Author Topic: Can you negotiate with a bike shop?  (Read 7843 times)

AerynLee

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Can you negotiate with a bike shop?
« on: August 01, 2015, 08:48:52 PM »
Everyone knows you should negotiate when buying a car but can you negotiate on a bike?

I just moved 3 miles from my job and am wanting to start riding a bike to work. I haven't ridden in my adult life so I've gone to a couple of bike shops nearby to research what would be a good starter commuter bike for me. One bike I found that I like is a Giant Alight 2. The bike shop wants $400 for it but when I go to the manufacturers website they say it costs $340. They don't sell it directly though, they just direct you to local retailers. Can I negotiate with the local shop?

Also, I've never heard of this brand before (or most bike brands being a car clown my whole life), does anyone have experience with this bike? Good or bad?

TomTX

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Re: Can you negotiate with a bike shop?
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2015, 09:19:37 PM »
Everything's negotiable. I negotiated a 5% increase in my starting salary for a .gov job after everyone told me it couldn't be done.

gergg

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Re: Can you negotiate with a bike shop?
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2015, 10:01:07 PM »
Maybe.  It depends on the shop.  Is it a chain or a mom and pop type store? You likely won't have much luck at a chain store.

Ocelot

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Re: Can you negotiate with a bike shop?
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2015, 02:13:31 AM »
Normally you can try your luck but margins are slim in this industry and you probably won't get anywhere. However, if you point out that the MSRP is lower then you might have a good chance - it's unusual to sell above MSRP. Unfortunately sometimes the MSRP will change/drop during the year which leaves the bike shop with the short end of the stick, but in my experience they'll honor it unless it's a very soughtafter bike and stock is limited.

Do doublecheck that you are definitely looking at the exact same model and year.

gooki

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Re: Can you negotiate with a bike shop?
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2015, 02:45:45 AM »
He'll yeah you can. They'll do $340 no problem.

spokey doke

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Re: Can you negotiate with a bike shop?
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2015, 10:24:18 AM »
Everyone knows you should negotiate when buying a car but can you negotiate on a bike?

Also, I've never heard of this brand before (or most bike brands being a car clown my whole life), does anyone have experience with this bike? Good or bad?

I'd never pay over MSRP.  Point it out and do negotiate (maybe it has a number of extras to go with it?).

As for the brand, Giant is one of the larger bike companies out there and they offer a number of quality bikes.  However, the model you are looking at is at a price point where you may not be really getting much from the Giant brand, other than their oversight in putting together fairly low end parts on frames made in factories that turn out inexpensive bikes for many companies.  That doesn't make it a bad bike for you, but more of a generic bike (as most all of them are at that price point).  If that is your range, it is really a matter of finding who offers the best combination of things that work for you at the best price, and there will be small variations on similar offerings from Giant, Trek, Specialized, etc. - but the main issues are: 1) your getting on a bike that fits and feels good and is suited for the riding you'll do, and 2) Price for what is being offered (so do negotiate and expect to pay less than MSRP).

Emg03063

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Re: Can you negotiate with a bike shop?
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2015, 03:28:18 PM »
Probably, but why would you want to?  There are plenty of used bikes for sale on craigslist at half the price.

Slam

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Re: Can you negotiate with a bike shop?
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2015, 08:02:48 PM »
You can definitely negotiate on a bike.  Pro tip: you'd have a better chance of negotiating $400 for the bike and $60 worth of free accessories rather than $340 for the bike.  Accessories are typically 50% or more profit for the shop, while bikes are closer to 35-40%.  It's a better deal for them to give you the free accessories.

Giant is a great brand.  Largest in the world the last time I checked.  Because China.

wealthviahealth

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Re: Can you negotiate with a bike shop?
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2015, 08:50:40 PM »
I did. Saved about $200.  I did it in a very friendly but persistent way with a big smile on my face so as to not add too much pressure. The owner really respected it and I have gone back to him to buy all of my accessories.

TheDude

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Re: Can you negotiate with a bike shop?
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2015, 09:33:04 PM »
You can certainly try. On a $340 bike there isnt much margin so they may not move much. I would call around to other giant dealers and see what there prices are. If you can find one within 50miles I bet they would price match no problem.

Ocelot

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Re: Can you negotiate with a bike shop?
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2015, 12:40:49 AM »
Probably, but why would you want to?  There are plenty of used bikes for sale on craigslist at half the price.

And as soon as you spend $100+ replacing the worn drivetrain/brakepads/cables etc, you're up at nearly the same price - and you don't have a full warranty if major things go wrong, and you're not getting any of the free services that many shops bundle with bikes. Secondhand bikes can be a great deal, but esp at this low a pricepoint, you've got to be sure you're not buying someone else's problems.

AerynLee

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Re: Can you negotiate with a bike shop?
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2015, 07:23:01 AM »
Thanks everyone for the responses.

It is just a local shop with the one location. It's the only Giant retailer in my city, there are three in the next city over (about 60 miles) but since we moved we don't make it out there anymore. I might try giving them a call though, especially since I don't think the local one had this bike in the color I'd prefer. This shop does do lifetime warranty on the frame, I think 1 year warranty on other parts, and lifetime tune ups

I've tried looking at Craigslist, but since my bike knowledge is on the level where I literally had to ask the bike shop how shifting works on a bicycle and the only brand from either bike shop I'd heard of before was Trek I don't think that's a good option for me. And since my city is small and not very much into biking the selection doesn't look very good.

I know it's one of the lowest end bikes you can get without being a Walmart bike but since I'm just starting that's all I need. My commute is 3 miles with no hills so I just need something to get me started. I don't want to drop a ton of money on a bike just to decide I hate it and never use it.

Slam, thanks for the tip on negotiating in accessories instead of lowering the price. I may have to try that too since I'll most likely want things like fenders, lights, rack, lock, and helmet

Jack

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Re: Can you negotiate with a bike shop?
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2015, 09:33:25 AM »
This shop does do lifetime warranty on the frame, I think 1 year warranty on other parts, and lifetime tune ups

Unless the shop in question is a huge chain like REI, that means nothing. Last time I bought a bike at a shop (or rather, the only time I bought an adult-sized bike new), it offered a similar warranty... but the shop itself was out of business within five years.

I've tried looking at Craigslist, but since my bike knowledge is on the level where I literally had to ask the bike shop how shifting works on a bicycle...  And since my city is small and not very much into biking the selection doesn't look very good.

Read this site until you're competent, then buy a used bike off of any Craigslist within a 100-mile (or so) radius. It's worth spending a couple hours and $20 in gas to get a $400 bike for $100.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Can you negotiate with a bike shop?
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2015, 10:01:10 AM »
You have more leverage during the off-season, when business is slow and the new models are starting to roll in.

More important than the price you pay, make sure you test ride the bike (preferably a number of them) and that it connects well with your body.  A good price point that doesn't connect well with your body is worse than a bad price point that does connect well.

It's not the same as buying laundry bleach or paper towels.

AerynLee

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Re: Can you negotiate with a bike shop?
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2015, 10:14:41 AM »
So looking closer, the Giant website where I got the price (which says $360, not $340 like I thought) is for the 2016 model but the store is selling the 2015's. In theory wouldn't the 2015 be cheaper? Especially if 2016's are starting to roll out?

I have ridden 6 different bikes at the shops but unfortunately since I haven't ridden is so long (10+ years) I'm not sure I'll know what a "good fit" feels like until I've done more than a few laps around the parking lot. None of them felt bad...I did notice at the second shop that I liked the feel of one bike ever so slightly better than the other two so I should probably go back to the first and try theirs again (the first is the one with the Giant)

Better Change

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Re: Can you negotiate with a bike shop?
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2015, 10:49:04 AM »
I negotiated a bike down from $2200+ to $1800 plus a car rack thrown in for good measure (accessories!).  Then again, I was buying the outdated model year  of a higher end carbon frame bike in a tiny size.  On rare occasions, my short stature works in my favor.

Slam

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Re: Can you negotiate with a bike shop?
« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2015, 12:14:00 PM »
I'd like to clear up a few things in here:
This shop does do lifetime warranty on the frame, I think 1 year warranty on other parts, and lifetime tune ups
Unless the shop in question is a huge chain like REI, that means nothing. Last time I bought a bike at a shop (or rather, the only time I bought an adult-sized bike new), it offered a similar warranty... but the shop itself was out of business within five years.
The shop does not offer a lifetime warranty on the frame.  The manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty on the frame.  If your Giant dealer goes out of business, go to a different Giant dealer.  The shop offers the lifetime tune-ups.

I don't think the local one had this bike in the color I'd prefer.
Slam, thanks for the tip on negotiating in accessories instead of lowering the price. I may have to try that too since I'll most likely want things like fenders, lights, rack, lock, and helmet
Ask them to order the color that you like.  They'd be happy to do it for you.  This might ruin your chances to negotiate the price though.
And no problem ;)

In theory wouldn't the 2015 be cheaper? Especially if 2016's are starting to roll out?
Maybe.  They may have changed the specs.  If the 2016 model year has a lower end fork or some other parts, they can sell it at a lower price point and target a larger audience.  This wouldn't surprise me at the low price point you're looking at.

GreenPen

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Re: Can you negotiate with a bike shop?
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2015, 12:35:05 PM »
So looking closer, the Giant website where I got the price (which says $360, not $340 like I thought) is for the 2016 model but the store is selling the 2015's. In theory wouldn't the 2015 be cheaper? Especially if 2016's are starting to roll out?

I would think this should help you get a discount. But it might depend on whether the bike shop itself can get the bike from Giant on discount.

When my wife bought her (new) bike, she asked about "last year's models". The bike shop called the manufacturer to ask when the previous year bikes would be sold on clearance. We waited about 3 months for this to happen, but the shop ended up getting the bike from the manufacturer on discount, which meant a lower price for us as well.

Good luck with your purchase!

AerynLee

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Re: Can you negotiate with a bike shop?
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2015, 01:04:52 PM »
I negotiated a bike down from $2200+ to $1800 plus a car rack thrown in for good measure (accessories!).  Then again, I was buying the outdated model year  of a higher end carbon frame bike in a tiny size.  On rare occasions, my short stature works in my favor.
Lol, and DH think's I'm crazy for wanting to buy a $400 bike :) I'm 5'9" so a little on the tall end for a woman, but "average male height" so average sized bikes are perfect for me

When my wife bought her (new) bike, she asked about "last year's models". The bike shop called the manufacturer to ask when the previous year bikes would be sold on clearance. We waited about 3 months for this to happen, but the shop ended up getting the bike from the manufacturer on discount, which meant a lower price for us as well.

Not a bad idea since I'm not in a huge hurry to buy. Thanks!

I've been looking around a little and have seen a few Diamondback hybrid bikes. Yet another brand I've never heard of, are these decent beginner commuter bikes? I've seen Cross County and Edgewood ones if that helps.

AerynLee

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Re: Can you negotiate with a bike shop?
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2015, 11:29:23 AM »
So I've been keeping an eye on craigslist and found this bike http://lincoln.craigslist.org/bik/5159796700.html. It's a Marin though it doesn't say what model or year. Comes with most of the extra stuff I'd want eventually and a quick google search sounds like Marin's are pretty good bikes.

What do the experts think?