Holiday sales are starting earlier and earlier each year. What does this mean for you? Shop early, shop often and save more! Here are a few tips for uncovering great savings on cycling gear during this holiday shopping season.
Talk With Your Friends
One of the best sources for information about cycling sales is your network of like-minded cycling friends. Word-of-mouth is such an efficient way to communicate information, and many forget this in the age of mobile devices and social media. Likewise, if you've found a great sale from a brand you love, share the info with your friends.
Patronize Your Local Bike Shop
We think this might be the best way to find a great deal on cycling gear. A shop can also provide services—like a bike fit, indoor cycling sessions and coaching—that an online seller can't. Inquire about holiday or year-end special pricing, if you're not already hit with signage when you walk in. Don't be afraid to ask about new-old-stock and clearance items that may be on special sale if you don't see any on the showroom floor. And, it's OK to haggle; you have nothing to lose by asking about bundling a helmet and shoes with a new bike.
Get on Mailing Lists
No one likes their email inbox blasted with ads, spam and other annoying junk mail. But if you can tolerate a few weeks of increased email volume, you'll definitely find amazing deals from your favorite brands.
Follow Brands on Social Media
"Bike porn" on social media can be hours of fun distraction. Certainly, the newest, latest and greatest bikes and gear will make it to brands' feeds and be in heavy rotation through the end of the year. So will ads and announcements about special holiday pricing. If you've not yet done so: Follow your favorite brands on their social media channels so you'll be the first to know of their sales and end-of-year special pricing.
Visit Online Forums and Facebook Groups
If you're not already participating in online forums or Facebook groups, now's the perfect time—even if you want to lurk without joining the conversation.
Set up a Google Search Alert
Create and save a search alert in Google. Use combinations of terms like cycling, bicycles, sales, special, pricing, holiday, year-end and buy.
Contact Brands Directly
If you're considering buying a cycling experience as a gift, reach out to the company and ask when they will run sales on their cycling vacations. Be direct and up front, and a representative just might provide you with an answer including an unadvertised rate. Cycling service companies need to "get in the black," too, and may have unadvertised specials only available if you contact them by email or phone.
Comparison Shop and Price Check
Before you start throwing cash and credit cards around online, do your research. Are the items on your shopping list really on sale, or have they been marked-up and then discounted to encourage sales. For specific brands, check out the manufacturers' web sites before you buy to see if you're really getting a great price. Google shoppingis a great price-comparison tool and also a way to buy online. We're also advocates of using Amazon or eBay to research new and pre-owned bikes and gear for sale at market rates.
Visit Your Favorite Online Stores
One of the best online shopping resources for cycling gear is right in front of you: GearUp from ACTIVE. Amazon is another effective way to buy online, especially if you're a Prime subscriber, and some sales have already begun. Keep an eye on REI, Performance, Colorado Cyclist, LeftLane Sports, Jenson USA and TheClymb as well. If you move quickly, you may have time to shop for holiday sales—and have items delivered in time—from non-U.S.-based online retailers. Check out Chain Reaction Cycles, Wiggle, ProBikeKit and Merlin Cycles, all of which ship to North America.
What cyclist doesn't love a great deal on bikes and gear? For just one day, instead of buying, spend some time riding and making a positive impact on the environment while giving retail sales staff a break. The #OptOutsidemovement, started by retail giant REI several years ago, encourages everyone to do their part for the environment and participate in an outdoor cleanup effort. And, you can always get in on the CyberMonday deals so you don't miss out on great deals.
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