open topic, for anything cycling related.
So prospective customers come in & he just looks at them?
Why not try to assist them...?
Though I suspect its more the Journo's writing in that case.
As others have said time & time again - market differentiators!
I recently replaced my road shoes. I shopped around for prices and looked on the net for stockists of the brand I was after within a reasonable distance because I think shoes need to be tried on. I emailed the shops asking what models and sizes of specialised shoes they had in stock (4 shops) and got 1 reply. I travelled 1.5 hours to this shop, tried on several models and picked the ones I wanted. The service was excellent and the price was competative, even offering to stay a little late if I was delayed getting there. That to me is smart shopping and buying and this shop will get some of my business in the future. The other shops were in other towns and not as far away as where I eventually went, but given their lack of response to a simple email, I wasn't prepared to waste my time on either a lack of stock or a lack of interest (or both). I do take pictures in lots of shops because its easier than writing things down. It is a buyer's right to inspect goods, compare prices and get value for money whatever the commmodity (its called shopping and has been around far longer than the internet). A fair proportion of his browsers would be doing the same as me and comparing online and local goods. Welcome to the global economy. Heartily sick of this. I will chase my bargains wherever I can, NO apologies for it either!
2011 Giant Defy Advanced 2
Name and praise please, this shop deserves the word of mouth advertising
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
Here's the kicker though - bike shops are not selling potatoes. Bicycles are fairly complicated machines, and many, many people are not able to effectively identify the product that will serve their need or work with their bicycle. They may be able to describe what they want from a bicycle product, or identify that something is good value for money, but value is far from the primary concern. A great value purchase from a bike shop has very little to do with the price alone - it is about whether that is the best product to suit the needs of the customer, their budget, and importantly, their bicycle. I work in a bike shop, and help hundreds of people every week with important advice or a service. Sometimes I may also sell something to them, but that is secondary to the primary service that a bike shop provides. If you support this important role that bike shops play in the greater community, and the value that they add to cycling, support them with your patronage.
*edit* this isn't a direct attack on you, I see that you do buy your shoes through a bike shop - Just pointing out that this isn't Coles Vs Woolworths, as the 'it's called shopping' argument suggests.
Bike shops providing a community service? Sales secondary to advice and service? Not in any bike shop I've been to in recent years.
But no matter how valuable you think the service given by the shop you work in is, it does not negate the buyers right to compare your prices and service with the next trader, and the next one, and the next one if they are so inclined until they are satisfied with the value they are offered.
Since you raised the potato comparison, certainly buying a bike is not buying potatoes. For most it's quite a significant purchase. All the more reason then to "inspect goods, compare prices and get value for money". As previously stated, it's called shopping.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
I equally support a competitive marketplace, so I support chainreaction cycles!
My experience from bicycles stores has been overwhelmingly negative, certainly more poor service than many other retailers. Thankfully there are a few gems out there.
The two times I've been into my current LBS the service has been great. I haven't bought anything from them yet. Though I did direct my mother to them a few years ago to spend $1000 on her first new bike in 30 years.
As do I - I am not arguing that bricks and mortar should be supported over chainreaction by default. I am arguing that if you value the service that your bike shop serves to both you and the cycling community in general, then support them with your patronage - I am arguing that price is not the only concern in a marketplace as many people seem to think it is. If you do not value their advice that they give, or their value to the cycling community (99% of whom do not spend 4 hours a day on a bicycle forum and do not know what a cassette is) then by all means don't support them. Businesses that treat customers badly and hope to win patronage on price alone will not be around for long.
I just ordered a chain and cassette from Wiggle, we had no more 8 speeds in stock at the shop and were on hold with Sram. It was about $5 cheaper than we offered after postage, therefore, they offered the better value. So far though, they haven't offered to fit it for me - I assume when my LBS has gone out of business, you will do that for me Ronk?
But how can you identify what is good value for money if you don't know? It's very easy to compare Shimano Deore with Shimano Acera and a blue bike with a red bike, but what if neither of those bikes suit your needs! For example, say you want a new bike - you like the aesthetic appeal of single speeds, and end up shopping around for the best one you can find - heaps of good reviews, pretty badass looking thing, great price from wiggle. But what you didn't google are all of those ridiculous questions that people ask an informed sales person at a bike shop - Can I carry my 3 year old son on the back? No sorry, this doesn't have rack mounts. If I want to put gears on it in the future, can I? Not without considerable cost. I want to commute through winter, will this be appropriate? No, you cannot fit mudguards, and the tyres are too skinny for wet roads. And at this point the helpful shop person will pull out another bike and say hey, this matches your price point, it is your size (let's not even get into that), and most importantly, it matches your needs! Suddenly that great deal on a fixie isn't such good value for money after all.
Honestly i personally try and support the local bike shop where i live. (TREK Store) and Bontrager stuff is just overpriced... but at the end of the day, they offer fantastic customer service so i tend to not be a tight arse and pay the extra $$.. (yes i know there would be people that would ummm and arrr over $5 difference)
But with Monsters/Juggernauts like Wiggle etc that absolutely dominate and annihilate ... i wonder how domestic stores survive.
(Wiggle = the Bunnings of bicycles... no opposition)
im not cluey in the finance department...
Say, if mass Aussies purchase from such sites like Chain reaction or wiggle etc...obviously it ruins the domestic market... but does it in turn... affect the Aussie dollar???
We need a finance guru to answer this...
Hysterical. When the lbs has gone out of business there will be an abundance of profitably self-employed former bike shop mechanics fitting parts bought on the internet. My advice and assistance however will continue to be freely given to anyone who wants it.
You and your shop don't have a mortgage on knowledge. Buyers can and should get similar advice from any bike shop, so they can validate whether the advice you have offered is accurate and reliable, or just sales pitch. And they can and should compare prices and compare the features and value of similar products offered by other manufacturers. Once again, this is called shopping.
Some buyers are actually quite intelligent and can work it out for themselves after talking to a few different sellers. If you haven't been too condescending toward them they may even come back and buy from you. Or they may be smart enough to work out that it's just not that hard and order from Wiggle instead.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
Well my advice and assistance is also free, but slightly offset by the cost of that next cassette! I guess we've both said it all, meet back here in 2020 to discuss how it all played out. Interesting times we live in...
I'm certainly willing to pay a bit more to shop at a local store. But the local stores are getting such a bad deal from their distributors that the price difference is often huge. But probably even worse than this is that the convenience of a shop is that you walk in and come out a few minutes later with the product you want. Trouble is that the shops can't sit on so much stock and the distributors are woeful when it comes to supplying. The upshot of this is that it is often quicker to order from overseas online shops. When I was looking for a new bike earlier this year I was most interested in the Cannondale and a Giant. Part of the reason I didn't even look at the Giant was that the bike shop looked up the distributor and found that there were none of the model and size I was considering in the country and none would come in until the next year's models were released, and this was in March. When distributors are treating local shops like this is it any wonder they can't compete?
Riding: Cannondale Quick Speed 2
I take photos because I don't always come in with my husband.
When we were looking at buying our first bikes, I would send him photos of different styles of bikes, different brands and even tickets as they specified the bike and the price. That today is how we shop.
When he had time we themed look at the couple of serious contenders before we bought. But even then, we sometimes walked in and out of a bike shop due to lack of service.
Other than needing something urgently on the weekend, I don't find getting to LBS (other than the two smack bang in the city) as all that convenient to get to during the week. Most of them close shop around 6 which isn't practical for those finishing work at 5 - 5:30. It only appears to be the larger franchises ie 99 Bikes and Goldcross that are open later. Which is understandable for the local store needing to close early.
What I have found to be fantastic is Pushys same day delivery. If something broke I can have it delivered to me at work before I leave that day. They seem to be the only decent store located in Brisbane that actually has their products online. Whereas, I'm lucky if the LBS has even placed 1/3 of their items on bikexchange.
St Kilda Cycles have pretty reasonable hours. From their web page:
Now don't take this personally but one reason I generally prefer to avoid assistants in bike shops is that the advice given is often wrong, misinformed or biased by what they have in stock at that time (can't buy that in Australia mate...). It also tends to be coloured by a lack of knowledge of what was happening in the industry 5-10 years ago (or more) or the fact that I have a greying beard and am obviously not a 'racing man'. My wife once ended up threatening to deck one chap who was being particularly patronizing to an 'older woman like yourself' as he steered her toward the wicker basket end of the store I still remember having to explain to someone in a high profile Sydney store what the difference between a freehub and a freewheel was.....
Excellent service is available (Newcastle does quite well here, maybe cos they've seen me before ) and is found more often as the crap shops close.
First I was
Then I was
Finally, I'm just a little
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
I went shopping for a new bicycle with my mum recently, and it basically confirmed my gut feelings about the bicycle industry, and through the discussions I have had with other 'enlightened' ( ) bicycle mechanics since my shopping experience there are a few clear reasons that bike shops have these issues that many people have outlined in this thread. First and foremost, most problems stem from bicycle shops having a venomous masculine and competitive nature - there are a thousand and one reasons for women not wanting to work in bike shops, let's not get into that discussion- but I have heard from friends that it is all too common for some mechanics to try to score points against other mechanics by poking holes in their mechanical knowledge. I'm sure that happens in nearly every workplace, it's annoying but it's just human nature. People tend to hold onto their knowledge out of misplaced pride; younger staff members are not taught or actively encouraged to learn, it is expected that they know everything, and what they don't know they will pick up on the job. There is no accreditation for a bicycle mechanic (there was a flimsy and often ignored accreditation a few years ago but it was cut by the Baillieu government); everything you learn is through on the job experience and self driven research. That obviously means that the young guy who is so confidently fondling your Alfine hub may never have actually adjusted one before. In itself that is not really a problem; he is mechanically minded and might be skilled as a bicycle mechanic, and Shimano components are fairly straightforward. But pair that with the fact that the highly skilled Alfine fondler standing a metre away is an unapproachable, hyper competitive grump of a man who is just waiting to be called over so that he can sigh, roll his eyes and bark 'move aside'. In that sort of situation, (and thankfully, although I get whiffs of it from time to time, I don't have to work in that environment) you can see why it might be preferable to send the customer away with a 'I think that might be right' Alfine hub rather than approach the other mechanic for help. I've heard that from other mechanics about previous workplaces, and been for job interviews and trail days where you can clearly see that that is the case. That sort of hyper masculine and competitive environment quickly leads to a culture of mistakes and bad service.
The other issue with bike shops is that it is far too easy for floor staff to profile customers who are in the market for a new bike - women especially are profiled, (see above about the lack of women in bike shops) usually into two categories - non rider who is looking to commute a short distance to work, (think Dutch style step through, Sturmey Archer and Nexus hubs, drum brakes), or non-rider who is being forced to ride by super competitive roadie partner (think $499 entry level flat bar hybrid, preferably wrong size). I kept seeing this when I was shopping with my mother; despite asserting early in the conversation that she wanted to ride socially with her partner on mixed terrain, plus occasional short commutes, with a possibility of long distance rides in the future, she kept being ushered past the touring bicycles into the corner, to be shown the range of 'women's bikes'. In the end, that is more or less what she did end up purchasing, as she decided that perhaps she needed two bicycles to fulfil her needs, ( She now has 3) but that is besides the point that she was profiled incorrectly.
After that experience, I made a point of asking customers a few questions about how they would like to use their new bicycle before showing them anything; (it seems obvious doesn't it). Usually that would give a pretty good idea of what they have in their head, and from there I would pull out three entirely different machines that all have pros and cons for the various types of riding that that person would like to do. Then they can discuss with you the pros and cons of each, go for a test ride, and usually they will be able to work out for themselves which they liked the best, which presents the best value, and which will suit their needs the best. Sometimes they do got for the Dutch style three speed, but sometimes their choice is entirely different. I remember one young lady who came in once with her bicycle, a step through hybrid with a rear basket, and had no clue about what she wanted in a new bike. (She said something along the lines of: 'I am riding a lot more, and I just want something... better'). As I talked to her she told me that she had a medium distance and flat commute, and carried a laptop to work, but also wanted to do more social and recreational riding, with a chance that she might one day 'ride everywhere'. She tried a flat bar commuter, ('it was good, the same as my old bike but a lot smoother'), then she tried a touring bike ('I actually liked the drop bars more than I thought I would, but it was a bit slow'), and then tried a Kona Rove, despite the fact it was quite a bit out of her budget ( http://shenprop.com/kbc/wp-content/uplo ... narove.jpg ) She loved it, and then also fitted fenders, a rack and a set of pannier bags. She lives nearby to me, and I see her riding all the time, so I assume the bike has fulfilled her needs. I'd like to think that she could have walked into any bike shop and ended up buying the same bicycle, but sadly, I think that she probably would have been sold a flat bar commuter and been wholly underwhelmed when that new bike feeling wore off. Consumers are intelligent enough to decide which bicycle suits their needs the best, and which product presents value for money, but they may not have the knowledge to point themselves in the right direction to begin with. It seems that many floor staff also lack knowledge about how to to properly fit a person's needs to a bicycle, or they simply rely on lazy, sexist and ageist profiling to move stock.
Too Long; Didn't Read: Slightly off topic rant about the competitive and masculine nature of bicycle shops, which has allowed a culture of sexism, bad customer service and mistakes to develop. Solution = more mutual respect and less grouchiness, more investment in skills development, more women! Although I feel as though the gender imbalance and associated problems will decline as bicycle use increases.
No one has answered my question as yet.
due to my question before regarding this topic...
since aussies are real drugged up by wiggle and chainreactioncycles .... are they shooting themselves in the foot by purchasing overseas and not domestically...
Does this in turn, ruin or lower the australian dollar????
i need someone with a finance/stock/commerce background to answer it.
The trade needs more like you mate, good fortune to you.
No. Either way the bicycle components are coming from overseas. Don't worry our miners are digger the stuff up to make them.
No you just have a city centric view. Where my wife came from in (not very) rural NSW the local bike shop sold bikes, mowers, skate boards, garden tools etc. Good for fixing your everyday roadster but could not afford to stock much else. So if you wanted any high class kit it came in by mail from Melbourne or Sydney (or abroad if you wanted non-racing stuff). So, what's the difference to these folk when buying kit from Wiggle in the UK today? Absolutely nothing...except it arrives faster and it is half the price.
Aussies buying things from Wiggle and CRC have 0% impact on the exchange rate. Absolutely none. The private retail sector has no relevance to the AUD/GBP rates because compared to the needs of the export sectors, finance sectors and import sectors (BHP/Wesfarmers/ANZ for example) it's miniscule. Let's say 500 million went to the UK on various things. Might be reasonable to guess that 100 times that would be the rest of the economy - 50 billion. Net result = nothing.
Think of a hobby, and I guarantee more and more Australians are buying cheaper from overseas, or from Australian online businesses. My mate is in to road running and cross fit and he buys a lot of his stuff from Wiggle or the USA. I have other friends in to winter sports and dirt bikes, and they get a lot of their stuff online from the USofA. A lot of pet hobbyists are buying all their pet needs online rather than from brick and mortar businesses.
Because it makes economical sense for most people. Quite simply you can spread your hobbyiest dollars much further buying goods for cheaper over seas.
And just because an online business in owned and operated by an Australian, does not mean it is based in Australia and employes Aussies. I know of an Aussie online store that recently moved his warehouse operations to China as it made economical sense to.
I primarily buy from, and thus support, my two LBS as I don't buy a lot other than essential cycling items, and not being mechanically minded, if I have an issue, I need my LBS to fix it for me. As my LBS recognise me as a regular, loyal customer, sometimes the small mechanical issues are fixed for no charge. But I also know to visit the stores when they're quiet and not busy with customers.
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