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Old 01-19-11, 09:06 PM   #1
bhdavis1978
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Buyer's remorse

So I bought a new 2011 Giant TCR Advanced 2 back at the end of December from a bike shop that has a really good reputation, but I've never personally used before, mostly because it was a really good price and it was on my short list of bikes that I wanted to buy. But now I'm having serious buyers remorse- not because I'm unhappy with the bike (though I haven't picked it up yet), but because I feel bad I didn't give the business to the local bike store I've always used previously. My wife and I each bought comfort bikes from them back in 2009, and then I bought my Jamis Aurora Elite from them last June. I started going on weekly group rides organized by the store last summer, and that's what ultimately got me really excited about biking. And I just really like the people who work at the store, even if some of them can be cranky sometimes. I dunno, I just liked them, and the store. I felt good going there.

But, they didn't have any bikes in my price range I was really excited about. I didn't want to get a Jamis Xenith, because I didn't want another FSA crankset or Tektro brakes. Maybe FSA Gossamer cranks are fine, but it does seem like the majority opinion is that they're less than optimal. They had a 2010/2011 Ridley Orion with Sram Rival that I was considering, and also a 2009 Fuji Team Pro with full Ultegra (6600). Mostly, I was looking for a Specialized Tarmac, a Giant TCR, or a Cannondale SuperSix. They also carry some limited Kestrel (Talon, which I didn't want) and Scott (Addict R3, but it at their shop it was out of my price range). Also, I thought I was probably going to be moving to a new city before the riding season started again in cold, wintery Saint Paul- so I would be paying an opportunity cost of getting a bike that I wanted at a good price, and I wouldn't be biking with that store again anyway. So, a bit selfish I suppose. I dunno.

If I could do it again, I think I would've got the Ridley Orion or the Fuji Team Pro, or tried to get them to either bring in a Kestrel RT800, or talk them down for the Scott Addict R3.
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Old 01-19-11, 09:07 PM   #2
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Oops: Mods, I meant to post this to General Cycling Discussion- can someone move it for me? Thanks!
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Old 01-19-11, 09:07 PM   #3
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I'm all for supporting the LBS, but don't lose sleep over it. They wouldn't do the same for you
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Old 01-19-11, 09:07 PM   #4
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Old 01-19-11, 09:44 PM   #5
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This is a common issue. When my wife and I got back into cycling two years ago I bypassed the only bike shop in our small town, shopped hard and bought two Giant OCR1. Now, these aren't bad bikes and we're almost exclusively riding our tandem, but my wife's bike simply couldn't be made to fit her. I assuaged my conscience and bought a CF bike from the LBS and did pay (quite) a bit more. Sold her OCR1 in unused condition for 1/2 price. Definitely a first bike purchase needs to be done by someone who will take the time to ensure a proper fit and be there when things need adjusting. The local guy is very good, quick turnaround and inexpensive so I want to keep him in business.

I still ride my OCR1 although the fit is less than ideal, but it's fine for 100K or so. Only downside besides the fit is that after 5000+ miles on a steel tandem, I wouldn't buy another stiff Aluminum frame single if you paid me.
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Old 01-19-11, 09:49 PM   #6
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If it's a really good LBS, they will understand and not take it personally.
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Old 01-19-11, 09:55 PM   #7
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I tested out a bike at my LBS just so I could see if I would like the SRAM doubletap shifters. They didn't have any steel or titanium bikes so I knew I wouldn't buy from them. I did make it clear that I just wanted to see if I like the shifters. They were helpful either way. I felt guilty though, especially when I brought my bike that I got online to get adjusted. But later on I didn't feel so bad because I get my bikes serviced there so they still get my business in one form or another.
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Old 01-19-11, 09:59 PM   #8
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I bought from a shop that I don't frequent... it's all good I guess. I felt a little bad at first but hey, they didn't have the bike I wanted and one of the guys there was constantly trying to sell me other bikes. They are generally a good group of guys and will probably still go there for my parts as needed but they didnt get the big sale (this time)

Better to buy a bike you like at a price you like from a shop that has it than to buy a bike that is less than what you want, for more than you want to spend just because you like the shop.
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Old 01-19-11, 10:09 PM   #9
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I know people feel otherwise, but i don't get how one can feel loyalty to a business.
Unless you actually have real friends there.
I am over negotiating with bike stores for complete bikes. I hate haggling, and they DO NOT want to feel obligated to give you a good price.

Buy a frameset and build it up as you like it.
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Old 01-20-11, 04:28 AM   #10
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There is something to be said for not being loyal to one business ... and a bicycle shop is just a business, like the local grocery store, hardware store, or dress shop.

If one grocery store doesn't have the type of coffee you want, do you buy something you don't particularly like ... or do you go to another grocery store that does sell the kind of coffee you like?
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Old 01-20-11, 08:44 AM   #11
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Try not to feel guilty. You went where the bike was available. No use getting something that wouldn't work for you.

Shops make more money on service than they do on sales. I think if you went to your favorite shop for service they would be quite understandable since you are coming back to them to take care of it.
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Old 01-20-11, 09:39 AM   #12
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As a long time bike enthuiast and one time shop employee and owner, I've worked both sides of that fence. The bottom line is:

You have no obligation to make them happy. They earn their money by making you happy.
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Old 01-20-11, 09:52 AM   #13
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I would have told them, I am definately buying this model bike. I am ready to pull the trigger. I want to buy it from you. Can you get it and can you match the price? See what they say. Nothing ventured nothing gained.
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Old 01-20-11, 11:27 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
ok
Thanks 10 Wheels, I appreciate it.

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Originally Posted by Velo Gator View Post
I'm all for supporting the LBS, but don't lose sleep over it. They wouldn't do the same for you
Thanks a lot Velo, I appreciate it. You're right of course. The hard sell approach definitely doesn't work on me, but I'm a bit of a sucker for a soft touch. And I'm neurotic enough that I was actually losing sleep over it. Just for clarification, I am still buying from a LBS, just not my usual LBS.

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Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
This is a common issue. When my wife and I got back into cycling two years ago I bypassed the only bike shop in our small town, shopped hard and bought two Giant OCR1. Now, these aren't bad bikes and we're almost exclusively riding our tandem, but my wife's bike simply couldn't be made to fit her. I assuaged my conscience and bought a CF bike from the LBS and did pay (quite) a bit more. Sold her OCR1 in unused condition for 1/2 price. Definitely a first bike purchase needs to be done by someone who will take the time to ensure a proper fit and be there when things need adjusting. The local guy is very good, quick turnaround and inexpensive so I want to keep him in business.

I still ride my OCR1 although the fit is less than ideal, but it's fine for 100K or so. Only downside besides the fit is that after 5000+ miles on a steel tandem, I wouldn't buy another stiff Aluminum frame single if you paid me.
I test rode a lot of bikes at the end of last summer and into the fall with the intent of buying something in the late fall through the winter, including a 2008 Giant TCR C3, which as I understand it is basically the same model (but a new name) of the bike I'm buying now. It was by far my favourite bike of any of the bikes I did test rides on, including an Orbea Onix, so I didn't buy the bike without having any experience on it. But I agree with you about the importance of buying from a shop that will help you fit to the bike, and if you don't, then make it right.

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If it's a really good LBS, they will understand and not take it personally.
I hope not- I still plan on using that LBS to do any tune ups that I need, and it's where I am planning on buying the accessories I will need for the bike (pedals, water bottle cages, saddle bag, tubes, patch kit, CO2 inflator, etc).

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I tested out a bike at my LBS just so I could see if I would like the SRAM doubletap shifters. They didn't have any steel or titanium bikes so I knew I wouldn't buy from them. I did make it clear that I just wanted to see if I like the shifters. They were helpful either way. I felt guilty though, especially when I brought my bike that I got online to get adjusted. But later on I didn't feel so bad because I get my bikes serviced there so they still get my business in one form or another.
Your post made me realize I'm probably worrying a lot about nothing. If they had've had a bike I wanted to buy, I would've bought from them happily- they just didn't. I bought my other bikes from them because they did have bikes I wanted to buy. I'll continue giving them my business for other things, as long as I'm living in the twin cities.
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Old 01-20-11, 08:49 PM   #15
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The hard sell approach definitely doesn't work on me, but I'm a bit of a sucker for a soft touch. And I'm neurotic enough that I was actually losing sleep over it.
Do you lose sleep when you buy a pair of pants from some place other than your usual clothing shop? Or when you buy a sofa from one shop and a dining set from another?

I could see being a bit upset if you were 5'3" and somehow a shop had managed to talk you into a 58cm bicycle ... but even then, you'd just return it and get something the right size.

Or maybe if you had your eye on a road bicycle, but allowed yourself to be talked into a hybrid ... but again, you'd just return it and get what you want.

But you're free to buy stuff from wherever you'd like to buy it. I order some stuff online, I drop into this shop and get this, and that shop and get that. If I'm travelling in another part of the country, or another country, and I see an interesting-looking bicycle shop, I might stop in there. No big deal.
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Old 01-21-11, 04:28 AM   #16
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The bottom line is:

You have no obligation to make them happy. They earn their money by making you happy.
I think you should store this away and post it every time someone starts a thread saying they are about to open a bike shop, or they are about to become a bike shop employee, and want some advice.

In fact, it's what any retail is all about.
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Old 01-21-11, 11:57 AM   #17
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This is how retail sales and working with the public is.
Strictly business. Don't take it personal.
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Old 01-21-11, 12:40 PM   #18
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I'm all for supporting the LBS, but don't lose sleep over it. They wouldn't do the same for you
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Old 01-21-11, 12:56 PM   #19
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You have no obligation to make them happy. They earn their money by making you happy.
I could not have said it better. I spread the business I do locally over several shops depending on their individual offerings and my needs.
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Old 01-21-11, 12:58 PM   #20
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Your post made me realize I'm probably worrying a lot about nothing. If they had've had a bike I wanted to buy, I would've bought from them happily- they just didn't. I bought my other bikes from them because they did have bikes I wanted to buy. I'll continue giving them my business for other things, as long as I'm living in the twin cities.
Their profit margin is much higher on accessories and parts than on bikes anyway.
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Old 01-21-11, 01:12 PM   #21
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If you had a model of bike in that brand's product line that you wanted
but they didn't have one in stock, you could have waited for them to order it and assemble it.

that is if the Wholesaler had any left.

distributors want pre season orders , then they get the contract factory to make them,

Dealers without piles of credit, want to get a few from the warehouse as customers want them, JIT style.

some conflicts of business styles ensue.

Last edited by fietsbob; 01-21-11 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 01-21-11, 05:06 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by CNY James View Post
I bought from a shop that I don't frequent... it's all good I guess. I felt a little bad at first but hey, they didn't have the bike I wanted and one of the guys there was constantly trying to sell me other bikes. They are generally a good group of guys and will probably still go there for my parts as needed but they didnt get the big sale (this time)

Better to buy a bike you like at a price you like from a shop that has it than to buy a bike that is less than what you want, for more than you want to spend just because you like the shop.
Yeah, you're right of course, and that's the reason I ultimately bought the bike I bought where I bought it. I think part of my conflict comes from the fact that I could've bought a bike from my usual LBS that I probably would've been just as happy with (Ridley Orion, Fuji Team Pro, or maybe talked them down on a Scott Addict R3). My other bikes are both Jamis, and this store has a lot of Jamis bikes. I didn't want to buy the Xenith Comp- I test rode it and wasn't happy with the brakes, and i wanted something better than a FSA crank. I know it's an open question whether or not FSA cranks are as good as Shimano / SRAM / Campy, but that discussion here, and among my cycling friends was enough to steer me clear of Jamis bikes. But the bottom line was that none of the bikes they carried were on my short list.

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Originally Posted by Inertianinja View Post
I know people feel otherwise, but i don't get how one can feel loyalty to a business.
Unless you actually have real friends there.
I am over negotiating with bike stores for complete bikes. I hate haggling, and they DO NOT want to feel obligated to give you a good price.

Buy a frameset and build it up as you like it.
I think you hit on something there. They aren't my friends, but I got my start with group rides there, and I really liked the people I rode with, and I wanted to support the store. Hard sales techniques don't work on me- if I'm not 100% ready to buy with cash in hand, trying to coerce me into buying something cause "it's the last day that this bike is on sale", or because "it's the last one in stock", doesn't work. There will be other opportunities, I just may have to wait a bit. But they created an environment that was 'friendly', and I'm a sucker for that.

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There is something to be said for not being loyal to one business ... and a bicycle shop is just a business, like the local grocery store, hardware store, or dress shop.

If one grocery store doesn't have the type of coffee you want, do you buy something you don't particularly like ... or do you go to another grocery store that does sell the kind of coffee you like?
No, I would go and buy the kind of coffee I like at a store that sold it, but I'm not sure it's a completely fair comparison. At least in the West, coffee is so inexpensive that it's just a commodity- and I don't have any special relationship (real or perceived) with any of the grocery stores I use (whether it's Whole Foods or Target). On the other hand, an LBS has a small number of employees, and I know all of them by first name. Plus, my usual grocery store isn't likely going to notice it if I don't buy coffee from them (although it would be relatively trivial to have software track customers buying habits and make note if/when they stopped buying a product). The sales people at the front don't care one way or the other. Buying a bike on the other hand, is a fairly major purchase, and possibly affects the sales persons numbers- whether they're on commission or not. And that is a person I have a relationship with, and it's someone I like. Like I said just above, I'm a bit of a sucker for the perception of 'friendship'. I am (often) loyal to a fault, though apparently not in this case.

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Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind View Post
Try not to feel guilty. You went where the bike was available. No use getting something that wouldn't work for you.

Shops make more money on service than they do on sales. I think if you went to your favorite shop for service they would be quite understandable since you are coming back to them to take care of it.
That's a good point, and I plan on taking this bike to them for service if and when it needs it, and I'm going to buy all the accessories for this bike from them (pedals, cages, saddle bag, tubes, etc). They're close (less than a mile from my house), so I can ride the bike over and then walk back.
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Old 01-21-11, 05:35 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
As a long time bike enthuiast and one time shop employee and owner, I've worked both sides of that fence. The bottom line is:

You have no obligation to make them happy. They earn their money by making you happy.
Yeah, I know. I know. The usual LBS usually does make me happy, and in turn I like to make them happy. But I know that you're right.

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Originally Posted by bobn
I would have told them, I am definately buying this model bike. I am ready to pull the trigger. I want to buy it from you. Can you get it and can you match the price? See what they say. Nothing ventured nothing gained.
I could've done that, and I sort of wish I had. But at the time, the store selling the bike that I ultimately purchased had a sale that was ending on December 31st (it had been well advertised for a while), and I was out of the country at the time. At that point I didn't feel like I had the time to go to my usual LBS and try to bargain with them a bit. I wish I had've actually. I think they probably could've got me a Kestrel RT800 or RT900 at a price I would've been happy with. I probably would've been happy with a Ridley Orion w/ SRAM Rival. But since i was out of the country, and feeling the time pressure, I bought the bike more quickly than I would've usually done it.

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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Do you lose sleep when you buy a pair of pants from some place other than your usual clothing shop? Or when you buy a sofa from one shop and a dining set from another?
No, definitely not- but I guess I don't feel any affinity one way or the other for those things. They're just functional- I feel some degree of passion about the bike.

Quote:
But you're free to buy stuff from wherever you'd like to buy it. I order some stuff online, I drop into this shop and get this, and that shop and get that. If I'm travelling in another part of the country, or another country, and I see an interesting-looking bicycle shop, I might stop in there. No big deal.
I know that you're right, so I hope that I am not coming across as argumentative or combative. I just get stressed out easily.

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Originally Posted by Paul Y. View Post
This is how retail sales and working with the public is.
Strictly business. Don't take it personal.
I wouldn't take it personally if they sold a bike I was interested in, but that's me. I'm just worried other people will take offense to things I've done, even if it's unreasonable.

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Originally Posted by twobadfish View Post
I'm all for supporting the LBS, but don't lose sleep over it. They wouldn't do the same for you
No, you're right- they wouldn't. At least I hope they wouldn't, that'd be terrible. And for the record, I'm still supporting a LBS, just not my usual LBS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blamp28
Their profit margin is much higher on accessories and parts than on bikes anyway.
Yeah, that's true. I'll just take the bike in and ask them to set me up with the stuff I want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fietsbob
If you had a model of bike in that brand's product line that you wanted
but they didn't have one in stock, you could have waited for them to order it and assemble it.

that is if the Wholesaler had any left.

distributors want pre season orders , then they get the contract factory to make them,

Dealers without piles of credit, want to get a few from the warehouse as customers want them, JIT style.

some conflicts of business styles ensue.
Their distributor doesn't carry the lines of bikes I was most interested in- specifically Specialized or Giant. They carry Kestrel, Fuji, Scott, Masi, Jamis, and Ridley. And I probably could've negotiated their prices down on one of the Scott, Ridley, or Kestrels I was interested in- but I hate haggling. So..

In any event, I picked up the bike today. I can't find my camera or I'd take a picture of it. I'm really excited to get it out on the road- but that's a few months off yet anyway.
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Old 01-21-11, 06:58 PM   #24
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No, definitely not- but I guess I don't feel any affinity one way or the other for those things. They're just functional- I feel some degree of passion about the bike.

In any event, I picked up the bike today. I can't find my camera or I'd take a picture of it. I'm really excited to get it out on the road- but that's a few months off yet anyway.
A bicycle is just functional too. As is all the gear that goes along with the bicycle.


The thing is ... a bicycle store, a clothing store, a grocery store, a hardware store, a furniture store, a computer store, etc., etc. ... are all the same. They are retail businesses whose goal is to make money. They all offer certain products at certain prices, perhaps with certain perks, to try to get people to buy the products. One day the product, price, and possibly perk at one place might be exactly what you want ... another day the product, price, and possibly perk at another place might be exactly what you want.

As for developing a relationship with a sales person ... more often than not, retail places have quite a high turnover rate. With some exceptions, working retail is often a transitional phase in people's lives. If you return to any retail place 12 months, 18 months, 24 months later, you'll likely see different people every time ... and the atmosphere can be quite different each time too.

Maybe I've just moved and travelled around too much to have developed loyalty to any retail business. As a consumer, I'm just after what I want ... at a good price.

Last edited by Machka; 01-21-11 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 01-21-11, 07:52 PM   #25
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