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Pricing Differentials; Store Vs Online

Old 03-04-15, 03:55 PM
  #126  
miamijim
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Originally Posted by ClarkinHawaii View Post
These are interesting comments, but I don't really understand them. Please tell more.
You ever walk into a big store (KMart) that's always empty and wonder how they pay the bills? I remember walking into the first really big store when I moved to Miami back in '96. It was like a Taj Mahal showroom, maybe 8,000 sq/feet of floor space and 10 employees but no customers. How do they stay in business? My cynical mind goes to money laundering, they're using the storefront to cover proceeds from illicit activities. Now, if said store is turning a profit to cover that enormous over head then I know there's a lot of money to made in the bicycle business.

The store I worked in was a brick n mortar stand alone building that was owner by the bicycle shop owner...rather than paying someone else rent the owner was paying a mortgage.

Kickstands...way back when there was a little side bar in a magazine about a NJ dealer who solf enough kickstands in 1 year to buy a new Mercedes every year. Maybe he was exaggerating but the point was that you needed a well rounded business model to succeed.
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Old 03-04-15, 04:06 PM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by RoadGuy View Post
..........
And I'll bet you were smarter than your counterparts and it paid off. Reminds of waiting tables at the Red Lobster in the 'hood. There were only 3 of use with higher educations, everyone else was lucky to have graduated high school. One day we came into work and read a bulletin about a Cornell U. business study on getting better tips. It was only the 3 of use who knew how good of a school Cornell is and we worked that list to the letter. Our tips went up dramatically and we'd go an entire Friday or Saturday night with the manager never having to visit out section of the restaurant. The other servers couldn't be bothered.

People who think they're going to open a bike store, be all hippie, smoke hooka's and try to save the planet will go broke and close shop. A bike store must be run as a proper business, if you don't know how to run a proper business you have no business opening a bike store.
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Old 03-04-15, 04:19 PM
  #128  
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Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
People who think they're going to open a bike store, be all hippie, smoke hooka's and try to save the planet will go broke and close shop. A bike store must be run as a proper business, if you don't know how to run a proper business you have no business opening a bike store.
That's right.

It's a business like any other.
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Old 03-04-15, 05:50 PM
  #129  
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Or maybe because this LBS was/is in a college town, the owner knows some sucker...er...I mean...student will pay ridiculous amounts of money, for bike parts, tools, repairs, etc, with mom & dad's credit card.
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Old 03-04-15, 08:07 PM
  #130  
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Originally Posted by RoadGuy View Post
Radio Shack went steadily downhill after I left the company (having recently filled for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy), and it appears to me that they violated/ignored the lessons that I was taught there, which contributed to the downfall.
I'm not surprised.

There are lots of directions the company could have gone in, but I just don't see them grabbing a bigger market share. Thinking of the TRS-80 and T-1000. Perhaps they went from technology innovation (admittingly not always the highest quality) to technology stagnation. And the little pocket sized stores just can't hold the inventory that they need to compete with the big box stores.

Then Walmart happened. It isn't that Walmart sells capacitors for less, but perhaps they heralded in a disposable world (along with rapidly advancing electronics). The radio breaks, you don't take it to the radio repairman. You don't take it apart and peer at the electronic gizmos inside. It goes into the trash and one goes out and buys a new radio.

Of course there is also the internet. Radioshack has a limited supply of capacitors resistors, and etc with a 1000% markup. One can find anything and everything on the internet for market price (plus shipping), and often still end up less than the Shack prices.

I was talking to a friend who was working at Rockler.

He commented that the markup on table saws wasn't very good, and they don't move very quickly.
My comment was that they had to put a table saw in the window to attract the customers. And, while the customers may gaze at the table saw, it sells the knick-knacks. So, on paper, the table saw looks like a bad investment. In reality, as window dressing, it is probably the most valuable item in the whole store.

Now, perhaps this is diverging a bit from the bike thread, but there are many lessons to follow.
  • Store with no customers - Bad
  • Store full of customers - Good
  • Store that only sells what customers SHOULD want - Bad
  • Store that sells what customers ACTUALLY want - Good
  • Store that relies on customer loyalty over prices - Bad
  • Store that has competitive prices with big box stores and internet prices (including shipping allowance), - Good
  • Go for innovation and new stuff, but also keep the staples in stock.
  • And don't forget the customers like to look at the pretty bikes (and the store might just sell one once in a while). I get turned off very quickly from stores that are full of fat knobby tires and no skinny tires.
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Old 03-04-15, 10:11 PM
  #131  
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Well... it looks like I'm running into the "LBS" dilemma... or perhaps the LMS dilemma... as my purchases seem to go beyond the typical bike shop stock.

Looking at buying some 4130 chromoly tubing.
If I buy it locally, I think I have to buy 17 to 24 foot pieces of tubing, or pay "cut fees".
For 1" 4130 x 0.035", I got quoted at $6.85 per foot, "special order". For certain sizes I only want a small amount, but no commitment to get the lengths and sizes I need.

And, I have to figure out how to haul a 20' piece of steel home on my bicycle.


Another actual bike shop... the good kind? probably had some in stock, but I couldn't get any price and materials commitment. I may try to work with them a bit more, but the one person that could have given me a quote made me feel invisible.

Online...
There is a place that is local to St. Louis with a retail outlet there (which I've been in).

It looks like it is $3.55 a foot online. I have to get it cut to 8' pieces, I think, but if I order a few pieces with shipping, it should come out to less than half the local price. And I can snag any size I want without extra cutting fees. I'd prefer long pieces to limit waste, but I can deal with short (8') ones. And I will probably add a couple of pieces that I only want a few feet in.

And, it should come to my house. No hauling.
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