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Making an offer at a LBS

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Making an offer at a LBS

Old 02-20-13, 10:07 AM
  #26  
Notso_fastLane
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I've done that in other stores. If I find a screaming deal online, I'll ask the shop if they can get close to it. I will tell them I don't want them to lose money just to make the sale, but I found XXXXX online for $XXXX. I've had better than 50/50 luck with that. That was always done with items that were at MSRP, so I knew they still had the markup, and they got repeat business from me for being willing to work a deal.
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Old 02-20-13, 10:12 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by recumbenttoad View Post
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.
You should always try to patronize your local businesses - they're your neighbors, and what's good for them is good for you.

But as I always say to car salesmen who almost invariably try the "Hey, I have to make a buck/feed my kids/etc", it's not my job to figure out how much they need to make a profit and support themselves. If they don't like the offer, then refuse it and counter it. If they're not running their business in a way that will allow them to survive, then that's their choice.
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Old 02-20-13, 10:20 AM
  #28  
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You obviously do not work in a retail shop. Walk a mile in their shoes, so to speak, and you'll sing a different tune. I know it certainly changed my mind. Try doing the offer thing at your doctors office or the grocery store and see how far that gets you. "Hey, Doc. How about shooting me a deal on a colonoscopy? I'll give you $350."

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Old 02-20-13, 10:31 AM
  #29  
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[QUOTE=recumbenttoad;15295671Try doing the offer thing at your doctors office or the grocery store and see how far that gets you. "Hey, Doc. How about shooting me a deal on a colonoscopy? I'll give you $350."[/QUOTE]
Health care services are actually highly negotiable. And I rarely pay retail on appliances and the like
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Old 02-20-13, 10:32 AM
  #30  
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I've worked "retail" in the sense that I've sold used cars [NOT the stereotypical way- I've actually talked people OUT of buying cars they were interested in]- But it didn't change my mind about anything. We are not competing against the customers- we are competing against other businesses. The customer merely wants the best deal. If we can't hang with the competition/out-do them, then that is our problem, not the customers- and we may not deserve to be in business.

I've sold cars informally for a good part of my life...but it was only for a short time that I helped a friend out by working at his used car lot, that I learned: Surprisingly few people negotiate/bargain. And with the ones who did bargain, I'd never get insulted at any offer- I knew what the vehicles were worth/what we had in them, and would either just reject their offers or counter, if they weren't acceptable. Never took it personally. In any form of business that involves reselling, you make your money when you buy your merchandise- so if you're not making money or not able to offer competitive prices, you're doing something wrong....and ya can't blame the consumer for that.
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Old 02-20-13, 10:37 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by recumbenttoad View Post
You obviously do not work in a retail shop. Walk a mile in their shoes, so to speak, and you'll sing a different tune. I know it certainly changed my mind. Try doing the offer thing at your doctors office or the grocery store and see how far that gets you. "Hey, Doc. How about shooting me a deal on a colonoscopy? I'll give you $350."
I spent a large amount of my youth working retail, in a very successful store. Negotiating was an important part of the process for lots of people, and since both sides generally knew what they could/would take, both sides ended up happy.

Also - health care is actually quite negotiable, especially for people who don't have insurance or are on relatively poor plans. The cost becomes more difficult to negotiate when the medical people are constrained by the insurance companies, but gain a certain amount of flexibility when that's not the case.
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Old 02-20-13, 10:41 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by DayGloDago View Post
I've worked "retail" in the sense that I've sold used cars [NOT the stereotypical way- I've actually talked people OUT of buying cars they were interested in]- But it didn't change my mind about anything. We are not competing against the customers- we are competing against other businesses. The customer merely wants the best deal. If we can't hang with the competition/out-do them, then that is our problem, not the customers- and we may not deserve to be in business.

I've sold cars informally for a good part of my life...but it was only for a short time that I helped a friend out by working at his used car lot, that I learned: Surprisingly few people negotiate/bargain. And with the ones who did bargain, I'd never get insulted at any offer- I knew what the vehicles were worth/what we had in them, and would either just reject their offers or counter, if they weren't acceptable. Never took it personally. In any form of business that involves reselling, you make your money when you buy your merchandise- so if you're not making money or not able to offer competitive prices, you're doing something wrong....and ya can't blame the consumer for that.
It's really kind of odd how car sales work in the U.S. So many people seem to be under the impression that there are magic formulas to follow ( "Offer $600 over the dealer cost, which you can get from this handy website!" sort of thing, etc. ) As a consumer, my take on it is that I ultimately am not going to have access to the "real" cost to the dealer, to say nothing of their internal incentives to move a car off the lot, and so the only way to find the true value is just to go through the negotiating process. It's important to have some sense of standard sales techniques and be able to counter them, as well as simply not be emotionally invested in whatever you're bidding for, but ultimately it boils down to a few rounds of give-and-take until you're both happy with the result.
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Old 02-20-13, 10:50 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
Ahh you are correct. I missed the fact it's a 2009.

I was thinking we're still in 2010.
Ya mean, it's NOT 2010?!

Originally Posted by aramis View Post
I

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.
That is the easiest thing, no doubt- but it doesn't work. YOU want to be the one in control of the situation; YOU are the one with the cash; YOU want to tell them what you are willing to pay, not "ask" what they're willing to do. If I'm selling something, and someone asks "Can you do any better"/"What can you do for me"- I MIGHT, at best knock $50 off the price. Someone comes and says "I'll give you $1300" for a $1700 item and waves cash in front of my face, I'll likely take it. The first guy would never get such a deal.

Originally Posted by jerseyJim View Post
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.
$1250 is too much for that bike. It's the shop's own fault that they couldn't move it when it was current. Now it's 4 years old, and going down in value with every passing day. Unless it were a real high-end or collectible bike, the fact that it is new means nothing- it is 4 years old, and worth what any other 4 year old bike of the same model in good condition is worth.

The shop owners are probably bad business people to begin with- because if they had any sense, they would have blown that bike out within a year....so whether they'll have the sense to agree to a realistic price or not, remains to be seen- but I wouldn't over-pay for it, because of their stupidity. If I owned that shop, I'd be itching just to get rid of that thing. (Although, I'd likely take it off the floor and sell it on CL or Ebay or something- rather than letting the customers see that I have a bike I couldn't get rid of for FOUR years!).
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Old 02-20-13, 11:24 AM
  #34  
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I am curious how this turns out. I personally negotiate everywhere I go (drives the wife crazy) including bike shops, furniture stores, Fleet Farm, Sporting good stores, hotels, home improvement stores...if I am spending my money, I want a good deal. Now, when I get a good deal, I am happy to send people who ask my opinion to the store. It is important to try not to negotiate in earshot of other patrons. If five potential buyers are standing around the store owner does not want to give them all a deal.
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Old 02-20-13, 12:44 PM
  #35  
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Health care services are actually highly negotiable.
That must be a fairly tightly held secret where I live. I'm never at the doctor's, but the people I work with and family members are there a bunch and none of them have ever entered into negotiations with their health care providers. I'll have to pass this little gem along.

As far as negotiating with retailers goes, unless the item is used I never do it. I work in a retail environment and on big ticket items our margins are 7%-10%, not the 50%-100% mark-up everyone thinks. We make the majority of the profit on accessories, and a large number of those items still just have 20%-25% margins. I don't have any idea what a bike shop's margins are, so, I can't comment on that.

Another little item to remember when try to squeeze the local guy - the folks that try to talk you out of every last little penny of profit are remembered by the folks that work there and, believe me, they end up not wanting to give you any service when they can be waiting on someone that doesn't constantly try to beat them down.

The local shop I do business with does a lot of business and I talk with them on a regular basis. The guy that runs the place told me it's getting much more difficult to make any money because of the competing internet businesses. I would hate to think of a world where all I had to pick from was Nashbar, Performance, and Bikes Direct.
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Old 02-20-13, 01:11 PM
  #36  
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If you know a market well, then you often know what you're willing to pay for an item. So that's what you offer.

If it's less than the price the store put on the thing, they might say no. So you walk away.

A month later, you're in the store, there's that item. You say, look, I'll take it off your hands, and offer the same as before. This isn't lowballing. It's not a tactic to get them to come down. It's what you're actually willing to pay.

They may get the message. They may not. They may not care, because they think someone will soon walk in and pay what they're asking. Doesn't matter. You know what it's worth, so that's what you'll pay.

You may also have some idea of how much the shop has in it, if you really know the market.

The longer that thing sits there taking up shop space and gathering dust and looking old and stupid, while the shop probably pays tax on it, the more attractive your offer looks.

I would think that any reasonable offer on a 2009 anything would look pretty attractive, as long as you're not asking the owner to eat feces and die on the deal.

This is how you bottom fish for retail goods. Sometimes it's worth the bother. Sometimes it's more fun to just walk in and pay the asking price and walk out with your new thing. When I was a musician working as a sound man, I got good at this, but you really have to study the market to do it with confidence.
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Old 02-20-13, 01:23 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by recumbenttoad View Post
That must be a fairly tightly held secret where I live. I'm never at the doctor's, but the people I work with and family members are there a bunch and none of them have ever entered into negotiations with their health care providers. I'll have to pass this little gem along.

As far as negotiating with retailers goes, unless the item is used I never do it. I work in a retail environment and on big ticket items our margins are 7%-10%, not the 50%-100% mark-up everyone thinks. We make the majority of the profit on accessories, and a large number of those items still just have 20%-25% margins. I don't have any idea what a bike shop's margins are, so, I can't comment on that.

Another little item to remember when try to squeeze the local guy - the folks that try to talk you out of every last little penny of profit are remembered by the folks that work there and, believe me, they end up not wanting to give you any service when they can be waiting on someone that doesn't constantly try to beat them down.

The local shop I do business with does a lot of business and I talk with them on a regular basis. The guy that runs the place told me it's getting much more difficult to make any money because of the competing internet businesses. I would hate to think of a world where all I had to pick from was Nashbar, Performance, and Bikes Direct.
It's important to treat sales staff and shop owners right. Edit: By this I mean PAY them something for their trouble!

It's also important to know your markups so that you don't make insulting offers.

In some industries, there's a kind of "standard discount" off of MSRP, so that if you see a store asking MSRP on everything, you know what to offer them. But it's different for different brands and different lines of merchandise. When I used to shop hard for live sound equipment, it was said that some brands were "long-mark" and others "short-mark." You could expect 25-33% off MSRP on long-mark items, maybe half that on short mark, and I knew which was which. These are good things to know.
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Old 02-20-13, 01:27 PM
  #38  
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Healthcare is not only negotiable, but it's the LAW that cash-paying patients only be charged the same amount that insurance/Medicare would pay. The prices that people see on a fee schedule, or when they get insurance paperwork, are the "list" prices. The amount that insurance/Medicare actually pay, are the real prices...and the same price that a cash-paying customer should pay.

Trouble is, unless you tell the doctor's office that you have noi insurance (if you don't), they will assume that you are just paying up-front, and going to be reimbursed by an insurance company- and will bill you for the total "list" price. This is why you mustn't say "I'm paying out of my pocket"- because they hear "I'm paying up-front, to be reimbursed by my insurance". You must say "I don't have insurance- am self-paying". And then make sure you get the insurance/medicare price...because many offices will try and cheat you and charge you "list" price- or, in many cases, the staff are ignorant of how to handle self-payers, and just bill for list.

I have a friend who had an MRI- the "list" price was $1300. As she was paying herself, and knew the score, she handled it properly, and got a bill for exactly what an insurance company would have actuially paid: $600.

I knew someone else who had an eye operation. Quoted $9K by the staff, who just looks at the list price....but he knew better, and talked to the doctor and they agreed before going in, that the bill would be $4K.

Everything is negotiable. I don't want to be a pig and try and get everything for nothing- I mean, I want people to be able to pay their overhead and make a profit and a living, as they deserve to....but I also want a good deal, and do want to be rewarded for paying cash and being responsible, and not have to subsidize dead-beats who don't pay their bills...nor do I want to subsidize people who pay with plastic, and thus cause the store to incur a 3-4% (or more) surcharge on everything they sell. (And ironically, in most places, it is illegal to pass the credit card surcharge onto customers who pay with credit cards....so we ALL get stuck paying the higher price that stores must charge to account for those who pay with CC's. But there's no law saying that cash customers can't negotiate a lower price.....
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Old 02-20-13, 01:34 PM
  #39  
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Very true words, Groucho!

That store is going to lose money on that bike at this point, no matter what. The question is: How much are they going to lose? The longer the bike sits, the more they lose. It's unlikely they'll get out of it what it cost them, at this point.....the smart thing for them to do is to cut their losses and get on with it- but the fact thaqt the bike is still there, seems to indicate that they may not be the best businesspeople.

If it were my shop, that thing would either be marked down to whatever it had to be marked down to, to sell it when it was a year to year and a half old...or I'd try and sell it privately...but I would never have brand new inventory that is 4 years old. Never!

As for mark-up, too- it depends. Some little retail shop buying very low volume usually pays close to retail in many fields...while Walmart buys below wholesale.... I don't care what a business paid for something...I just know what it's worth to me, and what I could get it for elsewhere. If they paid $3K for the bike, that's their problem. If they paid $1 for it, it's still worth what it's worth.
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Old 02-20-13, 06:03 PM
  #40  
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Depends on the shop and the attitude of the sales rep. Rude and unfriendly sales people will generally get low ball offers from me mostly because I know they will turn down the offer, thus giving me the perfect excuse to just leave and not come back.

If they're friendly and not too pushy, I'm a little more supporting and will only hagel on the price to a certain degree that will not insult them in any way, cause I want to come back and do more business with people who give a shyt about providing good customer service.

Most of the time, I will just end up paying cash on discounted items, even if its just a little discount, anything is better than nothing. all regular priced items are always paid with my rewards card.

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Old 02-20-13, 06:06 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by DayGloDago View Post
Healthcare is not only negotiable, but it's the LAW that cash-paying patients only be charged the same amount that insurance/Medicare would pay. .
It's not the law, at least in the Northeast, but it is good business. Insurance pays a discounted rate, 2-4 months later. If you are willing to pay cash on the barrelhead the Dr. gets paid that day and doesn't have to costs associated with billing. It's a big win for him or her.
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Old 02-20-13, 06:21 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
It's not the law, at least in the Northeast, but it is good business. Insurance pays a discounted rate, 2-4 months later. If you are willing to pay cash on the barrelhead the Dr. gets paid that day and doesn't have to costs associated with billing. It's a big win for him or her.
What I meant is: They can not charge the cash patient MORE than what the insurance co.s/Medicare pays for that same service. I believe that is national...not 100% sure though- I wasn't friendly with any doctors for the 39 years I lived in NY- but have had a few doctor friends since [Well...one's a chiropractor....he calls himself "Doctor"- and since I have no dogs in the fight...what the hey?].
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Old 02-20-13, 06:24 PM
  #43  
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Definitely not true. Medicare pays less than just about any private insurance. They can charge whatever the market will bear. Google Meadowlands hospital.
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Old 02-20-13, 06:32 PM
  #44  
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https://www.outpatientsurgery.net/new...-Price-Gouging
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Old 02-20-13, 06:35 PM
  #45  
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Meadowlands? Isn't that where Jimmy Hoffa is buried?

Don't have time to Google right now... but one thing comes to mind: If a place accepts medicare, why would an insurance company be willing to pay more for the same services? What Medicare pays, becomes what the market will bear..... [And that's what ruined healthcare in this contry]
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Old 02-20-13, 06:40 PM
  #46  
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Sounds reasonable, but you are wrong. Somehow it doesn't work like that. Medicare is so big it can get better deals. I am a union rep for a local that is self insured. I deal with this wacky nonsense every day. Health care is so shady right now it would blow your mind. I ain't an expert, but I know way more about this **** than I really want to.
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Old 02-20-13, 06:50 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
Definitely not true. Medicare pays less than just about any private insurance. They can charge whatever the market will bear. Google Meadowlands hospital.
And your definitely not going to receive payment on time. Sometimes it takes months to receive medicare payments which really hurt the healthcare businesses who are already operating on very thin margins.
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Old 02-20-13, 07:30 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
It's all theoretical for those who are not involved in the shop as a business.
I was in business (not bicycles) and everyone thought we were making scads of money and we were often asked to bargain. What most don't see is the cost of overhead. Rent, utilities, liability insurance, fire insurance, payroll taxes--not to mention charitable donations that businesses are expected to make. I'm grateful for our LBS and never dicker. I'd hate to see them go out of business like I did.
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Old 02-20-13, 08:34 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Clarabelle View Post
I was in business (not bicycles) and everyone thought we were making scads of money and we were often asked to bargain. What most don't see is the cost of overhead. Rent, utilities, liability insurance, fire insurance, payroll taxes--not to mention charitable donations that businesses are expected to make. I'm grateful for our LBS and never dicker. I'd hate to see them go out of business like I did.
Thank you. It's difficult to convince some folks of this.
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Old 02-20-13, 09:24 PM
  #50  
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I can assure you that the LBS owner negotiates regularly with all of his vendors.

This is free enterprise.
Angio Graham is offline  

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