Is the internet killing bike shops?

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby MarkG » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:24 am

And then what do you think Shimano would do if they found shops who sell their products are also grey importing?
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by BNA » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:36 am

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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby Lukeyboy » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:36 am

Better hope that you haven't bought any Shimano gear from them in the past :lol:
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby petal665 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:48 am

Lukeyboy wrote:Local retailers can get around them by importing from somebody else (unofficial). But that can come at the cost of warranty/discounts (cashback etc). So the customer might get something cheaper but they'll be screwed if something goes wrong. That can also make the retailer look bad for offering poor after sale service. So the retailer can get screwed both ways.
It's pretty hard to buy from someone else other than Shimano Australia
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby Ross » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:01 am

petal665 wrote:
Lukeyboy wrote:Local retailers can get around them by importing from somebody else (unofficial). But that can come at the cost of warranty/discounts (cashback etc). So the customer might get something cheaper but they'll be screwed if something goes wrong. That can also make the retailer look bad for offering poor after sale service. So the retailer can get screwed both ways.
It's pretty hard to buy from someone else other than Shimano Australia


Not really, quite the opposite actually. Most of the large UK online shops offer better pricing and often quicker and cheaper freight than Shimano, but as Lukeyboy pointed out warranty could be a problem. In theory not if if both the customer and the LBS kept their receipts, just a simple matter of the LBS emailing the relevant UK store notifying them of a problem with a product and the original invoice # and then a new replacement part *should* be sent out. Sometimes the old part needs to be sent back, sometimes a photo will suffice and sometimes they just tell you to throw it away.
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby petal665 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:11 am

Uk shops are cheaper and most likely quicker, but they do not have a reliable supply.
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby orbeas » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:16 am

Shpox wrote:I'd gladly buy from my LBS but the service just isn't there. At all.

I'll talk about a recent visit where I called in three weeks after my service to get my FD checked out after an accident. Mechanic answered, told me he could check it out on the spot the next day. No problem, sounded great. I drive 40 mins to them, I'm there at opening time, salesperson comes up and tells me I have to book in a service and shoot them $59 for a full service before they'll look at it.

Other local LBS was too busy which was fair enough, and the other local local LBS I've already documented about my service history with them here on BNA

I've probably spent over 2k at Wiggle and Cell and will continue to do so. Service is the only thing left to offer me. If they can't get that right, I won't even bother with the bike.

and have you learnt any thing from your experiance... DIY !
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby Xplora » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:16 am

Ross wrote:Not really, quite the opposite actually.

You WILL have to return one cassette a fortnight if you're the LBS for warranty reasons. Just sheer numbers says that. Or you make a mistake sizing the shoe and need to swap it.

You are telling the LBS to buy at UK retail prices, how do they get a better deal than me? They still add a couple days waiting for the part. They can't keep EPS SR in stock without knowing someone wants it.

I understand your point Ross, but sheer volume of parts per month means that they need better support than the UK shop can provide. Shimano Oz is shanking the stores, no question, but essentially using the UK shops as a distributor is fraught with problems. Also, don't forget that there are only half a dozen UK shops that cheap. Changes to shipping policies (such as Evans, who I won't use) completely change the game as well. A retailer needs more support than you realise. I can guarantee you that CRC or Wiggle would get wise to 3-4 returns a month from the one customer, and start demanding returns by mail - at the buyer's cost.
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby wurtulla wabbit » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:26 am

DavidS wrote:
wurtulla wabbit wrote:Importers are the problem.
Not assisting the shops to get sales is counter productive.


This I do not understand. If the importers want to survive they need to get more competitive.

DS


Egg zachery.

The importers can get items at wholesale price but don't pass on the savings to the shops therefore, I can buy stuff cheaper and soetimes fater from the US or UK than the local shops can from their wholesaler.

Same problem in dirt bike scene, buying tyres from the US for $40 and are $100 here.
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby RonK » Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:23 pm

BrisVegas wrote:I just read on fb that Lifecycle in Brisbane are shutting their doors as of 6pm tonight. Sad news indeed.

This seems to have been no more than a rumour - the shop has been open when I have passed by each Saturday since this was posted...
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby jasonc » Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:45 pm

RonK wrote:
BrisVegas wrote:I just read on fb that Lifecycle in Brisbane are shutting their doors as of 6pm tonight. Sad news indeed.

This seems to have been no more than a rumour - the shop has been open when I have passed by each Saturday since this was posted...


well technically, they did close. they are no longer an avanti dealer.
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby russellgarrard » Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:30 pm

I know this post is slightly old but, I have an informal agreement with my LBS. I buy whatever parts I want, wherever I want, for whatever price I want because they can't sell it to me that cheap...and I pay them to fit it! I get the experience of someone who builds bikes day in, day out, they get labour money and I get cheap parts (I couldn't afford to upgrade if I had to buy the parts off them as well) for 50% off their price off the net.

I also occasionally drop-in with ice cream on hot days... I could fit them myself but I don't want to stab them in the back.
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby wurtulla wabbit » Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:49 pm

Better to get 10% of something rather than 100% of nothing...

One of my LBS's has taken the huff due to getting stuff cheaper, he thinks he has the right to the locals money and we have a duty to look after him/them.....idiot.
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby BrisVegas » Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:54 am

jasonc wrote:
RonK wrote:
BrisVegas wrote:I just read on fb that Lifecycle in Brisbane are shutting their doors as of 6pm tonight. Sad news indeed.

This seems to have been no more than a rumour - the shop has been open when I have passed by each Saturday since this was posted...


well technically, they did close. they are no longer an avanti dealer.


Yep. I don't know what brand theyll be stocking from now on though. On their facebook page they are promoting a big clearance sale today, in amongst the repainting and changed shop fitout etc.

Good luck to them. They seem a good store and organise lots of shop rides.
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby RonK » Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:16 am

jasonc wrote:
RonK wrote:
BrisVegas wrote:I just read on fb that Lifecycle in Brisbane are shutting their doors as of 6pm tonight. Sad news indeed.

This seems to have been no more than a rumour - the shop has been open when I have passed by each Saturday since this was posted...


well technically, they did close. they are no longer an avanti dealer.

Which sucks really, since (kiwi) Blair brought the Avanti brand to Brisbane from EnZed.
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby jasonc » Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:27 am

from facebook looks like they are stocking BH bikes
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby petal665 » Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:22 am

Lots of people in there where I rode past an hour ago.
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby RonK » Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:55 pm

bendertiger wrote:I also occasionally drop-in with ice cream on hot days... I could fit them myself but I don't want to stab them in the back.

How much does it cost to fit an ice cream? And where do they fit it? :lol:
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby russellgarrard » Sun Apr 07, 2013 4:56 am

I wanted to insert a line showing how I appreciate them before bringing the knife out :P
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby ldrcycles » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:26 pm

Well the net isn't going to kill my local for a while yet. When I decided to get a GPS I went with a Bryton from the LBS as the pricing was competitive and I reasoned if anything ever went wrong with it then I would get the much talked about after sales service.

Well after only 8 months or thereabouts the GPS started mucking about and soon wouldn't even turn on or connect to the computer. So dropped it off at the shop with a description of the issue, and 6 business days later I have it back, all fixed. Obviously it was Bryton themselves (or the distributor or whoever) who did the work but thumbs up to the shop for not mucking about. Definitely worth the extra $20 over net price.
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby eeksll » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:38 am

bendertiger wrote:I know this post is slightly old but, I have an informal agreement with my LBS. I buy whatever parts I want, wherever I want, for whatever price I want because they can't sell it to me that cheap...and I pay them to fit it! I get the experience of someone who builds bikes day in, day out, they get labour money and I get cheap parts (I couldn't afford to upgrade if I had to buy the parts off them as well) for 50% off their price off the net.

I also occasionally drop-in with ice cream on hot days... I could fit them myself but I don't want to stab them in the back.


If that is a informal agreement for only a select few people, I'd say the thing killing bike shops is bike shops not wanting to do work.

Seriously, if a bike shop is knocking back work, they CAN'T be in trouble of going under.

Hell I'd like to continue living and spending and not work, errr I mean knock back work. Something is not right.
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby dynamictiger » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:50 am

eeksll wrote:If that is a informal agreement for only a select few people, I'd say the thing killing bike shops is bike shops not wanting to do work.

Seriously, if a bike shop is knocking back work, they CAN'T be in trouble of going under.

Hell I'd like to continue living and spending and not work, errr I mean knock back work. Something is not right.


When I started my business I used to do anything I could to earn a coin. This included in my case installing client supplied equipment. As the business grew I continued to try and do this sort of work, until I realised it was just not worthwhile.

The issue I had, and I imagine it could be similar for a bike shop, was often the equipment supplied was incomplete or more correctly part of something else. So for example I would be supplied in bike terms a 105 chain to fit to an ultegra system. Then in more cases than I care to remember the client refused to believe me when I showed the additional works required to install or change or additional parts or what have you. Eventually, call me a slow learner, I was forced to adopt a position of if we don't supply we dont fit. In simple terms the cost to fit something not purchased through me, in my case, can easily cost more than I make on the job.
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby petal665 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:44 am

Nothing wrong with 105 chains on Ultegra. :-)
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby boss » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:10 am

dynamictiger wrote:
eeksll wrote:If that is a informal agreement for only a select few people, I'd say the thing killing bike shops is bike shops not wanting to do work.

Seriously, if a bike shop is knocking back work, they CAN'T be in trouble of going under.

Hell I'd like to continue living and spending and not work, errr I mean knock back work. Something is not right.


When I started my business I used to do anything I could to earn a coin. This included in my case installing client supplied equipment. As the business grew I continued to try and do this sort of work, until I realised it was just not worthwhile.

The issue I had, and I imagine it could be similar for a bike shop, was often the equipment supplied was incomplete or more correctly part of something else. So for example I would be supplied in bike terms a 105 chain to fit to an ultegra system. Then in more cases than I care to remember the client refused to believe me when I showed the additional works required to install or change or additional parts or what have you. Eventually, call me a slow learner, I was forced to adopt a position of if we don't supply we dont fit. In simple terms the cost to fit something not purchased through me, in my case, can easily cost more than I make on the job.


While I feel your pain, I think the industry you work in is very different from the bike industry.

First up 105 vs Ultegra is a bad example as you can pretty much run whatever price point chain you want without doing damage to the chainset/cassette...

But lets imagine a customer has bought the wrong headset bearings or wrong BB bearings or supplied a 10spd wheel for use on an 11spd bike.

How does that get solved? Tell the customer that they bought the wrong bits, and let them know they'll have to buy the right part or alternatively offer them the part at a discounted-but-still-profitable price.

I guess what I'm trying to point out is that bike parts are pretty simple in the scheme of things, and most people who buy on the internet are clued up about what they want and what they need.

The other thing you mentioned - not being profitable when not fitting supplied parts - that's an issue with your business model. If it's not profitable, charge more. Or add a surcharge.

If it's work that you don't want to do because you've got plenty of easier work, then that's a different story altogether really.

My LBS charged me $60 to fit a new BB and fix some cable routing issues - honestly I thought that was a bit on the cheap side, even considering the BB would be a 30 minute job and the cables would be 30-ish minutes. I think a lot of shops shoot themselves in the foot by not charging enough.

P.S. I don't have an informal agreement with my LBS, I just ask them to fit stuff when I require it. They're more than happy to take my money.
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby gdt » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:32 am

It's not hard: give one workshop rate for shop-supplied parts and a higher rate for customer-supplied parts. Then everyone knows where they stand and the shop gets enough income to be there in the future.

Along the same lines, don't complain about the huge backlog of work in the weeks before the TDU. Simply charge more for same-day turnaround.
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby MarkG » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:15 pm

I assume bike stores factor in the cost of installing customer supplied parts as opposed to shop purchased parts.
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