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Old 09-01-10, 02:18 PM   #1
gbiker
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Specialized: You can only sell us

So I visited one of many bike shops around here last week. I asked the salesman when they were getting 2011 Specializeds in and he said Specialized told them they could either sell Specialized only, or no Specializeds at all, so the shop chose the latter. This shop also sells Trek, Felt, and some other brands.

Then a couple of days ago I visited another bike shop. They also sell Trek, Yeti, a few other brands, AND Specialized. And they're getting 2011 Specializeds in.

What to believe??
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Old 09-01-10, 02:26 PM   #2
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the shop i deal with sells specialized and giant
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Old 09-01-10, 02:29 PM   #3
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Three of 4 local shops here sell Specialized as well as other brands. Not sure about 2011 models, haven't seen any yet.
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Old 09-01-10, 02:29 PM   #4
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Not sure I'd believe them. I've gone to a few shops where they sell all the major brands, including Specialized. I go to one particular shop in town that is a Specialized dealer, but they also carry Felt and a few other brands.
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Old 09-01-10, 04:06 PM   #5
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A local shop stopped selling Specialized and I asked why. They said Specialized tried to bully them and tell them how to run their shop. So there may be a bit of truth in what they told you.

Honda motorcycles is like that. The only way to get access to the whole Honda product (generators,mowers,ect.) line is be a one brand dealer or have Honda in a separate building. They cannot make you a one line dealer but they sure can light a bunch of flaming hoops to jump through.
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Old 09-01-10, 04:48 PM   #6
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How many bike shops are in the area? its about territory ,
if there is a large area unserved then a couple bike lines may be OK..

They can demand you order a lot of inventory early in the season too, budgets may be tight these days .. Retail sales support the freebies the pro teams get.
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Old 09-01-10, 08:37 PM   #7
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A local shop stopped selling Specialized and I asked why. They said Specialized tried to bully them and tell them how to run their shop. So there may be a bit of truth in what they told you.
Trek did that to a local shop here. Told them they had to drop Specialized. The shop said, Okay, and dropped Trek instead.
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Old 09-01-10, 08:51 PM   #8
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SpecialEd and Trik both tried that, eh? Who do they think they are -- Wal-Mart?
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Old 09-01-10, 09:01 PM   #9
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I have noticed a corporate stench to Trek branded shops. Don't get me wrong. I like Trek. But at the same time, I find it kind of boring to walk through a store that only carries Trek branded bikes and accessories, and Bontrager.
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Old 09-01-10, 09:03 PM   #10
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I heard that about Trek, maybe 10 years ago. I went to a Bike Source shop today and it was pretty much all Specialized.
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Old 09-01-10, 09:18 PM   #11
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It's because those shops are most likely were established before Trek or Specialized had the concept store idea and push enough of their product through the door to be able to do what they want, doesn't hurt to keep the payments up to date. To get either as a line nowadays, you pretty much have to become a concept store.

Really, it would be interesting to hear the whole truth on this.
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Old 09-01-10, 10:25 PM   #12
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The place where I bought my Giant said that Specialized pulled the same tactic on them-- Specialied only or no Specialized. They also dropped Specialized and I ended up buying a Giant. Another LBS sells Specialized and Trek, so maybe it's only enforced occasionally. Seems ridiculous to me.
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Old 09-02-10, 06:31 AM   #13
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We have many shops in the metro area. Quite a few sell specialized along with other brands.
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Old 09-02-10, 06:43 AM   #14
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I remember stores which sold only Schwinn back in the 70's, but I don't think either Trek or Specialized controls enough market share to reasonably ask that. A shop which sells ONLY one brand or the other is likely to lose a LOT of customers. To succeed, you almost always HAVE to offer a choice.
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Old 09-02-10, 07:17 AM   #15
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Trek did the same thing to my local Specialized shop......
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Old 09-02-10, 07:45 AM   #16
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I remember stores which sold only Schwinn back in the 70's, but I don't think either Trek or Specialized controls enough market share to reasonably ask that. A shop which sells ONLY one brand or the other is likely to lose a LOT of customers. To succeed, you almost always HAVE to offer a choice.
Indeed. I have no problem buying Trek branded bikes or accesories when it meets my needs, but I don't like being forced into buying what Trek corporate says I need, which is pretty much the case with these corporate bike shops. A few years ago after pricing out various women's bikes, my wife decided she liked the Trek bike at the price point we were looking into.

But, 3 years ago when we were looking into a kids bike for my son, the Trek kids bike was over $100 more expensive than a similar product from Raleigh, so we went with the Raleigh.

And, just this year, we went with a used Trek at a non Trek dealer for my son's next bike. There isn't a used bike for sale anywhere at the local Trek dealer, probably because such a product would make a new Trek seem overpriced.
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Old 09-02-10, 09:13 AM   #17
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I've been out of the business for awhile but I think that I understand the business plan.

About 10 years ago, Specialized made the decision that they were going to bet the business on their independent dealers. They stopped selling to mail order retailers and sell accessories over the internet only through "Specialized Dealer Direct" which is owned, not by Specialized, but by their participating independent dealers. In return for eliminating internet competition they try to require their dealers to make Specialized their #1 or #2 supplier.
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Old 09-02-10, 11:09 AM   #18
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I have a feeling the shop owner is exaggerating a bit. As mentioned, Specialized doesn't control enough of the market to pull that kind of thing.

My theory is that the shop inquired about the 2011 line and Specialized told them that the shops specializing in Specialized will get first dibs and other shops will have to wait.

Being told you're not the first priority can, understandably rub people the wrong way, so they pass on bogus information to their customers.
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Old 09-02-10, 12:22 PM   #19
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Honda motorcycles is like that.
So are BMW motorcycles and Harley. BMW drove away a lot of loyal customers (including me) and shop owners that helped them get through some lean years that way.
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Old 09-02-10, 04:55 PM   #20
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It could be that they got a different offer from Specialized from other folks.
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Old 09-02-10, 09:00 PM   #21
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After reading through the preceding posts, I keep arriving at the same question: what difference does it make?
Answer 1 - If you want a Specialized (or whatever brand), find a LBS that has what you want, at a price you are willing to pay.
Answer 2 - If it bothers you that a manufacturer imposes restrictions on its vendors, or you have negative perceptions about a brand, then don't buy that brand. The market will play out and prove whether it is or isn't in the best economic interest of the manufacturer to follow that model.
Answer 3 - If it bothers you that the first LBS you visited gave you a sketchy story, then maybe it's a good thing you didn't deal with them.
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