Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

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

Postby Jmuzz » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:04 am

Top_Bhoy wrote: 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?


They can be brutal. The thing people often don't understand is that when an insurance company pays out a customers income protection, dental, Medicare gap, lifetime disability, it doesn't just end there. Insurance company recovery department exist to try and get that payout out of anyone else they can blame. If claiment blames a mechanical failure and mentions a professional servicing in recent history then that's where they are instantly going to counter claim.

But besides the mechanics view, it is leaving customers exposed to no compo when a supposedly professional mechanic does screw up and causes injury, the injured has no insurance or insurance denied, wins court against mechanic but then mechanic declares bankruptcy and can't payout the compo.
If a customer knows they are using a "backyard" mechanic with no cover then fair enough the customer knew what they were buying.
But if a customer thinks they are getting professional service with all the professional indemnity which comes with that then they are being ripped off if the mechanic isn't insured.

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

Postby Ross » Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:31 pm

So much for me using the LBS. My MTB has been there for 6 weeks to have the fork seals replaced. I had a call from them about 4 weeks ago saying they were having trouble getting the seals but were expecting them in the next couple of days. No communication since then.

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

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:04 pm

I think for a lot of bike shops it comes down to organisation. Some are naturally organised and the boss or the staff can do the followups naturally. Some need a system and have to strictly follow it. The rest of the bike shops end up with customers who are not as happy as they should be and end up as 'reluctant' customers which means they are no longer faithful.

I love to see check-list style workshops which provide a type of structure so that the staff themself can follow through. Even for a bike shop, when they start collecting a stack of bikes for repair... that just takes up space.

Agree Queequeg - books are a really good reference and also a citrus type hand cleaner to get off the grease.

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

Postby Tequestra » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:46 pm

I like the smell of rubber when I walk through the front door of a Local Bike Shop(LBS). The smell of new tyres.
It sends some subtle signal to my brain assuring me that I am in the right place, and that this is a REAL bike shop, with real people who honestly value real cycling and respect those who do it. Such experiences in the past have often transpired with that sweet smell of rubber in the air when we do business. K-Mart's bicycle section just doesn't have that same smell about it.

In Perth in the late '80s, I used to double as the third delivery driver in the afternoons when things were busy and there were more Indi-500s already prepared for delivery by the loading dock than assembled units awaiting the finishing touches, which I'd usually do in the mornings and half the afternoons as my main job.

At 18 years, I was menace truck driver back then, racing from shop to shop as fast as physically possible, with little regard for the law, and so they always knew who'd get a pair of 27" ladies down to Mandurah in a hurry the fastest, and that is how I got to explore the smell of rubber in the bicycle shops across Perth, (on the understanding that they would not pay my speeding fines). I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self the way The World really works back then.

Over the decades since 1989, cycling in Perth has enjoyed sporadic growth spurts along the way, and a new style of bike shop became more profitable by keeping the smell of rubber out of the noses of affluent 'yuppie' consumers, if you don't mind me bashing my point over an ill-fitting factual trend.

I don't feel at ease doing business in some sparkly, shiny showroom with gleaming bikes and grinning teenagers to get advice from. It is a kind of sense I get, that these kinds of shops tend to train their shop assistants as sales professionals, not so much as cycling professionals.

Perhaps the 'gentrification' of Fremantle since the America's Cup in 1987 has led some shops to change their sales policy from "Hello fellow cyclist, how can I help you?" to "Hello sucker, have I got a deal for YOU today!" and that sort of atttitude that just wastes my time when I am not the one getting paid for it.

I checked out a couple of shops in Fremantle before turning to AliExpress to spend my spare cash. Friendly, knowledgeable management, sometimes good staff I suppose, but with every purchase, I was always thinking about the sky-high rents that they might probably be paying in such an expensive 'tourist' area, (not that tourists from China come here to buy bicycle parts off the shelf), and always realised that it was not the bike shop trying to rip me off, but the landlords ripping them off which forced them to have to rip me off.

I would only buy it locally if I needed it in a hurry, because the cost of reliable shipping, (NOT Aus Post), from China means one must plan carefully and order in bulk from AliExpress if possible, to reduce total shipping costs.

Recently I've put AliExpress into twelve months' purgatory for screwing up the last order in September, and so I have explored the LBS environment a bit more, and bought a ten dollar brake cable at one shop I remember from the '80s, and it is a lot more snazzy today since Fremantle grew from a working-class area to a yuppie zone. The same fellow still runs the place, and I presume owns the building. There is trust there, but no smell of rubber.

The other LBS I finally found eventually is closer to home, and the only reason I didn't buy that brake cable there in the first place was because they open at 10am, and I was there at 8:30am for the first visit, so that was why I headed off to the shop mentioned above for it, which opened at 9am (because he lives out the back I suppose).

This shop smells of rubber! I bought nice new mid-mount kickstand there for my big black 'ute' bike I ride around to buy supplies. $20 brand new, adjustable length and Steve in the shop even knew to ask me if I had a big enough allen-key for the bolt, before exchanging it for a hex-bolt so I could fit it.

Then when I went back the next week to buy a $29 seat-post for Tequestra the Tequesta, after making sure I knew the right size for the frame, (which I had never known of such a difference before having only worked on bikes in the '80s when all seatposts were 26.2mm and no one bothered to measure it), do you know what Steve did for me?

He went out the back and found a plastic sealable bag, and dabbed a finger covered in blue grease in the bag, sealed it and gave it to me, so I gave him $30 for the seat post and he has now won himself a loyal customer for life, for the price of a dob of blue grease which the loyal customer paid a dollar for anyway.

Being on the edge of a light-industrial area, I don't expect that the rent at this shop is nearly as inflated as the poor shops in the centre of the 'tourist' areas, and the prices I have found to be no more than what it would cost me to buy from China and then pay $40/kg for shipping.

What makes this LBS a preferred choice over AliExpress is realistic, fair pricing, professional management and staff who care about cycling and thus care about cyclists like myself, and that unforgettable, courteous, surprise dob of grease when I needed it (all I usually have at home thesedays is WD-40 and singer sewing-machine oil). Maybe I should not have been surprised, because that LBS smells so much more of rubber than any of the others I have been into in the past couple of years.

PS: That's one thing you can't get on The Internet: The smell of rubber.
Viva le Tour Electrique' !!!

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

Postby Jmuzz » Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:19 pm

Shouldn't judge a non rubbery shop too harshly.
Folding tyres come in boxes and tend to have a slightly greasy coating on them to stop the oxidising and outgassing process (literally keep that smelly chemical inside the rubber where it belongs making the rubber flexible) so they last longer on the shelf.

So quality boxed tyres shouldn't be too smelly these days. Not like when they had lots of low tech rubber wire bead tyres hanging up because it was impossible to crush them into a compact box.

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

Postby Tequestra » Thu Mar 08, 2018 7:34 pm

Jmuzz wrote:So quality boxed tyres shouldn't be too smelly these days. Not like when they had lots of low tech rubber wire bead tyres hanging up because it was impossible to crush them into a compact box.


Haha! Thanks for the more recent information, Jmuzz. Next time I visit that LBS I'll have a wander around the tyre racks and check on on how much dust I can find inside them when no one's watching. Maybe they haven't sold a tyre in thirty years? ... but then how could they smell so sweet and fresh? :lol:
Viva le Tour Electrique' !!!

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

Postby NASHIE » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:08 pm

Tequestra wrote:What makes this LBS a preferred choice over AliExpress is realistic, fair pricing, professional management and staff who care about cycling and thus care about cyclists like myself, and that unforgettable, courteous, surprise dob of grease when I needed it (all I usually have at home thesedays is WD-40 and singer sewing-machine oil). Maybe I should not have been surprised, because that LBS smells so much more of rubber than any of the others I have been into in the past couple of years.

PS: That's one thing you can't get on The Internet: The smell of rubber.


Taking a punt and Ideal Cycles ?. They still exist, another plug for Elite cycles North Perth, new pair of shoes for the son yesterday, good price with discount and thru in 2 pairs of socks. No fancy glossy shop just good service with a smile.

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

Postby Tequestra » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:18 pm

NASHIE wrote:Taking a punt and Ideal Cycles ?. They still exist, another plug for Elite cycles North Perth, new pair of shoes for the son yesterday, good price with discount and thru in 2 pairs of socks. No fancy glossy shop just good service with a smile.


Good evening NASHIE. I didn't want to give away all my secrets and mention any commercial establishments by *name. :lol:
You must know that smell of rubber very well indeed. Correct. (don't tell anyone.)

* I hope his name is not Scott or something. My memory for names is not as good as my memory for grease. Five letters starting with 'S' and with a 'T' somewhere.
Viva le Tour Electrique' !!!

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

Postby twowheels » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:44 pm

AUbicycles wrote: hand cleaner to get off the grease.

A workshop aside here. I purchase for school workshops. If you can, get hold of some Deb Suprega Plus handcleaner or Deb Solopol Natural Power Wash. Either are the best I've come across. Fast clean, no greasy or sticky feeling. Nat Pwr Wash includes ground olive pits. 2 or 4 litre only though.

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

Postby BJL » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:56 am

After my mini pump failed on Sunday and my experiences over the last couple of days, I'm going to weigh into this.


The LBS' in my local area (outer east, Melbourne) are shooting THEMSELVES in the foot. If they go broke, it's entirely THEIR own fault. Why? Because NONE of them have the intelligence to advertise their stock and their prices online and if they do, it's very, very, limited, like one jersey out of their entire range on bike exchange. REAL useful guys.

I need a new mini pump. I consider a mini pump to be an essential item when cycling. I'm still surprised at the number of cyclists riding around with spare tubes apparently thinking they can just blow up a tyre with their mouth. Anyhow, I don't want to wait a week or two so I'm prepared to pay a little more locally. BUT, NONE of them advertise anything useful online so I'm left with having to drive around for a couple of hours visiting half a dozen shops to find out what they have and what they charge. Which I did yesterday, wasting time,petrol and adding to the already congested roads. And I came home empty handed as none had what I wanted for the right price although I at least have a list of a couple of maybe's from which I'll probably pick one and hope for the best.

When I could have stayed at home and found what I wanted and the price in a few minutes from Wiggle, Bike24 or any other online store.

Which is exactly what I should have done. I've been having issues with my oldish but barely used piece of crap and really should have ordered a new pump when I made a couple of orders to Wiggle and Bike24 earlier this year. But stupid me forgot. Now I'm stuck with potentially having to make another order anyway in which case I'll add in new tyres for my hybrid along with new tubes as well so I get free shipping. More stuff the local bike shops aren't going to sell to me.

So good on you LBS's. You like to blame your customers when most of it is your own fault.

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

Postby NASHIE » Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:18 pm

Agree BJL. Wanted a new heart strap yesterday and only one shop in Perth has a good up-to date website, so they got my business. I'm sure other shops i prefer to give my business may have had what i wanted, but didn't want the run around. I guess there is a fair amount of time in keeping an up to date website, but that's were it's all heading. Throwing up a few specials online occasionally isn't keeping up with the times.

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

Postby Jmuzz » Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:35 pm

They should at least publish a PDF stock and pricelist.
MSY computers have been very successful for ages just doing that.

It's something people have never been able to grasp with the whole website thing, you don't need the whole html database thing just link to a public Dropbox folder and drop your PDF prints of Word documents in there. Far better than nothing.
These days just get WordPress hosting, if you can use Facebook then you can fill the template out with pictures and news/blog updates.

As with a lot of old industries they think that ignoring the methods of the new threat will somehow stop it from existing.

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

Postby Ross » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:30 pm

BJL wrote:
When I could have stayed at home and used my phone to call some bike shops and found what I wanted instead of wasting time and petrol driving around.

Which is exactly what I should have done.


Fixed for you

Image

fat and old
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Re: Use us or lose us, bike shop owner urges

Postby fat and old » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:37 pm

twowheels wrote:
AUbicycles wrote: hand cleaner to get off the grease.

A workshop aside here. I purchase for school workshops. If you can, get hold of some Deb Suprega Plus handcleaner or Deb Solopol Natural Power Wash. Either are the best I've come across. Fast clean, no greasy or sticky feeling. Nat Pwr Wash includes ground olive pits. 2 or 4 litre only though.


Another vote here. Asphalt, diesel, sewer, concreto, grease, it all comes off. Sparkly wrinkly hands :D Can get in 20l drums, too.

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

Postby BJL » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:00 pm

Ross wrote:
BJL wrote:
When I could have stayed at home and used my phone to call some bike shops and found what I wanted instead of wasting time and petrol driving around.

Which is exactly what I should have done.


Fixed for you

Image


I like to see what I'm buying (a picture is worth a thousand words). Spending time on the phone while someone tries to explain what something looks like, especially if they don't know what they're trying to describe is a nightmare. Easier to get in the car and go there. Even easier to go on the internet and find shops that actually advertise their stock.

But the phone is good if you know exactly what brand and model you're after.

Maybe you shop for jerseys by phone?

edit - And I also like to look at reviews online as well. I couldn't be stuffed ringing every LBS in my area, asking them what their entire range of pumps are and what prices when it could be done so much easier. As others have said, shops who advertise online get the business. People will take usually take the easiest option and if the choice is over the phone, sight unseen and the internet with everything laid out in front of you and easily found, I know which one I'm going to choose. But if you want to do your shopping by phone (good luck outside business hours), then each to their own.

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

Postby Ross » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:51 pm

You mention in your first post that you were frustrated after visiting several bike shops and them not having the products you wanted (a pump was mentioned; you didn't specify brand or model but seemed to have a particular one in mind?) and then you say you wish you had ordered online instead. So how is ordering online different from phoning? You can't touch or feel the products online either.

You could of rung the shop(s) to check what brands/models they do stock and so if they had say a Giro and you wanted Lezyne you could cross that shop off the list of suppliers and move on to the next one. Rinse and repeat. You would of saved a lot of time and petrol by using the phone instead of driving all around.

I read reviews too but they aren't always accuate. I researched a track pump some years back and found glowing reviews all around the internet for a particular brand/model. So I bought it and was mildly dissapointed with it as IMO it wasn't up to all the hype. It did the job, for a few months until something broke on it. After that I bought a different brand for about half the price (at a LBS lol) and years later it is still working as good as new. Car reviews are a bit the same. A lot of new cars are talked up and are the best thing since sliced bread but a couple of years later when the kickbacks have stopped the truth comes out.

As for jerseys, I buy them online, like I do with 99% of my bike stuff. Very rarely have I seen a jersey in a LBS that I like, not to mention they are usually at least twice the price of what I can buy them for online.

I did get "bitten" recently buying a jersey online. I bought a M, which I have many jerseys already in that size, but when it arrived it was too large for me. I emailed the seller requesting to exchange for a smaller size and they replied the next day saying they weren't available in a smaller size and offered me a part refund as they said returning it wouldn't be cost effective for them (have to pay import duties) or me (postage would most likely cost similiar price to the jersey). That is one jersey out of dozens that I have. I will just resell it, noting the actual size being different to advertised size.

I, like you have spent (wasted) countless hours chasing bike parts through LBS and more often than not they have let me down with poor range and expensive pricing. I tend to avoid them where possible these days.

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

Postby AUbicycles » Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:46 am

Some local bike shops have no skill or experience and simply can’t do this well. However a shop that can’t do it just need to have their address, opening hours and phone number... provide the minimum.

If you think about maintaining an inventory and the workload in updating product derails with photos, specs and actual price and availability, it is a task that should not be underestimated.

And it is better for a shop not to do it at all rather than do it badly... so as a customer, just call.

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