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So I got off my regular job and biked up to my second which I must say I've found road riding more enjoyable than I gave it credit for but I degress. Anyhow, I'm building a bike at the LBS when the phone rings. Since I get paid buy the bike my only job is to build them. Nothing else. One of the other guys answers and told the manager that someone wanted to know if we built bikes on site. So he picks up the phone as we listen for a few minutes, Hearing stuff like: "We usually take about 45 minutes to an hour to build each bike","We check out everything, grease up bolts, etc. I don't think we're what you're looking for." After he got off the phone he made the mocking commit:"All ya got ta do is put the wheels and pedals on!!!! Haw, Haw!!" It was freaking Wal-Mart!! They wanted him to send a couple of us over there to "build" their bikes for them. Just slap the pedals and wheels on!! On top of that they wanted him to pay us to do it and bill them for it. Give me a break. Just wanted to share the humor in that with ya all. :)
 

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I worked at an LBS a few years back and the same thing happened to us around Christmas, which is obviously a very high volume time for bikes. Wal-Mart wanted a few mechanics to come over and build bikes. We refused, but another LBS actually put an ad in the paper for anyone with bike building experience to contact them. Apparently, they had mechanic try-outs for local high school and college kids and then sent them over to Wal-Mart.
 

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"I don't think we're what you're looking for"

That is a great line. The retail shop I worked at could have used this. In a very affluent area, we'd get people every day who thought they were going to make us look bad by huffing and scoffing and making a scene over a *$250* price tag on our lowest of the low-end Raleigh (I'm thinking, don't turn around, don't turn around, don't... sht, get the smelling salts). I used to get in a very calming voice, one that would make them think I was on their side, you know, very comforting like, and then sort of mutter under my breath all the horrible terrifiing life-endangering things that would inevitably go wrong on dept store bikes and result in serious injury or death, effectively scaring them either into a more expensive model or straight out the door, never to return. I was a horrible salesman, and could really have used that line instead. Hindsight... Oh well, I became a mechanic shortly thereafter and went on to become ruler the universe...
 

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Toys-R-Us

I built bikes at x-mas for Toys-R-Us once, they called the shop I was working at for help.

Yes it's rather demeaning, but they paid me $10 cash per bike, and with pos Huffy and Pacific stuff you could build 3 an hour. Made a lot of cash in a week.
 

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Linoleum Knife
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crashedandburned said:
It was freaking Wal-Mart!! They wanted him to send a couple of us over there to "build" their bikes for them.
I actually read an article (Lennard Zinn?) by some buy who was now a custom builder, and had been a Tour team mechanic - said that's how he got so fast at wrenching - building department store bikes as a sideline for his LBS.

I would feel better about the world in general if I knew that those bikes were all getting built by real mechanics.
 

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forkboy said:
I would feel better about the world in general if I knew that those bikes were all getting built by real mechanics.
My thoughts exactly, at least I know that my kid wouldn't be riding around with his fork installed barkwards if Joel (singletrack ) built it. Granted, Joel may have fashioned a missing brakepad or two from bat guano and yucca bush, being the modern day renaissance man that he is, but the bike would be in good working order.:)
 

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Cracker-magnon
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Similar thing here happened to me

lawhoo said:
I worked at an LBS a few years back and the same thing happened to us around Christmas, which is obviously a very high volume time for bikes. Wal-Mart wanted a few mechanics to come over and build bikes. We refused, but another LBS actually put an ad in the paper for anyone with bike building experience to contact them. Apparently, they had mechanic try-outs for local high school and college kids and then sent them over to Wal-Mart.
About 10 years ago, a distributor had a shipment of Cannondales that were destined for over-seas. He turned around and back-doored them to Costco. The stores quickly realized that they lacked the knoledge/tools to assemble the bikes, so they started talking to LBS's to try to get tools/parts/help. In particular Costco was looking for shop specific headshock tools. Cannondale had discovered this, and threatened to pull their product from any shop that they discovered was aiding Costco.
 

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This is the one that drove me from selling bikes. A woman comes into the shop and wants a mtb for her son. Okay show her the bikes and she tells me " Walmart bikes are cheaper ". I try to explane but shes just seeing the pricetag.
Now that she has come to the conclusion that the bike she is looking at is to expensive we move on to the helmets. I show her the CHEAPEST helmet the store carries ( $25 ) and again , " Do you carry anything cheaper ". That was it for me, I walk in the back , grab a grease rag and a roll of ducktape , hand them to her and say " Do it yourself helmet , $10 ".
Nothing but quality in the assembly of walmart bicycles " NOT ".
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Artie159 said:
grab a grease rag and a roll of ducktape , hand them to her and say " Do it yourself helmet , $10 ".
That's funny. I kinda had that same sort of thing done to me once when I was an electrician. My friend threw me some work during a summer I was in college. He knew a guy in the scrap metal business and had just bought his own building. Needed bunches of electrical work done and my buddy just didn't have time (or patience) to deal with him and offered it to me. The guy paid OK so I took it. Well, his "foreman" and I had a couple run in's. He really didn't know what he was talking about when it came to electrical work and was ALWAYS trying to tell me "how it should be done." One job I was doing in there, something dealing with the lights, he told me he could get it to work a certain way. I replied good for him, but that was unsafe and I wasn't going to do it that way. Came back the next day to find out he went and did it his way and told me "There! Told you it would work." My reply was something like: "Ya, it works.....and I can wire up this place with bailing wire and electrical tape, doesn't mean it's a good idea though." I had to rewire it after he left me alone after that remark.
 
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