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Will you pay hundreds more just to help your shop?

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Will you pay hundreds more just to help your shop?

Old 09-22-16, 04:00 PM
  #51  
tgmcmonigle
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
There is another consideration for retail businesses that people tend to overlook. Anyone walking in is a potential customer, regardless of their intention. Whether or not someone has any intention of buying something, you want them to walk in the door. You want them wandering around all of your displays, seeing your product there, giving your salesmen a chance work them.

Even the guy that's planning to order online after checking something out locally, you want a shot at convincing that guy to buy it now, from you, and the best place to do that is in your store. You don't want him sitting at home, haunting the forums for advice - that helps you none at all. You want that same guy to come in to check things out. If nothing else, even if you fail with the big ticket sell you want to sell him the higher margin accessories. If not now, there's always a chance later.

That's not to say I'd go in to plumb someone's knowledge, take their time and then take it elsewhere. There are people who will try that. There's a line to be drawn there, and it usually falls on the business to draw it. You tell them enough, but at some point of detail that's after the sale support and the good ones point that out. If on the other hand they're just competing on price, then there's nothing wrong with a couple of questions, browsing and going with the best price. There is nothing wrong with asking questions and finding out what value the business adds either, and deciding that it's not enough for the price. Or that it is, as the case may be. It's up to the salesman to make that case though, not the customer.

I can understand the business owner's ire at the lookie-lous with their neverending questions, as I've been there. But that "scumbag" stuff, un-evolved human, and so on, that's for venting off in the back room. That guy doesn't really cost the business anything unless you let it, and the owner - if he's a good retail businessman - wants that guy in there doing what he's doing.
My sentiments exactly. This is what I meant above when I said "Good businessmen know how to add value to their product and make you want to shop there, even if the price is higher." I'm not anti LBS. As a matter of fact, there's one shop I'll drive 100 miles to shop with, even though in some cases they're more expensive. They get me to come back with their friendliness and their exceptional service. I just choose not to reward bad business with my money simply because they're "Local".
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Old 09-22-16, 04:14 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Are they identical? Same spokes, same spoke count, same rims, same hubs, same competent hand-assembly? If the bike shop is hand-building and warrantying wheels, and the alternative is a set purchased on the internet that are machine-built, then the price difference is justifiable, and I would probably buy locally.

$85.00 per wheel? Way too much.
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Old 09-22-16, 05:19 PM
  #53  
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I almost always buy locally. Build my own wheels, and buy the parts at the store. Very few exceptions. They treat me well, and I'm pretty sure I save money overall having a good relationship. For example, they let me use their tension meter when I'm done building a wheel. Granted, I have a really good bike shop. I think showrooming is a really ugly practice. You can say it's ethically defensible, but I find that notion questionable. Much of the value added by the LBS is stocking the item and having it available for inspection. That costs a lot of money. Go to the Wiggle showroom if you want to buy from them after trying something on.

Funny thing happened recently at my LBS. Two doors down from the LBS is a very overpriced outdoor shop. Pretty sure they charge more than MSRP on most of their items. A manager from the outdoor shop came in to the bike shop and tried to showroom them. That got an official response from the bike shop owner. When a regular customer does that, the bike shop guys grumble and ignore it. But it does make them feel bad.

Putting my moderator's hat on for a second, this subject gets pretty heated, as seen already. Let's keep it civil please
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Old 09-22-16, 05:26 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by tgmcmonigle View Post
Deny it all you want, it's the exact same thing. The dealer that you test drive at first has cost associated with that as well. It's not ethics, it's business. A lot of your on-line retailers have brick and mortar presences as well. Lots of Amazon retailers are shops that have branched out into the on-line world and increased their sales.

The fact that you can't grasp this shows the level of your hypocrisy. It seems that you have bought into the "group-think" that poor businessmen have been perpetuating since public access to the internet has been allowed. That's okay, as it's your money to spend, just don't criticize people who are more discerning with their money.
If you go to two or more dealerships I see nothing wrong with letting each one know that you are comparing multiple opportunities, then ask for each one's best price so they know you are not trying to play them off of one another.

I typically do this process by email with the dealership's internet sales manager so that no salesperson on commission spends time on me that they don't get a commission for.

Likewise if I'm going to comparison shop online bike parts vs a brick and mortar store I'm going to tell the salesperson there exactly what I'm doing, that I'd love to support the LBS but not at a huge price premium.

I wouldn't pay more than a 10-15% premium just to support the LBS and also not if that percentage amounts to more than $20 extra or so.
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Old 09-22-16, 05:42 PM
  #55  
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I know a few people who shop at Amazon and buy, take delivery, then return the item. This is done over and over again. Its like going to a local store, take a look, and don't buy.

This is not to say most Amazon shoppers do this. What service does Amazon provide? Prime which is delivery charge free?
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Old 09-22-16, 08:35 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
There is another consideration for retail businesses that people tend to overlook. Anyone walking in is a potential customer, regardless of their intention. Whether or not someone has any intention of buying something, you want them to walk in the door. You want them wandering around all of your displays, seeing your product there, giving your salesmen a chance work them.

Even the guy that's planning to order online after checking something out locally, you want a shot at convincing that guy to buy it now, from you, and the best place to do that is in your store. You don't want him sitting at home, haunting the forums for advice - that helps you none at all. You want that same guy to come in to check things out. If nothing else, even if you fail with the big ticket sell you want to sell him the higher margin accessories. If not now, there's always a chance later. [snip]
Yes indeed!

It occurs to me that, in addition to the "browser buy," LBS have the advantage of having parts/accessories/bikes available RIGHT NOW, so someone in need is going to buy from the LBS. Online shops can sell for cheaper. Maybe the "browser buy" and the RIGHT NOW sales balance out against the windowshopper who intends to buy online.

Not really an ethical conundrum, I think.
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Old 09-22-16, 10:50 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Gweedo1 View Post
I know that there are many riders who go into their LBS or any BS and try on/check out gear etc just to see if it fits etc and then go order on line...riders/shoppers like that are scum bags IMO.
As someone in commission-only sales, I couldn't agree more.

And as a person who does not have the time, space nor inclination to learn how to repair bicycles, I prefer to have a well-stocked, knowledgeable staff there to be able to ask questions and learn from.

I sell a premium product in a commodity marketplace, and have learned that my best customer is one who is not a "wal-mart" shopper buying on price, but is willing to pay more for good advice.

So yes, I am willing to pay MSRP so the store can make a decent profit as I have a vested interest in their continued success and availability as a resource for me to use. Small items I might occasionally purchase online, but 90% of my purchases will be at the LBS.
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Old 09-23-16, 06:44 AM
  #58  
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Maybe it's just an NYC thing, but for most component type purchases (ie. not accessories), most LBSs here simply do not have any selection. There are no walls displaying various handlebar models, nor shelves of stems. It's rare to find an LBS with racks of wheelsets to choose from. Most LBSs have saddles but are limited to 1 or 2 brands. Display and floor space is devoted to bikes, and accessories (water bottles, bells, gloves, helmets, bike cages).
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Old 09-23-16, 06:58 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Maybe it's just an NYC thing, but for most component type purchases (ie. not accessories), most LBSs here simply do not have any selection. There are no walls displaying various handlebar models, nor shelves of stems. It's rare to find an LBS with racks of wheelsets to choose from. Most LBSs have saddles but are limited to 1 or 2 brands. Display and floor space is devoted to bikes, and accessories (water bottles, bells, gloves, helmets, bike cages).
No LBS can be all things to all people, but respectfully, I don't think that is what OP is asking. Of course, if you want a particular jersey, or part, and your LBS doesn't have it or can't get it, you would go elsewhere. The question is, when your LBS does have the wheelset, do you buy it locally or buy from an internet seller for less?

My favorite LBS isn't super fancy, and their accessory focus is mostly on the commuter market. I go to them because their mechanics can do just about anything, and their repair process is relatively transparent meaning, their repair area is open so I can see who is, or isn't working, and when I bring it in for a repair, they will tell me who did the repair and if I have any questions, I can speak directly to the mechanic. (some of the bigger shops are more opaque about who does the repairs, and the repair area is in the back not visible to the general public).

What my favorite LBS is not big on is apparel. I don't even bother asking them to order me a windbreaker, socks, jersey, or shorts since they don't carry much and these items are easily obtained elsewhere. And, since I know what I like, and don't like in cycling apparel, there really is no point in having my bike shop special order these items for me at a price premium when I can order the items myself. In this case, the bike shop offers no added value, and since I haven't taken up even a minute of the bike shop's time, nor even used them to sample merchandise, I think I am morally in the clear buying that stuff from Nashbar, Performance, or Amazon.

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Old 09-23-16, 07:21 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
No LBS can be all things to all people, but respectfully, I don't think that is what OP is asking. Of course, if you want a particular jersey, or part, and your LBS doesn't have it or can't get it, you would go elsewhere. The question is, when your LBS does have the wheelset, do you buy it locally or buy from an internet seller for less?
Fair enough, but I would hazard a guess that most LBSs could order anything and will act as reps for many manufacturers -- isn't most equipment all coming in from only 2 or 3 main distributorships? eg. If I need just my left Campy shifter replaced, the LBS is likely to not have in stock but is an authorized Campy service center and retailer. I don't know if the wheelset the LBS was offering to sell the OP was in stock or not, or potentially just a display/demo model.
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Old 09-23-16, 09:21 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by tgmcmonigle View Post
This is a tired argument that pops up in every sports type forum. Do you do the same when you shop for cars? Do you feel like if you test drive a car at Dealer A and Dealer B offers you a better deal that you're locked in to Dealer A just because you test drove his car?

If not, why? It's the same principle.

You want my money, you earn it. I have mouths to feed just like anybody else does, and they're not entitled to my business just because they're "local". Good businessmen know how to add value to their product and make you want to shop there, even if the price is higher. Poor businessmen go out of business. Survival of the fittest.
One could say shopping for cars is a bit different than "show-rooming" a bike shop.

With cars, you don't have many options to buy online. Also, you're usually going from one dealership to the other...in the end, you're still giving business to a local business, which you will probably return to for maintenance, or in the future to buy a new car - that might not happen, but the option is still there. There is also a much higher profit on cars than cycling shoes.

In my experience, bike shops do a lot for the cycling community. They put on rides, support local cycling charities, etc.

I agree with your statement that you shouldn't shop at a place just because they're local, but because they value your business. I'd never support a shop that didn't value my business. That said, if I went into a shop and tried on all of their shoes, took up an hour of someone's time and then left to buy those shoes on the internet, I'd feel rather guilty. The internet didn't value my business, the person that spent an hour with me did, that's why they spent the time.
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Old 09-23-16, 09:45 AM
  #62  
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If I could save hundreds on a purchase at the OP's price point of under a thousand bucks, I'd save the money and buy online. On other things it depends.

Recently I converted my hybrid to a 1x9 setup. I bought the new crankset and chainring from my LBS because it was competitively priced and then labor was free. Then I upgraded to Deore XT hydraulics and when we discussed price the shopowner was quick to admit he couldn't compete with the online price and to order them, bring them there and they would install them for some labor charge. He quoted me about 17-20 bucks for each brake. We were clearly talking about hydraulic brakes.

Seems he had a brain fart because when I got to the shop with my shiny new brakes the employee told me $45 per brake. And showed me their labor price sheet which did indeed say that for hydraulic brakes, it was 45. They ended up doing them for 30 each because I complained, very politely. Now I'll be more cautious going forward. But they are real nice guys and do good work and fast so I'll give them another shot when I upgrade my wheelset next. Moral of the story, make sure you get a proper labor quote from your LBS when you go the ordering parts online route.
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Old 09-23-16, 12:15 PM
  #63  
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The two issues are value for money, availability, and convenience. It is convenient to be able to go to my LBS and get a needed part or service in real time. I also think that if they share useful expertise (on sizing etc.) I should support them with a purchase (especially given that they have a money-back guarantee on parts).

That said, I bought a used Dura Ace 9000 crank (went from 172.5 to 175, and 53/39 to 52/36, iirc). The MSRP is hard to find, but is somewhere around 6 or 7 hundred us dollars. Common internet prices are ~$350-380. I think I paid $150 for a used unit. My LBS doesn't sell used bikes or parts, and I'm so cheap I don't think I'd ever pop for full price parts new, so the LBS doesn't offer all of what I'm shopping for. So price of the the new unit is one show-stopper, and availability of the used is another.

That said, I bought a nice Trek District 9 on clearance for my son from my LBS. Price was good. Quality good. Convenient.

I've paid them to replace rim strips. I've bought (horribly expensive) bontrager AWS r3 hard shell tires from them. Price was high, but convenience outweighed the price and they allowed me to go on a nice ride with my wife that day.

I have another problem: I have two LBS's that I like a lot near where I live. I can't afford to support them both. When my retirement plan becomes fully avialable (which involves winning the lottery - I have it all planned out) I intend to get a Trek Domane for my wife, and a Waterford, either lugged 853 or welded 953, through the other.

So, to answer the OP's question: no, not on widely available wheels. The LBS guys know that there's an internet out there. They set their price knowing that they'll loose some sales at that price, but that they'll be able to make some money on those that value convenience.

So the more general answer is, it depends.


I've paid for Bontrager

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Old 09-23-16, 12:21 PM
  #64  
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High level of Inventory investment costs Is what you have with Places like Universal Cycles in Portland .

with both walk in and shipped to your door options..
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Old 09-23-16, 03:59 PM
  #65  
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I buy almost everything online, including complete bikes. Components, tires, frames: I see them as commodities, price dictates where I buy them. I have no more of a romantic attachment with LBSs than I do with appliance stores. I've also had too much bad and incompetent service from many LBSs. I know a local independent mechanic that I use for stuff I don't know how to do or don't want to deal with, he's a friend and I'm happy to pay his prices and tip him with six packs. I do buy clothes and shoes in stores because I'm willing to pay for the convenience of trying things on.
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Old 09-23-16, 04:10 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
I buy almost everything online, including complete bikes. Components, tires, frames: I see them as commodities, price dictates where I buy them. I have no more of a romantic attachment with LBSs than I do with appliance stores. I've also had too much bad and incompetent service from many LBSs. I know a local independent mechanic that I use for stuff I don't know how to do or don't want to deal with, he's a friend and I'm happy to pay his prices and tip him with six packs. I do buy clothes and shoes in stores because I'm willing to pay for the convenience of trying things on.
Funny, I am the opposite. I go to the LBS for parts and service, but my last few jersey purchases have been online. Once I know what brand and size I need, there is a lot more choice online.
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Old 09-23-16, 04:47 PM
  #67  
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It depends on what it is and when I need it, I've found my LBS that I frequent are pretty close in price on most things, but if I'm in no hurry I tend to buy online when I'm sitting on the couch at 10pm because it's just easier.

I just spent $500 on hand built wheels from my LBS, could've got them cheaper online but my LBS offers to re tension them after 100 miles, and if I have any issues with them in the future they will stand by them.
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Old 09-23-16, 05:19 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by Scooty Puff Jr View Post
It depends on what it is and when I need it, I've found my LBS that I frequent are pretty close in price on most things, but if I'm in no hurry I tend to buy online when I'm sitting on the couch at 10pm because it's just easier.

I just spent $500 on hand built wheels from my LBS, could've got them cheaper online but my LBS offers to re tension them after 100 miles, and if I have any issues with them in the future they will stand by them.
I bought a hand built wheel from my LBS 2 years ago. Had my first broken spoke just last week. The shop that built the wheel replaced the spoke and re trued the wheel, no charge.
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Old 09-23-16, 10:44 PM
  #69  
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If I wanted to support a charity, I'd give my money to a no-kill animal shelter; not a business which exists to make a profit, but whose owner is unwilling/incapable of competing.

How would YOU feel if you were over-paid/given charity for merely doing your job?
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Old 09-24-16, 09:00 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
There is another consideration for retail businesses that people tend to overlook. Anyone walking in is a potential customer, regardless of their intention. Whether or not someone has any intention of buying something, you want them to walk in the door. You want them wandering around all of your displays, seeing your product there, giving your salesmen a chance work them.

Even the guy that's planning to order online after checking something out locally, you want a shot at convincing that guy to buy it now, from you, and the best place to do that is in your store. You don't want him sitting at home, haunting the forums for advice - that helps you none at all. You want that same guy to come in to check things out. If nothing else, even if you fail with the big ticket sell you want to sell him the higher margin accessories. If not now, there's always a chance later.

That's not to say I'd go in to plumb someone's knowledge, take their time and then take it elsewhere. There are people who will try that. There's a line to be drawn there, and it usually falls on the business to draw it. You tell them enough, but at some point of detail that's after the sale support and the good ones point that out. If on the other hand they're just competing on price, then there's nothing wrong with a couple of questions, browsing and going with the best price. There is nothing wrong with asking questions and finding out what value the business adds either, and deciding that it's not enough for the price. Or that it is, as the case may be. It's up to the salesman to make that case though, not the customer.

I can understand the business owner's ire at the lookie-lous with their neverending questions, as I've been there. But that "scumbag" stuff, un-evolved human, and so on, that's for venting off in the back room. That guy doesn't really cost the business anything unless you let it, and the owner - if he's a good retail businessman - wants that guy in there doing what he's doing.
I worked in the retail of big ticket items for seven years, and even though you're right about all people who visit the shop being potential customers, not all of them are desirable and they must all be qualified. I actually turned people away and advised them to shop elsewhere as I did not want their business at any cost as I did not want to deal with them on a personal level nor did the (very successful) business owner.

Money isn't everything and principles are principles. The worst client is the one who asks a thousand questions over a thousand visits, grinds you on every price item, and then almost inevitably becomes a huge PITA re warranty or service if a sale is made and then goes on the net to bad mouth the shop if he's not 1000% happy.

The pittance you may make from such a client who only wants the best price possible and a perfect product as opposed to developing a working relationship with the shop, is not worth it. Better to weed out the scumbags and let them take their business elsewhere. Like on-line.
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Old 09-24-16, 09:33 PM
  #71  
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There currently is no sales tax in Oregon. What are you buying to create hundreds of dollars in sales tax at say 8.99% anyway?


You have to get into thousands of dollars!


$10,000 @ 8.99% = $899, for instance.


Sales tax is levied by governments and paid by the dealer. They aren't winning any part of the deal and they still have to pay income taxes and other business fees plus the normal expenditures you would think of, as well as sales tax for items bought out of state.


Are we finally understanding markup etc? We aren't talking Farmer Brown's wheat and cattle that made your burger, although that too is about the same with only the scale being different,
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Old 09-25-16, 08:40 AM
  #72  
Lakerat
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I bought a set of spokes for a pair of wheels I built for my son's girlfriends bike at he local LBS. They charged me $30 to calculate the spoke lengths. I was in a time crunch partly due to them being slow or I'd have told them to stick it.


I started serious cycling in about 1976 utilizing the services of the LBS. Everything about dealing with them resulted in my buying the tools and learning to service my bike.
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Old 09-25-16, 03:14 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by Lakerat View Post
Everything about dealing with them resulted in my buying the tools and learning to service my bike.
I agree, that's what most enthusiasts will want to do. Shops cannot compete with online (especially Euro) parts prices. Use them for things you need to see before you buy and pay for that added value. No charity involved.
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Old 09-25-16, 04:52 PM
  #74  
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I am buying my Defy 2 from my local LBS because the people there take care of me and I care for them and they care for me. It is genuine. I could buy a Nashbar 105 and pay a grand less, but what is a thousand dollars among friends.
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Old 09-25-16, 09:00 PM
  #75  
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Much more beer.
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