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Old 04-22-09, 01:27 AM   #1
mkeller234
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Why was this rack sold so hard?

Yesterday I decided I was finally going to buy a rear rack for my 90's Trek, I decided to buy from my favorite LBS and not an online store. I am not questioning the LBS at all, they have always been generous with the free use of tools and their prices have always been fair when compared to other sources so I am always happy to support them.

They had three comparably priced racks in the store, A blackburn EX-1, a Topeak and since they are a Trek dealer, a Bontrager back rack II.

My initial favorite was the Blackburn, purely on aesthetics. The salesman pushed the Bontrager hard and even said that the Blackburn was "difficult to install". Somehow I don't believe that, it's just a rear rack how tough can it be? I asked him to clarify for me and never really got a great explanation other than the Bontrager's height is adjustable. The Bontrager rack seems like a nice product, simple, solid and a few dollars less than the Blackburn rack, so I bought it.

Here is my question (if your still reading). Since Bontrager and Trek are linked, is there an extra kick back for Trek dealers to sell Bontrager products? Is it a higher profit margin for them? Don't get me wrong, It seems like a nice product and I don't mind them trying to maximize their profit margin. But seriously, was knocking the Blackburn product fair or not?

One other thing in the LBS favor, they seem to sell the Bontrager rack slightly lower than the average MSRP.
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Old 04-22-09, 06:09 AM   #2
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They might have had 50 of them in back, and only one of the other.
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Old 04-22-09, 06:35 AM   #3
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That is very possible, but even then... what do they care if they sell out of one and not the other, a sale is a sale right?

It is a silly question, for sure, I am more or less curious. I used to work for a cell phone retailer that carried many different networks. The reps for each network used to each hand out their own bribes of sorts to push their particular network over the others.

FYI and off topic, the in my experience cell phone "authorized agents" are sort of evil, it is better to deal directly with the actual company itself.
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Old 04-22-09, 12:49 PM   #4
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Maybe the salesman drank the Trek koolaid. Salesmen, especially ones who don't know what they're talking about, are typically just repeating something they've heard someone else say.
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Old 04-23-09, 12:01 AM   #5
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Having worked for Trek dealers, there's no kick-back, and the margins aren't any better.

Having installed nearly every make and model of rack, I really like the Bontrager stuff.
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Old 04-23-09, 12:28 AM   #6
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It probably is that simple. I agree, it does seem to be a nice rack so I don't want to sound like I am knocking the product.
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Old 04-23-09, 08:27 AM   #7
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This is sort of like going into a Sears store to buy a fridge and being surprised that the first thing they try to sell you is a Kenmore. Sure they may have a Frigidaire or two, but at Sears, Kenmore is the house brand.

No different at a Trek store with Bontrager.
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Old 04-23-09, 09:15 AM   #8
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Thanks for the insight guys. Your right, sears=craftsman etc, etc. I suppose I didn't realize how strong the connection between the two really are.
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Old 04-23-09, 04:55 PM   #9
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I was in a similar scenario the other day. Ended up with a bontrager disc rack.

After installing a few other racks, including blackburn, and a few others. I must say the bontragers are the easiest. They come with EVERY conceivable bit of hardware to mount to most any bike.
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Old 04-23-09, 08:56 PM   #10
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They come with EVERY conceivable bit of hardware to mount to most any bike.
+1 I had to mount mine onto the brake bridge so I was happy to see it came with the hardware.
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Old 04-24-09, 12:11 PM   #11
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I currently work at a trek dealer and can confirm there is no kickback. Granted, trek shops are independantly owned so your LBS may be different. As others have said, the Bontrager racks are easy to install (especially on bikes with weird mounting positions). I personally use an Axiom Journey rack as it was a heavy duty rack at the same price.

A big plus for the Bonty racks is the Interchange system. Trek/Bont make bags and panniers that clip into the rack and hold very securely. Downer is the interchange items are typically 20% more cost. Work great, but I don't need a $70 grocery bag
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Old 04-24-09, 12:26 PM   #12
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+1 I had to mount mine onto the brake bridge so I was happy to see it came with the hardware.
Did you tell him you had to mount it to the brake bridge, or what kind of bike you had?
Because mounting a rack to the brake bridge is a serious PITA if your rack does not have the hardware for it, not all racks do.
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Old 04-27-09, 12:57 AM   #13
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^ Yeah, I actually had the bike with me at the time of purchase so the salesman was able to see first hand.
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Old 04-27-09, 11:34 AM   #14
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At Sears the house brand is Kenmore, but the higher commission is on Maytag and
Frigidaire.
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