Do your homework, and never pay full price for a bicycle.
There is no shame in haggling. Don’t be too proud to ask for a better price on big-ticket items like bicycles. Bike shops want to make the sale as much as you want to buy that new bike. Lose your fear of negotiating and make yourself feel good about spending money by not paying the full price. The markup on bicycles leaves plenty of room for negotiating, and the salespeople expect you to bargain with them. By going into the store with a heads-up attitude, you can walk out with a new bike—and more cash in your hand.
1. Ask the salesperson if they will take less money for the bike. If they say they don’t have the authority, ask for the manager or the senior salesperson on duty. Then offer to buy the bike at 15 percent off the price. This will make them counter at 10 percent off. If they don’t make a counteroffer, be prepared to walk out.
2. Ride the bike and look for defects. Find a nick in the paint, a gear that shifts sluggishly, a crooked or bent cable, improperly aligned shifters or brakes, or any minor cosmetic or aesthetic problems that you can bring to the salesperson’s attention for leverage to negotiate a better price.
3. Do your homework. Get on the Internet before you go bike shopping and get prices on new bikes. Use them for bargaining power. Look at customer reviews, learn the bad points of the bikes you’re interested in and use those points in your bargaining
4. Offer to pay cash. Money talks so offer to pay cash if they will lower the price. If that doesn’t work, state that you will buy the bike if they throw in extras such as pedals, bike computers, helmets, etc.
5. Read the newspapers. Cut out competitor adds and be prepared to show them to the salesperson for leverage. Compliment sales staff. Tell them you love shopping at their store. Inquire if there is a sale coming up in the next few weeks. If they say yes, ask for the sale price now. Never let them know how eager you are to buy the bike and never let the salesperson take over. You are in charge.