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My analogy in a local bikeshop's price hikes

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My analogy in a local bikeshop's price hikes

Old 03-19-16, 08:48 PM
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molten
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My analogy in a local bikeshop's price hikes

Note added, after Gresp15C: this bikeshop be that I have visited over the many years. As I found a frameset of interest online (their website), but attempted to do transaction ---- via email & phone. As my coming to the business, if the correct time was to ever come.
The bikeframe was never offered to be shown to me, during the entire time of back/forth email chat.



I have been a credible customer of a bike-retailer, for way toooo many years.
As this retailer be of high-end, compared to the average.
As years have through, he complained that I buy too much on the internet. As he knew the reason: he lagged in 'price matching.'
Or may it just have been at me?~
That I not buy enough from him.
Years keep going.
Then, this year: i attempted to purchase a frameset, that I found online.
A short time after some discussion with the owner, in what I analyzed that he disagreed to what I asked for him to do: I looked back on the website.
Of the frameset that I attempted to purchase: the PRICE HAD HIKED 22%.

He knew I wanted the frameset.
But also: taxtime be coming.

After the above:
I had purchased a pair of gloves, matching the pair that I recently purchased from this same bike-retailer.
Having trust in him that the price didn't change, as I was not told of it.
But once I looked at the price-sticker: price was 35% higher, than the matching make/model I bought from this business recently.

I BRING THIS CHAT HERE: As I entered in google search bar: 'how many businesses raise merchandise prices during tax season." As no results came.

WHAT WOULD OTHERS ANALYZE OF SUCH A BIKE-RETAILER?

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Old 03-19-16, 09:17 PM
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More and more online retailers, possibly led by the airlines and followed by Amazon, are using dynamic pricing. The price could change based on general demand, or even triggered by your own interest in the product. If you come back a second time, it recognizes the cookie on your browser, and bumps up the price.

This is probably a level of technology beyond what a small time retailer could develop, but it may be possible to buy it as a service.

I've demonstrated this to my wife, when we were sitting side by side at our respective computers: Same item, same retailer, different prices on our browsers. Guess which price we picked.
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Old 03-19-16, 10:19 PM
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I'll keep this in reserve thought for the future.
Before my above experience of the price changes -- as those were actually price#2 & price #3 .
I had seen price #1 . Which I really lost out on. There was app the same price difference between price#1 to price#2 -- as between price#2 to price#3 .
The owner never objected to my comments to my telling him of his price changes. As I told him in why I chose to buy the later gloves online (and I actually bought more pairs at then).
He be the type whom be proud to charge what he charges, even if the price end up higher. Because of the knowledge they have (given via customer service) --- as that gets included in the overhead.
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Old 03-20-16, 06:01 AM
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Stores play around with prices and inventory to make a person think they should buy something, including markdowns from some fictional price.

Don't forget to include shipping costs as part of your online purchases.

The one thing I won't tolerate is a business who makes a deal... then refuses to honor the deal. For example, a while ago I was looking at a used pickup. One dealer had one that I was somewhat interested in, but I was about one or two days away from being ready to do the purchase. So, they were making crazy offers on it. Then when I was actually ready to buy it the next day, they wouldn't honor their previous offers. So I left.

I don't like haggling on new merchandise, but you can always ask the store owner if they'll honor last week's price.

The local bike co-op has started asking me how much I want to pay for stuff... Kind of an odd way of doing it, but it can make negotiating easy.
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Old 03-20-16, 06:43 AM
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I try to support local brick and mortar businesses; most are small businesses that are run by a single person or family. A guy trying to eek out a living in a highly competive environment, I respect those efforts. There are a couple in our area, know the owners on a first hand basis, they have been there for me when I've had a problem - I do business with them. Yes, I pay more for many items, than I might if I got it on line. Often the online cost plus shipping and handling is not much less that the local guy. Also, I usually pay cash, so the local vendor receives full value. Support your local business, they are often your neighbors in life.
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Old 03-20-16, 08:08 AM
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to martianone:
As I knew someone was to bring a comment like this in the chat. As why I did not include the following details about the business, so that my thread not be excessive.
The small family business be of 'brick and mortar' --- ran by father and son; with 2 hired salespeople. And a hired mechanic. About your speaking of "online cost............." -- the business owner debates this against me all the time, as he knows that he has the highest price. He took a long time to get adjusted to the internet market --- in which (ge claimed to) to join the game called "price matching." But he really only do it, when he wants to; depends on the day how the stock market/his business is in. If not that, then different cases that he looks to create.
NOT by "matching" only a regular way of doing daily business.
Of those businesses that "have been there" for you: is this in the context of the tech advice given, when needed -- so to self-repair your bike? Nutrition? etc.
Be it advice that be valued -- from both the business owner and you. THAT ADVICE is included in the markup/price of the store merchandise.
Especially if the advice / business relate to C**pa***lo, in any way.

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Old 03-20-16, 08:22 AM
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Rent , insurance , power going down in cost? not that I've noticed.
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Old 03-20-16, 08:29 AM
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We are one day away from the first day of Spring when Winter begins to loosen its grip on the northern US. It's also the end of the worst season for a bike shop in such places. Could it be that the bike shop has just returned to normal pricing after discounting items over the slow season in order to get some interest from buyers? I always advise friends looking for used bikes to shop during the slow season as the prices asked by sellers generally peaks between the first day of Spring and the first day of Winter.
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Old 03-20-16, 08:38 AM
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Maybe I am missing something, but are you suggesting that somehow the LBS was able to affect the on-line price of a site that is not his? If so, I think your foil hat may need adjusting.

As at least one person has mentioned, the price can vary widely between your visits. Here is a great example but with the opposite result: There is a three-day tour I like to take from NY to my home in Philly. Avis offers one-way rentals to the starting location. I was pricing vehicles for a trip over Columbus Day weekend. The rates for SUVs were out of this world. With tax, etc., we were talking over $300 for 24 hrs. I checked a few times with the same results. Then maybe a week before Columbus Day weekend, I checked again and rates had dropped more than 50%. I couldn't believe what I was seeing on the screen. I have to believe it was either that the demand turned out to be weaker than expected or that, through the use of cookies from my repeated site visits and pricing of the same itinerary, the software knew I was still considering the trip and finally gave in on the price because it realized I wasn't going to bite at the original price.
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Old 03-20-16, 08:49 AM
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VegasTriker:

that's correct, about the season change, as I attempted to make the purchase during February. But in SoCal. winter season has much been like a cool summer season.
Since my ongoing attempts with the bike-dealer; I made a calculation that he has a frameset listed that he not want to sell; but rather keep.
Meantime, just keep raising the price on it, when he choose to do so. Until he finds the chosen customer/offer.
During the back-and-forth we had chatted, he later told me: "You have some things I don't have." As I told him: "You're supposed to have everything." (as he always claimed to have all parts needed, when wanted for a repair. Then for merchandise: access to every mfr., for products.) As he was wanting me to sell him what I found he not have.
But I later calculate that had I attempted a trade, which I never would have attempted, he would not have accepted of the trade. Why not? Because of his later price hike. As he never had said "Ill trade you....."
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Old 03-20-16, 08:51 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by martianone View Post
I try to support local brick and mortar businesses; most are small businesses that are run by a single person or family. A guy trying to eek out a living in a highly competive environment, I respect those efforts. There are a couple in our area, know the owners on a first hand basis, they have been there for me when I've had a problem - I do business with them. Yes, I pay more for many items, than I might if I got it on line. Often the online cost plus shipping and handling is not much less that the local guy. Also, I usually pay cash, so the local vendor receives full value. Support your local business, they are often your neighbors in life.
+1. Builder also owns a LBS. Custom ti frame built by hand in his vast work area behind the bike shop. Both he and his wife live and work in the city. I could get my tubeless tires cheaper on line, but Amazon is not going to install them for me while I wait and give me free sealant. A few years ago I realized I was riding on a damaged chain that was about to snap. I was 5 minutes from the shop. I limped there. They replaced the damaged speed link right away for $5, part included, and that's before I bought the bike shown below. That's what a train ticket home would have cost, Instead, I got to keep riding. It annoys me a bit that we have become a nation of chiselers. And I certainly have no interest is spending a bunch of time scouring the internet to save $5 on a pair of tires so I feel like I didn't get "ripped off" by some LBS. There is a difference between being cheap and being frugal. One difference is that the frugal person understand that time has a value and factors that into a buying equation.

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Old 03-20-16, 08:59 AM
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But didn't the LBS charge labor for installing the chain?
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Old 03-20-16, 09:10 AM
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fietsbob:

I been waiting for the business-owner to tell me that, all-along.
As he has (aggressively) told me that, off-and-on during the years I have known him. In his way of doing business. Well, this product/price debate --- resulting in him losing the frequency of a customer as longtime nearly as long as the birth of his business: had been the correct time for him to tell me what YOU SAID.
But he didn't
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Old 03-20-16, 09:35 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by molten View Post
..... WHAT WOULD OTHERS ANALYZE OF SUCH A BIKE-RETAILER?
Already... if already is the correct time reference... on-line is the ONLY way to purchase some limited demand items. Brick and mortar display of retail goods is NOT cheap. In direct competition with on-line shopping I wouldn't expect real-world shopping to survive. In the future all bicycle related merchandise may be ONLY available on-line. Apparently... you're OK with that. So... stop shopping locally... and just buy on-line.
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Old 03-20-16, 09:43 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
+1. Builder also owns a LBS. Custom ti frame built by hand in his vast work area behind the bike shop. Both he and his wife live and work in the city. I could get my tubeless tires cheaper on line, but Amazon is not going to install them for me while I wait and give me free sealant. A few years ago I realized I was riding on a damaged chain that was about to snap. I was 5 minutes from the shop. I limped there. They replaced the damaged speed link right away for $5, part included, and that's before I bought the bike shown below. That's what a train ticket home would have cost, Instead, I got to keep riding. It annoys me a bit that we have become a nation of chiselers. And I certainly have no interest is spending a bunch of time scouring the internet to save $5 on a pair of tires so I feel like I didn't get "ripped off" by some LBS. There is a difference between being cheap and being frugal. One difference is that the frugal person understand that time has a value and factors that into a buying equation.

Agree.

As far as I can make out from the OP's posts, either the LBS owner in question and the OP deserve each other, or the former would be well rid of the latter. Difficult to tell which scenario holds, given the opacity of the language used; I rather suspect the latter.
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Old 03-20-16, 10:11 AM
  #16  
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My analogy. Two years ago my DIL answered my question of what to buy for my soon to arrive grandson and requested a specific brand and model of Crib. She provided a URL for the item at Amazon. When I clicked the price was about $770. Seemed rather high, but what the heck. I went back to Amazon about an hour later to order and the price was about $1500. A couple hours later it was somewhere around $600.

I bought the identical crib later that day from Target on line, delivered for about $280.
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Old 03-20-16, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by badger1 View Post
Agree.

As far as I can make out from the OP's posts, either the LBS owner in question and the OP deserve each other, or the former would be well rid of the latter. Difficult to tell which scenario holds, given the opacity of the language used; I rather suspect the latter.
Of what you say to Indyfabz --- does that include expensive labor charges, to installing the chain (if labor charges were or were not included, as Indyfabz did not mention).
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Old 03-20-16, 11:23 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
My analogy. Two years ago my DIL answered my question of what to buy for my soon to arrive grandson and requested a specific brand and model of Crib. She provided a URL for the item at Amazon. When I clicked the price was about $770. Seemed rather high, but what the heck. I went back to Amazon about an hour later to order and the price was about $1500. A couple hours later it was somewhere around $600.

I bought the identical crib later that day from Target on line, delivered for about $280.
A perfect example of why it ALWAYS pays to compare prices, as opposed to just falling into the habit of assuming that one place will always be the best deal. Amazon seems to be getting worse with the old switcharoo....Even on cheap items. I put something in my cart once, it was $8 at the time, and wasn't eligible for free shipping (as it had been the day before). I deleted it, and waited about 15 minutes.... It now showed up for <$7 and with free shipping...so I ordered it.

Knowing this, I often take my time now, when ordering from Amazon. On a recent $249 item, I watched it every day over the course of several weeks, and snagged it for $199.
__________________________________

As for the people saying "Support your local B&M". Personally, I don't give charity to businesses. If they want to compete today, they have to accept that they can not compete with the internet when it comes to price, or even in many cases with speed of delivery (on items they may not have on-hand). They have to learn that the money to be made in a small local business today, is in convenience, service and/or adding value. Small B&Ms are going to have to learn that or perish.
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Old 03-20-16, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Stucky View Post
A perfect example of why it ALWAYS pays to compare prices, as opposed to just falling into the habit of assuming that one place will always be the best deal. Amazon seems to be getting worse with the old switcharoo....Even on cheap items. I put something in my cart once, it was $8 at the time, and wasn't eligible for free shipping (as it had been the day before). I deleted it, and waited about 15 minutes.... It now showed up for <$7 and with free shipping...so I ordered it.

Knowing this, I often take my time now, when ordering from Amazon. On a recent $249 item, I watched it every day over the course of several weeks, and snagged it for $199.
__________________________________

As for the people saying "Support your local B&M". Personally, I don't give charity to businesses. If they want to compete today, they have to accept that they can not compete with the internet when it comes to price, or even in many cases with speed of delivery (on items they may not have on-hand). They have to learn that the money to be made in a small local business today, is in convenience, service and/or adding value. Small B&Ms are going to have to learn that or perish.
Where certain customers can have difficulty --- be when the 'brick & motar' that gives moody choices in what to accept/not accept in price matching: be when owners like that are of the ultimate access in special ordering an item, that one may prefer to order from a bike-shop. As bike-shops have limited access to distributors, etc.
But most of all, when the customers have such bikes, that need the most reliable & up-to-date-minded Tech. (like when 11-speed from 10-speed. when building c/f wheels, Etc.)
Add the high-quality of his work.
Such a person be hard to find.
All this is involved in his Labor Charge.

Last edited by molten; 03-20-16 at 12:48 PM. Reason: change words
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Old 03-20-16, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by molten View Post
Of what you say to Indyfabz --- does that include expensive labor charges, to installing the chain (if labor charges were or were not included, as Indyfabz did not mention).
It was expressly stated that the labor was free. The charge was for the part only. And I was in and out in 15 min. at the most despite it being a busy, spring Saturday morning in a well-heeled part of town, with people coming out of hibernation for new bikes and service.
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Old 03-20-16, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by molten View Post
Where certain customers can have difficulty --- be when the 'brick & motar' that gives moody choices in what to accept/not accept in price matching: be when owners like that are of the ultimate access in special ordering an item, that one may prefer to order from a bike-shop. As bike-shops have limited access to distributors, etc.
But most of all, when the customers have such bikes, that need the most reliable & up-to-date-minded Tech. (like when 11-speed from 10-speed. when building c/f wheels, Etc.)
Add the high-quality of his work.
Such a person be hard to find.
All this is involved in his Labor Charge.
I haven't been in a bike shop in 25 years. I never encountered so much as one that I remotely liked, even years ago, and now with the internet around, I just have no reason to ever set foot in one. I think a large part of the problem is that often, bike shop owners are not good businessmen; if they were, they wouldn't be in that business. So, in many cases, what you're dealing with, is some guy who thought it would be fun to make his living selling selling bikes and bike stuff, but who doesn't have a clue about how to run a successful business- so they just go along making arbitrary decisions and policies as they go. It's hard to deal with people like that. And that is the problem. If they want to have a successful business, they have to make it so that it is easy to deal with them, and so that the customer feels like they are getting their money's worth, instead of being ripped off.
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Old 03-20-16, 04:08 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
It was expressly stated that the labor was free. The charge was for the part only. And I was in and out in 15 min. at the most despite it being a busy, spring Saturday morning in a well-heeled part of town, with people coming out of hibernation for new bikes and service.
Good for the customers that want the work done for them.
Extra expense for those carry-out customers.

As far as Amazon, I haven't noticed the wildly varying amounts on Amazon. I'll sometimes drop something in my shopping cart, and come back to it later. One thing that does happen is that certain vendors will sell out. Perhaps even with fulfilled by Amazon.

I know the thing about shopping around. I'll snag used stuff off of E-Bay. But, for new items, E-Bay often falls a bit higher than other vendors.

For quite some time, Amazon had a bug with shipping for multiple items, but I think they have it now fixed. I used to try to find the vendor's website and buy direct.

It looks like Amazon changed their free shipping. $25 for books, $49 for everything else (fulfilled by Amazon).
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Old 03-20-16, 05:13 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Stucky View Post
some guy who thought it would be fun to make his living selling selling bikes and bike stuff, but who doesn't have a clue about how to run a successful business- so they just go along making arbitrary decisions and policies as they go.
That could be said of most small businesses. Most people open a small business because they need to buy themselves a job and because they think that they have some special knowledge, a passion, that will translate to success in making money at something that they enjoy. They have no idea of how to make money and, indeed, it may not be possible to make money at what they want to do in the environment they have to deal with.

Originally Posted by Stucky View Post
that the customer feels like they are getting their money's worth, instead of being ripped off.
It's not that the small business owner is trying to rip any one off it's that he can't possibly compete and make money in today's world except under very limited circumstances. There is absolutely no way that the brick and mortar small business can survive against online sellers. The deck is stacked against them from the start and customer service, which is really the only thing they have to offer, is not enough to overcome that stacked deck.

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Old 03-20-16, 07:42 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Noddy View Post
That could be said of most small businesses. Most people open a small business because they need to buy themselves a job and because they think that they have some special knowledge, a passion, that will translate to success in making money at something that they enjoy. They have no idea of how to make money and, indeed, it may not be possible to make money at what they want to do in the environment they have to deal with..
Very, very true. I grew-up around such people, as I lived in the downtown area of a suburb when I was a kid, and my friends were all the children of the local business owners. Most of them were very nice people, they just weren't good businessmen- they'd struggle along with their business for a few years- usually one spouse working a 9-5 job while the other manned the store, only to have to face reality and close down, and then someone else would come along, and do their version of the same thing for a few years.

One place in particular always amused me, as it was ALWAYS used as as restaurant (and still is to this day). For the last 45 years, I can't count the number of different people who have tried to make a go of it. No one succeeds. You'd think someone would have the sense to say "Gee, no restaurant has ever succeeded in that location...maybe it's the LOCATION that is the problem?"...but NOoooo!!! (It was even a Blimpy's for a few years. Heck, if a franchise place can't make a go of it...no one can!)


Originally Posted by Noddy View Post
It's not that the small business owner is trying to rip any one off it's that he can't possibly compete and make money in today's world except under very limited circumstances. There is absolutely no way that the brick and mortar small business can survive against online sellers. The deck is stacked against them from the start and customer service, which is really the only thing they have to offer, is enough to overcome that stacked deck.
Exactly. But the customer feels like they are paying top dollar (and in many cases, are) for just standard service- whereas if they were getting super service, or val;ue-added deals, they would feel much differently.

Bike shops have always been a very difficult business....and are almost impossible today.

And I know the bit about doing what you love though- as I've largely spent my life doing just that, even though it may not have always been the most financially advantageous thing. But then again, I was always careful to choose businesses which I not only enjoyed, but which I knew at least offered the opportunity to at least earn me a living. Best thing is, I have absolutely no regrets, as I feel I have spent my time wisely.
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Old 03-21-16, 04:11 PM
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When it comes to wasting time, nothing wastes as much time as finding out my local bike shop doesn't have what I need and having to drive to another bike shop or go home and order it online. Why not just do it at home from the start? One typical item I use is 20" 406 road tires and tubes which are common on recumbent bikes and trikes but not carried by local bike shops. If they carry this size at all, it is usually an unsuitable BMX knobby tire. I once worked in a bike shop so I can sympathize with their predicament. If you can't compete on price you have to offer better service to the customer. The very last time I went to the bike shop I have used for decades, the owner was exceptionally surely. I couldn't give a rats ass if this shop failed. I haven't been back and if I need service, it will be at a different shop.
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