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  1. #51
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    While I am not big into haggling, I've done it as we all do for many things (homes, cars, 2nd hand goods)

    when I sell an item myself and have decided I am firm on the price, I can get emotional about the hagglers .. but merely being amused. I really don't mind their offering, actually grateful to have it as an option even though I will turn it down. I can also get annoyed if the other party tries playing mental games though!
    Faith is pretending to know things you don't know

  2. #52
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    i buy pretty much everything with my smartphone, and it arrives right to my door. they even text me when it arrives. i'm really enjoying the 21st century.
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    What exactly is your problem?
    If we haven't figured that out by now, we never will.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCSaltchucker View Post
    especially in the USA, that is generally not faster than buying online. Not to mention the huge wasted time driving to the LBS, perhaps visiting multiple LBS, and then driving back days later to pick it up.
    There is this old-fashioned device called the phone. It doesn't require any traveling to the bike shop.

    Quote Originally Posted by BCSaltchucker View Post
    Some things I've ordered on Amazon on a Sunday morning .. arrived at my door Sunday evening.
    This does occasionally happen, but it is more the exception than the norm. If I oft for free Amazon shipping, it can take awhile. And if I want to pay extra for fast shipping or Amazon Prime, that evaporates the online savings.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackfrancois View Post
    i buy pretty much everything with my smartphone, and it arrives right to my door. they even text me when it arrives. i'm really enjoying the 21st century.
    This is what bike shops miss. They tend to think that people buying online is about price, when really for a lot of people it's simply a better experience. They can read a bunch of impartial reviews, do all the research they want, don't have to leave their house, and the stuff just shows up.

    If you want to succeed in retail, you have to offer a better experience than that. Being grumpy about the fact that parts can be bought online for less doesn't help with the experience.

  6. #56
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    In the late '80s, there was a bike store in Gresham, OR that sold bikes and military pattern semi-auto rifles like Valmets, Galils, and Steyr AUGs.

  7. #57
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bremerradkurier View Post
    In the late '80s, there was a bike store in Gresham, OR that sold bikes and military pattern semi-auto rifles like Valmets, Galils, and Steyr AUGs.
    Tough? Sounds like a dream shop to me.
    I work for some bike racers
    I've got some bikes, some guns,
    and a bunch of skateboards

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Tough? Sounds like a dream shop to me.
    Their Valmets were only going for about $50 more than the Norinco AK clones.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Tough? Sounds like a dream shop to me.
    Agree completely.

  10. #60
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by majbuzz View Post
    Agree completely.
    I need to work at a shop that sells bikes, guns, bows, and burgers!
    I work for some bike racers
    I've got some bikes, some guns,
    and a bunch of skateboards

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    I need to work at a shop that sells bikes, guns, bows, and burgers!
    almost there

    Name:  bike and gun.jpg
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    Too old to ride plastic

  12. #62
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    almost there

    Name:  bike and gun.jpg
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    Awesome!
    I work for some bike racers
    I've got some bikes, some guns,
    and a bunch of skateboards

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Awesome!
    But what about skateboards?
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  14. #64
    Rub it............
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    almost there

    Name:  bike and gun.jpg
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    Winner

    Bikes, guns, ammo. What more could a guy want.
    You can't fix stupid.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeDaddio

    I kind of wish it were legal to staple people in the face.

  15. #65
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    But what about skateboards?
    Yeah, we'd need some of those too, and a pool!
    I work for some bike racers
    I've got some bikes, some guns,
    and a bunch of skateboards

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Yeah, we'd need some of those too, and a pool!
    I'll fill out my application ASAP.

  17. #67
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    I'll preface my comments with this; I have certain scenarios where I support my local shop and certain scenarios where I buy online and do any work myself. However, when I read the threads about LBS vs online stores, I generally think about the issues below.

    1. People say it isn't emotional, it is just business. However, they also say support your local shop, which is emotional (keep the little guy, someone you might know, in business by spending more). LBS employees make it emotional for the customer by being annoyed when the customer buys something online.

    2. LBS employees don't want the customer to haggle on prices. Online shops offer price matching.

    3. LBS takes the order from the customer and places an order with the distributor. The item generally arrives within 3-7 days (depending on when the shop placed their order). Online shops ship when the item is ordered (usually). The item is received in 2-7 days (depending on shipping).
    3a. If the customer has questions about an item, they can talk to the LBS employee. If the customer has questions about an item, they can chat or call and talk to the online retailer employee. Knowledge will vary in both situations. Personal experience is that online support tends to be friendlier.

    4. LBS offers expertise for builds/repairs. Internet has Youtube videos.
    4a. My personal opinion is that service is where the LBS can strengthen that emotional tie to support your local store. Great service makes the customer feel good about the transaction and makes them want to support the store/owner/employees.
    4b. My personal experience has been that many shops provide poor service (many different shops in many different situations). In conversations with other cyclists, these poor interactions actually drive customers to the internet.

    I've had too numerous to count interactions with LBS owners and employees. I've found one or two that I trust completely. The rest have left a very bad impression (to many examples to share in this post).

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    What exactly is your problem?
    virtue signallers
    Oh my, a troll who doesn't know the difference between your and you're. What will they think of next?

  19. #69
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    I love my local bike shop. They just warrantied a Specialized frameset replacement for me. The frame was rebuilt by the best mechanic in the shop. He is a brother from a different mother. Love the guy.
    All said? There is no way he can adjust or set up a bike as well as me. Part of it...a big part is...he doesn't have the time to do it how I like.

    When he said Spesh would support the warranty replacement...he went to bat for me. Can't thank him enough. I am not an avid shopper at that shop. However I am fluent 'in bike'. I actually helped him decide on the particular replacement because the model I had was no longer being made by Spesh.

    So what did I do when I got it home? I tore it down and rebuilt it to my standards. I tried to get them simply to give me the frameset. They wouldn't. They wanted my $150 to build it which btw was fine with me. They went to bat for me and they deserved some level of profit for this effort. But the bike was way out of adjustment to my standards when I picked it up. Everything.
    Fasteners installed dry....I straightened the rear derailleur hanger which should be done on every bike build but rarely is...to ensure perfect indexing of gear changes.

    The bike rides amazing now. I am grateful to the shop for doing this for me. I direct a lot of business there because I am pretty connected in the cycling community.

    So bike shop relationships are complicated. No bike shop can adjust a bike as well as me in my experience. Part of it is talent but a lot of it is time. They cant spend the time I can to build it perfectly.

    Bike shops serve a real need to the public. Vast majority with bikes becoming more complicated need bike shop support if they are avid riders. Most consumers aren't mechanical inclined to set up a bike properly and of course even many but not all shops fall down to do it right as well.

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by 11spd View Post
    I love my local bike shop. They just warrantied a Specialized frameset replacement for me. The frame was rebuilt by the best mechanic in the shop. He is a brother from a different mother. Love the guy.
    All said? There is no way he can adjust or set up a bike as well as me. Part of it...a big part is...he doesn't have the time to do it how I like.

    When he said Spesh would support the warranty replacement...he went to bat for me. Can't thank him enough. I am not an avid shopper at that shop. However I am fluent 'in bike'. I actually helped him decide on the particular replacement because the model I had was no longer being made by Spesh.

    So what did I do when I got it home? I tore it down and rebuilt it to my standards. I tried to get them simply to give me the frameset. They wouldn't. They wanted my $150 to build it which btw was fine with me. They went to bat for me and they deserved some level of profit for this effort. But the bike was way out of adjustment to my standards when I picked it up. Everything.
    Fasteners installed dry....I straightened the rear derailleur hanger which should be done on every bike build but rarely is...to ensure perfect indexing of gear changes.

    The bike rides amazing now. I am grateful to the shop for doing this for me. I direct a lot of business there because I am pretty connected in the cycling community.

    So bike shop relationships are complicated. No bike shop can adjust a bike as well as me in my experience. Part of it is talent but a lot of it is time. They cant spend the time I can to build it perfectly.

    Bike shops serve a real need to the public. Vast majority with bikes becoming more complicated need bike shop support if they are avid riders. Most consumers aren't mechanical inclined to set up a bike properly and of course even many but not all shops fall down to do it right as well.
    same here, I adjust things down to the millimeter and no shop is going to care "that" much.

    everything has to be "dialed" so I do it myself, plus I have teh time.
    Oh my, a troll who doesn't know the difference between your and you're. What will they think of next?

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by factory feel View Post
    same here, I adjust things down to the millimeter and no shop is going to care "that" much.

    everything has to be "dialed" so I do it myself, plus I have teh time.
    Truthfully, I find the adjustment of groupsets coming out of shops pretty shoddy.
    Friends I am close to who know my background ask for my help to get their bikes shifting right. And then of course there is a subset of riders albeit more average riders that don't know good from bad.

    Fussy guys don't want any slack in the front derailleur cable. They want their brakes adjusted just right. They don't want their shifters crooked on the bars or their bar tilt wacky....or a poor tape job...or too much cable housing length.

    So many bottom brackets...press fit...are set up wrongly and why they creak.

    A long list. Even wheel hubs can be set up too loose or tight, even with cartridge bearings.

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by masont View Post
    "Look, I know they're asking a dollar for that orange, why do they have to get so cranky when I offer them seventy cents? Respect my offer!"

    "Look, I know the hamburger and fries is $10.99, but I really only want to pay 9 bucks. Respect my offer!"
    Don't be surprised if you become irrelevant then. I think most people are willing to spend a small premium to "shop local", but if you're charging MSRP on stuff when it's available for 20-30+% less online and not willing to negotiate at all, people are going to go elsewhere. Smaller things, like lights and clothing are the worst offenders.

    I know when I was first looking at Clipless pedals 7-8 years back, I was looking at the lower level Shimano ones. The LBS wanted $59.99 I think for them and Nashbar had them for $29.99. $5-6 for shipping and I still came out $20+ ahead. I would have gladly paid $40 and had them on the spot, but instead I shopped online and never went back to that shop.

    Of course, this was the same shop that happily sold me 3 tubes within a week as I kept getting flats rather then suggest new rim tape or patching the tubes (this was when I first started biking in college).

    I have no issues with someone trying to run a business and make a profit. But a lot of specialty stores refuse to adapt to changing times. IMHO, the days of small, independent bike shops are limited. I have 10 bike shops within ~15 minutes of me. While I have no issues in visiting them for the handful of repairs I can't/don't want to do on my own, I see no reason to buy anything from them when I can pay a fraction of the price from Nashbar, Jenson, Bikewagon, Ribble, Merlin, etc. The only time I have was for a few small things, like cables for $4-5/each when I had one fray really bad and didn't want to pay for shipping.

    The local shops are going to have to either compete with online stores, merge, or change their business model.

    There's a shop by me that took up residence in a local brewery. He doesn't have any bike inventory (he can order it though) and does mostly service/repairs. His prices are very reasonable and he doesn't charge an arm and leg for replacement parts as his inventory is small and he doesn't have a retail floor to manage. This is the type of LBS's I see sticking around.

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by musicmaster View Post
    Don't be surprised if you become irrelevant then. I think most people are willing to spend a small premium to "shop local", but if you're charging MSRP on stuff when it's available for 20-30+% less online and not willing to negotiate at all, people are going to go elsewhere. Smaller things, like lights and clothing are the worst offenders.

    I know when I was first looking at Clipless pedals 7-8 years back, I was looking at the lower level Shimano ones. The LBS wanted $59.99 I think for them and Nashbar had them for $29.99. $5-6 for shipping and I still came out $20+ ahead. I would have gladly paid $40 and had them on the spot, but instead I shopped online and never went back to that shop.

    Of course, this was the same shop that happily sold me 3 tubes within a week as I kept getting flats rather then suggest new rim tape or patching the tubes (this was when I first started biking in college).

    I have no issues with someone trying to run a business and make a profit. But a lot of specialty stores refuse to adapt to changing times. IMHO, the days of small, independent bike shops are limited. I have 10 bike shops within ~15 minutes of me. While I have no issues in visiting them for the handful of repairs I can't/don't want to do on my own, I see no reason to buy anything from them when I can pay a fraction of the price from Nashbar, Jenson, Bikewagon, Ribble, Merlin, etc. The only time I have was for a few small things, like cables for $4-5/each when I had one fray really bad and didn't want to pay for shipping.

    The local shops are going to have to either compete with online stores, merge, or change their business model.

    There's a shop by me that took up residence in a local brewery. He doesn't have any bike inventory (he can order it though) and does mostly service/repairs. His prices are very reasonable and he doesn't charge an arm and leg for replacement parts as his inventory is small and he doesn't have a retail floor to manage. This is the type of LBS's I see sticking around.
    You are right that a lbs business model needs to morph with the times...but also about local competition...how many bike shops in an area. Other things is and my opinion...brick and mortar bike shops basically can't go away any more than automobile repair shops can. Most people can't fix bikes or cars. They need this technical expertise which can't be 'phoned in' on the internet.

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by musicmaster View Post
    Don't be surprised if you become irrelevant then. I think most people are willing to spend a small premium to "shop local", but if you're charging MSRP on stuff when it's available for 20-30+% less online and not willing to negotiate at all, people are going to go elsewhere. Smaller things, like lights and clothing are the worst offenders.

    I know when I was first looking at Clipless pedals 7-8 years back, I was looking at the lower level Shimano ones. The LBS wanted $59.99 I think for them and Nashbar had them for $29.99. $5-6 for shipping and I still came out $20+ ahead. I would have gladly paid $40 and had them on the spot, but instead I shopped online and never went back to that shop.

    Of course, this was the same shop that happily sold me 3 tubes within a week as I kept getting flats rather then suggest new rim tape or patching the tubes (this was when I first started biking in college).

    I have no issues with someone trying to run a business and make a profit. But a lot of specialty stores refuse to adapt to changing times. IMHO, the days of small, independent bike shops are limited. I have 10 bike shops within ~15 minutes of me. While I have no issues in visiting them for the handful of repairs I can't/don't want to do on my own, I see no reason to buy anything from them when I can pay a fraction of the price from Nashbar, Jenson, Bikewagon, Ribble, Merlin, etc. The only time I have was for a few small things, like cables for $4-5/each when I had one fray really bad and didn't want to pay for shipping.

    The local shops are going to have to either compete with online stores, merge, or change their business model.

    There's a shop by me that took up residence in a local brewery. He doesn't have any bike inventory (he can order it though) and does mostly service/repairs. His prices are very reasonable and he doesn't charge an arm and leg for replacement parts as his inventory is small and he doesn't have a retail floor to manage. This is the type of LBS's I see sticking around.
    I disagree with that too. This is nothing new. My parents had a bike shop till the late 80s (and I later worked in some huge and some high end shops) and we faced competition from Nashbar and other telephone order places just like shops face today with online competition. In the 30 years interim, bike shops have faced this nonstop. But they have their niche market, and they have their own business model which means selling near ecommerce prices is not feasible at all. Instead they sell a different buying and social experience, combined with personal expertise. This is not to be underestimated imho. It's not a zero sum game where the LBS has to compete on price or die.

    Especially with sales of whole bicycles, the LBS has a leg up on marketing their products. It's only a minority of folks whom will buy a bike online, sight unseen, ride untried. Even for myself, I only have 3 bikes I ordered online, and three I bought in LBS recently, and I know exactly what I want in a bike down to the parts and geometry.
    Faith is pretending to know things you don't know

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by 11spd View Post
    You are right that a lbs business model needs to morph with the times...but also about local competition...how many bike shops in an area. Other things is and my opinion...brick and mortar bike shops basically can't go away any more than automobile repair shops can. Most people can't fix bikes or cars. They need this technical expertise which can't be 'phoned in' on the internet.
    Right. I don't believe they will go away -- I feel like we're going to see more mergers and chains, similar to Performance.

    I look at a comparison with running stores. A lot of the smaller stores have been bought out by multi-location chains. Heck, here in CO we have Runner's Roost, Boulder Running CO and the Performance equal Road Runner Sports. All three have multiple locations and can order in larger volumes to get bigger bulk discounts. Plus, if they don't have something, they have a local "warehouse" where they can stock some of the less needed shoes and can often have them in the store the next day.

    The biggest costs of any retail business is the space they're renting and the carrying costs of holding inventory. Reducing the number of small bike shops in a area and having a single larger location helps reduce retail rent, plus employee salaries, especially during the slow season. For inventory, if a LBS has 6 shops within a metro area, each store doesn't need to carry multiples of each size of every model. You can have a representation of each model in a few different sizes and when the customer decides, have the warehouse deliver the right model/size to the store and the customer gets it the next day or two.

    I've seen cost prices of a single store bike shop. Their cost was still more expensive than I could get the components from Ribble/Merlin. Being able to buy in volume helps tremendously.

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