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  1. #1
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    A reminder to all bike shop salesman

    Two weeks ago I went into my local bike shop to check out replacement tires for my GF Utopia. He recommended these Bontrager H4's. Very nice but also would have been almost 100 bucks with tax. I said I'll wait until after Christmas. However my bike needed a tune-up. So I would plan on bringing it in. Two days later my co-worker said he had a brand new set of tires that he bought but was the wrong size. However they were exactly what I was looking for. They are the Kenda Kwest 700c x 40. He lost his receipt so he could not exchange them. They also say "GIANT" on the side. I paid him the 40 bucks and have been using them. So today I took my bike in and my brother asked me if he can come with me to the bike shop that I have been pretty loyal to for 5 years. He wanted to by a bike today. I was excited to show him my bike shop. Well when I got there and brought my bike in, the guy saw my tires and goes "WTF MAN?!" I'm like excuse me....he was actually pissed.....he said this to me "I can't believe you brought this bike in here with these tires". He felt like they had some kind of disease. I then got mad and told him I can buy and put whatever I want on it. It's mine!!! And he goes "well I'm not working on it".At this point my brother found a Trek bike he liked but did not like the workers tone. So we left and my brother bought a Giant Escape at another shop. MOFO could have had a sale!!!!

  2. #2
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    Things never seem to change. My brother was in the process of buying a $2000 Spec S-Works back in 1990 when he wanted to swap out a stock part for a more expensive one. The employee in the shop made some comment about money, questioning if he could afford it, which caused my brother to end the sale. He failed at customer service that day which lost the shop a good customer and a decent sale. That shop went under and my brother has since spent loads of money on bikes. It seems that some people that get hired at bike shops forget that they are in driven by customers spending money. I still see this attitude today in some shops. This is why, along with pricing that many people would rather just buy on line and avoid the arrogance.

  3. #3
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    ^^ yep, have yet to see an arrogant hyperlink.
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  4. #4
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    I've been in a few shops where you can just FEEL the condescending looks.

    If you don't walk in there with a 3500 dollar felt road bike and an italian accent, half the time they treat you like you don't know what you are doing. Or as if you found your bike on a trail some wheres and wandered in on accident.


    But that isn't the norm in my experience.

  5. #5
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    Not uncommon. We let the bike shops get away with bizarre stuff. No one lets any other service industry have that kind of CS, but cyclists bend over and take it, and then tell all their friends to shop at lbs's too.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot
    Not uncommon. We let the bike shops get away with bizarre stuff. No one lets any other service industry have that kind of CS, but cyclists bend over and take it, and then tell all their friends to shop at lbs's too.
    Man you sure are right! My LBS is cool, but I completely know of that culture where bike shops are the "cool kids" and can get away with acting like fools and people keep going back. I work in the auto industry and on most days get treated like toilet paper and still have to be nice to people cause they are spending bennies. Some bike shops seem to have it reversed. From an outside perspective, it isn't surprising the internet is knocking out some of the brick and mortars.

  7. #7
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    At the shop I work at that guy would be gone and no longer work for us. We treat everyone that walks through the door as though they are buying our most expensive gear as we want them to keep coming back and buying stuff from us or just hang out at the shop. We are unique as we approach every sale with a no pressure attitude. If you actually like the stuff you are selling there is no need to force it on someone. We like that we have a wide varity of regular customers that don't feel like they have to buy something everytime they are in the shop. It's nice as most of these people have turned into friends.
    I do not buy anything from anywhere that has employee attitudes. I can always find what I am looking for somewhere else.

  8. #8
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    I do not understand the business model of most bike shops. Ex. Recently went to the LBS to discuss essentially ~$2k worth of suspension and wheel upgrades and maybe even more. Came in with all my homework done and had about a 20 minute serious discussion with them, left my business card with my contact info filled out some paperwork from them was told "we'll call you Monday, Tuesday at the latest". Nothing yet, 2 weeks later.

  9. #9
    FKA Malibu412
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdole
    Nothing yet, 2 weeks later.
    That's because they misplaced your card...it's under the computer at the counter and they can't remember where they set it down.
    "I love the bike. It's my meditation. I think I'm bike-sexual." -Robin Williams

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdole
    I do not understand the business model of most bike shops. Ex. Recently went to the LBS to discuss essentially ~$2k worth of suspension and wheel upgrades and maybe even more. Came in with all my homework done and had about a 20 minute serious discussion with them, left my business card with my contact info filled out some paperwork from them was told "we'll call you Monday, Tuesday at the latest". Nothing yet, 2 weeks later.
    Some shop's guys are lazy and assume that they are too cool and that you should do all of the work and get back to them or pester them to get the info that you want. It must be nice for them to make so much money that they don't need to get in touch with you to make the sale and to not even care about losing it. Then they will complain if you go somewhere else.

  11. #11
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    My LBS is as snobby as a golf pro shop. I buy everything online except for the occasional cable.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by illini
    My LBS is as snobby as a golf pro shop. I buy everything online except for the occasional cable.

    Hey now I run a golf pro shop and have for 8 years. We are not all snobby! I sell closeouts, and bulk buys at deep discounted prices. I never fault somebody for buying something off ebay or the cheap, hell I'll even work on their stuff if they don't mind paying me labor.

    My LBS rocks I buy some stuff online and I always tell them about the great deal I snagged up online. He can't blame me if I bought it for less than he can buy it for. He knows he gets most of my business and is happy with that. Thats how my golf shop is and thats how I expect the LBS I frequent to be.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412
    Cableb!tch: living, breathing proof you can be right and.still be a dick.

  13. #13
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    If the guy at the bike shop isn't the owner, I'd let the owner know that his employee cost the shop a sale and some serious good will. If the owner is a good business person, he should talk to the guy about correcting his attitude.

  14. #14
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    I have a bike store by me that I go out of my way not to buy from anymore because of bad attitudes, and thats after I spent $4000.00 on a bike. It's bad for me because I like to see stuff before I buy and this place has some stuff I like so I see what it looks like at there store and order at another.

    I think they work on commision and get bent out of shape if you aren't spending alot of money everytime you go in to there store.

    I like supporting local stores and don't like buying online to save a couple of dollars because those stores are gonna be there when I need something right away but I don't feel like being treated like crap because I want to fix something rather than replace with something new.
    Bill

    '95 Raleigh 400, STX-RC (road, touring)
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    (Northern N.J.)

  15. #15
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    Aight now, I have been working in bike shops for years now. And yes there are quite a few slack a$$ shops out there, but there are some things most people dont know about working in a bike shop. These are REGULAR occurrences! People come in and ask my advice on something, do something completley different and get mad at me. People come in to get fiitted, or find out what part they need, and buy it online (like shoes). I have had people get on yelp and burn me because I told them that "buying a $400 commuter bike to race, will not get him to the podium. Our cheapest road bike is about $900 and if you want to see a race bike heres a $3300 carbon Tarmac." He burned me by saying I was trying to shove a $3000 bike down his throat when a $400 bike would be fine. He made me out to be a d!ck when I knew what I was talking about and in no way came of arrogant, but thats what he thought. The list goes on. But I assure you that most shops want your business and some shops know what they are talking about. ANd yes some shops suck. I also think that there is some sort of intimidation factor when people walk into a shop that compounds things.

    Shawn
    "If Liberace was alive, he'd be proud to ride that mofo."

  16. #16
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    I see both sides of the CS spectrum a lot here in Salt Lake. Places like Go-Ride and Guthrie are great shops that always are willing to assist, even with things that may not equal big bucks for their pocket. Go-Ride is especially great, IMHO.

    Then there are places like Contender and Bingham. Not everyone at those shops sucks, but a lot of them ruin it for the minority that know good CS. Last spring, I walked into Bingham with cash in hand, ready to drop several grand on a new ride. One other customer was getting a training-wheel bike for his daughter, but other than him, it was an empty shop. No less than 3 sales associates were gathered around the register. I milled around looking at the bikes for about 20 minutes, and nobody asked if I needed assistance. I'm 6'3" too, so yeah, they could see me. I walked up to the register to ask some questions, and I literally stood there two feet from the brosephs as they talked about something on Facebook or whatever for 5 whole minutes. I watched the clock behind them, so that's no exaggeration. I then asked them if I could ask a few questions about some bikes. BIG mistake, I guess, because I instantly got the 'who are you to interrupt us when we're busy being awesome?' look from all four of them. I just told them, 'Sorry to interrupt. That must be a lot more important than you getting a commission from this money for selling a bike, right?' I held up the wad of Benjamins in my pocket and walked out. I doubt it made any difference to them, but it does for the shop in the long run. That branch actually closed down a while afterward. Story ended well, though. Go-Ride got my money, I got a sweet ride, and they'll be getting more cash when I buy my next bike.

    Arrogant d_bags ruin it for a LOT of people.
    tangaroo: What electrolytes do chicken and turkey have again?
    rck18: All of them, because they're meat.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by HTFR
    ...I have had people get on yelp and burn me because I told them that "buying a $400 commuter bike to race, will not get him to the podium. Our cheapest road bike is about $900 and if you want to see a race bike heres a $3300 carbon Tarmac." He burned me by saying I was trying to shove a $3000 bike down his throat when a $400 bike would be fine. He made me out to be a d!ck when I knew what I was talking about and in no way came of arrogant, but thats what he thought...
    I bet Lance could win a few local races with the $400 bike...

    If I had an experience like that, guess what? I would never step foot in that shop ever again and tell all my friends to stay away. Period. The dude was justified in my opinion.

    He worked hard earning what little money he had, and you just had to insult him like that? I am betting you are a great guy, but maybe you need to step back and think about your choice of words.

    Customer service goes a long way.

    Bryan d
    Just keep pedaling, don't stop pedaling.

  18. #18
    Truly Doneski
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    That story is totally insane to me. I don't understand how anyone is CS would act that way. I've been to a number of LBS now, an they all have a different feel. Most of them are positive, but I've seen one where I could see a bad experience occuring. I cant imagine something like this happening though. Why would that guy balk at the bike so much? He still had labor costs to earn, at the very least. I wouldn't think any LBS would be doing so well that they would just want to shove customers out the door.

    The eady solution is simply not to go back.
    Originally Posted by Bmateo1:
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  19. #19
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    ... and if we just ...

    My LBS sucks! Back in 06 I built up my dream bike. I had been going in for a while trying to get them to "fix" my Jekyll. After several hundred dollars they still couldn't get it! I was new in town and that was my only option.
    I decided to give up on the CDale and go big! I've got a lot of ??s before I drop 5k on a bike! After several trips in one of the owners looses his **** on me! With all sorts of tone and disgust he proceeds to tell me that X,Y and Z are all the same... and whatever I choose will be better than what I've got now! Which I Already Knew!
    The next day I drove an hour and ordered up the Dream machine from a very reputable shop. After riding it for a few rides I decided to go 29. After the shock goes out on the 29er I'm back on the dream bike. Out riding with some buddies my front rim just snaps where it's pinned together. Just riding along . Totally F myself and bike all up! Go into the shop and am told I'm S.O.L.! Granted it had been 16 mos or so since I bought it. It still had the nipples on the original tires. Tried to plead my case but....He didn't care! Went home ordered up a stand and tool kit. Lesson learned! Too much savings on the interwebs and too much attitude in the shops.

  20. #20
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    This thread makes me sad. I must be really lucky, since I recently moved to Seattle and there at least half a dozen shops I have been into for this or that, and I never felt cheated or insulted.

    Another thought to the OP, I don't know if there is a sales lesson here, since the shop knew they were losing your business when they kicked you to the curb. If you walk into a place and they say "I don't want your business" then they probably know they aren't getting your money. Kind of wasted indignation.

    Come to think of it, I wonder if there is more to this story. .

  21. #21
    RiffRaff
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    Quote Originally Posted by bryan_d
    I bet Lance could win a few local races with the $400 bike...

    If I had an experience like that, guess what? I would never step foot in that shop ever again and tell all my friends to stay away. Period. The dude was justified in my opinion.

    He worked hard earning what little money he had, and you just had to insult him like that? I am betting you are a great guy, but maybe you need to step back and think about your choice of words.

    Customer service goes a long way.

    Bryan d
    First off what the hell does lance have to do with any thing?

    I dont appreciate the emotional picture you paint about the guy. The guy came in wanting to get into road racing. I dont know how much money the guy has, so I show him the mid to low end spectrum of what would be a competitive road bike. (What I show everybody who is looking to get into raod). He might have a couple million he might not. I dont know. I find it condescending when some one assumes I only have 3 bucks in my pocket.

    You are a prime example of what Im talking about. You think im arrogant and you weren't there. The guy comes in wanting advise and Im a bad guy because this is an expensive sport. I deal with college kids try to commute to school on $350 all the way to a regular who buys a new $works every year with no questions. You cant just look at someone and assume.

    How d!ck would it be if I just sold him what ever just to get a sale. Telling him "oh yeah this would be great for road racing". Or someone talking you down from the bike you want because you dont know they dont have your size in stock. Or if someone came in looking for a full on competition level XC race bike (that the shop cant get) and talking them into an equally expensive something else because its available. This ***** happens. Dont be so quick to judge! Im just saying it is easy for a bike shop to get a bad rap over something stuid. And for some reason it usually happens when someone asks questions, doesnt like the answers, and getts all pissy.
    "If Liberace was alive, he'd be proud to ride that mofo."

  22. #22
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    I discovered a really great LBS by word-of-mouth a couple months after I bought a GT Sanction 1 from Performance on clearance. This shop sells mainly Giant, Pivot, Santa Cruz, etc. but what was cool was that they gave me absolutely zero attitude about service for it - quality service better than what Performance was doing for me.

    Of course, this paid off for them too as I soon went on to buy some serious upgrades for it from them including CK hubs, then had them convert my old ride to SS with some upgrades too, plus bought a lot of gear - better quality stuff than Performance sells since it basically is a mtb-specific shop. I plan to buy a niner from them in the future too.

    They give a 10% discount to members of my mtb club and their wrenches are great guys who do everything possible to get their regular ride-year-round (PA winters) customers back on the trail either the same or next-day if at all possible. The owner made it clear that he will never let any customer's ride sit around if he knows that the owner rides regularly. Little stuff they 'll fix for free.

    My advice after dealing with both chains and bad LBS's: When you find a LBS that fixes your ride right, sells high-quality stuff, and treats you well - take care of 'em by giving them your business, clean your rig before having them work on it if its caked in mud, give them the benefit of the doubt if there's a delay in getting your ride back, and give them a little present or two at the holidays.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by HTFR
    First off what the hell does lance have to do with any thing?

    I dont appreciate the emotional picture you paint about the guy. The guy came in wanting to get into road racing. I dont know how much money the guy has, so I show him the mid to low end spectrum of what would be a competitive road bike. (What I show everybody who is looking to get into raod). He might have a couple million he might not. I dont know. I find it condescending when some one assumes I only have 3 bucks in my pocket.

    You are a prime example of what Im talking about. You think im arrogant and you weren't there. The guy comes in wanting advise and Im a bad guy because this is an expensive sport. I deal with college kids try to commute to school on $350 all the way to a regular who buys a new $works every year with no questions. You cant just look at someone and assume.

    How d!ck would it be if I just sold him what ever just to get a sale. Telling him "oh yeah this would be great for road racing". Or someone talking you down from the bike you want because you dont know they dont have your size in stock. Or if someone came in looking for a full on competition level XC race bike (that the shop cant get) and talking them into an equally expensive something else because its available. This ***** happens. Dont be so quick to judge! Im just saying it is easy for a bike shop to get a bad rap over something stuid. And for some reason it usually happens when someone asks questions, doesnt like the answers, and getts all pissy.
    Whats your shop called so I can be sure to never step foot in it? You dont seem to get it, throwing out excuses like "The guy comes in wanting advise and Im a bad guy because this is an expensive sport." and "buying a $400 commuter bike to race, will not get him to the podium." This guy is your average guy, just like 90% of us on here and wants to make sure the money he is shelling out is going to get him what he wants. On the occasion that I do race, my experience is to pit myself against other guys to see where I stand, how my skills have developed, and hey if I get in the top 10 out of 40 im stoked. What you have done to this guy, and I'm willing to bet to many others like him, is made his entry into our sport *****ty from the get go. This is what a lot of shops have done to a lot of people.

    You and every other owner out there have a chance to not only make money by keeping your arrogance and patience in check, but by realizing that maybe only 1 out of 100 of your customers are ever going to "see a podium." people will tell their friends to go to your shop over D!cks r' Us down the street cause that customer satisfaction will keep them coming back.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MobileMech
    On the occasion that I do race, my experience is to pit myself against other guys to see where I stand, how my skills have developed, and hey if I get in the top 10 out of 40 im stoked.
    Last spring I came in third in sport class on my KHS Brentwood. I was Stoked! Especially since it only cost me $280! The guy at the LBS said it would suck for racing, but he clearly was a schemer trying to get my money. Good thing I already knew what I wanted when I walked into the shop and started asking a bunch of newbie questions.

  25. #25
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    And HTFR, I want you to know that I understand you have a living to make off of guys like us, and yeah, newbies can be a PITA sometime, but that is something that you have to know is just part of your business.

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