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Old 12-24-05, 11:06 AM   #1
teiaperigosa
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does your LBS install for free?

do any of you all's LBS install for free parts that you buy from them?
this would seem a reasonable service to the customer in my opinion...but, maybe 's just not common practice at all, and I'm buggin'


I went into a shop a while back and bought a new tube (~$4), and asked if they could install it for me because I was wearing all white, and didn't want to get dirty (there was like 1 other person in the shop...they were NOT busy). They said that installing it would cost me $10. I said, "what?!". So, asked if I could borrow a set of tire levers, and their pump, and was outta there in 10 minutes (took me a little longer , as I was trying to maintain my freshness). Thankfully they let me use their stuff, but...was I the one bugging? I mean...I might even have paid another 2-4 dollars for them to throw it in....maybe...but no way I was paying $10 for these cats to install a TUBE for me...no way

I usually like to do everything myself, but...sometimes, for conviencience, bike shops can be of help
do yall get stuff installed for free? or do they let you use their tools to do it yourself?
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Old 12-24-05, 11:20 AM   #2
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I help out people as much as I can ie: tool loans, repair advice, etc. If I installed any part purchased from me for free or loaned out my more expensive to replace tools all the time I would be out of business in a heartbeat. For the record a flat fix with tube is $12 CAD. They let you use their tools....so I don't really think you have a valid complaint there.
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Old 12-24-05, 11:32 AM   #3
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I don't understand why they should do either. Four bucks seems a fair price for a tube (maybe a little less than the local rate). What makes you think they should sweeten the deal by tossing in free installation? Granted, ten bucks is a little steep (around here the going LBS rate is $6), but these guys are a service business, and they get to charge for their service. Hope you thanked them for the use of their tools.
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Old 12-24-05, 11:34 AM   #4
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Think about a car dealership. You buy a new inline fuel filter for $8.00.

Are they gonna install it for you for free? Nope.

Are they gonna let you use their tools and install it yourself, in their shop? Nope.

I agree: you came out okay in this one.
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Old 12-24-05, 11:45 AM   #5
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It has to be paid one way or another.

Would you prefer that the LBS sells the tube for $14 and install it for free? To me that's a way to send the customer to a large surface or mail order store! Or would you prefer that they sell the tube for $4 and charge anything from $0 to $25 for installation depending on the backlog? Nice in theory, but unless there is a posted formula to make the pricing scale clear to everyone, it's easy to make it look like discrimination. I prefer a fixed rate, with maybe a freebee here and there.
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Old 12-24-05, 11:50 AM   #6
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For big ticket parts that take little time to install, maybe the shop will do the insatallation for free or at very low cost. I buy my headsets at my LBS and they usually press in the cups and set the crown race for free. However, this is a $50 or more item and I bring the frame and fork already stripped. All they only have to spend is 5 minutes or so of labor and I come in when the shop isn't busy.

Also, I'm a frequent and well known customer and have purchased numerous bikes from them in the past so I've established my credentials. Would I get that service in a shop where I'm not known? I don't think so. Would I expect it? No.
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Old 12-24-05, 12:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavernmech
They let you use their tools....so I don't really think you have a valid complaint there.
my posting of this was really to get an idea of the standard, cause really...I wouldn't know...I work on my bike myself....I've never had a shop do anything on my bike...I was curious

they let me use their tire levers...big deal...I did thank them....and every shop should have a pump to use
but...I do have a valid complain because they charged me 10 dollars to change a tube...that's insulting

and I had bought plenty of **** from that shop before, if that makes any difference...I'm coo with one of the guys who works there, and all of them at the shop there at least recognize me...
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Old 12-24-05, 12:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neil0502
Think about a car dealership. You buy a new inline fuel filter for $8.00.

Are they gonna install it for you for free? Nope.

Are they gonna let you use their tools and install it yourself, in their shop? Nope.

I agree: you came out okay in this one.

not a good analogy for me...let's stick to bikes..lol
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Old 12-24-05, 01:20 PM   #9
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Some bike shops will do quick minor installs for free, on a case by case basis, depending on the relationship you have with your LBS.
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Old 12-24-05, 01:21 PM   #10
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I think they went beyond their obligation by loaning you levers. They made almost no profit on the tube they sold you, why should they install it for free? I'd say the extra $6 to install it was fair and far cheaper than a new shirt for you. They're in business to make money, and they have rent, utilities, salary...ect to pay before they make a dime.

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Old 12-24-05, 01:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HillRider
For big ticket parts that take little time to install, maybe the shop will do the insatallation for free or at very low cost. . . . Also, I'm a frequent and well known customer and have purchased numerous bikes from them in the past so I've established my credentials. Would I get that service in a shop where I'm not known? I don't think so. Would I expect it? No.
These are the key factors--price of purchase, difficulty/time of installation, and amount of business you have given to the store. Also, it depends on their mood and how respectfully you treat them.

Edit: I want to add another factor--the mark up. If I pay the LBS $50 for something I can get online for $30, I expect some service for that additional $20. Generally (but not always) that service should include installation and/or adjustment.

And back to the topic of this thread, I don't think paying $4 for a tube is enough to make it fair to ask them to install it for free.

Last edited by Daily Commute; 12-24-05 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 12-24-05, 01:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teiaperigosa
my posting of this was really to get an idea of the standard, cause really...I wouldn't know...I work on my bike myself....I've never had a shop do anything on my bike...I was curious

they let me use their tire levers...big deal...I did thank them....and every shop should have a pump to use
but...I do have a valid complain because they charged me 10 dollars to change a tube...that's insulting

and I had bought plenty of **** from that shop before, if that makes any difference...I'm coo with one of the guys who works there, and all of them at the shop there at least recognize me...
So you work on your bike but don't have something as basic as tire levers?
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Old 12-24-05, 02:10 PM   #13
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I understand that you were wearing clothes that you didn't want to get dirty but that's not the shop's fault. If you think installing a tube is so easy that it has no value, then it should be no big deal for you to install the tube. Why ask someone to do something for you that you are perfectly capable of doing. I don't ask people to air up my tires at the gas station because I can do it so easily. It would be insulting to go inside and ask the person at the register to come out and do it for me. I think it is fair to compare bike shops to other businesses. I don't know of any other businesses that are asked do do free labor that isn't under warranty.

Last edited by Pete Hamer; 12-24-05 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 12-24-05, 02:39 PM   #14
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Sometimes my LBS installs stuff I buy elsewhere for free. I try to agrue with them, but it does no good. Go figure....
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Old 12-24-05, 03:12 PM   #15
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So, shops should charge people for repairs if the customer can't do it themselves and do them for free if the customer knows how?

Our shop charges 12 bucks american for a tube and labor, most people are more than happy to pay that. The rest buy the tube and do it themselves.
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Old 12-24-05, 03:48 PM   #16
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This is my second post. I couldn't finish the last one because I was at work and the boss yelled at me to get back to work. As if talking on bike forums isn't part of my job! That guy has got some nerve.

Was it ever implied that installation of the tube is included with purchase of tube? If they tell you that the tube cost $4 and you agree to the price and pay for it, then the deal is done. No more obligations for you or the shop (unless the tube is defective or in wrong box). Labor has value. Labor has value just like the tube had value. The tube was just sitting around doing nothing, there was probably a bunch of other tubes sitting around doing nothing, and the tube is only $4! It's not worth much! Why didn't you expect to get the tube for free. If you don't think labor has value then why do you expect your boss to pay you for the work you do? Do you ask your riding buddies to fix your flat when you are on a ride with them? What self respecting, able bodied man asks someone else to do his work for him? I wouldn't ask my neighbor to mow my lawn for me and justify it by saying "You aren't doing anything this weekend anyway. Mowing a lawn is easy, anyone can do it. I just don't want to get dirty". That is just insulting. Why is my time more valuable than his? If installing the tube didn't have value then you wouldn't have asked them to do it. No one wants something that has no value.

Last edited by Pete Hamer; 12-25-05 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 12-24-05, 03:54 PM   #17
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And if they installed the tube for free and your tire was dried out, would you want a free tire too.
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Old 12-24-05, 04:01 PM   #18
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I broke a pedal (f'n speedplay) on a ride today. The pedal disintigrated but the splidle was OK so I was able to ride to the LBS. I bought a set of Keo Carbon pedals and some new tires. (A surprise Christmas present to myself)
They put the pedals and cleats on, and offered to put the tires on, but since I'm keeping the old ones for the trainer decided to ride home on them. I spent about $300 so I'm sure they didn't mind doing it. Plus, there were 5 guys working and only one other customer (he was buying an inner tube, and did not ask to have it installed, but since the guys there looked bored they probably would have for free)
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Old 12-24-05, 05:37 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fixer
Some bike shops will do quick minor installs for free, on a case by case basis, depending on the relationship you have with your LBS.
That is a major key also. If you know they guy's at your shop, they might help ya out. I know they dudes at my shop (some more than others) and one dude, I come in and he'll be like "Dude we just got a sick (enter bike here) go test it out." Also if you know them, a little something won't hurt I buy them Starbuck's since I too young to buy beer
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Old 12-24-05, 06:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teiaperigosa
not a good analogy for me...let's stick to bikes..lol

how convienient... tuck you tail between your legs and hide.
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Old 12-24-05, 06:33 PM   #21
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It depends on who's working at the time, and how busy they are. I keep all the tools I'll ever need in my car, anyway, so I rarely even need to borrow tools, even though they'll loan those out to me.

On the other hand, though, there's a shop in Milpitas, Sun Bikes, that I went to a few years back to replace a freewheel, because I'd just killed mine. I walk into the shop with my bike, tell them I want to replace the freewheel, and they tell me that the freewheel will cost $20 (or however much it was, I forget). Then they told me that since I had pegs on the right side of my rear axle, it would cost $10 to install it. Of course, I went outside, removed my rear wheel myself, and had them put it on for me, for $5. Very lame. A socket extension costs barely more than a dollar in the first place, and it's only one nut, and they try to charge me an extra $5 on top of the $5 that they're already charging me.
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Old 12-24-05, 06:42 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teiaperigosa
do any of you all's LBS install for free parts that you buy from them?
this would seem a reasonable service to the customer in my opinion...but, maybe 's just not common practice at all, and I'm buggin'


I went into a shop a while back and bought a new tube (~$4), and asked if they could install it for me because I was wearing all white, and didn't want to get dirty (there was like 1 other person in the shop...they were NOT busy). They said that installing it would cost me $10. I said, "what?!". So, asked if I could borrow a set of tire levers, and their pump, and was outta there in 10 minutes (took me a little longer , as I was trying to maintain my freshness). Thankfully they let me use their stuff, but...was I the one bugging? I mean...I might even have paid another 2-4 dollars for them to throw it in....maybe...but no way I was paying $10 for these cats to install a TUBE for me...no way

I usually like to do everything myself, but...sometimes, for conviencience, bike shops can be of help
do yall get stuff installed for free? or do they let you use their tools to do it yourself?

All white after Labor Day?


Anyway, yes, you are bugging to use your term. The shop is in business to make money, it's not a charity. The fact that there was no one in the store was irrelevant, it is still time and labor on the part of the mechanic. $4 for a tube is a decent price at most LBS's that I have visited and $10 to install is not excessive.
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Old 12-24-05, 07:09 PM   #23
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In general, my LBS charges for installation of parts I buy from them. They'll sometimes do stuff for free but only because I'm a regular customer and they know me. I don't object to paying for their labor - I want them to still be in business the next time I come in.
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Old 12-24-05, 07:26 PM   #24
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My LBS does not charge for installation of some new part purchased from them if you are a regular customer. As an example, they don't charge for installing a new chain, (least expensive chain is $15.) But they do charge for installing a new tube. When I had a new crank installed by them under a Shimano recall, they tuned up the bike for free. So it depends how easy it is to install and the cost (mark up) of the item. I think this approach is more than fair.
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Old 12-24-05, 07:27 PM   #25
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I think shops make more money on labor than they do on parts due to the slim markup and competition with online vendors. If you need a shop to do the work, you should be willing to pay the shop to do it.
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