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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.
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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.

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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 06:51 PM.
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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?
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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.

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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.

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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!)

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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.
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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.
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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.

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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%.
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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...

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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)

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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....

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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?
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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.
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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.

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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..

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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.

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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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    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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    The more we whine about price the faster the local shops will be replaced by Performance and other chains

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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

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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.
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  39. #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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    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.

  41. #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


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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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    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.

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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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    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.

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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.

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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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    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.

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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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    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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    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.
    I think you're in for a surprise, if you actually believe what you just wrote

    Bike shops are closing left and right, and you can be pretty sure that cost is on the top 3 of the reasons.

    Just look around, and you'll see that most people are not exactly swimming in money, so that they can go online and get the same part/bike for like 30% less, sure has a massive impact on where people are shopping.
    Be that the enthusiast, or the regular daily commuter.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Magura View Post
    I think you're in for a surprise, if you actually believe what you just wrote

    Bike shops are closing left and right, and you can be pretty sure that cost is on the top 3 of the reasons.

    Just look around, and you'll see that most people are not exactly swimming in money, so that they can go online and get the same part/bike for like 30% less, sure has a massive impact on where people are shopping.
    Be that the enthusiast, or the regular daily commuter.



    Magura
    I do believe what I wrote. My point was that your average person that walks into a shop is not going to leave empty handed to run to his computer and order online b/c he thinks that the shop charges MSRP. They may not be in the market for a bike right now b/c times are tough; taking 10% off isn't going to get that person to buy b/c they aren't going to buy at 20% off....they are broke/scared of loosing their job. Bike shops are closing b/c in this economy, things like bikes etc. are luxuries for most folks. Some bike shops are also closing b/c the people running many of them don't know how to run a business. The shop I worked in during college and that I now frequent as a customer just opened another location last year; they don't discount anything. You have to protect your margins and give good customer service; that is how you get folks in the door and spending money in your shop, even in a downturned economy. Yes, some shops are loosing some business to the online experience and I think the ones that are cater more towards the higher end enthusiast.
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    My point is there are a lot of people that don't even step into a LBS to give them a chance because they know they're overpriced. I would say cost is right up there with the "good service" that a LBS provides, in terms of getting customers in the door.

    Those customers would visit the LBS more if prices were better. I know I would.

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    Can you give me a specific example of something that could be priced better that would get you to visit your shop more often?
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    Can you give me a specific example of something that could be priced better that would get you to visit your shop more often?
    .....and therefore we end up with the Wal-Mart shopping dilemma.

    -S

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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    Can you give me a specific example of something that could be priced better that would get you to visit your shop more often?
    Hydration backpacks, gloves, tubes, helmets, sunglasses, clothing, shoes, protective gear, bike parts/components, etc...
    Not to mention they'd see me for the largest purchases.....complete bikes

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    Quote Originally Posted by Badmeat View Post
    My point is there are a lot of people that don't even step into a LBS to give them a chance because they know they're overpriced. I would say cost is right up there with the "good service" that a LBS provides, in terms of getting customers in the door.

    Those customers would visit the LBS more if prices were better. I know I would.
    they aren't overpriced. they charge what they have to so they can pay the bills. they know they have a limited customer base to draw upon. it's been said before, but the MSRP that the small shop pays is often more than what you can find an item listed for online. how do they compete on price? they can't. so for the customer whose primary concern is price, the LBS will never win. and they shouldn't waste their time trying to win that customer because it's a losing proposition. not everybody wants to expand into a chain or an internet mail order house. it's not like there's unlimited market space for internet bike parts dealers, anyway, so not every shop CAN do that.

    where the LBS can win is convenience (the customer can get the item NOW, important for repair issues), customer service (help the customer choose the best product for their needs/wants, help with warranty, etc), service dept (and you wonder why service costs are rising?), and misc items (basic maintenance classes, spin classes, coffee bar, other unique income streams like selling fitness equipment or ski equipment or whatever in the offseason).

    I've noticed my LBS take off after the university campus rec center started renting bikes. they bought all their bikes from the shop, and send them all to the shop for maintenance. that contract has to be a big deal for them. but the owner also closed his other shop in the next town over, and he was the only shop there. his one little shop now serves several counties almost exclusively. I'd bet part of his expansion plan (he will be adding outdoor gear, including backpacking gear and guns, as well as services to hunters that include mounting gun sights) includes selling some backpacking gear to the university for their rentals.

    IMO, if government officials were really interested in throwing small business owners a bone, it would help level the playing field between the small guy and the big buy by limiting price drops for volume orders.

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    Badmeat, give me the price for a specific hydration pack and tubes at your LBS, and then what you would pay online or at another shop that may have better prices.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badmeat View Post
    Hydration backpacks, gloves, tubes, helmets, sunglasses, clothing, shoes, protective gear, bike parts/components, etc...
    Not to mention they'd see me for the largest purchases.....complete bikes
    To re-iterate this, the money I just spent ordering a helmet, shorts, multi tool, knee protection, and gloves would have been spent locally. Do you think I would like to give the LBS the profits from my order? Absolutely. But I'm not going to spend an extra $75-$100 to do so. That's just a poor economical decision.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    so for the customer whose primary concern is price, the LBS will never win. and they shouldn't waste their time trying to win that customer because it's a losing proposition.
    You got it. For the few folks to come in and then leave b/c they can get it at Pricepoint for $10 less, you don't drop your margin for all the other customers that happily pay what you are asking. You smile and try to get them to become customers as best you can but you can't ruin your business for a few folks.

    BTW - I regularly shop at:

    Performance - great for small stuff, Gu, etc. I love whipping out my membership card
    REI - good for clothing or things that I want the guarantee that I can take back.
    LBS - big stuff or when I want to BS with the people that work there. Also buy small stuff there.
    Online @ Pricepoint, Jenson, etc. for things that the first 2 would have to order anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badmeat View Post
    To re-iterate this, the money I just spent ordering a helmet, shorts, multi tool, knee protection, and gloves would have been spent locally. Do you think I would like to give the LBS the profits from my order? Absolutely. But I'm not going to spend an extra $75-$100 to do so. That's just a poor economical decision.



    Continually sending money out of your communities is a "poor economic decision".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Badmeat View Post
    To re-iterate this, the money I just spent ordering a helmet, shorts, multi tool, knee protection, and gloves would have been spent locally. Do you think I would like to give the LBS the profits from my order? Absolutely. But I'm not going to spend an extra $75-$100 to do so. That's just a poor economical decision.
    Believe me, I understand. What I am trying to get from you is the actual price difference for some of the items you mentioned.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    Continually sending money out of your communities is a "poor economic decision".
    I live in northern KY. Most of my LBS are in Ohio. Please tell me how not giving them, who are located in another city/state, affects me more than giving it to an e-tailer in California.

    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    Badmeat, give me the price for a specific hydration pack and tubes at your LBS, and then what you would pay online or at another shop that may have better prices.
    Here's an example. This hydra-pak is at my LBS for $85
    Hydrapak Lone Pine Hydration Pack: Black/Green: 70oz

    If I were to purchase just this, yes, I'd probably just go to the LBS and pick it up. But when I'm ordering hundreds in bike gear, I'm going to shop around. That's what I do...find the deals. I just ordered a Fox Flux helmet for $55 shipped. I know that no LBS in my area has them for that price.

    My local motorcycle shop, which I've referenced before, gets ALL of my business. I don't even price shop them because I know they're competitive. I totaled it up with the owners one day- over $9,000 spent in their store since I started shopping there in 2006. They've earned my business through all 5 motorcycles I've owned and I love the advice they give me. If they weren't priced competitively, I'd view them just like every other motorcycle dealership in the area (they don't sell bikes, btw. Just clothing/gear/parts/service). It started as a father/son business and they just simply understand that you need to be competitive with your prices in order to take a chunk of your local biker's business away from e-tailers. Now they have the most in-stock selection in Cincinnati that you can put your hands on, as a consumer. Tons of jackets, helmets, boots, gloves, etc...

    IMO, if the LBS continues to charge retail, because they believe they have to, in order to keep the doors open, the doors are going to close. There's this thing called the internet...and people use it.

    There is a LBS in the area that I will spend my money at for service that I can't do myself. They're knowledgeable and priced fair, so they'll see my business. They also run specials and 'deal days' throughout the year. They get it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Badmeat View Post
    My point is there are a lot of people that don't even step into a LBS to give them a chance because they know they're overpriced. I would say cost is right up there with the "good service" that a LBS provides, in terms of getting customers in the door.

    Those customers would visit the LBS more if prices were better. I know I would.
    Both having worked at, and working at a shop, I don't think it quite works that way.

    Overpriced is a relative term. Maybe 1 out of every 10 people understand that there is a serious difference between a bike from a bike shop and one from walmart, target, or toy'r'us. To all those other people, it's just sticker shock; 'how can the same thing be worth 3 times (or higher!) more than another bike...after all, it's just a toy.' Once you talk to them, many will understand that it's like comparing a Daewoo and a Toyota.

    Affluence of an area affects what/how much stuff is sold for. I love Brooks saddles, but there is no way the places I have worked would stock them. Meanwhile, the place the next town over has a rack of them.

    Now, stock aside, the vast majority of people that come in to the shop are either looking for service, or a bike. The former are likely to leave the bike (assuming they didn't call and ask for service charges) regardless of the cost. They will come back because of good service, as why go to a different shop if you are happy with what you got from the one you visited first (regardless of whether or not the other shop is cheaper; they wouldn't know, as they didn't bother going there because of your good service.).

    If they are looking for a bike, well, I see two broad types of buyers. The browser, who doesn't know what brands you carry, and just wants to see what you have. If you convince them that your bike is better than the shop down the street, or comes with perks, maybe they will be more inclined to buy a bike. Brand doesn't really matter to the browser. Maybe they know about Trek or Specialized (maybe Schwinn) but to them, a bike is likely a bike, not an [insert brand here]. How much does price matter to the browser? Probably not a lot, if it is their first bike. They will buy what they are comfortable buying (usually an 'entry level' bike). After their first bike, they become the:

    Enthusiast. This is the guy that seeks out your shop specifically because you carry [x] brand. They want to talk about what makes what bike special. They are usually, but not always, looking for a deal. Maybe you can offer them one, maybe you point out one of your NOS (new, old stock) bikes. I usually see this kind of customer a few times before they purchase something.

    Regardless of the customer, I never offer a deal straight away. Discounts off the price right away? That's a sale, and I'll gladly point out what is on sale to you. Maybe they are a repeat customer, maybe they are new. If they ask for a deal, sure, we can talk, and we may even be able to reach an agreement, be it with the bike, or accessories. But it is still a business. My paycheck gets affected by the amount of bargaining that goes on, and I want as much as I can get for my hobbies.

    TL;DR -- people at the bike shop work for money not for love of bikes, though the two often overlap. Discounts and deals mean less dough.

    P.S. Your motorcycle shop sounds awesome, but, to me, it sounds like you know the people who run it quite well (and that's worth something).

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    [QUOTE=Badmeat;9908391]I live in northern KY. Most of my LBS are in Ohio. Please tell me how not giving them, who are located in another city/state, affects me more than giving it to an e-tailer in California.[QUOTE]




    If you cannot see how siphoning money away from the community is bad then any explanation would be far beyond comprehension for you.

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    I am in no way shape or form dependent on Joe Schmoe's bike shop in another state being successful.
    What you're failing to comprehend is that it's not "my community"

    Price more competitively, and more customers will come. Word of mouth travels fast. I've sent 50+ people to Thw shop I'm referencing for motorcycle stuff and personally walked 5 thru their door who dropped $300+ on gear when they first acquired a bike. One of which was a manager at a local repair shop who now orders all their atv an motorcycle tires through them now since their prices are so good. All of that started because I was researching Suomy helmet prices online and searched for a nearby dealer. Walked in and they set me up with a $360 msrp helmet, with tinted visor, visor bag, and cleaner for $360 out the door. I've been a loyal customer since.

    I'm done debating. No one here is ok with walking into a car dealership an paying sticker. We all know there's a deal to be had.
    Last edited by Badmeat; 11-26-2012 at 06:15 PM.

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    It's always a good practice to buy things you want, but not when you need them This way you can shop around. I'd just ask all of the question I have about the bike, the service and warranty, I'll make them sell their products to me. If they are the only show in town I'll consider it, if not I'll shop around for better package. The minute you paid there's no incentive to offer you any more extra service or discount.

    When you buy things you need urgently, be prepared to pay premium

    Like AZ said op bought 7 bikes from them without any problem, why now?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Badmeat View Post
    I am in no way shape or form dependent on Joe Schmoe's bike shop in another state being successful.
    What you're failing to comprehend is that it's not "my community"

    Price more competitively, and more customers will come. Word of mouth travels fast. I've sent 50+ people to Thw shop I'm referencing for motorcycle stuff and personally walked 5 thru their door who dropped $300+ on gear when they first acquired a bike. One of which was a manager at a local repair shop who now orders all their atv an motorcycle tires through them now since their prices are so good. All of that started because I was researching Suomy helmet prices online and searched for a nearby dealer. Walked in and they set me up with a $360 msrp helmet, with tinted visor, visor bag, and cleaner for $360 out the door. I've been a loyal customer since.

    I'm done debating. No one here is ok with walking into a car dealership an paying sticker. We all know there's a deal to be had.
    Not that simple, business location, the margins that may not make up for increased volume, and so on. What you are stating is extremely idealistic. You are assuming a huge cycling base. Customers that need to and want to buy parts all the time. Even if the LBS was priced 10% cheaper, why would I buy it at a bike shop when I can order it online for STILL 70% of what it costs at the bike shop, not to mention I can make sure I order the RIGHT parts and have them QUICKER than the bike shop, which usually waits weekly or bi-weekly till they fill up an QBP or BTI order. I can sit here and go to the websites and see if the parts are in stock, whereas the LBS had to make sometimes several calls to see if QBP or BTI has the parts in stock, as bike shops rarely have some of our specialized parts in stock due to how specific they are (do they stock every single derailer shimano, Campy and Sram make? That right there could end up being $4000 worth of inventory, $3500 of which will sit there all year? Take it from those of us that have worked in shops, ordered the parts wholesale, dealt with BTI and QBP, and so on. It's not what you think.

    You also can't just "chop prices" and expect more business. It might help, but it might not be a big enough difference, and you might have made your economic situation even WORSE or you start going into the negative, because that 10% was your profit when subtracting the revenue, and the increased volume doesn't make up for it. Too many assumptions.

    A few people above nailed it. Bike shops can not and should not be trying to compete with the big e retailers. It's hard to comprehend, but QBP and BTI charge bike shops MORE to buy certain things wholesale than they sell for from Jenson and others from time to time. Why? Because Jenson buys a bulk amount of derailer overstock straight from Giant, or they may be able to offer a few of the newest shimano derailers for cheaper for a little while to get people interested, which isn't hard when you sell thousands of units vs. maybe 10 XT derailers/year at a bike shop. Yes, they are often the same parts, but you just can't compare.

    What bike shops need to do, other than complain or go out of business, is find new ways to attract business. The whole idea that a business can sit there and do what they've always done and be indefinitely successful is flawed. Someone will ALWAYS come along and do whatever it is for cheaper, or quicker, etc. The only constant in business is change, and you have to be willing to change and be innovative to stay successful, otherwise someone WILL eventually come along and "take" your business. This means find new markets, find new ways to advertise, sponsor local events, get involved, scour BTI and QBP to find "deals" (they have them from time to time) on specific components they might be able to move (but due to the demographics, this may not work for all), skills clinics, basic repair and upkeep, and so on. Those are ALL the areas where a big store can't compete, and those things will bring in business and build the loyalty, far better than a slight price drop that might force the business to close in the first place.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post

    When you buy things you need urgently, be prepared to pay premium

    Like AZ said op bought 7 bikes from them without any problem, why now?
    And if you need it by a certain date, you'll never get it
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by Badmeat View Post
    Hydration backpacks, gloves, tubes, helmets, sunglasses, clothing, shoes, protective gear, bike parts/components, etc...
    Not to mention they'd see me for the largest purchases.....complete bikes
    This is why my preferred (out of 3) LBS doesn't want to get into retail. He focuses on service and custom builds. And has a kegerator.

    There is no way he could compete on optics or packs, to take two of your categories. And consider how many high-end choices there are in packs, for example- Camelbak, Osprey, Dakine... and I have an EVOC. Saying "just sell what you like" doesn't satisfy Internet/forum nerds like us.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    So if your boss asked you if it's cool to pay you 20% less one month, is that cool?
    This is such a lame comparison.....

    First, when I worked for someone other than myself....I made myself so valuable to my company that our CEO knew if he tampered with my compensation plan for no good reason, I'd call our three largest competitors and have two offers in 24 hours...making more money. However, the situtation would never happen because we needed each other, respected each other and cultivated a relationship of mutual respect from day one. I earned the right to ask full MSRP for my skill set in the market place. A relationship between a retailer and customer should be no different. A retailer earns the right to get full MSRP, if they offer only an average experience or value in the customers eyes...then let the discounting begin.

    A wise retailer will never discount the price as this cheapens or lessens the value of the bike, its better to ADD value to the transaction if need be by adding something of value. Helmet, pedals, shoes, tires, bibs, etc, gloves, etc.

    Crappy bike shops think they are doing you a favor allowing you to buy things from them.

    Average bike shops think they are in the business of selling bikes, parts and service and do an average job of meeting your expectations...nothing extra.

    Good bike shops always meet your expectations and sometimes exceed them.

    Outstanding bike shops sell you an experience and admission to a lifestyle. They welcome you to become a member their "tribe" and then do what it takes to keep you a member, the bike is merely the vehicle which ushers in the experience...these shops are rare indeed but they "get it". They understand that they are not in the business of selling bikes...its actually much more than that.
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  72. #72
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    Everyone should read this first
    Lets continue this conversation latter after everyone is up to speed on their homework


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    [QUOTE=roadie scum;9908410][QUOTE=Badmeat;9908391]I live in northern KY. Most of my LBS are in Ohio. Please tell me how not giving them, who are located in another city/state, affects me more than giving it to an e-tailer in California.




    If you cannot see how siphoning money away from the community is bad then any explanation would be far beyond comprehension for you.
    Wow, the self righteous drivel you spout is utterly amazing...LOL Now shake your clenched fist at the computer screen and go with AZ.MTNS to pick up trash in your community. What a DB!!!!

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    I do believe what I wrote. My point was that your average person that walks into a shop is not going to leave empty handed to run to his computer and order online b/c he thinks that the shop charges MSRP. They may not be in the market for a bike right now b/c times are tough; taking 10% off isn't going to get that person to buy b/c they aren't going to buy at 20% off....they are broke/scared of loosing their job. Bike shops are closing b/c in this economy, things like bikes etc. are luxuries for most folks. Some bike shops are also closing b/c the people running many of them don't know how to run a business. The shop I worked in during college and that I now frequent as a customer just opened another location last year; they don't discount anything. You have to protect your margins and give good customer service; that is how you get folks in the door and spending money in your shop, even in a downturned economy. Yes, some shops are loosing some business to the online experience and I think the ones that are cater more towards the higher end enthusiast.
    Funny though, how Jenson and Chainreaction a thriving, and the bike shops are closing left and right?
    So according to you, it would be because 75% of the bike shops (approx. the percentage that has closed over the last 10 years around here) are very bad at running a business?
    I doubt it.
    What happens is, that the focus on price is massive, and online retailers has made it obvious that 30% under MSRP is possible, and quite common.
    To the vast majority of customers, a 20-30% discount makes a big difference.

    A friend of mine has a bike shop, selling trial stuff exclusively.
    He is like the motor bike shop mentioned previously in this thread, offering that bit more than the online shops, and at the same cost as shopping online.
    He lives quite well from this business.


    Magura

  75. #75
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    It's simply about knowing what your potential customers buying motives are and appealing to them.
    Cost is up at the top of the list.

  76. #76
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    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.


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    ^^^well said

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    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.

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    [QUOTE=ramslam;9909652][QUOTE=roadie scum;9908410]
    Quote Originally Posted by Badmeat View Post
    I live in northern KY. Most of my LBS are in Ohio. Please tell me how not giving them, who are located in another city/state, affects me more than giving it to an e-tailer in California.

    Wow, the self righteous drivel you spout is utterly amazing...LOL Now shake your clenched fist at the computer screen and go with AZ.MTNS to pick up trash in your community. What a DB!!!!



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  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramslam View Post
    go with AZ.MTNS to pick up trash in your community.



    How about you doing it? Maybe give something back to earn your welfare check. Speaking of DB's.

  81. #81
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    If I bought ONE bike from my LBS and they were dicks to me or didn't help me out, I certainly wouldn't buy 6 more.

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    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.
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  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramslam View Post
    [ go with AZ.MTNS to pick up trash in your community. What a DB!!!!



    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.

  84. #84
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    nvm.
    Last edited by literocola; 11-27-2012 at 12:12 PM.

  85. #85
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    Um, I think that post warrants its own thread

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    Quote Originally Posted by Badmeat View Post
    I live in northern KY. Most of my LBS are in Ohio. Please tell me how not giving them, who are located in another city/state, affects me more than giving it to an e-tailer in California..
    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.

    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.

  87. #87
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    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.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badmeat View Post
    You have to understand the younger, tech savvy generation in order to appeal to them.
    LMAO!

    If I ever saw a non-tech savvy generation, it would be the ones that are below 40 today (yes my own generation).
    Most of them couldn't fix a water boiler if their life depended from it
    ....and it just gets worse the younger they get.

    So in that regard, I think you're wrong. That the elite of riders frequently are pretty handy, is a different matter, it sure has nothing to do with the generation they're from.


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  89. #89
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    Here is another LBS concept that will gain loads of traction:

    The Bike Butler - Australia | Tailor-Made Bicycle Concierge & Service


    Magura

  90. #90
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    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Not that simple, business location, the margins that may not make up for increased volume, and so on. What you are stating is extremely idealistic. You are assuming a huge cycling base. Customers that need to and want to buy parts all the time. Even if the LBS was priced 10% cheaper, why would I buy it at a bike shop when I can order it online for STILL 70% of what it costs at the bike shop, not to mention I can make sure I order the RIGHT parts and have them QUICKER than the bike shop, which usually waits weekly or bi-weekly till they fill up an QBP or BTI order. I can sit here and go to the websites and see if the parts are in stock, whereas the LBS had to make sometimes several calls to see if QBP or BTI has the parts in stock, as bike shops rarely have some of our specialized parts in stock due to how specific they are (do they stock every single derailer shimano, Campy and Sram make? That right there could end up being $4000 worth of inventory, $3500 of which will sit there all year? Take it from those of us that have worked in shops, ordered the parts wholesale, dealt with BTI and QBP, and so on. It's not what you think.
    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...
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Magura View Post
    LMAO!

    If I ever saw a non-tech savvy generation, it would be the ones that are below 40 today (yes my own generation).
    Most of them couldn't fix a water boiler if their life depended from it
    ....and it just gets worse the younger they get.

    So in that regard, I think you're wrong. That the elite of riders frequently are pretty handy, is a different matter, it sure has nothing to do with the generation they're from.


    Magura
    I think he's referring more to the Internet junkies. Although who knows when Facebook will get an app integrated into them

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Magura View Post
    LMAO!

    If I ever saw a non-tech savvy generation, it would be the ones that are below 40 today (yes my own generation).
    Most of them couldn't fix a water boiler if their life depended from it
    ....and it just gets worse the younger they get.

    So in that regard, I think you're wrong. That the elite of riders frequently are pretty handy, is a different matter, it sure has nothing to do with the generation they're from.


    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.


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  93. #93
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    He's obviously "tech savvy" hence he understood what I meant by "tech savvy"....errrrrr

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    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.

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by gatorgrizz27 View Post
    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.

    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.

  96. #96
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    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.

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithcreek View Post
    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.

    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    Believe me, I understand. What I am trying to get from you is the actual price difference for some of the items you mentioned.
    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.

    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 11:29 PM.

  99. #99
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    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?

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    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

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