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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 08-03-12, 08:54 AM
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billyymc
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You wonder why LBS are going out of business...

Called my favorite LBS to pick up a front derailler (road) - I didn't even really care what, just wanted Shimano anything from Tiagra to Ultegra clamp on.

None in stock. Not one. Not one single road front derailler of any brand or type in stock.

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.
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Old 08-03-12, 09:01 AM
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If the bike shop had to stock 1 of everything, it would have been out of business a long time ago. OTOH, I'm sure if you wanted them to install a new derailleur for you and needed it in a hurry they would've cannibalized a stock bike for you since the margins are better, but don't expect a fully stocked store in this day and age.
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Old 08-03-12, 09:02 AM
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I love it when they tell you "..we can order it online".

I appreciate the issue with running with a lot of inventory, but on hand parts is what gives a LBS some competitive advantage over internet sellers. If the shelves are empty there's simply no reason to shop there.

I went to well known local LBS that was "out" of preferred tube sizes, they said.."..we are ordering more, come back Tuesday".

Sure.

Last edited by FrenchFit; 08-03-12 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 08-03-12, 09:09 AM
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I understand your frustration. None of the local bike shops ever have the stuff that I want.

Here's the other side of the coin: Front derailleurs are a hard part to stock because there are so many different ones. Road/mountain, group level, seat tube diameter, top pull/bottom pull, top swing/bottom swing. That's not a commonly broken part either so demand isn't going to be high.
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Old 08-03-12, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I understand your frustration. None of the local bike shops ever have the stuff that I want.

Here's the other side of the coin: Front derailleurs are a hard part to stock because there are so many different ones. Road/mountain, group level, seat tube diameter, top pull/bottom pull, top swing/bottom swing. That's not a commonly broken part either so demand isn't going to be high.
Good point. I got it at my second favorite LBS, which is actually a lot close to me than my favorite shop. It still is amazing that they had NONE - not a single front derailler for sale. I could see not stocking everything (obviously). FrenchFit is correct though - on hand inventory is an easy discriminator for a LBS vs internet...and they're giving it up.
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Old 08-03-12, 10:32 AM
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LBS's are going out of business?

I don't know of a single shop in my area that has closed and I know of at least 12.
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Old 08-03-12, 10:47 AM
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I love my local bike shops.

I bought three bicycles from one of them. I've purchased several parts from several shops. I've had work done at a couple of them. All of them have given me invaluable advice and help when I was at an impasse.

I just bought a used C&V Fuji ('81 S12-S Ltd). The bike is in pretty good shape to start with but there was work that needed to be done to it and upgrades I wanted done to it. I am trying to turn it into an ultimate commuter and light touring rig. All of the bike shops that I frequent are more than capable of doing what I wanted done to it, and all of them are competitively priced. The shop I chose to work on my bike I chose because I haven't thrown any money their way in a while and when my wife and I were looking for a bike for her the owner of the shop spent quite a bit of time working with us to help her decide what to get. In the end she fell in love with a bike at another shop which I like and we bought that one (a signature Schwinn Cream - she loves it).

I like good service. I like a "no BS" attitude. I like dealing with honest people, and the owner of the bike shop where we didn't purchase had all of that in spades. So, when it was time to work on the used bike I had purchased for myself, I took it to him. I know the work will be done right. I know that if there are any problems they will be handled graciously. I know that the guy stands behind his work. He's a stand-up guy.

He didn't have everything in stock that I need to finish the job quickly. He had to order some stuff, and the order doesn't show up to his door until Wednesday next week. That's fine by me. I can wait a week to support an entity that is so helpful to so many people (they do charity work as well).

In the end, it's a philosophy. Do I want to support some guy running a warehouse somewhere else or do I want to support a bunch of people in my community that in turn help me and many others? Do I want to send my money away from my community or keep it circulating in my community?

Everyone needs to make their own choices. In this matter I've made mine.

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Old 08-03-12, 10:47 AM
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I don't give much business to the LBS's anymore. Saving big money is more important to me.

Last time I asked the LBS for a Velocity Deep V. Keep in mind the LBS is one of the only authorized Velocity dealers around. They said they had to order the rim ($80) plus shipping ($15) since it was a special order. So I will pay roughly 103 dollars and have to wait two weeks for the rim.

I saw JensonUSA had it online for $59. Ordered it, then drove down to the local warehouse and had it 2 days later for $62.

As far as tires. The price of GP4000's was $62 last time I bought one at the LBS. The very snotty ass girl at the register tried to charge me $4 more than the price tag on the box!

I said the box says $62 so she got some major attitude, threw a hissy fit then said, "well somebody marked the box wrong so you're lucky I am letting you slide THIS TIME".

So my tire purchases have been online since then. 2 GP4000's for $84 free shipping. That's $42 per tire and without the hissy fit.
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Old 08-03-12, 10:50 AM
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there's an LBS nearby that sells close to 3 tools other than the multi's. they must like doing all the repairs for you.
no chain whips, no cassette lock ring tools, no BB tools, no cone wrenches, no pedal wrench, but they'll be happy to order them for you.

Last edited by Rx Rider; 08-03-12 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 08-03-12, 11:53 AM
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I have every intention to do business with my local LBS shops but they never have anything in stock. They, of course, can order it online. Well, so can I and for less with direct shipment to my residence. I also find the high mark-up hard to digest. This leaves me buying smaller items like tubes, gels, clothing items on sale and service. I don't think anyone expect them to stock 100% of all parts but they should carry a reasonable supply on hand if they wish to remain competitive.
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Old 08-03-12, 12:01 PM
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most Bikes come all together. in the carton.
given FD rarely break, tieing up capital on parts no one buys,
when one can fill an order every week for small items,, for things that sell..

LBS here scrambles to fix tourist's broken bikes , occasionally cannibalizes
a bike in inventory for wheels and other parts, and then replaces the parts
later, to put the host bike. back on the floor.



Copernicus upset people too, when he showed the universe did not rotate around us.

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-03-12 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 08-03-12, 12:26 PM
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Bike parts and accessories are the only thing I research on the Internet and then buy at the LBS. The LBS in my town keeps a good stock of accessories, clothing, shoes, tools, and parts. There may be a small premium in price but most items are within Internet prices buy no more than 5% - and sometimes even less. I don't have to pay shipping and the money I spend, even most of the sales tax, stays in the local economy. I have had to wait for out of stock items but he gets shipments in every week so I've never had to wait any longer than I would had I ordered off the net. I don't believe this local business is going to shut its doors any time soon.
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Old 08-03-12, 01:42 PM
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My LBS is good about getting anything I want shipped in. They usually have it in 3 days. They get regular deliveries from their supplier twice a week I think. They don't charge me shipping.
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Old 08-03-12, 01:56 PM
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If i'm not in a hurry I generally buy online. I can wait a couple of weeks for the part. I usually just go to the LBS for small parts like tubes, grease, chain lube, cables, etc... Although I was impatient when my Garmin died so I just bought a new Garmin at the LBS so I could have it for my ride 3 days later. It's a trade off I was willing to take and it was in stock and convenient.

Another reason I like to order online is because I generally do the install myself.

Last edited by Gee3; 08-03-12 at 02:10 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 08-03-12, 02:01 PM
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My LBS often has to order a part. They're small and don't have large stocks. But they get the parts quickly and generally don't charge to install parts you buy from them, so paying a few bucks more than internet pricing saves money in the long run.
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Old 08-03-12, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Copernicus upset people too, when he showed the universe did not rotate around us.
Whatever Bob. I just know that if I need 6 or 10 parts, and I can only get 3 at the LBS, I'm going to order online and have them at my door in a couple days. To not have a SINGLE FD in stock seems crazy to me -- keeping a couple 105's around doesn't tie up a heck of a lot of capital - they aren't all that much $.

If a shop will order stuff for me, get it in a few days, and charge me $15 extra for that privilege....who's the dummy?

Fortunately another LBS had the part I needed today. Not only that they had a takeoff set of cantilever brakes they gave me a great deal on. Might be my new favorite LBS.
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Old 08-03-12, 02:13 PM
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I don't mind paying a little more to support a brick and motor store. The local LBS is 3 minutes from my house and lets me use the workshop to maintain my bikes for free. If I want parts and they don't have them they will order them and have them in 2-3 days. If I'm short of cash for the month I can run a tab. I buy all my bike stuff from there - including clothes which are marked up quite a lot.
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Old 08-03-12, 02:35 PM
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It's unrealistic to expect a bike shop to have in stock every single piece of gear for every single type of bike for every single different manufacturer from every single era. Shops have to buy the product, and it's very risky for them to buy product that they may not be able to move.

I support my LBS as much as I can. If they have what I need, great ! If not, can they get it to me for a reasonable price? If not, then thanks guys but I'm going to try to find it online. Give me a call if you come across part xxx in the next few hours before I order.
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Old 08-03-12, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Savagewolf View Post
It's unrealistic to expect a bike shop to have in stock every single piece of gear for every single type of bike for every single different manufacturer from every single era. Shops have to buy the product, and it's very risky for them to buy product that they may not be able to move.

I support my LBS as much as I can. If they have what I need, great ! If not, can they get it to me for a reasonable price? If not, then thanks guys but I'm going to try to find it online. Give me a call if you come across part xxx in the next few hours before I order.
Nothing wrong w/ asking them to match prices.
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Old 08-03-12, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I understand your frustration. None of the local bike shops ever have the stuff that I want.

Here's the other side of the coin: Front derailleurs are a hard part to stock because there are so many different ones. Road/mountain, group level, seat tube diameter, top pull/bottom pull, top swing/bottom swing. That's not a commonly broken part either so demand isn't going to be high.
You can cover 90% of the potential sales with two or three models, plus a few adapters. You dont' have to have every possible thing, just something that will work, and you don't need a huge number of 'em. It's not unreasonable to expect that.
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Old 08-03-12, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Rx Rider View Post
there's an LBS nearby that sells close to 3 tools other than the multi's. they must like doing all the repairs for you.
no chain whips, no cassette lock ring tools, no BB tools, no cone wrenches, no pedal wrench, but they'll be happy to order them for you.
There's a place like that near me. They know their target market are the neighborhood folks who have their nanny push a $3000 stroller for them, and that those people aren't going to do something like work on a bike, so why stock tools? They do have parts though, because those people don't want to hear "two weeks, gotta order parts".
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Old 08-03-12, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Gee3 View Post
If i'm not in a hurry I generally buy online. I can wait a couple of weeks for the part.
Where we live(d) in Australia ... if we were in a hurry, we ordered online.

LBS: 100+ km drive one way. Maybe they'd have what we wanted, or maybe not (mostly not), but they could order it for us and have it within 6 weeks, at which time we could make the drive again and pick it up.

ONLINE: browse the internet one evening. Place order. Get order delivered to door within 1 week. Free shipping and the item cost less than the LBS would have sold it for.


We would drop in at LBSs if we happened to be in the area for some other reason, and if they happened to have what we needed for a decent price at that time, we'd probably get it. But it made no sense to go out of our way to use one.
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Old 08-03-12, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Where we live(d) in Australia ... if we were in a hurry, we ordered online.
I live in the middle of the USA and, if I'm in a hurry, I order online too.

It's much more convenient, it's almost always cheaper, it's usually faster, I usually get better selection, and the sales tax that I don't have to pay generally covers any shipping cost.

I like my local bike shop guys, I wear their shirt and sag big rides in their name, and I regularly refer customers to them. I just don't buy much from them.
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Old 08-03-12, 05:11 PM
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I have C&V bikes and EVERYTHING has to be ordered, and the same pertains to my more modern touring and city bikes. To add insult to injury, I live in an area with a population base of over 300k and there are only two LBS's. One is pretty decent and stocks a lot of stuff, but not C&V stuff that is a niche market.

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Old 08-03-12, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by JPMacG View Post
My LBS is good about getting anything I want shipped in. They usually have it in 3 days. They get regular deliveries from their supplier twice a week I think. They don't charge me shipping.
I've done this. The key is to time it (if possible) that they include it with their normal restock order. Yes, I have to pay sales tax, but avoid the freight charges of a 'special order'. Plus, it's delivered to them, instead of just placed outside my door at the house, so the item is secured until I can pick it up. And I pay for it when I pick it up, so no wondering where my item is after the charge has already been billed...
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