The quick guide to your first time (buying a bike)

So you’ve finally settled on getting a brand new bike. Now comes the research. There’s no way to emphasise how important it is to do your ground work before you empty out your bank account for a bike.  

It’s a good idea to know what you’ll be looking at in terms of cost so work around that figure. As a guide, have four numbers in your head.

1. The list price of the bike. This is your guide price and negotiations will invariably start from here.
2. A realistic price that you’d just love to get away with paying.
3. A “fair” price that would leave you riding away thinking that you’d got a good deal.
4. Your maximum price – never go over this price.

Now it’s time to talk to the dealer. Salespeople are well trained to close deals at the highest possible price so dealing with them is an art in itself. Getting a good deal starts well before you sit down with the calculator. The simple task of introducing yourself can help you get on the right track.

Introduce yourself, and make it clear that you are there to buy today before you draw the salesperson into dialogue about the bike. Ask about some of the features and get his personal take on them.

Avoid using phrases like:

“I really like this bike” – This tells the seller that you would be very reluctant to leave the showroom empty handed.

“I’m new to biking” or “I don’t know an awful lot about these”. – Whilst most dealers are helpful, reputable sellers, there are some out there who could exploit this weakness. For that reason, it’s best to keep your novice status to yourself.

You’re likely to be given a sales contract detailing the list price, various other costs (such as admin fees, registration costs and delivery charges) and a breakdown of the finance deal proposal. After studying it briefly, reject it politely by saying something to the effect of: “To be honest, this is more than I had in mind”.

This will give the seller a clear but polite indication that you aren’t prepared to pay the price that he wants you to pay.

Next, make an offer you know is going to shock the seller. Chances are he won’t accept it but what this does is move the point of negotiation over to you.

Be persistent with this and try to stand your ground. After this, you’re likely to be met by a series of “best offers”, “final offers” and probably even the sales manager but don’t be intimidated – in fact, push the deal some more.

If you feel that things aren't swaying in your favour, take a quick breather by leaving the showroom. Say that you just need to go and call a friend. It gives them a couple of minutes to talk the deal over and shows them you are prepared to walk away.

If they don't make make another deal when you return, nudge them again. It’s unlikely that a seller will refuse a fair deal for a third time. If they look as if they are thinking about accepting the deal, say nothing and offer to shake hands – a salesperson finds it very difficult to refuse a handshake.