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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently purchased a new bike at mt local shop. Employees were helpful, informed, and curteous. As a result I purchased a new pair of shoes there as well. I was also given an informed opinion about a new set of tires (stock ones were poop). I delayed byuing them till I read some more reviews on this site, as they were $46.00 each (MSRP nothing out of the way). After deciding to purchase them, I found the exact same tire on Ebay for $44.00 for 2 tires, including shipping, no tax.
Now I'm the 1st person to speak up that it is illegal to get shop help in deciding on equiptment, then buy online for less, but this is HUGE! If there is that much disparity in the price, is it poor etiquitte to buy online?
Thoughts?
 

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bi-winning
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Surf&turf said:
I recently purchased a new bike at mt local shop. Employees were helpful, informed, and curteous. As a result I purchased a new pair of shoes there as well. I was also given an informed opinion about a new set of tires (stock ones were poop). I delayed byuing them till I read some more reviews on this site, as they were $46.00 each (MSRP nothing out of the way). After deciding to purchase them, I found the exact same tire on Ebay for $44.00 for 2 tires, including shipping, no tax.
Now I'm the 1st person to speak up that it is illegal to get shop help in deciding on equiptment, then buy online for less, but this is HUGE! If there is that much disparity in the price, is it poor etiquitte to buy online?
Thoughts?
In a case like this, the shop cannot touch that price and still make a profit. It's nice to support local businesses, but it should not cost double to do so.
 

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******
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Agreed. We have two shops in town. One will hose anyone anytime. The other, he will work with anyone decent on price. I spend my money at shop 2 regardless of price. Why? The owner seems like he appreciates the business. Some of the kids working there are young smart-asses but who cares. Its still a good shop, I shop there always.
 

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If the shop guy's suggestion was unsolicited, and you haven't indicated to them you will buy their tires, then my inner Miss Manners says you're under no obligation. However, even if that is the case, you may decide it's in your interest to buy from them anyway if you value their good will and intend to return your bike to them for service in the future (before the new tires wear out anyway ;) ).
 

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Yep

I hope you don't find your new bike on eBay for half the price.

MY Miss Manners says it wouldn't be nice to tell the shop that you've found the tires for 1/2 off unless you'd like to try and negotiate with them. You did just buy a bike and shoes.
 

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I found price for my bike at $500 less than the LBS online. I went in and printed the online price out and they matched it. They had to call the bike rep to get the price soo low to match it but they did. I will never walk into a LBS and pay what price they are asking on anything that I can wait for it to be shipped to me at a substantial discount. By by doing so this bike shop has earned a loyal customer for life.
I have been back to this bike shop at least 8 times in 3 months for service and have paid at least $150 in service fee's and its been well worth it.
 

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Surf&turf said:
Employees were helpful, informed, and curteous.
Thoughts?
My thoughts are that you got way more than $48 worth of service, input, advice, and possibly even bike fitting when you bought your bike. Honor that.

My thoughts are that, regardless of what seem people here seem to think, paying MSRP is not a rip-off, and that doing so to support your LBS is totally reasonable.

My thoughts are that it's your money, and you should spend it as you please: but be aware that I recently had a long conversation with a longtime LBS owner whose shop has just closed, and he admitted in a very reasonable way that he had to close his store because many people were doing exactly what you did. Eventually, if this trend continues, there will simply not be any LBS's to get advice/service/help from...

My thoughts are that it's easy to lose the forest for the trees, and pay a lower price, but there's nothing like a good relationship with a good bikeshop when you really need that part at 5:30 on Friday night because you've planned a big ride for early Saturday morning...
 

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Tough choices. Do we really need local bike shops? Yes and no. The local shops organize rides, are active community members, help with trail work and access issues, and are really handy when you need something for tomorrow's ride. Yet the shops rarely have that special part in stock, anyone can learn to fix and build up a bike often better than any shop mechanic, and shopping online can save you some real money. It's your money of course and you should get the biggest bang for the buck, but what would happen if the local shops disappeared? You can bet a lot of local races, sponsorships, and interest in the sport would also disappear. I'm a bit OCD/nutty/perfectionist and bought a BB tap, headset press, reamers, tab facers... and all together it cost me more than any bike. A Cyclus BB chaser, threader, facing tool will cost you $450.00. A shop will charge you $30-60 for the labour. The reality is the local shops need a better business model that starts with the distributors and bike manufactures, who demand large orders or higher costs. Mom and pop shops cannot order in bulk and often pay more than huge internet giants.
 

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Relax. I'm a pro.
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As much as I love my LBS (been going there for sales and service for close to 20 years), I would have bought the tires online. The difference in price is great enough that buying them through the shop just to make a point is not only silly, it's stupid from a financial point of view. If the difference in price was, say, $5 or so, I'd buy from the shop. Internet sellers aren't going to go away nor are they necessarily evil. Just like the LBS, they have their place.
 

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um hmmm
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Keep in mind the tires you are buying off eBay may not be the exact tires at your LBS.

Some tire companies have ultra lowend usually oem versions of tires that look the same as their more expensive version of that tire.

It can be tough to notice the difference from an eBay picture..

My vote goes to your LBS and I'm sure they could you a bit of a break on buying the set...
 

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master blaster
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^^
agreed. there are 6 different compounded nevegals for instance. price obviously varies.
 

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My LBS was really pissed when I bought my bike at a shop in the next town but I couldn't pass on the great deal I got. My LBS makes it's money on repairs from the general public, I do most of my own repairs but do spend money at the LBS for tubes, cable, and such items. Our community is pretty small so our one bike shop gets all the business.
 

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I buy both online and from local shops. The one thing that I think is out of bounds is to to use shop resources and then buy online. If I need to see something, ask for advice or try something on I buy it from the shop.

Online retailers are a fact of life and my favorite local shop handles the issue well. Often they will ask me what I think is fair when it comes to pricing. I go out of my way to support them and they do what they can on price. There are items that are so cheap I don't even ask but there are quite a few where they can be competitive and still make money. I usually do throw them a few extra bones just to make sure it is worth their time.

Another shop gives me good deals on the big stuff with the expectation that I won't nickle and dime them on the small stuff. I am more than happy to oblige.
 

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the bike shop is there to serve you, not the other way around! you dont owe them anything.

like dj giggity said, its pretty crappy to go and waste their time testing their gear, and then going home to buy it online. thats ripping them off on their goodwill of letting you check the gear out. most shops will fit you for bikes for free, if you take advantage of that to get fit to buy online, thats pretty shady. but tires? eh, buy them online and save you cash, its no sweat off their back.

i loved my old lbs! the guy was awesome and never bs'd me. i spent a buncha money on small parts from his shop whenever i could. he knew i came in and spent money and didnt hassle him.. he wasnt going to bust my balls about where i got the rest of my stuff. thats how it should be, i think.
 

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well at the shop I work at, if yah buy it there most likely i'll install anything you buy for free, and if you buy a bike i'll be taking care of you for at least a year... and if there are warnerty issues with said bike i'll be going to bat with the rep/manufacturer. Can be hard to do that with a frame thats 6 years old and discontinued...

In a bit of a different spot here in hurricane its a destination shop lots of folks rolling through on the weekend coming to ride gooseberry mesa ect... Plenty of on the spot repair to save folks trips... but we do have alot of locals as well...

Service is the reason to go local. And local knowledge, group rides, races, sponsorship, trail work & advocacy That stuff is bonus and so hard to put a price tag on

Just .02 from a grumpy wrench in S/W utah =)
 

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I buy most of my stuff at retail stores, not online. I think the first thing I ordered online for my bike was a new fork last week. I bought my bike plus every accessory, article of clothing, my bike rack, etc, from a retail store, and most of that was from a privately owned local shop, some was from REI.

It would take a LOT for me to go into a LBS, ask for advice, then purchase the same item online. I find that both rude and selfish, you are wasting the time of the LBS employees. Now, I think it's great that you purchased other parts from the LBS, but if I were in your position, I probably would have mentioned that you found the same part much cheaper online, and asked if they could meet you somewhere in the middle, maybe do 25% off or something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Good points everyone!

I have not yet bought the new tires, but after all the input, I'll be going back to my LBS to get them there. It brings me back to the battle that local surfboards shapers have with not being able to match the price of chinese boards, "China don't fix your dings"

Thanks everyone!:thumbsup:
 

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Good thread topic that seems to pop up often. We all have to understand that the internet is a booming industry - in itself. I think that there is a trade off to being able to handle a product that you want to buy. It has been said already but I'll second the opinion that going to a local store to check out a product and then buying it online is shady. After all, the LBS has to pay to have that item in stock, pay for square footage to have that item in stock, etc. The online retailers can have things stored in a warehouse (cheaper per sq ft), can have items drop shipped and you'd never know the difference.
I also believe that most LBS need to bring their businss into the 21st century and they too need to have an e-commerce site to be able to compete.
 

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I'm missing something.

So it sounds to me like if I buy a car at a local dealer I should always pay them for oil changes and headlights, even though I can go to an oil change specialist and pay between 30 and 50% less for the oil changes and order the bulbs on line for an even larger discount. WHY? Furthermore, I would be insensed if the car dealer gave me a hard time with a warranty issue because I had bought my brake pads at walmart,

It seems to me that any business that relies on the charity of its customers shouldn't be worried about their bottom line. It seems to me that the internet means a paradigm shift for small business away from P&A and towards service. It seems to me that you should approach the shop with the product in question and give them the option of meeting the price. It seems to me that if they can't meet that price a good shop will be happy for you saving $45.

Just in case I am not clear, I would ask my LBS to price match and if they couldn't or wouldn't I would buy the tires on line. They are effectively asking for a handout doing anything else.
 
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