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Getting LBS to install parts bought online - Opinions?

Old 03-24-15, 09:38 PM
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screamtone
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Getting LBS to install parts bought online - Opinions?

Some recent upgrade threads have me asking this question: How do you feel about buying parts from PBK, Merlin, etc., and asking your LBS to install them? Thinking about a groupset upgrade, and I'm pretty sure the LBS price would make that hard to afford. How does your LBS feel about installing parts you bought online?
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Old 03-24-15, 09:43 PM
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They've always done it for me, and usually I ask that because it'll be a part they don't carry. They make their hourly. I have a years long relationship with my LBS. They like me because I give them interesting projects and don't jack them around.
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Old 03-24-15, 09:49 PM
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I can't imagine any lbs turning down business because you bought parts elsewhere. Every shop I know has posted labor rates for all these scenarios.
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Old 03-24-15, 10:22 PM
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Rule #58
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Old 03-24-15, 10:33 PM
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Expect to pay the full labor rate, but no shop should make a big issue about it unless you are using nonstandard/obsolete parts they can't replace.
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Old 03-24-15, 10:33 PM
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About as guilty I'd feel about asking a mechanic to install a part on my truck that I bought myself for half the price he would have charged me - which is to say not guilty at all. They still get to charge labor. I'm sure they'd at least rather get some of your business than none at all. Wouldn't you feel the same?
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Old 03-24-15, 11:00 PM
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It's a little like taking your own wine to a restaurant that serves wine. If you're a regular and you don't make a habit of it, you're welcome to come with your wine any time. But walk in off the street and ask the shop to install parts? I'd be wary about doing so unless you and I had done business before. Bike shops are around to make money but worry about your "dubious" compatibility decisions, etc. etc. I don't need that kind of headache. If you're a regular, like Carbonfiberboy, you'd be welcome with your parts any time.
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Old 03-24-15, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by cale View Post
It's a little like taking your own wine to a restaurant that serves wine. If you're a regular and you don't make a habit of it, you're welcome to come with your wine any time.
That's a good analogy. Around here you can bring your own wine to any restaurant but they'll charge you a corkage fee. It's a decent deal for both sides.
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Old 03-24-15, 11:16 PM
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I'm doing so now but I only after the lbs was unable to get the parts. Their distributors could not get an ultegra build at this time so after waiting two weeks I told them I was ordering online. They understood. I was willing to pay 200 extra to support them as I value our local shops but need the build done so in my case it was timing not $ that made the difference and I think they appreciated the consideration. I would never order online to save a couple bucks but I do have a limit.
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Old 03-24-15, 11:18 PM
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ANY business is GOOD business.
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Old 03-25-15, 06:23 AM
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I'm an auto mechanic and deal with this everyday and it's no big deal. Sure we would like the markup of the parts but at the end of the day we are open to make money so anything coming in the door is appreciated. One thing to consider is if a customer comes in with their own parts we offer no warranty so if we install it and it happens to be defective you pay to have another put in. On the other hand, if the shop supplies everything you have no worries, something breaks or needs adjustment just bring it in and you're covered. Think of the markup as a warranty. Also consider that with the vast deals out there to be had online that your favorite bike shop is taking a hit every time you buy elsewhere and if everyone chooses to buy online or supply their own parts that you favorite bike shop could become a thing of the past. I'm not saying buy everything from them because I surely don't for my bike but a little support goes a long way to establish a relationship between you, the bike shop owner, and their mechanics which leads to perks in your favor down the road.

Added; Also, don't be afraid to ask them to do better on the price. Lets say you find your parts for $700 and they want $900, see what they are willing to do? You never know unless you ask.

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Old 03-25-15, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by screamtone View Post
Some recent upgrade threads have me asking this question: How do you feel about buying parts from PBK, Merlin, etc., and asking your LBS to install them? Thinking about a groupset upgrade, and I'm pretty sure the LBS price would make that hard to afford. How does your LBS feel about installing parts you bought online?
Its all about communication. Some shops don't like it while others are fine with it. My shop is fine with it. I also ride campy and they don't stock any of it so for me it is faster and easier to give them the part. I am also good about paying more for things like bottle cages and chamois cream that they stock. Just remember that loyalty cuts both ways. I also give them parts that I don't use. When I built out my current bike I bought several race face stems because they were $7. I ended up not needing them so I gave them to my shop. Just be fair and all is good.
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Old 03-25-15, 06:47 AM
  #13  
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I agree there is no harm in asking the LBS to install internet parts, but also believe you are leaving big bucks on the the table. Learn how to do it yourself.
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Old 03-25-15, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
That's a good analogy. Around here you can bring your own wine to any restaurant but they'll charge you a corkage fee. It's a decent deal for both sides.
I would only take wine to a restaurant because they don't carry what I like, I would not take something they stock because it's cheaper. Each to his/her own but I would not buy something the shop carries or can carry from another location then feel good about asking them to install it. I would at least explain the situation to LBS and see if they can meet you someplace closer to the offshore deal. My logic is on Friday night when something craps out and I need something fixed fast who is going to help you - not the offshore shop. If we don't support the small LBS's then the day will come when you don't have one to turn to.
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Old 03-25-15, 06:57 AM
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I find that commercial transactions muddy the relationship with my LBS, so typically they install what I buy on-line for free.
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Old 03-25-15, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by coldehammer View Post
ANY business is GOOD business.

Nope.
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Old 03-25-15, 07:13 AM
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  1. Don't worry about such silly things. You work hard for your money, and deserve to save it where you can.

  2. If any particular LBS gives you an attitude about it, simply find another LBS. There are several in your area. A good shop will appreciate your resourcefulness and respect for your money.

  3. After the job, tip the mechanic with an extra $20 or a case of his favorite beer. You'll be a god. And you will get extra support for # 4 below.

  4. Learn how to wrench on your bike. Aside from the obvious money savings, it is deeply satisfying to ride the fruit of your own labor.
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Old 03-25-15, 07:18 AM
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I bring wine to fine restaurants in my camelback.
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Old 03-25-15, 07:20 AM
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Money always works. Walk in, say "I bought these parts on line and need them installed. What are your rates?" And then pay them.

They won't do it for free, if that's what you're asking...

If you want to bring your own wine to a restaurant, this technique works too. Say "I want to drink this fine wine with my dinner. What is your corkage fee?" And then pay them.

Usually the issue is with people who want something for free. If you are willing to pay, you'll probably be accommodated.
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Old 03-25-15, 07:22 AM
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make sure you gloat about how cheap the group set price was before they install it.
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Old 03-25-15, 07:22 AM
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Who drinks wine?

Belgian Tripels only, or your doing it wrong.
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Old 03-25-15, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by bt View Post
make sure you gloat about how cheap the group set price was before they install it.
Nobody cares. It's a business transaction, not a favor. Do what works for you. Just don't expect things for free and life is a lot easier.
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Old 03-25-15, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Up North View Post
I would only take wine to a restaurant because they don't carry what I like, I would not take something they stock because it's cheaper. Each to his/her own but I would not buy something the shop carries or can carry from another location then feel good about asking them to install it. I would at least explain the situation to LBS and see if they can meet you someplace closer to the offshore deal. My logic is on Friday night when something craps out and I need something fixed fast who is going to help you - not the offshore shop. If we don't support the small LBS's then the day will come when you don't have one to turn to.
This is another classic case of a behavior that is right for an individual to do would lead to an unattractive result if everyone did it. But, most importantly, you don't have to worry, not everyone will do it. You could just as well advise someone to churn his stock holdings on a daily basis, because if everyone "bought and held" stocks for the long haul, the market would crater. That's true, if there were absolutely no stock trading going on, no one could make any money and the market would blow up. But that is not how it works. Each person has to do what they think is right for themselves. If there are not enough folks around that need the full services that make an LBS profitable, then there won't be any more LBSs. But that doesn't mean any given individual has to do what is wrong for their own pocketbook. And fortunately, no matter how much training there is about "buy and hold" investing, most people ignore it. It will be the same for LBSs. Many, if not most folks, will never be able to outfit their own bikes from the internet. What you encounter here is a very small and elite sampling of the entire market. Spend less time worrying about the health of your LBS, and more time doing what is right for your own finances. The market will take care of itself.
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Old 03-25-15, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
Nobody cares. It's a business transaction, not a favor. Do what works for you. Just don't expect things for free and life is a lot easier.
post 11 and 12

https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...ggle-fast.html
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Old 03-25-15, 07:35 AM
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Must be early. I don't get it.
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