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Old 09-27-10, 11:16 PM   #1
lhbernhardt
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No More Nashbar

I have just concluded my business relationship with Bike Nashbar. This is a real shame, because I've been buying stuff from them since the 70's, at least 30 years. I must have spent thousands with this mailorder company, and for good reason, as they usually have some very good prices on stuff, as well as some very good products (such as their winter tights that come in a "tall" size, and their knockoff of the San Marco Regal saddle that is almost as comfortable as the real thing).

But they would not ship my last order because I was having it sent to my mail drop. I live in Vancouver, Canada, but I have stuff sent to a parcel drop in Blaine, WA, just across the border. This lets me ship stuff at US shipping rates, which are much, much lower than the rates in Canada. As well, it's cheaper and faster for me to clear the stuff thru customs, rather than pay extra for UPS's broker, plus the border fees, etc.

Nashbar no longer sends stuff to parcel companies, UPS stores, or motels. This is understandable, since there's a parcel forwarding scam that is being perpetrated on mailorder companies. But my parcel drop does not do any forwarding, and I have been a customer of Nashbar for about 30 years. But they will make no exceptions. It has to be a residential address. So I just told them to cancel the order, and that as a result I would cease to do any further business with them. You would think they would make an exception in the case of a longterm customer? No, Nashbar has turned into the typical corporation...

Luis
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Old 09-27-10, 11:41 PM   #2
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Ever since Nashbar, Performance, and Bikecology were sold out to some large corporation, the products and services were never the same as the good ol' days.
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Old 09-28-10, 04:10 AM   #3
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Welcome to Big Business.
If they make a exception for you why not me too? And then if me why not the next guy and so on and so on. It has to start somewhere. I know it blows but it is business to them.
Find a resident and have it shipped there?
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Old 09-28-10, 04:34 AM   #4
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I think I would have done the same as you in the same circumstance. Soul less large corporatns who do not really care about the customer and change their policy for what is really no good reason do not deserve our business.
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Old 09-28-10, 04:47 AM   #5
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How much would their prices have to go up if they staffed large enough to look into every "exception". You have to examine why you shop there, and what they get out of the deal, not just what you get.

It's unfortunate, but business has to protect itself these days..........they do need to make a profit to survive.

Have you investigated whether or not other online bike parts shops will accomodate you shipping preference.
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Old 09-28-10, 06:15 AM   #6
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okay, whew, they're not out of business. They'll ship to me, so I probably won't be joining your boycott. Although I sometimes balance out whether it's worth buying from them or amazon.com if i get free 2-day shipping from amazon.
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Old 09-28-10, 06:24 AM   #7
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Have a look at these guys, they ship world wide and fast, some of their stuff have free shipping to Canada and USA. www.ribblecycles.co.uk, I have seen groupset for half the price they are at any of the stores in the USA.
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Old 09-28-10, 06:39 AM   #8
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I can see how that would be a deal breaker in your situation. Part of the blame does go to the soulless, eficient corporate business model, but the scam artists they are reacting to must take the lion's share of the blame.

My biggest problem with Nashbar is that I don't see the great bargains that I saw there for years, at least not nearly as often. I used to be able to find ridiculously low prices on some of the obscure items I needed. It still happens occasionally, but not nearly as often as in years past. Likewise, Performance prices have increased to the point that I rarely shop there anymore except for shorts and the rare great deal I find there.
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Old 09-28-10, 08:09 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by kr32 View Post
Welcome to Big Business.
If they make a exception for you why not me too? And then if me why not the next guy and so on and so on. It has to start somewhere. I know it blows but it is business to them.
Find a resident and have it shipped there?
They should make an exception for anybody that has been a customer in good standing for at least one year. It is completely understandable that they would have new policies to combat fraud, but penalizing past customers is a poor business practice.
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Old 09-28-10, 08:31 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by ShoMeRacing View Post
Have a look at these guys, they ship world wide and fast, some of their stuff have free shipping to Canada and USA. www.ribblecycles.co.uk, I have seen groupset for half the price they are at any of the stores in the USA.
+1

I've switched all my business over to Ribble.
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Old 09-28-10, 08:43 AM   #11
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This calls for a prompt government takeover of the bicycle industry.
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Old 09-28-10, 09:55 AM   #12
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This calls for a prompt world government takeover of the global bicycle industry.
Fixed it!


Nashbar is good sometimes for cheap tandem/recumbent KMC chains. But not always.
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Old 09-28-10, 10:34 AM   #13
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Nashbar hasn't had the best price on anything that I've looked at for a couple of years. When I'm in madman shopping mode these days, I don't even check there any more.
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Old 09-28-10, 10:38 AM   #14
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Tell me why Canadian postal rates are so @#$#@$ high?

The other thing about Nashbar is you get a mailer with some great stuff splashed all over it and then go to the web site and maybe size XXXXL or XXXXS is all that is available. Giant waste of time.
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Old 09-28-10, 10:57 AM   #15
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I used to have a similar problem with some companies, when I had a PO box at a mail station.

I just changed the PO Box designation to 'Suite' and all went well... The Mail Station knew exactly how to handle it...

Maybe create a 'new' nashbar account (different email addy...) and have the ship address look like a real addy

"Mr. CrankyOld Geezer
123 fugetaboutit Rd, Suite 1434
Blaine, WA, 11111"

unless they have blacklisted known mail service centers... it might get thru their filter...
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Old 09-28-10, 11:02 AM   #16
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OP. Like you I live in the GVRD. I get anything American shipped to The Letter Carrier at 145 Tyee drive in Point Roberts. Nashbar has no complaints about. I recently bought a helmet from them.

http://www.thelettercarrier.com

However, if you purchase from ribble, there is no need to drive to the border, and with orders that are smaller than a frame you will pay zero taxes, zero brokerage fees. I routinely get packages that show up with no extra fess. The price point compared to America is excellent.
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Old 09-28-10, 11:18 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShoMeRacing View Post
Have a look at these guys, they ship world wide and fast, some of their stuff have free shipping to Canada and USA. www.ribblecycles.co.uk, I have seen groupset for half the price they are at any of the stores in the USA.
somebody getting screwed...

when I first went to ribble, the prices I saw seemed not all that great just for generic Mailorder stuff... default to the GBP currency listing...
ie (Direct from their site...):
GBP
Shimano R400 Tiagra Brake Levers
* Shimano R400 Tiagra Brake Levers Weight: 258g.
Aero brake levers with anodised silver levers and black rubber hoods. Tiagra quality.
* RRP 36.99 Save 46.07%
* RIBBLE PRICE 19.95
* Save 15% off baskets over 50.00 and pay only
* 16.96 a saving of 54.15%

same listing using their US Dollar currency setting....

SHIMBRLR250000000000 - Shimano R400 Tiagra Brake Levers
Shimano R400 Tiagra Brake Levers
* Shimano R400 Tiagra Brake Levers Weight: 258g.
Aero brake levers with anodised silver levers and black rubber hoods. Tiagra quality.
* RRP $48.16 Save 46.06%
* RIBBLE PRICE $25.98
* Save 15% off baskets over $76.50 and pay only
* $22.08 a saving of 54.16%

so the Brits are gettin scrod...
is that because they have to pay a VAT? and ribble doesn't have to fork over VAT for overseas purchases?
what about US Duty?
free shipping? is this stuff smuggled in with nukelar waste, chinese goods or Commonweath Games Souvenirs or sometin ???

very fishy... doesn;t sound like its gonna last
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Old 09-28-10, 11:36 AM   #18
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They should make an exception for anybody that has been a customer in good standing for at least one year. It is completely understandable that they would have new policies to combat fraud, but penalizing past customers is a poor business practice.
Several things are play here. One is the majority of orders are done on-line so Nashbar doesn't have the staff they used to. Second, the people on the phoen may not even be Nashbar employees but work for a tremote telemarketing company that do order fulfillment for many companies. Third, they probably don't have the date the customer started with them - it's getting more difficult all the time to track customers.
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Old 09-28-10, 12:21 PM   #19
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My latest go-to is Tree Fort Bikes.

They price match everybody - and service has been very good so far.
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Old 09-28-10, 12:29 PM   #20
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is that because they have to pay a VAT? and ribble doesn't have to fork over VAT for overseas purchases?
what about US Duty?
Correct. Overseas buyers save %17.5 over a domestic buyer. For you Americans, domestic being local to the UK.

Since the OP is Canadian, I'll address both: Canada usually pays no duties or taxes on mail order boxes from ribble. Buy a wheelset, a frame or a bike (anything biggish) and yes, they'll take the time to process the $$$$ (HST and $5 brokerage for the OP). As for America, I would guess the same or worst. Worst being they charge duties for every little parcel.
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Old 09-28-10, 12:29 PM   #21
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Thanx for the suggestions. I've switched a lot of my business to Bike Tires Direct (which ships to my parcel drop, no problem, and with free shipping on orders over $100 (3 tires) plus you get a credit on the order that comes off the next order. So you keep ordering from them to recover all these points...

I've also been ordering from ProBike Kit in Jolly Olde, shipped direct to my house. Yes, no VAT is added when the order is shipped out of the country, plus they take 10% off the order plus right now it's free shipping to Canada. Some of the stuff does get picked up by customs, though. The last order was a Team Sky jersey ($60) and a San Marco Regal titanium saddle (a deal at $107, which is what Bike Tires Direct was charging for their steel-frame Regal). Order came out to about $167, total duty/taxes was just over $25, but I didn't have to drive down to Blaine (I usually do weekend rides in the US anyway, so it's not really going out of my way).

Shipping charges are high in Canada because Canadians are - well, Canadian. They get gouged and they are not inclined to complain too much. Well, they do sometimes, but not like freedom-loving Yanks. Also, I think the shipping companies are spreading their costs. Canada is a country of vast distances, so the people living in the population centers ("centres" in Canadian) tend to subsidize those living in the boonies. There's a real metro/rural divide forming in Canada - one of the manifestations of this was the recent vote in Parliament about ending the "long-gun registry," which the minority Conservative govt just barely lost (we still have a very costly and inefficient gun registry for hunting rifles/shotguns). The very anti-gun left-leaning NDP got their rural MP's (members of parliament) to join the Liberals in voting against ending the registry, defeating the motion. So now the Conservatives will target the rural NDP ridings in the next election. Sorry about all the politics (though I'm sure there are some political junkies out there. Canadians tend to be political junkies! The political system up here is quite interesting right now).
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Old 09-28-10, 12:36 PM   #22
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My latest go-to is Tree Fort Bikes.
Avoid if you are Canadian (or American)

Example:

Deda Pista bars. Found local in a shop to me for a whopping $150 plus taxes. I use this as the mail order "pistadex".

http://www.treefortbikes.com/#navbar...22355021___602

$79.64 | Order Total (including shipping in US $)

Ok ribble:

$56.37 | Order Total (including shipping in CDN $)

Now PBK:

$ 47.34 | Order Total (including shipping in CDN $)

Why avoid? Tree Fort only price matches with American mail order sites. Useless to Canadians in many ways.
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Old 09-28-10, 01:14 PM   #23
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Yes, prices in Canadian bike shops are an interesting feature of living in the Great White North that Americans just would not believe. Quite often the argument is made that you should not buy mail order in order to support the local business. But talk about gouging! The example of the pista bars is just the tip of the iceberg. The price differential between Canadian shop and US mail order prices goes well outside the bounds of "paying for the extra service you are getting."

The main fault lies with the few distributors in Canada, mostly Quebec-based, which charge pretty much what the market will bear, not really competing, but using their "competitors'" pricing to justify their own. The lowest prices usually are found at Mountain Equipment Co-op, with some items selling for less than at REI, its US-based counterpart (although many manufacturers will not sell to them due to Canada's weak anti-trust laws) and at shops like Bicicleta or Campione, which work with their own import company, I think. I do believe that "the rents" are being extracted at the distribution level in Canada. Prices will only fall when enough Canadian cyclists start shopping at foreign mail order companies. And I'm doing my part; it's either MEC or mail order.

Luis
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Old 09-28-10, 01:18 PM   #24
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Oh, and the other problem with many Canadian shops is their arrogance. One shop I particularly dislike is Simon's in downtown Vancouver. The guy at the desk is so darned arrogant; it doesn't matter that you've had close to 40 years of cycling and wrenching experience, he always has to prove he's the alpha male of bike knowledge, even when he's wrong! I consider the mail order discount I get is recompense for not having to put up with guys like this!

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Old 09-28-10, 01:21 PM   #25
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+1 to Campione. I can get my Miche parts there for a very reasonable price - such as cogs and chains - reasonable being I'll buy there since it almost the same price as ribble and I can have it TODAY. Quite like that store just for the atmosphere. I didn't raise my eyebrow once at the prices in there.
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