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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Question here.

Back when the Canadian dollar was soaring, most bikers (and Canadians in general) were hoping for a break in prices for consumers. I saw countless threads, TV discussion, etc about how the value of the Canadian dollar is not really directly linked to retail price as the products go through hands of distributors etc and the effect is watered down or was delayed and may take a while.

My question is, did we every really see retail prices drop when or after the dollar was so strong? To be quite honest, I'm not enough of a consumer (or really don't pay enough attention to have noticed).

Reason I ask. Been looking into a new bike, was quoted a price not long ago (month ago, frame + build kit), the price has now gone up 10%, claim being the devaluation of the Canadian dollar in recent times has caused distributors to increase prices.

Something about that just gets me angry.....am I justified?

(Edit: I guess I shouldn't be angry if I don't pay enough attention, but I don't recall retail prices dropping 10%, could be wrong however)
 

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veldrijder
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Prices never dropped, AFAIK, when the dollar was strong.

That said, the price increase you're seeing is likely due to the rising cost of manufacturing and transport worldwide, regardless of what you're being told. MSRP went up on most bikes for '09 in the US too, not just here. 10% sounds about right... that's about what I was told recently, for Specialized, for example.


(so tell us, what are you geting? :D :D)
 

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Space for rent...
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You are right. When the $ was strong, as Canadians we never did get a fair shake as far as pricing was concerned. A couple of companies may have made a gesture because of public opinion (the car companies spring to mind) but overall, I suspect the companies pocketed the difference.

It appears the $ has now fallen, just as the economy is heading into the tank. I suspect your price increase is more a result of your shop trying to increase prices as a result of lost sales. You may want to ask them how much to build a bike with parts YOU source of the internet. Perhaps they will reevaluate your "good guy" discount :)

The other thing that been forgotten, is past prices increases due to the cost of fuel. Now fuel prices have fallen ~50%, I haven't seen anyone dropping prices as a result. We need a revolution...
 

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bi-winning
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CptSydor said:
My question is, did we every really see retail prices drop when or after the dollar was so strong? To be quite honest, I'm not enough of a consumer (or really don't pay enough attention to have noticed).
Not that I pay super close attention either, but I never noticed a drop. If anything, maybe the strong dollar caused the prices of bikes to increase less or maybe stabilize at best.

SSteve F said:
The other thing that been forgotten, is past prices increases due to the cost of fuel. Now fuel prices have fallen ~50%, I haven't seen anyone dropping prices as a result. We need a revolution...
Economists describe prices and wages as "sticky." The price of most consumer goods don't usually fluctuate quickly to keep up with the immediate changes in fuel costs and other economic conditions.

And if changes are made, it seems like they only go one way - steady inflation. If fuel gets more expensive, companies may use it as an excuse to raise prices. But, if fuel gets cheaper, prices don't seem to drop.
 

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Steel prices have been plummeting, and are in fact close to 2004 levels. Forecasts say it will be at least 6 months before the will start to move again. Demand for steel in China is driving the slump, and there are huge problems in the recycling market. People are not buying scrap steel and stockpiles are starting to grow. Prices are so low, many municipalities could be in trouble, as previous recycling budget estimates were based in significantly higher numbers. The loss of this anticipated revenue is going to be a big problem for some towns.
 

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X-Ray Guy
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You must also consider there are very few distributors in canada....what are there like 3-4 or major distributors each carrying slightly different stock. So pretty much they are not very influenced to compete with each other and pass along big savings to us compared to the USA where there are many distributors competing with both each other and online companies.
 

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Living Life Behind Bars..
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A lot of U.S. shops can buy direct from Companies i.e. King, Fox, Sram etc. Not sure why Canadian retailers have not spoken up about this they are the one's that get stuck marking the parts up to appease the middle man ( distributor )

Recent example of this I came across was for a King bb $ 300 cdn vs. $129 us with free shipping via USPS. With today's exchange that is still only $160 cdn tax in, delivery in.

I never saw that temporary drop in pricing thought either but mind you I never had any big ticket buys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I should state, the interaction I'm having is not a typical LBS - Retail Consumer interaction. I have no reason to believe I'm being fleeced by the person I'm talking with. I believe if they state this is what distributors are saying, then that is what is being said.

I understand prices go up. I don't for a second believe many people in the bike industry are on the Forbes list and as with everything, prices need to rise for a variety of reasons.

If someone told me, sorry, prices are going up, I may not like it, but I'll accept that, prices just do that...inflation, or call it whatever you want. However if distributors are claiming that retail(or wholesale) prices are directly linked to the strength the Canadian dollar, when it clearly isn't in the reverse direction, well that just bugs me.
 

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veldrijder
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CptSydor said:
If someone told me, sorry, prices are going up, I may not like it, but I'll accept that, prices just do that...inflation, or call it whatever you want. However if distributors are claiming that retail(or wholesale) prices are directly linked to the strength the Canadian dollar, when it clearly isn't in the reverse direction, well that just bugs me.
..and so it should. That is not the explanation I was given which basically came straight from the manufacturers. Wholesale prices are going up in most cases across the board - if distributors are claiming it has to do with the currency then they are the ones who are being deceptive, because prices are going up everywhere. Each company will have their own date for the increases ('09 model year introduction, '09 calendar year, whatever...)

Bicycle distributors in Canada are ridiculous. Often price differences between US and Canadian retail are far beyond what is accounted for by currency variation, import fees, etc. I was shopping for a LOOK recently, and the Candian distributor had a bike with US MSRP of about 2500 priced at over $4k. Needless to say, there aren't very many Canadians buying Look bicycles, at least not in Canada...
 

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Steady Creepin'
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I still kick myself for not going on an online shopping spree when our dollar was higher than the US. Now there's stuff I want but can't help but feel a little hosed when I see the exchange.

That being said, there are still ok deals to be found locally. Not long ago I saw an Easton handlebar in an LBS that was only 10 bucks more than what I paid online for the same bar. In cases like that I wish I would have bought locally, but what I can't stand is the LBS's that have thier stuff ridiculously over-priced compared to other shops, bad economy or not. A certain downtown Kitchener LBS comes to mind...
 

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jmoote said:
Bicycle distributors in Canada are ridiculous. Often price differences between US and Canadian retail are far beyond what is accounted for by currency variation, import fees, etc. I was shopping for a LOOK recently, and the Candian distributor had a bike with US MSRP of about 2500 priced at over $4k. Needless to say, there aren't very many Canadians buying Look bicycles, at least not in Canada...
I have no connection, aside from the bag full of fifties I've spent there over the years, but Freewheel Cycle in Dundas is a new Look dealer. They are clearing out last years road bikes still....they have a web site too...
 

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veldrijder
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Thanks, but I was looking at the 566, a new model, and they aren't going to be able to do any better on the price since it's a distributor problem. A 555 on clearance would be great, if it fit me, but it doesn't. I'm no longer considering Look, but thanks for the tip anyway :)
 

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Misfit Psycles
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two issues. both cheezie margin snatchers used by uncreative business.

ONE. i was frustrated and bought differently when the dollar was strong.
meaning i bought from the US or abroad (in USD).
that's because i saw no measurable decrease in costs when the dollar climbed (outside of not-to-scale decreases in auto prices) but i could hear the cackling of their bean counters.

TWO. raw materials, manufacturing, shipping and just about every measurable expense increased during the heyday...(the strength of the CDN $ is tied very closely to the price of oil). i watched helplessly as my gains in buying power were being eaten by fuel surcharges, metal surcharges and the like.

gas stations were quick to tack on to prices but uber slow to reduce...still not at comparable prices for cost per barrel.
shipping companies (ups i'm looking at you) still have not removed surcharges...

we do need a revolution, it's called buyer beware.
 

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They say I have a problem
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I haven't been paying much attention to the prices at the LBS since I buy a lot of my odds and ends online, but I did notice that Pierik's has 09 Specialized bikes priced on par with the MSRP on the US Specialized site.

Not sure what that means, but I was happy to see that at least some manufacturer's are playing fair....BTW I believe Specialized distributes directly in Canada, but I may be wrong on that one.
 

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very few manufactures sell direct to Canadian stores, their distributors have a deal that gets them exclusive rights to a given area or country. The bikes or frames that we purchased direct from a manufacturer during the Canadian dollars high time came to us cheaper so the savings was passed on. Anything we had to get from a distributor did not go down because we did'nt get any savings on our end and contrary to popular belief margins in the bike retail world are slim. The price of goods in Canada has a lot to do with us being a big spread out market place. Even goods manufactured in Canada are sometimes cheaper in the US. Bombardier for example sells products way cheaper in the US than they do in Canada, to the point that a Canadian retailer could not come close to the US price and they don't warranty stuff that crosses the boarder. They do this because they sell way more units in the state of California than they do in all of Canada and California is easier to service being a smaller area. Canada's size and lack of population ( I like it this way) dos sometimes work against us when it come to the price of goods and services.
 

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I agree with the other poster that I too wish i had ordered things when the dollar was higher. I need a light system and the one I am looking at is $675 US and then by the time you change it over its close to $850. Can anybody tell me what charges there is when having something shipped up? Is it just tax on the cdn amount? I have never actually ordered anything from the States before and I don't like surprises.

Oh I got my answer from a thread further down the board.
 

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humber river advocate
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actually we don't have it that bad here... compared to what goes on in the rest of the world (europe).
support your local bike shop, there are deals to be had if you haggle. if they don't cut you a deal go to another bike shop.

the peoples desire for a high canadian dollar is misplaced, it really hurts our manufactring sector (plus tourism). a low dollar forces companies to source good and services from within canada rather then importing. also when you export you get more flexiability from your receivables from the higher foreign currency. sure you pay more for somethings but overall you come out ahead...
 

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Steady Creepin'
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I must suck at haggling because I've never really got a deal from an LBS despite several attempts, it's always "no, sorry we don't do that". One of the last LBS's I dealt with wouldn't even drop a mere $50 from the price of a bike, which would have been just enough to put it's cost under 1000 so I could take advantage of the no-tax deal.

I've got good service on maintenence and decent prices on parts from LBS's but as far as complete bike sales go I haven't had the best luck. I always feel like they're just trying to make a sale regardless of whether it's exactly what I need. When shopping around for my last bike a salesman at a certain store tried telling me that a large frame in the model I was looking for was a good fit... despite the fact I'm 5'-6" tall and had negative 1.5 inches in standover height. Needless to say I went elsewhere.
 

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humber river advocate
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it's like getting a bad meal from a resturant, you go elsewhere... go with someone who knows bikes and bike parts who will give you good advice. most of the information on sizing is online so you can get a pretty good idea of what you need and the general cost. walk around the bike shop and see what bikes they have and whats in the showcase... avoid credit pay cash, make an offer with the parts you want on the bike...
 
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