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UBUvelo 09-22-09 06:55 PM

Establishing Rapport with the LBS
first, i want to thank everyone who really helped me quickly in guiding my decision making in the Road Cycling forum concerning my first road bike.:thumb:

now, my LBS has the bike i's a 2009 model which needs to move since the 2010s are moving in soon. the bike's retail price was $810...dropped to $750. i hear others have gotten this bike for much lower...

i am willing to pay the $750, especially if there is a future, priceless payoff of getting great service at the LBS. it's a few blocks from my house, so that really works out well. i don't know the folks there really yet. a mechanic came out and asked what i needed, answered questions, seemed down to earth. my big concern is this: if i try to 'bargain' any, will that create a bit of tension should there be a quick, resounding NO...?:(

i plan on heading in there tomorrow or thursday, but i am wondering (since i really haven't done this in years) what is my best 'strategy' for going in and getting it...for less...maybe...?:innocent:

Nermal 09-22-09 07:28 PM

I don't have a clue. I generally take what is offered, or leave it. In the bike shop I use, this has always worked well. The other one in town is way over priced, and I just don't go there. Conventional wisdom here is to pay the price and ask for a few goodies thrown in.

dennisa 09-22-09 07:54 PM

I visited a few LBS in my area trying to narrow down which bike I was going to purchase. Just as Nermai posted one shop is extremely over priced so I won't be going there. The other had a bike I was interested in and I told the employee I'd like to test ride but I certainly will not be able to purchase until at least next Feb. Took a ride on various bikes ranging from $850 - $8000, when he knew my price range was ~ $1000.

Long story short I found a bike I liked asked what the price of the 2010 bike would be with shoes and peddles. (I knew in advance the msrp of this bike from the manufacturers site), He looked in his price book and said be able to do $1400 for the bike and he would include shoes and peddles.

The MSRP is $1499, so he's basically giving me peddles and shoes.

The margin on bikes is very slim compared to accessories. So if you need a bottle cage or two, shoes, helmet etc... See if you can get that thrown into sweeten the deal.

Retro Grouch 09-22-09 08:31 PM

Pull out your credit card. Hold it in your hand and ask: "Does that include the sales tax?"

dennisa 09-22-09 08:56 PM

my LBS gives a discount for a cash sale

Jersh 09-22-09 08:57 PM

Another thing to do is ask the shop if they give any discounts to various clubs. My LBS sponsors the local MTB club, and with that I get 5% off bikes and 10% off everything else. My membership to the club only cost $20 for the year, and the latest bike I purchased was originally $2100, so I saved over $100 with my club discount (and they don't even require proof of membership, all I had to say was that I'm a member of the club).

BarracksSi 09-22-09 10:25 PM

Just be a good customer.

UBUvelo 09-23-09 03:59 AM

thanks folks...all good, all seem wise approaches. i need them. they need me. i don't like bargaining. i dod remember my first purchase ever in 1992 and they did throw in bottles, clips and a seat bag :)

nymtber 09-23-09 08:18 AM

If a bike is marked on sale, I generally leave it at that and buy it. Would you walk into walmart and say hey ill give you $350 for that $500 flat screen? Nope. Where I do get discount is on accessories, 10% here and there. Buy the bike, and see if they can throw in a bottle cage or two, or take 10% a helmet and bike pump or what not.

Although when I bought a new pistol from a gunshop I rarely visit (their prices are generally so snobbish I stay away, got a good deal on this one tho) I got ammo discount for so long and accessory discount for so long. Never took advantage of it though, Because other shops have the same stuff for less than their "discount" price!

Brian T. 09-23-09 01:56 PM


Just be a good customer.
This. The shop where I bought my Trek knew That I did not have a ton of money. They offered to put on what I wanted and I would pay them back later. I don't like doing that though. But it was cool to offer. Luckily, I came into a little extra cash over the weekend and bought what I wanted anyway. The sales guy said he offered that because I was such a good customer.

This was also the determining factor when I was shopping for a bike, that and two years service and adjustments instead of one. Just buy stuff from them and they will get to know you and like you.

c0urt 09-23-09 01:59 PM

be nice, ask questions. listen.
go ride your bike. come in later, tell them you like riding your bike.
smile. be happy. go ride your bike.

CCrew 09-23-09 02:11 PM


Originally Posted by nymtber (Post 9727618)
. Would you walk into walmart and say hey ill give you $350 for that $500 flat screen?

Actually, you can, and I would. Key is if someone down the street is selling it cheaper. They WILL bargain.

Wanderer 09-23-09 02:43 PM

It never hurts to ask them - " I really like this bike; but, what can you do for me on the price?"

Either way it works out, they will still be satisfied - or they wouldn't be willing to sell it to you....

larue 09-23-09 04:30 PM

The thing you should know is that bike shops don't have a huge markup on bicycles so when there is a sale going on that is usually as low as it's going to get. Some times the sale prices are basically at cost just so they can move the inventory out. What they do markup is accessories so if you are purchasing a new bike and feel like haggling just ask if a new bike purchase comes with a discount for accessories. It's true that some stores mark up bikes more than others so just avoid those ones altogether. But the truth is that many people who state "that place is overpriced" don't actually know what they are talking about. Some stores have wide ranges and some stick to the high end stuff and just because you see a bike going for $3,000+ it doesn't automatically mean it's overpriced unless you can actually find that exact bike for much less.

LesMcLuffAlot 09-23-09 04:35 PM

Bring them a dozen donuts every once and awhile. A pizza is even better. Never muffins. Tip the mechanics when they squeeze you in during a busy day. Buy the owner or manager a bottle of wine for Xmas.

billyymc 09-23-09 05:44 PM

If you're concerned about offending them, don't be. They're in retail, and they are probably used to people haggling a bit.

But don't be pushy about it. A fairly benign way is to say something like - "This is a little more than I was thinking about spending. Can you do any better on the price?" If they do, great, if they don't you can either walk away or buy the bike. I don't think many bike shop owners are gettin rich off bike, there may not be a lot of room to deal.

The next time you stop in, on your bike of course, bring in a six pack or two. Make it a Friday near closing time. They will remember you.

UBUvelo 09-23-09 06:35 PM

i think i need to find out if they like hop-bomb brews as much as me...;)

thanks for the advice and viewpoints.

heading in tomorrow...:thumb:

BA Commuter 09-23-09 06:56 PM

The art of negotiation is a skill. You sound like you need practice.

An easy one would be, I really don't want to spend more than $700. Would you accept $700 for that LBS9000 over there? Then be quiet...

UBUvelo 09-24-09 08:09 AM


Originally Posted by BA Commuter (Post 9731803)
The art of negotiation is a skill. You sound like you need practice.

An easy one would be, I really don't want to spend more than $700. Would you accept $700 for that LBS9000 over there? Then be quiet...

you are right....terrible at negotiations (with money)....political issues is another thing;)

my wife is really good at it....but to go $50 lower, now that i think about it, isn't worth it if it's liking showing support to the shop. actually, my first time there, a worker there was very curt and impatient...but i went in again later (2 months or so later) and the mechanic stopped to help me and was down to earth, fielded my left-field questions, and made me feel like this was a shop i'd like to do business with...

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