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New Policy: Everything I need UNDER $300 I buy at my LBS.

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New Policy: Everything I need UNDER $300 I buy at my LBS.

Old 12-22-10, 07:27 AM
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dploy
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New Policy: Everything I need UNDER $300 I buy at my LBS.

We did a lot of shopping online this holiday and realized afteward it wasn't as satisfying as giving the local guy our business. The savings were there, but as a consumer and local member of the business community I felt I cheated those who work so hard near me. I felt bad going by the store knowing I did not buy from them, but from a faceless webstore owner.

I don't know about others, but my LBS is good to me. He's not getting rich, had an expansion store fail and has a no questions asked 'return and replace' policy. I need him to stay around.

However, for larger, more expensive purchases, he just gets killed online. So the least I can do is get all the tubes, adapters, Co2, etc from him so he at least feels someone wants him to stay open. I'll even try to negotiate the more expensive stuff just to give him a chance.

Just sayin to hopefully motivate one other to do the same.
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Old 12-22-10, 07:40 AM
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Let's hope they don't want $299.99 for that water bottle.

Oh, and is that the net's $300, or the shop's $300?
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Old 12-22-10, 07:44 AM
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My LBS is good to me too. I bought two bikes from him when he offered me a significantly better deal than a well known chain. If I want to know about things I'm considering for the bike he's willing to spend time to talk to me about stuff (in turn I avoid going in to chat at busy times!). It's far from unheard of for me to go in there expecting to need something and ready to buy it only for him to tell me that if I want it he'll sell it to me but he doesn't think it will add any value for me. A salesman who shows me the option to not buy anything at all is a salesman who is easy to trust.

I too would rather support the small trader unless either he proved himself untrustworthy or the price difference was substantial.
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Old 12-22-10, 07:56 AM
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BTW - just for the record I DO NOT consider the local Company-Owner TREK Store an LBS...
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Old 12-22-10, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by dploy View Post
We did a lot of shopping online this holiday and realized afteward it wasn't as satisfying as giving the local guy our business. The savings were there, but as a consumer and local member of the business community I felt I cheated those who work so hard near me. I felt bad going by the store knowing I did not buy from them, but from a faceless webstore owner.

I don't know about others, but my LBS is good to me. He's not getting rich, had an expansion store fail and has a no questions asked 'return and replace' policy. I need him to stay around.

However, for larger, more expensive purchases, he just gets killed online. So the least I can do is get all the tubes, adapters, Co2, etc from him so he at least feels someone wants him to stay open. I'll even try to negotiate the more expensive stuff just to give him a chance.

Just sayin to hopefully motivate one other to do the same.
...I have a face.....and I am local to the people I live near.....

...just sayin.....

I like your intent, see nothing wrong with it, and encourage you to keep it up as long as it makes sense. At the same time I don't advocate keeping certain people in business just because it's local: they need to be able to compete. If not for bottom dollar, they at least need to be reasonable.
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Old 12-22-10, 08:09 AM
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Psimet good point...but if I remember correctly your custom items cost more than $300...no? You are exactly who I would buy from because some high-end quality is just not available at my LBS.
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Old 12-22-10, 08:13 AM
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I find that the lower priced items (<$100) at the LBS actually have the biggest markup. I can almost always get the item in question for almost 50% of the LBS price online.

I'm the opposite of you. I'll willingly drop $$$$ for a new Cervelo or similar high-end item at the LBS since to me that's the one that will reap the most benefits of service.

The low-end stuff, I'm better off buying online.

Although to be frank, I haven't been too impressed by the 3-4 various LBSs I've been to. The folks are nice, prices are LBS-fair, but in terms of why I'd actually go to one, unless it's for a high-end item or a complicated repair that I can't do myself, there's no need for me to go there. I can do the little adjustments myself, and would prefer to for both learning and convenience.
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Old 12-22-10, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by dploy View Post
Psimet good point...but if I remember correctly your custom items cost more than $300...no? You are exactly who I would buy from because some high-end quality is just not available at my LBS.
So then why are you trying to keep them in business? I don't get keeping a business going if they don't provide some form of service that you can't get elsewhere. A good shop doesn't have to worry about people going online. They know the customers will come in. If they don't, they are not doing it right, or the model just doesn't work anymore. And not all online sales are to the giants. A lot of stores, be it bike, electrical, housewares, etc. are small guys going online. Anyone can open a shop. It's the owner's job to get the people in there.
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Old 12-22-10, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by dploy View Post
Psimet good point...but if I remember correctly your custom items cost more than $300...no? You are exactly who I would buy from because some high-end quality is just not available at my LBS.
In general....yes, but as a part of wheel sales I also sell wheel based accessories - tires, cassettes, tubes, tubular glue, rim strips, skewers, etc. Also niche products like KMC Chains and Yokozuna cables. These are structured specifically to compete with people's LBSs and drive a better price/value.
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Old 12-22-10, 09:16 AM
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the cheapest items generally have the highest markups of anything. That's why lots of shops will sell you the bike at or close to a loss and then offer you 10% off accessories or some other deal. They make all their money on peripherals.
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Old 12-22-10, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
...I have a face.....and I am local to the people I live near.....

...just sayin.....

I like your intent, see nothing wrong with it, and encourage you to keep it up as long as it makes sense. At the same time I don't advocate keeping certain people in business just because it's local: they need to be able to compete. If not for bottom dollar, they at least need to be reasonable.
Just for the record Psimet, I DID go to a few LBS's around here when I was looking for a new set of wheels. No one I talked to seemed to have the confidence and experience to build a wheelset, even though it was on the menu.

"I mean yea we could build it, it's just not something we get a whole lot of requests for" - aka time consuming and possible mess ups
"Or you know you could always go with these Mavic Open Pros, they're a great wheel" - aka one size fits all, don't you know?


PS - these wheels are dope.
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Old 12-22-10, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
...I have a face.....and I am local to the people I live near.....

...just sayin.....

I like your intent, see nothing wrong with it, and encourage you to keep it up as long as it makes sense. At the same time I don't advocate keeping certain people in business just because it's local: they need to be able to compete. If not for bottom dollar, they at least need to be reasonable.

you're local to BF. Now quit schilling yourself
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Old 12-22-10, 09:24 AM
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Old 12-22-10, 09:27 AM
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My LBS sucks. I'd rather shop at Wal-Mart.

I found a nice little non-local-to-meBS this weekend. I bought some stuff since they were nice, and they ended up giving me a great deal.
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Old 12-22-10, 09:30 AM
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Most of my LBS's suck. They carry ****ty products that are priced over what I would prefer to pay for such crap.

If he can't adjust to the market, why should I pay more? This is silly.
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Old 12-22-10, 09:31 AM
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$7 for a bontrager inner tube?
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Old 12-22-10, 09:31 AM
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I try to shop at my LBS for most things. I wouldn't make a rule on cost though. I have bought a few things off the internet, but mostly its a case of finding something the LBS doesn't stock. I have bought a lot of cheaper items at the LBS, but I also got my wheels there because they really know what they are doing building wheels and have a great warranty on wheels they have built. I might pay 10% more on some items, but I guess it comes down to me wanting them to succeed so they will always be around. This place is about a lot more than just a place to get gear and repairs. They have a done a lot for developing a cycling community in this part of town by organizing rides, providing trail and route info, participating and organizing advocacy, etc.
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Old 12-22-10, 09:34 AM
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I've never understood treating a business as a charity. You should always give the LBS a chance, but if they can't offer you what you want at a fair price (which may not mean the cheapest price, but a good price with added convenience and customer service), why reward them for that?

I'm sure the big online company has a lot of nice folks working for it, as well.
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Old 12-22-10, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by DXchulo View Post
I've never understood treating a business as a charity. You should always give the LBS a chance, but if they can't offer you what you want at a fair price (which may not mean the cheapest price, but a good price with added convenience and customer service), why reward them for that?

I'm sure the big online company has a lot of nice folks working for it, as well.
Well, at its best an LBS is a hub for the local cycling community, not just a place to buy cycling-related goods. If the LBS is fostering that sort of community, then it can be worth a little charity to make sure that keeps going. I feel no need to buy from them solely because they are a small independent store near me though.
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Old 12-22-10, 09:47 AM
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I dont consider it charity. I'm just buying more than the product with my money. I'm buying a community and all the other stuff the shop provides. I don't mind paying a little extra (rarely is it more than a 5-10% difference) to get extra. I dont blame them for having slightly higher prices because its a different business model. A local, independent shop cant do the volume and get the manufacturer discounts the big box stores or large online retailers get. But, the large online retailer or internet site cant do what the LBS does for the community. If your LBS is grossly overpriced and not providing those extra 'benefits', then by all means go to the internet because you arent getting any extra value for the extra money.
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Old 12-22-10, 09:50 AM
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The people I buy bike parts from online all seem like real nice folks. They've got great prices and are a pleasure to deal with. I've never had a bad experience shopping for bike parts online. I have had bad experiences at my LBS. I go with what works for me.
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Old 12-22-10, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by pallen View Post
I dont consider it charity. I'm just buying more than the product with my money. I'm buying a community and all the other stuff the shop provides. I don't mind paying a little extra (rarely is it more than a 5-10% difference) to get extra. I dont blame them for having slightly higher prices because its a different business model. A local, independent shop cant do the volume and get the manufacturer discounts the big box stores or large online retailers get. But, the large online retailer or internet site cant do what the LBS does for the community. If your LBS is grossly overpriced and not providing those extra 'benefits', then by all means go to the internet because you arent getting any extra value for the extra money.
Sounds good to me.
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Old 12-22-10, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Spring Water View Post
$7 for a bontrager inner tube?
Definitely seems excessive. I know I do double takes at some tube prices, but actually on the wholesale side the costs are pretty ridiculous. Can't speak for Bonty/Trek dealers in particular, but personally when I sell a quality tube it really ends up being a break-even proposition at best. I just can't get myself to charge what I should for them. Selling wheels it's a thing i have to carry but it's safe to say I don't set my budget around tube sales.
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Old 12-22-10, 10:02 AM
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I like to support my LBS whenever I can. However, I'm quick to take advantage if I find significant savings from an online store... ie: $400 off Mavic Cosmics, $400 off Zipp 404, $200 off on Garmin 705. Thats $1000 that I saved by purchasing elsewhere.
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Old 12-22-10, 10:04 AM
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I've bought things from all3sports.com in the past, in-store and online. They also helped Santa procure some things for me on a price match. In person, they're basically an LBS mixed with a tri shop. So remember that a lot of online places are just little shops as well.
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