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Thread: LBS rant

  1. #1
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    LBS rant

    Screw loyalty to your LBS, or at least mine. I have purchased 7 bikes through mine for my wife, kids and myself over the years. All of them full retail not to mention the accessories and upgrades. They don't give any special terms on tune ups and work after the purchase and most special orders they forget about or missorder. When they did work on my bike they lost small parts and left off dust covers and such. The final straw was this past week after going to buy a new stumpjumper, he would not come a penny off the MSRP, he did offer to sell my Epic for me and take a 10% commission. End rant.

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    This is easy...shop somewhere else if you don't like the service/treatment you get at this shop. I would be more annoyed by the crappy ordering/service issues than not getting special deals/services. There are plenty of shops out there just like this...not all shops give deals..even to repeat customers. On the issue of discounts/deals..what would you business model be if you owned a shop? Just curious.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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  3. #3
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    There are a lot of piss pore specialty retailers out there. It's not limited to bicycle shops. Some shops earn their money others expect you to give it to them. If yours isn't earning it by all means take your dollars elsewhere. I urge you not to give up on small shops as a whole however. There are a lot of really solid retailers out there.

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    F them and go somewhere else. Life is to short
    to get screwed and never kissed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    On the issue of discounts/deals..what would you business model be if you owned a shop? Just curious.
    I don't think anyone expects to get full retail for products they sell, I don't get in my business. If it were my shop I would have sold the bike for $2500 and taken my used bike on commission. I saw on his computer and he confirmed that his cost was $1750 on a $3K Stumpjumper comp FSR. Running a successful business isn't that difficult, it is all about developing relationships with your customers.

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    I think we all romanticize the "bike shop" because we love bikes. They devote their lives to bikes, they MUST be cool...and we take it a lot harder when the owner turns out to be a jerk.

    The guy who owns our local hardware store competes with Home Depot every day, knows most of his regulars by name and couldn't be happier to serve you. A local bike shop owner is a know it all who makes people uncomfortable asking questions. Some guys are destined to succeed in business, some are not.

    I don't think discounting the retail price should be your only measuring stick, but there are ways to offer something extra to a paying customer without jeopardizing your margins. For me I don't expect a discount, the guy needs to eat, but I do make note of the HOW the interaction was handled.
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten." - Benjamin Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    There are a lot of piss pore specialty retailers out there. It's not limited to bicycle shops. Some shops earn their money others expect you to give it to them. If yours isn't earning it by all means take your dollars elsewhere. I urge you not to give up on small shops as a whole however. There are a lot of really solid retailers out there.
    I prefer supporting small business owners when I can, that is why I stuck with him over the last 10 years. It sucks for me as this shop is less than five minutes from my house.

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    If there are no other good shops in your area now it sounds like it could be a ripe opportunity for someone willing to put in some effort. It always tees me off when I see or hear about a slacker shop like that, you would think they would go out of business but I've seen some really crappy ones thrive for years ripping people off.

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    My model would be that I set the price to achieve the margins I need to run a profitable business - I agree that this isn't always full retail. Part of this model is killer customer service (which may not include "bro" deals etc. that effect my margin) which is most often what I see lacking at bike shops..mostly from the kids working just to get their discounts. Most shops don't sell at the MSRPs you see online (Specialized for example) anyway..40% was the typical mark up on bikes at both shops that I worked at.
    Last edited by TiGeo; 11-25-2012 at 05:51 PM.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthropraxis View Post
    I prefer supporting small business owners when I can, that is why I stuck with him over the last 10 years. It sucks for me as this shop is less than five minutes from my house.
    Have you talked to the owner about your concerns?
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  11. #11
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    ^ this. If you don't let them know that they are not serving you to your satisfaction they will never know. If they don't listen and continue to provide crap service, then drop them like a hot potato. As for the MSRP thing, I would think that a customer who has bought 7 bikes (and probably all sorts of other crap) would be someone I know and remember. I would not likely tell you my cost, but I would tell you MSRP and then likely give you some sort of discount...or find another "freebie" service or extra to reward your loyalty.

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    So, with all due seriousness, the op was wise enough to pay MSRP not once, not twice, but seven times and is now getting around to being righteous?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    Have you talked to the owner about your concerns?
    The owner is the person I always deal with. I don't begrudge anyone making a decent profit, but 71%? I can go across town to another shop that gave me close to 20% without asking, 10% off merchandise and lifetime tune ups. They don't even know me or my growing family.

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    71%? I call bvllsh!t.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    So, with all due seriousness, the op was wise enough to pay MSRP not once, not twice, but seven times and is now getting around to being righteous?
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthropraxis View Post
    The owner is the person I always deal with. I don't begrudge anyone making a decent profit, but 71%? I can go across town to another shop that gave me close to 20% without asking, 10% off merchandise and lifetime tune ups. They don't even know me or my growing family.
    Your math is wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthropraxis View Post
    The owner is the person I always deal with. I don't begrudge anyone making a decent profit, but 71%? I can go across town to another shop that gave me close to 20% without asking, 10% off merchandise and lifetime tune ups. They don't even know me or my growing family.
    lmao. you don't know what his overhead is.

    you didn't directly answer the question. did you bring your concerns to the owner?

    most of the people in my family like to piss and moan when they perceive an injustice. but do they call up management and hold them accountable? nope. a professional conversation often goes a VERY long way to making things right. losing small parts and not replacing dust covers is a fairly small issue. what were these "small parts"? something vital to the function of the bike? or extraneous bits that usually get thrown away, but you insist on getting back, contrary to the way they usually do it? dust covers...dust covers for what? again, were they vitally important, or were they cracking and falling apart, better for the trash bin?

    refusing to offer a discount is a business decision. I don't get pissed at anyone for making that choice, because he has to pay the bills, too, but I will shop around on price. if the guy demanding the higher price offers better intangibles, I might still buy from him depending on what I'm after. other times I'll buy from the guy with the lower price. I have to make a business decision, too. it's nothing personal until it becomes personal. and your situation is not.

  18. #18
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    I love my lbs but they don't sell bike brands I would buy. So unfortunately I have ha to buy bikes elsewhere then go there for everything. Sorry for you bad experience. Best to just move on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by roadie scum View Post
    71%? I call bvllsh!t.
    Cost of the bike $1750, selling for $3000, profit $1250. 1250 is 71% return on an investment of 1750 he paid for the bike. You can say the profit is 41.7% of the total cost of the bike depending on how you want to do the math but still that is a hefty markup. I fully understand overhead and don't expect any special treatment anywhere I go. I did discuss with the owner my reservations and he won't budge on the price. His loss.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthropraxis View Post
    Cost of the bike $1750, selling for $3000, profit $1250. 1250 is 71% return on an investment of 1750 he paid for the bike. You can say the profit is 41.7% of the total cost of the bike depending on how you want to do the math but still that is a hefty markup.



    Your understanding of profit margin is suspect. That is all, carry on.

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    Try something else besides the big "S"... They have to pay big wigs top $$$$$$.$$ to screw the LBS...the owner is just passing his pain on to you. (popcorn!)

  22. #22
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    Have you called around to at least 2 other Specy dealers to get their price on the same bike? 3 quotes is always a good way to go and will tell you a lot of about the price you should expect to pay.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    refusing to offer a discount is a business decision.
    Yep.

    Why is that in the niche/specialty retail business, everyone thinks that the markups are so much higher than in other industries where you pay retail without even a thought about the margins involved? Obviously, my money is important to me and I try to get good deals if I can, but I just don't think about the margins every time I buy a bike, accessories, etc. at a bike shop....I just pay for it and enjoy it.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

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    I've dealt with the same shop locally on regards to all of my motorcycle parts/accessories/gear for the last 7 years. Reason being, they know me by name and their prices are competitive with online retailers....because they do a lot of online business.
    If they charged me MSRP for everything, I'd just buy online. They actually realize that, so they get a lot of local business because they're priced competitively.
    Unfortunate for you, your local shop doesn't understand that.

  25. #25
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    The profit margin is calculated as:

    gross profit ($1250)/gross revenue ($3,000) = ~40%

    That is different than markup which in this case is 70%.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

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