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Hey guys,

I'm ready to buy my first road bike, and im curious about the final buying process. I understand there is a low margin on bike sales, but there is also some wiggle room. how solid is the sticker price of a bike?

For example, I have seen a 2006 specialized allez sport with an MSRP of $930 sell for 800out the door. Is this a ripoff? a steal? the norm?

what factors play into this, and what is considered acceptable when talking prices?

thanks for the help.
 

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As a former employee of a few bike shops, I can tell you that the profit margin on new bikes is very slim. Mark-up over dealer cost runs 33-37% BUT...factor in assembly, free tune-ups, operating costs, advertising costs, employee costs, etc. and that profit margin gets very thin. Also, many of the big brands (Trek, Specialized, Giant) have a fixed high and low retail price that dealers need to sell the bikes at, except for the occasional sale or until the newer models show up. On the other hand profit margins on parts, clothing, helmets, etc. is usually at least 50% with much less overhead. So you can often get shops to throw in a free bottle and cage plus some nice discounts on a helmet, shoes, gloves, shorts, etc. at the time of the sale.
 

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I think if you find another bike shop with better prices, you can use that to haggle. If you're just trying to talk them down and everyone is charging the same--no. I think you've got more room for negotiation on previous year (or older) bikes.
 

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i work at a shop while going to school... i just wouldnt try to bargain with them though. overall, most shop owners/managers arnt seeing huge salaries. they are in the business mostly cause its what they want to do.

but yeah, you could probably get 10-15% off clothing/helmet/accersories which if your just getting into it can save you a little bit on all the stuff you have to buy at the start.
 

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My LBS gave me 20% off day of sale and 10% for 6 mo on accessories and everything else I bought that wasn't the bike. I figure thats about as good as haggling down the cost. Especially since the whole road biking hobby isn't the cheapest.
 

· Fat'r + Slow'r than TMB
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As the others have said. Getting a deal or haggling on the bike itself you probably won't get a whole lot off, maybe a little but not a lot. If they are already dropping the price for you then you are probably getting a better deal than most. Now if you are buying an entire package, peddles, shoes, helmet, jersey, and shorts then you may have some room to haggle or discount. LBS shops reward loyalty to return customers by giving discounts. Example, I generally get a minimum of 10% off my pruchases at my LBS but it's not because I am a nice guy. I buy there and I send customers their direction so they reward me with a discount. Anyway, you can try to turn bike buying into something similar to car buying but I doubt you will get the results you were looking for.
 

· half-fast
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I never really haggled or asked for deals from the shop I go to. Every now and then I get a deal, or they throw in something from the pile at no charge.

Last time I had a wheel trued, I brought in a 6-pack of Hop Devil for the shop.

Last weekend we spent about a hundred bucks on 2 locks and some misc. junk, and yesterday I went in for a few things. When I paid for the few things, I asked about roof racks and got a smokin hot deal on a roof rack.

So maybe it is worth it to not haggle.
 

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Always got you a deal

10ae1203 said:
Last time I had a wheel trued, I brought in a 6-pack of Hop Devil for the shop.
Yep, a six pack of good beer will get you not only a deal...but faster service.

As a former bike mechanic, beer and mochas...not haggling...always got the customer a better deal and expedited service:thumbsup:
 

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being loyal to one lbs is, in my experience, a good way to save money. unless something is much, much cheaper online or in an other store i go to the same place. it's gotten me a free this-or-that, cheaper labor, a discount here and there. it depends on the shop though. some folks appreciate/reward repeat business. some don't
 

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As a mech, I can say that customers of a shop usually get small perks, even if they don't realize it. I'll sometimes bump somebody ahead on repairs, or do on the spot work if they are a nice/good customer. Partly because a happy customer is a returning customer, but sometimes its just more convenient to do so.


As for deals, I can just back up what has been said earlier. You can usually get a bit of a discount on a bike, but if you want to save some cash, get all your accessories at the same time. Most shops are more willing to save you cash through giving you discounts on accessories.
 
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