Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

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mikesbytes
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Re: Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

Postby mikesbytes » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:10 pm

In Sydney the ratio of shops to cyclists is too high. Its enviable that some will fail. Of course that begs the question as to why there aren't more cyclists in Sydney and there's a few threads knocking around about that.

Nation wide there is the disparity that purchase in a shop has GST where much of what is purchased online doesn't ie;
Online: product cost + online markup + postage
Shop: product cost + shop markup, which includes service + GST
And to compound it the product cost to the shop is often higher than it is to the online business

BTW interesting discussion about fitting of parts purchased online. Perhaps there's an opportunity for someone to derive business out of fitting parts purchased online. A bit like flat pack assembly service
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Re: Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

Postby eeksll » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:46 pm

AUbicycles wrote:
queequeg wrote:It's their right to refuse to fit parts bought elsewhere, so good luck to them if this business model works for them, even if the parts you want fitted can't be supplied by the lbs.


There is a clever was of dealing with this. An issue with repairs or changes using customer supplied parts is compatibility and extra work-time. I get it that a job may take longer or be harder to complete compared with simply using the gear they have always worked with and that are in stock or are easy to order.


Firstly the mechanic and workshop pricing should not be reliant on margins. It needs to be explicitly uncoupled which essentially makes them independent however means that the workshop independently profitable.

Secondly shop needs to be upfront and completely transparent towards the customer - for example, an item purchased by the customer may have an effect on the warranty / guarantees and it could take longer to install or fix - and the shop can be friendly but upfront. If the client accepts, then the shop still gets the job and is paid for it.

Whether the bike shop will then do discounts if a customer buys something and it is then installed can be dealt with a few ways.


this is good point, what happens if mechanic breaks the part? Is it possible this is more of a concern than the principle of not installing parts not purchased from their store?

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Re: Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:41 pm

It can also be about 'authorised dealers'. While a customer and bike shop may still be able to prove correct installation, it is vastly easily when a shop is an authorised dealer because it is simply assumed that installation is correctly installed...


...so the customer must have broken it :twisted:

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Re: Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

Postby queequeg » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:39 am

AUbicycles wrote:
There is a clever was of dealing with this. An issue with repairs or changes using customer supplied parts is compatibility and extra work-time. I get it that a job may take longer or be harder to complete compared with simply using the gear they have always worked with and that are in stock or are easy to order.


Firstly the mechanic and workshop pricing should not be reliant on margins. It needs to be explicitly uncoupled which essentially makes them independent however means that the workshop independently profitable.

Secondly shop needs to be upfront and completely transparent towards the customer - for example, an item purchased by the customer may have an effect on the warranty / guarantees and it could take longer to install or fix - and the shop can be friendly but upfront. If the client accepts, then the shop still gets the job and is paid for it.

Whether the bike shop will then do discounts if a customer buys something and it is then installed can be dealt with a few ways.


The point about the workshop pricing was one I made earlier. If a shop is relying on the in-store purchased parts to subsidise their workshop rates, then they should be up front about that. I think that workshop pricing really should be separate to the purchase of any parts.
I have taken in an entire bicycle with all the parts in boxes and had the bike shop assemble. I just asked them to quote me on a total new bike build with me supplying everything. I was given a price, which I accepted as fair for the work involved. It paid for the mechanics time for the bulk of the day, time which he otherwise may have spent assembling in-store purchased bikes at no extra cost to the customer.

This is the model that my local shop uses. Workshop prices are labour only. You can supply the parts or not. For example, I had to have a new fork & headset put on my commuter bike. I don't have a headset press or Star-Nut setter, so I just took everything up to the shop and they did the job for me for $25. They didn't tell me to go away because I supplied the headset and forks rather than buying from them, and even if they wanted to, they couldn't have supplied the forks anyway.

Due to this model, I actually now just take my bike up the local shop for specific jobs rather than do it myself. They price fairly per job, not per hour. It's totally transparent, and as a result they have a thriving business. They will openly tell you if you are better off buying a part online vs them supplying it too, and give you the option. If the price is close, quite often I'll just get them to supply it just for the convenience factor.
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Re: Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

Postby bychosis » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:47 am

queequeg wrote:Due to this model, I actually now just take my bike up the local shop for specific jobs rather than do it myself. They price fairly per job, not per hour. It's totally transparent, and as a result they have a thriving business. They will openly tell you if you are better off buying a part online vs them supplying it too, and give you the option. If the price is close, quite often I'll just get them to supply it just for the convenience factor.


I see a day when this is complemented by an in shop terminal allowing you to purchase the items in front of them to make sure they are right, have them delivered to store and fitted for you, perhaps with a small surcharge for their time to do so.

This is perhaps the new model to replace distributors. Shop has an agreement with a couple of online stores to supply products 'direct'. It's kinda like what they do now with distributors anyway, but should cut the costs for the consumer.
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Re: Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

Postby Jmuzz » Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:36 pm

mikesbytes wrote:BTW interesting discussion about fitting of parts purchased online. Perhaps there's an opportunity for someone to derive business out of fitting parts purchased online. A bit like flat pack assembly service


There must be no money in it, otherwise there would be more mechanic only operations around.

Got insurance, absorbing warranty claims, councils who attack you for operating from wrong zoning even to the point of saying your retail selection is too limited to qualify as retail vs light industry for this street.

Backyard mechanics do exist. But being backyard you only discover them by word of mouth and in other fields I've seen "proper shops" launch an agressive attack on them with false reports to council and consumer affairs to drive them out of business.

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Re: Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

Postby fat and old » Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:43 pm

bychosis wrote:
queequeg wrote:Due to this model, I actually now just take my bike up the local shop for specific jobs rather than do it myself. They price fairly per job, not per hour. It's totally transparent, and as a result they have a thriving business. They will openly tell you if you are better off buying a part online vs them supplying it too, and give you the option. If the price is close, quite often I'll just get them to supply it just for the convenience factor.


I see a day when this is complemented by an in shop terminal allowing you to purchase the items in front of them to make sure they are right, have them delivered to store and fitted for you, perhaps with a small surcharge for their time to do so.

This is perhaps the new model to replace distributors. Shop has an agreement with a couple of online stores to supply products 'direct'. It's kinda like what they do now with distributors anyway, but should cut the costs for the consumer.


I think that Bike Bug's mortar store in Prahran would come close to this already. Matches their on line price, and has a workshop section. I assume that would work the way you're talking about.

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Re: Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

Postby Jawa » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:19 pm

LBS vs Online .. this old chestnut

Up until now ive bought parts online and have taken to a shop and asked to install. I pay for the service and we all part ways happy
They know they’re going to hard time selling a $300 rear derailleur when the consumer can get online for $200

I would love to though learn how to do these things myself especially as im considering sourcing parts and doing my own build one day soon
However asking the LBS to “show you the ropes” even if you’re paying might be a step too far

As for bike shops in general, some a rubbish but some a good too. I’ve experienced both but same can be said for many other bricks and mortar stores in the retail sector
Its all too easy to get shirty with the bad ones but like all of us, are simply trying to make a buck too

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Re: Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

Postby bianchi928 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:21 pm

mikesbytes wrote:In Sydney the ratio of shops to cyclists is too high. Its enviable that some will fail. Of course that begs the question as to why there aren't more cyclists in Sydney and there's a few threads knocking around about that.

Nation wide there is the disparity that purchase in a shop has GST where much of what is purchased online doesn't ie;
Online: product cost + online markup + postage
Shop: product cost + shop markup, which includes service + GST
And to compound it the product cost to the shop is often higher than it is to the online business

BTW interesting discussion about fitting of parts purchased online. Perhaps there's an opportunity for someone to derive business out of fitting parts purchased online. A bit like flat pack assembly service


In Perth, we have numerous mobile mechanics who have no issues servicing at your house or work and will fit parts purchased online. Their pricing is very competitive as well.
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Re: Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

Postby AUbicycles » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:29 pm

By all means, name the shops that you recommend.It helps guide others to the good shops.

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Re: Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

Postby queequeg » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:02 pm

Jawa wrote:LBS vs Online .. this old chestnut

Up until now ive bought parts online and have taken to a shop and asked to install. I pay for the service and we all part ways happy
They know they’re going to hard time selling a $300 rear derailleur when the consumer can get online for $200

I would love to though learn how to do these things myself especially as im considering sourcing parts and doing my own build one day soon
However asking the LBS to “show you the ropes” even if you’re paying might be a step too far

As for bike shops in general, some a rubbish but some a good too. I’ve experienced both but same can be said for many other bricks and mortar stores in the retail sector
Its all too easy to get shirty with the bad ones but like all of us, are simply trying to make a buck too


Two books to consider:-

1. Park Tool Big Blue Book
2. Zinn & The Art of Road Bike Maintenance

Plus, Park Tool has online videos for most things you need to do. About the only times I go to the Bike Shop are when a simple job needs a really expensive tool that you'll only use once a year.
'11 Lynskey Cooper CX, '00 Hillbrick Steel Racing (Total Rebuild '10), '15 Cervelo S5

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Re: Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

Postby bychosis » Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:14 am

queequeg wrote: About the only times I go to the Bike Shop are when a simple job needs a really expensive tool that you'll only use once a year.

Back in the ‘good old days’ pre online purchasing the LBS relied on you purchasing you parts from them for you to do your own service. Now they need to switch their model to service from supply because online prices are so much better.

I also rarely go to a bricks and mortar because of online pricing and all the internet information available. Many other won’t or can’t service or install parts though and need someone to do it for them.
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Re: Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

Postby MichaelB » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:46 am

AUbicycles wrote:By all means, name the shops that you recommend. It helps guide others to the good shops.


In Adelaide, the local shop that has been a lifesaver for getting me out of the poo with a smile and bugger all cost is Bicycle Centre at Mitcham. They've helped for minor things like crown race setting, spacers for BB30 crank, cable ends, and other small jobs which are where either special tools are required or it's obvious that I'm fitting parts not bought from them.

Always done with a smile and great prices.

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Re: Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

Postby twowheels » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:49 am

bianchi928 wrote:
In Perth, we have numerous mobile mechanics who have no issues servicing at your house or work and will fit parts purchased online. Their pricing is very competitive as well.

I had a lengthy discussion about these issues yesterday with my LBS owner. Not only losing sales income to online, now punters are getting back yard/ mobile operators to fit parts. Of course their prices are competitive, no rent, insurance etc.
Despite this he discounts parts to help me put bikes back on the road for homeless people https://m.facebook.com/BitsaBikesWA/
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Re: Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

Postby bianchi928 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:10 pm

twowheels wrote:
bianchi928 wrote:
In Perth, we have numerous mobile mechanics who have no issues servicing at your house or work and will fit parts purchased online. Their pricing is very competitive as well.

I had a lengthy discussion about these issues yesterday with my LBS owner. Not only losing sales income to online, now punters are getting back yard/ mobile operators to fit parts. Of course their prices are competitive, no rent, insurance etc.


I will support my LBS when I can (just bought my Fly12ce from them, also my previous one before it shut down) and I take on board your point about the rent etc. The same with online retailers as well. I'm not sure what the answer is to keep all the different types of operators and consumers happy. There are disruptive business models everywhere.

It was the ability to have 4 bikes serviced at our house at once that led to us using a mobile mechanic back in 2012. Our guy, has been outstanding. I may even pay more (within reason) to have this convenience.

I'm not keen on the term "back yard" as this may imply a dodgy operator, which ours is not.

Ultimately the consumer will go to the best deal/situation for them which appear to be the theme of this thread. Not ideal for shops but to be honest, they don't help themselves sometimes. [removed].

I haven't discussed it with them so it would be unfair to bring up here but it is an example of how a shop owner or staff can discourage potential customers.

--

Admin note: It is a tricky one as we go for an approach of praising the good shops and specifically not naming the others. As the admin, the comment was slightly edited to essentially retain the integrity by simply take away the name. There may be enough clues for budding detectives to work it work.

The issue is not of 'censorship', but rather on the forums a single view may be presented and it is tricky when the shop or other shoppers have other views but they aren't represented here. More concerning is when upset people contact and threaten me for comments that appear. In some cases their behaviour ironically is very telling but it all just creates a situation which has to be dealt with and may even cost money for legal advice. Unfortunately, time and budget don't allow me to be a 'champion of the people' via BNA in these situations so instead - the easiest approach is to praise and commend the great ones and try and ignore the bad ones.

Thanks for letting me slightly highjack the post - but I think members appreciate knowing the background if there are changes.

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Re: Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

Postby Jmuzz » Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:19 pm

twowheels wrote:. Not only losing sales income to online, now punters are getting back yard/ mobile operators to fit parts. Of course their prices are competitive, no rent, insurance etc.


Nothing wrong with the Mobile Mechanic business model, provided they have proper insurance for their work.

It makes a lot of sense for low overheads and customer convenience (especially if they run a nighttime service) and since they aren't worried about distributor agreements they can just buy their stocked parts online too which is often cheaper than Australian distributors charge the shops.

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Re: Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

Postby Ross » Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:35 am

Jmuzz wrote:
twowheels wrote:. Not only losing sales income to online, now punters are getting back yard/ mobile operators to fit parts. Of course their prices are competitive, no rent, insurance etc.


Nothing wrong with the Mobile Mechanic business model, provided they have proper insurance for their work.

It makes a lot of sense for low overheads and customer convenience (especially if they run a nighttime service) and since they aren't worried about distributor agreements they can just buy their stocked parts online too which is often cheaper than Australian distributors charge the shops.


What insurance would they need? What could go wrong in servicing a bike where insurance is needed? What insurance does a LBS have? Has any ever had to or know of anybody who had to claim said insurance?

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Re: Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

Postby Jmuzz » Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:40 am

Their professional liability insurance. Pretty important.
Any mistake or negligence contributing to a crash can be multi million dollar claims. Especially when the person who crashed is insured, their own insurer will seek out someone to pass the cost onto.

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Re: Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

Postby foo on patrol » Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:50 am

I use two local shops for stuff and servicing that I can't get my head around but neither stock strips for Track racing that I want and are hamstrung with quanities for orders. I do buy from them when I can but would never go into them and try shoes on and then buy online, that, is just pure bad form and taking advantage of them. :evil:

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Re: Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

Postby mikesbytes » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:43 pm

Even if the service didn't result in the incident the lawyer for the injured will look for where the easiest money is to be made. So personal/business liability insurance is really important
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Re: Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

Postby bianchi928 » Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:38 pm

bianchi928 wrote:
twowheels wrote:
bianchi928 wrote:
Admin note: It is a tricky one as we go for an approach of praising the good shops and specifically not naming the others. As the admin, the comment was slightly edited to essentially retain the integrity by simply take away the name. There may be enough clues for budding detectives to work it work.

The issue is not of 'censorship', but rather on the forums a single view may be presented and it is tricky when the shop or other shoppers have other views but they aren't represented here. More concerning is when upset people contact and threaten me for comments that appear. In some cases their behaviour ironically is very telling but it all just creates a situation which has to be dealt with and may even cost money for legal advice. Unfortunately, time and budget don't allow me to be a 'champion of the people' via BNA in these situations so instead - the easiest approach is to praise and commend the great ones and try and ignore the bad ones.

Thanks for letting me slightly highjack the post - but I think members appreciate knowing the background if there are changes.

Christopher (Admin / AuBicycles)


Thanks Christopher, no drama and at all and thanks for making the changes. I was demonstrating an issue in regard to the LBS vs online discussion and would rather both sides the chance to present their side which is why I didn't go into it as I hadn't spoken to the shop. I like your approach better, cheers. Travis
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Re: Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

Postby Top_Bhoy » Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:02 pm

mikesbytes wrote:Even if the service didn't result in the incident the lawyer for the injured will look for where the easiest money is to be made. So personal/business liability insurance is really important


There are pros and cons and the insurance liability issue is not cut and dried...though in general agreement it is better to have it than not.

Turning the above scenario around a little....once a bike leaves the shop, unless the incident occurs almost immediately or is caused by work beyond the normal domestic set-up, establishing negligence on the part of the LBS is likely going to be difficult. It's not difficult for anyone to adjust a bike once it gets back to the house so what value insurance to the customer other than for the LBS to pay legal costs to come up with a myriad of excuses to avoid culpability?

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Re: Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

Postby tomee » Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:35 pm

queequeg wrote:
Jawa wrote:
Two books to consider:-

1. Park Tool Big Blue Book
2. Zinn & The Art of Road Bike Maintenance

Plus, Park Tool has online videos for most things you need to do. About the only times I go to the Bike Shop are when a simple job needs a really expensive tool that you'll only use once a year.


to be honest, you wouldn't even need books.
Everything i learned was from YouTube :D

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Re: Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

Postby queequeg » Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:49 pm

tomee wrote:
queequeg wrote:
Jawa wrote:
Two books to consider:-

1. Park Tool Big Blue Book
2. Zinn & The Art of Road Bike Maintenance

Plus, Park Tool has online videos for most things you need to do. About the only times I go to the Bike Shop are when a simple job needs a really expensive tool that you'll only use once a year.


to be honest, you wouldn't even need books.
Everything i learned was from YouTube :D


The YouTube videos are fine, but nothing beats having the book in your workshop as you do the actual job. It gets a bit messy with grease all over your hands/gloves while you try to operate a touch screen on an iPad or something :-)
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Re: Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

Postby outnabike » Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:12 pm

AUbicycles wrote:By all means, name the shops that you recommend.It helps guide others to the good shops.


I took my wife's little bike to that Jones bicycles mob in Frankston, Vic

Jones Cycles www.jonescycles.com.au 419 Nepean Highway, Frankston Victoria 3199

It needed to have the gear change (Different cog) to give a bit of help as we live on a huuuuge hill. :)

When I said to the wife I had looked it up on utube how to do it, and backed it up on the authoritative yahoo, I was threatened with all sorts of things.

Well, his bloke called duck did fix very nicely thank you. :)

I must say, some times the peace of mind in getting things done beats the hell out of me destroying something.
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