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Best way to get good prices at an LBS

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Best way to get good prices at an LBS

Old 07-01-05, 05:11 PM
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Hi folks,

I'm about to pull the trigger on a whole new rig: an '05 Litespeed Capella, pedals, shoes, computer, and every other essential "accessory," for a total price of probably around $2,000. I'm definitely going to buy everything in a good LBS (Mike's Bikes seems like a great choice -- for those of you in the Bay Area, am I right?), so they can fit me and assemble it and get it all done right. It's my first serious bike, and I really do need some pro guidance.

I don't mind paying a small premium to get great customer service, and I want them to make a good profit and stay in business, but I'm pretty sure no one ever pays 200% markup full-retail prices anywhere. I've seen a lot of tips on how to get good prices here on bikeforums, and I'm just wondering which tips are the best. Here are three I've come across; are there more?

1) Take a screenshot of an online store like performancebike.com (with a coupon code entered), and show it to the LBS.

2) Join a local cycling club, members of which receive a discount. A $30 membership might save me $300 on the rig.

3) Use the total sale as leverage: I'm going to buy a bunch of stuff at the same time, and therefore deserve a sort of "package deal" on it.

- Warren
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Old 07-01-05, 05:30 PM
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Joining a club is a good idea. Major bike shops often give club members a 10% discount on new bikes and sometimes a little more on accessories. The problem with this approach is that you may have to wait a few weeks for the club to send your membership card or first newsletter.

Sometimes bike shops give you the same discount on accessories when you buy a new bike.

On stuff like shoes and pedals, a LBS is not going to be charging 200% more than an internet outfit, except for grey market or OEM or closeout stuff. A bike shop is not going to try to compete with those kind of prices.
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Old 07-01-05, 05:30 PM
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4) Work there.
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Old 07-01-05, 05:36 PM
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Also, when do new model-year bikes usually hit the stores? September? I won't be able to buy before the end of July. I wonder if that's close enough for the bike shop to give me an extra-special deal on it?

- Warren
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Old 07-01-05, 05:36 PM
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My favorite shop often just gives me a discount because I've been in there so often. Their pricing is competetive and only sometimes more expensive than most online retailers.

They also gave my friends discounts on their purchases because they came in with me!
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Old 07-01-05, 05:37 PM
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Buy alot of stuff there... hang out at the shop, shop there and they will treat you well!
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Old 07-01-05, 05:41 PM
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5) Sleep with the owner.
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Old 07-01-05, 05:42 PM
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Refer other customers to the shop.
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Old 07-01-05, 05:50 PM
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Get Patriot to send his wife in to buy the bike for you.

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Old 07-01-05, 06:39 PM
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what is the msrp on the bike? what price is the lbs asking?
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Old 07-01-05, 06:56 PM
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Just talk to them first. See if you like them and they deserve your business.
Then, send lunch over the day you intend to buy your bike.
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Old 07-01-05, 08:28 PM
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Get a brick. Shop at midnight. Real cheap.

Really, if you are buying a new bike, shoes and pedals, you should get a nice discount. I have found that all you have to do is ask.

I saved 10% on my Litespeed by saying. "Is that your best deal?" Bang, "team discount".
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Old 07-01-05, 08:35 PM
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Don't do the online comparison thing. Of course an e-tailer is going to have lower prices because of lower overhead, and I don't think many bike shops are going to bend over that way. Your best bet would be to swing the package deal.
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Old 07-01-05, 08:47 PM
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referring other customers works well - bought a new Bianchi Eros this year ($1300 msrp) for a little less than $1100. from a shop i'd never bought from before. why?

1. because i visited a couple times while shopping around. got to know the owner a little, etc.
2. got my ride partner to buy a new bike at the same time. he got the same deal on the bike, plus dropped another $500 or so on accessories.

been back a couple times to chat, even though it's 2 towns away. good shop, and i'll keep going back. but bringing in other customers was the first step towards good deals.
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Old 07-01-05, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by my58vw
Buy alot of stuff there... hang out at the shop, shop there and they will treat you well!
When I do that, they charge me more.

In fact, sometimes they pay me to leave.
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Old 07-02-05, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by chroot

I don't mind paying a small premium to get great customer service, and I want them to make a good profit and stay in business, but I'm pretty sure no one ever pays 200% markup full-retail prices anywhere.
It never ceases to amaze me how many bf.net members "know" our costs/margins/markup.
I would suggest that you learn how to do basic math before you go in and start talking to them about how ridiculous their markup is and asking for deals. That's not going to get you anywhere.
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Old 07-02-05, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Waldo
It never ceases to amaze me how many bf.net members "know" our costs/margins/markup.
I would suggest that you learn how to do basic math before you go in and start talking to them about how ridiculous their markup is and asking for deals. That's not going to get you anywhere.

AMEN! You will rarely find a shop or OBS that charges even close to 100% markup on any of their products. As much as you want a DEAL, remember that OBS and LBS have markup and need to pay the bills and the employees.

One thing though...a lot of the BF folks DO know costs etc...but there are a large percentage of BF members who work in shops, own shops, run OBS, are framebuilders...It actually pretty astonishing how many of us are in the industry.
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Old 07-02-05, 08:20 AM
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Ask and MAYBE you shall receive especially on accessories.
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Old 07-02-05, 08:24 AM
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Don't be a dweeb. Don't overstay your welcome. Don't be pushy.

Be loyal. Be patient.
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Old 07-02-05, 11:52 AM
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Waldo,

Learn to better detect sarcasm. I wasn't seriously implying that any retailer actually has a 200% markup.

- Warren
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Old 07-02-05, 12:09 PM
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#9 - its what i did and i get taken care of...2 bikes, seat, tires, helmet, lots of accerories
#10- you gotta do what you gotta do
#13- if you are local to her PM patriot and work out a deal

but if you are spending that kind of bread they do make good money on the bikes so ask. dont be a dick and say "well im buying an expensive bike so i should get a good deal". im on the friendly discount at my store because im loyal and friendly. say something like "hey i was wondering...is their anything we can do a this price?" see what they say they might take care of you or not. but the more they know you the more they will want to take care of you.
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Old 07-02-05, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by chroot
Waldo,

Learn to better detect sarcasm. I wasn't seriously implying that any retailer actually has a 200% markup.

- Warren
Sometimes it is really hard to tell the difference between sarcasm and naiveté. Sometimes there is little or no difference.
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Old 07-02-05, 05:33 PM
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Although it won't help you in the short run, and thereby on your Capella purchase, as others have already posted one good way is to frequent one shop, and do almost all your LBS transactions there. My local shops (I use one primarily, and another on rare occasions, but have purchased a bike from each which is key) both give me 15% discounts on almost everything. No big deal on a $10 item, but it adds up fairly quickly.
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Old 07-02-05, 05:34 PM
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5) bring coffee and baked goods.
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Old 07-02-05, 05:55 PM
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Just ask...."Is that the best price you can do?" as you refer to the sticker...simple question got me another $100 off my Trek 1500.
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