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  1. #1
    Senior Member RK1963's Avatar
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    RIPPED Off? Please tell me----

    Dear CVers,

    How would you have responded in this situation:

    You're feeling good as you finish up a pleasant group ride on Saturday morning and then decide to stop into your LBS for the spokes you need for your latest wheel-project, as you feel somewhat guilty for doing so much ebaying and mail-ordering lately and, deep down, you know it's important to support your LBS.

    However, after standing in place at their register for at least 10 minutes while several associates and mechanics go about their business and do not engage in eye contact with you (no---hi, so-and-so-will be with you in a moment), the guy who finally hangs up his phone and actually helps you informs you that, yes, they have 292mm individual spokes for sale, and they cost $2 per spoke (14 straight gauge) plus tax?

    (At least they are DT spokes---the older ones with the tighter elbows)

    At any rate, I paid their price. However, after telling them that I had only $40 on me, he took off the tax. Should I feel ripped off? I think I do?

  2. #2
    Lanterne Rouge cb400bill's Avatar
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    So are you mad about the price you paid or that you waited 10 minutes?
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  3. #3
    Senior Member RK1963's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
    So are you mad about the price you paid or that you waited 10 minutes?
    Hey, do you work there?

    2 Answers: 1. the rudeness of not being acknowledged on arrival
    2. being charge 400% higher than the online rate

  4. #4
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    I would resolve that situation by never going back to that shop again!

    Neal

  5. #5
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Bring a frame full of sludge into the shop to get some shifters for it. Just before you leave, uncork the BB weep hole.



    -Kurt

  6. #6
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    what's their return policy? Do they give refunds... find the store owner and explain the situation if it will make you feel better about it. You have nothing to lose but a another enjoyable trip on your bike!

    Specter

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
    Bring a frame full of sludge into the shop to get some shifters for it. Just before you leave, uncork the BB weep hole.



    -Kurt
    Kurt - that's funny!

  8. #8
    Senior Member RK1963's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
    bring a frame full of sludge into the shop to get some shifters for it. Just before you leave, uncork the bb weep hole.

    :d

    -kurt

    lol

  9. #9
    My bikes became Vintage OLDYELLR's Avatar
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    Not having done a lot of wheel building, I wouldn't know if 292mm is a common size or not. Usually a LBS might sell individual spokes as replacements for broken ones, not complete sets. And imagine how many cartons of different sizes of 100 spokes they would have to stock. Perhaps you should have tried to cut a deal for a quantity discount. Probably buying complete sets of spokes at the LBS is not the way to go unless you get a fair price. You wouldn't buy, say, 20 tires there at full retail price, would you?

    However, I have to admit that the customers of most LBS's are "regulars" they know by name and who might even get discounts on such purchases. I guess it's rude to ignore complete strangers and shake them down like that. After all, you could have been shopping for a $7000 plastic wonderbike.
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  10. #10
    Lanterne Rouge cb400bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RK1963 View Post
    Hey, do you work there?

    2 Answers: 1. the rudeness of not being acknowledged on arrival
    2. being charge 400% higher than the online rate

    I do not work there. I don't work in any bike shop and never have. I don't know what town you live in.

    I do know it is the store employee's job to greet and assist customers but I am wondering why you didn't ask for help instead of just standing there.

    I have never built a wheel or bought spokes for one. I don't know how much spokes even sell for. But, it sounds like you do know and still bought them. You had the opportunity to say "Too much" and walk away but chose to buy them anyway.

    I guess if you have to be mad at someone maybe start looking in the mirror first.
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  11. #11
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    It sounds to me like the guy working the register charged you what someone pays when they need a single spoke to replace a broken one. Buying a set should be way less expensive.

    If you still have your receipt, I would call or drop in and talk to the manager and ask if there was an error.

  12. #12
    Senior Member RK1963's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
    I do know it is the store employee's job to greet and assist customers
    Very true

  13. #13
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    I mean, if it wasn't a part that you needed to use to ride home, I wouldn't have bothered giving them your money.

    That said, if they are a full frame type store and not a repair/assistance type place, spokes might be a very low volume unit for them, and not really price efficient for them to sell. It's possible that you get a better price online than they do.

  14. #14
    Senior Member RK1963's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canonizer View Post
    It's possible that you get a better price online than they do.
    Good point!

  15. #15
    Senior Member Fissile's Avatar
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    Acknowledging a customer standing in front of the counter is just common courtesy. It doesn't have to be anything elaborate, just a head nod that says, "Hello. I know you're there. I'll be with you in a bit." Unfortunately, we now live in the Jerry Springer nation, where everyone is a ******-bag, with an attitude, and chip on his shoulder. It seems that the only way can get attention from anyone today is to kick them in the face with spd cleats.

    As for the spokes, individual spokes are expensive when purchased at retail. My local LBS charges $1 per for zinc no-name spokes, and more for better quality.
    Critical Mass

  16. #16
    Senior Member RK1963's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fissile View Post
    Acknowledging a customer standing in front of the counter is just common courtesy. It doesn't have to be anything elaborate, just a head nod that says, "Hello. I know you're there. I'll be with you in a bit." Unfortunately, we now live in the Jerry Springer nation, where everyone is a ******-bag, with an attitude, and chip on his shoulder. It seems that the only way can get attention from anyone today is to kick them in the face with spd cleats.

    As for the spokes, individual spokes are expensive when purchased at retail. My local LBS charges $1 per for zinc no-name spokes, and more for better quality.

    Mr. Fissile,

    I couldn't agree more! Thank you Sir.

  17. #17
    Flower Power KarmicPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RK1963 View Post
    Should I feel ripped off? I think I do?
    No.

    It's not like you HAD to buy them once you knew the price -- you chose to buy them. As is often said in the law, "fully competent adults are entitled to make a bad deal if they choose to do so". So, if you decide now it's a bad deal then it's as much your fault as theirs for entering into it.

    Either take them back (if they allow returns), acquire something else you need (if they allow exchanges), or chalk it up to the experience of not shopping when you're tired after a ride.

  18. #18
    Senior Member RK1963's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=KarmicPedals;7517746]No.It's not like you HAD to buy them once you knew the price -- you chose to buy them. As is often said in the law, "fully competent adults are entitled to make a bad deal if they choose to do so". So, if you decide now it's a bad deal then it's as much your fault as theirs for entering into it.QUOTE]

    I agree.

  19. #19
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    I just bought 18 300mm 14g spokes at LBS and it was just under $20.
    so yah, I'd say you got ripped.

    Marty
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  20. #20
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    SOme people want free service alot

    HI,
    I noticed some bike shops are overwhelmed with people with dirty old bike don't have a clue and want free service alot.
    I understand that they are trying to survive the current inflation market.
    I find after a couple small purchase and paying for work they actually reconize you as your enter the store and smile.
    I may be wrong but many people ask alot of those people who are actually trying to make a living.
    Doug
    Hey I take my Ebay buys to them for install if I don't have the tools they are OK with that.
    I do try to ride with their group once in a while.
    It helps to try and understand how hard it is to have a buisness, the revolves around labor, and parts not a large margin for profit when you compete with Online stores, and Ebay.
    I have learned that rebuild a bike may be more expensive than buying a new bike and having it set up correctly at the store.

    example ebay: find centurian 1986, needs pedals, cogs,chain, fine tunning, and add ons. it was only 177.oo bucks +plus shipping and the addons and service add upquick..

  21. #21
    Senior Member RK1963's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djnzlab1 View Post
    HI,
    I noticed some bike shops are overwhelmed with people with dirty old bike don't have a clue and want free service alot.
    I understand that they are trying to survive the current inflation market.
    I find after a couple small purchase and paying for work they actually reconize you as your enter the store and smile.
    I may be wrong but many people ask alot of those people who are actually trying to make a living.
    Doug
    Hey I take my Ebay buys to them for install if I don't have the tools they are OK with that.
    I do try to ride with their group once in a while.
    It helps to try and understand how hard it is to have a buisness, the revolves around labor, and parts not a large margin for profit when you compete with Online stores, and Ebay.
    I have learned that rebuild a bike may be more expensive than buying a new bike and having it set up correctly at the store.

    True, so I guess one needs to cut them some slack....

  22. #22
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lotek View Post
    I just bought 18 300mm 14g spokes at LBS and it was just under $20.
    so yah, I'd say you got ripped.

    Marty
    Marty,

    Did you get them at RBM Frisco? That's a good deal.

  23. #23
    Upright bars SirMike1983's Avatar
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    I think it mostly depends on the shop and its staff. There are good shops, okay ones and bad ones.

    However across the board, it's getting harder to find extensive parts availability in-store in many places. Online seems to be the behemoth when it comes to parts buying.

    When I lived in Georgetown there were two bike shops next to one another on M Street. When I first got my Raleigh Sports it needed some work and I didn't have that kind of time so I took it to M Street. The first shop I went into was one that shall remain nameless. It was an older shop that looked pretty nice and had some nice stuff. They really didn't seem interested in doing any business though-- they just ignored me for a couple of minutes, so I finally walked up to the desk and asked if someone would help me. I told the guy about the bike and he sort of snorted that they "don't do those anymore".

    I took the bicycle next door to another shop and they were just the opposite-- they helped me quickly and took in the bike and fixed it right up. When I lived down there I took the bike there every time- and they always treated me well.

    I live out in Maryland now and do mostly my own work on the bikes these days. There's a small local shop in Bethesda I try to do business with, and I have gotten a couple of wheels trued there. But the mechanics seem to be mostly high school kids who work only on modern stuff. You can buy parts there, but you have they almost always have to order them for you (you may as well do it yourself at that point). They're nice there, but too small to help much on buying parts in-store.

    In the same area, or even on the same block you can get two entirely different experiences depending on who is in the shop on a particular day.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    "Ripped off" implies you were cheated, mislead, bamboozled or otherwise robbed.

    If the store quoted a price and you accepted it and gave them your money, you weren't "ripped off".

    You might have paid too much, but that's another story. Things are always cheaper "somewhere else".

  25. #25
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    spokes should cost no more than $1, that gives them about the same margin per spoke that they get on everything else in the store (maybe even a little more). So $2 for a straight gauge is ridiculous.
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