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LBS Bargaining Techniques?

Old 04-11-07, 01:10 PM
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kergin
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LBS Bargaining Techniques?

I'm not one to bargain. In fact, I can't remember the last time I bargained anything. However, since bikes in Canada seem to be price-inflated over what they should cost with proper currency conversion, I'm ready to start bargaining with LBS'. What techniques do you all suggest to get price reductions? What has worked for you in the past?
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Old 04-11-07, 01:14 PM
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The most powerful tool you have in any baragining situation is the will to walk away. Don't forget that.
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Old 04-11-07, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by nobrainer440
The most powerful tool you have in any baragining situation is the will to walk away. Don't forget that.

This is true. The biggest bargaining point of all is the fact that you hold the money, and they want it.

As far as technique, I've always found honesty to be the best policy. Something along the lines of "Gee, I really like this bike, but it costs more than I'm able to spend. I'd really like to give you my business. Can you work with me on the price a bit?" If they answer with a flat "no", they usually mean it. Any waffling on their part indicates a willingness to make a deal.

Just remember...bargaining is all about compromise. Plan on paying a bit more than you want, if you expect them to sell for less than they want.
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Old 04-11-07, 01:22 PM
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^tell them that you have less money than you actually do, so you can move up a bit and be seen to be compromising
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Old 04-11-07, 01:28 PM
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Join a local cycling club or team. Many bike shops offer 10-20% discounts to members. That $30 membership can save you a few hundred dollars off of a new bike.

Also, shop for last years models. Selection can be pretty spotty, but if you are not too particular, you can find some good deals (up to 1/3 off).

If you must have the hottest bike or if the shop must special order it for you, then you should expect to pay top dollar.
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Old 04-11-07, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by nobrainer440
The most powerful tool you have in any baragining situation is the will to walk away. Don't forget that.
ceptn when you walk into a shop that can do 40 grand on a Saturday and another 25-30 grand on Sunday, does about $5 mill in bikes and accessories a year and will sell that bike to someone else for the listed price, and typically might have (in road bikes) 5-10 older models in the store, total per year due to the number of bikes that get sold. Then the shop says, "No thank you".

That does not mean that if the customer appears to be one where a business relationship can be established, then something can't be done. Like deep discounts on accessories.

Do you guys negotiate the price of your groceries every week? "I'd really like to buy this can of soup. What kind of a deal can you give me?"

Always know who you are talking to. Don't forget that.

Last edited by roadwarrior; 04-11-07 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 04-11-07, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by johnny99
Join a local cycling club or team. Many bike shops offer 10-20% discounts to members. That $30 membership can save you a few hundred dollars off of a new bike.

Also, shop for last years models. Selection can be pretty spotty, but if you are not too particular, you can find some good deals (up to 1/3 off).

If you must have the hottest bike or if the shop must special order it for you, then you should expect to pay top dollar.
Excellent advice.

One other piece of advice. Don't drive to the LBS in an $80,000 Beemer, look at $1,000 bike and try to haggle. That really happened.
Honest.

It still makes me chuckle.
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Old 04-11-07, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by hal
^tell them that you have less money than you actually do, so you can move up a bit and be seen to be compromising
^^^
This statement cannot have been serious. You must have been joking.

Can't be serious...I am still laughing.
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Old 04-11-07, 01:46 PM
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The best advise I hated to hear was to think about the whole biking thing as a package- you may not get a whole lot off the bike, but can do well on discounts for service and accessories that you're going to buy anyway: pump, shoes, clothing, tires/tubes, etc. Very often, all the stuff seems to cost more than the bike, when it's all said and done.

However, I still cringe when I see people get excited about receiving a fee water bottle or something. WTF is up with that?
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Old 04-11-07, 01:47 PM
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Tell them I can get it for $$ online. They love that, and will make sure they beat it by at least 25%.
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Old 04-11-07, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by roadwarrior
Don't drive to the LBS in an $80,000 Beemer, look at $1,000 bike and try to haggle. That really happened.
Because you drive an expensive car, you can't drive a hard bargain? I don't get it.
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Old 04-11-07, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by BlessedHellride
Tell them I can get it for $$ online. They love that, and will make sure they beat it by at least 25%.
Prove it.

oops....

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Old 04-11-07, 02:02 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Phantoj
Because you drive an expensive car, you can't drive a hard bargain? I don't get it.
Drive a hard bargain? On a $1,000 bike?

I can't stand it...

These threads are the best.
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Old 04-11-07, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by DScott
The best advise I hated to hear was to think about the whole biking thing as a package- you may not get a whole lot off the bike, but can do well on discounts for service and accessories that you're going to buy anyway: pump, shoes, clothing, tires/tubes, etc. Very often, all the stuff seems to cost more than the bike, when it's all said and done.

However, I still cringe when I see people get excited about receiving a fee water bottle or something. WTF is up with that?
Free stuff?? What free stuff...I must doing something wrong...

My wife and I have bought 4 bikes in the last 2 months and haven't gotten any free stuff...Then again we got a pretty good deal on two of the bikes and an ok deal on the 3rd...The 4th was bought at another shop and had to be special ordered in...No deal on that one, which I understand...Kinda...

BTW for the OP, you can't compare US dollars converted to Canadian when it comes to bike prices. The LBS's up here have to deal with a distributor that forces them to sell bikes at a certain price to still turn a good profit. Honestly the big problem in Canada when it comes to bike accessories and bikes themselves is the distributors. Hence the reason I look online when it comes to accessories. For bikes I bite the bullet and pay what the LBS is willing to negotiate to.

Rich
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Old 04-11-07, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by DScott
The best advise I hated to hear was to think about the whole biking thing as a package- you may not get a whole lot off the bike, but can do well on discounts for service and accessories that you're going to buy anyway: pump, shoes, clothing, tires/tubes, etc. Very often, all the stuff seems to cost more than the bike, when it's all said and done.
Absolutely.
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Old 04-11-07, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by roadwarrior
Drive a hard bargain? On a $1,000 bike?

I can't stand it...

These threads are the best.
Looking at it the opposite way, since you're a shop that makes so much money, couldn't you afford to sell your bikes cheaper? Or does generosity only work one way in the bike shop-customer relationship?
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Old 04-11-07, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Phantoj
Looking at it the opposite way, since you're a shop that makes so much money, couldn't you afford to sell your bikes cheaper? Or does generosity only work one way in the bike shop-customer relationship?
What business are you in? What generosity can we all expect from that business? Or is it all one way?

Second, who said they were "making so much money"? All I said was that sales were high and bikes moved quickly. These are not the same thing.

One reality of the bike business is that very few people are making significant money on the retail end.
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Old 04-11-07, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by roadwarrior
Do you guys negotiate the price of your groceries every week? "I'd really like to buy this can of soup. What kind of a deal can you give me?"
Groceries are different though. They are price inelastic. Generally I would think any luxury good could be negotiated. There is also a linear scale between price and the chance of negotiations. The more expensive a product, the better the chance of negotiations. You don’t HAVE to have a bike, but you do have to have food. Medicine is the same way. You can’t negotiate the price of antibiotics because most people aren’t willing to say “No thanks, I think I’ll die instead.” But every person will negotiate the price of a house, wedding ring, car, ect. They have a specific name for people in the car industry that pay sticker price. They call them suckers.


Back to the topic, If the price seems reasonable, just ask for discounts on a package like others have suggested. When I got my bike, it was on close out so they didn't want to lower the price but I got free pedals, free cages and water bottles, and a 30 percent discount on shoes and shorts. Not a bad deal if you ask me.
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Old 04-11-07, 02:28 PM
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If you try to tell them you don't want (or can't) spend that much, they'll likley refer you to a lower cost model which is "just as good, only suckers buy that other one".
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Old 04-11-07, 02:33 PM
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What about price matching? For example: a shop in downtown Toronto has a CAAD9 Optimo 3 for $1799. A shop in Streetsville, Mississauga, which is about an hour's drive, has the same bike for $1719. Do you think it's reasonable for the Toronto store to match the other shop?
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Old 04-11-07, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by kergin
What about price matching? For example: a shop in downtown Toronto has a CAAD9 Optimo 3 for $1799. A shop in Streetsville, Mississauga, which is about an hour's drive, has the same bike for $1719. Do you think it's reasonable for the Toronto store to match the other shop?
You can definitely ask the LBS if they are willing to price match from a shop thats an hour away. Just be nice about it. Say that you like their shop better and would rather purchase from them. And considering that its only an 80 dollar difference, I don't see why they'd refuse. Asking to pricematch from an online store might be pushing it though, just to warn you. Just be careful to strike a good balance of not trying to sound too demanding vs being a complete pushover.
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Old 04-11-07, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by DScott
The best advise I hated to hear was to think about the whole biking thing as a package- you may not get a whole lot off the bike, but can do well on discounts for service and accessories that you're going to buy anyway: pump, shoes, clothing, tires/tubes, etc. Very often, all the stuff seems to cost more than the bike, when it's all said and done.
Smart bike shops should give new bike buyers a 20% discount on all accessories for the next year, instead of only stuff that they buy at the same time they buy the bike. That will keep them coming into the shop instead of buying stuff on-line. Even if the customer knew exactly what they would need in the future, they may not have enough extra cash to buy it all at once. The shops should also give a free 1 year membership to a local cycling club to help keep them interested in the sport. Unfortunately, few shops do stuff like this. I wouldn't be surprised if many customers never go back to the shop again and many others drop out of the sport after a year or two.
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Old 04-11-07, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by roadwarrior
Drive a hard bargain? On a $1,000 bike?

I can't stand it...

These threads are the best.
You ever notice how well the internet bike shops seem to be doing?
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Old 04-11-07, 03:14 PM
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See what else the shop will include as far as fitting you on the bike, swapping out stems and other components if necessary.

A smart shop will recognize that if they earn your business on a $1000 bike, you'll be back to be a $1500 bike, and later maybe a $2000 bike and so on.

As for the story about the guy who drove in with an $80,000 BMW, you can bet that unless it was a very limited model, he probably bargained on the $80,000 car and didn't pay MSRP. So why not do the same on a bike?

Kergin, I can understand your pain purchasing a bike in Canada. It appears that the Canadian distributors are doing a great job of gouging consumers now that the Canadian dollar has strengthened against the US dollar. It's not only bikes, but electronics, most cars, and numerous other products. I suppose that if they got away adding 50% to the US price a few years ago when that was the exchange rate, they see no reason to adjust prices downwards. I wonder if enough people complained to the US manufacturer (in this case Cannondale) if they would pressure the distributor to price the products more fairly, or if they might simply drop the distributor and find a new one.
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Old 04-11-07, 03:20 PM
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Like buying anything do your research. Look at what other bike shops are offering the bike for (including online) to see if the LBS is offering a good price or trying to **** you.

The smirk I get from the 80k BMW story is that it was prob a 100k+ car that he haggled down in price. Just because the bike cost 1k doesent mean the guy shouldnt buy it at the lowest price possible.

This is how the rich stay rich...
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