LBS - $100 - $150 USD Demo Charge

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by wugga, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. wugga

    wugga New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2005
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just wanted to thow this out to see what people think of LBS that charge for DEMO's My issue happened earlier this week walking into two LBS to SPEC/BUY a new carbon bike build with Campy Record components, and I was ready to spend 5K USD on the spot (cash).

    After discussing the build and what I wanted the LBS, well actually two LBS in Denver, CO , one wanted $150 USD demo fee and the other $100 USD. I may be splitting hairs, but I can't believe a LBS would be so petty as to charge a demo fee for a "quote demo bike" the LBS keep in stocl for such purposes. Oh, yea I forgot, the money would be refunded if I bought from the LBS.

    So, basically I laughed at the LBS folks at both places, showed then the enveople with the 5K cash and told both they just lost it. Oh, then they became "very nice" to no avail. My business went elsewhare to a truly professional LBS in the Denver area, that did not even quibble about a demo fee and even thew in a pro-fit i really did not need.
     
    Tags:


  2. DiabloScott

    DiabloScott New Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Messages:
    2,284
    Likes Received:
    2
    I would't mind paying a refundable-on-purchase demo fee if it meant I got to take really good bikes out on really good test rides. Last time I took a test ride the guy about freaked (according to my friend who was there) when I went farther than around the block.

    More annoying to me is the Fred wannabe who takes up all the dealer's time pretending to know something and pretending to be a real customer, or asking enough questions so he can get what he wants off eBay without buying anything from the dealer. I suspect the demo fee is intended to discourage that kind of behaviour. Too bad it also turns away real buyers like you. But if they treated you with respect and had what you wanted to buy, why would you walk away when it wouldn't cost you anything in the end?

    It's common with snow skis, but I've never seen it for bikes.
     
  3. mattjf

    mattjf New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with wugga. I am young, only 22, and I always get treated like a second class citizen any time I go into a store and look at something high end. And I have demoed bikes at LBS's and never bought from them, for various reasons. There are plenty of shops that don't require nonsense like demo fees.

    -Matt
     
  4. StartTday

    StartTday New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2005
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here is my opinion on the demo charge. Personally I think its ridiculous. Thats a way to tell the customer, we dont trust you so we are going to charge you a fee. Car dealers don't charge a fee for a product that costs much more than a bicycle, even a high-end one, just to take a test drive.

    I part-time at a bike shop and anyone can test ride any bike they want. We take their driver's license and credit card. We dont charge them anything for a test ride.
     
  5. wugga

    wugga New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2005
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would be certainly upset to be charged a fee to test a "shop buit test bike" just to get feel of a specific frame. What if you don't like the bike? Keep trying bikes till you "may" find one one that is a fit? Actually, I ended up spending 5.5K USD and could not be happier and I found a professional LBS. No issues, credit card and driver license and I was off for hours. Service sells, attitude does not!

    I certainly would have never bought a certain German import car if the dealer asked for a fee!




     
  6. Asian Allez

    Asian Allez New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2005
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    i agree that some LBS really want to rip you off. I am only 18, but I'm damn serious about road biking and it always seems like the owner is much more friendly towards "the father/mother and their son/daughter" and they threw in a "complimentary brake adjustment" which misaligned my brakes! i had to fix it myself. This is a Trek LBS that treats my specialized at college, but a Specialized LBS back at home loves me. Company rivalries?
     
  7. leslierc8853

    leslierc8853 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2004
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    When I demo-ed my Specialized S-Works Tarmac at my LBS all they required was my driver's license and a credit card. The credit card was used as security; nothing was ever charged to it.
     
  8. Rideastrong

    Rideastrong New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    0
    sounds like you went to the 'shop' over on 38th in wheatridge. head over to schwab off of colfax in lakewood. they are very good to deal with and have build us 2 waterfords in the past year and we have nothing but good things to say about them. tell them what you are looking for and they will take care of you. I think we spent about $10k there last year on bikes and related items and they will probably get more this year. :)
     
  9. basso97

    basso97 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just want to get this straight.

    You wanted the LBS to build you a bike, that you could try, then not buy, did I get this correct? I am sure that the shop would have let you demo a bike that they already had built, but if you have them build the bike you buy it.

    Car dealers will not bring in a car, with the only the options you want, unless they have a signed contract in hand, or the options are common, and then, they probley have one in stock already. This is no different.


     
  10. moto

    moto New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had the same garbage happen at Beyondbikes. They wanted $150 to ride a demo bike that they would so kindly discount from the price of the bike if you decided to buy it.

    Needless to say, I won't buy from them.

     
  11. astroluc

    astroluc New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
    This actually makes sense... It is similar to a car dealer (to continue the comparison) making a copy of your licence when going for a test ride. But I do agree that charging for a test ride is ridiculous! What if it happens that you dislike the ride quality, or some other such reason occurs so you decide to not purchase the bike... you are then out the $100-150?!? The LBS makes out like a bandit. It's not very good customer service, and it is certainly not a way to build up a good and loyal clientel.
     
  12. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Messages:
    12,596
    Likes Received:
    160
    As most have said, go to another dealer. I wanted to test ride a Moots, so I went to one of two local dealers....one wouldn't return calls. The dealer I went to ordered up a demo Moots from the factory, built it up when it came in, and let me have it for a week. Sure they did an imprint of my credit card for $7000 or so, but it'd be silly of 'em not to. After a week, I returned it (returned it full of water, actually, because on the return I got caught in monsoon rains for a little over an hour and had to navigate flooded streets.), and they tore up my c.c. imprint. Oh yeah, they didn't seem to put out about having to tear the bike down to repack the bearings, either. For that, I bought 'em a 6 of Stella Artois. It was a good deal all the way around: got to test the bike I wanted for a long time; the bike came w/ the grouppo I ride on...Campy Record; and I discovered that I hated the gearing in the 50/34, 11/23 combo they had on the bike. For their efforts, they got my money when it came time to order the bike.

    IMHO, if a shop won't let you demo a bike for free, then they don't want your business too much. Sure you may not get to demo the frame w/ all of the components of your choosing, but so what? If you're having difficulty finding a dealer w/ the bike you want to demo or a dealer that will play nice, call the bike manufacturer to see if they can give you some direction/help. Bikes aren't necessarily a cheap investment, so I think it's a bit much to expect someone to buy one without having taken a spin on it.
     
  13. wugga

    wugga New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2005
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ridestrong,

    Right on the money on that LBS! I have heard about Schwab, however not to name the LBS, I ended up with a different LBS. I knwo what you mean about finding a "gem" LBS. The one I found and who build my bike will most likely get my business for life.

     
  14. wugga

    wugga New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2005
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    Basso,


    Not in the least. I wanted to demo an "existing bike/frame" that the LBS had just to get an idea of the ride qualities. Plus I got a ration of the entire Campy v. Shimano to the extreme of some weird statement of "we don't cary Campy because of the exchange rates! The LBS who built my ride, did not quibble with my "specific build on any point".


     
  15. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Messages:
    12,596
    Likes Received:
    160
    Don't carry Campy because of "exchange rates?" What a load of kack. Hopefully whatever LBS it is that you are talking about will find itself out of business in the near future.
     
  16. ToffoIsMe

    ToffoIsMe New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2005
    Messages:
    385
    Likes Received:
    1
    The demo fee sounds a bit rediculous. I work at a bike shop and if we have the bike in stock, we build it as a spec bike with no charge and even do a body scan to set it up with all the right angles for the stem,bars,seat,etc as to make it as comfortable as possible during the test ride.


    On another note, I would not recommend campy products. My experience with them is that they are harder to set up and adjust and have a much rougher/sketchier feel to them than shimano componants do. If you are spending that much on bike then get something that is either full ultegra or full dura-ace.
     
  17. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Messages:
    12,596
    Likes Received:
    160
    What a load of corn-filled, runny crap. If a shop can't wrench well enough to adjust/install Campy stuff properly, well, then they ain't much of a shop. I can think of at least two shops locally that can do a bang up job mounting Campy stuff.

    Geez, I'm not a bike wrench, but putting on Campy derailleurs was just as easy as putting on Shimano stuff. It runs quiet, shifts real nice. It was a complete doddle. Picking my nose was more difficult.

    If I'm ever in Jersey, I'll make sure I avoid the incompetent shops and their wrenches that can't seem to get the handle on installing different grouppos. Geez those shops are taking up valuable space that could be better served by laundromats or meth clinics.
     
  18. ToffoIsMe

    ToffoIsMe New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2005
    Messages:
    385
    Likes Received:
    1
    I didn't say I couldn't install campy components. I can install them just fine. They just take a bit more time to fine tune than shimano parts. I'm just trying to help this guy out and recommend parts of an equal level that will be easier for him to maintain so he doesn't need to pay someone to make the adjustments for him. And yes, in my opinion campy parts do not run as smoothly as shimano.
     
  19. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    2,010
    Likes Received:
    0
    That does sound kind of odd. The shop is going to put a mark up on the parts no matter how much the distributer had to pay to get them over from Europe. Most shops will acknowledge the exchange rate, but if a customer wants to spend the money they'll place the order. It sounds like they have some fear of working on non-Shimano parts. It's probably best that you didn't have your expensive new bike built up by people who are confused about having to use a slightly different wrench on the bb.
     
  20. wugga

    wugga New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2005
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    LOL! Appreciate all the comments folks. Just proves the point when you are able to find a "Gem" LBS; stick with them!

     
Loading...
Loading...