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The best way to get free stuff and discounts is not to ask for them the first time you have dealt with the shop. Over time, if you are not a pain, are not entitled, are polite and easy to deal with, and show sympathy toward them as a small business trying to stay afloat, they will start offering discounts or start giving you minor service for free. Both my shops do this for me without me asking because I try to behave like a polite guest in their shop rather than a douchebag who thinks the customer is always king.
 

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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.
based on your reactions to strangers on the internet, that shop probably dodged a bullet.

Maybe they sensed that you would be a problem customer and just hoped you would go away. I mean, it is clear that you are the type of person who:

  • feels the act of spending a few dollars entitles you to have your way with the mechanics wife and drink all the beer in the fridge.
  • lacks the confidence to negotiate and probably buys their cars thru Costco.
  • likely Has never worked in a shop, owned a business, or had a position of any real responsibility due to the lack of familiarity with margins, profit centers, and human interaction.
  • must be a real treat at parties.
 

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There's probably a bigger message here than just bikes. I'll leave it at that.
Yeah, I read the OP post and I read the replies. My opinion is somewhere in the middle. I just bought a bike. $3K FWIW. I went to my shop I bought my last bike and have my bike serviced at. They couldn't get me a bike I wanted (forget reasonable time, they just couldn't order something and expect it to come in), the ones I wanted he said he might get in 2022. So they were out. I felt bad, I wanted to buy from them. They are good mechanics, nice personalities, take the time to BS and hear out concerns etc.
I happened to go to another shop (bigger) to get some shorts and due to a cancelation by a customer, they had the bike I wanted on the floor. After confirming it fit, and I wanted it, I bought it. Guy who sold it to me was young, and seemed to know what he was talking about, but then get handed off to a clerk to ring up, and a high school kid to bring out the bike while a bunch of people are waiting around for their kids $200 bike. I debating about asking to swap tires, but didn't broach the subject, they did put the pedals I purchased on the bike. I felt I didn't really get a proper set up of my bike, shock was very low, and frankly felt a bit like I was buying a commodity rather than a $3K mountain bike. Really made me wish I was able to buy it at the other shop. Realistically I wanted more during sale service from someone who knew what they were doing.

to the OP, I personally think they should have mounted the tires for you for free. it seems like it is a relatively small amount of support to be thrown in on a $5K purchase. Discount and free items... in this climate, i don't think you should expect. Personally I would think it would behoove shops to have a little shop named swag to throw in with some bike purchases for the free advertising and good feels, but its tough at the moment.

Small shops as busy and stretched as they are, I don't think are doing well. They can't sell what they don't have. Their floor got cleared, and that is good, but with no restocking ability, they are missing out on any boom sales and are trying to survive.
 

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About the only thing that's irritating is that I've done several initial tune ups because the shops are too busy to do so for people who have bought bikes recently. They still offer that first free tune up, if you drop the bike off and wait.. estimated time is about a month. (and that has royally pissed off at least a couple customers I know)

People got free stuff for so long they expect it.
 

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Sign in small shop: "We'd like to give our friends discounts, but our enemies don't shop here"

Anyway, Pricepoint used to include a pack of microwave popcorn in my orders.

But they went out of business, so maybe popcorn was a bad idea.
 

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Sign in small shop: "We'd like to give our friends discounts, but our enemies don't shop here"

Anyway, Pricepoint used to include a pack of microwave popcorn in my orders.

But they went out of business, so maybe popcorn was a bad idea.
Totally off topic, but my buddy ordered some Schwalbes from Germany, and they put a big bag of Haribo gummy bears in the box.

I love the Germans.
 

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scribbles notes intently

I don't think OP said anything wrong. The way I do things is if you walk in my store and ask for a discount like we are in Ensenada you're not getting far. Prove that you value my time and product and then I'll hook you up. People that never ask for discounts get a lot of free labor.

I'm more likely to give a discount on something that is special ordered since I don't have to have money and space tied up to make the sale.
 

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Anyway, what about Home Depot? Safeway? Autozone? REI? I spend lot's of cash there, where's my free $hit??!!
Home Depot... Pro Xtra loyalty program, also price match to Menard's for 11% off
Autozone... Always coupon codes for online orders, also Rewards Club
Safeway... just for U loyalty program, earn points for rewards
REI... REI members earn yearly dividend, get coupons
 

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Totally off topic, but my buddy ordered some Schwalbes from Germany, and they put a big bag of Haribo gummy bears in the box.

I love the Germans.
I bought some bike stuff the other day and there was a goodie in the box. I think it was a fun sized Snickers, although thinking back on it, that's hard to believe since how do they know I don't have a serious peanut allergy.

Anyway, I forgot what company sent it but I did eat the treat. So I guess it's not working if I didn't remember them.
 

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Home Depot... Pro Xtra loyalty program, also price match to Menard's for 11% off
Autozone... Always coupon codes for online orders, also Rewards Club
Safeway... just for U loyalty program, earn points for rewards
REI... REI members earn yearly dividend, get coupons
those discounts makes sense.
1. They are competing on price.
2. you are providing something valuable in exchange, data on your purchasing habits among other things.
 

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based on your reactions to strangers on the internet, that shop probably dodged a bullet.

Maybe they sensed that you would be a problem customer and just hoped you would go away. I mean, it is clear that you are the type of person who:

  • feels the act of spending a few dollars entitles you to have your way with the mechanics wife and drink all the beer in the fridge.
  • lacks the confidence to negotiate and probably buys their cars thru Costco.
  • likely Has never worked in a shop, owned a business, or had a position of any real responsibility due to the lack of familiarity with margins, profit centers, and human interaction.
  • must be a real treat at parties.
I think you're overreacting.
 

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feels the act of spending a few dollars entitles you to have your way with the mechanics wife and drink all the beer in the fridge
What if somebody had their way with someone's wife, but didn't drink all the beer in the fridge? Would that make them a bad person? I'm asking for a friend...
 
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Buying a bike is a business transaction for me. I'm not trying to build a relationship, I don't want to be your friend. I want to negotiate the best price for the product that I am buying. I understand that some shops offer more than just a place to buy and some customers need and want mechanics, setup and other expertise. But I'm not that customer.

I just want to walk in, hand you cash and walk out with my bike. I won't bother you again until I buy my next bike.
Seriously.
 
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The industry has changed quite a bit since this pandemic took over. Maybe when things settle down, the old perks will return. My local shop was swamped with repairs out the door, but at least the owner's new-bike inventory sold out.
 

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Home Depot... Pro Xtra loyalty program, also price match to Menard's for 11% off
Autozone... Always coupon codes for online orders, also Rewards Club
Safeway... just for U loyalty program, earn points for rewards
REI... REI members earn yearly dividend, get coupons
In all of those cases (except maybe REI), you're the product. They're selling your information, which is why you get a discount.
 

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A half-price water bottle doesn't even REMOTELY factor in to my interaction with a bike shop. Aside from the fact that I never use water bottles, it has precisely zero to do with the quality of the shop, their work in the service department, their selection and value on the sales floor, etc.

There are really only two things that can get me to want to shop at a given store. First is inventory. A bike shop is useless to me if they don't HAVE what I need when I need it. As a result, I have one shop I go to when I'm buying a complete bike because their selection has never disappointed me. I have a small handful of shops I go to for just about everything else because, even mid-pandemic, they've had what I needed when I needed it on the shelf.

Second is a good shop. Honestly I have yet to find one that blows me away and I go out of my way to learn and do the work myself whenever possible. Although wheel building is still a dark art I pay one shop to handle.

In any case, discounts are nice, but it's an added bonus, not a target.

That said, I've managed to get pretty substantial discounts on a lot of parts in the last year or two without even asking, so combined with good inventory, that shop has been a winner for me =)
 

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I think you’re underreacting.
Watch out, he’ll be coming for your social security check next.
You're a lot of fun at parties, I'd bet.
 
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