Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby Baldy » Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:21 pm

I get along well with the people at my chosen LBS in Hobart. They know I buy some stuff online and don't hold it against me. I had trouble fitting a SRAM Red crank I got online cheap, so got them to fit it. They also had trouble getting it right[certain BB/bike combos give issues] One of the shops mechanics spent 40mins on the phone with SRAM and Specialized techs working out a fix. Obviously they charged me for the work done but only the bare minimum.

When things are 50% cheaper of course its hard to pass up. All I can suggest is give your LBS a chance, you never know. I think people sometimes make the mistake of comparing an online sale price with the Australian retail. It does not hurt to ask and if you get any grief about asking, you are in the wrong bike shop. The good shops just want a chance.

I've recently got new wheels,stem,bars from the LBS and they came close enough to the best price I could get online I was happy to go with them. Wheels took 4 days to arrive[including a weekend] and the bars/stem 2days. I ordered the bars/stem on facebook from one of the blokes who works at the shop 8) At least its good for something other than cat memes...
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by BNA » Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:33 pm

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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby Ross » Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:33 pm

It's not only bike parts that are cheaper online. It's pretty much EVERYTHING.
I think some retailers are lazy and just accept the high prices that distributors force on them and they should look at buying direct from o/s wholesalers (or at least in the case of bike parts, buy from cheaper UK retailers). The way of doing business has changed, retailers need to accept that and move with the times or go broke, not just sit around wringing their hands and waiting for the govt to "fix it".
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby Rex Chan » Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:45 pm

Just bought Sugoi RS bibs from Bike-Discount.de for $80 (was about $160 in Galleria Cycles). Though Assos T Fi Uno S5 bibs were only $144 vs $159 locally. I can only reason that Assos keep a much closer control over distributor pricing. In hindsight, probably should have bought the Assos locally for correct sizing, but online forums give a good idea about what fits.

Also, online doesn't have the service of local, but online is a lot quicker pre-purchase to compare (no travel costs). And more (hopefully truthful) opinions than sales people.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby skull » Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:58 pm

Baldy wrote:I get along well with the people at my chosen LBS in Hobart.


Mate, in the ACT I think there is something like 30 odd bike shops. I obviously haven't been to all of them but have visited around 10. Nowhere near the level of service that we get from the boys at Ride (There is one that is close - put the other shops let them down).

I am currently dealing with them now to hopefully replace my split mavic rims.

Originally when I got here I was like a kid in a candy shop with all the bike stores but, I really miss that shop in Hobart.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:25 pm

Rex Chan wrote: Though Assos T Fi Uno S5 bibs were only $144 vs $159 locally.


See that's the sort of difference i (and i'm guessing most others) would be happy to accept.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby Rex Chan » Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:32 pm

ldrcycles wrote:
Rex Chan wrote: Though Assos T Fi Uno S5 bibs were only $144 vs $159 locally.


See that's the sort of difference i (and i'm guessing most others) would be happy to accept.


Yep, for some reason the small difference didn't compute in my head. And I *really* should have gone in to the store, as Assos only list height as the sizing guide method. Oh well, it's ordered and on it's way, so we'll see how it goes. Actually, I think I was looking at the black bibs with Assos logo, which the website listed as not in stock (well, not in the dropdown menu anyway). Bike-discount.de didn't have them either, so just went with plain black (I know the big Assos logo is a bit much, but I *am* paying $150 for them, which is a lot more than my $20 T7 shorts). Now that I think about it more, I think I was initially looking at the shorts (non-bib), and the AssosAU site price difference vs B-D.de was a bit more significant, and I wanted to spread the shipping over more items.

Anyway, now that we're on the topic of the AssosAU site, I have a question: does anyone know what Assos product the "Jersey National Team Brazil/KAZAKHSTAN" is based on? They're going for $75, which seems reasonable (or at least affordable, coming from $45GBP/~$70AUD Torm Sportwool jerseys, which I really like).
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby Patches » Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:43 pm

I was told to pay $35 for a regular metal seat post clamp at a particular Melbourne bike shop... $12 online. Practically 300%...
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby jacks1071 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:08 pm

biker jk wrote:
jacks1071 wrote:
Bentnose wrote:A lot of Shimano stuff I've bought recently came in plastic bags at great prices. That would be an Ultegra and XT cassette in CRC plastic bags and an OEM XT crankset from Evans cycles in a plain cardboard box. A large proportion of the Shimano stuff I buy seems to come like this.

I'd like to buy from lbs's but the price difference and lack of range/availability just puts me off, actual bicycle purchases are probably worthwhile though.


The stuff that comes without the packaging is OEM. Shimano give special pricing to OEM (Bike Manufacturers) to use their groupo and it comes like that - they sign a contract stating NOT to sell the loose components. It seems that Shimano don't police the policy. The people who play by the rules have higher pricing which is part of what is seen. The price difference for OEM groupset is a significant discount over components destined to be sold (in retail boxes).

Do I care if I get the box or not? No, couldn't care less - in fact I'd prefer there was less or no packaging, just providing a little industry insight.


Sorry but that's not the case. Bike 24 (and a host of others ) sell Shimano groupsets in the boxes (not OEM) and are often cheaper than CRC (they do sell OEM groupset parts). The problem is that Shimano Australia are making unreasonable markups over the cost of production. Take the Shimano RS80 C24 wheelset as an example. They're made in Malaysia but the LBS price is close to double the overseas online price even after shipping costs.


I agree with you about Shimano AU's markup. I've never used Bike24. I have bought components from CRC, PBK, Wiggle & Ribble - all of them were OEM packaging with the exception of the odd cassette which from time to time as come in a retail box. When you buy components from LBS, if they've come from Shimano AU they would almost certainly come in a retail box (which the LBS might toss out if they install the component for you).
Last edited by jacks1071 on Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby MarkG » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:10 pm

Do they not sometimes remove packaging for cost reduction in postage?
I've purchased cassettes from OS before, they've arrived with a zip tie, in plastic bag, and usually packed snug in between a jersey, socks etc.
I've even had it with an Aussie store - doesn't bother me at all.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby jacks1071 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:21 pm

MarkG wrote:Do they not sometimes remove packaging for cost reduction in postage?
I've purchased cassettes from OS before, they've arrived with a zip tie, in plastic bag, and usually packed snug in between a jersey, socks etc.
I've even had it with an Aussie store - doesn't bother me at all.


Thats a possibility, I've seen what I know is the propper "oem" packaging though and you can tell when you see it. Maybe some of them would re-package it just to disguise the fact?
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby jasonc » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:28 pm

when I've ordered from ribble, everything has come in clear plastic sealed pockets
when I've ordered from probikekit, everything came in original packaging.

do I care: no not really.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby humanbeing » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:35 pm

:shock:
jacks1071 wrote:
MarkG wrote:Do they not sometimes remove packaging for cost reduction in postage?
I've purchased cassettes from OS before, they've arrived with a zip tie, in plastic bag, and usually packed snug in between a jersey, socks etc.
I've even had it with an Aussie store - doesn't bother me at all.


Thats a possibility, I've seen what I know is the propper "oem" packaging though and you can tell when you see it. Maybe some of them would re-package it just to disguise the fact?


I bought a NOS Campagnolo gruppo from Velomine in the USA and everything came in retail boxes. When I bought a bunch of Campagnolo components from Shiny Bikes in the UK, the cranks, drerailleurs and brakes came in heat sealed plastic bags (which I would now assume was OEM packaging). The other bits came in retail boxes.
To the original topic though, I spent Saturday arvo having a look at the major bike stores in Sydney's CBD and now know I would never buy anything there - tyres are three times the on line price :shock:
Luckily I do 99% of my own bike mechanics so my mind has been made up.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby rkelsen » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:37 pm

mezla wrote:What the fudge causes these hugely inflated prices? Is it really the distributors? If so, is there any end in sight?

Yeah, they've been milking this market for decades.

We're only waking up to it now because we finally have the power to purchase goods through other channels.

The worldwide marketplace is a wonderful thing. If they start slapping GST on low-value imports, I'll have to start asking relatives overseas to forward them to me as "gifts."
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby MarkG » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:49 pm

This thread could carry on until the end of time, and the end results are always going to be the same :

* Overheads for an Australian 'bricks and mortar' shop vs essentially a large warehouse.
* Enormous buying power of Wiggle / Ribble / CRC etc vs the Australian shops.
* Buying direct for Wiggle etc vs going through the Australian importer / distributor for the Australian shops.
* Associated taxes, charges and levies which the Australian shops have, which affects their bottom line.

Those things aren't going to change - it's simple maths.
As long as Australian shops do things legally (ie no grey importing) then it's impossible to compete.
The reality is, Australian stores can't keep $$$s worth of products in stock, on the floor, cos they're still liable to their suppliers.
The catch 22 is then that the local store risks losing a potential customer cos they figure they can bring it in from the UK quicker and cheaper.

Bike stores had it good until on line shopping went gangbust in the past few years, and now they're feeling the pinch, and you gotta some times feel sorry for them as a lot of the time they are at the mercy of their supplier. I know my bike stores do what they can, but when it's costing them more to buy a Dura Ace chain from the Aussie importer than we can buy it retail from Wiggle, then they're screwed.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby jcjordan » Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:01 pm

skull wrote:
Baldy wrote:I get along well with the people at my chosen LBS in Hobart.


Mate, in the ACT I think there is something like 30 odd bike shops. I obviously haven't been to all of them but have visited around 10. Nowhere near the level of service that we get from the boys at Ride.


Not 30 but at least 15 and falling.

The Bike Hub in Tug closed a while back and I am not surprised considering the lack of knowledge in the staff.

The LBS are going to have to change their model to compete. I for one would encourage people to buy online and then charge them to fit. Lest money caught up in stock for the shop and smaller retail footprints.

Where it will cost us as consumers is that emergency parts will become non existant, no way of trying on clothing and having to make selections on parts by pictures.

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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby pauls51 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:44 pm

I generally buy from online and use the LBS to give the bike a once over once I've installed the parts.. (especially if its steering parts im replacing!!) The LBS knows that I buy online and they are happy to fit the parts and go over the bike for me which still works out cheaper then buying locally sourced parts.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby mezla » Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:24 pm

If you have to "get along well with" your local bike shop staff in order to get reasonable pricing, then they are poor business people, not to mention morally questionable, but in the majority of cases I don't believe this applies.

So... can Aussie bike shops form some sort of buying conglomerate that ships to Australia in bulk and bypasses the current distributors? Remove the extra layer of profit?

Reasonably priced stores would allow the Aussie cycling scene to thrive so much more than it already is.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby MarkG » Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:43 pm

Bypassing Aussie distributors is called grey importing, and no they can't.
For a start, Shimano has their own distribution in Australia, as do Trek and Specialized

Plus you've got individual companies and franchises too who are all competing so it essentially the same thing ; Aussie store buys their Colnago bike from FRF Sports, like every other Aussie store does, and decides how much mark up they feel comfortable with. They usually are told the minimum they can mark up the product, so other stores aren't priced out of the running.

Companies like Specialized are good like that - you'll find the RRP of their products on line - ie S-Works shoes for RRP $399 are $399 every where.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby RonK » Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:57 pm

MarkG wrote:Bypassing Aussie distributors is called grey importing, and no they can't.
For a start, Shimano has their own distribution in Australia, as do Trek and Specialized

Plus you've got individual companies and franchises too who are all competing so it essentially the same thing ; Aussie store buys their Colnago bike from FRF Sports, like every other Aussie store does, and decides how much mark up they feel comfortable with. They usually are told the minimum they can mark up the product, so other stores aren't priced out of the running.

Companies like Specialized are good like that - you'll find the RRP of their products on line - ie S-Works shoes for RRP $399 are $399 every where.

This import and distribution model is doomed. It's simply not sustainable in the global market.
The alternative is to go broke.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby DavidS » Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:13 pm

I think the bike shops are getting ripped off as badly as we are when we pay some of the more ridiculous local prices. I am amazed at the tyre prices as someone mentioned earlier. How can it be that I can buy tyres which were most likely made in Thailand, shipped to the UK, then back to Australia, for half the price of those shipped directly to Australia? There's something wrong there and I wouldn't be surprised if the bike shop is paying more than the online retail price. I know this is hard but the bike shops need to demand better wholesale prices, in short, the bike shops need to get organised if they want to save their businesses. If their price is slightly higher then I'll always go to a shop, if they're double the price or more I don't feel I can support the shop.

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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby MarkG » Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:55 pm

RonK wrote:
MarkG wrote:Bypassing Aussie distributors is called grey importing, and no they can't.
For a start, Shimano has their own distribution in Australia, as do Trek and Specialized

Plus you've got individual companies and franchises too who are all competing so it essentially the same thing ; Aussie store buys their Colnago bike from FRF Sports, like every other Aussie store does, and decides how much mark up they feel comfortable with. They usually are told the minimum they can mark up the product, so other stores aren't priced out of the running.

Companies like Specialized are good like that - you'll find the RRP of their products on line - ie S-Works shoes for RRP $399 are $399 every where.

This import and distribution model is doomed. It's simply not sustainable in the global market.
The alternative is to go broke.


They will always make money as the bike shop has to go thru them (if they chose to sell their product).
If the customer bypasses them and goes off shore, then the store loses
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby gabrielle260 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:00 pm

DavidS wrote:I think the bike shops are getting ripped off as badly as we are when we pay some of the more ridiculous local prices. I am amazed at the tyre prices as someone mentioned earlier. How can it be that I can buy tyres which were most likely made in Thailand, shipped to the UK, then back to Australia, for half the price of those shipped directly to Australia? There's something wrong there and I wouldn't be surprised if the bike shop is paying more than the online retail price. I know this is hard but the bike shops need to demand better wholesale prices, in short, the bike shops need to get organised if they want to save their businesses. If their price is slightly higher then I'll always go to a shop, if they're double the price or more I don't feel I can support the shop.

DS

Well said! I agree!
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby DW260 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:29 pm

I purchased a set of shimano R500 wheels as back ups for $110 delivered. That was from a prominent Aussie online store, and when I told the LBS what I got, they commented that it was ALMOST worth them purchasing from the online retailer for their stock... They were happy to charge me $250 for the same set of wheels.

Read into that what you will. :)
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby Baldy » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:07 pm

mezla wrote:If you have to "get along well with" your local bike shop staff in order to get reasonable pricing, then they are poor business people, not to mention morally questionable,


Wow. I never expected that kind of reply from you Mezla.

I get along well with the blokes at my local takeaway shop. They give me small discounts without me asking. Are they poor business people and morally questionable as well?

Looking after your loyal/long term customers is a trend across all types of business, from coffee shops to large industry. Loyalty programs to Power subsidies...
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby mezla » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:12 pm

Your response is a response to something I did not say.
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