Watching shoppers snap and walk out (SMH)

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Re: Watching shoppers snap and walk out (SMH)

Postby Coolabah » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:02 pm

il padrone wrote:
Coolabah wrote:
il padrone wrote:I've been looking for some components at my LBS (a very good one BTW) and he has checked prices for me on-line, from his distributors and then come to the conclusion that I would be better hunting for the item on the net myself. This is a store giving good, unbiased buying advice, the height of service.


yep. Be careful what you ask for....

... as you will surely get it !!
Cheap prices online !! (yay !!)
quick delivery from online shop (yay !!)
my bike is broken , oh good I'll head on down to my local bike shop...
... oh , wait there are no longer any bike shops in Australia as they could not compete with the online shops ???
(yay !!) .... wait ... hang on a minute .... WT? ???? :twisted:


Drama queen !!

My LBS is a small store, owned by one local bloke. He doesn't have many people perusing the bikes as a rule, but he typically has 2-4 mechanics on deck.


Sugar, just who are you calling a drama ? :)
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by BNA » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:02 pm

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Re: Watching shoppers snap and walk out (SMH)

Postby Philipthelam » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:02 pm

I wasn't aware that people would walk into a store to take photos of items to compare the price to online. That just seems a little silly. I would understand if they walked in to get a look of and feel of the item they wished to buy but if they are there anyway (considering effort required to get there, time taken and fuel/PT costs) they might as well just buy the product even if it is a little more expensive.
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Re: Watching shoppers snap and walk out (SMH)

Postby il padrone » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:09 pm

Coolabah wrote: ask yourselves this : would you buy a bike shop if offered to you today ? :lol:


I don't know how it relates to today, but 10 years ago the best touring bike shop in Melbourne was running nicely but the owner wanted to retire from the business. He put the shop on the market but it did not sell. He ended up putting the stock on sale. Lots of local cyclists bought good gear on sale, but most of the stock was bought by another guy with a small existing store. He took all the touring gear and moved his shop to a new location, focused solely on component sales, service and repairs; no bike sales at all. Today this shop is the best touring shop in Melbourne with an enviable reputation for quality service and a great range of specialst products.

Every retailer needs to find their own way to deal with market changes and make it profitable. It is part of basic business - Economics 101.
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Re: Watching shoppers snap and walk out (SMH)

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:11 pm

I understand the argument about supporting local shops because otherwise they will disappear though it suggests that customers should accept a premium price when there is not always the same value returned.

As an example, I am a fairly friendly fellow but can walk into a number of bikes shops in the area and some of them don't want my business. They want my money though have a purely transactional approach which means I may not be greeted and if I am served it is with indifference. Some shops on the other hand get it, they greet me and try to look after me so it is with these shops I am willing to invest my time and money. I also have more confidence when I recognise experience and they know their business - so beyond pure salesmanship.
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Re: Watching shoppers snap and walk out (SMH)

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:11 pm

il padrone +1
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Re: Watching shoppers snap and walk out (SMH)

Postby Coolabah » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:27 pm

il padrone wrote:
Coolabah wrote: ask yourselves this : would you buy a bike shop if offered to you today ? :lol:


I don't know how it relates to today, but 10 years ago the best touring bike shop in Melbourne was running nicely but the owner wanted to retire from the business. He put the shop on the market but it did not sell. He ended up putting the stock on sale. Lots of local cyclists bought good gear on sale, but most of the stock was bought by another guy with a small existing store. He took all the touring gear and moved his shop to a new location, focused solely on component sales, service and repairs; no bike sales at all. Today this shop is the best touring shop in Melbourne with an enviable reputation for quality service and a great range of specialst products.

Every retailer needs to find their own way to deal with market changes and make it profitable. It is part of basic business - Economics 101.


Yes, this is exactly my point and we have agreed with this all along. I state the following only in the interest of a good debate , please do not take my comments to be in any other context :

Economics 101 also says that there will be , as a consequence of this, many many many less bike shops in Australia - only the fittest can and will survive in such a dog-eat-dog market. THIS is my point and I seem to be talking to people happy to quote economics 101 and not look to what happens AFTER economic 101... that would be economics 102 , folks , since all of a sudden we seem to be talking US speak...

so , all good , your specialist shop is sure to thrive ... might be only one of 2 bike shops left in Melbourne in the next decade , but , hey , its all economics 101 , hmmm ??

So glad the other less than fit bike shops went bankrupt, what on earth were they thinking ???
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Re: Watching shoppers snap and walk out (SMH)

Postby Coolabah » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:41 pm

AUbicycles wrote:I understand the argument about supporting local shops because otherwise they will disappear though it suggests that customers should accept a premium price when there is not always the same value returned.

As an example, I am a fairly friendly fellow but can walk into a number of bikes shops in the area and some of them don't want my business. They want my money though have a purely transactional approach which means I may not be greeted and if I am served it is with indifference. Some shops on the other hand get it, they greet me and try to look after me so it is with these shops I am willing to invest my time and money. I also have more confidence when I recognise experience and they know their business - so beyond pure salesmanship.

... and this is another problem for the brick and mortar store. I would ( with especially all due respect , I understand you are the site owner and my life is somewhat in your hands !! :!: ) suggest that this would not be a factor in on line sales . So , not only is the local bike shop owner subjected to scrutiny for his prices, stock range, stock availability, delivery times ...

.... unlike online sales , he has to also present well to his customers ( or , guess what , spend many many hours & further un-recouped $$$ training said staff who are paid more than most in the world anyway......)

I'll say it again : there will not be many bike stores left in Australia "soon"

... just MHO !!!
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Re: Watching shoppers snap and walk out (SMH)

Postby jcjordan » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:27 pm

Why am I or any other shopper responsible for proping up a business model which is failing?

It's not unlike our car manufacturer industry. If it's not viable, for what ever reason, then unless it has a National Strategic significance than its death in a natural part of evolution.

This is why we don't have a telegram service anymore.

Australians, particularly our business, need to start looking forward and developing ourself to the way the world is evolving.

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Re: Watching shoppers snap and walk out (SMH)

Postby im_no_pro » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:45 pm

Coolabah wrote: suggest that this would not be a factor in on line sales


Actually the research done on Australian online shoppers suggests otherwise. A large percentage would leave a website if they couldnt have a query responded to almost instantly, I cant recall the exact number. Precisely why the likes of T7 and other sites have the little 'click to chat to a sales representative' button or similar.
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Re: Watching shoppers snap and walk out (SMH)

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:24 pm

Coolabah wrote:... and this is another problem for the brick and mortar store. I would ( with especially all due respect , I understand you are the site owner and my life is somewhat in your hands !! :!: ) suggest that this would not be a factor in on line sales . So , not only is the local bike shop owner subjected to scrutiny for his prices, stock range, stock availability, delivery times ...

.... unlike online sales , he has to also present well to his customers ( or , guess what , spend many many hours & further un-recouped $$$ training said staff who are paid more than most in the world anyway......)

I'll say it again : there will not be many bike stores left in Australia "soon"

... just MHO !!!


I love to support local business - you should read The Ultimate Guide: Shopping for bicycles and cycling gear online. The second part is B2B orientated and there is specifically retailer relevant info.

In short, most bricks and mortar retailers can't simply continue as before, it doesn't mean they have to become an online retailer however means they have to be aware of these channels and understand how to compete. Online, the price is typically the number 1 deciding factor however this is not the case for bricks & mortar - it doesn't mean it isn't important however does mean that you can still be competitive.

Australian stores can certainly be competitive - in Sydney City some of the bike stores I know continue to be successful and perhaps the accessories market has taken a slight hit - however stores that have had problems are because of financial mismanagement and not because of the small percentage of sales lost to online. There are also stores popping up that have adapted with the market such as mechanics and speciality and niche stores than avoid being a jack-of-all-trades and focus on being the best in a specific field.

On the customer service, this is just a must and reading through the forums over recent years it is a constant problem - or reason for potential customers to turn away. For staff training, the investment is certainly returned when customers stay and you make more sales, it just isn't a cost that comes back as value the next day or the next week.

I have a wealth of information however will leave you with one more snippet, I know a LBS who setup a website and found that a number of their regular instore customers started ordering from the website instead, it was more convenient and the main effect was simply a transfer of these customers.
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Re: Watching shoppers snap and walk out (SMH)

Postby WyvernRH » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:38 am

AUbicycles wrote:I have a wealth of information however will leave you with one more snippet, I know a LBS who setup a website and found that a number of their regular instore customers started ordering from the website instead, it was more convenient and the main effect was simply a transfer of these customers.


Yes, this is the way ahead I think. I buy regularly from the website of Moruya Bicycles (http://www.moruyabicycles.com.au) Small bike shop in a small town but great service both on the web and in store. They keep parts in a few specialized areas like touring, MTBs and small parts that gives them a 'difference' from the mass suppliers. If they haven't got it ask and they will try and get it. This is all run by a husband and wife team and a couple of mechanic/assistants.
No longer my LBS but I always look there first if I want something like components etc that can be posted.
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Re: Watching shoppers snap and walk out (SMH)

Postby g-boaf » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:02 am

I do support the local bike shops when they have what I want, and when I need it sooner than 1-2 weeks that is usual for online stores.

For any cycling clothing though, I buy it online since the local bike shops all too frequently only have Large or Extra large sizes - while I'm tiny.

I do go back to certain local bike shops who remember me. Clarence Street Cyclery for instance, they've got a good approach to customer service. When I started off, they looked after me well - gave me useful advice too.

jcjordan wrote:Why am I or any other shopper responsible for proping up a business model which is failing?

It's not unlike our car manufacturer industry. If it's not viable, for what ever reason, then unless it has a National Strategic significance than its death in a natural part of evolution.

This is why we don't have a telegram service anymore.

Australians, particularly our business, need to start looking forward and developing ourself to the way the world is evolving.

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The problem is pay is too high. Perhaps workers should work for nothing, ie, volunteer their time. That would make Australia more competitive and efficient than even the most efficient third world countries. I take it you'll be the first to volunteer for this necessary strategy. ;)
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Re: Watching shoppers snap and walk out (SMH)

Postby jcjordan » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:39 am

g-boaf wrote:The problem is pay is too high. Perhaps workers should work for nothing, ie, volunteer their time. That would make Australia more competitive and efficient than even the most efficient third world countries. I take it you'll be the first to volunteer for this necessary strategy. ;)
No

Yes our pay is high compared to our productivity in the unskilled labour industry's. That is just a factor of our high living standards and low volume manufacturing.

Making snide comments about getting people to work for free are not helpful.

Where Australia can excell is in the niche industries which require higher skill and knowledge requirements. Defence manufacturing and education are two such areas where we are doing well.

What we need to overcome is the belief in Australian companies that the development of skills and knowledge is a government responsibility. Make business self invest such as they do in Europe and the US. Return the tax incentives towards research and development in both technology and people.

As a priority they need to remove the stupid restrictions on allowing companies to create return of service contacts with staff.

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Re: Watching shoppers snap and walk out (SMH)

Postby Summernight » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:55 pm

alburycycling wrote:
jcjordan wrote:True but I think that most new people to the joys of cycling have not found forums like this one.

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Can't agree with that statement. I was reading this forum for a month before I decided to buy my bike.

I was trying to glean as much information as I could before buying to ensure I got the right equipment.

For me, it was a major buying decision, so I lurked quietly learning what I could.

I imagine there are quite a few like me doing that.


This was me too. I went into a bike store, looked around, got the guy giving me the sales pitch about 'components' when I knew nothing about bikes or what I'd need in a commuter.

Knowing nothing when making an expensive purchase annoys me so I started researching. I found this site and lurked on it for a few months without registering. This site (and others) told me everything I'd need to safely/effectively ride my bike and not have it stolen on the first day to boot.

I went back into that store with my list, bought that bike I liked and all the accessories at the same time (which I wouldn't do now as the accessories were a lot more expensive than if I'd bought online, but since I was already buying and didn't know the good online bicycle stores that's what worked for me).

The sales attendant raised his eyebrows when he saw I came in with a long list of accessories I wanted to purchase. But I was prepared this time and happier in my purchases because I was prepared.
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Re: Watching shoppers snap and walk out (SMH)

Postby Xplora » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:34 pm

The only way Australia could "compete" is to be Campy or Shimano. Businesses creating the R&D to send plans to China to build the groupsets or frames. The cream of the transaction is held by a company here, which makes sense because that's the most expensive bit which can vary the most (the markup on manufacturing and production costs). Italian bike stuff seems to run OK on this model, doesn't it? Rapha, Assos, Santini etc etc. Colnago. Top shelf brands with top shelf costs. They still build everything in China.

The Australian seller needs to be the same. Highly automated, tight stock control, good information for the customer. Intelligent people at the front of house. Paid appropriately. Less talented people picking, or coding the website LOL.

The issue is that the Government won't absorb this because they can't train people to fulfill this role. They can only produce citizens who will obey laws and attempt to participate in the workforce. They can't make people smarter or more adaptable. They can't make them more creative. The only thing the Government could do would be to reduce red tape for the business. Easier than it seems.

Ultimately, the Australian business must find a competitive edge. Me? I've noticed two things. I have spent enormous amounts of money on my LBS (Trek Rouse Hill Sydney) that runs the shop ride I attend each week. I have referred people to the shop, I've invited people to the shop ride. I'm prepared to buy Aura 5 wheels because I'm concerned about China carbon rims... ultimately, I need a real Australian business to absorb the risk of their products failing because I'm not going to accept the cost of equipment failure at 75kmh on a public road. I would rather spent twice as much to get that Australian consumer law protection.

That's a real angle for an Australian business to adopt. They need to either align with bona fide shops, or start labelling china carbon with their own logos and put a serious warranty behind it. Do some R&D, send some guys to China to get these things built. I think Deon from ProLite is doing a great job of this - I haven't seen a convincing sales pitch around the aero and strength benefits of the Brac C50 wheels that would make me choose that over Aeolus D3 wheels because of those warranty/brand strength issues. This stuff costs money. A LOT of money. But if you want to be the cream of the milk, then that investment must be made. I'm not 100% sure Australia is ready for that investment either, since we don't have the same attitude to Buy Australian like the Yanks do. Flo wheels are a great vision of what I'm talking about. R&D. Build in China. Invest the 50K.

This is what it takes; the issue is that a lot of Australian businesses aren't prepared to make that investment. Steve Hogg is a great example of premium service and the cream of the market. Long booking times for a fit that is 2-3 times the most expensive fit out there. And the bloke has so many wheels worth 3-4K let alone the frames in store that the mind boggles - who is buying this stuff?! But it surely moves because of his positioning.

The LBS will die because it is not sensitive to their position in the economy. Carving a niche isn't easy or cheap... but simply being a bike shop doesn't beat Cell or Wiggle.
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Re: Watching shoppers snap and walk out (SMH)

Postby casual_cyclist » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:39 pm

Coolabah wrote:
il padrone wrote:I've been looking for some components at my LBS (a very good one BTW) and he has checked prices for me on-line, from his distributors and then come to the conclusion that I would be better hunting for the item on the net myself. This is a store giving good, unbiased buying advice, the height of service.


yep. Be careful what you ask for....

... as you will surely get it !!
Cheap prices online !! (yay !!)
quick delivery from online shop (yay !!)
my bike is broken , oh good I'll head on down to my local bike shop...
... oh , wait there are no longer any bike shops in Australia as they could not compete with the online shops ???
(yay !!) .... wait ... hang on a minute .... WT? ???? :twisted:

In Perth we have fantastic mobile bike mechanics who come highly recommended by anyone who uses them. They are more convenient than a bike shop too... (yay !!)
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Re: Watching shoppers snap and walk out (SMH)

Postby bychosis » Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:47 pm

I know someone who will happily purchase from overseas to save a few dollars on bike gear, but won't shop at Aldi because they are foreign owned and the profits don't stay here.

As above I think there is probably a market for a man in a van with a bunch of tools.
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Re: Watching shoppers snap and walk out (SMH)

Postby im_no_pro » Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:56 pm

bychosis wrote:I know someone who will happily purchase from overseas to save a few dollars on bike gear, but won't shop at Aldi because they are foreign owned and the profits don't stay here.

As above I think there is probably a market for a man in a van with a bunch of tools.


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Re: Watching shoppers snap and walk out (SMH)

Postby Bakks » Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:09 pm

casual_cyclist wrote:
Coolabah wrote:
il padrone wrote:I've been looking for some components at my LBS (a very good one BTW) and he has checked prices for me on-line, from his distributors and then come to the conclusion that I would be better hunting for the item on the net myself. This is a store giving good, unbiased buying advice, the height of service.


yep. Be careful what you ask for....

... as you will surely get it !!
Cheap prices online !! (yay !!)
quick delivery from online shop (yay !!)
my bike is broken , oh good I'll head on down to my local bike shop...
... oh , wait there are no longer any bike shops in Australia as they could not compete with the online shops ???
(yay !!) .... wait ... hang on a minute .... WT? ???? :twisted:

In Perth we have fantastic mobile bike mechanics who come highly recommended by anyone who uses them. They are more convenient than a bike shop too... (yay !!)


Who?
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Re: Watching shoppers snap and walk out (SMH)

Postby mitzikatzi » Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:40 pm

Xplora wrote: Do not get cheap SPDs, your body will hurt you.

trailgumby wrote:29ers are awesome.
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Re: Watching shoppers snap and walk out (SMH)

Postby Xplora » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:37 pm

bychosis wrote:As above I think there is probably a market for a man in a van with a bunch of tools.

Only reason you'd have a van was if you had a lot of parts... Surly Big Dummy should have enough gear to satisfy the market.

I was trying to work out the best approach for this kind of model. You could camp out on the M7 in Sydney, and get a lot of traffic, but perhaps a better gig would be to leave cards at all the bike racks in the CBD? A LOT of bikes that are accessible if you are sensible.
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Re: Watching shoppers snap and walk out (SMH)

Postby casual_cyclist » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:27 pm

Bakks wrote:
casual_cyclist wrote:In Perth we have fantastic mobile bike mechanics who come highly recommended by anyone who uses them. They are more convenient than a bike shop too... (yay !!)

Who?

mitzikatzi wrote:Eddie Holland
http://www.ehbicycleservices.com/

^^^this

And Yas at Bike Clinic http://www.bikeclinic.com.au

Both are good according to feedback from my circle.
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Re: Watching shoppers snap and walk out (SMH)

Postby Coolabah » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:52 pm

WyvernRH wrote:
AUbicycles wrote:I have a wealth of information however will leave you with one more snippet, I know a LBS who setup a website and found that a number of their regular instore customers started ordering from the website instead, it was more convenient and the main effect was simply a transfer of these customers.


Yes, this is the way ahead I think. I buy regularly from the website of Moruya Bicycles (http://www.moruyabicycles.com.au) Small bike shop in a small town but great service both on the web and in store. They keep parts in a few specialized areas like touring, MTBs and small parts that gives them a 'difference' from the mass suppliers. If they haven't got it ask and they will try and get it. This is all run by a husband and wife team and a couple of mechanic/assistants.
No longer my LBS but I always look there first if I want something like components etc that can be posted.
Cheers
Richard


Sounds great ! If you get in quick you can actually buy that business:
http://www.moruyabicycles.com.au/conten ... -sale.html
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Re: Watching shoppers snap and walk out (SMH)

Postby Grog » Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:55 pm

AUbicycles wrote:
SMH wrote:Bill Gordin can spot a ''price checker'' fairly easily these days, a customer who roams his bike shop not looking to buy but rather trawling for prices to compare with rapacious overseas online websites.

''They will take photos with their iPhone and write down things, they'll come in with a piece of paper, walk around the store … and then just walk out.''
Back to this quote, whilst in a local bikeshop yesterday I saw a nice Cervelo S5. Knowing someone who was looking for something like this I wanted a photo. I asked if they'd mind. Sure, I could've just snapped a shot but I think it's only courtesy to ask regardless. The fact I did so was appreciated.
I think respect goes both ways. It's mostly worked for me over the years.
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Re: Watching shoppers snap and walk out (SMH)

Postby WyvernRH » Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:35 am

Coolabah wrote:
WyvernRH wrote:Yes, this is the way ahead I think. I buy regularly from the website of Moruya Bicycles (http://www.moruyabicycles.com.au)

Sounds great ! If you get in quick you can actually buy that business:
http://www.moruyabicycles.com.au/conten ... -sale.html


You probably won't have to rush too much if you fancy a cycle based seachange, Mark's been trying to sell for a LONG while (He & Dana have decided on a TOL lifestyle change, business is doing fine...).
Good opportunity tho' if you want to live in a small South Coast town. Note, however they are only selling the name, stock and goodwill as a running concern, they will still own the premises.
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