... The irony in this post is that I worked in a local shop for years. While we weren't perfect, I know we tried.
Local shops like to ***** about folks using the internet for parts, bikes etc. I get that, but then again I do all of my own work. I also buy my kids bikes, tubes, small parts, clothing, sunglasses, cables, housing, gifts, as often as possible from my local shops. I also generally suggest them to any friends that ask me about bikes, parts, service etc. Folks look to me that know me since they know I am a bike geek. I won't say I 100pct support them, but I do what I can. It would be just as easy for me to order my kids bikes online and build them up, but I try to support locally, and for my kids there is still the " thrill " of going to the shop to buy a bike.
But it seems like just about any time I ask for a bit more help, I feel like I have to pull teeth, make offerings of six packs, etc for some help.
Example - I need some help with getting an RA for a part from say... (insert bike company). Now, I know what needs to be done, and I call (bike company) they tell me they can fix it, but I have to go to my local shop and have them call to get an RA. They give me the number and person to call. I go to the local shop... they pout a bit about it. I acknowledge that no, they likely won't make any money off of it, but even that day I buy a few small things from the shop.
Two days later I hear nothing from the shop.. call shop..shop says they called (bike company) and left message but haven't heard anything back. I call (bike company), they have not spoken to shop, tell me they will call shop that day. Later that day, I still hear nothing from my local shop.
Now while frustrating as heck, I suppose I understand why many of the mfg's only want us going through shops (yet they have no problem knowing mail order companies sell the crap out of their products). This company was nice enough about offering to do the work.
That said, the local shops need to also show me they want my business. Sure, on this product, no they made no money to start with, they will not make money on the repair.
BUT, I do buy lots of other items from the shop, including bikes, and in general probably drop 1k at the shop in a given year. That said, whenever I need help it seems the first question always is.. did you buy this here?
I have two shops in town and frankly, this shop today is the BETTER of the two. The other one sells a crapload of stuff via the net, but always asks the same questions.
I'm in sales, do I want all of my customers business? Of course? Is that realistic - likely not. That said, I want the majority of it and many times go out of my way when I know won't make money in an effort to get most of the business I can get.
It's why I originally (Back in the 90's) went with Titus, as I could call anytime. I can't do that now and that frustrates me also. I buy high end, and part of the reason is the simplicity when I need some help.
Oh well, rant over. FYI - this rant is NOT in regards to Titus at all.
I just don't know why I should have to feel like I need to make an "offering" every time I go to the local shop for help. It would be one thing if I didn't give them a fair amount of business.
Ok, rant over.
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