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  1. #1
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    Lack of interest or is demand really exceeding supply?

    Curious why there is still so little in the way of 27.5 hardware and tyres available from most of the big e-tailers, esp those based in UK/Europe... Just lagging behind the US or are stores waiting for 'the dust to settle' before stocking up?

  2. #2
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    I think the Sea Otter release schedule has preceded the Taiwanese production schedule by a few months, that's all. Plus, many of the distributors didn't know if the product would sell as they had to order up to 180 days before arrival.

    Here's how it works: RockShox works on prototype 275 fork for a year or two. It's ready for production. They tool up and produce a few, fly over and look at them to make sure they are good. They ramp up production then check that again at full production speed. Meanwhile, sales staff calls distributors (QBP, Hawley, BTI, Downeast in US) and say's 'hey we have these for delivery in 6 months, how many 160mm travel 275 forks do you want?' and they say 'We have no idea. How about 2?'. Then, Sea Otter happens and people get all wet in the pants about 275 stuff. Customers start bugging shops, shops call distributors, distributors say 'We have 2 coming in stock in 2 months' and then they call RockShox and say 'We'll take 100 forks now!' and RockShox says 'We have the first production run oversold by 40% even though we hedged and made 20% more than distributors ordered a few months back. You can get some 275 forks in two-four months after we deliver to the guys that ordered 100 forks yesterday while you were out riding'.

    Meanwhile, riders get all *****y about random reasons they think that parts aren't available when it's just simply an inability to predict the future.

    It happens all the time in all industries. Demand management is very tough when you are dealing with new product. And it's not just forks. Tires, rims and frames are all affecting each other.

    Patience...

    mk
    trailwerkssuspension.com

  3. #3
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    I feel that there is in some way a little bit of planning for limited quantities of items. Firstly, say a company comes out with their new mega hot product, but they're neither too sure how popular it's going to be nor do they want to flood the market with their product. Planning to have a limited quantity almost ensures they'll sell out of it and therefore not have full warehouses at the end of the year, and they get to test the water to see how popular their brand new shiny thing is going to be.

    Secondly, lets say the product they have is popular... It'll sell out fast and consumers will have to wait to get their hands on it all the while they'll get to see it on their trails every so often. All of a sudden the consumers don't care so much about getting a "deal" on the price of the bike, they just know they want it. Now they'll be willing to pay full pop for it up front and get on a waiting list until the next shipment arrives. All of a sudden the company that has "accidently" and "unintentionally" run out of product has just created a huge spike in interest and demand for it. All the while, the consumer who paid up front to now wait 2 months to get his stuff thinks in his head that he's getting some sort of golden handshake into an exclusive club... When in reality in that 2 months the market will be flooded with this product as well as product from many other manufacturers. Darn it, the customer isn't special anymore, but look at this new thingy that is coming out in January but it'll be so new that quantities will be limited... And the cycle continues.
    The arsonist has oddly shaped feet!

  4. #4
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    This is a simple question, actually. They know there is not much aftermarket demand right now because most of the 650b bikes out there are either brand new (this years model) or vaporware (to be released/been teased/proto'd). Very few people have worn out their tires, or wheels, or forks, such that there is much of an aftermarket yet (I know, I know, everyone here has been on 650b since the beginning, but there are not that many folks on 650b yet in the grand scheme of things).

    So your answer is that as of now, there's not much demand for spare parts because nobody has had time to break the stuff that came new on their 2013 ride.

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  5. #5
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    ILMAO. Every successful company wants to sell as much of their product as possible, period!! People have big imaginations. To think that there are people plotting and scheming to the extent that gets expressed on this website is truly laughable. I think everyone should be forced to work retail at least once in their lifetime for at least a year so that they can experience how goods are sold in the market place, product cycles etc. Funny stuff, keep the conspiracy theories coming I could always use a good laugh.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saddle Up View Post
    ILMAO. Every successful company wants to sell as much of their product as possible, period!! People have big imaginations. To think that there are people plotting and scheming to the extent that gets expressed on this website is truly laughable. I think everyone should be forced to work retail at least once in their lifetime for at least a year so that they can experience how goods are sold in the market place, product cycles etc. Funny stuff, keep the conspiracy theories coming I could always use a good laugh.
    The issue here is not at the retail level, it is at the production level.

    Of course every company wants to sell as much of their product as they can, but that does not mean it is a good idea to produce a lot more than you end up selling.

    The issue here is that they don't really know how much is going to sell, and it is better to sell out than be stuck with a bunch of unsold stock.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  7. #7
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    I've worked in the industry a few leaps above retail buckaroo. There's a reason why companies have demand planners. Not only are they planning to stock for the amount of demand there already is, but they're also planning to create demand to make their products more lust worthy. Why do you think the same models of high end bikes sell for more and more each year while there are less and less of them to be found? If done right, demand planning allows a company to make more money by selling less stuff.

    They don't want overstock at the end of the year that they have to blow out cheaply to make room for the new stuff, and similarly, having less of something will make consumers want it more.

    It's not a conspiracy dude... It's just smart business
    The arsonist has oddly shaped feet!

  8. #8
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    Demand planning is very tough, to be sure. They look at previous demand on similar products and try to use as much data as possible. Discounting is inevitable but it is a sign of failure at some level. Somebody ordered too much, the inventory has to be turned into cash before you can order more. There actually is a science to retail. Look up 'turns', 'open to buy', 'dollars per square foot', 'gross profit margin' and you'll find how Macy's, Home Depot, Wal-mart, Target and all the others operate.

    I was a merchandise manager/inventory planner for a large chain of bike shops and it was very eye-opening to learn about all of the data behind retail. And then you have to add in color, store layout, loss-leaders, seasonality, product availability, sales training, merchandising and market price sensitivity... It's amazing.

    Of course, it's all too easy to just blame some sort of simple greed or vague conspiracy theory to explain why some shop doesn't have that *one* part that you need *right now*.

    Walt is right about 275 demand also. There is essentially *no one* riding 275 right now. Less than 1% of $$, volume, ridership... Choose your metric.

    mk
    trailwerkssuspension.com

  9. #9
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    I would say that the market for 650B is smaller than the market for full suspension 29ers.

    That is not a huge incentive for aftermarket companies to invest money in.

    The bikes need to sell first.

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