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hookookadoo
02-20-2011, 11:19 AM
Anyone have any experience negotiating price on full bikes with online cycling stores: WrenchScience, Competitive Cycling, etc? Seems as if all their prices are MSRP but have to believe if you are spending $5,000 or more with them there would be a moderate savings/discount.

old_fat_and_slow
02-20-2011, 11:32 AM
Worth a try, but the average employee answering the phone prolly doesn't have authority to do so. I'd ask for a sales superviser and go at it. I'm sure it would work on some unpopular items that weren't selling well.

rugbysecondrow
02-20-2011, 11:54 AM
I did this when I bought a ritchey breakaway a few years back. You have to get the right person on the phone and also have information with you that you can used as negotiating points (price match, free shipping, extended warranty, service etc). I have done the same thing with an in person owner occupied shop.

oldpotatoe
02-20-2011, 02:00 PM
I did this when I bought a ritchey breakaway a few years back. You have to get the right person on the phone and also have information with you that you can used as negotiating points (price match, free shipping, extended warranty, service etc). I have done the same thing with an in person owner occupied shop.

And bike shop owners really love it. Since local bike shop margins are so huge, and many of us have winter homes in Aspen, new Mercedes every year and don't forget my G-4(that's an airplane).

MSRP is often less than the accepted MINIMUM margin to keep the lights on, break even, end the year will no more debt than you started with, but certainly not adding to the bike shop's meager bank account.

If the place has volume to make up the margin lost on each sale, this 'can' work but if volume falls, adios bike shop.

NOT trying to make this a 'feel sorry for bike shops' thread and saving money is not a bad thing but ya gotta allow the bike shop to make a margin, or the shop will be......................gone.

biker72
02-20-2011, 02:17 PM
If these online sellers are selling at MSRP why not buy from your LBS.

soupless
02-20-2011, 02:33 PM
hahahahaha

this is hilarious

hahhahahahaahahahahhahaha

save your money at costco.

allegretto
02-20-2011, 02:39 PM
depends upon what you're buying, but in my experience LBS will match the discount of any on-line shop including R&A, WS, CC etc (sometimes beat 'em) but then there is the taxes vs. freight issues.

There are ways around sales taxes too in some situations

In the end I almost always work out a deal with my LBS

- if there is a problem someone is there to make it right with minimal hassle
- I like supporting my LBS's. I like doing business with someone I "know"
- I'm a business man too.
- LBS often throw in little things, tweeks and fixes that a virtual store simply cannot do

So, yes I would haggle with the Mgr of any on-line shop then go to the LBS and ask them if it makes sense to do the business with them. I like to save money, but I respect my fellow small-businessman.

rugbysecondrow
02-20-2011, 03:07 PM
So what you are saying is that I should walk into a shop, buy it at whatever the sticker is, and walk out with even questioning or seeing if there is a discount to be had, service plan, parts discount etc? That might make me a charitable consumer, but also a poor one. You have often written about giving your LBS a shot, well I do, but that doesn't mean I do so blindly. The internet is wonderful in so many ways, but what it really does well is inform the consumers and why would I act ignorant when approaching a local shop? The local manager or owner knows his margin, what he can and cannot do. He is a big boy and can make these decisions. You seem to suggest that by me even asking about it or having that discussion with them, I am somehow taking advantage of them, acting if bad faith or am otherwise a bad person. Frankly, if a business is letting itself be taken advantage of, they have bigger issues.

Being a LBS doesn't exempt you from common business and consumer practices.


My two cents. (likely more)

And bike shop owners really love it. Since local bike shop margins are so huge, and many of us have winter homes in Aspen, new Mercedes every year and don't forget my G-4(that's an airplane).

MSRP is often less than the accepted MINIMUM margin to keep the lights on, break even, end the year will no more debt than you started with, but certainly not adding to the bike shop's meager bank account.

If the place has volume to make up the margin lost on each sale, this 'can' work but if volume falls, adios bike shop.

NOT trying to make this a 'feel sorry for bike shops' thread and saving money is not a bad thing but ya gotta allow the bike shop to make a margin, or the shop will be......................gone.

Ahneida Ride
02-20-2011, 03:53 PM
The net is changing and will dominate the way we make purchases.

mpetry
02-20-2011, 04:05 PM
I was in our local shop here and a guy had bought a set of Campy shifters out of the UK somewhere - they broke - wanted warranty replacement AND free installation!

It's warranty, right ?

While "the net may be changing the way we buy" I don't see how people can expect local stores to stay in business ! The doofus in question can't change a front flat on his own.

Mark Petry
Bainbridge Island, WA

godfrey1112000
02-20-2011, 04:25 PM
Anyone have any experience negotiating price on full bikes with online cycling stores: WrenchScience, Competitive Cycling, etc? Seems as if all their prices are MSRP but have to believe if you are spending $5,000 or more with them there would be a moderate savings/discount.

often I will ask for a match of a price from another online store so it can be on one order, usually no shipping cost

they in most cases will do it for you especially if you have history with them

I also helps to be very nice on the phone

but I know everyone is doing that already

Scott Shire
02-20-2011, 05:25 PM
I love my LBS. In fact, there are now 4 shops here in Atlanta that get my business. (Peachtree Bikes, No Brakes, APB, and Loose Nuts). I spread it around pretty evenly.

I also use the internet -- I can't expect my LBS to carry some of the stuff I'm into but few others enjoy. In the last 90 days, I've bought the following online...

110mm spacing Dura-Ace track hubs. Good luck finding those guys at any shop
Rivendell Roll-y-Pollys. Again, not to be found locally.
Replacement pads, Catlike Whisper Plus. Same deal.
Record Pregara Forte. ATL shops do not stock embrocation!
Vittoria Open Pave Evo CG. Thank you Wiggle for undercutting CC by so much

I'd like to look at an example of a product I wanted to buy online (Michelin PR3). They go for ~40 shipped online and are $65 at my local LBS. I asked the shop owner if he could help me out as the difference was significant. He offered to throw in a tube, mount the tire, and "donated" a copy of RBA + the VN buyers guide.

It never hurts to ask, and a little flexibility on both sides always helps!

oldpotatoe
02-20-2011, 05:33 PM
So what you are saying is that I should walk into a shop, buy it at whatever the sticker is, and walk out with even questioning or seeing if there is a discount to be had, service plan, parts discount etc? That might make me a charitable consumer, but also a poor one. You have often written about giving your LBS a shot, well I do, but that doesn't mean I do so blindly. The internet is wonderful in so many ways, but what it really does well is inform the consumers and why would I act ignorant when approaching a local shop? The local manager or owner knows his margin, what he can and cannot do. He is a big boy and can make these decisions. You seem to suggest that by me even asking about it or having that discussion with them, I am somehow taking advantage of them, acting if bad faith or am otherwise a bad person. Frankly, if a business is letting itself be taken advantage of, they have bigger issues.

Being a LBS doesn't exempt you from common business and consumer practices.


My two cents. (likely more)

My two cents is that MSRP isn't a four letter word and what most bike shops put on the sticker is his minimum margin to stay in business.

You write, "That might make me a charitable consumer, but also a poor one."

Bicycles and bike stuff, right? Not really peanut butter and insulin, correct?

You go on to say, "So what you are saying is that I should walk into a shop, buy it at whatever the sticker is, and walk out with even questioning or seeing if there is a discount to be had, service plan, parts discount etc? "

Do you do that at the food store? You have to decide if the price is fair to you, if it isn't, buy it elsewhere. You are not doing a small bike business any favors by making him discount everything. Maybe not you but I have had people get angry at me for saying no, I won't match any of the 3 MO places I have w/i 5 miles of me and another w/i 100 miles(free shipping w/i CO).

As if I owe it to them, that my margin can absorb discounts at every sale. Most bike shops cannot do that for any length of time.

You are not a 'bad person', not sure why you think this is personal, but like many, maybe not that well versed in small biz in general and bike small biz specifically, in terms of margins, expenses, taxes, insurance, utilities, payroll, things like everytime I swipe a CC, it costs me 2% of that sale.

$9000 bike(not unheard of)=$180 out of my margin.

oldpotatoe
02-20-2011, 05:37 PM
I was in our local shop here and a guy had bought a set of Campy shifters out of the UK somewhere - they broke - wanted warranty replacement AND free installation!

It's warranty, right ?

While "the net may be changing the way we buy" I don't see how people can expect local stores to stay in business ! The doofus in question can't change a front flat on his own.

Mark Petry
Bainbridge Island, WA

You'd be surprised what some people 'expect'. Bike shop is a labor of like sometimes.

Customer recently, bike he bought elsewhere, wanted new handlebars. I had them, would I install for free?, sorry, I answered politely, can't do that on the bike you bought elsewhere, $20 is the fee..he got angry and hung up. I doubt I'll see him again.

If he had bought the bike from me? Probably for free. Yes I give away a lot of stuff for free...3 DA 7700 BB races for free, brake bolts for free, other stuffto guys on THIS forum.

But I don't match prices. My Conti prices, for instance, are lower than some MO places, like biketiresdirect, for instance.

I'll bet the other shop that sold him the bike wouldn't do it either.

rugbysecondrow
02-20-2011, 06:41 PM
I understand what you are saying and I don't think we are far off. It seems you make this personal when you describe the plight of the individual owner. I agree that it should be about business, but the needs of the customer and the business owner are different and each has a responsibility to tend to their interests. I would of course ask for a discount, it sounds like you might say no. This is not an issue in my book, but too many times I have asked and been successful that I would be foolish to not ask. I have don't the same things on similarly priced items, furniture, appliances, roofing and doors etc. I am not trying to make a deal on every tube I buy, but if I can ask and get a local club discount, government discount or (when I was in the military) a military discount, then why not?

You are right, many customers are jerks and have poor expectations, but I can say the same about many bike shops. This delicate dance is important and normally results in a sale, regardless of the dicks of the world.

My two cents is that MSRP isn't a four letter word and what most bike shops put on the sticker is his minimum margin to stay in business.

You write, "That might make me a charitable consumer, but also a poor one."

Bicycles and bike stuff, right? Not really peanut butter and insulin, correct?

You go on to say, "So what you are saying is that I should walk into a shop, buy it at whatever the sticker is, and walk out with even questioning or seeing if there is a discount to be had, service plan, parts discount etc? "

Do you do that at the food store? You have to decide if the price is fair to you, if it isn't, buy it elsewhere. You are not doing a small bike business any favors by making him discount everything. Maybe not you but I have had people get angry at me for saying no, I won't match any of the 3 MO places I have w/i 5 miles of me and another w/i 100 miles(free shipping w/i CO).

As if I owe it to them, that my margin can absorb discounts at every sale. Most bike shops cannot do that for any length of time.

You are not a 'bad person', not sure why you think this is personal, but like many, maybe not that well versed in small biz in general and bike small biz specifically, in terms of margins, expenses, taxes, insurance, utilities, payroll, things like everytime I swipe a CC, it costs me 2% of that sale.

$9000 bike(not unheard of)=$180 out of my margin.

biker72
02-20-2011, 06:46 PM
Long before I became an employee of my LBS I was a customer. Over the years I did buy a few low end bikes from them but nothing fancy.

On Saturday mornings before the shop rides (6) started, they always had time to fix a shifting problem, fix the squeaky brakes, and perform numerous other tasks for free. You did get charged for the tube they installed or the cable that needed replacing but never charged for labor. I've seen over 100 people show up for these rides on the nicer days.

Now if you needed a new headset, that was a different story.

Try getting service like that on the internet.

djg
02-20-2011, 08:00 PM
So what you are saying is that I should walk into a shop, buy it at whatever the sticker is, and walk out with even questioning or seeing if there is a discount to be had, service plan, parts discount etc? That might make me a charitable consumer, but also a poor one. You have often written about giving your LBS a shot, well I do, but that doesn't mean I do so blindly. The internet is wonderful in so many ways, but what it really does well is inform the consumers and why would I act ignorant when approaching a local shop? The local manager or owner knows his margin, what he can and cannot do. He is a big boy and can make these decisions. You seem to suggest that by me even asking about it or having that discussion with them, I am somehow taking advantage of them, acting if bad faith or am otherwise a bad person. Frankly, if a business is letting itself be taken advantage of, they have bigger issues.

Being a LBS doesn't exempt you from common business and consumer practices.


My two cents. (likely more)

I think it's one of those things where it doesn't hurt to ask and likely doesn't help anybody to haggle. Many shops offer some sort of discount for a sponsored (amateur) team and maybe for local non-racing cycling clubs as well. They might have some wiggle room on last season's left over stock, etc., etc. Asking whether you're eligible for a discount, or there might be some wiggle room, might work for you, and might be a welcome prompt for them to look at some older stock or use one of their marketing/discount programs in a way that they're happy to do.

At the same time, being an informed consumer means realizing that there may not be much room for them to move, and that they may have good business reasons to avoid doing so. The lowest possible price available from some Internet source or other may not be a price that the LBS can match in a given case, at least not without treating their stock as a liquidation project. It also means having a sense that a good LBS can add value in many ways. More than that, even if, in your mind, they're just selling you an object as a one-time deal, their business model might contemplate a certain level of service after the sale, as well as up-front -- if they sell themselves as a full service local shop, it's sort of hard to bargain the service and support away in individual cases. And having all sales-folk bargain down to the shop's reserve price might be an unworkable mess.

I reckon you'd be less likely to find an Internet source flexible on price, but that's just my guess -- I don't think I've ever asked one to do so.

BCS
02-20-2011, 08:14 PM
Riddle me this: How does Licktons (Lickbike.com), a brick and mortar LBS manage to match Totalcyling.com's prices on groups? No way that my LBS can sell a Chorus 11 group for $1234.

WickedWheels
02-20-2011, 08:20 PM
It's not unreasonable for you to ask. It's the job of the bike shop owner/employee to explain (politely) their price. If you agree with the explanation and price then you have a sale. It's that simple.

I encourage my customers to ask me to match mail order prices rather than order online. There are certain prices that I can match. There are certain prices I can't, but can still close the sale simply by explaining the "extra service" I provide for the higher price. Sometime I simply say, "buy it online, it's a good deal." I honestly and wholeheartedly believe that my prices are fair and justified and will do what I can to earn the business that people want to give to mail order.

All of that being said, when I see items that I want to sell being whored-out online in a way that makes it impossible for me to carry their product and stay in business I take it up with the manufacturer... whether it's Campy in UK or Crank Bros on Bonktown... and don't begrudge the customer for shopping elsewhere.

I understand what you are saying and I don't think we are far off. It seems you make this personal when you describe the plight of the individual owner. I agree that it should be about business, but the needs of the customer and the business owner are different and each has a responsibility to tend to their interests. I would of course ask for a discount, it sounds like you might say no. This is not an issue in my book, but too many times I have asked and been successful that I would be foolish to not ask. I have don't the same things on similarly priced items, furniture, appliances, roofing and doors etc. I am not trying to make a deal on every tube I buy, but if I can ask and get a local club discount, government discount or (when I was in the military) a military discount, then why not?

You are right, many customers are jerks and have poor expectations, but I can say the same about many bike shops. This delicate dance is important and normally results in a sale, regardless of the dicks of the world.

WickedWheels
02-20-2011, 08:27 PM
Why price match? I will charge an easy $200 for installation if it's bought elsewhere and not warranty it.

I will also comfortably sell it for $1550, including installation, a year's of adjustments and warranty. Is the $316 (about 25%) worth it to you? If not, no worries. Chances are that group will somehow cost you an extra $300 in the course of ownership that I may have been able to save you.


Riddle me this: How does Licktons (Lickbike.com), a brick and mortar LBS manage to match Totalcyling.com's prices on groups? No way that my LBS can sell a Chorus 11 group for $1234.

rugbysecondrow
02-20-2011, 08:38 PM
I agree with you. Just because I say one can try to negotiate don't think it is right that a customer be dick or be unreasonable. I also don't think it is all about the best price, it is about the best value.

An example is a deal on an older stock MTB, and the bike was still more expensive than online, but it came with lifetime tweaks and tuning. So even though I paid more up front, it was the best value. That seems win win to me. They get the sale, they move inventory. I get a bike. I get lifetime work, but they get my money on the parts and any other accessories when I come in the shop. I am sorry if folks disagree , but I don't see how this is a bad thing. WIN WIN, that is the goal of negotiating.

I think it's one of those things where it doesn't hurt to ask and likely doesn't help anybody to haggle. Many shops offer some sort of discount for a sponsored (amateur) team and maybe for local non-racing cycling clubs as well. They might have some wiggle room on last season's left over stock, etc., etc. Asking whether you're eligible for a discount, or there might be some wiggle room, might work for you, and might be a welcome prompt for them to look at some older stock or use one of their marketing/discount programs in a way that they're happy to do.

At the same time, being an informed consumer means realizing that there may not be much room for them to move, and that they may have good business reasons to avoid doing so. The lowest possible price available from some Internet source or other may not be a price that the LBS can match in a given case, at least not without treating their stock as a liquidation project. It also means having a sense that a good LBS can add value in many ways. More than that, even if, in your mind, they're just selling you an object as a one-time deal, their business model might contemplate a certain level of service after the sale, as well as up-front -- if they sell themselves as a full service local shop, it's sort of hard to bargain the service and support away in individual cases. And having all sales-folk bargain down to the shop's reserve price might be an unworkable mess.

I reckon you'd be less likely to find an Internet source flexible on price, but that's just my guess -- I don't think I've ever asked one to do so.

BCS
02-20-2011, 09:01 PM
Why price match? I will charge an easy $200 for installation if it's bought elsewhere and not warranty it.

I will also comfortably sell it for $1550, including installation, a year's of adjustments and warranty. Is the $316 (about 25%) worth it to you? If not, no worries. Chances are that group will somehow cost you an extra $300 in the course of ownership that I may have been able to save you.

No argument here regarding the long term value of the LBS. I know this from personal experience. What I am trying to understand is the "thin margin issue." What's the typical LBS mark-up of a groupset?

jeo99
02-20-2011, 09:45 PM
I guess I should not be surprised as to how ignorant people are about business, about the value of internet use and their personal spending. It's all about me, me, me. There is no question as to how our economy got into the shape it is in. The rest of the world takes advantage of us and we sit back and let it happen. And it will continue to happed.

My $.02
:confused:

rugbysecondrow
02-20-2011, 10:09 PM
I guess I should not be surprised as to how ignorant people are about business, about the value of internet use and their personal spending. It's all about me, me, me. There is no question as to how our economy got into the shape it is in. The rest of the world takes advantage of us and we sit back and let it happen. And it will continue to happed.

My $.02
:confused:
I think I missed your point or at least the application of the point to this discussion?

SoCalSteve
02-20-2011, 10:17 PM
I guess I should not be surprised as to how ignorant people are about business, about the value of internet use and their personal spending. It's all about me, me, me. There is no question as to how our economy got into the shape it is in. The rest of the world takes advantage of us and we sit back and let it happen. And it will continue to happed.

My $.02
:confused:

Please tone it down a bit. This is a great discussion about the value of the LBS versus shopping on the Internet. Both have their place in life, depending on the consumer.

Again, please do not take jabs at people on here or make it personal. Please keep it civil.

Thank you.

rice rocket
02-20-2011, 10:39 PM
This is venturing OT, but people keep saying that building a relationship with your LBS is invaluable (which it is, I have a great relationship with my LBS owner), but there's a certain "relationship" that can be had with online companies as well.

The boys at Competitive Cyclist run a tight ship, and are very customer focused, even moreso than many LBSs. They serve a larger population, and thus have come across situations and questions that may not come up to your average LBS employee. They can provide a shopping "experience" that while different than shopping at a brick and mortar store, can be of value to consumers.

The other "beneficial" online relationship is one of consistent service. Newegg, Amazon, PBK, Ribble, etc. are all big box online retailers that make shopping online so easy, that it often is the better choice. Well managed shipping means that I get my stuff on time, no excuses, and there's value in that as well.

I rarely shop around for the lowest price anymore, I know that I can find what I need on Amazon, Newegg, PBK, or Ribble. So while I won't get the lowest price on every single item (which is no different than any other retail sale tactic), I know it'll be at my door in 2-5 days and I won't have to fret over the delivery schedule.


So uh, back to the original topic, it's worth a shot, and if your offer is reasonable, you'll get a good price on a bike and they'll gain you as a customer. In all likelihood, you'll need some other accessories too, which you'll add to your order to save on shipping, and they'll make some margin off of you there as well. Win-win?

jtakeda
02-20-2011, 11:02 PM
I understand that asking for a discount cuts in on margins, but with online shops getting more and more popular, wouldn't it be better to have a thinner margin with more sales than a bigger margin with less sales?

I feel like once the generation of older folks who don't shop online disappears, LBS are going to be in big trouble unless there is some sort of compromise between buyers and sellers.

jeo99
02-20-2011, 11:05 PM
Wow sensitive. There was no person directed toward. There were several comments made with the same general opinion as to which I gave my $.02

:beer:

rice rocket
02-20-2011, 11:20 PM
I understand that asking for a discount cuts in on margins, but with online shops getting more and more popular, wouldn't it be better to have a thinner margin with more sales than a bigger margin with less sales?

Dunno, what's the price elasticity of demand (Econ 101)?

jtakeda
02-20-2011, 11:38 PM
Thats the real question. The OP talks specifically about complete bikes. I feel like for such a large purchase--offering a discount on a bike would incentivize the buyer to return for other accessories-lights,tubes tires, helmets. If I knew my LBS hooked me up on a bike I would be willing to pay a couple bucks over online prices here and there to support the shop.

So although the price elasticity is one factor for the bike, you should also think of the after effects of bike purchase.

onekgguy
02-21-2011, 12:21 AM
I guess I should not be surprised as to how ignorant people are about business, about the value of internet use and their personal spending. It's all about me, me, me. There is no question as to how our economy got into the shape it is in. The rest of the world takes advantage of us and we sit back and let it happen. And it will continue to happed.

My $.02
:confused:

I couldn't agree more as our race to the bottom continues on every front.

Kevin g

oldpotatoe
02-21-2011, 08:05 AM
I understand what you are saying and I don't think we are far off. It seems you make this personal when you describe the plight of the individual owner. I agree that it should be about business, but the needs of the customer and the business owner are different and each has a responsibility to tend to their interests. I would of course ask for a discount, it sounds like you might say no. This is not an issue in my book, but too many times I have asked and been successful that I would be foolish to not ask. I have don't the same things on similarly priced items, furniture, appliances, roofing and doors etc. I am not trying to make a deal on every tube I buy, but if I can ask and get a local club discount, government discount or (when I was in the military) a military discount, then why not?

You are right, many customers are jerks and have poor expectations, but I can say the same about many bike shops. This delicate dance is important and normally results in a sale, regardless of the dicks of the world.

Local club discount, Gov't discount and military discounts are different than holding a waterbottle in your hand and asking, "any discounts today on this?".

Owning a bike shop can be very rewarding but it is tough everyday..read my article in the back of the Velonews buyer's guide..'In the trenches'.

oldpotatoe
02-21-2011, 08:09 AM
Riddle me this: How does Licktons (Lickbike.com), a brick and mortar LBS manage to match Totalcyling.com's prices on groups? No way that my LBS can sell a Chorus 11 group for $1234.

Called VOLUME selling. They have a certain 'nut' they need to get each month to pay their fixed costs plus the cost of good sold. If they sell enough groups and make a teeny margin on each, they make enough $ to pay the rent. If not, they lose money. If you sell 5-6 per month, you have to sell it at a 'normal' margin. Generally take the wholesale cost and divide by .65(35% margin, not the same as markup).

oldpotatoe
02-21-2011, 08:17 AM
I understand that asking for a discount cuts in on margins, but with online shops getting more and more popular, wouldn't it be better to have a thinner margin with more sales than a bigger margin with less sales?

I feel like once the generation of older folks who don't shop online disappears, LBS are going to be in big trouble unless there is some sort of compromise between buyers and sellers.

ONLY if volume is above a certain point. For most small shops, with 2-5 employees, you just can't generate enough volume to make the $ needed.

I think I have a good solution for a shop, service oriented, which is my main thing(and custom wheels). Can't buy that on the internet. PLUS I don't get all nervous and jerky when somebody brings in a frame and box of parts from 'UK Parts Delivery Center.com(not bike shops afterall), but I charge $250 to assemble the bike, give 'tweaks' but no tuneups, don't give a free fitting...all the things I provide for free if the whole bicycle was purchased from me.

Look at any small city..count the number of car dealers and the number of car repair places..same model. For me it's Hoshi Motors.

oldpotatoe
02-21-2011, 08:20 AM
Thats the real question. The OP talks specifically about complete bikes. I feel like for such a large purchase--offering a discount on a bike would incentivize the buyer to return for other accessories-lights,tubes tires, helmets. If I knew my LBS hooked me up on a bike I would be willing to pay a couple bucks over online prices here and there to support the shop.

So although the price elasticity is one factor for the bike, you should also think of the after effects of bike purchase.

News flash and question, 'What's the lowest margin item in a bike shop"?

Then it has to be assembled, and fit, and sold, and tweaked after ridden, none of which is compensated by the bike maker(trekspecializedgiantcannondale, etc)

rugbysecondrow
02-21-2011, 08:36 AM
.

oldpotatoe
02-21-2011, 08:40 AM
You know full well that is not what we are talking about. Your point has merit without using examples that are fruitless.

??

You wrote, "So what you are saying is that I should walk into a shop, buy it at whatever the sticker is, and walk out with even questioning or seeing if there is a discount to be had, service plan, parts discount etc?"

Yep, that's what I'm saying.

rugbysecondrow
02-21-2011, 08:49 AM
??

You wrote, "So what you are saying is that I should walk into a shop, buy it at whatever the sticker is, and walk out with even questioning or seeing if there is a discount to be had, service plan, parts discount etc?"

Yep, that's what I'm saying.

This is one of those conversations that i think you are purposefully trying not to see the other persons point of view. You admit there are discounts to be had if asking, but you seem to think it is poor form to ask. It seems stupid to leave money on the table. I don't want to negotiate on every water bottle, but I will ask if any discounts apply to me.

Negotiating on a bike or large purchase seems more than reasonable. If the word negotiating makes some feel uneasy, how about a discussion regarding price and value? Bike shops have different things they might offer and they might be able to articulate that through these discussions. Again, I don't get why this is cumbersome to understand from the consumer perspective. I am surprised that this is considered taboo by some.

BCS
02-21-2011, 08:58 AM
??

You wrote, "So what you are saying is that I should walk into a shop, buy it at whatever the sticker is, and walk out with even questioning or seeing if there is a discount to be had, service plan, parts discount etc?"

Yep, that's what I'm saying.

Based on this model, customers should buy frame/components, (anything that the average Joe can't install/service) at the LBS because of the service benefits provided. Agreed. How does the LBS justify charging MSRP for clothing, nutritional products, tubes/tires, etc? Are they simply impulse buys when someone is in the shop getting service?

oldpotatoe
02-21-2011, 09:02 AM
This is one of those conversations that i think you are purposefully not trying to see the other persons point of view. You admit there are discounts to be had if asking, but you seem to think it is poor form to ask. It seems stupid to leave money on the table. I don't want to negotiate on every water bottle, but I will ask if any discounts apply to me.

Negotiating on a bike or large purchase seems more than reasonable. I am surprised that this is considered taboo by some.

Not trying to purposefully do anything. Ask for a discount from me on anything. It doesn't bend me in a knot. Most bike shops that understand their finances, their market, don't offer discounts not because they are greedy, but because they can't. Not being personal, but those who ask, then get testy when I say no, when I try to explain why, make me scratch my head. " ya know Excel sells this for $45"...yep, I know.

I guess I don't get the 'negotiating on a large purchase(sic) seems more than reasonable'. I don't really do that whether it be TVs or a Whole Foods Thanksgiving turkey( they aren't cheap) or on a new set of tires I just got for my wife's car(Pirelli). I said, 'new tires', they said, 'Pirelli', I paid the bill.

I guess I trust the boys at Indian Peaks to give me a 'good deal'.

Discounts received by you save you money. Discounts given by bike shops cost them money. Not the same. Bike shop owners aren't trying to alienate anybody, get anybody's nighty in a knot, just tryin' to keep the lights on to mess with this really keen machine called a 'bicycle'.

rugbysecondrow
02-21-2011, 09:04 AM
Based on this model, customers should buy frame/components, (anything that the average Joe can't install/service) at the LBS because of the service benefits provided. Agreed. How does the LBS justify charging MSRP for clothing, nutritional products, tubes/tires, etc? Are they simply impulse buys when someone is in the shop getting service?

Note, the assumption is that service will be part of the parts purchase. That might not be the case or the duration might vary. These are important points and also why I think it is worth having a discussion/negotiating on these.

oldpotatoe
02-21-2011, 09:04 AM
Based on this model, customers should buy frame/components, (anything that the average Joe can't install/service) at the LBS because of the service benefits provided. Agreed. How does the LBS justify charging MSRP for clothing, nutritional products, tubes/tires, etc? Are they simply impulse buys when someone is in the shop getting service?

Again, MSRP is the minimum to keep the lights on. Not sure why it has to be 'justified', as if MSRP is a bad thing. And yes, tubes, food are often small purchases that are bought on impulse, why most have 'em by the door and cash register.

As for 'free installation on parts bought at the bike shop'. Generally not. If the sticker is the 'normal' margin, installing for free means you lose money.

Plus it cheapens the service skill, like not charging labor to build a wheel, even tho some MO places do that.

BCS
02-21-2011, 09:14 AM
Maybe "justify" is the wrong word. I'll try again: why would a customer spend $300 on a pair of bibs in your shop when they can be had for significantly less online? There is no benefit to the consumer (as opposed to the future service on a groupset purchase) buying clothing at MSRP. If MSRP is the bare minimum that you can charge to keep the lights on, I guess discounts aren't possible.

rugbysecondrow
02-21-2011, 09:14 AM
Maybe that is the difference then. I have always discussed price, not in a pissy way but in a professional way. I don't want to screw anybody, but I realize there might be a margin to discuss. Your examples about tires, I certainly would try to negotiate. Why not? The worst they might do is say no. My feelings don't get hurt. Too many people do lower the price that it is stupid to not ask. It is not about screwing the guy or the shop. Just trying to find an acceptable price for my purchase.

Not trying to purposefully do anything. Ask for a discount from me on anything. It doesn't bend me in a knot. Most bike shops that understand their finances, their market, don't offer discounts not because they are greedy, but because they can't. Not being personal, but those who ask, then get testy when I say no, when I try to explain why, make me scratch my head. " ya know Excel sells this for $45"...yep, I know.

I guess I don't get the 'negotiating on a large purchase(sic) seems more than reasonable'. I don't really do that whether it be TVs or a Whole Foods Thanksgiving turkey( they aren't cheap) or on a new set of tires I just got for my wife's car(Pirelli). I said, 'new tires', they said, 'Pirelli', I paid the bill.

I guess I trust the boys at Indian Peaks to give me a 'good deal'.

Discounts received by you save you money. Discounts given by bike shops cost them money. Not the same. Bike shop owners aren't trying to alienate anybody, get anybody's nighty in a knot, just tryin' to keep the lights on to mess with this really keen machine called a 'bicycle'.

jeo99
02-21-2011, 09:20 AM
Maybe all retail stores should just close (cars, clothing, bikes, whatever). Then buy eveything we need thru the internet including service. Afterall it is cheaper. If is does not fit, work or wrong color simply call or online chat with "PEGGY". Peggy will get it done.

:beer:

oldpotatoe
02-21-2011, 09:22 AM
Maybe "justify" is the wrong word. I'll try again: why would a customer spend $300 on a pair of bibs in your shop when they can be had for significantly less online? There is no benefit to the consumer (as opposed to the future service on a groupset purchase) buying clothing at MSRP. If MSRP is the bare minimum that you can charge to keep the lights on, I guess discounts aren't possible.

They shouldn't(I sell only 'Vecchio's bibs and jerseys BTW). BUT they can try it on at the bike shop, can't do that online(where the return rate is about 20% for clothing bought online). But lots of stuff in a bike shop IS the minimum. If a bike shop can't sell it, then the bike shop shouldn't carry it.

I applaud anybody that can get a deal BUT if the widget is being deeply discounted I will point that out to the distributor or manufacturer. They may have a 'policy' on that and may not.

If they don't care(like Colnago), then I won't sell it.

Dekonick
02-21-2011, 09:22 AM
I can see both sides here. For me, I buy my parts online because I can get them faster and cheaper than my LBS. I also do most of the install and maintenance myself - with the exception of wheels. If my LBS would stock campy, I might buy from them... but they don't so I don't. I am happy to use them for service, do buy some items at full MSRP (small stuff - tubes, etc...) and always bring in treats fot the guys working in the trenches. (they deserve it.) A pizza, DD's, sometimes a 12 pack of beer... sometimes just for the heck of it... Why? These kids aren't making big $$ and deserve to be recognized for the good work they do. I don't, however, feel I need to pay the full retail for everything in the shop. I don't ask, I just look at the prices and if it is more than I am willing to fork over, I buy online or here.

:)

oldpotatoe
02-21-2011, 09:26 AM
Maybe that is the difference then. I have always discussed price, not in a pissy way but in a professional way. I don't want to screw anybody, but I realize there might be a margin to discuss. Your examples about tires, I certainly would try to negotiate. Why not? The worst they might do is say no. My feelings don't get hurt. Too many people do lower the price that it is stupid to not ask. It is not about screwing the guy or the shop. Just trying to find an acceptable price for my purchase.

I, me, myself, think it would be rude to ask the really good guys at Indian Peaks for a discount. I don't think it's 'stupid' to not ask. Maybe because of me owning a retail place..different points of view. 'Value', 'worth' are big words.

rugbysecondrow
02-21-2011, 09:29 AM
I can see both sides here. For me, I buy my parts online because I can get them faster and cheaper than my LBS. I also do most of the install and maintenance myself - with the exception of wheels. If my LBS would stock campy, I might buy from them... but they don't so I don't. I am happy to use them for service, do buy some items at full MSRP (small stuff - tubes, etc...) and always bring in treats fot the guys working in the trenches. (they deserve it.) A pizza, DD's, sometimes a 12 pack of beer... sometimes just for the heck of it... Why? These kids aren't making big $$ and deserve to be recognized for the good work they do. I don't, however, feel I need to pay the full retail for everything in the shop. I don't ask, I just look at the prices and if it is more than I am willing to fork over, I buy online or here.

:)

Great point Mike! Would a local shop prefer I ask and maybe purchase from them or just think the price was too high and go elsewhere? Asking seems to give another opportunity for business.

Another point Mike made, the shops here do not carry Campy, I mean even cables and cassettes. I get used to shopping online as that is the only option. They can order the parts for me, but I can do that too.

dsb
02-21-2011, 09:31 AM
Personally, I don't ask for discounts, either something is a price I'll pay or I don't buy it. I worry about my bottom line and they worry about theirs. I do value the 'added value' that a _good_ LBS provides, but I'm not paying a premium for something to someone that knows less about it than I do or because it's been assembled by someone more interested in the tunes on their I-pod. The idea is to be able to achieve a better result at the lbs than I could on my own, or at least think I did...

I'm probably a-typical, but if I don't trust that the shop is going to do a better job than I could, that shop isn't going to get any business from me that is dependent on their expertise. So what is that shop going to be able to sell? Convenience and price. If they have it and it's priced around what I can get it elsewhere I'll but it. Special order? Please, unless it's something I can't get on my own I'll pass. I've been hung out to dry too many times with shops 'special ordering' stuff...

Warranty is another issue. A lot of shops push the 'we warranty' stuff, but my experience has been that it's more hassle to deal with bicycle 'warranty' than it's worth. I don't know if it's the 'distributor' model that's the problem or that it's just an extra leg in the communication circuit, but it's a real pain. I don't put much 'added value' in the shops ability to provide 'warranty'. I have had good warranty experiences with shops in the distant past, and if you could insure that was going to be the case, it's definitely a selling point...

I've been in OldPotatoe's shop and I personally think that He's got the right idea and provides the service that's lacking in nearly every other shop I've been in in the last 10 - 15 years. Shops used to 'do' stuff, not just 'sell' stuff. Sadly, for a while it seems that bike shops have gone into the Chevy dealer mode, it's all about units out the door and maximizing the margin. It seems that shops tend to concentrate on trying to lower the cost of goods sold rather than adding real value. If the shop doesn't do anything that the MO place doesn't then they're going to be hard pressed. Conversely, there is a lot of stuff/service that you can't get online, or at least not easily, which puts you in a bind when there aren't any competent shops around... It just seems kind of bass ackwards to me, but I'll admit to being more than 2 standard deviations from the mean...I guess I need to move to Boulder...

oldpotatoe
02-21-2011, 09:35 AM
Great point Mike! Would a local shop prefer I ask and maybe purchase from them or just think the price was too high and go elsewhere? Asking seems to give another opportunity for business.

Another point Mike made, the shops here do not carry Campy, I mean even cables and cassettes. I get used to shopping online as that is the only option. They can order the parts for me, but I can do that too.

Any bike shop owner who gets angry when somebody does ask is outofline. But some here in the republic and some I have talked to get downright rude back at somebody who brings a part in to use on some service or will refuse to assemble a bike w/o stuff purchased there. That is ignorant of the market of today. BUT if I see the chain, I ask what they paid and will mention my price(often w/i a couple of bucks).

Topic for another discussion, lazy bike shops. It costs little to have 'Campagnolo' stuff on hand. Jagwoire cables, Veloce cogsets, KMC and Campagnolo chains, small bits, ERGO innards. Too many bike shops think 'Campagnolo' is some sort of black art or something.

rugbysecondrow
02-21-2011, 09:35 AM
This conversation is in a cul de sac, but (to the OP) one simple question has worked wonders: Is that the best price you can offer? I have asked that so many times and automatically they have dropped the price % points. If they say, "yes" then I have a decision to make. If they bring the price down, then you have your deal.

If you don't ask, you will not receive.

oldpotatoe
02-21-2011, 09:39 AM
Personally, I don't ask for discounts, either something is a price I'll pay or I don't buy it. I worry about my bottom line and they worry about theirs. I do value the 'added value' that a _good_ LBS provides, but I'm not paying a premium for something to someone that knows less about it than I do or because it's been assembled by someone more interested in the tunes on their I-pod. The idea is to be able to achieve a better result at the lbs than I could on my own, or at least think I did...

I'm probably a-typical, but if I don't trust that the shop is going to do a better job than I could, that shop isn't going to get any business from me that is dependent on their expertise. So what is that shop going to be able to sell? Convenience and price. If they have it and it's priced around what I can get it elsewhere I'll but it. Special order? Please, unless it's something I can't get on my own I'll pass. I've been hung out to dry too many times with shops 'special ordering' stuff...

Warranty is another issue. A lot of shops push the 'we warranty' stuff, but my experience has been that it's more hassle to deal with bicycle 'warranty' than it's worth. I don't know if it's the 'distributor' model that's the problem or that it's just an extra leg in the communication circuit, but it's a real pain. I don't put much 'added value' in the shops ability to provide 'warranty'. I have had good warranty experiences with shops in the distant past, and if you could insure that was going to be the case, it's definitely a selling point...

I've been in OldPotatoe's shop and I personally think that He's got the right idea and provides the service that's lacking in nearly every other shop I've been in in the last 10 - 15 years. Shops used to 'do' stuff, not just 'sell' stuff. Sadly, for a while it seems that bike shops have gone into the Chevy dealer mode, it's all about units out the door and maximizing the margin. It seems that shops tend to concentrate on trying to lower the cost of goods sold rather than adding real value. If the shop doesn't do anything that the MO place doesn't then they're going to be hard pressed. Conversely, there is a lot of stuff/service that you can't get online, or at least not easily, which puts you in a bind when there aren't any competent shops around... It just seems kind of bass ackwards to me, but I'll admit to being more than 2 standard deviations from the mean...I guess I need to move to Boulder...

Thanks for the kind words. Tryin'

rugbysecondrow
02-21-2011, 09:45 AM
I would say Peter runs a shop that points him I the same camp with about 10% of LBS, most are retail outlets and conduits for merchandise who happen to have a small shop. Those 90% don't do enough to differentiate themselves from online shops except their prices are higher.

Personally, I don't ask for discounts, either something is a price I'll pay or I don't buy it. I worry about my bottom line and they worry about theirs. I do value the 'added value' that a _good_ LBS provides, but I'm not paying a premium for something to someone that knows less about it than I do or because it's been assembled by someone more interested in the tunes on their I-pod. The idea is to be able to achieve a better result at the lbs than I could on my own, or at least think I did...

I'm probably a-typical, but if I don't trust that the shop is going to do a better job than I could, that shop isn't going to get any business from me that is dependent on their expertise. So what is that shop going to be able to sell? Convenience and price. If they have it and it's priced around what I can get it elsewhere I'll but it. Special order? Please, unless it's something I can't get on my own I'll pass. I've been hung out to dry too many times with shops 'special ordering' stuff...

Warranty is another issue. A lot of shops push the 'we warranty' stuff, but my experience has been that it's more hassle to deal with bicycle 'warranty' than it's worth. I don't know if it's the 'distributor' model that's the problem or that it's just an extra leg in the communication circuit, but it's a real pain. I don't put much 'added value' in the shops ability to provide 'warranty'. I have had good warranty experiences with shops in the distant past, and if you could insure that was going to be the case, it's definitely a selling point...

I've been in OldPotatoe's shop and I personally think that He's got the right idea and provides the service that's lacking in nearly every other shop I've been in in the last 10 - 15 years. Shops used to 'do' stuff, not just 'sell' stuff. Sadly, for a while it seems that bike shops have gone into the Chevy dealer mode, it's all about units out the door and maximizing the margin. It seems that shops tend to concentrate on trying to lower the cost of goods sold rather than adding real value. If the shop doesn't do anything that the MO place doesn't then they're going to be hard pressed. Conversely, there is a lot of stuff/service that you can't get online, or at least not easily, which puts you in a bind when there aren't any competent shops around... It just seems kind of bass ackwards to me, but I'll admit to being more than 2 standard deviations from the mean...I guess I need to move to Boulder...

BCS
02-21-2011, 09:52 AM
Maybe all retail stores should just close (cars, clothing, bikes, whatever). Then buy eveything we need thru the internet including service. Afterall it is cheaper. If is does not fit, work or wrong color simply call or online chat with "PEGGY". Peggy will get it done.

:beer:
We are already headed that way. Bought a CPO car on ebay motors.The local dealer services it without question. Clothing: LLBean/Lands End and countless others are doing it AND if it is the wrong size or color, back it goes without question or restocking fee. Retail is a tough racket these days. Oh, and Peggy is probably in India.

1centaur
02-21-2011, 10:16 AM
That these threads always end in the same place is probably a sign that their conclusions are valid.

If an LBS has to sell at MSRP on just about everything to scratch out a living, while Net shops can sell below MSRP and do fine, then LBS costs are not competitive and nothing will change that. Customers asking for discounts in the LBS should understand that. In contrast to many retail situations where the proprietor is really making out getting MSRP on some customers while the ones in the know pay a lot less, the LBS "discount" may just be an owner getting something rather than nothing just to avoid a negative experience for the customer, knowing that it's hurting his survivability but hoping it will work out in the end. Not asking is an implicit subsidy of a place or of people, which is a personality test for the consumer.

That some shops get mad at the idea of being paid to assemble parts bought elsewhere is an example of my contention that anger comes from fear: fear that the business won't work out. Of course, some shops don't have their costs in line with their LBS peers and those owners are looking for others to pay for their mistakes. Also, in-line costs are in part a reflection of the revenue mix which some are more talented than others in concocting. Personally, I think it's an unwise move to try to browbeat customers into buying stuff from your shop by holding service hostage; price assembly services right and be happy to get the business.

The notion that consumers in the aggregate should pay whatever to LBSs to keep them around is fanciful, IMO. If there's a need for what LBSs offer, they will be around. If the Net drives them all out of business, service-only operations will spring up to meet the need, and those operations will stock impulse items to the extent they're profitable. The disparate cost structure of the Net vs. B&M may mean we lose local impulse buying or local knowledge, though Net knowledge can be good too, as Competitive Cyclist shows.

rockdude
02-21-2011, 10:47 AM
I think it is fair to try to Negotiate with anyone you buy from, but no one should get bent out of shape over it if the two sides don't make a deal.

I respect Oldpotatoe and the way he works his shop. In fact, if I have service I don't want to do myself or need parts that he carriers, I will visit him. It should be noted, I race for a competitive LBS team. Like any good bike shop, Peter has done some small stuff for me, for free and provide some small parts to me for free. This type of CS has gained my loyalty and he has gained some Mexican Beers.

BumbleBeeDave
02-21-2011, 12:07 PM
As a customer you are free to ask. As a seller, the seller is free to say yes or no.

Just use some common sense. The PFK behind the camera counter at Target is not going to negotiate with me. He doesn't have the authority or knowledge to do so. The guy at the independent furniture store might. so might the owner at the independent LBS.

I'm not a world traveling jet setter, but I've heard from so many people who do travel that in most of the rest of the world it's expected to haggle and less will be thought of you if you don't.

BBD

Joachim
02-21-2011, 12:48 PM
Just use some common sense.
BBD

+1.

I always think of the days when I was a junior. I purchased all my parts from my LBS from when I was 14 years old. After a while they saw me as the kid who spent his hard earned pocket money at their shop, just so he could race his bike. Eventually I started getting discounts, I never had to shop around since their prices were always good. The evening before nationals I went for a loosen-up ride and broke a spoke (in the wheel they built) and my rear derailleur cable. In a panic I called the owner (after the shop has closed), he came to my house to replace my spoke and cable. After a few years they started sponsoring me and I got all the big stuff at cost and small stuff free (tires, tubes, clothes and chains).

My point is, I won't mind paying $1500 for a Chorus group (and buy my small parts) at Vecchio's instead of $1200 at Lickton's/PBK/Ribble when down the line I know it will be a win-win situation for everyone.

I also understand that if your LBS does not stock Campy you have to buy somewhere else or, like in my case, your LBS charges at least 20% above MRSP.

robertt8883
02-21-2011, 01:58 PM
I am in a business were i deal in automobiles ranging from $40,000 to $165,000 its nothing for a customer to come in and ask to see invoice and to be given holdback for them to make a deal. Most of the time these are professionals in there line of work, Everyone wants a deal so why not ask for the same favor in return when purchasing something for yourself. It also seems sometimes when asking for a discount on a bike or parts some of these LBS owners or employees
take it personal. I am all in favor of spending my money locally but if you LBS is so far out of whack I will take it elsewhere.

martinrjensen
02-21-2011, 02:28 PM
Depending on what the warranty actually says, that could be a valid request. Not saying it is, but there's a chance that it could be as the warranty is usually by the manufacturer not the store.I was in our local shop here and a guy had bought a set of Campy shifters out of the UK somewhere - they broke - wanted warranty replacement AND free installation!

It's warranty, right ?

While "the net may be changing the way we buy" I don't see how people can expect local stores to stay in business ! The doofus in question can't change a front flat on his own.

Mark Petry
Bainbridge Island, WA

54ny77
02-21-2011, 02:35 PM
http://images.tribe.net/tribe/upload/photo/b9c/0c5/b9c0c582-af1d-490f-beac-b7b8a6f0066a

jeo99
02-21-2011, 03:02 PM
http://images.tribe.net/tribe/upload/photo/b9c/0c5/b9c0c582-af1d-490f-beac-b7b8a6f0066a

I think this is Peggy's sister!
:banana: :banana:

robertt8883
02-21-2011, 03:03 PM
Most of the time a large or major auto store will take that skinny deal its all about taking care of the customer and the customer knowing that someone will always be there to take care of them they want to build a relationship.One good customer will help your business 10 fold (x) to bring new clients in by word of mouth. Think of the consequences what a badly treated customer does for the business sometimes its unrepairable

SamIAm
02-21-2011, 05:14 PM
My lovely wife spent years 10-14 of her life going antique shopping with her mom. She then spent many years as a missionary in various parts of the world.

She knows how to ask for anything, including discounts. Her friends call her the master asker.

I'm just not wired that way. I can't even be around when she does her thing, but boy have I benefited from it! I just slink back in when the deed is done and carry out the booty, er merchandise. :)

The key as has been said here before is that there are no hard feelings on either side of the negotiation.

Dekonick
02-21-2011, 06:17 PM
Does a LBS actually make a living selling bikes? I always assumed the 'margin' really was in service and small items. I find it hard to believe any shop can make ends meet just from selling (especially) high end bikes. Service, and bits to perform service, thats where the $$ is. The kid turning wrenches isn't making big bucks. The services get billed out at what rate?

I know, I know. Overhead, heat, lights, supplies, insurance... somehow there is a way to make a living running a mom and pop shop. Not easy... but what is? The storefront seems to me to be a way to attract customers for the real income generator for a shop... service. The quality of service dictates what (and even if) I am willing to bring my bike to the shop. For the rest of the world with k-mart bikes, they need tune ups too!

How can a cobbler make a living? By fixing shoes, not selling them.

oldpotatoe
02-21-2011, 06:25 PM
Does a LBS actually make a living selling bikes? I always assumed the 'margin' really was in service and small items. I find it hard to believe any shop can make ends meet just from selling (especially) high end bikes. Service, and bits to perform service, thats where the $$ is. The kid turning wrenches isn't making big bucks. The services get billed out at what rate?

I know, I know. Overhead, heat, lights, supplies, insurance... somehow there is a way to make a living running a mom and pop shop. Not easy... but what is? The storefront seems to me to be a way to attract customers for the real income generator for a shop... service. The quality of service dictates what (and even if) I am willing to bring my bike to the shop. For the rest of the world with k-mart bikes, they need tune ups too!

How can a cobbler make a living? By fixing shoes, not selling them.

Great question. I think big places do, sell lots of bikes and the small margin is made up with volume. But yes, softgoods, service makes up the difference altho Trek says service ought to be 8-12% of gross..mine is much larger, like 60%.

I bill at $60 per hour.

Dekonick
02-21-2011, 06:32 PM
Great question. I think big places do, sell lots of bikes and the small margin is made up with volume. But yes, softgoods, service makes up the difference altho Trek says service ought to be 8-12% of gross..mine is much larger, like 60%.

I bill at $60 per hour.

AND that is worth every penny -

1centaur
02-21-2011, 07:22 PM
Trek says service ought to be 8-12% of gross

You mean, Trek says a Trek dealer should sell a whole lotta Treks? Whooda thunk it?

I wonder if Trek has a goal for service as a % of net?

oldpotatoe
02-22-2011, 08:43 AM
You mean, Trek says a Trek dealer should sell a whole lotta Treks? Whooda thunk it?

I wonder if Trek has a goal for service as a % of net?

I've talked to Trek dealers who say their 'manual', says their total revenue from service ought to be about 8-12% of the total, almost as if they view service as an expense.

But not unlike car dealers.