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Why I could never run a bike shop

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Why I could never run a bike shop

Old 06-03-10, 07:58 PM
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Banzai
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Why I could never run a bike shop

Aside from the long hours and low profit margins...

I'm selling a fork on e-bay right now (it's a C'dale Ultra fork, for a road bike...this makes it road cycling related) and a potential buyer just asked me to go measure the steerer in inches for him.

The cut steerer length in millimeters is already in the listing.

After a got over my incredulity at the inability to use a popular search engine or do basic math, I thought about unloading that incredulity and then forbidding the individual from buying the fork.

I just don't have enough patience with people to run a bike shop.
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Old 06-03-10, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
Aside from the long hours and low profit margins...

I'm selling a fork on e-bay right now (it's a C'dale Ultra fork, for a road bike...this makes it road cycling related) and a potential buyer just asked me to go measure the steerer in inches for him.

The cut steerer length in millimeters is already in the listing.

After a got over my incredulity at the inability to use a popular search engine or do basic math, I thought about unloading that incredulity and then forbidding the individual from buying the fork.

I just don't have enough patience with people to run a bike shop.

Good that you recognize that customer service is not your strength.
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Old 06-03-10, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
Aside from the long hours and low profit margins...

I'm selling a fork on e-bay right now (it's a C'dale Ultra fork, for a road bike...this makes it road cycling related) and a potential buyer just asked me to go measure the steerer in inches for him.

The cut steerer length in millimeters is already in the listing.

After a got over my incredulity at the inability to use a popular search engine or do basic math, I thought about unloading that incredulity and then forbidding the individual from buying the fork.

I just don't have enough patience with people to run a bike shop.
I feel like I would have the same problem. Too many ignorant people. However the ones that think they know it all aren't very fun either. Also I'd feel bad about the prices. I've seen "basic tuneups" that cost about $50. It would probably take me less than half an hour to give a bike a basic tune up... and the skill/knowledge required is very minimal.

However if I were to run a bike shop, customer service would be my number one priority. I feel like most LBS get lots of money from returning customers or referred customers.

I don't ever spend money at a bike shop, because I can't afford it (well I could, but I can usually get parts for cheaper). Also, I do my own labor. However there is one LBS in town that I would have no problems spending money at because the owner is very, very friendly, unlike other big LBS store that only cater to the rich (which I'm not).
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Old 06-03-10, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
Aside from the long hours and low profit margins...

I'm selling a fork on e-bay right now (it's a C'dale Ultra fork, for a road bike...this makes it road cycling related) and a potential buyer just asked me to go measure the steerer in inches for him.

The cut steerer length in millimeters is already in the listing.

After a got over my incredulity at the inability to use a popular search engine or do basic math, I thought about unloading that incredulity and then forbidding the individual from buying the fork.

I just don't have enough patience with people to run a bike shop.
Just explain to him that it's a metric fork...
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Old 06-03-10, 08:45 PM
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I think the OP should write back to thepotential buyer saying, "Looks like your skills with math are pretty poor and probably to watch TEAM UMIZUMI every morning will help you a lot, thanks!!"
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Old 06-03-10, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by grepdot View Post
Just explain to him that it's a metric fork...
Probably the sucker don't even know what metric system is, it is a waste of time in my opinion
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Old 06-03-10, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ultraman6970 View Post
Probably the sucker don't even know what metric system is, it is a waste of time in my opinion
Ask him to measure his head tube in millimeters so that we might better assist him (these things can be tricky what with MKS, CGS, SI and so forth...). A simple answer might result in a purchase he would regret after all, and we wouldn't want THAT...
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Old 06-03-10, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
Aside from the long hours and low profit margins...

I'm selling a fork on e-bay right now (it's a C'dale Ultra fork, for a road bike...this makes it road cycling related) and a potential buyer just asked me to go measure the steerer in inches for him.

The cut steerer length in millimeters is already in the listing.

After a got over my incredulity at the inability to use a popular search engine or do basic math, I thought about unloading that incredulity and then forbidding the individual from buying the fork.

I just don't have enough patience with people to run a bike shop.
I understand frustration with people, I used to run a tire and vehicle repair shop so I know intimately how clueless and rude customers can be. But really, was his question that annoying to you? Was it really that big of a deal? Sometimes you just have to step back, take a breath and realize the sun will come up tomorrow and soon you will have cash in your pocket from selling your fork. Sometimes you just really have to look at the positive side of things. Of course you could just continue being cynical.
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Old 06-03-10, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ptle View Post
I feel like I would have the same problem. Too many ignorant people. However the ones that think they know it all aren't very fun either. Also I'd feel bad about the prices. I've seen "basic tuneups" that cost about $50. It would probably take me less than half an hour to give a bike a basic tune up... and the skill/knowledge required is very minimal.
A basic tune up usually includes an inspection, lubrication, basic adjustments of the brakes and transmission, and minor wheel truing... and at my shop I also test ride customer's bikes whenever possible as some issues only manifest when the bike is under working loads.

If you can do all this in under 30 minutes on every bike that rolls into my shop I'll offer you a job as you can do what I do for a living far faster than I can with what I assume is far less experience.
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Old 06-03-10, 09:18 PM
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Ebay buyers are pretty savvy. If you find anyone interested in that heavy ass fork. I'd go the extra mile to keep him on the hook. Anyhow, safe to say cyclist are easier to deal with than, say, auto customers. To mention one.
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Old 06-03-10, 09:28 PM
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Shunning ignorance is sales suicide. In the retail world, which includes bike sales, your mere existence will bring in some sales.

A guy who quickly glances at your ebay auction and misses the steertube length in millimeters (giving him the benefit of the doubt) is likely the same type of guy who would buy a product from you without checking your competitors' offerings (prices, shipping policies, return policies, etc). They see what they want, determine if they can afford it, and buy. In other words, the perfect customer.

You're right, you could never run a bike shop, or any business for that matter. And it looks like most of the people on BF are the same way. Really, not something to brag about.
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Old 06-03-10, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
I just don't have enough patience with people to run a bike shop.
My long term relationship with my LBS (and they're not so local to me, they are 40 miles south of here) is because the co-owner, Glenn, is the most patient individual on God's Earth.
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Old 06-03-10, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by colombo357 View Post
Shunning ignorance is BF suicide.
Fixed.
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Old 06-03-10, 09:41 PM
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Yeah, I hate trying to be nice to people when I'm trying to sell them things
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Old 06-03-10, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by roadiejorge View Post
Good that you recognize that customer service is not your strength.
You'd fit in at most bike shops.
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Old 06-03-10, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 383 View Post
You'd fit in at most bike shops.
I have three LBSs. None employ impatient, condescending d-bags. Go figure.
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Old 06-03-10, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by scotch View Post
I have three LBSs. None employ impatient, condescending d-bags. Go figure.
Really? Of the three LBSs that I frequent, that is the only kind of person they employ. You're missing out.
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Old 06-03-10, 10:09 PM
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so instead of hitting up google and doing the conversion, telling the guy how you got the measurement to educate him on how to do it for himself in the future and possibly making a sale on your fork, you come here and spend more time *****ing about it. classic BF snob.
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Old 06-03-10, 10:17 PM
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It would take the patience of Job to run an LBS. Down there one day. Guy calls and has some kind of 30 year old folding bike and wants the LBS to give him an appraisal over the phone of the price of the bike he is going to list on scambay. Next guy comes in at least 100 pounds overweight says he needs a higher handlebar. Gets quote for parts and labor and is totally incensed that someone would charge him to put the parts on. This is just in one hour! Think about dealing with this 6 days a week.
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Old 06-03-10, 10:22 PM
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Requires a passion. Bottom line. www.scootersbikeshop.com And agreed with above poster we almost need a mechanism to screen calls referring to wal-mart bicycle repairs.
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Old 06-03-10, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Scooters View Post
And agreed with above poster we almost need a mechanism to screen calls referring to wal-mart bicycle repairs.
a lot of bike shops stay in business repairing walmart bikes.

I think a lot of the attitude we feel as bike enthusiasts in bike shops comes from the general ignorance of the people that walk in there on a day to day basis. It's not obvious who knows what about bikes. And there is a lot of ignorance even among enthusiasts. It's not an easy job.
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Old 06-03-10, 10:36 PM
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duplicate post feature kicks in again
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Old 06-03-10, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
Aside from the long hours and low profit margins...

I'm selling a fork on e-bay right now (it's a C'dale Ultra fork, for a road bike...this makes it road cycling related) and a potential buyer just asked me to go measure the steerer in inches for him.

The cut steerer length in millimeters is already in the listing.

After a got over my incredulity at
the inability to use a popular search engine or do basic math, I thought about unloading that incredulity and then forbidding the individual from buying the fork.

I just don't have enough patience with people to run a bike shop.
Or use a ruler that they probably have in their house...
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Old 06-03-10, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
My long term relationship with my LBS (and they're not so local to me, they are 40 miles south of here) is because the co-owner, Glenn, is the most patient individual on God's Earth.

Mrs. Pcad's ranking of "most patient individuals on earth" is:

1. Mrs. Pcad
2. Pcadette.
3. Glenn.
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Old 06-03-10, 11:31 PM
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Not enough information. The buyer could be a completely ignorant or lazy dork, or someone nice but in a hurry.

If you want to sell something you got to follow the adage that the customer is always right. On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with replying that this is a special fork that is both imperial and metric
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