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Am I taking advantage of my LBS?

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Am I taking advantage of my LBS?

Old 11-03-08, 04:14 PM
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Am I taking advantage of my LBS?

Until now, I always thought I was in good standing with my LBS, but last week a friend who worked there surprised me with an rude awakening.

He told me the owner and manager have been increasingly frustrated with me because they feel that I have been taking advantage of (milking) the shop - and advised me to show more "support".

Though I admit I've never purchased a bike from my LBS, and probably not one of their top customer, I usually buy $100 worth of parts and service from them each month and I did not consider my support to be lacking.

The fellas at the shop know that I'm a big DIYer, and prefer to work on my own bikes whenever possible. Every time I go in, I would tell them about a specific problem I have, get some recommendations of what I need, and get the parts/service I need on the spot.

But last week I approached my shop for advice on a new bike - I got a fit and test ride, but end up not buying it from them. I didn't decide that in advance, but just happened that way because the LBS didn't have any bikes that suited my like or budget.

Now the owner and manager are angry at because they believe I'm selfish and intentionally took advantage of their advice for my own gain. I can understand why they might think this, but I don't believe I've taken advantage of them.

This may be a bad analogy but when you buy a new car, you don't get it at the first place you visit just because the dealer was nice to you and provide information to help you make your decision. Instead, you visit several places and get the one that will suits you the best.

Guess what I'm saying is I feel wronged by my LBS because I felt I've always supported them. Recently I bought a frame and some parts to build my new bike. It's the first time I'm building a bike I am really looking forward to the experience, but my friend says that I should let the shop build it for me to show that I trust them and to extend my support.

Did I rip the shop off?
Do you agree with my friend?

I welcome all feedback/opinions.

Thanks

Last edited by beetz12; 11-03-08 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 11-03-08, 04:19 PM
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Rip off or be ripped off. It's your choice.
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Old 11-03-08, 04:23 PM
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F 'em...find another shop...
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Old 11-03-08, 04:24 PM
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I don't see that you've done anything wrong. If there are other good choices, I'd find a new shop.
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Old 11-03-08, 04:24 PM
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I think you took advantage of me. I feel you ripped off time from me, by having me read this tripe.
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Old 11-03-08, 04:26 PM
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So the bike that you ended up buying, was it of a brand they carried? just not a model or size they had in stock. If so you are kinda in the wrong (since you do consider this your fav LBS). If not they are being rediculous. As far as building it goes they are crazy. It is your decision to build your own bike and it will be hella fun for you to do so!
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Old 11-03-08, 04:27 PM
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You spend money at the store right? If they don't appreciate your business, which they really should, find a shop that does. Bike shops are a dime a dozen. A good mechanic, on the other hand... (I guess that's why you DIY)
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Old 11-03-08, 04:28 PM
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Wow they are really whiny.
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Old 11-03-08, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Ih8lucky13
I think you took advantage of me. I feel you ripped off time from me, by having me read this tripe.
Same here.
The bike shop should charge you park on their property.....
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Old 11-03-08, 04:28 PM
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If they did a real fitting, you should have paid for it.
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Old 11-03-08, 04:29 PM
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You didnt do anything wrong. Simply confront the shop and let them know that you didnt use them for free help, only to undercut them.

If they do not appreciate you taking the time and effort to try and clear up a misunderstanding, then they are just ****** bags and you should not go back.

Letting them build your frame up for you is stupid, if you enjoy doing it yourself.
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Old 11-03-08, 04:31 PM
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In my opinion you did not take advantage of them, though I doubt that your $100 a month puts you on their platinum list. A smart business would have worked on developing the relationship and made it easier for you to buy more stuff there.

I say spend your money where it is appreciated or where you get the cheapest prices without expectations of loyalty. Your LBS is neither, don't let them build your bike.
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Old 11-03-08, 04:32 PM
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$100.00 a month. If all their customers spent that ,I say they'd do pretty well. Tell em you will take your $100.00 elsewhere..
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Old 11-03-08, 04:35 PM
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I personally don't buy the whole "support" the shop. Bottom line, my LBS earns my business. I don't buy stuff from them out of charity or for the future great deal.

Customer service is customer service. If they can afford to be *******s at you for not buying, they can afford to not have any of your future business.

I don't support my grocer by buying more food. The notion of my grocer even suggesting this is laughable. Why does this not apply to bike shops? Is it really that much different?

Last edited by Amen; 11-03-08 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 11-03-08, 04:36 PM
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just talk to them.

most people are pretty reasonable when they aren't behind the wheel of a 55 ton canyonero.
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Old 11-03-08, 04:36 PM
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As long as you paid for your fitting with the shop then I think they might be overreacting. However, if you took the fitting under the guise of buying a bike from them, then it is a little suspect on your part for going somewhere other than your favorite LBS. Most shops will bend over backwards to get you to buy a bike in their shop, especially if they are going though the trouble of properly fitting you. If you found a bike that they sell somewhere else and it was cheaper, then perhaps you could have asked for a price match or something in order to still use your favorite LBS. Anyway, my .02
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Old 11-03-08, 04:38 PM
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Pathetic.
Sounds like a frustrated girlfriend.
What kind of people work at this bike shop, anyway?
Bigger question - why do you find it necessary to ask everyone what their opinion is regarding this sad story of woe?
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Old 11-03-08, 04:39 PM
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You've been playing on the level, and you are not taking advantage of them. You just happen to be a sophisticated customer who doesn't spend tons (i.e. you are higher maintenance than average).

You should not feel guilty. Before dumping the shop, you might try to let a little time pass and see if the vibe improves.

My purchasing patterns are similar to yours. I've asked the owners balls out if they felt I was fair to them since I wasn't sure. They make it clear I'm very welcome.

You are doing nothing wrong, and they are being shortsighted. Guys like you often bring in new customers or make big purchases later.

BTW, if they gave you a real fitting and you didn't buy, you should pay for that.
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Old 11-03-08, 04:41 PM
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Your LBS sounds a little emo.
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Old 11-03-08, 04:43 PM
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Based on your side of the story, you did nothing wrong and your LBS is whiney.
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Old 11-03-08, 04:47 PM
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Thanks for the comments so far. I am glad many of you side with me.

Before buying a new bike, there was one other incident that annoyed my shop.

I was interested in investing in a new wheelsets, and I emailed the shop owner (who seemed like a cool guy at the time) for his recommendation and asked if he had anything similar for sale.

He suggested that I buy the Ksyrium elites on craigslist for $300 which is what I did. Now my friend is telling me that the manager feels that I wasted the owner's time, and profited from his knowledge, to do something that was selfish.

IMO this wasn't the case because the owner's response couldn't have taken more than a minute, and there was nothing new or educational. Below is an example of of our email exchange:

The red text is the owner's reply, and the black is my original message. His name has been substituted with *s for protection

I'll have to look to see what I have, but here are my thoughts below:
Hi *****

Thanks for the awesome ride yesterday. I learned a lot from you about choosing bike upgrades and I am extremely glad to have talked to you.

I currently have a set of Mavic CXP22 wheels on my bike, and I want to upgrade to something stronger, and faster. Are there currently any wheel deals at cycle center? And what are your recommendations?

I've been looking at websites and the local classified, and I've narrowed my choices down to the following wheels as they seem to give the most bang for the buck.

Brand new 2007 Mavic Kysrium Elite - $300 + pickup Good deal what does pick up mean?
Almost new Neuvation M28 Aeros (less than 100 miles) - $120 + shipping These look good. No warranty but the price is good.
Used 2006 Mavic Kysrium SSC SL (Tubular) with 2 used and 3 new tires - $350 + pickup Tubular stay away like the plague
Brand new 700C Mavic Pro/Ultegra - $227 + shipping not worth the upgrade


Which of these is the best deal in your opinion? Are there any similar deals at cycle center that I should consider?

Thanks
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Old 11-03-08, 04:56 PM
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[QUOTE=beetz12;7785867] Now my friend is telling me that the manager feels that I wasted the owner's time, and profited from his knowledge, to do something that was selfish.

I'm starting to think your "friend" is f-ing with you head.
Some people like to do that.
Usually sociopaths.
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Old 11-03-08, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by banerjek
You've been playing on the level, and you are not taking advantage of them. You just happen to be a sophisticated customer who doesn't spend tons (i.e. you are higher maintenance than average).

You should not feel guilty. Before dumping the shop, you might try to let a little time pass and see if the vibe improves.

My purchasing patterns are similar to yours. I've asked the owners balls out if they felt I was fair to them since I wasn't sure. They make it clear I'm very welcome.

You are doing nothing wrong, and they are being shortsighted. Guys like you often bring in new customers or make big purchases later.

BTW, if they gave you a real fitting and you didn't buy, you should pay for that.
Thank you for your suggestions banerjek. I don't know if it was a real fitting. It certainly didn't take long. They put my old bike on a trainer, and measured the seat height, top tube, and compared the numbers to the new bikes they had me try.

The whole process took less than 5 minutes. Since I did not buy the bike from them, what's a reasonable amount you think I should offer them?
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Old 11-03-08, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by AndrewP
If they did a real fitting, you should have paid for it.
They didn't do a real fitting. They did a sizing. Sizing takes a few minutes. Once you have an actual bike with YOUR pedals and shoes, then you can do a fitting.
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Old 11-03-08, 05:06 PM
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It wasn't a bike fitting. Don't offer anything. Like I said...
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