I think a hybrid shop is really the only way to thrive. a real bike shop that does business online as well. A lot of them are implementing this model and I can't see why they wouldn't.
Guys, there is NO WAY a LBS can compete on price. In fact I have worked in shops for the last 18 years and owned my own for 4 years. I routinely buy parts from chain reaction and ebay, even though I can get them from QBP, because their prices are well below my wholesale cost. I recently purchased a set of SRAM XX world cup brakes on ebay, new in the original boxes, for $299 for the complete set. My wholesale on these brakes is $222.00 per brake. If I were to listen to you guys, I should sell the brakes at my store for $299.00 and take a $175.00 loss just to compete? More and more shops will go under in the next year, then everybody will start complaining that they have to pay shipping for warranty returns.
Originally Posted by Badmeat
A question from one Texan to another, are you really that dense?
Originally Posted by ramslam
How about you doing it? Maybe give something back to earn your welfare check. Speaking of DB's.
If I bought ONE bike from my LBS and they were ***** to me or didn't help me out, I certainly wouldn't buy 6 more.
I wouldn't go back there either. That doesn't mean to "screw all LBSs". So, when you realized an online place screws you, are you going to say "screw all online places"?
I've bought some 10 bikes over the years from our LBS, including 5 in the past 1.5 years. Has he been to my place of business to support me? No. But he gives me a lot of breaks on fixing the bikes and discounts on parts and accessories. Would I like him to support me too? Well, yes!! Hopefully he will but an online place NEVER WILL!!!!!!
But I have gained customers from my relationship with him and biking and that would never happen with an online shop.
2007 Cdale Caffeine 29er Lefty.
"Your not going to shove you're proper grammer down are throats!!"
Originally Posted by ramslam
You should try it sometime, it would beat sittin in your trailer didlin your sister/wife and picken your nose while you wait for this months assistance check. Besides that, I heard az is a prick to work with.
Last edited by literocola; 11-27-2012 at 11:12 AM.
Um, I think that post warrants its own thread
If I'm correct in my thinking of where you are at when you say N. KY. that means you live just south of Cincinnati.
Originally Posted by Badmeat
People who live in Cincinnati work in Covington/Florence/Newport areas of N. Ky, and vice versa. It's not as simple as saying that you live in Northern Kentucky in this case since Cincinnati, Florence, Newport, Covington (all those other small communities around here) all live and thrive off each other. If Cincinnati started having economic problems it would hurt a lot more than just Ohio.
IMO it's local if you live within an hour of it, but then that's what happens when you grew up out west. Everything is local when the next town over is 30+ miles away.
So you understand that no one stocks BMX items because they stuck to their set ways of selling bikes, as they have the last 30 years. That inevitable fate is in store for the ones who continue to do so with road/mtb items.
You have to understand the younger, tech savvy generation in order to appeal to them.
Here is another LBS concept that will gain loads of traction:
The Bike Butler - Australia | Tailor-Made Bicycle Concierge & Service
While I agree that online retailers have taken some of the business away from the LBS (and just about every other type of brick-and-mortar business), I still argue that with the right business model, a LBS can thrive as is evidenced by several shops in my area that continue to grow amidst the proliferation of online retailers. The ones that fail are likely trying to compete with the online guys which isn't possible on price alone or have poor customer service. Most shops now don't carry nearly the inventory of parts/accessories they once did and that is a direct result of folks buying online. For the average person, you still need to go to a shop if you want to:
1) buy a bike (yes…I know…Bikes Direct..)
2) have service done if you can't do it yourself
3) buy clothing/helmets/shoes b/c most folks like to try these on before purchasing
4) buy things you need immediately - lube, tools, tubes, Stan's etc.
If I opened a shop, these are what I would focus on. When I chat with the fellow that owns the shop I go to and used to work at many years ago, we have talked about this very issue. He really isn't overly concerned about the business he looses to online retailers and doesn't price match with them..they are doing just fine. He also caters to customers looking to buy entry-to-mid level bikes. There is a correlation here.
Jayhem, you are so right about special ordering. You really are better off most of the time just going online and ordering it yourself. Most shops know this and have adjusted their business accordingly. I remember placing those QBP orders...
Originally Posted by Jayem
Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!
2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT
I think he's referring more to the Internet junkies. Although who knows when Facebook will get an app integrated into them
Originally Posted by Mr.Magura
Usually I'm with you but experts and idiots abound in every generation. There are millions of masters in their trades under age 40 and many millions more very capable DIYers trying to save a buck on weekends. And tech of course means "tech". No one can argue that younger generations aren't more tech savvy. It's just a fact.
Originally Posted by Mr.Magura
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
He's obviously "tech savvy" hence he understood what I meant by "tech savvy"....errrrrr
I own a small motorcycle shop, not a bike shop, but it seems like a lot of people posting in this thread don't really understand what goes in to running a business.
Customer service should always be the #1 priority, but this usually isn't related to pricing. A friendly attitude and making sure that a customer gets the best thing for their needs goes a long way. Sometimes this involves recommending a more expensive product, and sometimes it means telling them something might be overkill or a waste of money.
Supply and demand plays the big role in pricing and what is available and in stock. Shops are going to stock things that they are able to move, and know what sells quickly. That shop may have known they could sell that bike at full MSRP in a couple of days without any effort, why would they intentionally lower their own profit?
There are also a lot of expenses they have to cover to stay open. Rent, utilities, insurance, wages, inventory, etc, and they typically aren't making constant sales. In an average shop, they probably make a sale once every hour, and those typically aren't bikes, they are things like tubes, shorts, and brake cables.
One thing I've realized is that customers with price as their biggest or only priority are generally a pain to deal with. They want you to do stuff for free all the time, aren't willing to pay for things that need to be done, or will go somewhere else to save $15.
However, showing the customer that you value their business does go a long way. Sometimes this can be a discount or throwing an item for free, or taking an extra step in service such as adjusting the levers, seat height, etc for a customer, or swapping tires to something more suitable for local trails.
Take care of your customers, but to stay in business you have to make money. I know I did far more "charity work" than I should have, but since I've cut back or stopped I haven't had any complaints.
Originally Posted by gatorgrizz27
This is where onlines can't compete.
I owned a shop for many years and could never work enough hours to get caught up. We thrived despite the fact that online warehouses could often sell parts cheaper then I could get them wholesale. I attributed our success entirely to the above mentioned business model.
Just wondering, do bike shops pay for dealerships? I know in music retail if a shop wants to sell Fender or Martin or any other decent names they have to pay a big upfront fee then have some serious annual minimum order requirements.
Originally Posted by smithcreek
They don't pay for them but some of the top brands demand that you commit to a large minimum order per year, and some even demand a certain % of your accessories be their brand as well. This can effectively prevent smaller shops from carrying those brands.
I wanted to buy some XT brakes, I needed them because my elixir levers had gone soft so it wasnt safe to ride. I was prepared to pay a premium over the online price so that I could ride that day.
Originally Posted by TiGeo
They quoted me $170 for a single brake (or $340 for 2 without labor). The online price was $234 for front and rear. I did end up getting an avid bleed kit for $50 which is about $35 online.
I wanted to buy a tallboy LT aluminum. The bike shop wanted list ($3300) and wouldnt give any discounts so after tax $3572. Colorado cyclist had the LT carbon for $3800 so I got that instead.
Last edited by goodmojo; 12-16-2012 at 10:29 PM.
Abby Design & Constructio
I heard you mention back on page one you'd go across town and get bikes on discount without any negotiating? If it were me I would totally drop that shop and buy from the other people. I can't afford to buy from my shop so I use Craigslist and get better bikes for cheaper prices, you gotta know what you are looking at and inspect it. Are the shop people you get all your bikes from nice?
A different kind of rant: Lack of parts on hand.
Went to 5 shops looking for a post mount adapter. First shop sold me one size too big. 2nd and 3rd didn't know what I was talking about. 4th knew but didn't have it in stock. Last shop, a small neighborhood shop, had one and sold it to me for $5.
Each shop that did not have it said they could order it. Why would I want them to order it when I could do it myself? I was willing to pay over retail for it just to have it that day. Not the first time going into a shop to buy basic items (ferrules, mineral oil, lube) and either they don't know what I'm talking about or they don't carry it