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-   -   Do you buy beer/beverages for your lbs/mechanic/store? (https://www.bikeforums.net/general-cycling-discussion/1163854-do-you-buy-beer-beverages-your-lbs-mechanic-store.html)

Cuyuna 01-09-19 01:42 PM


Originally Posted by DaveSSS (Post 20739369)
I'd be embarrassed to admit that I can't do my own bike repair. Never had a local shop make a repair.

For me, it's easier to have the bike shop do it. Then I don't have to take the time or acquire the tools.

The local Trek dealer here has an option to pay a little more to jump the line, in the event that I'm in a hurry to get the bike back. That works for me.

Trakhak 01-09-19 01:43 PM

At the other extreme from the friendly bribe---the customers who try to pressure you, the bike shop employee, into letting them jump the service department cue for no reason other than that their time is more valuable than yours (or that of other customers). Used to drive me crazy during the busy season in a bike shop that I used to manage. And the busier you were, the surer they were that you'd give in.

I finally instituted a UPS-like policy of charging a flat $5 fee for next-day service. The pushy "gotta-have-it-tomorrow" customers suddenly weren't in a hurry after all, while the customers who genuinely needed to get the bike back fast were happy to pay a little extra.

If I worked in a shop now, I'd seriously consider offering some version of the Amazon Prime way of doing business---$100 a year (to pick an arbitrary number) and you'd get unlimited next-day service, free tuneups, discounts on purchases, and whatever other perks would make sense in sweetening the pot. It'd be a good way to ensure repeat traffic in the shop.

(Yes, Performance tried something like this and went out of business, but their version might have been a net plus for them---just not enough to keep them afloat.)

veganbikes 01-09-19 01:49 PM


Originally Posted by indyfabz (Post 20739640)
You're asking a lot from the "I scour the Interwebs for hours to save $0.50 on inner tubes" crowd. :innocent:

NJ does not have self-serve gas stations. When I am over there for work and buy gas, I always give the attendant a couple of bucks. Imagine standing outside in the cold or heat smelling gas and exhaust fumes your entire shift for $12/hour if you are lucky..

And I am not embarrassed to admit that if I would never wash my car myself. Some things are just not worth my time compared to what they cost.

True, true. I ask a lot sometimes :)

fietsbob 01-09-19 01:54 PM

Here in the summer, we have a repair queue, but being on a internationally popular touring route if a bike tourist needs a quick fix to continue the ride down the Coast,

We try to knock that out first, to send them on their way , again..

I-Like-To-Bike 01-09-19 02:02 PM


Originally Posted by indyfabz (Post 20739754)
Nope. When I show up...
[skip]
P.S. Not sure where you eat, but the where I dine, it's rare that the waiter/waitress or the server (who takes your order and who actually serves you your food may be two different people entirely) interacts with me upon entrance. That task is usually reserved for the host/hostess.

Believe it or not the issue is not about your choice in restaurants nor your tipping habits for the hostess, maître d', and/or the sommelier at these fine establishments, nor your generosity with the gas station attendants in the Garden State, but rather, the statements made by several posters on this thread that they get or expect better/special service than other customers at an LBS because they treat/tip/bribe the employees with cookies, doughnuts and/or beer. You may find that a normal or standard business practice for an LBS, I don't.

EdwinHeadwind 01-09-19 02:07 PM

My favorite local shop serves as the hub for my rather large cycling group. We ride with the shop guys, hang out after work, host charitable fundraisers there, etc. So yeah, I bring them a sixer every once in awhile, because that's what friends do. I feel bad for riders who don't have a shop like that, and instead have a relationship based entirely on a business transaction.

I-Like-To-Bike 01-09-19 02:13 PM


Originally Posted by Cuyuna (Post 20739831)
The local Trek dealer here has an option to pay a little more to jump the line, in the event that I'm in a hurry to get the bike back. That works for me.


Originally Posted by Trakhak (Post 20739833)
I finally instituted a UPS-like policy of charging a flat $5 fee for next-day service. The pushy "gotta-have-it-tomorrow" customers suddenly weren't in a hurry after all, while the customers who genuinely needed to get the bike back fast were happy to pay a little extra.

Those policies sound reasonable as long as they are posted where all customers are made aware of this policy upfront.

indyfabz 01-09-19 02:48 PM


Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike;20739867the statements made by several posters on this thread that [b
they get or expect better[/b]/special service than other customers at an LBS because they treat/tip/bribe the employees with cookies, doughnuts and/or beer.

I understand language can be challenging. Offering a gift as thanks is not a bribe, even if you ultimately receive something in return. A bribe is made for the purpose of influencing someone.

If I feel a gift is deserved, I will give one with no expectation of reciprocity and will continue to give when I feel it's deserved even if I receive no special treatment in return. That's called kindness and showing appreciation.

wolfchild 01-09-19 04:58 PM

I don't buy beer or other beverages for the car dealership which services my vehicle, why would I buy one for an LBS mechanic ??...I have 6 different bike shops in my city and I don't have any special relationship with any of them. I only visit them if I need to buy parts.

windhchaser 01-09-19 05:34 PM


Originally Posted by ooga-booga (Post 20738858)
so do you buy beer or beverages for your local lbs/mechanic? if so, what do you tend to bring over?
i usually try for a six-pack mixer of at least two different beers-a lager and an ale-if current reefer/fridge inventory
allows for it. sometimes it's just straight lager(s) or ipa's.

i dont buy them anything for petes sakes me allowing them to make eye contact with me is a big big gift. if they do a extra good job i allow them to kiss my ring

Kedosto 01-09-19 06:09 PM

Wow. So much fail in this thread.

My relationship with my LBS goes back over 30 years and three different locations. They have done me right in more ways than I could ever count (or pay). The pizza and coffee (and coffee gift cards) that I have given are tokens of my appreciation for the excellent service, advice, and consideration they have shown me for all these years. Over the shop's history, faces have changed, but the owner and two shop guys have stuck it out through thick and thin. They know my history, my bikes, my struggles and successes. They know my family, my friends, and my dogs. Those guys are like members of my family. In fact, I dated the owners youngest sister in high school some 40 years ago. This last Christmas I brought over a case of Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup for the crew. That stuff is DELICIOUS!

I have similar relationships all over town; barber, restaurants, auto shop, tailor, etc.. And that's the difference -- I build relationships with the people I intend to do business. I wonder how many of the guys who couldn't be bothered to do anything nice for their LBS are the same guys who gripe about not getting priority service? We reap what we sow. I guess some people just don't get it. The generosities I have extended in my business relationships have been repaid many, many times over.

Bringing it back on topic... IMO, whatever I've spent on gratuities for my LBS has been money well spent.


-Kedosto

Cuyuna 01-09-19 06:58 PM


Originally Posted by Kedosto (Post 20740299)
Wow. So much fail in this thread.

My relationship with my LBS goes back over 30 years and three different locations. They have done me right in more ways than I could ever count (or pay). The pizza and coffee (and coffee gift cards) that I have given are tokens of my appreciation for the excellent service, advice, and consideration they have shown me for all these years. Over the shop's history, faces have changed, but the owner and two shop guys have stuck it out through thick and thin. They know my history, my bikes, my struggles and successes. They know my family, my friends, and my dogs. Those guys are like members of my family. In fact, I dated the owners youngest sister in high school some 40 years ago. This last Christmas I brought over a case of Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup for the crew. That stuff is DELICIOUS!

I have similar relationships all over town; barber, restaurants, auto shop, tailor, etc.. And that's the difference -- I build relationships with the people I intend to do business. I wonder how many of the guys who couldn't be bothered to do anything nice for their LBS are the same guys who gripe about not getting priority service? We reap what we sow. I guess some people just don't get it. The generosities I have extended in my business relationships have been repaid many, many times over.

Bringing it back on topic... IMO, whatever I've spent on gratuities for my LBS has been money well spent.


Life there in Mayberry sounds pretty sweet! For me...my LBS, my barber, and the guy at the donut shop all treat me professionally and with respect. In return, I treat them with respect, give them my business, pay them promptly, and tip if and when appropriate. Works entirely to my satisfaction, and theirs.



...

MoAlpha 01-09-19 07:24 PM

What do you do for your neurologist? We especially like ultra-premium Irish whiskeys.

ddeand 01-10-19 12:19 AM

I worked at a large REI bike department for quite awhile - six mechanics and five work stations. There was a store policy of no booze on the premises, but I always brought in a 12-pack of good brews for them every once in awhile. They were friends and did a lot of free work and teaching for me, so we usually enjoyed the the brews together. There were a couple of regular customers who were very pleased with the work the mechs did, and they would often bring in treats to show their appreciation. One woman brought her bike in every year to get it tuned, and when she picked it up, she brougnt 2-3 pizzas for the bike shop staff. It was a nice touch. I think you need to know the staff pretty well to bring beers to them, but something like pastries or some other treats are always appreciated.

ooga-booga 01-10-19 03:23 AM

op here...time to toss a monkey wrench into things. so i drop off a sixer of good craft beer approx twice a month and the store staff doesn't drink it all.
they keep some on hand and i've seen them offer it to preferred customers or those that are simply nice/appreciative. does that change your opinion(s)?

jefnvk 01-10-19 07:19 AM


Originally Posted by Kedosto (Post 20740299)
Wow. So much fail in this thread.
...
I have similar relationships all over town; barber, restaurants, auto shop, tailor, etc.. And that's the difference -- I build relationships with the people I intend to do business. I wonder how many of the guys who couldn't be bothered to do anything nice for their LBS are the same guys who gripe about not getting priority service? We reap what we sow. I guess some people just don't get it. The generosities I have extended in my business relationships have been repaid many, many times over.

So, it is a fail because others don't treat business relationships like you? I have my friends who do all that you listed in your post, I don't really need friendship out of the places I do business. I can do business in a polite and respectful manner without having to be buddy-buddy with them. Heck, I can even remember them, they can remember me, and we can ask each other about recent biking adventures. At the end of the day, though, it is a transactional relationship. If I didn't need the services they provided, I wouldn't be there, regardless of how good of folks they were.

As to the second point, that is exactly what some folks are saying about it being a bribe. If I walked in five minutes before close as a tourer who needed a new derailleur and and the eyelet rethreaded, and someone stuck around for an extra hour to get me on my way, that's a thank you six pack worthy. If I expect to jump to the front of the line because I'm bringing in a pack of beer a month and hanging out, that is indeed a form of bribery, you are influencing their decisions with your actions and gifts. IMO, it is a poor way to run a business, and if I encounter it as someone new to that shop it generally tells me to look elsewhere if I don't want to deal with a pay-to-play environment.


Originally Posted by ooga-booga (Post 20740818)
op here...time to toss a monkey wrench into things. so i drop off a sixer of good craft beer approx twice a month and the store staff doesn't drink it all.
they keep some on hand and i've seen them offer it to preferred customers or those that are simply nice/appreciative. does that change your opinion(s)?

Yep. If you intend to give it to them as a gift of thanks, it seems like it is failing because its not something they consume. Maybe ask them if there is something else they prefer? A nice bag of coffee, perhaps?

Cuyuna 01-10-19 07:45 AM


Originally Posted by jefnvk (Post 20740930)

Yep. If you intend to give it to them as a gift of thanks, it seems like it is failing because its not something they consume. Maybe ask them if there is something else they prefer? A nice bag of coffee, perhaps?

I wouldn't even ask. I'd just change my bi-monthly gift to a pat on the back and a hearty "thanks". Better yet...give them a good review of Yelp or Google instead. Sounds like they'd appreciate that more than the beer.

Nachoman 01-10-19 08:27 AM

My mechanic likes big, bold red wines and very oaky, buttery chardonnays.
While I do tip him regularly with wine, he just as often will give me a bottle of wine when I pick up my bike.

cat0020 01-10-19 08:39 AM

Do you really want drunken mechanics working on your bike?

OBoile 01-10-19 08:47 AM

I'm still amazed that people feel inclined to tip at a retail store at all.

Ironfish653 01-10-19 09:46 AM


Originally Posted by OBoile (Post 20741046)
I'm still amazed that people feel inclined to tip at a retail store at all.

I think it depends on the bike shop staff, and your relationship to the shop. Do you see a bike shop as primarily retail, or as a service? They're a little of both, and it kind of depends on the individual shop, and the individual customer.

There are some shops that are strictly retail, and some that encourage the social aspect of cycling. Do they host rides that you regularly attend? Do they encourage riders to 'hang out' and 'talk bikes'? Not every shop is the same.
Are you a 'regular' frequent customer? Do you get most of your parts/ accessories there? Do they regularly service your bikes?
For me, the answers are pretty much all NO. I might drop in to whichever one is closest to me if I need something easy like a tube, cables, or quick-link, but I do my own work, and spec my own parts.

If I had a shop that I was a regular enough at that I commissioned them to do a custom build for me like @indyfabz then I might be inclined to bring by coffee and donuts on a Saturday, or a couple of sixer's on a Friday afternoon.
I had a shop like that once upon a time, but not any more.

mtb_addict 01-10-19 09:57 AM


Originally Posted by ooga-booga (Post 20740818)
op here...time to toss a monkey wrench into things. so i drop off a sixer of good craft beer approx twice a month and the store staff doesn't drink it all.
they keep some on hand and i've seen them offer it to preferred customers or those that are simply nice/appreciative. does that change your opinion(s)?

Do they have a license to sell beer?

EdwinHeadwind 01-10-19 10:19 AM


Originally Posted by mtb_addict (Post 20741203)
Do they have a license to sell beer?

They aren't selling it. You don't need a license to give it away.

NomarsGirl 01-10-19 10:57 AM

Are your LBS mechanics too young to buy their own beer? ;)

big chainring 01-10-19 12:56 PM

Doobage was always a mechanics go to buzz producer. Building and repairing bikes with a bit of a blaze on makes the day go by quicker. Spend a lot of time looking for tools though.


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