Thanks for your post, you mention some valid and reasonable things. I get it that no one is getting rich selling bikes and they need to make a living. Deep discounts are not reasonable and I can fully appreciate how unbelievably annoying it must be to have people constantly try to squeeze a few dollars out of you. Totally get that. fwiw, when they declined my requests I didn't even bat an eye, said ok no problem I understand and happily paid full price.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....
I suppose one thought comes to my mind that I'm asking out of honest curiosity from your perspective: I understand what you're saying regarding not seeing value in giving discounts. The problem is I think the typical consumer comes in with a different perspective and expectation. Is there a common ground and a way for everyone to walk away happy? Is a very small token discount on something like just $5 on an accessory in exchange for a $5,000 bike purchase or mounting the new tires for free (I offered to pay full price for any materials like sealant, etc) an unreasonable assumption? Just asking, not trying to stir the pot and genuinely curious about your opinion.
btw, I can only speak for myself but I give my services at work completely free of charge regularly every day! Wish it wasn't that way but it's just part of my job and the expectations that go along with it. Understand what you're saying though and admittedly my case is very rare.