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LBS tip: How To Say No

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,412
0
SF
Given that I consider all cyclists potential friends, it can be hard to say to no during negotiation. One Vietnamese friend who doesn't even ride talked me down $100 on a $500 using ridiculous haggling tactics ("You give me this bike for $200"). But I thought it was good preparation for the rest of the season.

But I was proud of myself when I told one customer "No". I secured his team a great deal from one of our brands, below cost pricing. Anyone was welcome to build their bikes themselves, but I charged them $200 for assembly, which includes lifetime service. This price might not be competitive for bike builds, but considering that I brokered this deal with our rep and even organized a demo day to try out these bikes, I think it is fair.

Well one of the team members, who ordered 2 bikes worth more than $5000, wanted to renegotiate the build price. I politely declined, stating the great deal he received. I don't think he was 100% happy, but he accepted my argument.

I think it is possible to say no politely.
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,412
0
SF
Hmm... Wanna buy a bridge?
Well, she is a good friend of one of my best friends, and after yelling at me for 20 minutes about giving her a good deal, I just gave up.

Part of it was she and I were friends. I have met some customers who use these tactics, and I would have refused and told her to head to Target.
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,033
0
Denver
I think negotiating in situations like that is offensive.

You give me a price, it's either good enough or it's not.
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,412
0
SF
I don't think negotiation is bad, but giving it away is a problem.

For example, we had a freeride bike which we marked down to $200 over cost. The person who was planning on buying it already bought an older model for one of his sons. He asked the owner of the shop if he could do better on the price.

I would have said, we barely make anything on the bike, and knowing that he wanted the bike (his other son has been in the shop 3 times looking at it) and he couldn't find this price anywhere else, I am sure he would have accepted this price.

The owner, being an softie, sold him the bike at cost.
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,033
0
Denver
I don't think negotiation is bad...
Sorry, I don't understand. It's a retail shop. Would these people negotiate at Target, McDonalds, Best Buy...?

We got some free stuff thrown in when we bought our HDTV, but I've never heard of someone negotiating the price of a TV... does that happen?
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,412
0
SF
Sorry, I don't understand. It's a retail shop. Would these people negotiate at Target, McDonalds, Best Buy...?

We got some free stuff thrown in when we bought our HDTV, but I've never heard of someone negotiating the price of a TV... does that happen?
The answer is simple: who determines the final price?

Go to the supermarket and they will tell you the head office determines the price.

Go to a car dealership and they will tell you the sales manager determines the price.

Go to a fruit stand and the person selling you the fruit determines the price.

I rarely use the "supermarket" analogy because it is not true. I try to gauge your desire for this bike, your willingness to pay, and the chance you will walk out if I don't negotiate.
 

indieboy

Want fries with that?
Jan 4, 2002
1,811
1
atlanta
there is nothing wrong with telling someone no, in that situation or really many retail situations.
 

CBJ

Turbo Monkey
Mar 19, 2002
10,927
1,262
Copenhagen, Denmark
Some people including myself are just not happy if I don't get a discount. If you have already given the customer a discount its very important to let them know you have or they will not appreciate. Its all about being one step ahead of the customer so you don't get into even more discount talk. Don't be worry aboutsaying no if you have given them a good price. Just be polite and they will keep coming back.
 

SPINTECK

Turbo Monkey
Oct 16, 2005
1,370
0
abc
I totally agree with your style. People are just unappreciative, but the nicer you are the more they want to take advantage of your good nature. You need to do what is fair for you with the price of your time. I don't even build wheels for people anymore b/c it's not worth my. 200$ for a suspended build with lifetime service is a more than fair. I'm so sick of people and retail. You could post that bike on an internet site $500 more than you're selling it to them and that same person won't have a problem punching in the credit card #.
 

dan-o

Turbo Monkey
Jun 30, 2004
5,142
1,199
I very rarely discount pricing for my business as I can always find full-margin work.

Compromising for customers is fine and often necessary but I run on the 'the customer is always right, unless he isn't' theory.

In other words, run your business the way you want to.
 
Generally if all the mark up is on a bike is $200, the shop loses money between shipping, time building, time selling, and the standard service plan. I hate when people come in and try and haggle over fixed pricing. Prices in the industry are already low for what the shop actually clears when its all said and done with credit card fees, employees, all of the overhead, shops dont survive for a reason and its unfortunate.

I saw that some walmarts are starting to sell $1000+ bikes, before long if the lbs isnt supported, well be buying our V-10s, Glory's and dare i saw it, Sundays from Walmart or Target
 

Reactor

Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2005
3,978
1
Chandler, AZ, USA
The answer is simple: who determines the final price?

Go to the supermarket and they will tell you the head office determines the price.

Go to a car dealership and they will tell you the sales manager determines the price.

Go to a fruit stand and the person selling you the fruit determines the price.

I rarely use the "supermarket" analogy because it is not true. I try to gauge your desire for this bike, your willingness to pay, and the chance you will walk out if I don't negotiate.

I have no problem with a shop having a set price, or negotiating. Either way I'll either buy the bike or I'll go somewhere else. The only time I get bent out of shape is when a shop doesn't follow-thru on a deal they made, or they do something wrong.
 

hooples3

Fuggetaboutit!
Mar 14, 2005
5,247
0
Brooklyn
I think we give really good deals at the shop, which are more than fair. So when someone asks for even more money off i ask them "when you go into a store and ask for a loaf of bread do you ask the owner to take money off of it?". that usually does it
 

Reactor

Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2005
3,978
1
Chandler, AZ, USA
I think we give really good deals at the shop, which are more than fair. So when someone asks for even more money off i ask them "when you go into a store and ask for a loaf of bread do you ask the owner to take money off of it?". that usually does it
So you have triple coupon days? That would be sweet.
 

sunny

Grammar Civil Patrol
Jul 2, 2004
1,108
0
Sandy Eggo, CA
I think it is possible to say no politely.
Good for you. It's not easy to do, especially when people seem to expect it from a bike shop.

I say no politely rather often, emphasizing to customers that there's no need for a discount because it's already at a good price and a great value. We offer lifetime adjustments on bikes purchased from us, a professional fitting, and even basic skills clinics. Very few people really push the issue.
 

skatetokil

Turbo Monkey
Jan 2, 2005
2,384
0
DC/Bluemont VA
It'll be an awesome day when I can pick up a v-10 for dirt cheap at wal mart.
I tend to agree. There will always be a handful of shops that actually provide good service and quality gear, and they will continue to do business. Germantown/Avalon Cycles rocks and Coates Bike Shop when I lived out in out in Cali was great as well. However, most of the bike shops in DC are garbage and deserve whatever they get. I will never go to Revolution Cycles, home of the $24 generic shifter cable or Bicycle Pro Shop, home of the 4 month warranty claim ever again.

I've probably been to every shop in DC at one time or another, and most of them looked at me like I had two heads when I tried to explain what I needed. My favorite utterances include "50mm? No, the shortest stem I carry is a 110" and "What the hell is a bashguard?"