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lbs vs online buying

Old 03-28-22, 12:17 PM
  #1  
jdogg111
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lbs vs online buying

ok. i've been using the same lbs for 12 yrs. purchased thousands of dollars worth of various things, work on bikes, parts. etc and never once have gotten a discount from them. i liked the idea of supporting local businesses but over time, my feelings have changed. the shop workers are rude, condesending and obnoxious, and not just to me. i've seen them be the same way with others. like they can't be bothered. after a recent tube purchase where the tube i bought blew within 50 feet after i put it on, i decided to take it back after making sure the offending blow-out wasnt' in the same spot as the tube that had ruptured the first time. it wasnt' close. the new tube was near the valve stem, the old one blew half way around the tire. i just wanted to make sure the defect wasn't bad rim tape. spokes, etc . the shop wouldn't give me a new tube, claimed it was the bikes fault. thats when i decided to forgo bike shops in favor of online buying. i get discounts, and timely shipping by just planning a bit in advance. do i feel guilty about abandoning the bike shop. no. i tried, but i also want to be treated as a valued customer, which i was not. i know, especially on here that support for lbs is strong, and thats fine if you have a good one. i don't have a good one, so i don't feel as if i should have an obligation to support someone who doesn't appreciate it. thanks for letting me vent.
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Old 03-28-22, 12:18 PM
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BTW...I would not have given you a new tube either. Sounds like operator error in not seating the tire correctly, especially since it happened around the valve stem. Did the same thing once or twice BITD due to not being attentive enough.

But I am glad you got something off your chest.

Last edited by indyfabz; 03-28-22 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 03-28-22, 12:34 PM
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In any small business I have the potential to do business with over years, I would get to know the owner and be on a first name basis.
Works well in business if the line staff knows you are familiar with the top person.
That's how I do business with my LBS I frequent for parts/repair.

Consumables like tires and tubes, I purchase online but will buy tires if they are not totally out of line $$$ wise at the LBS.

Regarding a tube? Who knows? More likely the operator and not the tube.
Giving away free stuff is not a good business model unless it is added to a high ticket item.
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Old 03-28-22, 12:37 PM
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Patch up the new tube. Takes two minutes and next to no cost. Also saves a tube from going to landfill.

As for the LBS, if they can survive while giving out crappy service and poor attitude, then they obviously don't need your patronage.
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Old 03-28-22, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jdogg111 View Post
... like they can't be bothered. after a recent tube purchase where the tube i bought blew within 50 feet after i put it on, i decided to take it back ...
A blowout before you ride 50 feet is almost certainly an installation mistake. Their refusal to warranty the tube was justified.
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Old 03-28-22, 12:46 PM
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jdogg111
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post



BTW...I would not have given you a new tube either. Sounds like operator error in not seating the tire correctly, especially since it happened around the valve stem. Did the same thing once or twice BITD due to not being attentive enough.

But I am glad you got something off your chest.
its possible the blow out was my fault. but i always run 10 psi less pressure than the tire calls for. the valve stem was perfectly seated, as was the tube. who knows, but the attitude i got when i tried to do a return more than anything , after all the yrs i went there, was the straw that broke. buildup along time coming.
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Old 03-28-22, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by jdogg111 View Post
ok. i've been using the same lbs for 12 yrs. purchased thousands of dollars worth of various things, work on bikes, parts. etc and never once have gotten a discount from them. i liked the idea of supporting local businesses but over time, my feelings have changed. the shop workers are rude, condesending and obnoxious
I agree that you shouldn't shop where you aren't treated well. That said, not receiving a discount doesn't qualify as mistreatment, IMO.

Originally Posted by jdogg111 View Post
the tube i bought blew within 50 feet after I put it on
Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
A blowout before you ride 50 feet is almost certainly an installation mistake. Their refusal to warranty the tube was justified.
So the shop should warranty a tube that the customer mis-installed?
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Old 03-28-22, 12:52 PM
  #8  
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Install error I'd bet. Doesn't matter if you're below the (useless) max pressure on the tire if you don't install the tube correctly. You have no idea how often I see this. A sizable percentage of people that do tube installs in front of our shop become return customers in a matter of seconds because they screw up somehow.
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Old 03-28-22, 12:53 PM
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I knocked over my beer at a bar (that I'd been going to for 12 years) once. When I complained to the bartender, he refused to replace it free of charge.

Should I
a) Accept responsibility for knocking over my beer, and either buy another beer or go home,
b) consider going to some other bar that replaces spilled beers free of charge, or
c) make posts to the internet suggesting bars are full of ill tempered bartenders who don't give away free beer?
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Old 03-28-22, 12:55 PM
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Sounds like you are seeking to justify going online and letting your local shop go out of business. Local shops employ local people and this keeps the dollars spent there in the local community and everyone living there benefits. Contrast that with buying from a Wal-Mart and having the money go to Bentonville. I buy online from a small bike business located in Chico California for items that my local shops would need to try and special order. Even then I pay the local shop to do the work on the bike to contribute to keeping their people employed.

The hourly worker is royally screwed in the USA with no medical insurance and high rents and high prescription drug prices and miserable public transport options and hyper aggressive police and churlish customers. My response is to treat them like real people and not servants and to tip everyone generously. But to each his own and the attitude of the OP is unfortunately commonplace at this time. It is how one acts or responds to difficult situations that defines us as adults.
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Old 03-28-22, 01:05 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by jdogg111 View Post
ok. i've been using the same lbs for 12 yrs. purchased thousands of dollars worth of various things, work on bikes, parts. etc and never once have gotten a discount from them. i liked the idea of supporting local businesses but over time, my feelings have changed. the shop workers are rude, condesending and obnoxious, and not just to me. i've seen them be the same way with others. like they can't be bothered. after a recent tube purchase where the tube i bought blew within 50 feet after i put it on, i decided to take it back after making sure the offending blow-out wasnt' in the same spot as the tube that had ruptured the first time. it wasnt' close. the new tube was near the valve stem, the old one blew half way around the tire. i just wanted to make sure the defect wasn't bad rim tape. spokes, etc . the shop wouldn't give me a new tube, claimed it was the bikes fault. thats when i decided to forgo bike shops in favor of online buying. i get discounts, and timely shipping by just planning a bit in advance. do i feel guilty about abandoning the bike shop. no. i tried, but i also want to be treated as a valued customer, which i was not. i know, especially on here that support for lbs is strong, and thats fine if you have a good one. i don't have a good one, so i don't feel as if i should have an obligation to support someone who doesn't appreciate it. thanks for letting me vent.
You have not been keeping up. At the minimum, one must genuflect while placing a six pack of local crafted beer on the counter nowadays. If you are expecting service without bringing the goods, you ain't getting no love.

You don't like how they have been treating you and just needed a small excuse to leave.

The tube is irrelevant. You messed it up. Pure and simple.
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Old 03-28-22, 01:07 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
I knocked over my beer at a bar (that I'd been going to for 12 years) once. When I complained to the bartender, he refused to replace it free of charge.

Should I
a) Accept responsibility for knocking over my beer, and either buy another beer or go home,
b) consider going to some other bar that replaces spilled beers free of charge, or
c) make posts to the internet suggesting bars are full of ill tempered bartenders who don't give away free beer?
We're going to need more information before we can answer that. To begin with, what beer were you drinking? Was it in a glass or a mug? From a tap or from a bottle?
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Old 03-28-22, 01:14 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by jdogg111 View Post
i decided to forgo bike shops in favor of online buying.
Let us know how your online retailer handles your complaint when a tube blows immediately after installation.
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Old 03-28-22, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
We're going to need more information before we can answer that. To begin with, what beer were you drinking? Was it in a glass or a mug? From a tap or from a bottle?
And how hoppy was it?
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Old 03-28-22, 01:29 PM
  #15  
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For me it is pretty simple.

If you need the LBS for service, or advice, or anything that you need help on from helmets, to pedals, to ???, then just keep going there and consider that it is the nature of the beast.

If you are pretty self sufficient and don't need anything from the LBS, move on.

I used to go to Performance before they shut down their brick and mortar shops.

There is a bike garage close by where I go to get some service that I don't want to do; such as servicing my old mtb forks. They also sell Park tools. I'll buy a tool from them from time to time even if it is more expensive as I would like them to remain in business.

John
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Old 03-28-22, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
You have not been keeping up. At the minimum, one must genuflect while placing a six pack of local crafted beer on the counter nowadays. If you are expecting service without bringing the goods, you ain't getting no love.
I hope this is a lame attempt at humor.
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Old 03-28-22, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
I hope this is a lame attempt at humor.
I have no hope for you.
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Old 03-28-22, 03:49 PM
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You might have a claim if and only if you had the shop install your new tube.

Otherwise, fuhgedaboutit.
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Old 03-28-22, 04:13 PM
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Calsun, I am in agreement with you and have been preaching to the enthusiasts on this forum and outside this forum about the importance of doing business locally. Usually it falls on deaf ears. Not sure why money is king to them and they don't see the importance of the local economy being more important than saving a buck or two. At some point the card will be dealt to them and they won't understand why they lost their job or business or their kids or cousins and neighbors lose out to a suffering local economy.. Cest La Vie.
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Old 03-28-22, 04:30 PM
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I went to my LBS today and received some outstanding advice regarding cassette and chainring sizes, and was shown some parts options that my online searches hadn't revealed. While there, I picked up a new pair of gloves that had just arrived, and looked at some GravelKing SS Plus tires I'd not seen before. While enjoying a coffee at the place next door, I thought about how nice it was to have a conversation with a fellow bike nerd instead of posting questions on a forum, how much better it was to try on two sizes of gloves instead of taking my chances online, and how much better it was to touch the tires instead of just looking at pictures.

If both the Internet and the shop closed down tomorrow, I'd miss the shop a whole lot more.
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Old 03-28-22, 04:36 PM
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I can't imagine any situation where surly employee behavior should result in returning customer. So move on.

When I was a stupid poor neighborhood kid, I drug my pitiful bike to a LBS and asked what I needed to do. Mechanic spent 20 minutes unclogging my freewheel, then kicked me out without charging. He probably knew I had like $1.75 in my pocket. Over the last several decades, as I've become wealthy (compared to that poor kid bitd), and a cycling enthusiast, I have sent hundreds of people to that shop, and spent plenty of dollars there myself. That was good customer service, and it paid off. That was like 1972, and Matthews Bicycle Mart (Indianapolis) is still in business. Go there, buy stuff.
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Old 03-28-22, 04:54 PM
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So many of you focus on the innertube and not the customer service. The OP's point relates to the poor service. The shop's lack of recognizing a long-standing customer (and perhaps extending some goodwill with a replacement tube) sits at the core of the issue. We all experienced poor service to some degree. Going back just to keep them in business seems entirely foolish.

Speaking of "buying locally," do y'all do that with all your small hardware, clothing, shoe, and tiny food markets, as well? Or on a big-ticket item like a car...do you patronize the local dealer and pay a grand more than the mega-dealer in the next city over? I suppose it's your hard-earned money to spend however you choose.
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Old 03-28-22, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
As for the LBS, if they can survive while giving out crappy service and poor attitude, then they obviously don't need your patronage.
Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
I can't imagine any situation where surly employee behavior should result in returning customer. So move on.
Originally Posted by roadcrankr View Post
So many of you focus on the innertube and not the customer service. The OP's point relates to the poor service.
Let's remember that we're only getting one side of the story -- the side from a customer who likely screwed up his own tube install and thinks the shop owes him a replacement tube, and who thinks that he deserves discounts just because he's a regular customer. What OP describes as rudeness and condescension might merely be his perception of their responses to his unreasonableness and entitled attitude.
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Old 03-28-22, 07:14 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
I can't imagine any situation where surly employee behavior should result in returning customer. So move on.

When I was a stupid poor neighborhood kid, I drug my pitiful bike to a LBS and asked what I needed to do. Mechanic spent 20 minutes unclogging my freewheel, then kicked me out without charging. He probably knew I had like $1.75 in my pocket. Over the last several decades, as I've become wealthy (compared to that poor kid bitd), and a cycling enthusiast, I have sent hundreds of people to that shop, and spent plenty of dollars there myself. That was good customer service, and it paid off. That was like 1972, and Matthews Bicycle Mart (Indianapolis) is still in business. Go there, buy stuff.
I'm an older guy who spent many years in the 1970s, 1980s, and beyond working in bicycle retail in numerous places. There was always free labor going out the door to homeless or mentally deficient people and kids from poor families. I don't think the modern retail landscape allows for much of that these days.
To the OP: if you have been spending money there for 12 years and you don't have a rapport with that shop, well that's something I never imagined or can relate to. You definitely need a new shop. You screwed up the tube install, and if I were working in that shop I would have installed a new tube for you for free, after showing you where you screwed up.
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Old 03-28-22, 07:21 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by jdogg111 View Post
...liked the idea of supporting local businesses but over time, my feelings have changed.
In some way you are venting to the choir... Ha

Having moved to a small town in the 90's I had to give up getting to a local bike shop, and I do miss them. But things have in fact changed. I don't think the old bike shops of old could actually stay in business today. So we have lost them along with our trust worthy "Shade Tree Mechanic", or "A/C Guy", or independent small job "Electrician", our "Radio & TV" repair guy, and our "Small Engine" repair guy... Oh I could go on and on. They all are sorely missed...
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