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"Make us an offer" sale

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"Make us an offer" sale

Old 09-03-07, 04:49 PM
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Davidlean
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"Make us an offer" sale

I know every LBS wants to generate foot traffic during a Labor Day sale, but I feel a little frustrated with their promotion. They claimed that they were clearing extremely high excessive inventory. As much as I tried to find out in advance how reasonable an offer had to be to be accepted, I couldn't get much info from phone calls. Eventually, I drove 60 miles to the bike shop. Again, more inquires. "Hard to say... depends on the bike." So after trying various bikes, I found one that fit that I liked: Giant OCR C2, list $2299. With the guidance of "Just make an offer" to the sales manager, I figured I would start with a low one, $1200. His reply, "I can't buy it for that. No sale." No counter-offer. End of discussion.

Eventually, I found someone else who filled me in. On that bike, the absolute most they would discount it was $400, about 18% off. Actually, if that is all they are going to discount it, I am fine with that. However, why the silly game of make an offer? Just say up front: $400.00 off, that's it. I would feel much better if they were candid with the customer instead of keeping me in the dark.
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Old 09-03-07, 05:37 PM
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I spent quite a bit of time in China and one of my favorite pastimes was cruising the markets trying to out bargain the vendors. One thing I learned is that if you make a low offer and they don't counter that it's way too low. I use that as a tool to up the offer a bit at the next place with the same thing. Eventually, you will reach a price where they'll still complain about it being too low, but when you walk away, they'll call you back and counter. That's when you know you're near their minimum.
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Old 09-03-07, 05:37 PM
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Clearly noone ever taught that guy the art of price negotiation

The least he could have done was come back with a counter-offer to give you an idea of the ballpark you should be thinking of. Instead, he didn't get to sell anything.
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Old 09-03-07, 05:41 PM
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I don't think there is a big mark-up on the mainstream production bikes. Certainly not like the mark-up on the custom or the high-end bikes. Still, most shops probably make their money from the builds and, other service work. What you have here is a perception issue. The bike store owner probably expects that people looking for a bike know there is limited mark-up and, expects a reasonable offer. He probably should have provided a bit more pitch like, "no reasonable offer refused". The marketing and hype fields are alive and well today - especially around the cycling industry. In this day and age it's best to do your homework before buying anything.

By the way, 18% off on that OCR-C2 is a good buy. It might be foolish to pass that by if it fits.
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Old 09-03-07, 05:50 PM
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I don't like sales gimmicks. Just put the sale price on the sticker.
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Old 09-03-07, 05:51 PM
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At $1200 for an OCR C2, you'd be stealing the bike from the shop.
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Old 09-03-07, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Grumpy Pig View Post
I don't like sales gimmicks. Just put the sale price on the sticker.
i agree

this whole bargaining thing is a waste of time and for bazaars. I've dealt with plenty in the past and each time its A PITA
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Old 09-03-07, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Davidlean View Post
With the guidance of "Just make an offer" to the sales manager, I figured I would start with a low one, $1200. His reply, "I can't buy it for that. No sale." No counter-offer. End of discussion.
There's a difference between an offer and an insult. Your offer was so low that anyone would have considered it insulting. The LBS did the right thing by walking away.

Next time try 15% maybe 20% max. No one is going to take a huge loss just so you can get the bike cheap.

Tim
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Old 09-03-07, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by cs1 View Post
There's a difference between an offer and an insult. Your offer was so low that anyone would have considered it insulting. The LBS did the right thing by walking away.

Next time try 15% maybe 20% max. No one is going to take a huge loss just so you can get the bike cheap.

Tim
why not?
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Old 09-03-07, 06:06 PM
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Get a friend who can find you the wholesale prices on the bikes you're interested in. Then go 5-10% above it, and offer to buy a whole bunch of accessories (works best if you actually need accessories). Bike shops typically mark up accessories much more than actual bikes, so that's where they make the money. $100 computer? $70 shorts? $30 gloves? $40 jersey? They just made $100! Now you're their best friend!
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Old 09-03-07, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by cs1 View Post
Next time try 15% maybe 20% max. No one is going to take a huge loss just so you can get the bike cheap.
The first rule of negotiation is not being afraid to lowball. I would have said $1. Let the negotiation start from there.
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Old 09-03-07, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Grumpy Pig View Post
I don't like sales gimmicks. Just put the sale price on the sticker.
+1

It wouldn't hurt to have a large sticker. I don't even like the 8 point font that most bike price tags are printed on.

Line 'em up, cheap on the left, carbon pro bikes on the right, and I will find something in the middle.
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Old 09-03-07, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by cs1 View Post
There's a difference between an offer and an insult. Your offer was so low that anyone would have considered it insulting. The LBS did the right thing by walking away.

Next time try 15% maybe 20% max. No one is going to take a huge loss just so you can get the bike cheap.

Tim
I disagree, my LBS just sold an 07 Trek 5.9 Madone In Disco colors. Retailed for $5299 sold it brand new for $2400.

Thats a freaking deal and way more than 20%
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Old 09-03-07, 06:58 PM
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If I am told "Just make an offer," then I don't think he should feel insulted, especially since it was heavily advertised as a Clearance Sale. I think I would felt better if he said, "Look, you may not realize this, but $$$$ is the wholesale price and I want a margin of $$ so $$$$ is the best deal I will consider." Maybe my perceptions of what is clearance pricing has been distorted by Nashbar and Performance Bike.

But it is still better for me as a customer to know up front there is a sale of $400 off that bike.
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Old 09-03-07, 07:00 PM
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I just ask whats the best price they can give me on it, works well I just got a Cervelo P-3 for 3150.

But I do spend an awful lot of money in that store.
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Old 09-03-07, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Grumpy Pig View Post
I don't like sales gimmicks. Just put the sale price on the sticker.
Even worse, I was in an LBS the other day that had no price tags on the bikes. I was afraid they would try to size you up and charge whatever they could get. Not my style either.

OP - Make and offer does not say they are going to take your offer! Offer them $5 if you think it works that way.
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Old 09-03-07, 08:11 PM
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Everything is negotiable. I was in Big Five Sporting Good Store the other week and I saw some guy negotiating on the price of a watch.
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Old 09-03-07, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by oilman_15106 View Post
Even worse, I was in an LBS the other day that had no price tags on the bikes. I was afraid they would try to size you up and charge whatever they could get. Not my style either.

OP - Make and offer does not say they are going to take your offer! Offer them $5 if you think it works that way.
I completely agree on the no price tags thing. I don't see it that much in bike shops, but it was rampant in motorcycle dealerships.

As far as the "make an offer" sale... I wouldn't even consider showing up. They know what they'll take - just put it on the bike and be done with it.

The only reason not to is if you're trying to "sucker" someone into paying more.
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Old 09-03-07, 08:21 PM
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Are you complaining because you are a bad negotiator?

I went to the same sale last year prepared to negotiate for two specific bikes, a Serotta Fierte or Giant OCR Composite, not sure which model. I ended up getting the all-Ultegra Serotta for either the lowest price or $100 below the lowest price I could find on the Internet, I cannot remember which since it was last year. I made an initial offer $300 less than I bought it for and had to go back to the guy two more times before the final price was settled on. He split the difference with me on the last offer. I took my friend along and acted like we were discussing the bike between offers. I also waited until mid to late afternoon on the last day. I am not sure if that was the best strategy but my reasoning was that if the bike was still there and they really wanted to move that bike it was their last chance.

Learn how to negotiate and go prepared. The same guy has been there the last 2 years and probably a lot longer so they know what they are doing and you don't. Get with the program. If everyone paid the same price we great negotiators would not get the great deals!

BTW, the LBS you are complaining about gives great service and has knowledgeable staff. I buy almost everything there and there are a lot of good bike shops to choose from in Indianapolis. Even paying retail, they have saved me a lot of misery and probably money with good advice. I buy from them almost exclusively and have been patronizing them for over 20 years. I did not mind the process because I felt I got a great deal.

Last edited by dekindy; 09-03-07 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 09-03-07, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ovoleg View Post
why not?
Because it's the business of the shop to SELL bikes and make money, not to pay people to take the merchandise off the shelves. An individual might sell the bike real cheap (like a family friend did when he sold me his very-reasonable condition Allez for 30 dollars) as a favor or because they simply want the bike to go to a good home, but a business isn't going to go do that.
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Old 09-03-07, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by dekindy View Post
Are you complaining because you are a bad negotiator?
Actually, I don't think negotiation had much to do with the "lost" sell. Once I knew what the lowest price they would settle on, it came down to I didn't want to spend that much on another bike, right now. I don't doubt they are very knowledgeable about bikes and they have good service. I would rather they just cut to the chase: Here is our best price.
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Old 09-03-07, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by C_heath View Post
I disagree, my LBS just sold an 07 Trek 5.9 Madone In Disco colors. Retailed for $5299 sold it brand new for $2400.

Thats a freaking deal and way more than 20%

They were probably just trying to dump it since Disco is no more. It may even be that they took a hit on it as well. There is no way a Madone could be keystoned.
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Old 09-03-07, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Davidlean View Post
On that bike, the absolute most they would discount it was $400, about 18% off. Actually, if that is all they are going to discount it, I am fine with that. However, why the silly game of make an offer? Just say up front: $400.00 off, that's it. I would feel much better if they were candid with the customer instead of keeping me in the dark.
I'm sure you'd also like to see your opponent's poker hand before placing a bet too. Learn the game or walk away...don't complain. It's not like knowing the least they'd take was 18%, you'd offer 9%, now is it?
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Old 09-03-07, 10:46 PM
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They got you (and others) inside the store. Mission accomplished. Yes it's annoying, but for every disgruntled intelligent customer, there are probably 5 stupid suckers drawn in and bent over on buying a bike.

Originally Posted by rnhood View Post
I don't think there is a big mark-up on the mainstream production bikes.
Correct.
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Old 09-03-07, 11:07 PM
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I'm a sales manager and here is my tip for buying a bike at the best price. Just so you know I hate when people do this to me, but here goes:
Do some research and narrow down your choice of bike to perhaps 3. Go to an LBS and test ride and get fit on them. Make your decision and find best price online. Go back to the LBS and see if they can match it. They won't be able to because you will be getting the bike at their cost or below. Go back and buy it online, preferably from out of state so you can save on sales tax. Go to some other LBS (because of your guilt or lack thereof) and get your new bike fit/ tuned.
Unfortunately this seems to be the new way of business and so these high volume internet co. are putting everyone else out of business. It is a pity most people do not value a strong relationship and the long term benefits it provides, with the local retailer.
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