"I'm worried about theft. Can you leave the decals off of my new Rodriguez?"

1.) Theft prevention:
First, something to consider: We can leave the decals off by request (read section 2), but realize that just about every Rodriguez bicycle that has been stolen over the last several years has been recovered because of the fact that it was recognized as one of our bikes. Other shops call us when they suspect a stolen bike has come in to their shop because they know we will have a serial number on file for the owner. The police also call us when they recover a stolen bike at a crime scene because they know that this is where the bike came from. We also scan Craigslist regularly for Rodriguez bicycles and we have recovered several stolen bikes that were listed for sale there just in the last 2 years.

I've even received an email on a bicycle that was stolen in France. The prospective buyer sent a photograph for us to look at, and we instantly recognized it as a bicycle that was stolen from one of our customers while they were on tour in France. That would not have happened if the prospective buyer didn't know what brand the bike was.

The only Rodriguez bikes that have little chance of making it back to us are the ones with no decals.

2.) Forget theft...I like the look of no decals
Well that's a different story. In this case, yes, we can leave the decals off, but we have a deal for you. The way it works is this:

We are a unique bicycle company, and we spend VERY little on advertising. In fact, our main form of advertising is word of mouth. We count on the fact that someone may see the Rodriguez decal on one of our bicycles and look us up, or even ask the bike owner about us.

Years ago, we did not leave decals off for any reason. One day I had a customer who said "I'll tell everyone I know about the bike, so you'll still get the advertising." I decided to give it a try in this way. I charged him $100 extra for no decals, and when he referred one customer who then came in and bought a bike, I would give him the $100 back. He said "sounds fair" and we did it that way. I don't even think that his bike was finished yet when he brought in his buddy for a bike. So that became our policy, and since then we've had about a dozen or so people take us up on it.

It's fun, and it works well for both parties. We get our word-of-mouth out there, and you get your bike with no decals.