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Why I Avoid The LBS

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Why I Avoid The LBS

Old 06-16-16, 06:32 PM
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02Giant 
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Why I Avoid The LBS

Two weeks ago I go into one of the local bike shops to purchase a new pair of gloves. I want to try the Specialized Grail, they are an authorized Specialized Dealer so it makes sense to me to drop in next time I pass by. They have a total of 5 pairs, four not my size and one my size but not the color I prefer. The woman working says we can get them, then asks the guy working on a bike in the back room who replies we will have them by the end of next week. I figure what the heck I am here, it would probably take a week if I order them my self + shipping cost, so lets go for it. She takes my name & number and says she will call next week. Next week comes and goes, this week (today) I am passing by so I stop in. The same five pairs of Grail gloves are on the rack, nothing new stocked, about this time the same woman approaches, I remind her I was in two weeks ago, she proceeds to the back room where the same guy is working on another bike, he tells her; we can get them, will be next week. SMH...
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Old 06-16-16, 06:52 PM
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I've only ordered two items from a LBS (from Specialized too.) Got both items in three days. I do agree that many times is easier to just order it yourself though.
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Old 06-16-16, 07:13 PM
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My LBS is comparatively good . I prefer to purchase in a bike shop, after reviewing on line , but I'll admit the convenience on line sometimes gets the best of me, pushing me in the direction of Amazon
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Old 06-16-16, 07:27 PM
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My LBS actually started as a website before they had any brick and mortar locations (now there are two). It's nice because I can make an order online and it's at the store from their warehouse the next day. They also happen to sponsor my club so I get 20% off any purchase (except bikes and labor). I really would love to go to the LBS that's right down the road from me but they give me the same crap you talked about, I actually pulled a bike from there the last time and took it to the other shop. I don't mind waiting but tell me 2 weeks if you think it will be 1...what do they say, "under promise, and over deliver".
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Old 06-16-16, 08:15 PM
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Do you also avoid all delis and shoe stores and sporting goods stores because you had a bad experience once locally?

Can you be more dramatic?...
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Old 06-16-16, 10:02 PM
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Aren't you supposed to make a token deposit on an item to show them you are serious in wanting it. I know my local LBS stopped custom ordering things without a deposit because people don't come in to pay/pick stuff up. As a result the LBS got stuck with stuff they cannot sell easily. Having said this I got my three pairs of gloves at MEC because they stock them vs my local LBS that repairs my bike.
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Old 06-16-16, 11:57 PM
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Every LBS should have an Amazon Prime account. In some cases they can get same day delivery. At worst, two-day delivery. There's hardly ever any reason to keep customers waiting a week or longer.

The main challenge to businesses using Amazon Prime for same-day delivery now is Amazon hasn't yet provided a filter to quickly identify eligible items to meet the $35 minimum order to qualify for free same-day delivery.

Sure, customers could do this themselves. But some folks don't use or like Amazon. And even if the LBS marks up the price a couple of bucks to cover their expenses, it's a useful value added service to keep customers happy.

When I needed to replace a Shimano RevoShift last month I ordered the shifter, Jagwire cable cutter (and a bag of super-caffeinated coffee to meet the $35 minimum order) around 6 a.m., and the order was delivered just after noon from Dallas (I'm in Fort Worth). Pretty good deal for a job I could do myself at home, and get back on the road pronto.

A week or so later I used the Amazon Prime same-day free delivery to order a pair of summer weight cycling gloves and a couple other items I wanted for a group ride that night. Again, everything arrived early afternoon.

Last edited by canklecat; 06-17-16 at 12:01 AM.
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Old 06-17-16, 12:07 AM
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It sounds like the store indicated to the OP that the gloves were a regular stock item that would be replenished shortly, although perhaps there was some confusion on models and colors.

I enjoy browsing at the local bike co-op, although much of their inventory is pretty junky (here in Eugene). The Portland co-op may buy inventory, and charges more, so they tend to have better stuff.

However, my general needs are a little bit beyond "typical", so online is easier. I even had troubles buying simple butyl tubes from the LBS. Ok, the size was 24x1, 520, but still... TUBES (they even had a floor model bike that took them).

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Old 06-17-16, 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by bakes1 View Post
Do you also avoid all delis and shoe stores and sporting goods stores because you had a bad experience once locally?

Can you be more dramatic?...
If I ever have a bad experience at a deli or shoe store I will consider that. There was one sporting goods store that had their heads up their arses, they are now going out of business.

The facts and nothing but the facts.

Originally Posted by blue192 View Post
Aren't you supposed to make a token deposit on an item to show them you are serious in wanting it. I know my local LBS stopped custom ordering things without a deposit because people don't come in to pay/pick stuff up. As a result the LBS got stuck with stuff they cannot sell easily. Having said this I got my three pairs of gloves at MEC because they stock them vs my local LBS that repairs my bike.
Had they asked, I would have paid in full. I was told they needed to restock.
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Last edited by 02Giant; 06-17-16 at 05:13 AM.
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Old 06-17-16, 05:51 AM
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Here's what I have to choose from for LBS's locally:

1) 2-shop chain, has lots of stock, but most counter help isn't knowledgeable.
2) 4-store chain-sells bikes AND exercise equipment. Repair shops very small, counter help are really salesmen.
3) 1-man operation, specializes in commuter bikes, difficult to deal with.
4) Established but declining comprehensive shop, run by a guy who's an S.O.B.
5) Established but declining road bike shop, run by a guy who really knows his stuff, but never has what you're looking for.
6) Newer shop, trendy and expensive.
7) A small bike & outdoor equipment shop chain, repair guys are limited, stock is variable but always expensive.

As you can see, I tend to buy stuff online.
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Old 06-17-16, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by 02Giant View Post
She takes my name & number and says she will call next week. Next week comes and goes

There is no excuse for this.

Good news, bad new or no news, you call the customer. Not communicating is the absolute worst thing a business can do.


-Tim-
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Old 06-17-16, 07:24 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by AlexCyclistRoch View Post
Here's what I have to choose from for LBS's locally:

1) 2-shop chain, has lots of stock, but most counter help isn't knowledgeable.
2) 4-store chain-sells bikes AND exercise equipment. Repair shops very small, counter help are really salesmen.
3) 1-man operation, specializes in commuter bikes, difficult to deal with.
4) Established but declining comprehensive shop, run by a guy who's an S.O.B.
5) Established but declining road bike shop, run by a guy who really knows his stuff, but never has what you're looking for.
6) Newer shop, trendy and expensive.
7) A small bike & outdoor equipment shop chain, repair guys are limited, stock is variable but always expensive.

As you can see, I tend to buy stuff online.
No shop can be all things to all people. My go to shop for repairs has a small selection of accessories and has almost no clothing options at all. I am not all that inclined to special order things like clothing, tools, or accessories. It really makes no sense for me to go there for bike clothing. Other places have lots of clothing and accessories and if I time things right, I can get that stuff locally for about the same price or less than buying off the internet. All that said, sometimes internet prices are just too good. I recently bought a $100 helmet for $30, or an $80 jersey for $25. It just isn't fair for me to go to my LBS and ask him for a 70% discount. Unless the internet store is affiliated with the local shop, which did once happen to me on a pair of shorts. Local chain bike shop was offering shorts for $100. I go on their website and they are offering what look like the same shorts for half off. So I go back to the local shop and ask if I can have the 50% off shorts. They say, those are in the Minnesota shop and are old stock but yes, they can get it if I want. And I did, and they did.
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Old 06-17-16, 07:48 AM
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Try living in a small city where only one LBS carries a certain brand. Say, if I want a Specialized glove, I have to go to one LBS. Bontrager, another. And so on. Oh, and being a woman makes it worse. Staff is SO condescending (in my experience and in my city, I've been to stores in the capital and it's a whole different situation).

I've been to a few LBS for maintenance and unfortunately my favorite is the one that I can only go on Saturdays (they are in downtown and I can't get there before their closing time during the week). The main reason why my bike is so overdue for a maintenance :v
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Old 06-17-16, 07:50 AM
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I can up you one.

I tried to give one business, because they gave me some free bike boxes and P-clips. Needed a chain, and I didn't have time to order it, so I went in to them. They normally stock it, but were sold out. Guy checks the computer, says yep we've got some coming in tomorrow, come back in the afternoon. Fast forward to the next afternoon, later in the day. Kid at the desk looks at the hook and tells me they are out. I told him they were supposed to come in, and hand him the card the guy the day before gave me. He confirms they got the shipment, but won't sell it to me because they didn't unpack the box yet and it was apparently too much of an effort for him to be bothered to go open it despite me being the only person in the place.

Like I said, I was making an effort to use them because they had given me some freebies, but they made it real hard. Didn't want to bother with wasting another drive there and I needed the chain, so another shop got the business.

In any case, say what you want about the place, but I love Performance Bike for accessories. Whole aisle of gloves in all colors, sizes, and prices.
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Old 06-17-16, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
I can up you one.

I tried to give one business, because they gave me some free bike boxes and P-clips. Needed a chain, and I didn't have time to order it, so I went in to them. They normally stock it, but were sold out. Guy checks the computer, says yep we've got some coming in tomorrow, come back in the afternoon. Fast forward to the next afternoon, later in the day. Kid at the desk looks at the hook and tells me they are out. I told him they were supposed to come in, and hand him the card the guy the day before gave me. He confirms they got the shipment, but won't sell it to me because they didn't unpack the box yet and it was apparently too much of an effort for him to be bothered to go open it despite me being the only person in the place.

Like I said, I was making an effort to use them because they had given me some freebies, but they made it real hard. Didn't want to bother with wasting another drive there and I needed the chain, so another shop got the business.

In any case, say what you want about the place, but I love Performance Bike for accessories. Whole aisle of gloves in all colors, sizes, and prices.

Re red/bold, Performance lives and dies by Yelp reviews.

I yelped a guy for good service and the store manager had a call from corporate the same day.
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Old 06-17-16, 09:52 AM
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that's a funny story. went to my LBS for stabilzer straps for my hitch rack and he gave me some plastic shims he had laying around for free. I won't be using them but it was a nice gesture. gotta take every LBS experience with a grain of salt. wouldn't want to live without them, but glad there are other options
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Old 06-17-16, 10:25 AM
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I want to write a long dissertation on why I think the LBS is it's own worst enemy. I try where possible to use the local brick and mortar stores for everything that makes sense to. I try to use a small "family" owned business when possible also. I bought 2 bikes on the internet at bikes direct and any time there's a repair the LBS has to give me an earful about my "internet bike". OK whatever I can take it.

I recently went to purchase a new bike and set out to use the LBS what a terrible experience across six different stores. They stock like one bike per season in my size and tell me to go home research the fill-in-the-brand-name-here bikes, come back and we'll order it for you as in your buying it. So why I ask would I buy a bike sight unseen without a test ride from you at your markup and have to take it if it's not right for me? This is just like buying the dreaded internet bike right.... crickets and blinking.

I'm in the process of doing the same for my wife, similar experience. We went to a store that sells Giant bikes, my wife tried out a Defy carbon fiber bike with a 105 group. The store wants $2300. I went home to look up the detailed specs on it at the Giant web site low and behold indicates that the bike retails for $2100 but.... there's a summer sale on for Giant bikes and this one is now on sale at al Giant dealers (like the one I went to) for $1650. I call the LBS and tell them I just saw the Giant sale. The salesperson says yes that's right. I asked do you honour the price and he says yes but we don't mark our price tags. So he's willing to sell me the bike for $2300 if I don't know about the sale promoted by Giant that points me to his store. Now you can say let the buyer beware yada yada but really. This experience unfortunately is not the exception around me it's the rule.
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Old 06-17-16, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by sheltonlp View Post
I don't mind waiting but tell me 2 weeks if you think it will be 1...what do they say, "under promise, and over deliver".
Do you offer classes and/or waterboarding and shock therapy sessions? Been trying for years to get the boss to stop telling customers on Wednesday that we can have their project done by the end of the week, knowing full well that it will take at least 48 hours to get materials delivered, and sometimes up to two weeks.
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Old 06-17-16, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by TKJava View Post
I want to write a long dissertation on why I think the LBS is it's own worst enemy.
You mean the fact that pretty much all of them have at least one employee (or more often, the owner) who seems to be an overdone parody of Yehuda Moon?

I bought 2 bikes on the internet at bikes direct and any time there's a repair the LBS has to give me an earful about my "internet bike".
Got similar to that in other industries. I generally tell them if they don't want the (higher profit) business of repairing it, someone else certainly will.
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Old 06-17-16, 10:58 AM
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I like my LBS policy. Full price, fully refundable deposit for special orders. They check the availability at the distributor to ensure timely arrival when you place your order. Most everything is 3-4 days. You don't like it or don't want it for any reason, you get your money back. Heck, you can even call to cancel and get your money back before it's arrived. You can take the item home and if it's not working for you, bring it back for a full refund.
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Old 06-17-16, 12:01 PM
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Would have been a better story if it was the same bike.
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Old 06-17-16, 12:06 PM
  #22  
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I like both the LBSs that I frequent. One is very high end and I enjoy their group rides, but I never buy anything there because frankly they are wildly overpriced and don't have parts lying around for the bikes that I flip. The other shop I frequent I LOVE to buy from, but it's always random used parts or small things like crank bolts or rim strips. They always have this stuff in stock, and they are quick and easy for small cash purchases. EVERYTHING else I buy online, because it is often faster than ordering at a shop, I don't have to pay tax, the selection is MUCH better, the prices are always lower, and I often know more about EXACTLY what I want than the register-jockey at most shops.
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Old 06-17-16, 01:47 PM
  #23  
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I buy some things on line but I've built a relationship w the LBS about 30 mins away so he knows me always hooks me up and even lets me know if he gets upgrade items I might want in on a trade in.
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Old 06-17-16, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ypsetihw View Post
I like both the LBSs that I frequent. One is very high end and I enjoy their group rides, but I never buy anything there because frankly they are wildly overpriced and don't have parts lying around for the bikes that I flip.
Did they try to charge you a whole dollar for a Suntour derailleur?
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Old 06-17-16, 06:10 PM
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My LBS just orders from the manufacturer's website when I want something. Meaning I can just order it myself if I need to (although if the LBS orders it for me I can return it to them rather than to the manufacturer so there's that).

Also they order it while I'm standing there (and I pay for it at the time of order). I don't know why yours says they will, instead of just doing it right then and there?
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