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Old 04-11-19, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
I think it's not so much a case of LBS'a not being able to compete with online stores, it's that they don't even try. ......

Recent example.
Wanting to order 2 new tires.
Look at local LBS website (50km's away). Price $130 (+tax). Estimated shipping time 10-14 days from warehouse (60km's away), pick up in store.
Look at online store. $83 (includes tax and shipping). Estimated shipping time 4 days (from England). Actual shipping time - 3 days to my door.

Who's trying and who's not.
How does your bike shop get that price? Are you suggesting the bike shop ignore its relationship with suppliers and buy from the online bike shop and re-sell at a mark-up? Wouldn't you still go online anyway?

Also, tax and tariff structures vary. This was made plain by the brouhaha over Shimano clamping down on UK distributors selling int he U.S. for below U.S. retail. The bike shop can try to back-door its own suppliers ... but it stands to lose access. And when and if the UK seller gets caught up in tax and tariff issues (Hello, Brexit!) then the BS has No supplier.

Are you suggesting that every bike shop open a branch in the UK to take advantage of temporarily favorable exchange rates?

Also ... the LBS needs to Pay Rent. The online store you bought from might be a 10x30 storage shed with a guy on a computer with a lot of boxes and tape. The shed might be in his own back yard. The bike shop has to rent commercial property, pay commercial utilities rates, and commercial taxes, plus FICA and such for all employees. All so you can go get a cable adjusted when you don't want to get grease on your hands.

The Local Bike Shop IS trying ... to not go out of business.

The LBS simply cannot compete online with purely online stores. It would probably need to rent a warehouse and hire more staff---and Hope that people bought enough to keep the warehouse staff paid. but since it wouldn't be able to compete with Chinese or UK sellers anyway ... what's the point?

Say ... Every heard of Performance? The big online retailer with a chain of bike shops which ... Went Bankrupt? The profit margin on online sales is super-slim---hence the low prices---which means if you Want a local bike shop, that LBS has to charge more. And it has to maintain its distributor networks, and pay their wholesale prices, and mark them up to retail.

And if your LBS decided it wanted a Big Web Presence---to try to compete in that already saturated market---it would need to charge Even More to pay for the up-front costs of getting involved---and then it would lose even more business and do a Performance.

To Be Clear---Bike shops cannot compete with online shops because bike shops have to pay for Bike Shops.

When you complain that your local shop cannot match the online price---do you also complain that the online shop doesn't have a mechanic on staff?

Two Different Business Models. Comparing them as you do shows a lack of understanding of either, I think.
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