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When I bought my last bike from a store, the standard was 15-20% off accessories with the purchase of the bike. That alone was not enough for me to want to keep buying from that store.

Living in a major city, I have plenty of choices when it comes to bike shops. I drive 40 minutes across town to support my favorite shop. That has nothing to do with discounts. I do that because they have the best service and will get small repairs done usually while I wait.
 

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I lug 180 kil rock up steep hill to make rock garden over and over at trail work day sponsored by local bike shop. I not get discount. Most shops operate with a thin margin on sales to compete with big online sellers but recoup their money wrenching on your bikes just like a bmw dealership.
 

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I agree with NorCal_In_AZ. My expectations of bike shops have changed over the years. The quality and competence of the service trumps everything else. If I can't trust them to handle work that I might not have the time to do, then no amount of smiles and small discounts is going make me a repeat customer. I will happily pay MSRP or a service premium if it's competently handled.

One of my local shops has a really nice owner. Likable guy. Gives me 10% discounts across the board. I really want to support him. Unfortunately, he also got rid of his best mechanics and his current mechanic doesn't pay attention to detail. As much as I want to support him, I can't trust them with my bike.
 

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Someone mentioned free maintenance lessons. I have had numerous folks ask for an evening with meal included
Yeah, I just meant a 5 minute convo. Here's what I did wrong, should have done this. I don't want to get behind the counter and help out. Who the F asks for a dinner mech session? That's weird.
 

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Man, in the last year or so the bike shops in my city have been inundated with service jobs and were booked a few weeks out since everyone and their uncle decided to take up bicycling. Getting immediate walk-in service became a thing of the past.
 

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Wondering what others get and expect when buying a new bike from a local shop?

Recently bought a brand new $5,000 bike at a local shop, asked about any possible discount, like maybe cover part of the tax. Nope, no discounts right now because new bikes are hot commodities. Totally get that and pretty much expected it, I had no problem paying full price but I'd be a fool to at least not ask for a discount. Bought the bike, asked about a free water bottle or cage. Nope, not even a discount on the tax on the water bottle. Ok fine, no big deal but...

Admittedly it's been a couple-few years since I bought a new bike at a LBS but I always assumed they at least throw in a water bottle with their name on it or something like that if not a few bucks off the price of the bike. It's really not about the money so much as it is about showing appreciation and establishing a good warm fuzzy feeling right from the start. Slightly annoying because I could have driven a couple hours and bought the same exact bike a few days sooner for a few dollars less but I decided to wait and support my local shop instead.

Seems a bit short sighted to me, had I received at least a small token of appreciation, like maybe a water bottle for half off I'd feel more inclined to choose that shop over any of the other local shops. I'm not necessarily upset with this shop and I understand they're in business to make money but I certainly feel no loyalty to go there first for any future purchases. Btw, a few days later I bought a wahoo roam from the other shop in town just because :)

Curious if I'm expecting too much? Maybe things are different now, maybe there are no free water bottles in life anymore?
Why are you asking after the fact?
I bought a similar priced bike from an LBS that I had no relationship with... back in Jan. 2019 before covid. They wouldn't give me a discount, but I asked for help with some accessories, namely a new water-backpack thing. They were soon becoming a distributor for the Osprey line, so gave me a $100 credit towards one of those when they got some in. Main point is, if you can negotiate a credit on merchandise, that helps you since you still get the savings, and helps them since they might have 50% markup or so, so the offer costs them less than simply offering a cash discount.

Is it your first recent dual-suspension bike? Having been in the same boat, I'd recommend a B-stop gauge (or make one), tubeless sealant, a derailleur hanger, spare chain link for 12 speed chain, and maybe a volume spacer kit for the rear shock and/or front fork.

Warning- My bike was set up tubeless. I doubted they put sealant in it just while sitting on the showroom floor, so when I bought it, and waited a week for them to process it and set up the suspension for my weight, I went to pick it up and asked if they put sealant in the tires. (I was buying sealant anyway, but wondered if I needed to add some right away.) They said 'yes'. No, they were filthy liars... no sealant. Check that on your new bike.
 

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Bottle cages are the #1 mountain bike accessory purchased at time of sale. Not everyone is a fat guy with a backpack.
Yeah... I don't like to completely fill my backpack with water... too heavy and sweaty etc. I got a bottle-cage to carry some water there and carry less in my backpack. I drink the backpack first, and when it's empty, then it's easy to gauge your remaining water use with the little bottle. (I can only fit the old-fashioned-sized smaller bottle in my rear-suspension frame.)
 

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Discounts do absolutely nothing to add value to your business. Quite the opposite - they send the message that what you're selling isn't worth as much.....just because.

At my shop I am FAR more likely to throw something in to that person who doesn't ask for anything - that guy who despite being the fastest person on the group road ride is always the one in back nursing along the newbie, or the lady who is ALWAYS bringing in her friends and coworkers to do business with us. The whole "I'm spending money so I should get a discount" mentality tells me that the customer doesn't actually care about relationships, you just care about feeling special, or that you're "winning" the transaction. I will always rather give you more for your money (tech expertise, bike setup, route recommendations or guided rides) than simply give away things that have a set price.

It's funny - the people who ask for discounts the most are the people who would never DREAM of discounting the rates for whatever it is they do for a living. Funny how that works....
 

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Curious if I'm expecting too much? Maybe things are different now, maybe there are no free water bottles in life anymore?
What did you do for them to deserve a discount? Repeat client?

Everything is negotiable, but to get your feelings hurt because you didn’t get some schwag says more about you than them.
 

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I am an old/ former shop rat so rarely go into shops for service and dont expect discounts when i do. I bought a complete bike at full retail in November 2020 so certainly didnt expect or ask for a discount. When i put a bottle cage and tire levers on the counter they threw them in for free. The gesture was more appreciated than the 0.33% of total purchase value it represented.

the front pads on that bike never bedded in. When i talked to a shop mech about it he essentially blew me off, saying all new bikes leave the shop with perfectly bled and bedded brakes. The bleed on the rear brake was mediocre (and actually pointedly out by the floor worker who offered a free bleed when i had the time to sot around and wait for it). This dismissal pissed me off initially but the shop mech i talked to was being reasonable given the phone call from an unknown customer asking for a free brake pad replacement. I let this go and still return to them for parts on occasion even though i am not as impressed with them as i used to be.

i guess my conclusion is the small free parts included with bike purchase made me more tolerant of annoyances in the future and are therefore a good business practice but id rather have more meticulous service without a few dollars worth of parts for good will when needed.

and for hoping for repair advice: a 5 minute convo is definitely good business but that leads to a slippery slope of customers asking for way too much so ya cant blame mechanics for guarding their time, but it never hurts to ask.
 

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I read a great blog post 10+ years back written by a local outfitting shop owner in my hometown. The gist of it was if you want your local shop to survive, you have to pay full retail sometimes; you cannot always buy on sale or ask for a discount. LBSs having been dying off for a while. How do you expect them to survive if you want stuff for free? It's one thing for a $5 water bottle. But 5% off a $5000 bike is $250 out of pocket for them.

I'd expect them to let me test ride and give me expert advice on fitting. And if I'm asking for a specific bike I don't want them hard-selling me on something else. Free basic maintenance (not including parts) if I buy from them is awesome.

I'd really like it if the mechanics were open to showing me how to fix something if I ask. I don't want to watch them rebuild a fork; but reminding me of how to set-up my shifter and rear D from scratch is always helpful. Some shops won't let you see anything.
because they’re busy and you’re wasting their time when they could be working on another customers bike. Everything you could possibly ever want to know is on youtube (including servicing your fork.)
 

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I lug 180 kil rock up steep hill to make rock garden over and over at trail work day sponsored by local bike shop. I not get discount. Most shops operate with a thin margin on sales to compete with big online sellers but recoup their money wrenching on your bikes just like a bmw dealership.
let’s be honest.... thin margin is around 100% mark up depending on what we’re talking about.
 

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let’s be honest.... thin margin is around 100% mark up depending on what we’re talking about.
And so what if it is? If you mark up tire at 100%, that means the store is making about $30-$35 on that tire. Now take that $35 and apply it to employees hourly rate, rent, and electricity to keep the lights on. People don’t go into business to run a charity.
 

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The only shops I see doing well get you into a super nice bike for as little as possible and then charge you $250 for a fork rebuild job and parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
What did you do for them to deserve a discount? Repeat client?
Apparently you didn't catch the intent of the thread, I am not butt hurt whatsoever and have already mentioned a few different times I have no hard feelings toward the shop. You seem a bit defensive though and I'm curious where that's coming from? Maybe you've had poor experiences in sales before, it's a really tough business and I get that. Had you taken the time to read for understanding instead of reading to support whatever foregone conclusions you made before reading you may have picked up on the intent of this thread though.

Gonna write this in caps because it seems to be lost in translation: THIS IS NOT A "THIS SHOP SUCKS" OR A "I WAS TREATED POORLY" THREAD. I HAVE NO PROBLEMS WITH THEM. IT'S JUST A DISCUSSION ABOUT WHAT IS TYPICALLY EXPECTED. If I find I'm off on my expectations I'll adjust them. It's been many many years since I worked at a bike shop but back then throwing in something small like a discount on accessories or a water bottle was standard practice. Don't think we ever sold a bike without something like that. Times change though, this might be one of those times.

What did I do to deserve a discount? That's a fair question which I'll answer honestly. Nothing but it's also the same thing they did to ensure a repeat customer, nothing. Keep in mind and as I already wrote above I could have bought this same exact bike for less money 2 hours away where it was in stock and I didn't have to wait a few days to get. This is not about the money and if I really wanted to save money I could have very easily worked out a pro deal but didn't feel that was right and I wanted to support the LBS. I did that with my last bike and saved a ton of money but have always felt a little guilty about it because although it's a legit pro-deal I'm not directly in the bike industry anymore. Btw I was very respectful when they declined my requests for add ons and discounts, I simply said ok no problem I understand, didn't keep negotiating and happily paid full price.

But instead I walked away with a neutral feeling, they're ok but I definitely didn't feel like I just established another shop I want to go out of my way to use. I guess we see each other the same way, for the right price it's a deal, if there's a better deal out there I'll go with there. For them, if someone is willing to buy the bike and they don't have to throw in free tire mounts or a 4 dollar water bottle that's understandable and it's certainly in their right to sell to that person instead of me, just like it's within my right to buy at the other shop or everything cheaper on amazon if I wanted to do that.

In a perfect scenario this seems like it should be a symbiotic relationship right? I don't mind paying a bit more sometimes and go out of my way to support them and they extend an olive branch and maybe mount the tires I just bought at full price for the bike I just bought at full price complementarily, or some other small token of appreciation.
 

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As everyone stated, most important life-goal is to be happy with a certain bike shop. Hopefully you find one close. But feel good with them and happy to help them in response to their treatment of you. I have a local Trek shop that was awesone with my road bike purchase. Also awesome with offering group road bike rides. But no support or test rides in mtbs, and I was looking to them first. Alas, I chose Giant from a different shop which is a fine bike but the shop isn't as great. I assume Trek offered something something similar but I'll never know. So, really, for most people's abilities, I'd say support your fave shot first and go outside that when needed. There's so many good bikes out now, don't go crazy over it and a great bike shop where you feel welcomed every time you walk in is pure heaven!
 
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