Would you shop at a LBS that charges $5 to browse?

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Would you shop at a LBS that charges $5 to browse?

Postby Ross » Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:46 pm

http://www.news.com.au/business/your-bu ... 6607041430

In this case it's not a LBS but a food shop, but what is your view on this? Should the shop charge for just looking? What if it was a LBS? Many of us have been guilty of going to a LBS and asking about this part or that part and if it is compatible with existing parts or trying on clothing or shoes and then going and buying it online instead.
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by BNA » Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:55 pm

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Re: Would you shop at a LBS that charges $5 to browse?

Postby bychosis » Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:55 pm

Don't think so.

My 'just browsing' is normally just to fill in a bit of time, or to just have a stickybeak to see what products are stocked. If I am just browsing I will tell the saleperson so and expect no assistance, if the staff are up for a chat and not busy that is their marketing opportunity, not my problem. If I am going to try on shoes/clothing I will not then put the item back and purchase online, that's just rude.

The other technique is to research the appropriate product online then IF instore ask about the price they will do. ie I give them the opportunity to get close in price, and make the purchase as appropriate for me. However I do not frequent LBS's.
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Re: Would you shop at a LBS that charges $5 to browse?

Postby Gabon » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:21 pm

Not a chance.
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Re: Would you shop at a LBS that charges $5 to browse?

Postby Nobody » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:27 pm

Pick 'n' Payless (auto wrecker in Sydney metro) charges $2 to enter the grounds.
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Re: Would you shop at a LBS that charges $5 to browse?

Postby il padrone » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:28 pm

What a great new business innovation !!







......if you want to lose more sales :roll:
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Re: Would you shop at a LBS that charges $5 to browse?

Postby SmellyTofu » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:33 pm

Nobody wrote:Pick 'n' Payless (auto wrecker in Sydney metro) charges $2 to enter the grounds.


But at least the parts you do pull aren't that much of a rip off from my experience.

Btw, a pick and payless for bicycles might be a good business idea but would probably be littered with BigW/KMart bikes with useless bits on it.
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Re: Would you shop at a LBS that charges $5 to browse?

Postby clydesmcdale » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:36 pm

I wouldn't be surprised if that shop gets trolled beyond belief in the coming days, especially with Redit's involvement. The owners will then remove the sign and amend their attitude.

Change your business model if you don't like it. Evolve or die.
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Re: Would you shop at a LBS that charges $5 to browse?

Postby JonoMarshall » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:04 pm

It's a stupid idea in that guise, but the People's Supermarket had a similar initiative where you'd get lower prices by becoming a member first (and working there).

Paying to browse is doomed to fail, but creating a community around your shop (especially if you derive income from it) isn't such a bad idea.
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Re: Would you shop at a LBS that charges $5 to browse?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:09 pm

"I can tell straight away who are the rat bags who are going to come in here and pick my brain and disappear,'' she said.


So where's the need to charge all the customers? Just don't deal with those particular "rat bags". If she is correct then she is either a right idiot or she is not right in what I quoted above.
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Re: Would you shop at a LBS that charges $5 to browse?

Postby MarkG » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:24 pm

I remember that ski shop that was charging $50 to try on their ski boots as people were going in to size up the brand and them buying them on line.
That I can kinda sympathise with.
Charging people to go in and browse tho is a bit of a step too far.
I also notice this new policy came in to effect on Feb 1st, so I wonder how old the story is (Slow news day) or how well it's been received in the ensuing two months..
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Re: Would you shop at a LBS that charges $5 to browse?

Postby misterhorsey » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:01 pm

good rebuttal of the business strategy behind the $5 browsing fee contained at this link:

http://boingboing.net/2013/03/26/store- ... ee-to.html
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Re: Would you shop at a LBS that charges $5 to browse?

Postby brett.hooker » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:06 pm

I wouldn't shop there...

I still do more buying at my LBS than online because of the service and advice they give me... It costs about 10% more, but it is worth it to get the right thing and to have local support 600m from home.

If they had charged me to enter, I would have gone elsewhere.
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Re: Would you shop at a LBS that charges $5 to browse?

Postby sogood » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:14 pm

What would make more sense is $5/5mins of face to face consultation time. Free with any purchases in the shop.
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Re: Would you shop at a LBS that charges $5 to browse?

Postby eeksll » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:56 pm

If I got useful face time help or got clothing sizes then yes I would. $5 guilt money would make me free of guilt :)

but no, not just for general browsing.

brett.hooker wrote:It costs about 10% more


if thats 10% more than online, you would be visiting the cheapest LBS in Australia.
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Re: Would you shop at a LBS that charges $5 to browse?

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:32 pm

With the attitude of calling shoppers "ratbags" when they don't buy, ouch. Now there is a strategy of creating an elite service/product but you have to generate this level of desirability and for a grocery store, I would expect this hurdle would lose business.
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Re: Would you shop at a LBS that charges $5 to browse?

Postby sogood » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:51 pm

I would expect the business to fold in the not too distant future. Of course, she would continue to blame the shoppers and Coles.
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Re: Would you shop at a LBS that charges $5 to browse?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:54 pm

I just looked at the posted sign. What is shows is that the NON-PROBLEM person who buys pays for the "ratbags". How does that solve the problem of those who get free advice and then buy elsewhere?

WT?. Is this business person totally brain dead? Or just most of the way there?

She is charging the wrong customers!
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Re: Would you shop at a LBS that charges $5 to browse?

Postby pacra » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:55 pm

While I would'nt pay an entry fee at a bike store, I don't go to the LBS to browse. If I go to an LBS it is for a particular purpose, usually a purchase, I might then look at whatever else they have.
When I see people browsing at the LBS they are usually looking at new bikes, a much higher priced item than the average item at a specialty food store.
Given that this particular store is on the uber side of speciality, gluten free foods no less, comparing her circumstances to an LBS is a bit like apples and oranges. For her business I think the lady has a valid point.
Perhaps there are more tactful ways to make her point, ie listing her prices versus Coles or Woolworths.
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Re: Would you shop at a LBS that charges $5 to browse?

Postby g-boaf » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:56 pm

$5 to browse? No, not at all. I'll shop at an LBS that I trust. Over the years, strangely enough, it has been one of the more expensive LBSs in Sydney that has consistently given me good deals, and so I go back to them most of the time unless they don't have what I want.
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Re: Would you shop at a LBS that charges $5 to browse?

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:21 pm

Browse? Never.
A token fee for quality advice if I don't make a purchase on the day? Likely, but how can I determine the quality of the advice?
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Re: Would you shop at a LBS that charges $5 to browse?

Postby Crittski » Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:06 pm

Lol, no brisbane lbs has exactly what i want ever anyway. I ring ahead to see and they only say yes half the time so i go online. Oh and who would try on shoes in a shop and then buy them online? Someone who doesnt have any sense of decency...
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Re: Would you shop at a LBS that charges $5 to browse?

Postby wurtulla wabbit » Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:31 pm

That'll be the last nail in her financial coffin if she keeps it up.
Free advice islet of business and the Internet is just a competitor like the shop up the road......no different, adapt, innovate, compete or close......
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Re: Would you shop at a LBS that charges $5 to browse?

Postby jacks1071 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:37 pm

MarkG wrote:I remember that ski shop that was charging $50 to try on their ski boots as people were going in to size up the brand and them buying them on line.
That I can kinda sympathise with.
Charging people to go in and browse tho is a bit of a step too far.
I also notice this new policy came in to effect on Feb 1st, so I wonder how old the story is (Slow news day) or how well it's been received in the ensuing two months..


Someone who tries on clothing at a retail store only to order that product on-line has very questionable morals.
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Re: Would you shop at a LBS that charges $5 to browse?

Postby MarkG » Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:42 pm

Yes, like someone I know who spent hours with the lbs salesman, sizing up a new Bianchi, only to buy it online.
Very poor form indeed-
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Re: Would you shop at a LBS that charges $5 to browse?

Postby Ross » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:59 am

misterhorsey wrote:good rebuttal of the business strategy behind the $5 browsing fee contained at this link:

http://boingboing.net/2013/03/26/store- ... ee-to.html


Good article thiough I disagree with some of the punter comments about there being little overheads for online shops. Online shops still need to have stock, still need a premises to hold this stock in, still need telephones, need computers and IT support arguably more than B & M store, need staff to take orders, need staff to pack orders as well as staff to do the usual office admin tasks (HR, AP/AR etc). So where are all these cost savings?
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