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Old 06-11-10, 11:43 AM   #1
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local folder shop gripe

So I go to a folder specialty shop that's sorta local to me and to get some Brompton specific drivetrain parts and I'm also looking for pedals for my pacific carry-me. The width of this bike is almost entirely due to the pedals, so narrower pedals would significantly reduce the size of the fold.

Walls are lined with Bromptons so while he's ringing up my other parts I ask about Brompton pedals. The owner tells me they don't sell right hand Brompton pedals because they're expensive and tries to talk me into a different pedal to which I respond that I'd rather stick with the lighter stock plastic pedals if I can't get a pedal with a smaller fold. He tells me that I shouldn't pay attention to weight because "pedals are pretty important" (a fallacy which is a huge pet peeve of mine...just because something is important that doesn't mean it should trump all other important considerations). I ask about Brompton pedals again and he tells me they're expensive as if I were asking him to buy them for his bike. He doesn't offer to special order or anything.

He also sells carry-me and asks me where I got mine and I tell him from the distributor back before any shops were stocking them. Then he starts telling me how he stopped doing business with the (former?) distributor because they sold bikes directly to customers and cut into his business (now he deals with pacific cycles directly).

So let me get this straight. You don't want to sell me what I want, but if another company does then you want to strong arm them out of the loop so you can continue ignoring your customer's needs? I don't want to name names because this is still about 1000x better than most LBSes out there, but does this guy think he has some sort of god given right to run a bike shop free of influence from things like supply and demand?

Here's a tip: Don't sell your customers what they want and you will go out of business no matter how much you collude to protect your place in the retail chain. If I can't get what I want from retailers then I will get it from distributors and if they won't sell it to me then nobody will get my money. Don't think I'm going to buy what you stock just because you've decided to stock it.

Thank god for internet shops who don't have a sense of entitlement which prevents them from catering to their customers.

Last edited by chucky; 06-11-10 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 06-11-10, 12:27 PM   #2
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yup..... what I find interesting is the fact that some folks tell ( force) their opinions on the customer.

And what is it with those juicy stories inside the industry, which do not belong on the retail floor. It amazes me ...... talking bad about a compettir product or telling the customer the latest and greatest rumors, maybe throw is a lecture about supply chain management, and those bad bad Internet stores, who are really the problem all around.... yeah right

In the same time he could have ordered that special part for you and maybe even enough time to show you some other cool gear ...

I like those shops :-)
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Old 06-11-10, 01:18 PM   #3
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There's a huge difference between the guy whose "job" is at the LBS and the guy who is passionate about his job at the LBS.
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Old 06-11-10, 01:37 PM   #4
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Here is my best story:

Years and years ago, I went to Revolution Cycles at Georgetown when the boss and I were interested in a pair of cyclocross bikes for all-around riding. Revolution sold both Gunnar and Surly to which we would have gotten ~105 build. I walk in, mention this to the salesperson, he replies, "Man ... I love road bikes. You should get road bikes." I reply, "Well, we're interested in the cyclocross bikes because {list of a few items**." He replies, "Well, I don't know anything about them." followed by a blank stare. I thanked him for his time and left.

He may have repeated his statement about road bikes at some point.
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