBS is close to 100% ?
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Old 06-10-21, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by VicBC_Biker View Post
So, typical markup in LBS is close to 100% ?
That depends on what inventory you're talking about. Margins vary widely between parts, bikes, clothing, and accessories.

My discount was cost + 5%.
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Old 06-10-21, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by VicBC_Biker View Post
So, typical markup in LBS is close to 100% ?
Some items are over 100, some are around 20.
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Old 06-10-21, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by VicBC_Biker View Post
So, typical markup in LBS is close to 100% ?
A 100% markup equates to 50% margin. The smalls will be well over that, the big stuff, considerably less. 35% margin on bikes was good when I ran my shop. If your business plan is not predicated on those kind of numbers, be prepared to be laughed out of the bank.
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Old 06-10-21, 03:22 PM
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Cost plus 10% is what I got at Trek. And Trek's cost was far below the bike shops' cost. It took me a long time to get over sticker shock at bike shops.
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Old 06-10-21, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart View Post
A 100% markup equates to 50% margin. The smalls will be well over that, the big stuff, considerably less. 35% margin on bikes was good when I ran my shop. If your business plan is not predicated on those kind of numbers, be prepared to be laughed out of the bank.
What that tells me is that direct-to-consumer companies like Canyon should be charging a lot less for their bikes.
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Old 06-10-21, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by VicBC_Biker View Post
What that tells me is that direct-to-consumer companies like Canyon could be charging a lot less for their bikes.
fify
But it's never really direct to consumer, unless the assembled bike is drop shipped to your door from a factory in China, which I doubt is the case. Just think of the journey the bike's groupset travels before it ends up in your hands (built onto the bike).
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Old 06-10-21, 04:33 PM
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Yeah, no drive for them to charge less unless another brand begins to offer similar perceived quality for a lower price.
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Old 06-10-21, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
fify
But it's never really direct to consumer, unless the assembled bike is drop shipped to your door from a factory in China, which I doubt is the case. Just think of the journey the bike's groupset travels before it ends up in your hands (built onto the bike).
I don't understand ....most bike companies ship to the LBS or perhaps to a distributor and then to the LBS.
So all those markups and expenses are eliminated.
Canyon will ship directly to me. I do final assembly or hire a local company to do the assembly- and Canyon has worked out a 'deal' (with kickbacks, probably) with them.

A website is a lot cheaper than a brick-and-mortar store with all the costs that are involved there.
But I guess I shouldn't feel too sorry for the LBS, since it sounds like new bike sales are the smallest part of their profits.
And when all the LBS here switched their emphasis to e-bikes, that changed my attitude as well.
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Old 06-10-21, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
It really depends on the manufacturer or distributor. Some shops may only allow employee purchase through the shop and some may allow you to do it yourself and some manufacturers require you to go through the shop. In the end I will say it is well worth it to work in a shop not just for discounts but valuable learning and a potentially more fun work environment.
I've been part owner of a shop for 20+ years and worked at a shop for five years before that. Stuff was always sold to employees at cost, but we're fairly aware to add freight charges if needed. Some manufacturers give screaming discounts! And in general, most of the time when you make an employee purchase (bikes or wheels mostly) then they charge your personal credit card, they don't bill it through the shop.
Originally Posted by VicBC_Biker View Post
So, typical markup in LBS is close to 100% ?
Your math is incorrect.
Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Cost plus 10% is what I got at Trek. And Trek's cost was far below the bike shops' cost. It took me a long time to get over sticker shock at bike shops.
We're a Trek Dealer. Gone are the days of 'oh, you're an employee? Here's your discount'. Trek makes you watch a ton of product info videos before you're eligible for the maximum discount. (I'd say you have to watch over 30 hours of videos and pass quizzes to get the max level) But as I said earlier, the max discount is a screaming deal which is probably close to a Trek employee's discount.
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Old 06-10-21, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Rogerogeroge View Post
We're a Trek Dealer. Gone are the days of 'oh, you're an employee? Here's your discount'. Trek makes you watch a ton of product info videos before you're eligible for the maximum discount. (I'd say you have to watch over 30 hours of videos and pass quizzes to get the max level) But as I said earlier, the max discount is a screaming deal which is probably close to a Trek employee's discount.
Were you at least watching the videos while on the clock?

I don't think anyone gives out discounts right away. Ours was after 60 days, IIRC.
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Old 06-10-21, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by VicBC_Biker View Post
So, typical markup in LBS is close to 100% ?
One of my local bike shops typically marks what I presume is the wholesale price up by 100%, yes. He's got one of those display counters with a glass top designed to have a computer monitor below it. It's not super easy to see what he's looking at, but he doesn't try to hide it, either, and I can usually see what he's seeing as he's looking something up. For typical commodity parts (like a cassette or something like that) that he'd need to order in, I see his price from QBP or J&G or whatever distributor he's using and the price he quotes me is usually double that price. Exceptions are parts with a controlled MSRP -- like Surly frames or forks as an example. He just ordered me a Surly fork on Saturday and it showed him the same $130 MSRP that I can see on the website or that I can get from any other LBS.

Interestingly, my other LBS would typically quote me prices on things that were closer to what I could find online. Maybe they have the same wholesale price and just mark it up less than the other shop, I don't know.
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Old 06-10-21, 06:44 PM
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Besides discounts through the shop you can also get pro deals from Shimano. This requires watching a lot of videos and taking quizes afterwards. We didn't get paid for watching Shimano videos, but the deals are pretty good once you get to the top level.

Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 06-10-21 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 06-10-21, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
Were you at least watching the videos while on the clock?
WTF you mean by that? I said I was part owner. If you must know, I do the training at night at home.
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Old 06-10-21, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
Besides discounts through the shop you can also get pro deals from Shimano. This requires watching a lot of videos and taking quizes afterwards. We didn't get paid for watching Shimano videos, but the deals are pretty good once you get to the top level.
Can anyone watch these videos to get discounts, or you need to work at a shop too?
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Old 06-10-21, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Rogerogeroge View Post
WTF you mean by that? I said I was part owner. If you must know, I do the training at night at home.
I guessed you meant for your employees.
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Old 06-10-21, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Can anyone watch these videos to get discounts, or you need to work at a shop too?
You have to work at an approved shop. At least that's how it was in 2018 or so.
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Old 06-10-21, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
I guessed you meant for your employees.
I don't work in the day-to-day aspect of the shop, I don't think they do, but I would not object if they watched the videos on company time. Especially during off times in the winter. You learn the products watching the vids. But if someone is 'cramming' to buy a bike, then they do it on their own time. Including the owners who work at the shop daily.
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