Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Conejo Valley, CA
    My Bikes
    Giant OCR2
    Posts
    2,352
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Target botches the sale!

    Yesterday, I took my 9 year old ("9-3/4 Daddy!" Whoops, sorry little one) over to Target to get her a new bike. I went to Target over the LBS because she is very hard on things, plus I didn't want to spend $300 on a bike she may outgrow in a couple of years. I'll get her the better bike then.

    After much looking over and negotiation (Oh, you other parents know what I mean!), she settled on a nice model. "I've got to have THIS bike, Dad". Whew. $75

    I was looking over the bike when I noticed that the front brakes didn't work properly; one side was not contacting the wheel. Should be an easy fix, right?

    We took the bike over to Customer No Service. The conversation went like this:

    Me: Hi. We want to buy this bike. I see the brake is not working so can we have this taken care of?
    Rep: We will repair it.
    Me: Great. Do you call someone now?
    Rep: No. We will repair it.
    Me: Ok. So do I give you my name and then you let us know when it's done?
    Rep: No. We just put it back on the shelf.
    Me: Excuse me?
    Rep: We just put it back.
    Me: Well, my daughter wants this bike so what's to stop someone else from buying this one?
    Rep: Nothing.
    Me: That's insane. We want this bike! We are ready to pay for it right now!
    Rep: [shrug]


    Now what I should have done is call a manager but I was so pissed off at this point ( and tired, hot, wanting to leave the store), that I put the bike back on the shelf, tolerated my little one's complaints and left. I am sending a note to the store manager today. Now I know why people say don't buy a bicycle anywhere but the LBS.
    BTW, I noticed when returning the bike to it's slot that nearly all of the other bikes were missing parts, etc. What a joke!

    Sheldon

  2. #2
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    nyc
    Posts
    8,093
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    what a joke indeed. the employees don't care one bit...they just want the shift to be over. i bought a mtn. bike from k-mart 4 years ago, and when i stood up to pedal for the first time the back wheel came loose, the chain jammed, and i took a spill in an intersection. thankfully i didn't get hurt, but what if a kid bought this and really hurt themselves?

    yep - an LBS is the way to go. good luck finding a bike for your daughter.

  3. #3
    Banned.
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Home alone
    My Bikes
    Trek 4300 X 2. Trek 1000, Trek 6000
    Posts
    6,022
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by nesdog


    Now what I should have done is call a manager but I was so pissed off at this point ( and tired, hot, wanting to leave the store), that I put the bike back on the shelf, tolerated my little one's complaints and left. I am sending a note to the store manager today. Now I know why people say don't buy a bicycle anywhere but the LBS.
    BTW, I noticed when returning the bike to it's slot that nearly all of the other bikes were missing parts, etc. What a joke!

    Sheldon
    You really shouldn't be so upset. Seriously, you can't expect much else from a department store. They have tons of inventory varying from toilet paper to bikes. There is no way that they can offer service to go along with the sale. There are no bike mechanics on the payroll. They most likely just have some "assembler" that isn't there all that often.

    You shouldn't be angry at the Target employees. They are not responsible for the proper operation of the bikes. I know that most people will tell you to go to the LBS. I will tell you the same but if you just can't bring yourself to do it, than you are going to have to sacrifice. In this case you will sacrifice service and probably sanity. How much are those worth to you?

    You mention that you plan to get a better bike later. Why not now? Consider this bike. It retails for $259 so you can likely pick up last years model for around $200.

    Now you have spent $200 on a bike that is supposed to take your kid to the age of 13. Or actually you have spent $140 because you already plan to spend $60 on the Target bike. Now fast forward to the age of 13. The bike will still be a Trek LBS bike. It will still have value to someone even if it means on Ebay.

    You can probaly still sell it for $50-$100 at that time. So lets say you get $100 for it. That means for only $40 more you could give your kid a safe reliable bike that comes with service to ride instead of the Target special.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Conejo Valley, CA
    My Bikes
    Giant OCR2
    Posts
    2,352
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    [QUOTE=Ranger]You really shouldn't be so upset. Seriously, you can't expect much else from a department store. They have tons of inventory varying from toilet paper to bikes. There is no way that they


    Good advice, thanks. My being upset was more a result of the very hot weather here in Socal yesterday, my spending the entire day with my daughter while mom played with a friend (my choice, I set that up!) and my own feeling of ineptness!

    Anyhow, most of this is a vent and I appreciate your thoughtful feedback.

    Sheldon

  5. #5
    @#$% cars
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Chicago
    My Bikes
    '02 Schwinn Frontier;'03 Fisher Tiburon; '04 Raleigh Companion; 04 Dahon SpeedPro; 69 Raleigh Sport fixed
    Posts
    405
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I went along the same lines for my daughter's first 24" bike. I did end up buying a bike at Target, but I paid $100 for a Schwinn w/ a Tourney derailler, promax brakes I could work with, etc. When we got home I had to adjust EVERYTHING ... the brakes were way off, the pedals even needed tightening. The stem was loose ... I was happy with what we got for our money but it really scares me for all those kids who take that bike home and ride it like that. They are so NOT SAFE assembled (in a stretch of the word) the way they are at those stores. After a bunch more miles I'll probably even let the LBS give a go at her bike for a full service tune-up ... just to be sure everything is good. The bike also weighs a lot ... cro-moly ... which for me was the biggest downside of compared to the better brands aluminum offerings. My daughter tho was still 6 (very tall) when we got it and I wanted something I wouldn't be yelling at her to treat better ... besides if she's really into it, by 9 or 10 I'll spring for a better bike.

    good luck!

  6. #6
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Beaufort, South Carolina, USA and surrounding islands.
    My Bikes
    Cannondale R500, Motobecane Messenger
    Posts
    8,525
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Department stores put bikes together, they aren't assembled by any means.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Edison, NJ
    My Bikes
    2001 Specialized Sirrus Pro, 1961 Raleigh Sports
    Posts
    33
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My daughter is 9 and has a friend who just got a 20" MTB from Target. I noticed that the front wheel was mounted backwards. The tread was obviously directional and there was even an arrow on the sidewall showing the proper direction of rotation. If someone as mechanically inept as me can spot this at first glance, one shudders to think of the level of cluelessness of the assembler.

    I agree with all that has been said about the service level in department stores, but this is part of a larger trend in the post-industrial economy - where more and more knowledge is captured in automated processes and the minds of the few, leading to the gradual dumbing down and economic disenfranchisement of large segments of the workforce. This is part of the phenomenon recently dubbed the "Walmart Effect" and I don't believe any of us can possibly predict how much further it will go.

  8. #8
    'Bent Brian
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Wellington Ohio
    My Bikes
    Trek 1000, Rans Tailwind
    Posts
    560
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Horray for the LBS, although I've had the misfortune to have dealt with a couple that were about as inept as "Wally World". Actually they weren't inept. They just didn't give a s**t. Fortunately the last dealer I worked with was super. He was 5 stars i my book.

    'bent Brian

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    1,119
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A little story:

    When I worked in a LBS we did the service for the department store bikes that were too messed up for the staff (16-yr old kids who assemble barbeques) to fix. The bikes were such crap that we cancelled the contract after 6 months or so. There was no way we could (in good faith) send those bikes back out without a complete rebuild (and throwing 1/2 the parts into the trash).

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    16
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Your experience is not surprising. Nor is The Target associates response. Target is so big that you, and your entire town can boycott them, and they wouldn't even notice. I saw one with a fork mounted backwards, and I notified the department Manager. His response was "Thanks" and he walked away. Two weeks later the bike was still on the rack with the fork still mounted backwards.

    Departement store bikes can be a good deal if you know how to fix a bike yourself. If you don't then you are asking for trouble, or worse.

    Mark Stoughton
    BikingWithKids.NET



    Quote Originally Posted by nesdog
    Yesterday, I took my 9 year old ("9-3/4 Daddy!" Whoops, sorry little one) over to Target to get her a new bike. I went to Target over the LBS because she is very hard on things, plus I didn't want to spend $300 on a bike she may outgrow in a couple of years. I'll get her the better bike then.

    After much looking over and negotiation (Oh, you other parents know what I mean!), she settled on a nice model. "I've got to have THIS bike, Dad". Whew. $75

    I was looking over the bike when I noticed that the front brakes didn't work properly; one side was not contacting the wheel. Should be an easy fix, right?

    We took the bike over to Customer No Service. The conversation went like this:

    Me: Hi. We want to buy this bike. I see the brake is not working so can we have this taken care of?
    Rep: We will repair it.
    Me: Great. Do you call someone now?
    Rep: No. We will repair it.
    Me: Ok. So do I give you my name and then you let us know when it's done?
    Rep: No. We just put it back on the shelf.
    Me: Excuse me?
    Rep: We just put it back.
    Me: Well, my daughter wants this bike so what's to stop someone else from buying this one?
    Rep: Nothing.
    Me: That's insane. We want this bike! We are ready to pay for it right now!
    Rep: [shrug]


    Now what I should have done is call a manager but I was so pissed off at this point ( and tired, hot, wanting to leave the store), that I put the bike back on the shelf, tolerated my little one's complaints and left. I am sending a note to the store manager today. Now I know why people say don't buy a bicycle anywhere but the LBS.
    BTW, I noticed when returning the bike to it's slot that nearly all of the other bikes were missing parts, etc. What a joke!

    Sheldon

  11. #11
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Beaufort, South Carolina, USA and surrounding islands.
    My Bikes
    Cannondale R500, Motobecane Messenger
    Posts
    8,525
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I was at my local Wal-Mart after, my previous post, and for the hell of it, I went by their bikes. There was a full-suspension Mongoose MTB (scary) with disc brakes (scarier). The front fork, and in turn brake and brake levers, were on backwards!

    Also, just FYI, Wal-Mart will not exchange or refund a bicyle, but send it off for repairs.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  12. #12
    No one carries the DogBoy
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,154
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sheldon, is there a trek store (not an LBS that sells trek, but a trek store) near you? There is one in Madison and they have a bike trade-up plan. As your kid grows, you bring the old bike in, and get $x toward the purchase of a new one. I mention this because if they take the bikes back, they probably have some used kids bikes that might fit the bill and would cost less than new, and if not, you don't lose the whole cost of the first bike. Alternatively, ask the LBS if there are any used kids bikes in their inventory (not in the presence of your child as she will only want a new one). I agree with the general comments about buying bikes at *marts: Don't.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Conejo Valley, CA
    My Bikes
    Giant OCR2
    Posts
    2,352
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    [QUOTE=DogBoy]Sheldon, is there a trek store (not an LBS that sells trek, but a trek store) near you? There is one in Madison and they have a bike trade-up plan.


    A Trek store? They don't show any on their web site. I'm in Socal, just north of Los Angeles so there are generally plenty of shopping opportunities available. I'm planning on calling some of the LBS's to see if they have any trade-ins as well.

    Sheldon

  14. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    10
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    frankly i dont buy anything from target or wall-mart or any of them other big box places...mostly because i dont support there buisness model. that poor bastard behind the counter probly gets paid min-wage and doesnt see any benifits and is made to work double shifts for no over time...i know i was when i worked at places like that. if i was at the end of a 16 hour shift and some guy with his kid came up to me and started talking about how some little part on some bike i couldnt care less about i wouldnt really help either...the moral of this story you pay a person a living wage and you dont treat them like crap and they will be much more helpful when you need something repaired...go to the LBS and support local buisness.

  15. #15
    Mad Town Biker Murrays's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    974
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by nesdog
    I'm planning on calling some of the LBS's to see if they have any trade-ins as well.

    Sheldon
    Let us know how it goes. Just out of curiosity, did you assume the LBS would cost more or did you check out the prices before hand? I've generally found prices at specialty shops to be similar to the Big Box stores and infinately more helpful.

    -murray
    "I feel more now like I did than when I first got here"

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Leeds UK
    Posts
    1,869
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The other question is: do you want your daughter to enjoy riding her bike?

    If you do, then buying a chain/dept. store "bike" isn't the way to do it. I've been running a kids bike club for over 6 years and many turn up on similar bikes (often full suspension), because they're cheap and mum/dad can get them a better one in a year or two.

    Unfortunately, the bike weighs about 40lb (more than the kid in some cases) and they don't want to ride in a year or two because they connect bike riding with hard work and therefore no fun.

    With a lighter (aka more expensive at first) biked they can go faster, develop their skills more and flat out enjoy themselves a lot more. If money is tight, then try your LBS's until you can get a good s/h one and it will be safe.

    By the way, starting a kids bike club is an excellent way of trading her bike when she grows out of it.

    So you don't have to get one she'll "grow into" in about 2007

    Good luck

  17. #17
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    St. Petersburg, FL
    My Bikes
    2003 Specialized Rockhopper FSR Comp, 1999 Specialized Hardrock Comp FS, 1971 Schwinn Varsity
    Posts
    15,082
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by atbman
    The other question is: do you want your daughter to enjoy riding her bike?

    If you do, then buying a chain/dept. store "bike" isn't the way to do it. I've been running a kids bike club for over 6 years and many turn up on similar bikes (often full suspension), because they're cheap and mum/dad can get them a better one in a year or two.

    Unfortunately, the bike weighs about 40lb (more than the kid in some cases) and they don't want to ride in a year or two because they connect bike riding with hard work and therefore no fun.

    With a lighter (aka more expensive at first) biked they can go faster, develop their skills more and flat out enjoy themselves a lot more. If money is tight, then try your LBS's until you can get a good s/h one and it will be safe.

    By the way, starting a kids bike club is an excellent way of trading her bike when she grows out of it.

    So you don't have to get one she'll "grow into" in about 2007

    Good luck
    Hmmm now there's an idea.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Conejo Valley, CA
    My Bikes
    Giant OCR2
    Posts
    2,352
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Murrays
    Let us know how it goes. Just out of curiosity, did you assume the LBS would cost more or did you check out the prices before hand? I've generally found prices at specialty shops to be similar to the Big Box stores and infinately more helpful.

    -murray

    I did check the LBS's. All things being equal (and they are not, of course, but at her level of [non] riding it may not matter), the price difference was pretty big. A 20" or 24" bike at the LBS was running in the $200-$250+ range. Giants, Treks, etc. The 'mart" versions were all under $100. Local sporting goods shops about $200 so you can see why I thought to go to Target. Again, just figured on getting a few years out of it, then going to the LBS for a better machine. Boy you should see how she tosses her current bike around! Anyhow, this thread is getting me wary enough to drop the Target idea.

    I did write to the manager of the store. I expect a form letter in return but will let everyone know if it's something different.

    Kids Club.. an interesting idea. Have to think that over too.

    Sheldon

  19. #19
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    St. Petersburg, FL
    My Bikes
    2004 Raleigh Talus, 2001 Motobecane Vent Noir (Custom build for heavy riders)
    Posts
    5,828
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You know, I would think that there would be a place where you can buy cro-moly frames for kids. Nothing fancy, but jsut something bigger that you could swap all your old components on. That way, every 2-3 years, you just buy another $70 frame and a $50-70 labor at the LBS instead of dropping tons of cash on a new bike. Seems like it would be far easier to swallow that way.

  20. #20
    Sweetened with Splenda
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Brooklyn, Alabama
    My Bikes
    Too many 80s roadbikes!
    Posts
    2,347
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    What about a folding bike? I met some kids a while back on them... They're a bit more expensive, but you should be able to adjust them so they're rideable through a lot more growing time...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •