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  1. #1
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    Buying a high end bike

    Has anyone drove to Oregon to buy a high end bike to save the 8-10% sales tax. Of course you can get some riding in while your there. Its sort of a cheap shot for the local LBS. But you could save $600-$1000. A local authorized dealer should have to honor the warranty. I rarely if ever take my bike to a shop anyhow.

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    You may not need to drive -- there are online retailers that don't charge CA sales tax.
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    I think most major brands don't allow online sales. Also, technically your suppose to pay the sales tax when you file your state income tax.

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    What brand are you trying to buy? Using me as a referral with a certain LBS saves you tax.

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    I am still a few months off on buying. Really haven't decided yet. I am looking for a higher end ebike, like levo, pivot shuttle, or a few others

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    Lambow----what mfg do you think do not allow online----for sure Pivot/IBIS/EVIL/Santa Cruz/Yeti do-----the tax thing varies by the distributor so worth some research----or a trip to oregon or reno would be cool

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    When I lived in portland, they'd do tour buses for shopping. People would be hauled in from washington to save the tax, so I suppose its a thing. Buying current year high end bikes is a losing venture kind of no matter what though. People are nuts and seem to buy $10k bikes, ride them around the block once or twice, and sell them off for many thousands less.

    If you're just trying to go traveling for fun, oregon is really a beautiful state. Hit up sandy ridge outside of portland for a good ride if you're there anyway... but its not really a great money saving strategy.

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    I actually just put the money down on a bike from a shop in MA today because it was cheaper by $800 than buying from Specialized and having them send it to my LBS to build up for me. Feel a little bad but it was the difference between being able to afford the bike and not. Was able to get free shipping and a discount from the shop in MA.

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    It was just a thought. I mostly buy used, I have 6 mountain bikes sitting in my garage, all purchased used. But not sure about buying a used ebike. I have ridden in Oregon a few times Bend, north Umpqua, some place in Grants Pass. I would like to go up and try Ashland. This was the summer I was going to get into shuttle runs and bike parks. I though I could use a ebike in lieu of a lift or shuttle since most of that has been closed down

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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Buying current year high end bikes is a losing venture kind of no matter what though.
    No matter what???
    You have never met anyone with an uncle who had a 2nd cousin who worked in the bike industry and could get you a bro deal? EP on Treks are like 50% off or something crazy. The majority people I ride with all get bikes well below msrp one way or another, then sell them within a year and hardly lose any money. I have more riding buddies that have bought SC bikes direct from the factory than from bike shops.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RBoardman View Post
    No matter what???
    You have never met anyone with an uncle who had a 2nd cousin who worked in the bike industry and could get you a bro deal? EP on Treks are like 50% off or something crazy. The majority people I ride with all get bikes well below msrp one way or another, then sell them within a year and hardly lose any money. I have more riding buddies that have bought SC bikes direct from the factory than from bike shops.
    Bro I need to find a homie to hook it up with a Specialized Deal.

  12. #12
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    Ive had some success asking the retailer to drop the price of the bike by the amount of the tax...

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    I guess everyone has a strategy. Mine has been buying lightly used bikes, probably from a guy who had a uncle, who had a 2ed cousin who worked in the bike industry and got it new for 50% off. When I briefly worked at a bike shop I did get a nice Scott road bike through a program they had for bike shop employees

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    With even used bike prices commanding top dollar right now, I have to wonder if bike thieves will be more motivated than ever.

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    I donít know if I would drive to another state just to get a discount on a new bike. BUT if you were planning on taking a road trip for vacation/riding/whatever anyway, then hell yeah, why not!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambow View Post
    Has anyone drove to Oregon to buy a high end bike to save the 8-10% sales tax. Of course you can get some riding in while your there. Its sort of a cheap shot for the local LBS. But you could save $600-$1000. A local authorized dealer should have to honor the warranty. I rarely if ever take my bike to a shop anyhow.
    At least ask the local shop if they can move at all on the price, you might be surprised. Especially if you think you might need their help for warranty.

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    Of course I would be doing some riding and/or other activities. I think a lot of the more popular ebikes are in short supply right now anyhow.

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    ^^ They definitely are. I think I got the last 2019 Levo from Scotts Valley Cycle Sport (feel free to mention my name, but you won't get a discount!) a month ago. They said e-bikes and everything under $2K were flying off the shelves.
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    I no longer race but when I was in the local club we got 25% of specialized even for members just in the club that did not race as we were a specialized club--- the same club got 15% of Trek just working with the local LBS-----worth looking into your local clubs

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambow View Post
    It was just a thought. I mostly buy used, I have 6 mountain bikes sitting in my garage, all purchased used. But not sure about buying a used ebike. I have ridden in Oregon a few times Bend, north Umpqua, some place in Grants Pass. I would like to go up and try Ashland. This was the summer I was going to get into shuttle runs and bike parks. I though I could use a ebike in lieu of a lift or shuttle since most of that has been closed down

    Lambow - Go to Ashland, see Ashland Mountain Adventures, Bill & Sue's Shuttle IS running and those trails are pretty freakin' sweet. Rent/Demo some stuff. He's carrying Sp. Enduro's for the Rental deal this year and he's always got a Transition or 2 around and an IBIS. Bill should be able to get you sized and order any of those plus KONA. Just depends on what's in-stock with the manufacturer of your choice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmallory View Post
    I actually just put the money down on a bike from a shop in MA today because it was cheaper by $800 than buying from Specialized and having them send it to my LBS to build up for me. Feel a little bad but it was the difference between being able to afford the bike and not. Was able to get free shipping and a discount from the shop in MA.
    How did you find that that MA shop had the bike you were looking for? Just a Google shopping search, knew the shop already, etc?

    Congrats on a what sounds like a great deal!

    Just curious. Thanks!

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    I bought a new Ibis Ripmo with XO1 build, carbon wheels, and upgraded kashima fork for $6500 from a retailer in Austin. It would have been $9300 out the door at a LBS in California.

    That $3k in savings got me a new canyon endurance road bike! I will happily spend money on repairs at the LBS, but willing to go online if I can get two brand carbon bikes with Ultegra Di2 & Sram XO/the works for the price of the mtb.

  23. #23
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    Local Bike Shops

    Quote Originally Posted by Lambow View Post
    Has anyone drove to Oregon to buy a high end bike to save the 8-10% sales tax. Of course you can get some riding in while your there. Its sort of a cheap shot for the local LBS. But you could save $600-$1000. A local authorized dealer should have to honor the warranty. I rarely if ever take my bike to a shop anyhow.
    This is the one thing people don't realize and my buddy found out the hard way. Some, can't say all, and they won't come out and say it but if you didn't buy the bike there they will service it but you are put at the back of the priority line. My buddy has had to wait 3 weeks for something minor like a new hub or to replace a broken spoke and if it's not ready by then, it's like they don't care. This is pre-covid, so it would probably be backlogged months now because they will give "their" customers" first dibs, even though you are also their customers because you are paying them for their labor. Just something to think about. Not saying all do it, but this is the second shop he has that problem with.
    Last edited by reb4; 2 Weeks Ago at 12:45 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambow View Post
    I guess everyone has a strategy. Mine has been buying lightly used bikes, probably from a guy who had a uncle, who had a 2ed cousin who worked in the bike industry and got it new for 50% off. When I briefly worked at a bike shop I did get a nice Scott road bike through a program they had for bike shop employees
    That is a great deal if you know the person very well. But buying used mountain bikes is like buying used 4x4, offroad trucks, and SUVs. They are probably ridden pretty hard and unless they are like you and very experienced seeing used bikes, it's a big risk. I'm taking a risk now for the first time buying a direct to consumer brand with a YT Izzo, but at least it's brand new and there are warranties. If money is an issue to get the type of bike you really want, then consider YT or Fezzari. They have won Bike of the Year awards so it's not like some no-name brand. I will be keeping my Hightower for gnarlier trails anyways, so if I have a warranty issue, I can afford to be without the YT while it's dealt with and still have something to ride, but I did save $3,000 in getting a bike I wanted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reb4 View Post
    This is the one thing people don't realize and my buddy found out the hard way. Some, can't say all, and they won't come out and say it but if you didn't buy the bike there they will service it but you are put at the back of the priority line. My buddy has had to wait 3 weeks for something minor like a new hub or to replace a broken spoke and if it's not ready by then, it's like they don't care. This is pre-covid, so it would probably be backlogged months now because they will give "their" customers" first dibs, even though you are also their customers because you are paying them for their labor. Just something to think about. Not saying all do it, but this is the second shop he has that problem with.
    Your right, bike shops don't give you top service if you didn't by your bike there. Plus they will charge more. When i worked at a shop, if I remember correctly they would charge $90 to put a online bike together. Most of the they tried to do it themselves and couldn't. Most common mistake, they had the fork on backwards. Another one that would always make me smile. Was when some would come into the shop and buy a tube, two hours later their back with the tube and wheel. Most commom mistake, not putting and air in the tube first. Lucky, now days, there are lots of online videos on how to do stuff.

  26. #26
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    Give your lbs the chance to compete first. They may decide that selling a bike for at a discount is better than not selling one at all.

    If you buy out of town then warrantee's become more of a pain in the arse. You should take the bike back to where you bought it from. Local shops may process warrantee claims. However dont expect them to invest money and time in doing so. Afterall you haven't given them any margin to work with. Expect those claims from local dealers to take longer, you may have to pay for freight and non covered removal/assembly.

    Factor that annoyance level into your equation. its worth at least a few hundred $$$ in annoyance factor.

    That said the last bike I bought was discounted from an out of town shop. The local shop couldn't get close as this was run out last years model. I saved $2500.

    So I took a punt on the annoyance factor. I have had to send a one part back for claim , my bike was out of action for a couple of weeks one time waiting for warrantee parts. I have another bike so that wasn't so bad.

  27. #27
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    Good points and perspectives on this thread.

    $2,500 and $3,000 are some legit coin. I do see some more LBS's setting up online sales capabilities, perhaps precipitated by this Corona stuff.

    Even if LBSs don't and/or can't officially list or sell bikes online, their online presence makes for easier discovery and phone calls by prospective buyers.

    Will be interesting to see if/how the bike brands respond or try to regulate/protect.

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    Kind of interesting development with Spesh:

    Brick-and-mortar shops can now officially sell Spesh frames (and equipment) online.

    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/specia...yclistcom.html

    Looks like selling complete bikes is grey area(?), happening anyways but not officially promoted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Callender View Post
    ^^ They definitely are. I think I got the last 2019 Levo from Scotts Valley Cycle Sport (feel free to mention my name, but you won't get a discount!) a month ago. They said e-bikes and everything under $2K were flying off the shelves.
    Oh man, I knew there was more to those motors than making a bike move. I'm going to be the new Iron Man next week
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    Quote Originally Posted by reb4 View Post
    This is the one thing people don't realize and my buddy found out the hard way. Some, can't say all, and they won't come out and say it but if you didn't buy the bike there they will service it but you are put at the back of the priority line.
    Yes, this is how relationships work.

    If you're interested in building a relationship with your LBS by purchasing your gear from them instead of buying online (or from out of state) then you may be rewarded with slightly better turnaround times on bike service, or with discounted demos, or discounts in general. Basically, you're supporting your LBS and so they're supporting you back.

    If you're interested in saving a few bucks by continually buying your gear online or constantly price shopping then don't expect the LBS to roll out the red carpet for you when you need your spokes or hub fixed during peak season. Expect to be in the back of the line and to wait your turn. I think that's completely reasonable.

    I understand that it isn't always possible to buy all of your gear from your LBS, but if you have a good shop that's local to you then I'd definitely suggest supporting them.


    And all of what I just said goes out the window if you're able to save thousands of dollars on a bike purchase. That's impressive.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by sa12 View Post
    don't expect the LBS to roll out the red carpet for you when you need your spokes or hub fixed during peak season. Expect to be in the back of the line and to wait your turn. I think that's completely reasonable.

    Um...no, an LBS should treat every customer great. I think this idea that you have to be buying full MSRP, high end bikes on some kind of regular cadence for your bike shop to lift a finger to let you pay them to work on your a bike is one of the reasons people hate LBS's. I worked at a few bike shops when I was younger, a 3 week queue time for any customer is absolutely unacceptable, way beyond remotely reasonable.

    This weekend I tried to buy a full MSRP XT 5010 from a bike shop for my g/f (a $6k bike!!). I walked in at 10am and within about 1 minute of discussion where we made sure they had the right size I told them "I want this bike, here's the credit card, get it ready by the end of the day". They proceeded to make the whole process so painful, and couldn't build up a bike from a bike within 8 hours, so I had to just walk away. They treated me like I didn't know anything about bikes when I pulled up to the shop with 4x, $5k+ mountain bikes on the back of the truck ("Is this the right color? Are you SURE you don't want 29" wheels? Why not?"). They then called me up later and tried to get me to come back telling me "We're the premier Santa Cruz dealer in the country". It was incredible, I've bought brand new cars with less effort and pain.

    There's a reason people hate bike shops. Some of them are run like garbage. And most of them have no idea how to treat high end bike buyers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sa12 View Post
    Yes, this is how relationships work.

    If you're interested in building a relationship with your LBS by purchasing your gear from them instead of buying online (or from out of state) then you may be rewarded with slightly better turnaround times on bike service, or with discounted demos, or discounts in general. Basically, you're supporting your LBS and so they're supporting you back.

    If you're interested in saving a few bucks by continually buying your gear online or constantly price shopping then don't expect the LBS to roll out the red carpet for you when you need your spokes or hub fixed during peak season. Expect to be in the back of the line and to wait your turn. I think that's completely reasonable.

    I understand that it isn't always possible to buy all of your gear from your LBS, but if you have a good shop that's local to you then I'd definitely suggest supporting them.


    And all of what I just said goes out the window if you're able to save thousands of dollars on a bike purchase. That's impressive.
    I always try to buy from the LBS when they have things available and I am a very loyal customer IF they are good at their job. My buddy bought his bike from a semi-local dealer, a little farther than the one next to him only because of availability. I would understand if it were a "free" service they would have to provide, but it's not. He's paying the labor at full price and full price for the components. He is a full-on "customer". I would assume that bike shops make most of their money on the service because there aren't as tight margins on that. If so, get over the petty bullshit and treat your "customer" right, and maybe the next time he buys a bike, you'd have earned his business and loyalty.

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    Could also be a question of semantics.

    Eg, like with a good (not have to be great) restaurant...
    Everyone gets good service.
    But if you're a regular, etc, you might get reservations sooner than others, a better table, extra dessert, etc.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin_sbay View Post
    Could also be a question of semantics.

    Eg, like with a good (not have to be great) restaurant...
    Everyone gets good service.
    But if you're a regular, etc, you might get reservations sooner than others, a better table, extra dessert, etc.
    Yep, to at least some extent, this is just how the world works. If you're a regular at restaurant, you might get preference in line for table. If you're a regular at a bar, bartender will come to you when he sees you belly up.

    To some extent, this will be not just simply offering "good" service to non-regulars and "better" service to regulars, since in some ways this is a zero-sum game. And I think that there's a limit to which this is acceptable. In the example of an LBS's service department, I think it's fine for some limited bumping up of some very loyal regulars, but a non-regular should not be perpetually bumped down whenever any regular comes in. At least not to the point that his wait continually becomes significantly longer. Marginal delay is understandable and "fair."

    Going back to the OP, I recently got my bike from an LBS for a discount very significantly above sales tax %. Had also e-mailed another local retailer about whether they could order an out-of-stock size for the same discount that they were advertising on the size(s) they had in stock. By the time they got back to me, I had already bought the one I bought, and the Not-Just-Bikes retailer asked me if I had gotten the discount for a bike that was already in stock, or if it was ordered for me.

    Seemed like they were fishing for info on potential violation of dealer rules imposed by the manufacturer of my bike. To maybe narc on the LBS, I guess. As I told them, I got a discount on a unit that had been in stock for a while, as the LBS told me.

    So I'm guessing that, at least with some brands, there is not only MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) rules but also minimum selling price rules, at least when it comes to sales of bikes that need to be ordered to fulfill the sale. But the rules are not applicable, or laxer, when it comes to bikes that are already in an LBS's stock. And perhaps if they're been in stock for a particular amount of time.

    In any case: I would agree with others that, before taking a trip to Oregon to save on sales tax, talk to your LBS about what they are willing to do to discount to get your sale. Especially if they have the bike in stock, apparently.

    If they are willing to make it worth your while, it'd be much better to buy locally. Even if not for the sake of supporting an actually local LBS, and potential preferential treatment, but also that you might not need to pay more, or hardly more, to have the sales tax benefit of your purchase go to local/state needs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reb4 View Post
    He's paying the labor at full price and full price for the components. He is a full-on "customer". I would assume that bike shops make most of their money on the service because there aren't as tight margins on that. If so, get over the petty bullshit and treat your "customer" right, and maybe the next time he buys a bike, you'd have earned his business and loyalty.
    ^^Yes, this is reasonable. Shops do need to make money to survive. They can do that by selling goods and services. But that's not the same thing that you wrote in your previous post (emphasis is mine):

    but if you didn't buy the bike there they will service it but you are put at the back of the priority line. My buddy has had to wait 3 weeks for something minor like a new hub or to replace a broken spoke
    Two things:
    1. This is how lines work. The person who shows up last goes to the BACK of the line and waits their turn. It's silly to expect otherwise, even if you do have a great relationship with the shop.
    2. You still got your service, exactly as you were hoping for.

    I hate having to type overly obvious stuff like this because it can easily come off as snarky, and I'm sorry that you guys had a bad experience at your local shop. My bike was recently at the shop for two weeks while it got the Guide RSCs worked on, and I'm sure it's a terrible feeling to be out of a bike for several weeks only to have it be returned by an apathetic employee who shrugs his shoulders over the whole deal. But I dont think it's fair to expect that you'll be able to walk into a shop and get service right away, especially if others are waiting in front of you. And I'm not sure if your suggestion that something might be happening is entirely fair, either. The shop might have legitimately been busy. That does happen from time to time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sa12 View Post
    ^^Yes, this is reasonable. Shops do need to make money to survive. They can do that by selling goods and services. But that's not the same thing that you wrote in your previous post (emphasis is mine):


    Two things:
    1. This is how lines work. The person who shows up last goes to the BACK of the line and waits their turn. It's silly to expect otherwise, even if you do have a great relationship with the shop.
    2. You still got your service, exactly as you were hoping for.

    I hate having to type overly obvious stuff like this because it can easily come off as snarky, and I'm sorry that you guys had a bad experience at your local shop. My bike was recently at the shop for two weeks while it got the Guide RSCs worked on, and I'm sure it's a terrible feeling to be out of a bike for several weeks only to have it be returned by an apathetic employee who shrugs his shoulders over the whole deal. But I dont think it's fair to expect that you'll be able to walk into a shop and get service right away, especially if others are waiting in front of you. And I'm not sure if your suggestion that something might be happening is entirely fair, either. The shop might have legitimately been busy. That does happen from time to time.
    Actually that was NOT what was meant and it's obvious to anyone that reads it. He is being put in the back of the line regardless of who got there first by being prioritized there. It's as if you go to a restaurant regularly, tip well but just because you held your wedding in the restaurant next door, you are always treated like the red-headed step-child and are always the last to get your order after they spit in your food. That is bullshit and if you are going to do it, man-up and be upfront with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini2k05 View Post
    They treated me like I didn't know anything about bikes when I pulled up to the shop with 4x, $5k+ mountain bikes on the back of the truck ("Is this the right color? Are you SURE you don't want 29" wheels? Why not?").
    I don't know you, so please don't take this personally, but...

    ...when you roll around with lots of bikes in the racks all it means is that you're willing to spend LOTS of money on your gear. That is ALL it means.

    This does NOT mean that you're any good.
    This does NOT mean you have a CLUE what you're doing.

    All this means is that you want the good stuff, and the LBS employee (perhaps wrongly) assumed that you were just another kook who didn't know what they were doing that wanted to buy the raddest bike on the planet to make his girl happy.

    I was a proshop manager for four years back just before the housing bubble burst. There was a non-stop flow of people coming through the shop looking for the raddest $80k wakeboard boat we had, then I'd help them buy the amazingest accessories to match the boat ($5k) and only the best wakeboard gear imaginable ($3k). Oh! And they bought all this stuff on the spot, no demo at all. And at 15% interest on the loan. And, like clockwork, they'd be back a week later because they scratched up the boat real bad, or ran over their wakeboard line, or dropped their wakeboard on the ground...

    So, based on what you shared in your post I don't think the LBS employee was totally wrong in slowing things down a bit. Sorry that it frustrated you, but I've seen quite a few people walk through my shop back in the day swearing that they knew what they wanted and then a week later they're back asking if they can return it because - surprise - the guy selling the gear happens knows a thing or two about their products...

    But, again, I don't know you at all so this isn't personal. Based on the time you've been on this site I'm sure that you DO know what you're looking for.

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    While I'm here, and before I depart...

    Quote Originally Posted by FuzzyOptics View Post
    To some extent, this will be not just simply offering "good" service to non-regulars and "better" service to regulars, since in some ways this is a zero-sum game. And I think that there's a limit to which this is acceptable. In the example of an LBS's service department, I think it's fine for some limited bumping up of some very loyal regulars, but a non-regular should not be perpetually bumped down whenever any regular comes in. At least not to the point that his wait continually becomes significantly longer. Marginal delay is understandable and "fair."
    ...I completely agree with this. No bike should be collecting dust waiting for service. A short while ago I took my bike to the shop to have the brakes looked at, and was told two weeks. It sucked to be out a bike that long, but I'm glad they told me the wait time so that I could make other plans. Handling customers' expectations can be tricky, especially when it comes to recreational gear. Being bike-less in the middle of summer probably sucks, doubly so with Covid restrictions.

    ---

    Sorry for the hijack. Perhaps there's some useful information in there for OP.

  39. #39
    Professional Troll
    Reputation: Gemini2k05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sa12 View Post
    I don't know you, so please don't take this personally, but...
    . Ha ha I don't

    Quote Originally Posted by sa12 View Post
    ...when you roll around with lots of bikes in the racks all it means is that you're willing to spend LOTS of money on your gear. That is ALL it means.
    Agreed, very true. Except there is one bike that gives you a lot of hints, a custom geo DH bike with a $500 rainbow sparkle powder coat. Plus it's 6 bike north shore rack! Only true Gangsta's ride with that. 🤓

    [QUOTE=sa12;14863499
    All this means is that you want the good stuff, and the LBS employee (perhaps wrongly) assumed that you were just another kook who didn't know what they were doing that wanted to buy the raddest bike on the planet to make his girl happy.
    [/QUOTE]

    Agreed, I'm sure there are many, many more people like that then like me. But in our conversation there were a lot of clues in what I said that I know what I'm talking about. He just didn't pay attention, or make any attempt to gauge where my level was (thanks for the pro tip that the medium has a longer reach than the small! LOL). Which...is fine I guess? I mean they can do it their way, but don't expect me to jump at spending top dollar on a bike with them if they can't even bother to try to understand their customer.

    If your goal is to sell $5-10k bikes to people who don't know what they're doing, maybe that works for their business? I don't know? But it doesn't work for me, and I know that approach doesn't work for any of my friends. 🤷*♂️

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