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You wonder why LBS are going out of business...

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You wonder why LBS are going out of business...

Old 08-06-12, 07:52 PM
  #76  
Burton
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
That's not what the OP was complaining about. In your fog of contempt for him, you missed what he said. He said they had NO beer.
Awwww gee! Is that what it was? I also said that it would be interesting to hear the LBS side of things. Its easy to get on the Internet and post a buch of negativity about any business or individual in their absence. And you're right - I have mothing but contempt for people that do that.

Interestingly enough, the depanneur down the street has a whole wall full of photographs of individuals who - for one reason or another - aren't allowed in the store. I'm not that stupid - I think it must be justified.

This will probably really rock your preconceived ideas, but we regularly deal with deaf-mutes, as well as other physically and mentally handicapped individuals with a great deal of patience. But their are also a few 'normal' people that NO-ONE in the store has any patience for. I'm sure you're different and no-one can ever do enough to offend you. Ooooooppppps ....... your last two posts actually demonstrate that you take offence very easily.

Last edited by Burton; 08-06-12 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 08-06-12, 08:08 PM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
On the next shelves beyond that set, we have inner tubes. They turn, they generate good profit margins, they don't get returned and they don't become obsolete. To the armchair critics, think about which of those two shelves you'd prioritize if you were trying to make a living with limited amounts of money.
I agree, a great portion of our shelves are devoted to tubes with more boxes downstairs. We carry almost all sizes of tubes and tires, we have big box bike sizes, 26x1 3/8, 650c etc. We don't carry any 650b tubes or tires. I will go through boxes of 18" tubes before I will sell one FD.
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Old 08-06-12, 08:18 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
I really don't have a dog in this fight so I am not on one side or the other. What I am curious about is this, if a LBS has a bunch of older parts in stock that they haven't sold in years, why don't they discount the parts? It seems like to me that shops would rather sit on ancient inventory at full price rather than discount it to make a sale. What is the reason for that? I do not know the ins and outs of businesses so I don't know. It seems like big stores will discount their old obsolete inventory just to get it out of their system.
What makes you think we don't have a discount table or box? When last year's shoes get down to two or three pairs, they get put on it. Same with other odds and ends. But would you want to pay money for an item that probably won't sell, just so you can put it on the discount table and take a loss? It's better to spend the money on the items that will most likely sell and for a profit at that. We stock a lot of $40 saddles, a few $90 saddles and no $200 saddles because that is our market.
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Old 08-06-12, 08:29 PM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by conradpdx View Post
No I don't think the owner of the bikes beat them up. But the main reason I went to a Internal Hub for my main ride was I got sick of constantly fixing and fussing with my RD. They get pretty beat up in cities with high bike populations at the public bike racks. (That and I figured out that I seldom used more than 3 gears in most my riding anyway.) One guy not paying attention while locking up his ride is all it takes for a slower ride home and RD tune up.
I am glad you took care of your bike and only others beat up your parts. Did I say only the owner beat up the parts?

In my shop, it is mostly the owners that beat up their parts or their friends/kids that they lent the bike to. Most of the bikes we sell never get ridden downtown, just in the neighborhoods, organize rides and the local MUPs. These bikes get thrown in the back of the van or pickup with other bikes laying on top of them. The kids just hop off of the bike and lay it on the drivetrain. It doesn't take much to bend a hanger. Then they shift into the wheel and destroy the derailer.

But back on topic, the FD rarely gets damaged beyond repair. There is no hanger that gets bent easily by laying the bike on the drive side. As a matter of fact, I don't recall the last FD that I replaced for a repair. The two a year we sell, I am not sure if it is to replace a broken one, changing the bike from a drop bar to a flat bar or because the person is building up a bike from the frame, but either way, we don't sell many.
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Old 08-06-12, 09:30 PM
  #80  
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It's been interesting to hear the insider point of view, and it totally makes sense. So the title of my thread is pretty much the opposite of reality...shops that stay in business are the ones that deploy their limited resources in the smartest way possible. Which means stocking the things that turn the quickest, and that are frequently needed by both regular and more casual riders. I've always wondered what it felt like to be wrong about something - now I know

And Burton - you don't really deserve a response, but the LBS version of the story would go something like this:

"Some guy called and asked for a 105 clamp on FD. I told him we didn't have one, and that we didn't have any FD's in stock. He said 'ok thanks anyway'. Then we both said bye, and hung up."

Fascinating story, isn't it?
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Old 08-06-12, 10:02 PM
  #81  
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as they say, the stick up his rear has a stick up its rear.
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Old 08-07-12, 02:28 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
It's been interesting to hear the insider point of view, and it totally makes sense. So the title of my thread is pretty much the opposite of reality...shops that stay in business are the ones that deploy their limited resources in the smartest way possible. Which means stocking the things that turn the quickest, and that are frequently needed by both regular and more casual riders. I've always wondered what it felt like to be wrong about something - now I know

And Burton - you don't really deserve a response, but the LBS version of the story would go something like this:

"Some guy called and asked for a 105 clamp on FD. I told him we didn't have one, and that we didn't have any FD's in stock. He said 'ok thanks anyway'. Then we both said bye, and hung up."

Fascinating story, isn't it?
Yeah - absolutely facinating! Maybe I have no imagination but I can't quite make the connection between a conversation like that and you starting a thread on the Internet titled "You wonder why LBS are going out of business..." I can't see where that was 'deserved' either. Phone any shop I work at and at least a couple times a year you might get the same response. Show up in person and explain the 'emergency' and there's a chance that a derailleur might get taken off a floor model. The chances that something like that'll be done regularly for complete strangers simply because they think it should be - are still zero.

One of the oldest LBS in Montreal did close this year - simply because the owner wasn't interested in continuing to attempt to manage the continuously changing newest technology, tool requirements and customer demands in whats largely a seasonal business. Instead he teamed up with his brother, who is and has been the largest distributor of bicycle parts in the Montreal area and the address is being used simply to warehouse inventory. Inventory that covers anything you might possibly imagine in the bicycle business partswise, but not open and available to the general public. As stated earlier in one of my posts, the the primary objective of an LBS is to sell and repair bikes - and being able to order and have parts delivered to their door within a day or so doesn't seem to have the same insurmountable challenges for them that it does for you.

On the other hand, I do know a few LBS that have an inventory of hundreds of threaded forks they can't get rid of and off road forks dating back to 2004 that were never sold. Things like that are closer to the real reasons some shops decide to close up.

You'll also find it hard to find a bike shop in Montreal that actually stocks rain gear too. In spite of what some people post about riding in the rain, for most people cycling is a sunny day recreational activity and there's no market for anything except spandex in fashionable colors. Fortunately MEC handles clothing lines that cross over various sports in rain gear. But ocassionally even they can be sold out of what you might be looking for.

Last edited by Burton; 08-07-12 at 02:42 AM.
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Old 08-07-12, 03:48 AM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by Burton View Post
The chances that something like that'll be done regularly for complete strangers simply because they think it should be - are still zero.
THey know me, they know what bikes I ride, they know what wheels I commute on, they know what bikes my parents ride because I bought them from this shop last year, they know I occasionally have brought them beer, and they know some of the people I ride with. They didn't' know it was me on the phone, because I don't think I deserve any treatment beyond what any other customer deserves.

Originally Posted by Burton View Post
, tool
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Old 08-07-12, 04:41 AM
  #84  
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Visited my LBS the other day...they had a entire wheel set with controls for a Shimano Coasting system. It has been in the shop since 2007/8, never sold, according to my friend they only sold about 20 of those bikes total. He gave me the wheel set to get it out of his store room. People that aren't in the bike or retail business are usually clueless when it comes to how things run these days. You have limited places to order many of the parts, the parts are constantly becoming unavailable, costs are going up, margins are going down. mecBgon works in a bike shop, and has made very good points. The margins are very thin in most retail businesses any more. They do what they have to, to balance customer service with profitability.

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Old 08-07-12, 05:37 AM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
........They didn't' know it was me on the phone, because I don't think I deserve any treatment beyond what any other customer deserves.
Oh yeah (sarcasm intended) - I can see how thats completely in line with your original post - which you ended with "
W.T.F. If they can't stock a few parts so I can get something last minute (without having to wait a couple days for shipping) they are next to useless to me.
Sorry - still don't see how their treatment of you warrents starting a thread like this. Maybe you owe them an apology. Particularly after stating:
THey know me, they know what bikes I ride, they know what wheels I commute on, they know what bikes my parents ride because I bought them from this shop last year, they know I occasionally have brought them beer, and they know some of the people I ride with. me.
Obviously they can't be all that useless, and in spite of your little temper tantrum, are probably in no danger of going out of business. Have a nice day.

Last edited by Burton; 08-07-12 at 05:43 AM.
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Old 08-07-12, 05:53 AM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by Burton View Post
Awwww gee! Is that what it was? I also said that it would be interesting to hear the LBS side of things. Its easy to get on the Internet and post a buch of negativity about any business or individual in their absence. And you're right - I have mothing but contempt for people that do that.

Interestingly enough, the depanneur down the street has a whole wall full of photographs of individuals who - for one reason or another - aren't allowed in the store. I'm not that stupid - I think it must be justified.

This will probably really rock your preconceived ideas, but we regularly deal with deaf-mutes, as well as other physically and mentally handicapped individuals with a great deal of patience. But their are also a few 'normal' people that NO-ONE in the store has any patience for. I'm sure you're different and no-one can ever do enough to offend you. Ooooooppppps ....... your last two posts actually demonstrate that you take offence very easily.
I took no offense. I was married to Satan's sister for 14 years and I spent 20 years in the military, so it's highly unlikely that a burnout in the bike business is going to offend me on the internet. In the 3 retail organizations I have worked for I was the one everyone would turn their problem customers over to. Most of the time I won a new customer. Some people are up for a challenge and some aren't...they make excuses for not stocking parts and not winning new customers.
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Old 08-07-12, 07:07 AM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by Burton View Post
Have a nice day.
Aww thanks. That's so nice of you. I can tell just by you posting one thing that you're a super awesome guy.
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Old 08-07-12, 08:12 AM
  #88  
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my lbs lent me a part to do a mockup and they ordered the one I wanted at the same time. Stuff came in the next day before I had time to do the mockup. I see no reason to order online for most stuff. If it's some kind of closeout, yes, but otherwise forget it.
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Old 08-07-12, 11:00 AM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
What I am curious about is this, if a LBS has a bunch of older parts in stock that they haven't sold in years, why don't they discount the parts? It seems like to me that shops would rather sit on ancient inventory at full price rather than discount it to make a sale. What is the reason for that? I do not know the ins and outs of businesses so I don't know. It seems like big stores will discount their old obsolete inventory just to get it out of their system.
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Still have to find a buyer. If you have no use for a particular front derailleur, how low would the price have to be to get you to buy it?


Or put the older parts up on ebay and see what you can get for them. Lots of places do that.
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Old 08-07-12, 11:04 AM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
To satisfy my curiosity, I pulled up our FD sales from Jan 1st to today. It looks like we sold 11, three of which were antiques with a generic SKU, and three of which were bought and then returned. I can see our FD selection from where I'm sitting right now, and we have a variety of second-gen XTR (long obsolete), Dura-Ace from two and three generations back, Ultegra from one generation back (not fully compatible with today's stuff), a Tiagra we ordered that we shoudn't have... various obsolete Campagnolos... bins of FDs from the early '90s... overall, a great demonstration of how NOT to make a profit.

On the next shelves beyond that set, we have inner tubes. They turn, they generate good profit margins, they don't get returned and they don't become obsolete. To the armchair critics, think about which of those two shelves you'd prioritize if you were trying to make a living with limited amounts of money.
You do what everyone else does who has an array of stuff they don't want anymore -- they put it on eBay and extend the potential customer audeince beyond the walk-throughs. It moves the stock out the door so it's not taking up huge amounts of valuable space and eating up huge amounts of proprietor capital, and it allows you to get in more stock that may sit on the shelves for a while that you can then turn when it goes out of date.

See, this is the biggest issue that LBS owners have -- they can't see how they can possible do business, when with a few clicks of the computer keyboard, it's just sitting out there waiting for some intelligent marketing.

Anyone would think that the LBS has a unique situation. Go to any food store and see what happens with the stuff that goes past its use-by date. It's turfed into the dumpster out the back, slashed in price to move it out the door with some recompense, or (here's an idea), it's donated to a worthy cause and written against a marketing budget.

And I also will tell you right now, the most profitable bike shops I have been into lately have had front and rear derailleurs and other stuff available for sale. Whether they are the right ones, well... we all know that with the right diameter band and a bolt-on derailleur things can be fixed quite well for the generation of bike that the OP was talking about. Ironically, those bike shops also have a web presence, so they can shift their obsolete stuff as required, and likely still turn a margin on it.

You also still haven't address the other fundamental issues that I raised about the middle-people in all this.
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Old 08-07-12, 01:44 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
You do what everyone else does who has an array of stuff they don't want anymore -- they put it on eBay and extend the potential customer audeince beyond the walk-throughs. It moves the stock out the door so it's not taking up huge amounts of valuable space and eating up huge amounts of proprietor capital, and it allows you to get in more stock that may sit on the shelves for a while that you can then turn when it goes out of date.
Rowan, I actually did that. We didn't have much luck with it. Down the row on our Ebay shelf, I've still got a spread of obsolete FDs that we couldn't even get a bite on at Ebay. For example, e-type XTR from the 950 generation, which do have uses such as Klein Palomino/Maverick monolink rear-suspension frames. Ironically, I had much greater success selling vintage front and rear derailleurs from our used "boneyard," such as vintage Suntour XC Sport and Shimano Deore SuperPlate / Deerhead stuff. I sold quite a few here at BF in C&V, plus some on Ebay.

FDs are just one category we've had poor luck with at Ebay. I don't know if you ever took Economics at school, but if you're familiar with the concept of opportunity cost, there's a threshold below which it would actually be more profitable (or should I say, less UNprofitable) to throw stuff away, than to sink $60/hour shop time into trying to sell it on Ebay, then dealing with packing and shipping it. If I literally had nothing better to do than try to hawk obsolete FDs on Ebay, the store owner would be better off laying me off for the winter.

You also still haven't address the other fundamental issues that I raised about the middle-people in all this.
After over 20 years in this business, I view that as a futile waste of time. We at the LBS tier will never dictate anything to a company like Shimano.

Last edited by mechBgon; 08-08-12 at 09:16 AM.
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