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I like supporting my local shops. However, I'm very particular about the parts I use so I'm unlikely to buy "whatever's on the shelf." If the LBS doesn't stock what I'm looking for I'll ask them to order it or I'll order it myself online. It's hard to ignore an online price if it's 30% less than retail though.
 

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The biggest problem I have with my LBS is that they are crazy busy and if I need something done (brake bleed for, for example) that I don’t want to do myself the soonest they can schedule it is in two weeks.

Heck, I’ll just do it myself. It’s not that hard but it takes a little time which I don’t have a lot of most days.
 

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Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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I like supporting my local shops. However, I'm very particular about the parts I use so I'm unlikely to buy "whatever's on the shelf." If the LBS doesn't stock what I'm looking for I'll ask them to order it or I'll order it myself online. It's hard to ignore an online price if it's 30% less than retail though.
That’s the problem in a nutshell. Most small shops can’t compete with online pricing and won’t price match because they will lose money. Best for them to get the business where they can, if that means only installation labor they should at least do that without showing disappointment to the customer.
 

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Snow Dog
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Good word, I had to look that up!

a•poc•ry•phal ə-pŏk′rə-fəl►

adj. Of questionable authorship or authenticity.
adj. Erroneous; fictitious.
adj. Of or having to do with the Apocrypha*.


*Apocrypha is a plural word that originally denoted hidden or secret writings, to be read only by initiates into a given Christian group. It comes from Greek and is formed from the combination of apo and krytein. The word apocrypha, like many other words, has undergone a major change in meaning throughout the centuries
hey now...lets not start bringin' all of that book larnin' into the forums...this is a family place
 

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Snow Dog
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The biggest problem I have with my LBS is that they are crazy busy and if I need something done (brake bleed for, for example) that I don’t want to do myself the soonest they can schedule it is in two weeks.

Heck, I’ll just do it myself. It’s not that hard but it takes a little time which I don’t have a lot of most days.
same with mine. They have more bikes in line for repair than they have of actual stock on the floor. I had not been in there since Feb (due to COVID and nothing on my bike breaking till recently), and when I walked in, I had to weave my way back to the counter.

GOOD FOR THEM!!!

He has been there for 30+ years, and is the guy to go to for road and MTBs in town, so I was not surprised...
 

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2 week wait has always been the norm around here. That was the primary reason I learned to wrench myself.

Kind of strange that bike shops can have that much demand for serice, yet still struggle financially.

Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk
 

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Kind of strange that bike shops can have that much demand for serice, yet still struggle financially.
Depends what the local market will pay for servicing. My LBS had to put it's service price up 15%, just to make something (anything). Service bookings dropped by 25%, but still booked up 2 weeks ahead.

This was a small, national award winning, mostly service based shop (didnt stock bikes) with one (minimum wage) employee, and an owner who never took a salary. They're closed now.

Plenty of local riders, all with $5k+ bikes, mourned it's closing.
 

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pedalhead
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LBS never has anything I need or want

I custom build all my bikes from scratch (including wheels) and no LBS in my area has just raw materials for assembly, but I am picky about things. An example would be teflon coated shifter cable, and housing of a certain color. Or titanium stem bolts. They never have anything I need so I have no need for them other than a tube or CO2 for the road bike. The best way to describe it is just that I am not their customer, but they want the people that really know nothing about what they are buying anyway so they have no reference point for the actual price of the bike and parts. There is a local shop here that really preys on affluent people buying bike stuff and gouges the prices but they pay anyway because they can and don't know any better.

I don't need a warranty. I am the warranty.
 

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That’s the problem in a nutshell. Most small shops can’t compete with online pricing and won’t price match because they will lose money.

We price match online products regularly, it depends on the sourcing and brand. Sometimes we can't match the price but can get pretty close. Some manufactures wholesale structure makes it impossible to budge.

People sometimes bring us products to install that we have on the shelf and would have sold it to them for the same or close to the same price as they got it from at an online store if only they'd asked. Of course we'll happily install it either way and not make too much fun of them behind their back if they brought the product in (jk!) but just saying that if you're local and frequent a shop it is helpful to the shop and good etiquette to purchase the part there if they have it or can order it in a timely manner and if the price is reasonable.
 

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they want the people that really know nothing about what they are buying anyway so they have no reference point for the actual price of the bike and parts. There is a local shop here that really preys on affluent people buying bike stuff and gouges the prices but they pay anyway because they can and don't know any better.
do you have evidence that this shop is actually gouging customers? do YOU know how much those parts actually cost? are you familiar with the Minimum Advertised Price policies that distributors enforce? you might be surprised if you were given access to the QBP account and learned that the prices you see online are actually lower than what the LBS has to pay for those same items. if your LBS went through he official channels to buy products and tried to match online prices, they'd be bankrupt within a few months.

in order to keep official status as a dealer and be able to get dealer support from manufacturers, they have to play by the manufacturer's rules. what's really sucky for bike shops who are trying to deal fairly with their customers is that companies like Shimano put them in a position where they can't compete on price and they can't go around the system without putting their business at risk.

then again, I have see shops that just bump prices well over regular retail price if they can. that's lame, but they are a business. there is not objective worth to any product or service. it's worth exactly what the merchant can get people to pay for it.
 

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People sometimes bring us products to install that we have on the shelf and would have sold it to them for the same or close to the same price as they got it from at an online store if only they'd asked.

This, in the below mentioned LBS, a guy brought in armfulls of stuff bought online, shop priced up what it would cost to fit everything, as per the pricelist.

He'd been in a couple of weeks previously for a quote for all the stuff, which the shop had done, giving a small discount off RRP, and offering to fit it for free.

Your boy starts complaining that the cost of fitting, plus what he had paid for the parts, was now more than he had been quoted for buying everything from the shop and getting the free fitting.

Owner, who had already made the decision to close, but hadnt pubicised it at that point responds with 'Funny how these things work out, eh?'
 

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With all the proprietary parts bicycle manufacturers are using these days, as well as different standards for wheel spacing, bottom brackets, etc., it's going to be impossible for a local shop to stock everything to suit their customer base. I can spend 10 minutes shopping online, or wait a week or more for a shop to place their QBP order. My garage has the equipment to do 90% of the work my bicycles need, and I'll happily pay to avoid the hassles of dealing with the other 10%.
 

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We price match online products regularly, it depends on the sourcing and brand. Sometimes we can't match the price but can get pretty close.
Do you guys advertise that you price match or is it a “only if they ask, otherwise hush” policy?
 

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do you have evidence that this shop is actually gouging customers? do YOU know how much those parts actually cost? are you familiar with the Minimum Advertised Price policies that distributors enforce? you might be surprised if you were given access to the QBP account and learned that the prices you see online are actually lower than what the LBS has to pay for those same items. if your LBS went through he official channels to buy products and tried to match online prices, they'd be bankrupt within a few months.
This is ultimately why I quit working part time at a shop. Pretty unfortunate, but I only worked there part time for discounts (because I'm a cheap ass) and 99% of the time I could get parts cheaper online than I could through QBP and with my employee discount.

On top of that, most bike manufacturers stopped giving deep discounts on full bikes to part time shop employees. It seems that they got wise to people taking part time gigs at bike shops, EPing a high end bike and then quitting. Sucks, but the benefit to working part time in a shop is basically non-existent these days.
 

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Do you guys advertise that you price match or is it a “only if they ask, otherwise hush” policy?


We don't advertise price matching, like most shops our normal markup is reasonable and necessary to keep the doors open. It's also not a " hush-hush" thing either, for many people it's common practice to negotiate.

Personally I'm comfortable paying a certain percentage more to support a local shop that I like but that percentage has to be reasonable.
 

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It seems that they got wise to people taking part time gigs at bike shops, EPing a high end bike and then quitting. Sucks, but the benefit to working part time in a shop is basically non-existent these days.
no way! no one ever does that!

the win-win solution for everyone is: employee buys complete bike, rides the snot out of it for a year, gives it a tune-up and sells it for slightly less than they pay for it. rinse and repeat. some lucky customer gets a good deal on a second-hand bike and the shop employee gets to keep trying new stuff, which makes them more knowledgeable.

I worked at REI for about two years. quite a few of the employees worked there for about 8 hours a month and took full advantage of the discount. they were all good folks who were knowledgeable and reliable, though. I've been tempted to do that same but I know I'll have to work some weekends and constantly loose track of what's going on in the store.
 

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the win-win solution for everyone is: employee buys complete bike, rides the snot out of it for a year, gives it a tune-up and sells it for slightly less than they pay for it. rinse and repeat. some lucky customer gets a good deal on a second-hand bike and the shop employee gets to keep trying new stuff, which makes them more knowledgeable.
One of my local shops does that and they post a sale near the end of each season of all the employees' bikes. I don't know if the staff buys those bikes initially or if they are gifted a new one to ride each year as a perk though.
 

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I don't know if the staff buys those bikes initially or if they are gifted a new one to ride each year as a perk though.
that gave me a laugh. if a shop can afford to just buy their employees bikes to resell, that is a seriously affluent shop.
 

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Yea I highly doubt there are any shops out there that gift their employees bikes. Some of the bigger manufacturers give ridiculous deals though and a lot of employees take advantage of it. I would imagine with the shop you're describing, if you looked into it their "used employee bike sale" aligns almost perfectly with something like the Specialized Evangelist list coming out.
 

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that gave me a laugh. if a shop can afford to just buy their employees bikes to resell, that is a seriously affluent shop.
Okay, gifting a bike might be too generous but would it be much different than their demo fleet that they sell off each year?

That LBS might be seriously affluent, actually. You should see the volume that goes through that place. Consider that I live in a major bike resort town of pop. 90,000 that sees over 4 million overnight visitors annually. Up until this quarantine I'd see customers spilling out of the shop all day long every single day. It's on the way to the main trail network and the main shuttle service company used to be in the same building.

When they have their demo sale they have several bikes that are listed by the employee's name, for example this one that says "Henry's Santa Cruz Chameleon." I think that's why I was guessing that each employee might get to use a demo for the season.

https://pinemountainsports.com/rentals/closeout-gear/
 
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