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I have no bike industry knowledge, but assume if a distributor or manufacturer doesn't give you a dealer account that is because of amount of sales, not because of type of business. A " van" or " home" type LBS likely does more repair and tune ups and doesn't sell tons of shoes, gloves, helmets etc.

At my work (not bike industry) I sometimes try to buy direct, and then being told due to low expected sales they want me to go through a dealer instead. They only set up accounts when they expect you buy a lot all the time.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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I have no bike industry knowledge, but assume if a distributor or manufacturer doesn't give you a dealer account that is because of amount of sales, not because of type of business. A " van" or " home" type LBS likely does more repair and tune ups and doesn't sell tons of shoes, gloves, helmets etc.

At my work (not bike industry) I sometimes try to buy direct, and then being told due to low expected sales they want me to go through a dealer instead. They only set up accounts when they expect you buy a lot all the time.
That's not entirely correct for the bike industry. Or at least it hasn't always been correct. Some brands don't care about sales numbers or preorders or anything. They'll set up a new dealer account because they want to get their product (or word of their product) out there. Other brands are more picky and do require purchase minimums and whatnot. Usually bigger brands.

Where the "business type" comes into play is often part of a verification process to make sure you're a legit business and not just a random dude looking to get product cheap for himself and/or his buddies. Some brands also have restrictions on internet sales, so that one is also part of the check. It used to be pretty clearcut about who had a legit business and who didn't. But lines have blurred with new business models being developed.

Some folks with a mobile shop might be using the mobile shop as an extension of a brick & mortar location to offer an additional service. But others might be using the van as their ACTUAL location of business as part of an entirely different business model. Shipping/mailing addresses are going to be different for those two types of businesses.
 

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Rippin da fAt
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Harold, QBP has become more lax or flexible than they were during my frame manufacturing days. Other distributors were easy to deal with during that era.
I have no bike industry knowledge, but assume if a distributor or manufacturer doesn't give you a dealer account that is because of amount of sales, not because of type of business. A " van" or " home" type LBS likely does more repair and tune ups and doesn't sell tons of shoes, gloves, helmets etc.

At my work (not bike industry) I sometimes try to buy direct, and then being told due to low expected sales they want me to go through a dealer instead. They only set up accounts when they expect you buy a lot all the time.
Go to QBP's website and read the dealer requirements. They do accommodate mobile, manufacturer and retail locations.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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Harold, QBP has become more lax or flexible than they were during my frame manufacturing days. Other distributors were easy to deal with during that era.
I expected that to be the case. I just didn't have any recent information about it. I just knew that they had been a pain in the ass for people trying to explore nontraditional business models outside the old "brick & mortar" types. IIRC, the folks I know relied a lot on J&B to start with, as they have always been more flexible.

That's not to say that all manufacturers/distributors would be easy to work with in a nontraditional shop model, even nowadays where the nontraditional models are gaining popularity. I have no doubt that some of them still don't want to work with at least some nontraditional shops.
 

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That's not entirely correct for the bike industry. Or at least it hasn't always been correct. Some brands don't care about sales numbers or preorders or anything. They'll set up a new dealer account because they want to get their product (or word of their product) out there. Other brands are more picky and do require purchase minimums and whatnot. Usually bigger brands.

Where the "business type" comes into play is often part of a verification process to make sure you're a legit business and not just a random dude looking to get product cheap for himself and/or his buddies. Some brands also have restrictions on internet sales, so that one is also part of the check. It used to be pretty clearcut about who had a legit business and who didn't. But lines have blurred with new business models being developed.

Some folks with a mobile shop might be using the mobile shop as an extension of a brick & mortar location to offer an additional service. But others might be using the van as their ACTUAL location of business as part of an entirely different business model. Shipping/mailing addresses are going to be different for those two types of businesses.
Correct, the actual conditions will differ from brand to brand and they will want to avoid some DIY dude that just wants to get cheap parts.

Some (in the non-bike industry) also easily set up a dealer, and renew based on actual orders being placed. So you can become a dealer, but if you don't order anything (or not enough) for a while, you may lose that privilege. Some vendors go through a credit-application process since they allow payment "later" instead of cash upfront. I bet that is the part many home LBS fail in. I assume whatever the range of conditions is outside the bike industry, also applies to the bike industry. Some warehouses are easy, some are a pain....
 

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Rippin da fAt
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I expected that to be the case. I just didn't have any recent information about it. I just knew that they had been a pain in the ass for people trying to explore nontraditional business models outside the old "brick & mortar" types. IIRC, the folks I know relied a lot on J&B to start with, as they have always been more flexible.

That's not to say that all manufacturers/distributors would be easy to work with in a nontraditional shop model, even nowadays where the nontraditional models are gaining popularity. I have no doubt that some of them still don't want to work with at least some nontraditional shops.
The time that I was involved, I used BTI, J&B and a couple others but QBP was not interested in small production shops. Now, show your LLC or DBA and sales tax license, along with a few photos of the business be it in a 30' Step Van or brick and mortar. Also provide liability insurance info.

Correct, the actual conditions will differ from brand to brand and they will want to avoid some DIY dude that just wants to get cheap parts.

Some (in the non-bike industry) also easily set up a dealer, and renew based on actual orders being placed. So you can become a dealer, but if you don't order anything (or not enough) for a while, you may lose that privilege. Some vendors go through a credit-application process since they allow payment "later" instead of cash upfront. I bet that is the part many home LBS fail in. I assume whatever the range of conditions is outside the bike industry, also applies to the bike industry. Some warehouses are easy, some are a pain....
With distribution, there is rarely a "quota" on sales. That typically only happens with manufacturer direct and that is rarely enforced thus, moot. As for cash vs. credit... Being in the custom home theater and home automation business, I use EFT exclusively since my business is zero debt at every moment of every day. I rep many products direct and some through distribution since distribution makes JiT ordering possible. (JiT = Just in Time) Resellers have the option of using credit or EFT.
We, as resellers are rarely if ever held to quotas.
The same was true of Bikesmith Racing during its time.
 

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Correct, the actual conditions will differ from brand to brand and they will want to avoid some DIY dude that just wants to get cheap parts.

Some (in the non-bike industry) also easily set up a dealer, and renew based on actual orders being placed. So you can become a dealer, but if you don't order anything (or not enough) for a while, you may lose that privilege. Some vendors go through a credit-application process since they allow payment "later" instead of cash upfront. I bet that is the part many home LBS fail in. I assume whatever the range of conditions is outside the bike industry, also applies to the bike industry. Some warehouses are easy, some are a pain....
Pretty much what everyone else said, already. Credit application is a later step for most distributors, and they'll cut you off (of credit) for late/missed payments. Everyone wants to have a happy feeling about bikes, but at the end of the day, they want the money.

I've called into less-used vendors with orders. While they might not let you buy on credit/submit a web order, they have no problem taking your money (provided there's SOME purchase history, and the account wasn't put in collections).

I can't say that any of them (even small manufacturers) work any differently from Grainger, Mc Master, U-line, etc. Same thing with some brands/items restricted without account approval, even.
 
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