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  1. #1
    Get to dah choppah
    Reputation: icsloppl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

    Bike Store Race!

    Or, who can beat the Wiggle box -

    Bike Store Race!-wiggle_01.jpg

    Bike store race! This was a race to see whose free shipping arrived the quickest to Portland Oregon. All on-line orders were place on a Monday before 9 A.M. at the shipping location. Shipping was the default means of free shipping. All items showed as in-stock at the originating site at the time of order.

    The competitors:

    Performance Bike, shipping out of North Carolina. Shipping method - Ship to store
    Universal Cycle, shipping out of multiple locations across the U.S. Shipping method - Ship to store
    Jenson U.S.A., shipping out of California. Shipping method - U.S.P.S Priority.
    A local well-regarded LBS, whose name shall remain namelessÖ Shipping method - U.P.S ground.
    Wiggle, shipping from the U.K. Shipping method - Parcel Force > U.S.P.S.
    Competitive Cyclist, shipping from Utah. Shipping method - U.P.S ground

    And the winners are -

    1. Universal Cycle. All items arrived in 2 days in perfect condition. All items shipped same day. Emails sent confirming order placement, shipment, and receipt at the store. As long as you can (or donít mind) pick the items up from their retail store, you get 2-day shipping on whatever you like for free. Considering that there were several originating locations for the items, their logistics model appears most sophisticated as well.

    2. Competitive Cyclist. All items arrived in 3 days in perfect condition. All items shipped same day. Emails sent confirming order placement and shipment. Competitive Cyclist, aka Back Country, aka Chain Love, aka Steep and Cheap uses vinyl envelopes whenever possible. As long as the items and their packaging are tough, thatís not normally an issue.

    And the runnerís up -

    3. Wiggle. All items arrived in 6 days in perfect condition. All items shipped 1 day after the order was placed. There was no additional packing material in the box. Considering that the box was somewhat deformed from the trip and the distance involved, a bit of padding would be nice. You do get free shipping from the U.K though, and at least in this case they arrived with no additional duty. The stories of fast shipping are true. In this case they shipped 5000 miles in the same time that Jenson shipped about 500.

    4. Jenson U.S.A. All items arrived in 4 days in perfect condition and were well packed. All items shipped the next day. Email sent confirming order placement.

    Losers -

    5. Performance Bike. All items arrived in 13 days in perfect condition. Email sent indicating the items had been prepared for shipment. Performanceís ship-to-store free shipping is not the same as UniversalĎs. As far as I can determine, they donít ship individual orders. Instead, your items are added to the next scheduled delivery to the local store, whenever that is. Performance has other forms of inexpensive shipping for most items. If you want your items quickly, their store-to-store isnít likely to float your boat.

    6. LBS. Items arrived in 17 days. No email or other communication of any type at any time. These were two items ordered (and confirmed as in-stock) from Specialized. Where were they? Who knows. The only communication was from me, asking where they were. It seems likely that, in order to save shipping costs, the shop requested that the items be shipped with their next normal order. Sorry LBS...
    Last edited by icsloppl; 08-20-2013 at 11:05 AM. Reason: correct delivery time
    Santa Cruz TBc
    Pivot 429c

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Still give all your LBS's a chance before you hop on the internet. There are good ones. Mine gets you anything in stock from QBP in less than a week. In the summary they order a couple times a week. Ordering from a bike brand can take a long time. They have minimum order requirements and they typically get parts from QBP or another local supplier. If they don't order a whole lot from Specialized, it can take a while. My shop will just eat some cost if they know they're not going to get to the minimum order any time soon and just place it for a few items.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Interesting info. I still would rather give my LBS money rather than the big chains.

  4. #4
    SS Pusher Man
    Reputation: mtnbikej's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Items may have arrived quicker if you separated your 29er parts from your 26er parts.
    I resolve to constantly assert my honest opinion on anything and everything - whether it is requested or not.
    Bucky the Cat

  5. #5
    Get to dah choppah
    Reputation: icsloppl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by A DuB View Post
    Interesting info. I still would rather give my LBS money rather than the big chains.
    Totally agree. The challenge is that while they have limited in-stock inventory compared to the big chains, when one tries to order something that's not in stock they are not (typically) prepared to place the order in a timely manner, track the order, track the shipment, or communicate your order status.

    It's not that difficult and would put them on a more even playing field if done. Just my 0.03...
    Santa Cruz TBc
    Pivot 429c

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Normal LBS is in a difficult position. They make their money from "normal" people who do not come in the shop looking for very specific merchandise - with knowledge of how much that merchandise costs online. Normal people enter a shop and say I need a new wheel. LBS says, no you have a flat; you need a tube. Crazy bike people (I am one of them) go into a shop and say I want a Schwalbe Racing Ralph in 29x2.35 (for example).

    I have worked at both a normal LBS and a high-end niche LBS. At the normal LBS, we made our money changing tubes on department store bikes. At the niche LBS, we did not work on department store bikes (sweetness for a mechanic). I don't think we had a bike with less than Ultegra. We had the new cool thing in stock or would get it as quickly as possible for the customer.

    Now, I try to give my normal LBS first crack at my money. Usually, they do not carry the thing I am looking for, but can have it here in 1-2 weeks and/or their price is in the stratosphere, e.g. $450 for a wheel build with a new hope evo rear hub and re-using my rim. While I feel guilty buying online, I also work for my money.

    If LBS wants my money, then need to do better. If you are not ever going to stock X thing - why not make reasonably money on me - I am not going to pay keystone markup for everything they need for order from Quality.

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