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Buy Local vs. Online

Old 04-02-12, 12:12 PM
  #1  
Barnabas
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Buy Local vs. Online

So I understand the hippy movement of buying local (mom+pop shops) for things in general. What is your opinion of buying local vs online for bike stuff. I was talking to some bike people and mentioned that i've seen some pretty good deals on some online websites. I got some funny looks and an exasperated sigh and "oh..those online places.." comment.

Do those online places just suck and not sell good quality bike stuff? I know they sell good brands, but are these the items that didn't make it past quality assurance or something??? Or did i just happen to talk to some haters?

Obviously i know the best deal comes from online, and buying local will help my economy...i want the other factors..opinions?

and i didn't know where else to put this thread, so if its in the wrong place my bad
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Old 04-02-12, 12:23 PM
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If you need help to get things fixed or advice or just want to try out something, a local bike shop can hook you up and the internet can't. If that sort of thing doesn't hold much value for you, get stuff where it's cheapest. I buy some stuff online and some stuff locally.
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Old 04-02-12, 12:39 PM
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I buy both online & local. Some of the local being from the Performance store, some from the LBS. Depends on what I'm looking for and if I need it now. Especially with shorts, I usually buy those online, where I can find clyde sizes (I've now found 3 models of Nashbar shorts that fit me nicely). Shoes I normally get local, since I'm picky and sizes really can vary. I've taken a chance on a good shoe deal, however. (Another BF member now has those not-really-43's that were such a bargain for me.)
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Old 04-02-12, 02:33 PM
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I use both.
Typically, I'll buy items from the LBS that they have in stock, or have no urgency to get.
IF I have to wait for them to order, it sometimes runs into weeks.
More expensive items are bought online, IF I can save a noticeable amount, simply because of my income level.
There's times I'll stop in and buy a tube or other "consummable" I don't really need at the time, just so they see my face.
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Old 04-02-12, 03:39 PM
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Hippie, not hippy. Although this hippie is hippy.

And yes, as a needlewoman and rubber-stamp artist, I understand completely the need to patronize local (read: small) businesses. However, there are some things online shopping just makes much easier: when was the last time you visited a "record" store? Yes, there are some cycling related purchases best done online: the local bike shops, whether the larger ones like Jax or Performance, or the smaller family-owned ones like Carson Cyclery, just don't carry shirts and shorts and jackets designed for this hippy hippie (I adamantly maintain that "1X" is not "plus" size), so Aerotech gets my business for cycle-wear.
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Old 04-02-12, 03:45 PM
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Old 04-02-12, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by tagaproject6 View Post
:

+1



However, I'll play ...

My nearest decent bicycle shops are at least 100 km away.

I have three choices:
-- drive to the shop in the hopes that they will have what I want, and for a reasonable price.
-- try to order what I want from one of the shops, hope they have it in stock or can get it in a reasonable time period, and have it shipped, quite possibly at my expense.
-- order from one of the online shops, and get exactly what I want, for a reasonable price, delivered to my door, often with free or low-cost shipping, within a week.
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Old 04-02-12, 05:56 PM
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I do both. I got some Koolstop pads online. We just bought new saddles and a pair of insoles locally, even though I could probably get them cheaper online. The shop had been running free classes on maintenance, road laws and clipless so I figured we should give them our business.

Just realized, we've been in their shop at least 10 times and we still have no experience with any employees, just the owners.

Last edited by dpeters11; 04-02-12 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 04-02-12, 06:17 PM
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I do both, nearest LBS that I will use is 20 miles away (only have two in an area with over 200,000 people). They have been good to me, and I have been good to them over the years. Most of what I buy is commuter, touring or vintage stuff that my LBS doesn't stock and quite often can't order because the wholesalers they use don't stock it.

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Old 04-02-12, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Barnabas View Post
What is your opinion of buying local vs online for bike stuff.
Do both. That way everyone's happy. Or maybe everyone is angry. I dunno. One or the other.
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Old 04-02-12, 07:34 PM
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My opinion is:

It's my money, my bike, my needs -- I'll do what I need to do, regardless of online or local. There IS no other consideration.

Since I do ALL my own work, I buy 95% online; if I happen to see a local deal, or need something RIGHT NOW, then I'll buy local.

Now send the horse to the glue factory.
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Old 04-02-12, 07:46 PM
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Except for good sale items, on-line prices aren't that much better than our LBS. We do buy some things on-line, but they're often things the LBS doesn't carry. My wife bought a bike on-line because the LBS couldn't get it. They gladly did the final assembly and made some changes that my wife wanted. They don't hate people buying anything on-line, they just don't like people doing it to save a couple bucks. On a drive train overhaul they did on a vintage bike for me, they charged 10-20% more than on-line prices for the parts. But they didn't charge me anything for labor. In the long run, buying at your LBS could actually save you money.
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Old 04-02-12, 09:37 PM
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I do both. I find the shops don't really seem to stock any of the stuff I tend to buy and hear "we can order that for you". well, then I'll just order it myself and it comes to my door and I don't have to make another trip. And I can pretty much forget about when I'm working on something "vintage". I do use them for service such as chasing & facing.
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Old 04-02-12, 09:45 PM
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I generally use the LBS. There have been a few time the owner has told me that for some specific item I would do better going online to get what I wanted. Usually related to lighting since I use a dynamo and there are so few dynamo users around here that the shops don't feel it is worth it to stock or carry the dynamo items.
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Old 04-02-12, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Most of what I buy is commuter, touring or vintage stuff that my LBS doesn't stock and quite often can't order because the wholesalers they use don't stock it.

Aaron
I much prefer buying from the LBS, but even stores with a good supply of bikes tend to have a very limited and generic selection of accessories. While I did make a special trip to a particular shop to buy some Arkel panniers, by and large I need to go online to find what I really want.
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Old 04-03-12, 01:39 AM
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Bikes and clothing and service: local. Other stuff is about half online and half local. When I bought my hybrid, I purchased pedals from the LBS. I could have saved $20 online but I decided to throw some $$ to my LBS. They put the pedals on the bike too, so that counts for something :-)
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Old 04-03-12, 04:03 AM
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Since our economy is in the crapper, I figure it would always be best to buy locally. However, if your online purchase has it's source within the USA, that's always a good option too.

OTOH, some deals are just too good to pass up online, eventhough their source is outside of the USA.

1) Local

2) Online- USA

3) Online- International

In that order of preference

Last edited by SlimRider; 04-03-12 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 04-03-12, 08:16 AM
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I buy clothes and consumables (chain oil, tubes, cables, tires, brake pads, etc) from the LBS.
I like to try the clothes on, and if I like it, I buy it there. The consumables I usually need right away and little is saved.

Large ticket items (suspension fork, wheels, etc) I usually buy online. With the exception of bikes. Now, I don't buy bikes often, but when I do, I buy them at the LBS.

Having said that, I recently purchased the following from Chain Reaction Cycles (CRC). There, if you spend over $80 then shipping is included.

Ultegra Chain - LBS $100. CRC $34

3 pairs of Shimano M520 pedals - LBS $65 each. CRC $65 (for the 3).

26T inner ring (XT) LBS $35 CRC $12

I'm happy to support the LBS, but it is often hard to beat online prices for big ticket items. I usually check the LBS first for the price, then check online.
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Old 04-03-12, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
1) Local

2) Online- USA

3) Online- International

In that oder of preference
Funny ... my order of preference is generally the opposite of that ...

1) Online - International (excluding North America ... shipping is way too high)
2) Online - Australia
3) Local
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Old 04-03-12, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Funny ... my order of preference is generally the opposite of that ...

1) Online - International (excluding North America ... shipping is way too high)
2) Online - Australia
3) Local
That's alright, Machka!

I like you anyway!
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Old 04-03-12, 09:32 AM
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I like my LBS. If they go out of business, people will be left riding walmart bikes. or bikes from bikes direct - the prices!

kind of like the 1970's. quality bike shops few and far between, everyone else buys their bikes the same place they pick up hardware and home supplies.

yes, if price matters, buy online. I like deals.

I also like supporting my LBS. I Just had them order some small stuff, will pick it up in a couple of days.
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Old 04-03-12, 09:40 AM
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The last thing that I bought for my bike was an over/under idler pulley with a 5/8" bearing eye for my recumbent (hyper expensive little puppy by the way). Typically, nobody local ever has the kind of stuff that I need in stock and, frankly, they aren't too keen on placing the odd ball special order for me. That's OK with me. If I order online I retain better control of exactly what got ordered, delivery times, and I don't have to pay sales tax.

I like the guys at my LBS and I sometimes do favors for them in return for the kinds of bike stuff that they stock. I just don't order stuff through them.
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Old 04-03-12, 10:18 AM
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Australia is upside down anyhow..

Sometimes the LBS does not have the wholesalers account,
or sales territory for stuff needed..
Then I have to get stuff from other dealers..

Though there are hundreds of touring cyclists passing thru town ,
the local shop does not stock many loaded touring bikes..

The touring riders already have theirs. then one in stock last summer
was used to replace a collision damaged French man's bike.
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Old 04-03-12, 05:32 PM
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I like to buy online because it is much cheaper. I dread having to venture into the bike shops in my area because the sales people are too pushy and snobbish. Always trying to push me into getting a overpriced bike tuneup. I like to look at the merchandise at the bike shop & then go home and order it online.
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Old 04-04-12, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by americanlt2 View Post
I like to buy online because it is much cheaper. I dread having to venture into the bike shops in my area because the sales people are too pushy and snobbish. Always trying to push me into getting a overpriced bike tuneup. I like to look at the merchandise at the bike shop & then go home and order it online.
I totally agree, 3 of the 4 bike shops i used to frequent are snobs. The 1 out of the 4 they were nice, i can tell kinda snobby but they got the drift i was new to the biking deal.
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