LBS vs. online prices- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    LBS vs. online prices

    There have been quite a few threads over time on these boards on this subject, on how LBS prices are higher than online, and people either supporting LBS's, and the service they provide, or not buying anything from a LBS because of the price difference.

    I have to say that until now my stance on this was split, as I would usualy find my big ticket items (like frames, forks, wheels) online - both on US and Canadian sites - but still go to a few of my favorite shops to pick up stuff like a chain, handlebars, cables, bb, stem etc. I figured, if I bring my bikes there for maintanance, and I'm happy with their service, why not try to maintain a good relationship by giving them some of my business that way as well.

    But what happened yesterday will have me seriously reconsider that. I was finishing off my new bike, and intentionally left a few items out from my build when I was ordering stuff online, so I could get them from a shop by my work and get everything tuned up. Since I frequent that given shop a lot, and have bought lots of bits and pieces there over time, as well as my Thule roof rack, I thought that it'd be nice if at least a few things on the bike were bought from them, since they will probably work on it from time to time.

    The items I was missing were an XT ES71 bottom bracket, and an XT M750 front derailleur, and shifter cables. I was prepared to pay more than I would if I got these online, so I didn't ask for the price, just asked them to put them on.

    When I picked up the bike after work, I couldn't believe the bill. The labour - I understand that, and I didn't expect to get it for free. I could've just bought these items, taken them home, and installed them myself, but figured that I'd rather have it done by a mechanic (who I have to say is very experienced and knowledgable) and get the final build checked over and adjusted.
    It was the prices of the derailleur and the bb that almost gave me a heart attack - $75 and $80, respectively. For comparison, if I had bought them online in US, they would've been 60 bucks US, for both. From a Canadian site - around 90 bucks.... I know some may say that you never know with buying from a US site - with shipping, possibly duties and taxes, it always is more than the price you see initialy. But with currently weak American dollar, and even if I got hit with the border duties, there's no way it would be even close. And the Canadian based site prices - it's a no-brainer.

    I understand all the mechanics of how the price gets to be where it is at in LBSs, and they have to be that way so they can stay in business. But by the same token, who in their right mind doesn't want to save money, especially with how expensive our passion is? Either save, or get an upgraded item for the same price.
    Based on this experience, I think it will soon be only cables and grips from LBS for me...

    Arek

  2. #2
    TT.
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    even those are overpriced
    don't be affraid to "wheel 'n deal" with your local shop... they're well aware of the sit and 8 out of 10 they'll "shave" some $$ from the sticker prices..
    You prolly should've asked how much the componets will run you BEFORE letting the mech install them
    There are so many good shops around the GTA that it's not hard to find a few with great service AND discounts
    I Ride, I Know

  3. #3
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    Ouch, those prices definitely hurt!!! I'd like to support my local shops, but they simply charge too much!

    I found a cycling club at my university, which carries small items for near cost. They're selling tubes for $2 CDN!!! In comparsion, my LBS is selling specialized tubes for $7.

    I cannot justify the price differenece no matter how much I like the shop

  4. #4
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    definitely let them know what price range you can get them for in the US ...

    I recently spoke to a lbs about the Fox DHX 5 shock, told them Go-ride has them for US$399 and they said they could probably do CAN$550 ... that was a month or so ago.
    Considering that when I ran the cost through with currency conversion recently, it came up at $480 .... they're not far off but if the dollar continues to rise I expect them to drop their price, if not it'll be web buy.

    If they're a good store you won't get attitude for dealing this way, they should realize that money is hard earned and they have to work hard for theirs as well.

    Clem

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by HubbaMan
    definitely let them know what price range you can get them for in the US ...

    I recently spoke to a lbs about the Fox DHX 5 shock, told them Go-ride has them for US$399 and they said they could probably do CAN$550 ... that was a month or so ago.
    Considering that when I ran the cost through with currency conversion recently, it came up at $480 .... they're not far off but if the dollar continues to rise I expect them to drop their price, if not it'll be web buy.

    If they're a good store you won't get attitude for dealing this way, they should realize that money is hard earned and they have to work hard for theirs as well.

    Clem
    When you buy online, don't you have to add roughly 30% after conversion and shipping costs???

  6. #6
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    Well, I've been buying from the US for nearly 10-yrs, but I still buy the odd stuff from my LBS...very similar to you, however, I do all of my own installs, maintenance, etc. so I don't have to worry about labour, etc.

    Without a doubt, I always look in the US first because, over the 10-yrs, I've learned that the CDN LBS can't come close to touching the US prices...especially now that our dollar is climbing. In some instances, the price differences are absolutely ridiculous and I would be an idiot to buy locally since I'd be literally giving them $100s extra for the exact same item...forks are perfect example. Have you looked at the price of a SID WC? I think OGC had the WC listed at $2500CDN!

    Take, for example, my new Titus Ti Racer-X 100. There would have been no way that I could have even conceived of this bike if I was to buy locally because the price was just ridiculous once it was all said and done, including components, taxes, etc. But, I found a nice little shop in Montana that was willing to work closely with me to get the bike I wanted, and...at a substantial savings!

    Yes, I like to support LBS', but at the same time, it's my hard-earned money and I'm not about to get bent-over for it. Personally, I blame the CDN distributors for taking too much.
    Ride Hard,
    Mike B. (MCM# 7.77)
    http://www.one-speed.com

  7. #7
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    How do you deal with the duty and taxes when the item is shipped over the border?? I'm always curious because the shipping company ALWAYS slaps me with a big bill. :'(

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by macming
    When you buy online, don't you have to add roughly 30% after conversion and shipping costs???
    Ball-park, take the item in US dollars, add shipping and convert the total to CDN and add taxes based on the CDN value.

    I typically take off a cent or two because you don't get the exact conversion when charging by credit card. Right now, $1US = $1.192CDN. I'll round-up to 1.22 as an approximation.

    Let's say, for example, the item was $90US with $10US shipping. That's $100US, or $119.20CDN. I use $122CDN as an approximation that I'll be charged on my credit card.

    If the item was shipped USPS (which I highly recommend), they'll add a flat-rate $5 s/h fee vs the floating and ridiculous brokerage fees charged by UPS and FedEx. Then, they charge GST and PST on the CDN value. So, the taxes would be approximately $18CDN.

    So, the total should be approximately: $122 + $5 + $18 = $145CDN. Take that value and compare it against your LBS' price, including taxes.
    Ride Hard,
    Mike B. (MCM# 7.77)
    http://www.one-speed.com

  9. #9
    (aka SS_MB-7)
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    Quote Originally Posted by macming
    How do you deal with the duty and taxes when the item is shipped over the border?? I'm always curious because the shipping company ALWAYS slaps me with a big bill. :'(
    Duties are the tricky part since it'll depend on where the item was manufactured. But, typically my stuff comes-up duty-free, thanks to NAFTA. But, some items don't. If you really want to know, call Customs.
    Ride Hard,
    Mike B. (MCM# 7.77)
    http://www.one-speed.com

  10. #10
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    Depends on the shipping company

    UPS is the worst for charging substantial agent duties on imports. Avoid them at all costs.

    US Postal (ground) is the best, and may come in under our Perolator courier.
    Fedex ground is also good.

  11. #11
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    Yup!!

    Agree 100%....

    Had some bushing kits for my Sugar shipped via UPS....$100 for the parts with shipping...$25 broker fee....

    Had a cassette shipped USPS....Just around $8 taxes, duty and handling fee....

    Had a Truvativ Team Stylo crank shipped Fedex Ground....$9 taxes, duty and handling fee...

    UPS is the worst for sure!!!!

    Rich
    "The meek shall inherit the earth"

  12. #12
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    Since I live in the downtown area I can get around fairly easy to the shops and check out what they have. For some things its better off to get here and for others like forks and otehr things its better off to get them from the states.


    I bought this seat collar clamp for my bike for 25$ tax included If I ordered it from the states it wouldve came out to like 35$ shipping and everything and that was if customs didnt jack up their fee's on it. Which I hear happens, well it depends if they want to check on the item or whatnot. Cause I heard of ppl getting stuff that was made in japan or such and it comes across duty free or whatnot and then other ppl getting hit hard by customs for stuff like that.

    I'm looking at buying front and rear shocks and so far everything is pointing towards to buying them from the states which I rather not but it'll save me upwards of 500$. 600-700$ uphere for the shock I want and only about 400$ shipped and all from down there. Who wouldnt get it from down there.

    If I bought a frame I would buy it up here to avoid any problems that might happen and if something did I know I can take it back to the shop and they can send it back for me easy enough instead of having to resend it back down to the states and dealing with them like that. Though sometimes dealing with them down there is easier and better then dealing with the distributors up here *coughs* norco *coughs*

  13. #13
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    My

    My experience is that we
    Last edited by sperky; 11-14-2004 at 09:29 AM.

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