Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby rpmspinman » Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:26 pm

Baldy wrote:
mezla wrote:My comments about mates rates still stand though.


Which is the part I find odd. Have you never been given a discount beyond what was advertised for goods or services?

Anyone with half a brain would have heard about online shopping, they can research prices and walk into any shop and ask them to match that price. Sometimes they might get the same price and sometimes they will be given no discount. But usually it will be somewhere inbetween. Only the person parting with their cash can decide the amount they are willing to pay.

That is not mates rates. Its just smart business on both sides.

What is the difference between mates rates and a reduced rate for return customers?

Also have a think about all the places where the ONLY option is to pay the ticket price. Go ask some isle zombie at Cunnings for a discount on a lawnmower...

Look I don't care if you shop online or not. I shop online too, regularly. My problem is you're suggesting that people who get "mates rates" at a LBS are ruining it for everyone else. When the practice of given discounts for return custom is widespread across all business.

I've tried to explain myself but I'm done with this thread.


The way I see it and in my experience only, return customers rates can vary depending on how much you have spent at that shop. Some will give 5%, others normally 10%, some 25%. It will vary for shop to shop and whether its on sale or not. With mates rates, that again is subjective and how well you know the shop owner to get the % of discount off. i.e. mate of a mate won't get as good as a direct family member or close personal friend.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby mezla » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:24 pm

Baldy, I think your memory might be going :P

mezla wrote:
Baldy wrote:I don't want to start an argument. I thought giving regulars a discount was a pretty standard sort of thing.

Man... I have no interest in arguing either, but you keep misrepresenting what I've said, so I have no choice. I'll spell it out. :roll:
I have no quarrel with regulars getting discounts, but that has nothing to do with giving non-regulars "reasonable prices".


It should be:
Regulars: Mates rates woot!
Non-regulars: Reasonable prices.


NOT
Regulars: Mates rates woot!
Non-regulars: Massive rip-off.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby rkelsen » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:52 pm

0 to 19% = reasonable

>20% = rip off

With things like tyres and tubes the difference is often >100%, which is a complete rip-off.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby Baalzamon » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:13 pm

Bought a BMX tyre and needed it for the weekend so had no choice but local
$39 locally, checked on CRC and $11.98 nuff said
Helped out the shop tho and moved one odd tyre for them
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby im_no_pro » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:54 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.


You have it the wrong way around. Grey importing can be done, but would be difficult in this industry as the retailer will have to wear higher costs through supporting warranty claims (statutory, not manufacturers) as the "official" distributor will not touch it as they didnt sell it. Go to the reject shop and read the labels on half the branded products in there, they are often in one of a number of Asian languages and are grey imports. On the other hand, a distributor enforcing a markup whether it be minimum or maximum is called resale price maintenance, and is illegal (in this country anyway). Still yet to figure out how apple have managed to get away with it for so long :?
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby MarkG » Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:29 pm

I was on to my mate who owns a bike store about this thread today. He told me that Shimano reps come in to his store from time to time to make sure he's doing the right thing (ie not stocking grey items). He reckons they (importers), hate Wiggle etc more than he does lol
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby rkelsen » Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:43 am

Oxford wrote:% of what?

The cheapest price I for which I can purchase the item from an online (usually UK-based) vendor.

To illustrate my point: If a wheelset could be bought for $200 online, I'd be happy to pay up to $240 for the same set from my LBS. Especially if it means that I can walk out of the shop with them today and not have to wait two weeks for delivery. Any more than that and I'd feel like I'm being taken advantage of.

I once paid $98 for a pair of Vittoria Rubinos from a local shop. This was before I started exploring online shops. How was I supposed to feel upon finding out that I could have bought the exact same tyres for $15 each from Wiggle? If I had been charged $35 or $40 for the set, I wouldn't have minded so much... But being violated like that made me vow to never by tyres from an LBS again.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby rkelsen » Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:50 am

Who mentioned putting any rules in place?

You asked for a formula to distinguish between "reasonable" and "rip-off." I gave you mine. Nothing more, nothing less. Why are you trying to read things into it?
Oxford wrote:I think its best left to current market forces and caveat emptor.

Indeed. And this is one "emptor" who has been learned to "caveat" every single purchase he makes by looking online first... ;)
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby rkelsen » Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:23 pm

Oxford wrote:That seems to me to be a rule to guide you as to what is reasonable and what is a rip off.

Me. Yes.

You don't have to agree with it, nor follow it.

And what's wrong with capitalising on currency fluctuations?
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby Ross » Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:48 pm

rkelsen wrote:
Oxford wrote:% of what?

The cheapest price I for which I can purchase the item from an online (usually UK-based) vendor.

To illustrate my point: If a wheelset could be bought for $200 online, I'd be happy to pay up to $240 for the same set from my LBS. Especially if it means that I can walk out of the shop with them today and not have to wait two weeks for delivery. Any more than that and I'd feel like I'm being taken advantage of.

I once paid $98 for a pair of Vittoria Rubinos from a local shop. This was before I started exploring online shops. How was I supposed to feel upon finding out that I could have bought the exact same tyres for $15 each from Wiggle? If I had been charged $35 or $40 for the set, I wouldn't have minded so much... But being violated like that made me vow to never by tyres from an LBS again.


You seem to miss the point that often the LBS' are paying more from their wholesalers than what we can get the parts for online from UK. I was wanting to buy some Mavic wheels a while back and went into LBS and asked if he could price match or come close but when I told him the price I could get them for he said he pays more than that for them and offered to show me the invoice, So it's not neccassarily the LBS "ripping you off" with high prices.

Wiggle probably buy 100 tyres at once or more (probably weekly) compared to LBS' 5 or 6 every couple of months so Wiggle would get better discounts based on volume and frequency of purchasing.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby rkelsen » Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:52 pm

Oxford wrote:There's more to it than price alone.

You're over complicating it. If the LBS price is within cooee of the online price, then they get my business. If not, I walk out the door. It's pretty simple really.
Ross wrote:So it's not neccassarily the LBS "ripping you off" with high prices.

I don't care whose fault it is. If there is going to be significantly less money in my wallet by buying locally instead of buying online, then guess what I'm going to do? I work hard for a living, and have a young family to feed, clothe and educate. I can't justify paying a 400% premium on bicycle parts.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby DavidS » Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:55 pm

It often isn't the LBS's fault, in fact the impression I get is that generally it isn't the fault of the LBS. But it still leaves the question open as to why we should pay heaps more for the same product. I'm not rich so I can't see why I should pay way more. I do like to support the local business and local employment but sometimes the cost is too high.

What I find irritating is that we are told (often from the same sources of information) that we live in a global capitalist system with a global marketplace, then we are told to support locals. Can't have it both ways, if it is a global market then free market economics would tell you to buy the cheapest. The reason I often buy local even if it is more expensive is that I think free market economics is a crock. There are limits though.

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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby RonK » Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:57 pm

Ross wrote:You seem to miss the point that often the LBS' are paying more from their wholesalers than what we can get the parts for online from UK.

No, we don't miss that point at all. Isn't it about time the lbs' started going back to the distributors and telling them that customers won't pay those prices. After all, if the lbs' are losing business and go broke, so will the distributor, eventually. So it not just up to the retailer to price competitively.

We have for a very long time had a very cosy, monopolistic distribution model in this country which is anti-competitive and drives up prices. But the world has changed, and this distribution model must inevitably change also.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby Ross » Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:37 am

RonK wrote:
Ross wrote:You seem to miss the point that often the LBS' are paying more from their wholesalers than what we can get the parts for online from UK.

No, we don't miss that point at all. Isn't it about time the lbs' started going back to the distributors and telling them that customers won't pay those prices. After all, if the lbs' are losing business and go broke, so will the distributor, eventually. So it not just up to the retailer to price competitively.

We have for a very long time had a very cosy, monopolistic distribution model in this country which is anti-competitive and drives up prices. But the world has changed, and this distribution model must inevitably change also.


Why would the distributors lower their prices? They have a captive market, the LBS' pretty much have to buy their products from them as they are the only supplier in Australia. It's not like it is for us consumers that can pick and choose between LBS "X" and LBS "Y".

There are no LBS' closing down in my area, more have and are opening up.

As someone else pointed out earlier in the thread 80% of the bikes sold in the shop they work at are entry level MTBs and hybrids and these people just pay the RRP for the parts/accessories they need because they don't know any better and don't know what they want anyway and need LBS staff to advise them. People like us are the minority.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby mezla » Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:58 am

Well said Ross, but I think that it would actually increase their profits to offer reasonable prices on the components that only we the minority, are interested in... but I guess they disagree! ...and I'm sure they've done more research on it than I have :)

Still, it's a pity we have to put up with it. It's bad for cycling in Australia. Imagine how many more people would be into it if you could walk into a store and buy things at reasonable prices. Ahhh, it's a beautiful dream. :roll:
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby JustJames » Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:01 am

Ross wrote:
Why would the distributors lower their prices? They have a captive market, the LBS' pretty much have to buy their products from them as they are the only supplier in Australia. It's not like it is for us consumers that can pick and choose between LBS "X" and LBS "Y".



Ross, if you'd studied marketing you'd know about the buggy whip syndrome.

Before the advent of the 'horseless carriage', most manufacturers of buggy whips thought that they had customers for ever...because you'd always need a buggy whip to make your horse/s go faster.

When the horseless carriage came along, people no longer needed buggy whips. Oooops!

The recurring point of this thread is that the distributors are emphatically not the only supplier in Australia, because many of us (as consumers) don't need the LBS at all. Sooner or later, somebody will decide to bypass the distributors because they will realise that the risks of having to provide warranty support pale into insignificance against the costs of having an empty LBS because we're all buying online. And while the gap between local price and online price remains as huge as it is, many people will buy online, not because we like waiting for stuff to turn up but because the gap between LBS price and online price is enormous.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby jasonc » Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:10 am

JustJames wrote: And while the gap between local price and online price remains as huge as it is, many people will buy online, not because we like waiting for stuff to turn up but because the gap between LBS price and online price is enormous.


James - also remember that delivery a lot of time is quicker than buying locally. How many comments/threads are there on here when a customer has gone to their LBS only to be stuffed around waiting for parts which they could have had cheaper purchasing online.

the distribution model in Australia is a big part of the problem. they can't keep blaming currency fluctuations.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby Ross » Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:27 pm

JustJames wrote:
Ross wrote:
Why would the distributors lower their prices? They have a captive market, the LBS' pretty much have to buy their products from them as they are the only supplier in Australia. It's not like it is for us consumers that can pick and choose between LBS "X" and LBS "Y".



Ross, if you'd studied marketing you'd know about the buggy whip syndrome.

Before the advent of the 'horseless carriage', most manufacturers of buggy whips thought that they had customers for ever...because you'd always need a buggy whip to make your horse/s go faster.

When the horseless carriage came along, people no longer needed buggy whips. Oooops!

The recurring point of this thread is that the distributors are emphatically not the only supplier in Australia, because many of us (as consumers) don't need the LBS at all. Sooner or later, somebody will decide to bypass the distributors because they will realise that the risks of having to provide warranty support pale into insignificance against the costs of having an empty LBS because we're all buying online. And while the gap between local price and online price remains as huge as it is, many people will buy online, not because we like waiting for stuff to turn up but because the gap between LBS price and online price is enormous.


OK I see your point about the buggy whip but in my other post I mentioned that a typical LBS sells 80% entry level MTBs and hybrids (and associated parts and accessories) to people who walk in off the street and pay RRP. So if you own a business, which bunch of customers are you going to target, the minority that want to pay 10% less than your cost and want a diverse range of bikes/parts that you couldn't possibly hope to keep all in stock or the easy majority customers that want basic bikes and parts and are happy to pay RRP? I know which ones I would concentrate my efforts on.

I'd love to buy all my bikes and parts at LBS but agree that mostly the products can be sourced online for half price (or less sometimes) so instead of wasting my time and the LBS' time, that's what I do most of the time. That way the LBS can attend to the other 8 customers that they can easily please and profit from and me and my mate can look and buy online from a larger and cheaper range and we'll be happy too.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby Xplora » Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:03 pm

You will gradually see stronger and stronger protection from OS brands to ensure the LBS survives. Things like the Trek store network, where one prevailing brand steps in and takes control of the distribution chain. I'm not sure I like that model either - you can get Trek, Bontrager, Shimano from the shop stock, and a handful of other things. It is good quality stuff, but I like Topeak as well. I like the option of Campy or SRAM (this is somewhat disingenous because Campy IS the true religion at Rouse Hill LOL).

The LBS tends to be a very strong icon, from my experience - the ones that survive retain strong presence. I think most people in Parramatta know where Blackmans and certainly BikeBarn were before their move. Yes, they get bent over a bit by the distro, but there is enough space for 1 shop per half million people if you are only interested in 5K road race blockburners......
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby im_no_pro » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:00 am

MarkG wrote:I was on to my mate who owns a bike store about this thread today. He told me that Shimano reps come in to his store from time to time to make sure he's doing the right thing (ie not stocking grey items). He reckons they (importers), hate Wiggle etc more than he does lol


Of course they do, it's costing them money. And by checking they are doing the "right thing" the Shimano rep is looking after no-one other than himself. LBS can grey import if they wish. The authorised distributor may choose to no longer do business with him as a result, but as long as LBS isnt misrepresenting anything to their customers (e.g. items will be covered by Shimano AUS warranty) they cant stop him from doing it.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby __PG__ » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:50 am

Government is continuing its investigation into the pricing policies of Apple, Microsoft and Adobe.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby boss » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:43 pm

mezla wrote: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?


Dream on.

End of the day, the crap shops will go under. The good ones will find away to make it work.

If the industry shrinks drastically enough then perhaps shop to brand relationships may be feasible. But let me tell you - you'd be hard pressed to find ashop owner who would actually want to take on the responsibility of importing gear themselves. It is not fun importing commercial quantities of anything and is quite a stressful exercise.

But face it. We are a tiny population halfway across the world. Our distributors have the buying power of major store in the UK. Think about that for a moment. Breathe in, breathe out. Move on.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby MarkG » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:19 pm

jimboss wrote:
mezla wrote: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?


Dream on.

End of the day, the crap shops will go under. The good ones will find away to make it work.

If the industry shrinks drastically enough then perhaps shop to brand relationships may be feasible. But let me tell you - you'd be hard pressed to find ashop owner who would actually want to take on the responsibility of importing gear themselves. It is not fun importing commercial quantities of anything and is quite a stressful exercise.

But face it. We are a tiny population halfway across the world. Our distributors have the buying power of major store in the UK. Think about that for a moment. Breathe in, breathe out. Move on.


Exactly .. but mezla refuses to listen..
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby Baalzamon » Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:21 am

And I know one shop which I will not name who goes to czech and finds what he wants and brings it back in nothing less than a full size shipping crate
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby MarkG » Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:08 am

Baalzamon wrote:And I know one shop which I will not name who goes to czech and finds what he wants and brings it back in nothing less than a full size shipping crate


Yes.. he's an IDEAL business man lol
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