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  1. #1
    Senior Member pablosnazzy's Avatar
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    How to be a jackass

    So, you wanna be a jackass bike shop customer? Follow these simple suggestions:

    - Say to an employee "hey, what kind of deal can you give me on these? i can get them online for (insert low cheap price).
    - Ask for a discount or free stuff, just because you are you and by golly, you deserve it!
    - Start off with "i work in a shop" and then ask for a discount
    - Ask a bunch of questions, take up lots of time, then leave without buying anything, not even a damn GU, and get your stuff elsewhere. Make sure you get part numbers so you can order online!
    - Get upset when you don't get a discount and threaten to never come back.
    - Act like you are gonna buy stuff, put stuff on the counter, ask to use the bathroom, then come out of the bathroom and say "i'll come back for that stuff" and leave. (haha, suckers! you really just wanted to use the bathroom! even though they would have let you, it's more fun to do it this way)
    - Treat the bike shop like your personal pit crew. Why should they charge you to get your bike running? Just ask them to give you some free chain lube and to tighten up your headset and maybe straighten out your derailleur. It's not really work, any monkey (except you) can do it. Besides, you are trying to get your personal best on the trail, don't they know that?


    These are just some of the things you can do. Be creative, remember, the bike shop is there for your enjoyment, and the employees are all filthy rich (you know bike shops make tons of money, way more than the oil and gas industry) and they deserve to be screwed and taken advantage of, and they owe you. You are a cyclist! You don't think Mercx or Pantani had to pay for their stuff, you don't think Danny Macaskill or Gee Atherton have to pay for their stuff, why should you?
    Last edited by pablosnazzy; 04-01-12 at 06:30 PM.

  2. #2
    Junior Member spohn's Avatar
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    Hmm, I need practice.

    Glad to say I don't think I was too much of a jackass (by your terms) as a first-time bike buyer. I did ask a ton of questions, but walked out with a bike. And I did come back to have the derailleur straightened and wasn't charged... but I bought a computer while I was there.

  3. #3
    Senior Member pablosnazzy's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with asking lots of questions, you should, especially as a first time bike buyer. And lots of questions doesn't mean you HAVE to buy anything. it's the attitude and intent.

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    I'm guilty of trying on helmets at the bike shop then ordering online. I'm a student on a really limited budget, so I try to save a dollar where I can. In this case I got a helmet for $60 that would have cost about 90 euros ($120) at the bike shop where I went.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShimmerFade View Post
    I'm guilty of trying on helmets at the bike shop then ordering online. I'm a student on a really limited budget, so I try to save a dollar where I can. In this case I got a helmet for $60 that would have cost about 90 euros ($120) at the bike shop where I went.


    Cheapskate. This word originates from cheap and skate, meaning you skated without buying anything from the dealer who now has your Milky Way fingerprints all over his rack of helmets from you "saving a dollar".


    BTW . . .I am a student also and would not think of such a tacky tactic.

  6. #6
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    OTOH, I have a couple of favorite shops and a couple of Oh brother shops I know about. For the good guys who start out giving me more than I am worth, I pick up a bag of bagels and some cream cheese every once in a while and drop it by when I need to pick someones brain. I have also dropped a 6 pack of what I have heard them talk about when I'm picking up something for the house. I have stopped in an filled a camelback or a tire from time to time. I get treated pretty well. I don't buy much "stuff" there, but I get a couple tune ups and other service work, just to keep contact with knowledgeable people. A couple times I have gotten free service on small stuff and they just say they turn it in as warranty work. A good LBS is a valuable thing. Feed the beasts and they won't eat you.
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

    I can't even find my bike when I'm on drugs. -Willie N.

  7. #7
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pablosnazzy View Post
    So, you wanna be a jackass bike shop customer? Follow these simple suggestions:

    - Say to an employee "hey, what kind of deal can you give me on these? i can get them online for (insert low cheap price).
    - Ask for a discount or free stuff, just because you are you and by golly, you deserve it!
    - Start off with "i work in a shop" and then ask for a discount
    - Ask a bunch of questions, take up lots of time, then leave without buying anything, not even a damn GU, and get your stuff elsewhere. Make sure you get part numbers so you can order online!
    - Get upset when you don't get a discount and threaten to never come back.
    - Act like you are gonna buy stuff, put stuff on the counter, ask to use the bathroom, then come out of the bathroom and say "i'll come back for that stuff" and leave. (haha, suckers! you really just wanted to use the bathroom! even though they would have let you, it's more fun to do it this way)
    - Treat the bike shop like your personal pit crew. Why should they charge you to get your bike running? Just ask them to give you some free chain lube and to tighten up your headset and maybe straighten out your derailleur. It's not really work, any monkey (except you) can do it. Besides, you are trying to get your personal best on the trail, don't they know that?


    These are just some of the things you can do. Be creative, remember, the bike shop is there for your enjoyment, and the employees are all filthy rich (you know bike shops make tons of money, way more than the oil and gas industry) and they deserve to be screwed and taken advantage of, and they owe you. You are a cyclist! You don't think Mercx or Pantani had to pay for their stuff, you don't think Danny Macaskill or Gee Atherton have to pay for their stuff, why should you?
    What shop do you work in? Or just initials if that's too personal.

  8. #8
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    I've purchased used parts from CF and from ebay and brought them to my #1 shop for installation. Frequently, the installation will involve additional parts such as cable, housing or some other part that I didn't think of. I buy those from the shop that's doing the installation. They've never complained. Hey, I'm still paying their standard labor rate for all the work they perform and I still buy some parts and accessories from them. Also, I never ask for a discount and never complain about their prices, although I do ask for an estimate before they start the work. I can understand what the OP is saying about someone who just abuses the bike shop, but some shops won't work on a bike if you don't buy the parts from them, especially used parts. Others, like the shop I frequent, understand that when a major installation occurs, there will be accessories or associated parts that must be purchased, plus the job pays for salaries.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member mtbikerinpa's Avatar
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    Usually if I need to window shop at a shop or ask advice I still try to buy something like a tube or a patch kit, but as a rule I won't mail order increddibly small items like brake pads or tubes, but there are a couple of shops that only charge about 10 percent above online. Even as a broke commuter it seems reasonable to pay that margin.
    Aviation Mechanic, Bike racer, Fitness Equipment Restorer

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  10. #10
    Redheaded Stepchild samburger's Avatar
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    Not gonna lie, trying on helmets just to go & buy them online would probably irk me more than anything else if I worked at a bike shop. Hair has a tendency to hold more grease, grime, & dirt than any other exposed part of the body.

    I could go on for days about similar activity from working in general retail for ~2 years now. Once you get past all the flowers & rainbows & optimism, most people are just bastard-coated bastards with bastard filling.
    just a n00b with an ego

  11. #11
    Junior Member spohn's Avatar
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    Generally speaking, it's better to help out your local shop (and I don't just mean bike stores) than save a couple dollars and place the order online. If everyone bought stuff online, you wouldn't be able to go to a bike shop and try on helmets...

  12. #12
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    Im the son of a small business owner, whos major competiton has moved overseas to make a cheaper product, so im all about supporting our local businesses. I havent bought anything online, except for CL in probably 8 years. I do go in sometimes to window shop, but as a 10+ year customer, the owner and i are on a first name basis and he knows that at some point he will make a sale, if not today.
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  13. #13
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    I feel your pain. I work in the "customer service" industry and I hate people now. The general public is a bunch of rude, self-centered s**t heads. My LBS recognizes me and is really friendly and helpful, and I often buy small parts from them when I go in(brake cable, axle, derailer hanger, etc). I don't really go there if I don't need something, though. I can usually figure out the answers to my questions online if it's about something more expensive that I want to buy online. I'm a poor younger person, so I can't afford to buy stuff from a shop that costs nearly twice as much as it does online, which it often does at my local shops. The curse of living in one of "the best biking areas in the country," I suppose.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scyclops View Post
    Oh yeah, sure, what if everyone thought that way? Then internet forums would merely be places where rational people exchange useful information and ideas - instead of the chaotic, emotionally-charged circuses that they are.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfin2004 View Post
    Cheapskate. This word originates from cheap and skate, meaning you skated without buying anything from the dealer who now has your Milky Way fingerprints all over his rack of helmets from you "saving a dollar".


    BTW . . .I am a student also and would not think of such a tacky tactic.
    I don't think it is tacky at all personally...cheap I'll agree with that. I am a very clean person, and the helmets already had, OMG, finger prints on them because they were, GASP, set out on a big rack for, WAIT FOR IT, people to try on! I didn't even take any employee's time. You are right though, I should always buy something from that specific store where I try on the helmet..I have to do something to make up for those finger prints I leave everywhere. It is like shoe or clothes shopping, you have to buy some shoes or clothes at the store once you have tried something on, and the employees have spent their time with you, right?

    Sounds to me like you have never had to make your money stretch to get by. Or maybe in the big scheme of things $60 is a drop in the bucket compared to the student loans you will have to pay back .

    You are right though, it is better just to order 10 different helmets online, and send back the ones that don't fit. That is a lot better for the bike store and the environment!

    I guess I could get a job, but that might be hard considering I have to do four months of practical experience in a clinic without pay that must done during during my semester breaks I get in the next two and a half years. Oh yea, I had to do that the past two years as well. All those D-bags coming into the clinic getting their finger prints all over everything expecting help, and then just leaving, sometimes without buying anything...the nerve of it...

    I support my mechanics no question, and tip them well because I value what they do. The untrained jackasses at the bike store on the other hand do nothing but try to sell me things I don't need. Maybe if they had well trained employees I could see where double the price may be needed to cover their overhead, and I would also value their expertise more. Maybe much of the time where I live the Jackassery is mutual.

    Anyways, IF the store where I live was worth spending money in, and IF I had that money to spend I would support them. Big, unrealistic IFs.

    My head is protected, my rent is paid, and there is healthy food on table.
    Last edited by ShimmerFade; 04-02-12 at 01:46 AM.

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    ^ I agree with you to an extent, but also not. Going to a bike shop isn't like going to Kohls to try on some jeans where no one gives a **** about trying on one of the thousands of articles of clothing there and there are basically just employees to keep things looking clean and keep the racks stocked and you can ask them a question if you can track one down. It's a much smaller shop where the employees are supposed to be knowledgeable, and helpful to each customer, and in a much smaller place with what is supposed to be better personal service. It's kinda like you walking into the smaller shop of a clothes tailor and trying on some of their display coats that they use for fitting measurements just so that you can get your sleeve length and then walking out and going online to buy a knock off suit from China online. You should at least pick up some dress socks while you're there. "My head is protected, my rent is paid, and there is healthy food on [my] table [but screw the bike shop and their time/money]" is soaked with the self-focused attitude that has become "the American way."

    The part I understand about what you're saying is the "screw it" attitude if your local shop is that bad. But along with not feeling bad about using them for your fitting needs, maybe you should write the owner an intelligently worded letter letting them know how you feel about it, or ask to speak to the manager and intelligently explain to him/her why you don't spend your money there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scyclops View Post
    Oh yeah, sure, what if everyone thought that way? Then internet forums would merely be places where rational people exchange useful information and ideas - instead of the chaotic, emotionally-charged circuses that they are.

  16. #16
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    It is mainly the way the shops in my specific area are set up. My local bike store has a decently large inventory of bike stuff, but are usually absolutely terrible with any specific mechanical or in depth knowledge issues. It would cost them more money to hire better employees than they would gain. I understand this, but it doesn't make me want to spend my money there.

    The mechanics on the other hand know what they are talking about (35 years experience), and when I am in doubt can tell me the parts that would work best, and order me the parts. They mainly make their money from repairing/refurbishing bikes, and have always been fair with their prices with both labor and things ordered out of the catalog. However, they don't stock much else other than tires, tubes, patches, screws, oil, brake pads, chains, and a some other nick nacks. They don't try to convince me that I need the best of something, when a lower priced version will do the job right. They will be getting about 70 euros from me later today when I pick up my bike.
    Last edited by ShimmerFade; 04-02-12 at 03:40 AM.

  17. #17
    dont make me get the belt scyclops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samburger View Post
    Once you get past all the flowers & rainbows & optimism, most people that I interact with are just bastard-coated bastards with bastard filling.
    ftfy
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    We have enough youth, how about a fountain of smart?

  18. #18
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    The bike rides and races i go to have LBS support. They service bikes during the rides and help sponsor the events. I think it is also good to help those who make local events enjoyable.

    Hammer Nutrition seems to send out a ton of goo and drink mixes as well. I have bought some of their stuff just as a thank you for helping out local rides.

    It is a team effort.

    Jeesh Scyclops, you sound like my dad @ the belt thing. NOthing worse than mom whispering to dad and then here the sound of that leather belt dragging through his belt loops. SHEESH, makes me shudder to this day.
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

    I can't even find my bike when I'm on drugs. -Willie N.

  19. #19
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    Ive got a great relationship with my LBS. I buy things from them on occasion, but do most of my shopping online. I love these threads where the poor retailer is always the victim. You lump all customers into one mold. Everytime I go to a shop to look around. I always buy something, wether I need it or not. Yet more often then not I'm met with the " Oh great, another customer. I guess Ill either ignore you or try to show you how smart I am" attitude.
    Im also in customer service (auto repair). I have the same issues with people trying to price shop. Guess what? The economy sucks. People, myself included are becoming more savvy shoppers. We have to modify the way we serve them. If you dont your competition might.
    Rant Over

  20. #20
    Redheaded Stepchild samburger's Avatar
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    I hope someone with more energy will point out everything wrong with that rant
    just a n00b with an ego

  21. #21
    dont make me get the belt scyclops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daspydyr View Post
    Jeesh Scyclops, you sound like my dad @ the belt thing. NOthing worse than mom whispering to dad and then here the sound of that leather belt dragging through his belt loops. SHEESH, makes me shudder to this day.
    My use of it is purely metaphorical (and hopefully somewhat humorous), though I'm sorry it conjures up bad vibes for you.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    We have enough youth, how about a fountain of smart?

  22. #22
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samburger View Post
    I hope someone with more energy will point out everything wrong with that rant
    Which rant? But I don't have the energy either way - I just want to know which shops to avoid so I won't be anyone's version of a jackass.

  23. #23
    Pokemon Master Darth_Firebolt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by troda View Post
    Ive got a great relationship with my LBS. I buy things from them on occasion, but do most of my shopping online.
    Quote Originally Posted by troda View Post
    I buy things from them on occasion, but do most of my shopping online.
    Quote Originally Posted by troda View Post
    I do most of my shopping online.
    Quote Originally Posted by troda View Post
    Online.
    Quote Originally Posted by troda View Post
    Ive got a great relationship with my LBS.
    yeah. sure you do.

  24. #24
    Redheaded Stepchild samburger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
    Which rant? But I don't have the energy either way - I just want to know which shops to avoid so I won't be anyone's version of a jackass.
    The one directly above my last post (getting defensive & victimizing himself about the OP while simultaneously saying he doesn't do anything Pablo was complaining about, & then throwing in a few behaviors that no one has even complained about as if he's some sort of saint for tolerating them).

    Look what you made me do. You made me poke holes in his rant. Well at least now it's been done.
    Last edited by samburger; 04-02-12 at 07:43 PM.
    just a n00b with an ego

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth_Firebolt View Post
    yeah. sure you do.
    It's one thing for my LBS to take exception if I avail myself of their expertise and then buy online. That's uncool. But if I don't need my LBS's expertise, tools, service, or anything else, then exactly what is the problem with buying online?

    I buy lots of stuff online, and I buy different kinds of stuff at my LBS. I buy things like pedals online, because I know what I want and it is cheaper and more convenient to purchase online than to shlep over to the LBS to put the part on order, then shlep back again a week later to pick it up. But if I need help with a spoke length calculation for a wheel build, I buy the parts at the LBS.

    Somehow I still have a great relationship with my LBS. (Perhaps the custom Ti rig I picked up a few years ago bought me a little slack...)

    Any LBS that hates you for ever buying online isn't a retail establishment, they're a stalker girlfriend.
    My speculation was that it applies to some degree in cycling, and I used the previous proof as my reasoning, but I can't prove how exactly it applies to it and to what degree. That, I have admitted, is speculation based on reasoning, but not at this point provable.

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