The 'life can be expensive' thread

open topic, for anything cycling related.

Re: The LBS shame thread

Postby Mike Ayling » Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:48 pm

__PG__ wrote:They replaced the tube with a 'Schwable Shop Tube' for $12.00

Labour was $12.00, charged out one quarter hour of the $48 hourly labour rate.

Total cost was $24, not $25 as orginally posted.

Oh well...that's inflation for you. I've told him to bring his old tube into work tomorrow, buy a puncture kit and I'll show him how to patch tubes.


$48 per hour is cheap.
The sparky charged $70 per hour. - Presumable before GST. How long ago?
My motor mechanic charges $102 per hour before GST
My LBS charged me $36 = $40 less 10% to cut the steerer on my new tandem. He said it took about half an hour which equals a rate of $80 per hour GST inclusive andI was happy to pay because he is a great bike mechanic and I look forward to doing more business with him in the future and I want him to stay in business.

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by BNA » Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:44 pm

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Re: The LBS shame thread

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:44 pm

Itemised invoice for the LBS charging $25 to change a tube:
Parts: $10.00
Labour: $1.00
Knowing how: $14
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Re: The LBS shame thread

Postby Philipthelam » Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:48 pm

Regarding naming and shaming I don't think many of you know the extent of the consequences that this can cause. On another forum I go on to, in the past a couple of businesses have threatened to take legal action against the forum when someone posted something defamatory against them. If this happens here it would leave Chris and the mods in a lot of trouble and they would have to solve an issue that arose because of someone else's bad behaviour.
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Re: The LBS shame thread

Postby jacks1071 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:15 pm

Clearly some people think their LBS should work for free, provide excellent service, match Internet prices, have heaps of stock on hand and be open when they need them.

Then they wonder why they are going broke?

If you don't want to pay, you had better lean how to maintain your own gear.
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Re: The LBS shame thread

Postby London Boy » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:23 pm

wurtulla wabbit wrote:$25 seems fair.
It costs me $12000 per month of sales to balance the books.
that's not a cent for me and in a tight month, I work for free !

Running a small business in Australia is hard work, anyone that thinks otherwise is a <language>
If you don't want to spend $25 on a job, DIY or learn to DIY ! :wink:

Especially if you employ even as much as one part time staffer. Suddenly the bureaucracy you have to deal with is all-consuming.
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Re: The LBS shame thread

Postby wurtulla wabbit » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:10 pm

Yep, had 2, now just one, she's great but more employees means more work for me until I get a wage....Christ I hate it now, anyone wanna buy a business ? :D
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Re: The LBS shame thread

Postby __PG__ » Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:38 pm

I think I'll change the title of the thread now.
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Re: The LBS shame thread

Postby casual_cyclist » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:54 am

__PG__ wrote:I think I'll change the title of the thread now.


Yeah.

Went riding with my friend in King's Park earlier this week. She had just picked up her bike from a bike shop after a service and the front brakes were so tight the front wheel wouldn't spin :roll:
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Re: The 'life can be expensive' thread

Postby sogood » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:03 am

Labour is expensive here in Oz and that's just a fact. This $25 is no different to having a plumber out to replace a tap washer.

DIY is a great cost saving skill in the developed world, that's all!
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Re: The 'life can be expensive' thread

Postby elantra » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:41 am

Yeah what has happened to the younger generation when they don't know how to change a bicycle tube ?

Years ago only the girls would have needed this service. :shock:
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Re: The 'life can be expensive' thread

Postby winstonw » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:11 am

I think the LBS was entitled. As many know, some tires are really tight and hard to get on/off, and even LBSs can snake bite a tube when fitting (3 in 5 years ime). A good mechanic would inspect very carefully the wheel rim, spoke tension, rim tape, and tire to resolve whatever caused the flat.
They might also nip up the spokes and hub too if necessary. (well, my LBS mechanic has done this when I've asked for less)
If they got the tube on quickly, they may have whipped around and checked the torque on a few critical bolts, as part of a quick safety inspection, before letting the bike leave the shop.

If the LBS is in an inner urban high vis location, rent is likely to be $600-$2000/m2. Takes a lot of flat tires to pay for that.

I have no qualms paying my mechanic $60+/hr. I've learned a lot from him and have come to trust his judgement. I want him to be in business in 5,10,20 years.
I've referred dozens of friends to him and he's resolved issues other bike shops have not been able to, even with new bikes.
In the last 6 mths, he's picked up frame cracks in the bikes of two people I've referred, in routine services. That alone may have saved their lives and limbs.
If you think life is expensive, wait til you've had a bad crash due to a mechanical.

When you've dealt with enough bad LBSs, you appreciate the dollar value of a good LBS mechanic.
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Re: The 'life can be expensive' thread

Postby biker jk » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:23 am

sogood wrote:Labour is expensive here in Oz and that's just a fact. This $25 is no different to having a plumber out to replace a tap washer.

DIY is a great cost saving skill in the developed world, that's all!


Do you think a bike mechanic is paid the same as a plumber? I would find it odd if this were the case, especially since plumbers have completed formal training where as few bike mechanics have done so.
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Re: The LBS shame thread

Postby TraceyG » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:28 am

simonn wrote:
TraceyG wrote:After paying my LBS to change a few tubes for me, I asked them to teach me how to do it myself, which they did, and without charging me.


What I don't understand about this is that you have posted this while having access to an information source that contains a great proportion of the entire knowledge available to humanity. Why not use it instead? There are written descriptions, pictures, videos all explaining most things you would want to know about.

Don't get me wrong TraceyG, this is not really aimed at you, but in general it baffles me that people just seem to look at photos of cats.


It just shows up the differences between us all as people.

To respond without taking offence, I learn better when I am taught by a human who can see where I am having difficulty understanding and who can watch me doing something and point out where I am making mistakes. I spend all day at work in front of a PC and don't enjoy watching online videos. I have read about and been told how to change a tube in the past but when push came to shove and I found myself with a flat on the side of the road, the theory didn't pan out for me.

I don't have a problem with people using the internet to learn skills if that suits their learning style, it's just not mine.

My LBS has been a great resource in building up my cycling knowledge and bike care/maintenance knowledge and experience. Their payback is my loyalty and talking about them positively in the broader community.
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Re: The 'life can be expensive' thread

Postby sogood » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:34 am

biker jk wrote:Do you think a bike mechanic is paid the same as a plumber? I would find it odd if this were the case, especially since plumbers have completed formal training where as few bike mechanics have done so.

But the $25 included the replacement tube. As such, it's down to $10 for the manual labour and ancillary services. And what academic qualifications did Kerry Packer have to head a business empire? And then all the incompetent MBAs out there. What counts is a job done right, and that's where the dollar value is.
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Re: The 'life can be expensive' thread

Postby biker jk » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:57 pm

sogood wrote:
biker jk wrote:Do you think a bike mechanic is paid the same as a plumber? I would find it odd if this were the case, especially since plumbers have completed formal training where as few bike mechanics have done so.

But the $25 included the replacement tube. As such, it's down to $10 for the manual labour and ancillary services. And what academic qualifications did Kerry Packer have to head a business empire? And then all the incompetent MBAs out there. What counts is a job done right, and that's where the dollar value is.


I believe you missed my point which is that the comparison you made concerning labour charges was not a fair one (since bike mechanics are not paid as much as plumbers, partly due to not possessing formal qualifications).
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Re: The 'life can be expensive' thread

Postby sogood » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:34 pm

biker jk wrote:I believe you missed my point which is that the comparison you made concerning labour charges was not a fair one (since bike mechanics are not paid as much as plumbers, partly due to not possessing formal qualifications).

Ah, but the charge here is based on a rate charged by the business ie. LBS, only indirectly related to the base pay of a bike mechanic. The overhead covers the 'cost of business' of running the business. No different to how most plumbers charge based on their services being offered through a business. The LBS owner needs that margin over their employee's wage. Does this make sense to you?
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Re: The 'life can be expensive' thread

Postby cavebear2 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:49 pm

A quick scan of this thread just reaffirms to me just how much time people have got to spend on these forums. :wink:
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Re: The 'life can be expensive' thread

Postby Nobody » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:58 pm

Yeah. They need a life. If it stops raining in Sydney, I can go for a ride and get a life too. :oops:
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Re: The 'life can be expensive' thread

Postby Coolabah » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:20 pm

sogood wrote:
biker jk wrote:I believe you missed my point which is that the comparison you made concerning labour charges was not a fair one (since bike mechanics are not paid as much as plumbers, partly due to not possessing formal qualifications).

Ah, but the charge here is based on a rate charged by the business ie. LBS, only indirectly related to the base pay of a bike mechanic. The overhead covers the 'cost of business' of running the business. No different to how most plumbers charge based on their services being offered through a business. The LBS owner needs that margin over their employee's wage. Does this make sense to you?


I seriously doubt that anyone that is on a weekly wage or yearly salary would have a single clue what you are talking about - after all , they get paid whether they are generating income for their employer or not !

I have had some pushy customers ( not bike industry related ) insist that I perform a certain job at a huge discount- determined by the customer- (!!! , & usually "right now" ) for what would basically be a business loss to me - I would have to re-assign someone currently working on a profit making task to service their demand, and would lose money ( staff member pay rate + business overheads + materials etc etc ... ) . But sometimes you do this in the hope that the customer will come back again , but unfortunately these sorts of customers expect the same thing every single time.. and are usually the ones most likely to complain about anything under the sun... lose/lose. If I had no other customers , then yes even providing a service at a nett loss is better than nothing but I would probably go bankrupt pretty soon if that kept up for any time....

... so much so that I have sometimes told them I would be better off not only not doing their job, but walking down the street to the cafe and buying a coffee as it would cost me less.... they totally don't understand that I am not breaking my back to receive "any money whatsoever".. don't forget that even if I don't make a profit on that transaction , I am obliged to guarantee the job - so even worse if the customer manages to find any fault ( real or imagined )

The closest analogy I can think of is , say you are on an hourly wage of $15 at a fast food restaurant, and somebody offered you the chance to earn $ 3.50 an hour for x hours INSTEAD (during your shift , and not for reading the newspaper) ... would you jump at the chance ?? :twisted:
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Re: The 'life can be expensive' thread

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:06 pm

Coolabah wrote:
I have had some pushy customers ( not bike industry related ) insist that I perform a certain job at a huge discount- determined by the customer- (!!! , & usually "right now" ) for what would basically be a business loss to me - I would have to re-assign someone currently working on a profit making task to service their demand, and would lose money ( staff member pay rate + business overheads + materials etc etc ... ) . But sometimes you do this in the hope that the customer will come back again , but unfortunately these sorts of customers expect the same thing every single time.. and are usually the ones most likely to complain about anything under the sun... lose/lose. If I had no other customers , then yes even providing a service at a nett loss is better than nothing but I would probably go bankrupt pretty soon if that kept up for any time....

... so much so that I have sometimes told them I would be better off not only not doing their job, but walking down the street to the cafe and buying a coffee as it would cost me less.... they totally don't understand that I am not breaking my back to receive "any money whatsoever".. don't forget that even if I don't make a profit on that transaction , I am obliged to guarantee the job - so even worse if the customer manages to find any fault ( real or imagined )


Boy can i identify with that, we get customers like that ALL the time at the business where i work.
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Re: The 'life can be expensive' thread

Postby Coolabah » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:20 pm

sogood wrote:
biker jk wrote:Do you think a bike mechanic is paid the same as a plumber? I would find it odd if this were the case, especially since plumbers have completed formal training where as few bike mechanics have done so.

But the $25 included the replacement tube. As such, it's down to $10 for the manual labour and ancillary services. And what academic qualifications did Kerry Packer have to head a business empire? And then all the incompetent MBAs out there. What counts is a job done right, and that's where the dollar value is.



To quote that famous model : " I don't get out of bed for less than $10.00 "

err... or was that $10,000.00 ??? either way , We both DO have our standards, maybe just different accountants........

!!!
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Re: The 'life can be expensive' thread

Postby sogood » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:32 pm

I think the central question here is, should tube replacement/repair be considered to be a loss leader or a profit making service for a LBS. In traditional ma and pa LBSs, these can be considered to be a loss leader while margins on other products more than cover the cost of running the business and make a living. These days, LBSs are seeing or needing these services to be revenue generators. Well, do the customers have the wrong expectation or the LBS have the wrong business model?
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Re: The 'life can be expensive' thread

Postby scotto » Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:45 pm

I really don't see how this has gone on for three pages. To the original poster, pull your head in.
$15 for a tube
$9 for removal and reinstall and pumping up. Seems very reasonable

Since when was a small business a charity ??
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Re: The 'life can be expensive' thread

Postby KonaCommuter » Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:53 pm

scotto wrote:I really don't see how this has gone on for three pages. To the original poster, pull your head in.
$15 for a tube
$9 for removal and reinstall and pumping up. Seems very reasonable

Since when was a small business a charity ??




That's because so far it's only been two :wink:
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Re: The 'life can be expensive' thread

Postby Coolabah » Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:32 pm

scotto wrote:I really don't see how this has gone on for three pages. To the original poster, pull your head in.
$15 for a tube
$9 for removal and reinstall and pumping up. Seems very reasonable

Since when was a small business a charity ??


...apparently, at least in my experience , most consumers now believe that they can expect to rock up to any building premises and treat the occupiers whomsoever they may be the same as any public library.... they do not expect to pay for anything they cannot actually put in a box and take home & own for themselves ie : advice , services, repairs- they must be free, surely, as for goodness sakes information and advice are free on the internet- no-one expects to pay for "information" nowadays. No idea where this all originally came to be.... but it is now becoming the expected norm...

I kinda sometimes have a lopsided grin though , when the google expert dissing me when I offer the correct ( & usually for them, money -saving) advice & has absolutely no idea ,walks away looking for another business who will gladly fleece them so that they fulfill their misguided and outright wrong advice from forums/wiki etc

Something along the lines of " you need to replace your whole engine rather than the spark plugs- anyone who tells you different is trying to scam you and is a crook " AAAARRRGHHHH !!!!! :x

...but , I must admit , of course it must be true as you read it on the internet. Silly me for doubting.
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