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  1. #1
    a.k.a. BicycleKicks
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    RANT: Incorrect online product descriptions!



    I've been looking for a new carbon bar to replace my old one. I want to find a bar that's 630mm (25") wide, with at least a 40mm (1.5") rise, and a 25.4mm diameter. There aren't many. However, in the 31.6mm diameter size there are quite a few choices.

    Anyway, I found an interesting bar online at Performance that claims to be 610mm wide x 1.75" high...

    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=5250

    I had seen this bar in person at the store before and was skeptical of the claimed dimensions, so I brought my old aluminum bar with me for comparison and find that the bar's rise is really only 1" and it's actually 670mm wide! That's a huge difference from the claimed dimensions. I told the store manager about it, but the online dimensions are still incorrect .

    So not having any luck with that one, I found a really cool FSA K-Force XC carbon/kevlar 40mm x 630mm riser bar online at Colorado Cyclist...

    http://www.coloradocyclist.com/commo...551&TextMode=0

    Just to double and triple check, I called the store and SPOKE to a real live sales person who supposedly LOOKED at the actual bar and confirmed the dimensions... I place my order and waited for 5 days... I get it today and find that IT'S THE WRONG SIZE EWWWWWWWWW I'm mad! It's only a 25mm rise, not 1.5" as claimed in their description and claimed by the salesperson!! I called the store and they apologized, but now I have to go through the trouble of shipping it back and waiting another week for my bar once I order it from somewhere else .

    What MORE can I do than call someone and have them check the dimensions for me??? WHAT?!? This level of incompetence is maddening!

    So tonight I placed an order with JensonUSA for the 630mm x 40mm x 25.4mm dia. FSA.

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...Riser+Bar.aspx

    I'm seriously skeptical that this will be the correct bar, so first thing in the morning I will call them and "double check" with a real live sales person . If this bar comes in wrong, I'm going to find the person nearest me and beat them with it (I hope it's not my dog), or try and break the thing to see how strong they really are!

    Why can't these stoopid websites be correct ??!?

    End of rant
    I read that on the internet.

  2. #2
    Ride Everything
    Reputation: GRAVELBIKE's Avatar
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    I own/operate an online store, and I measure every product myself. Granted, I'm not selling bikes, but still, it takes about the same time/effort to measure something as it does to copy/paste a press release or catalog copy.

  3. #3
    a.k.a. BicycleKicks
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    I love this one... ... a carbon bar made of shot peaned aluminum!!

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...x?ModelID=2215
    I read that on the internet.

  4. #4
    Silence! I kill you!
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    One of my favorites is when (I am workin on being a pro photographer) I'm on say an online camera shop, and in the description they have a spelling error. Most of those sites just copy & paste the info from the manufacturers site, and so all the online shops have the same spelling error.

    I too work at an online store, and I proofread all the products my boss puts up on the net since she seems to have a lot of spelling errors.
    My Website:
    Scott Mosher Photography

    My Recent Shoots
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  5. #5
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    I concur with your rant, Rich. Especially the part about empty customer service. The big name online retailers haven't yet figured out that consumers would rather not compromise service for price if they don't have to.

    Let me back up here:

    It's the rule of the three: At any given time, you can only have 2 out of 3 benefits for any given thing.

    Take, for example, parking. The three are: Close to your destination (convenient), cheap, availability
    U can have convenient parking that's cheap but there won't be any available.
    U can have cheap parking that's abundant but it will be over top a landfill.
    U can have abundant parking that's convenient but it'll cost you an arm and a leg.

    Now, if there were ever a way to supercede the rule of the three, on-line retailers, have the greatest opportunity.

    Perhaps the three for on-line retailers could be: Price, availability, knowledge.

    Retailers just kind of assume that consumers are willing to take only 2 of the three and call it good. However, I would venture to say that due to the smaller capital and time investment of selling things through the internet retailers can hit all three selling points with minimal affect to any one of the three.

    OK, now I'm just babbling. I guess one rant begets another .

    I'm done now, thanks for reading.

  6. #6
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    I can talk all-day on this subject since its my business but the majority of online consumers are price driven. Yes, there are those that are convenience and [product] availability driven but the majority are looking to spend the least amount of money.

  7. #7
    a.k.a. BicycleKicks
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    Yes, we want low price, but you still have to ship the correct product

    Quote Originally Posted by kevin6s
    I can talk all-day on this subject since its my business but the majority of online consumers are price driven. Yes, there are those that are convenience and [product] availability driven but the majority are looking to spend the least amount of money.
    I am willing to pay a little extra (than the lowest price) to make sure I get what I want... the second time I ordered this bar I paid more than the lowest price using froogle.google.com. I ordered it this time from Jenson for about $10 more than the lowest price I found because I trust them more than some of the other places I read occasional bad things about.

    So you are certainly correct that most consumers simply want the lowest price, but no one benefits when the order is shipped wrong due to an incorrect web description etc etc.

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Jenson gets it right... I'll post the results in a few days/week when I get the shipment.
    I read that on the internet.

  8. #8
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    Why can these stoopid websites be correct!

    Because they wouldn't be stoopid then.

    Just placed a $1300 dollar order, cross my fingers.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin6s
    I can talk all-day on this subject since its my business but the majority of online consumers are price driven. Yes, there are those that are convenience and [product] availability driven but the majority are looking to spend the least amount of money.
    Therein lies the problem. Company ABC assumes that the majority of consumers that come to their website are only there because company ABC has the best price on product X. Consumers are a dime a dozen, therefore, if Consumer Bob begins to cost Company ABC extra money by calling Company ABC and "wasting" employee Jan's time by asking about a product, it benefits Company ABC to minimize the time and money spent by Jan in answering Bob's question because in a matter of seconds, Consumer Jill will make a purchase without ever calling up employee Jan. !

    However, if Company XYZ were to spend the minimal time and money in appeasing Consumer Bob's purchasing dilema then Company XYZ would have both Jill and Bob's money with only minimal losses in overhead.

    Seems most online businesses have taken ABC's business model to heart with little desire to change.

  10. #10
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    Or Company 123 can ignore people like Consumer Bob, reduce overhead dramatically therefore allowing more room for lowered prices and gain the business of Jack, Steve, Mike, Ashley, Nicole and Michelle...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin6s
    Or Company 123 can ignore people like Consumer Bob, reduce overhead dramatically therefore allowing more room for lowered prices and gain the business of Jack, Steve, Mike, Ashley, Nicole and Michelle...
    And royally goof up on Steve's order, thereby enduring the wrath of the internet (because Steve is able to freely describe his bad experience to a very large, worldwide, audience), which (internet) is, ironically, the hand that feeds 123inc.

    Then again, this whole internet thing doesn't really sway a lot of opinions... yet.

  12. #12
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    Properly run companies would compensate for risk, in your example an incorrect order. In many cases, the largest expense falls on the shoulders of the buyer, as opposed to the seller. Many sellers have lengthly disclaimers or "Conditions of Use" policies that reduce liability. In many instances buyers are the ones that have to cover the cost of return shipping, which is usually the highest expense. Is it wrong? Maybe but that is how many companies keep their costs down.

    Internet reviews may be important to some but they're not to everyone. People on this board love to crucify Performance yet I've never had a bad transaction and will continue to purchase from them if the need arises. Am I lucky or were they all just anomalies?

    In my [personal] experience, more people like to moan than praise, which skews reviews dramatically. I've had customers post negative reviews on message boards because "its now Monday and I have not received tracking for my order." Meanwhile they placed their order on Saturday! I've also had customers that I basically walked through installation and followed-up making sure everything went smoothly, post nothing at all. I'm not saying everyone is negatively motivated but the majority of consumers are...

  13. #13
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    Kevin,

    I've learned a lot from our little conversation. I have to admit that a lot of what you say makes perfect sense from a business mans (or womans) perspective (ie the 80/20 rule, etc.). I'm no business man myself. However, I'm interested to see how business models will change as (I hope) consumers become more educated because of and through this thing we call the internet. Then again, maybe things won't change at all and I'm just kind of projecting my desires on the world.

    It does seem to me, though, that there are more and more consumers like myself who a) aren't easily swayed by popular culture, b) are educated and well researched, c) willing to wait until the time is right.

    I really am speaking out of my butt, here, with no true facts to back up my opinion besides personal experience and anecdote from friends and associates, but I do think drastic changes are on the way.

    Ok, I'll get off my soapbox now.

  14. #14
    a.k.a. BicycleKicks
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    I'm happy to report that JensonUSA got the order right. I think this is because they sourced the bar from QBP in MN, not from their store shelf like CO Cyclist did. Jenson's website description and the delivery of the product were both correct! They won my $120 !
    Last edited by 40hills; 10-13-2006 at 07:27 PM.
    I read that on the internet.

  15. #15
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    Hey, glad to hear it worked out for you. I just started using JensonUSA this year. I've placed 4 orders with them and each time my order shipped out the same day, all items I received were correct and they were even packaged well. More than I can say for others. They've earned my business for the future. Keep it up JensonUSA!

    Now go get those bars put on!

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