LBS tip: How To Say No

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by sanjuro, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. sanjuro

    sanjuro Tube Smuggler

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    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.
     

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  2. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    Hmm... Wanna buy a bridge?
     
  3. sanjuro

    sanjuro Tube Smuggler

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    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.
     
  4. -dustin

    -dustin boring

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    define "lifetime service"...
     
  5. LordOpie

    LordOpie MOTHER HEN

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    I think negotiating in situations like that is offensive.

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

    BurlyShirley Rex Grossman Will Rise Again

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    ...some Jew you turned out to be.
     
  7. sanjuro

    sanjuro Tube Smuggler

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    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.
     
  8. LordOpie

    LordOpie MOTHER HEN

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    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?
     
  9. splat

    splat Nam I am

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    Yes it does! especially if the sales people are working on commision
     
  10. sanjuro

    sanjuro Tube Smuggler

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    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.
     
  11. indieboy

    indieboy Want fries with that?

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    there is nothing wrong with telling someone no, in that situation or really many retail situations.
     
  12. CBJ

    CBJ Turbo Monkey

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    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.
     
  13. SPINTECK

    SPINTECK Turbo Monkey

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    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 #.
     
  14. dan-o

    dan-o Turbo Monkey

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    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.
     
  15. FrontRangeDH

    FrontRangeDH Monkey

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    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
     
  16. BurlyShirley

    BurlyShirley Rex Grossman Will Rise Again

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    It'll be an awesome day when I can pick up a v-10 for dirt cheap at wal mart.
     
  17. Reactor

    Reactor Turbo Monkey

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    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.
     
  18. loco-gringo

    loco-gringo Crusading Clamp Monkey

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    I usually preface things with "F*#k" and it gets the point across.
     
  19. hooples3

    hooples3 Fuggetaboutit!

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    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
     
  20. Reactor

    Reactor Turbo Monkey

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    So you have triple coupon days? That would be sweet.
     
  21. brungeman

    brungeman I give a shirt

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    it only took you a few days to get back into form... :clapping: :rofl::disgust1:
     
  22. Brian HCM#1

    Brian HCM#1 MMMMMMMMM BEER!!!!!!!!!!

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    No doubt, I think he should be banished from the Jewish Fraternity. This is a complete insult to the Jewish people, I'm offended!!!!!!
     
  23. sanjuro

    sanjuro Tube Smuggler

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    BTW, Loren is not a bad negotiator.
     
  24. ridefast

    ridefast Monkey

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    wait...you charge $200 to build the bike?!
     
  25. cycleryshop

    cycleryshop Chimp

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    try reading more. you might like it.
     
  26. sunny

    sunny Grammar Civil Patrol

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    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.
     
  27. skatetokil

    skatetokil Turbo Monkey

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    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?"