Hey that's cool! I read these guys are now west coast dealers of Xootr Swifts as well. But I still think it's kind of weird going to an auto shop to peruse folding bikes. Gotta love Berkeley though - Go Bears!
Were they hesitant to sign on, considering the lower margins to be had on a DT? Or did they sign on with the intent to re-brand the bikes?
They were hesitant to sign on, however the reasons were not expected. We need to add local dealers, hence we decided to sell our bikes at no profit to dealers. We offered the best margins in the folding bike market between 5-15% better than anyone else. Overall we did the following:
1. Had a great booth with tons of literature, and two very attractive models
2. Great bikes that were constantly being ridden around the show....a very good sign.
3. Best prices in the market....for customers and dealers.
4. A full page writeup in a Show Daily (every day there was a daily show magazine for dealers called the Show Daily)
5. Low minimum buy-ins
I heard some interesting reasons for not picking up the bikes:
1. We sell online (inspite of solid margins) hence they don't want to compete with us.
2. Others fear direct customers will go to them for "FREE" maintenence. ( I found this quite strange)
3. One very successful dealer was fearful that bringing in such nice bikes at an entry level price would cause pricing pressures on his other bikes....again I never thought of this one.
4. West coast dealers quoted shipping cost concerns.
5. Forcing dealers to buy on-line was not welcomed by some.
We have picked up a few dealers and will add many more this year. In order to keep everyone happy we will be forced to raise prices in 2007 on our 9sp and internal hub models. We will also introduce lower cost (stripped down) 8sp models in 2007.