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.