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Thread: LBS rant

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthropraxis View Post
    Everyone is always talking about supporting local business/LBS and I try to do my part as I also have a small/local business. I am getting tired of being taken advantage of, hence the rant. It's cathartic.
    Yeah, cause your bike shop owner pulls up in an Aston Martin and lives in a 5000'sq house in Beverly Hills...

    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  2. #27
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    Which is not really what the OP is saying. He is saying how about some customer loyalty. How about instead of trying to make 40% you make a deal and make 35% and keep your customer. Instead now he made 0% and lost a customer. (Or what ever the math may be. Hehe)

  3. #28
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    With the availability to shop via the Internet, I'm surprised more LBS aren't catching on and cutting margins to win more customers. It's essentially why there are no local BMX shops in my area....Danscomp has them all beat....

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrogs View Post
    Which is not really what the OP is saying. He is saying how about some customer loyalty. How about instead of trying to make 40% you make a deal and make 35% and keep your customer. Instead now he made 0% and lost a customer. (Or what ever the math may be. Hehe)
    So if your boss asked you if it's cool to pay you 20% less one month, is that cool?
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badmeat View Post
    With the availability to shop via the Internet, I'm surprised more LBS aren't catching on and cutting margins to win more customers. It's essentially why there are no local BMX shops in my area....Danscomp has them all beat....
    Because they have to pay rent, workers wages, insurance, have tools, keep a shop going, etc...

    Price matching internet retailers that get stuff cheaper than OEM is not how bike shops are going to compete. You realize that the major bike manufacturers will "dump" OEM stuff on the market for the big stores to buy up, and it ends up being sold retail for more than it costs wholesale for the shops? There's no way to compete with this, nor should they be trying. What bike shops need to do is offer stuff that can't be beaten, like a pump track behind the shop (extreme example), websites listing inventory, local ride information, oranized/guided local rides on specific days, promoting and helping out with local events (initiating those events), and so on. That's how a bike shop competes.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  6. #31
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    I bought my bike from the only shop that offered me free lifetime tune-ups. He said if anything is ever wrong just bring it to him. I brought it in for its first check up today and got hit with a bill for $5. Apparently you have to pay for a clean n lube even if you already cleaned and lubed it.

  7. #32
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    Well you don't seem to have a problem spending money.. simply take your business to a different LBS. I'm positive they would LOVE to sell several bikes and special order parts for you cheaper than their competitor. Heck, I was pleasantly surprised that my LBS is willing to match any online sale prices for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.. and they told me this without my asking! Find somebody you feel is worth the loyalty and stick with em..
    We can't stop here, this is bat country..

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Because they have to pay rent, workers wages, insurance, have tools, keep a shop going, etc...
    You do realize that Internet retailers "have to pay rent, workers wages, insurance, have tools, keep a shop going, etc..."....? Same sh*t, different flavor.
    Point is, local shops have the same capability. Look up Sporttour.com
    That's my local motorcycle shop. Competitive prices AND the advice and convenience of a local shop. They get it, therefore they've grown into a larger building and are at the point that they've outgrown it and are looking for a larger one. This is a shop that was originally in a building as small as a 1 bedroom apartment in the hood just six years ago.
    More LBS should actually put forth effort to grow and satisfy their customers instead of living like they did two decades ago before the Internet was accessible and charge msrp. If you don't evolve with your potential clientele, you'll get left behind.

  9. #34
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    Wow Specialized dealers must be terrible in certain parts of the country
    My favorite bike dealer in town just happens to be a specialized dealer
    He always takes good care of me " cool old hippie "
    He prefers to deal mostly in lower end bikes because most racers are arrogant pricks
    I'm not name calling the O.P. Or anyone else its just a fact
    He makes more money doing tune ups on kids bikes than selling an epic
    There is very little to be made in high end bikes in a small market
    Mid range bikes put food on the table and high end bikes are usually sold out by summer so why mark them down too far and make no cash?


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  10. #35
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    There's a guy from my church and we have many mutual friends (although I've never met him) who has recently opened a LBS. I plan to visit his shop this week. He's a good friend of a good friend of mine, and a good friend of my parents, we were talking about that stuff, and ultimately for us it boils down to this:

    We want to see a friend succeed, so whatever parts/service we need we will go thru him, it may not be the cheapest, but it's my money and it's worth it to me to spend my money on someone like that.

    He's got a great business model. He's personal service oriented and gets his name out by word of mouth and excellent service reputation. He recently "sponsored" a race and all he did was set up his tent and perform free services and tunes prior to the race, and during the race ride up and down the course repairing bikes, flats, etc, for no charge and just handed out his card.

    I'll never ask him for a discount, but I'll take my bike to him for any service I can't do myself.
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  11. #36
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    The more we whine about price the faster the local shops will be replaced by Performance and other chains

  12. #37
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    my local LB guy is funny
    that is worth a few extra bucks right there
    now if he had a coffee bar that would rock
    I saw a pic of a kick ars bike shop once with a coffee bar in it
    just realized I am sounding like the old man I am

    Sj
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  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badmeat View Post
    You do realize that Internet retailers "have to pay rent, workers wages, insurance, have tools, keep a shop going, etc..."....? Same sh*t, different flavor.
    Not really, given the volume that the big E-retailers sell it's quite a different thing. Relative to the volume that a local bike shop sells, they have to spend a much bigger % of their revenue towards all of those things above, but the big E-shops are likely selling hundreds of times more stuff, if not even more. Not the same due to volume. That is why the local shops have to get creative to compete, and once again, they aren't going to do it by cutting margins. They have to look elsewhere. That is the challenge of business. Find new markets, get proactive in drawing customers, etc.

    If you are claiming that they should whittle down the prices a bit, please never complain about making too little money, not getting a raise, treating workers like crap at the factories, outsourcing, and so on, because that's what you are helping to promote. Sure, I'm going to look for a good price, but I'm not going to get mad at an LBS for trying to make money and survive. They don't owe anyone to cut their prices, and with the large overhead they have relative to the volume they sell, they usually barely squeak by, if not, go out of business ever so often. Is buying a bike like a car? Or is it like other sports equipment? Do you get Best Buy and other stores to knock 5% off? If I really need something quick, I realize I'll have to take the hit and get it at an LBS. I'll maybe call a few shops, or see what they have. If they are the type that doesn't keep a decent selection in stock, then I'll usually skip them right off the bat. That is the power of the local shop, if they can manage to keep a good supply of mid-range items in stock, they can sometimes move them in those types of situations. I won't pay that much for that one component every time I buy it, but that one time when I need it I will justify it for my own pleasure. But again, I won't get mad at their prices, I've worked in a shop, I know what the markups are, I know what the costs of doing business are, I've put in the orders, I've ran the numbers. It's not a charity, it's a business.

    Now, if a store can treat customers better, be nicer, or even have a few incentives, that's nice and it's icing on the cake, but just because there's no icing doesn't mean they are a bad business or a bad LBS.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  14. #39
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    All you gotta do is before you buy a bike is get on the phone, call a few shops and see the best deal you can get, i got a new reign a while back it had a RRP of $2200, the third guy i called had no problems in taking 10% off for me if i paid cash,which happened to be a local shop so thats where i bought it from the next day.
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  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badmeat View Post
    You do realize that Internet retailers "have to pay rent, workers wages, insurance, have tools, keep a shop going, etc..."....? Same sh*t, different flavor.
    Point is, local shops have the same capability. Look up Sporttour.com
    That's my local motorcycle shop. Competitive prices AND the advice and convenience of a local shop. They get it, therefore they've grown into a larger building and are at the point that they've outgrown it and are looking for a larger one. This is a shop that was originally in a building as small as a 1 bedroom apartment in the hood just six years ago.
    More LBS should actually put forth effort to grow and satisfy their customers instead of living like they did two decades ago before the Internet was accessible and charge msrp. If you don't evolve with your potential clientele, you'll get left behind.
    The difference is that chainreactioncycles (for example) has a customer base of 20,000,000 worldwide and makes up for the low profit margin on volume. Your LBS, assuming it is in a metropolitan area even, has a customer base of maybe 20,000. They have to have a larger margin to make up for the small volume.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowerJoe View Post
    my local LB guy is funny
    that is worth a few extra bucks right there
    now if he had a coffee bar that would rock
    I saw a pic of a kick ars bike shop once with a coffee bar in it
    just realized I am sounding like the old man I am

    Sj
    My local tool and machine pusher, has a coffee bar.
    I'd say such a thing, is an overlooked marketing tool


    Magura

  17. #42
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    Call a couple shops for a price on your bike you want. Go back to the original shop (if they have not soured you too much) and ask them how close they can get you to the price. If they still wont deal cut your ties. It sounds like you have earned a discount. Coming from a person that managed a parts dept at a motorcycle dealership "you cant expect to get retail everytime". On small things you most likely wil pay retail but a large purchase like you want should get you a couple hundred off or store credit towards accessories or clothing. I too am looking around at bikes again (Stumpy fsr 29 comp). I called a dealer 80 miles away and he has one and offered it for $2600. My local shp would have to order this particular bike. From previous talking to the local specialized shop (20 miles away) I dont think they will off the bat get me close to that price on a special order. They may get close trying to earn my buisiness by price matching but if they cant I will have to drive to the other shop. At least the other shop is close to one of my riding spots. On the other hand If I go to my Trek dealer they deal well with me. Even though my current ride I did not buy from them. I would have but I scored a close out price on a Fuel EX8 at my old LBS in WI while visiting family. They were kind of pissy about it at first but think they have gotten over it. My only grip with the local trek dealer is they only stock 29er HT selling for less than $1500. If you want something other than that they look at you like "why would you want anything else?" They will order it and give me a discount but I have to do some leg work to see it in person and ride it.
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  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Not really, given the volume that the big E-retailers sell it's quite a different thing. Relative to the volume that a local bike shop sells, they have to spend a much bigger % of their revenue towards all of those things above, but the big E-shops are likely selling hundreds of times more stuff, if not even more. Not the same due to volume. That is why the local shops have to get creative to compete, and once again, they aren't going to do it by cutting margins. They have to look elsewhere. That is the challenge of business. Find new markets, get proactive in drawing customers, etc.

    If you are claiming that they should whittle down the prices a bit, please never complain about making too little money, not getting a raise, treating workers like crap at the factories, outsourcing, and so on, because that's what you are helping to promote. Sure, I'm going to look for a good price, but I'm not going to get mad at an LBS for trying to make money and survive. They don't owe anyone to cut their prices, and with the large overhead they have relative to the volume they sell, they usually barely squeak by, if not, go out of business ever so often. Is buying a bike like a car? Or is it like other sports equipment? Do you get Best Buy and other stores to knock 5% off? If I really need something quick, I realize I'll have to take the hit and get it at an LBS. I'll maybe call a few shops, or see what they have. If they are the type that doesn't keep a decent selection in stock, then I'll usually skip them right off the bat. That is the power of the local shop, if they can manage to keep a good supply of mid-range items in stock, they can sometimes move them in those types of situations. I won't pay that much for that one component every time I buy it, but that one time when I need it I will justify it for my own pleasure. But again, I won't get mad at their prices, I've worked in a shop, I know what the markups are, I know what the costs of doing business are, I've put in the orders, I've ran the numbers. It's not a charity, it's a business.

    Now, if a store can treat customers better, be nicer, or even have a few incentives, that's nice and it's icing on the cake, but just because there's no icing doesn't mean they are a bad business or a bad LBS.
    I'm not promoting or asking anyone to outsource, ship jobs overseas, etc

    All I'm saying is that if any given LBS is willing to price match or be competitive, when asked, they'd see more business, rather than that potential customer going home and ordering online or down the street at another LBS. I'm in sales, and that's what we do. It's simple business.

    And I do shop at Best Buy. I do ask them to take their prices down, and they do (they price match...even with Amazon). So I got my $500 Kenwood head unit for my car, as well as $150 in extras for $476 out the door (tax included). That saved me $213. Should I go to the local car audio shop and just hand them that $213? Would that make it better?

    It's all about being a cost-conscious buyer. In today's economy, if you don't understand your potential buyer, you'll miss out on a sale.

  19. #44
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    Yes you got to keep the customer happy and in your store if you want to survive. That does not mean you have to pull your pants down as a store but even getting close to the price earns loyalty
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  20. #45
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    The OP already bought 7 bikes at MSRP from the same shop, there is no incentive to offer him a better deal as he already demonstrated his willingness to pay it no matter what skewed numbers he uses to calculate profit margin.

  21. #46
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    I mean, from the sound of it, even a 10% discount for the guy being a loyal customer probably would have kept him from logging on here ranting about how he couldn't get a discount of even a penny. And it's not just about the OP. How many people walk into that LBS and decide to buy elsewhere because they charge MSRP? Don't you think discounting some items xx% to gain x number of new customers would be worth it? Buyers are buyers. Discount a little to take a bigger chunk of the pie.

  22. #47
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    There was a King of the Hill episode similar to this instance but at a car dealer. Hanks wife negotiated a deal on a car but Hank for years was paying retail from the same dealer. Anyone see the episode?
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  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by stygz1 View Post
    There was a King of the Hill episode similar to this instance but at a car dealer. Hanks wife negotiated a deal on a car but Hank for years was paying retail from the same dealer. Anyone see the episode?
    Yep.

  24. #49
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    I agree with the folks here that are saying that you can't fault an LBS for not giving deals; you also can't fault customers with trying to get the best deal that they can. As a consumer, you choose to go to one place or another be it a brick and mortar shop or an e-retailer based on price, service, etc. The shop that I frequent (that I used to work at) doesn't do much in the way of deals and has done v. well over the years…do you think there is a correlation there? It’s a solid business model even in this day and age of the internet - good customer service, fair prices, repairs, and a good stock of basic clothing and accessories. Remember, most customers of a LBS are not high-end buyers/users..they are average folks buying $500 bikes (at most!) and most of their accessories at the same time as the bike purchase. The MTBR community is not a good slice of the average LBS's customer base….mom and dad buying their kid a bike don't price shop online to save $50 and then assemble the bike themselves. IMHO, what the internet has done has killed most LBSs high-end parts/accessories business. How many LBSs stock the latest and greatest suspension forks? Not many b/c most folks that want a $700 fox fork are enthusiasts and will buy online to save a few bucks.
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  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badmeat View Post
    I mean, from the sound of it, even a 10% discount for the guy being a loyal customer probably would have kept him from logging on here ranting about how he couldn't get a discount of even a penny. And it's not just about the OP. How many people walk into that LBS and decide to buy elsewhere because they charge MSRP? Don't you think discounting some items xx% to gain x number of new customers would be worth it? Buyers are buyers. Discount a little to take a bigger chunk of the pie.
    How many customers on an annual basis are being lost due to pricing? How many typical LBS customers even care about getting 10% off? How many are asking and getting denied? Again, if you read my post before this one, most customers at LBSs just go in and buy what they want, just like at any other kind of store.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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