• 06-11-2019
    202cycle
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    Can you explain to me why bike shops can only source parts through QBP? Several times I've gone to my LBS and asked about, say, a stem. The guy whips out the QBP catalogue. There's nothing in there I want to buy. A quill stem? Forget it. One time one of the younger mechanics said I needed a new Campy inner chain ring (I didn't) for $140. I sheet you not. Another time, they said they couldn't replace the bearings in my rear wheel because they weren't an American Classic dealer. I ended up calling American Classic and buying them myself. And this is the best shop in the area -- please spare me the lecture ... For the past two decades I've bought a frame, components and hauled it down there and had the LBS assemble if for $250. They're happy to do it, they do a nice job, and they'll do simple adjustments in the future for free, or very cheaply. Plus they're a nice bunch of guys. But I have to wonder, with a business model like that, how sustainable is it?

    We can get parts from a number of suppliers beside QBP. Here's the deal though. Dealer direct from the manufacturer is not always possible and rarely is there a difference in price. I can patch together an order from QBP with parts from 100 different manufactures and get free shipping on the order. Unfortunately for you, the best shop in your area is not so great and if they can't find you the parts you need, they aren't trying.
  • 06-11-2019
    cxwrench
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mfdemicco View Post
    Why is that? Is it because you buy from a middleman like QBP instead of Shimano direct?

    Pricing is the same. Shimano is exerting more control over their product but at this point it's mainly pedals and shoes. You can order the drivetrain stuff from a few distributors, we order from Trek and QBP. Sometimes Trek has better pricing than Q does. We rarely ever order drivetrain parts from Shimano directly because their shipping doesn't seem to happen with the same urgency as the other distributors.
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    Can you explain to me why bike shops can only source parts through QBP? Several times I've gone to my LBS and asked about, say, a stem. The guy whips out the QBP catalogue. There's nothing in there I want to buy. A quill stem? Forget it. One time one of the younger mechanics said I needed a new Campy inner chain ring (I didn't) for $140. I sheet you not. Another time, they said they couldn't replace the bearings in my rear wheel because they weren't an American Classic dealer. I ended up calling American Classic and buying them myself. And this is the best shop in the area -- please spare me the lecture ... For the past two decades I've bought a frame, components and hauled it down there and had the LBS assemble if for $250. They're happy to do it, they do a nice job, and they'll do simple adjustments in the future for free, or very cheaply. Plus they're a nice bunch of guys. But I have to wonder, with a business model like that, how sustainable is it?

    Why only shops can buy from Q and not the public? Because they're a wholesale distributor. Q chooses to not sell retail, not sure why but it's their decision. They are the largest distributor in the world as far as I know...I'm sure there is some stuff in their catalog that you'd want. Sounds like your shop is sorta clueless/lazy, or at least some of the employees are. Or they could just be ignorant and not know how to handle some special order situations. Your bearing issue is/was ridiculous, all you need to know is what size bearing is needed and they can be ordered from any number of distributors, they definitely don't have to come from AC. If the bearing # isn't on the seal they can be measured and found that way. My store is staffed by some very experienced people (mechanics mostly) and our sales guys are pretty good, better than most, but they need our help multiple times every day because there are so damn many options. Bikes are easy...til they're not. Dealing w/ our young kids is pretty frustrating because they get a little bit of knowledge and then think they know it all. I've pretty much told all of them to just shut up and get one of us when they need to find a part for someone.

    I would think the distributor/retailer model will work fine. Mainly because if you go direct to the customer they'll end up ordering the wrong part so many times you'd never make a profit. If you try to avoid that by doing phone orders you'll need super experienced sales reps to take orders, and you'd probably find that a lot of people just want to click 'buy' on their smartphone and not talk to anyone.
  • 06-11-2019
    Lombard
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Pricing is the same. Shimano is exerting more control over their product but at this point it's mainly pedals and shoes. You can order the drivetrain stuff from a few distributors, we order from Trek and QBP. Sometimes Trek has better pricing than Q does. We rarely ever order drivetrain parts from Shimano directly because their shipping doesn't seem to happen with the same urgency as the other distributors.

    Why only shops can buy from Q and not the public? Because they're a wholesale distributor. Q chooses to not sell retail, not sure why but it's their decision. They are the largest distributor in the world as far as I know...I'm sure there is some stuff in their catalog that you'd want. Sounds like your shop is sorta clueless/lazy, or at least some of the employees are. Or they could just be ignorant and not know how to handle some special order situations. Your bearing issue is/was ridiculous, all you need to know is what size bearing is needed and they can be ordered from any number of distributors, they definitely don't have to come from AC. If the bearing # isn't on the seal they can be measured and found that way. My store is staffed by some very experienced people (mechanics mostly) and our sales guys are pretty good, better than most, but they need our help multiple times every day because there are so damn many options. Bikes are easy...til they're not. Dealing w/ our young kids is pretty frustrating because they get a little bit of knowledge and then think they know it all. I've pretty much told all of them to just shut up and get one of us when they need to find a part for someone.

    I would think the distributor/retailer model will work fine. Mainly because if you go direct to the customer they'll end up ordering the wrong part so many times you'd never make a profit. If you try to avoid that by doing phone orders you'll need super experienced sales reps to take orders, and you'd probably find that a lot of people just want to click 'buy' on their smartphone and not talk to anyone.

    CX, you remind me why shops try to steer me away from Shimano components until I am insistant. From what I understand (correct me if I'm wrong), Shimano exercises some strict pricing on their items and profit margins are very low for retailers.