It appeared to me that typically new bikes are sold with tape already installed on the bars. That is both buying from a local bike store (LBS) or online. (Please correct me if I'm wrong, I have not have had a road bike yet.)
However, it would be quite unlikely that the drop bars of a new bike would fit the new rider. Likewise is it not very likely that the levers are correctly positioned.
Since removing the glue from bars is rather arduous, it is not convenient for dealers to sell or return them. However, looking at advertised bikes, I did not get the impression that the bars are there only as proxies to hold the levers in the store.