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Old 07-24-02, 05:06 PM   #1
jrafter
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I feel guilty

Just came back from my lbs and i feel so guilty,the guy at the shop came strate out and says to me you got a lot of new parts on your bike and none of them came from me.than he asks are my prices that bad.i didnt know what to say.i have had my bike in his shop so many times seen i got it.they have adjusted everything more than once.they are warrenting my wheels as i type this and they have done all this with out me having to wait,they just do the work as soon as i bring it in.well his prices arent that good, i have 3 performancebike stores with in 30mins of my house and there prices are real good.......but from now on i will have to start shopping parts at my lbs because his SERVICE is that good........sometimes i have to be hit in the head.
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Old 07-24-02, 05:21 PM   #2
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I don't really know how prices compare to my LBS most of the time. I just know that I'm not getting ripped off and the service is outstanding.

I feel a little guilty even walking in to any other store but even when I do I don't see any major price differences.
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Old 07-24-02, 07:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by jrafter
Just came back from my lbs and i feel so guilty,the guy at the shop came strate out and says to me you got a lot of new parts on your bike and none of them came from me.
No one has ever said that to me. If they did, I wouldn't come back.
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Old 07-24-02, 08:40 PM   #4
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Hmmm, my LBS actually gave me URLs of good online bike shops, and when I come in with something they don't carry, they say "Cool" and ask where I got it and how much it cost.

I do try to buy stuff there, if they carry what I want, though.
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Old 07-24-02, 09:27 PM   #5
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I would buy for a LBS but 75% of the time they are very overpriced. It is much cheaper for me to travel 45 min to Squamish's lbs.
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Old 07-24-02, 10:00 PM   #6
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Most of the LBS here in Sacramento give a 10% discount here is you belong to a local bicycle club so this brings there prices into line with most of the discount stores unless there is a real good sale. Unless something is priced totaly out of line I buy at LBS. Karl
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Old 07-24-02, 10:14 PM   #7
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I went into my bike shop today complaining about my bike computer today, and I spoke with them about the other components I had on my computer. When they figured I'd bought them from another shop, they asked where I'd bought my bike computer from, since it was broken from day one. When I told them I bought it from them, they were pretty darn quiet after that. Well, I did purchase some stuff from them, but I'm gonna continue to shop around from the different bike stores until I find one that's willing to give me superior service. And here's the kicker- when I walked in, I think they thought I was some stupid female, because everyone ignored me, but when the guys walked into the store, they were practically running over themselves trying to get to the guys. When I finally found a guy to help, he claimed he was about to help this customer (I had all my stuff in my hands to buy, and I was about to buy a bunch of other things too), and waved me towards the cashiers. I really didn't care for their service. I have no thought of loyalty to them. They can't even be bothered to help me with all my purchases!

Shoot, don't feel guilty. If he valued your service as a customer, he would cut you a deal. Not like he has to undercut the competition by 50% or anything, but he should at least beat the competitor.

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Old 07-24-02, 11:24 PM   #8
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Keep in mind that the LBS needs to cover cost + overhead. It was always a bitter pill for us when our wholesale cost on a crank in J&B's catalog was $100, and a customer came in asking if we'd match a mail-order price of $105 . We needed to sell the crank for about $130 to cover our cost, plus shipping, plus the shop's overhead costs, and if we could sell it for $135 then we were actually putting food on the shop owner's table.

What would you do? It's hard to cheerfully smile and say "wow, their prices blow our prices away! Better not buy it from us!" especially after investing time in assessing the customer's needs, when we could have trued a wheel in the same amount of time and had some profit to show for it.

On a different note, I'm sorry to hear about the bad customer service experiences. That's definitely a good reason to try out some other shops until you find one where you feel like you matter to them.
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Old 07-24-02, 11:45 PM   #9
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There are three LBS stores in Sacramento where I didn't think they seemed friendly or helpful. They do not get my business. However I try to support other LBS and other small businesses as I dislike seeing them going out of business and leaving only superstores to shop at. Karl
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Old 07-25-02, 12:56 AM   #10
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Now that you know how good his service is and how much he charges for the parts.

I would say good things always come with a price. He sells his parts higher, but at least he provides a satisfactory service, which is actually more important.

You should judge it yourself, whether the excess amount he charges exceeds his service. If not, I think you should stick to him.



And since he asked if his prats are really more expensive, maybe you should let him know what's happening in other shops. It benefits both you and him.
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Old 07-25-02, 01:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Koffee Brown
(...) when I walked in, I think they thought I was some stupid female, because everyone ignored me (...)
From a male point of view it's bewildering to see how these shops sometimes treat their female customers. I just helped a (female) friend to buy a bike a couple of months ago. Among other places we went to my LBS and I was astonished to witness the service she got. The guy she spoke to was new there, so he didn't recognize me as one of their regular customers. My friend knows a thing or two about bikes, but every time she asked a technical question, the guy would answer - to me. He would discuss colours, pricing and maybe frame sizes with her, but everything else was directed to me. I finally pointed out that she's the one with the money, talk to her.

That money went to another LBS in the end (not only because of the rude salesguy), and the episode made me think. Basically I have no reason to go elsewhere, because their prices are reasonable, their location is (too) convenient, and I always get good service from the older salesguys I know. Heck, a good bit of my feeble knowledge on the subject comes from discussions with them. But their younger hot-shot employees seem to have an attitude problem.

--J
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Old 07-25-02, 05:10 AM   #12
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My local bike shops have pretty decent prices, BUT they donīt have anything beyond the basic things, I donīt mean exotic equipment (or do I?). I try to order from my lbs, but when they canīt supply the things I want Iīm forced to take my business elsewhere (online shops). When buying online, that means from England or US because all onlineshops (that I know of) in Sweden have the same lack of equippment beyond basic things, I have to pay for shipping and thatīs not for free! It would be cheeper buying local in the case when I have to order from England. I wish the local bike shops could import themselves instead of buying from a supplyer with limited catalouge.

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Old 07-25-02, 07:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Juha
My friend knows a thing or two about bikes, but every time she asked a technical question, the guy would answer - to me. He would discuss colours, pricing and maybe frame sizes with her, but everything else was directed to me. I finally pointed out that she's the one with the money, talk to her.
I'm told car salesmen work the same way.
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Old 07-25-02, 07:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by jrafter
Just came back from my lbs and i feel so guilty,the guy at the shop came strate out and says to me you got a lot of new parts on your bike and none of them came from me.than he asks are my prices that bad.i didnt know what to say.i have had my bike in his shop so many times seen i got it.they have adjusted everything more than once.they are warrenting my wheels as i type this and they have done all this with out me having to wait,they just do the work as soon as i bring it in.well his prices arent that good, i have 3 performancebike stores with in 30mins of my house and there prices are real good.......but from now on i will have to start shopping parts at my lbs because his SERVICE is that good........sometimes i have to be hit in the head.
I want to "plow the other side of the field" for a moment. Initially, I said I would not come back to a store that put a guilt trip like that on me. But here's another point:

Giving this shop owner the benefit of the doubt, he may be stressed because he's really trying hard to establish a base of regular customers by giving them quality service and treating them well. However, his prices may be higher than his competitors because he is independent and unable to keep up with the chain store rates. The down side of patronizing those
other stores is: (1) the service may not be as personal, and (2)
you may be helping a struggling independent shop owner slide downhill towards closing up shop. The fact that he put a guilt trip on you may be because he loves bikes, but that he knows little about business. He may genuinely not understand your decision to purchase parts elsewhere.

Maybe a good thing would be to tell him honestly that his prices are not quite as good as elsewhere, but that you like his service and really want to use him as much as possible.
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Old 07-25-02, 07:16 AM   #15
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i have bought 5 bikes from this shop and have been looking at a trek 2300 that im going to start putting money on this fall so i was suprized and put off at first...........but he did give good prices on the bikes i got.......do all shops have layaway? he gives 90 days, but he works with it if the price is way up there.
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Old 07-25-02, 08:06 AM   #16
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Bottom line is, don't let yourself be pressured--stay in control. It's really ok to shop around.
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Old 07-25-02, 08:12 AM   #17
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Hmm, Performance. 3 shops that I know of, BIG online and
catalogue sales, gotta be hard for an LBS to
compete with them. That said, I doubt you'd get very
good service at Performance, or build a
relationship with them.
FWIW The shop I have been frequenting is very
high end, and I'm a bargain kind of guy.
Sure the guy who comes in pushing a new
Seven or Serotta will get more attention than
I do, but I go back to the wrenches who by now
know me by name, and I know this is the place
I want to do business. When my wife was buying
her bike, I just kind of disappeared and let the
salesperson deal with her, no problem.
The owner will try to match catalogue
prices as best he can.
For me the extra bucks are more than
made up for by the service.
Marty
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Old 07-25-02, 08:25 AM   #18
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I purchase most of my small components from my LBS. I find that if I look around and can get better prices on the higher end components. My local bike shop is totally cool and since I have a lot of hard to get products they can get them or they refer me some where I can.
Slainte
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Old 07-25-02, 08:53 AM   #19
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Why feel guilty for buying at a shop with lower prices? Do they give you service for free? If you get service and pay for it, why feel the need to buy products at a markup?

Now I would feel guilty if I went there to shop knowing that I would buy somewhere else. Higher priced stores generally have a better selection. You should also feel guilty if you try things out at the LBS knowing that you will buy on the internet.

I think the owner just wanted to get some feedback on prices so just tell him the truth. If he was trying to guilt you into buying from him, find another shop.
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Old 07-25-02, 10:37 AM   #20
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Generally I service my own bikes. I buy my parts from the lowest priced source I can find, but I don't go into the shops and ask all sorts of technical questions, waste their time and then buy online. There are plenty of sources of information out there, like this forum. If there is something I don't know about and I need help from an lbs then, unless their service was horrible, I'll buy from them.
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