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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While looking through the latest issue of MBA I come across an advertisement for the awesome looking new Cannondale Moto(?). Of course the first question for me is how much does this thing cost? When you get to the Cannondale website they say that since all of their dealers are privately owned/operated they cannot provide you with prices. How could this possibly be true? I mean don't companies have to factor in price when developing ANY product and give the retailers a cost? Why not provide an MSRP like every other company?

Aren't most car dealerships privately owned? If they are, why can I go to Jeep's or Subaru's website and get a quote? To get to my point, how do I know if I'm getting screwed by one bike shop and not by another on bike prices? Cannondale operates like this, so I am sure many others do as well. Most bike companies do list prices online, but are those on the high side in the first place? The profit margins are not very large for bikes, but I often see widely ranging prices from bike shop to bike shop. Does anyone know the answer? :madman:
 

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pedal pusher
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They obviously have a wholesale price already set, as well as an MSRP. However, if they list the price on their site (which I agree they should) they could instantly lose the sale to consumers who are browsing their site... "Damn, that's way more than I wanted to spend. Let's see what Gary Fisher has to offer, instead..." However, if they make you go to the shop, it gives the salesman a nice shot at working you over, even if the bike is priced higher than you would have paid while thinking clearly.

In a perfect world, all weights would be listed accurately and all MSRPs would be on the manufacturers' sites, but we live on Earth, and it's far from perfect.
 

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stripes said:
Cannondale was recently acquired by the same Taiwanese company that owns GT, Diamondback, Raleigh, and I believe Schwinn. :skep:
Cannondale was aquired by by Dorel Inc. which is a CANADIAN company that also owns Pacific Cycle which in turn own Mongoose, GT, Dyno, Schwinn, Murray and Roadmaster. Cannondale is not operated under the Pacific Cycles umbrella, it is operated as it's own division/ brand. They DO NOT own Diamondback or Raleigh. Diamondback is owned by Raleigh America Inc based in WA.

Anyway, unpublished MSRP's are a small but growing trend as MSRP's are essentially nothing but a marketing tool which sometimes does more harm then good to retailers AND consumers. When I bought my bike at Dicks for example it was on sale advertised as 50% off. It was 50% off MSRP which was $400 although Dicks never sold it for more than $249.

Also, as with anything, a high demand on a product can mean things sell for more than MSRP. The first year of the Dodge Viper dealers were getting 4 or 5 times MSRP. More recently the first year of the Pontiac Solstice, the base MSRP was under 20k. Not one sold for MSRP or less. People accept this in the auto industry but if you found hat your LBS had a bike marked up over MSRP you'd "think" you were getting ripped off.

Not publishing an MSRP also make you compare bikes by features, not by price which bennefits everybody involved. It also makes you contact the retailer.

This brings up the one and only way you have ever had to ensure you weren't getting "ripped off" is to contact multiple retaillers to get the best price. MSRP has nothing to due with shopping for the best deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My underlying point is that I hate going from bike shop to bike shop and seeing far differing prices, the disparity seems higher than that of car dealers. The process of haggling in a bike shop is always annoying and uncomfortable, not to mention that new riders could essentially be getting screwed. I haggle, but regardless of how much I get them down I always feel like someone else probably got a better deal. This thread was more of a rant than a question I guess.
 

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Totally

mtb416 said:
My underlying point is that I hate going from bike shop to bike shop and seeing far differing prices, the disparity seems higher than that of car dealers. The process of haggling in a bike shop is always annoying and uncomfortable, not to mention that new riders could essentially be getting screwed. I haggle, but regardless of how much I get them down I always feel like someone else probably got a better deal. This thread was more of a rant than a question I guess.
I couldn't agree more. I hate bouncing around to find the best price on a bike. Give me a starting point so I know if I'm being taken or not.
 

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Derailleurless
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brandonjamesdoza said:
I couldn't agree more. I hate bouncing around to find the best price on a bike. Give me a starting point so I know if I'm being taken or not.
I hate bouncing around to 6-week old threads, but how about this: In the absense of an MSRP from Cannondale, you're being given that much more leeway to "make your own deal" with your local shop.

It seems to me too many shops are hamstrung by strict manufacturer pricing guidelines, and/or are quick (lazy) to point to them as some kind of binding price.
 

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Old man on a bike
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If you're able to find your way to this forum surely (Shirley if you prefer) you can find a way to price compare easily. Lazy consumerism is just so stupid...
 

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As someone who worked in a Cannondale shop for year (And several other brands) I'll also mention this:

while there is a baseline "Wholesale" price, what a dealer actually pays for a bike actually depends on how much merchandise they agree to pre-order in thier pre-season ordering sessions with their reps. This is pretty much every brand I sold in every type of recreational equipment I sold, bikes, waterskis, camping gear etc.....

If a Bike has a $699 MSRP, then the wholesale price might be something like $465. that would give the dealer roughly a 33% margin they can sell the bike for if they price it at the $699 MSRP. If they do a bigger pre-season order with the manuf.(say 60 bikes instead of 45) they might get say another 5-15% discount on their wholesale cost, along with better repayment terms (net 90 instead of net 60 or whatever). Now that $699 bike only cost the dealer ~$418.50 (at a10% dicount). That means they can price that bike at $699 still and make another 7% margin on it if it sells at $699. It also give them more wiggle room to haggle price. Or they might be more of a "volume seller" type shop and price the bike at $625 and make the same 33% they would have if they hadn't gotten the price break.

Some bike brands require that a shop price their bikes at MSRP. This is one of the reasons Cannondale doesn't place MSRP on the web - they would rather let their dealers set their own prices. It is to avoid scaring a customer off with a $725 MSRP on a bike that compares with another brand's $699 MSRP bike. Since there are no mail order sales of Trek, Spechy, Cannondale, Giant etc....those dealers want to get you into the shop so they can try and win you as a customer (the good shops do, at least).

I always would be ready to deal with a shopper, but usually most people wouldn't ever ask for a break on the price. Not on a Entry-lever to mid-range bike. I got more people coming in when we advertised a sale price, cause they "were so happy we finally ran the bike they wanted on sale" - then they would buy the sale price. There was always still a little room to wiggle. But if your dealer is throwing in multiple free tuneups (rarely used by most new riders), a free bottle and cage, and maybe a 5-10% discount of all accessories purchased with the bike, or within the next 30 days, that is something that also eats away a little bit of your profit margin. Good news is that the accessories/clothing usually carries a much higher margin than the bikes, and you don't feel 10% there nearly as much as on the bike sale.
 

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mtb416 said:
My underlying point is that I hate going from bike shop to bike shop and seeing far differing prices, the disparity seems higher than that of car dealers. The process of haggling in a bike shop is always annoying and uncomfortable, not to mention that new riders could essentially be getting screwed. I haggle, but regardless of how much I get them down I always feel like someone else probably got a better deal. This thread was more of a rant than a question I guess.
You could always do like the cars.com add. Bring Glondor to fight the LBS guy in a ring of fire death match. That is, if he doesn't give you the price you like. I got my bike on sale and saw it was over $200 under MSRP wich was great for me. Made me feel like I'd won a prize!
 

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mtb416 said:
While looking through the latest issue of MBA I come across an advertisement for the awesome looking new Cannondale Moto(?). Of course the first question for me is how much does this thing cost? When you get to the Cannondale website they say that since all of their dealers are privately owned/operated they cannot provide you with prices. How could this possibly be true? I mean don't companies have to factor in price when developing ANY product and give the retailers a cost? Why not provide an MSRP like every other company?

Aren't most car dealerships privately owned? If they are, why can I go to Jeep's or Subaru's website and get a quote? To get to my point, how do I know if I'm getting screwed by one bike shop and not by another on bike prices? Cannondale operates like this, so I am sure many others do as well. Most bike companies do list prices online, but are those on the high side in the first place? The profit margins are not very large for bikes, but I often see widely ranging prices from bike shop to bike shop. Does anyone know the answer? :madman:
I share your frustration. And don't forget to compare all-up weights while your at it (bring your own scale). To track down the information they're hiding from you, you'd have to spend hours, if not days on the road, traveling to different bike shops and dealing with pushy salespeople (who either don't know squat about what they're selling, or will toe the company line and continue hiding the info you seek). It's all about preventing you from making an informed decision.

Don't listen to those here who try to put you down and call you lazy. You took a solid first step just by asking the right questions. Keep asking, and question everything. Also beware that many of the mega-posters around here are looking out for their own interests, and not yours. Forum rules require them to disclose their related business interests, but I doubt they all do.
 
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