Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby Ross » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:38 pm

Why does UK seem to be the place for most of these mega stores like Wiggle, CRC etc? Why not USA that has potentially more buying power (much greater population)?
How do Oz shops like Cell and Cycling Express do cheap deals on some stuff (equal or better than big UK) but same as LBS on most of the other stuff? Do they deliberately lose money on their "specials" just get people in the door/to the website so hopefully while they are buying "x" on special they will buy a "y" and "z" while they are there and so that's how they make their money?
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby boss » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:58 pm

Ross wrote:Why does UK seem to be the place for most of these mega stores like Wiggle, CRC etc? Why not USA that has potentially more buying power (much greater population)?


I've often pondered the same thing. There must be some reason for it, but I don't know. Would be really interested to find out actually.

Ross wrote:How do Oz shops like Cell and Cycling Express do cheap deals on some stuff (equal or better than big UK) but same as LBS on most of the other stuff? Do they deliberately lose money on their "specials" just get people in the door/to the website so hopefully while they are buying "x" on special they will buy a "y" and "z" while they are there and so that's how they make their money?


As someone else mentioned above, shops like Cell and CE tend to be on par with O/S on some products, while fairly average on others.

I have a funny feeling they might be grey importing their specials.

Either that or like you say, they are loss-leading (losing money / breaking even / making tiny profits).
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby RonK » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:36 pm

Ross wrote:Why does UK seem to be the place for most of these mega stores like Wiggle, CRC etc?

Many US sites offer very competitive pricing, but often these are offset by expensive shipping charges. And many US businesses seem to be bound by exclusive distribution arrangements not sell outside the US.
It seems the Royal Mail is one of the most efficient and inexpensive postal services in the world. Even the stores in Germany cannot match the UK shipping arrangements.

I suspect also that exclusive distribution arrangements may not be allowed in the EU.

Ross wrote:How do Oz shops like Cell and Cycling Express do cheap deals on some stuff (equal or better than big UK) but same as LBS on most of the other stuff?

That is pretty much explained in this article from the Cycling Innovation series of articles, linked in an earlier post. Since they are manufacturers of bicycles, they have access to certain components at much lower prices.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby boss » Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:59 pm

RonK wrote:
Ross wrote:Why does UK seem to be the place for most of these mega stores like Wiggle, CRC etc?

Many US sites offer very competitive pricing, but often these are offset by expensive shipping charges. And many US businesses seem to be bound by exclusive distribution arrangements not sell outside the US.
It seems the Royal Mail is one of the most efficient and inexpensive postal services in the world. Even the stores in Germany cannot match the UK shipping arrangements.

I suspect also that exclusive distribution arrangements may not be allowed in the EU.



Is Royal Mail subsidised by the taxpayer? Or commercial business like Aus Post?
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby Xplora » Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:57 am

jimboss wrote:Is Royal Mail subsidised by the taxpayer? Or commercial business like Aus Post?

I am certain there is complete subsidisation. AusPost can't provide even remotely competitive pricing. There is a reason... and it keeps UK people in jobs, so I guess it's working. :lol:

The value of something is only what will be paid. Your example about a bike rrp being under cut by Wiggle by 28% is pointless - end of year runout will see that price in every shop around the world. You admit it is a distro RRP, but then made the courageous presumption that this would not be discounted much - it already IS being disounted elsewhere. If you can't muster up enough dollars to convince the shop to give you a discount, then perhaps you aren't the retail genius you are making yourself out to be :mrgreen:

You have a choice. Just remember that you don't have a local bike culture without the local bike shop to nurture and feed it. I look at the people I see riding around and they can't be reliant solely on CRC for their bikes and things.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby boss » Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:10 pm

Xplora wrote:
jimboss wrote:Is Royal Mail subsidised by the taxpayer? Or commercial business like Aus Post?

I am certain there is complete subsidisation. AusPost can't provide even remotely competitive pricing. There is a reason... and it keeps UK people in jobs, so I guess it's working. :lol:

The value of something is only what will be paid. Your example about a bike rrp being under cut by Wiggle by 28% is pointless - end of year runout will see that price in every shop around the world. You admit it is a distro RRP, but then made the courageous presumption that this would not be discounted much - it already IS being disounted elsewhere. If you can't muster up enough dollars to convince the shop to give you a discount, then perhaps you aren't the retail genius you are making yourself out to be :mrgreen:

You have a choice. Just remember that you don't have a local bike culture without the local bike shop to nurture and feed it. I look at the people I see riding around and they can't be reliant solely on CRC for their bikes and things.


That's interesting RE: subsidisation. I'd be interested to find out more!

Not sure if para 2 and 3 were directed at me, I wasn't comparing prices and have taken a pretty pragmatic position in this discussion
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby rkelsen » Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:04 pm

jimboss wrote:and have taken a pretty pragmatic position in this discussion

In your opinion.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby boss » Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:38 am

rkelsen wrote:
jimboss wrote:and have taken a pretty pragmatic position in this discussion

In your opinion.


I figure understanding the pressures that shops, distributors and brands face and then taking a middle of the road approach... Neither condemning nor praising... And making varied purchasing decisions... Could best be termed pragmatic.

Regardless of your thoughts, I would be in agreeance with

Xplora wrote:
The value of something is only what will be paid. Your example about a bike rrp being under cut by Wiggle by 28% is pointless - end of year runout will see that price in every shop around the world. You admit it is a distro RRP, but then made the courageous presumption that this would not be discounted much - it already IS being disounted elsewhere. If you can't muster up enough dollars to convince the shop to give you a discount, then perhaps you aren't the retail genius you are making yourself out to be :mrgreen:

You have a choice. Just remember that you don't have a local bike culture without the local bike shop to nurture and feed it. I look at the people I see riding around and they can't be reliant solely on CRC for their bikes and things.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby Xplora » Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:27 pm

^^ Maybe it is cognitive dissonance in action, but I knowingly spent about 700 bucks more than expected and budgetted for to buy from Trek Rouse Hill... I go for the rides each Saturday there, they are pretty friendly and helpful guys, and they do the right thing out on the road. They support the culture, they aren't at work when they are rolling up at 6:30am.

They don't have a job if I just get all my gear from CRC, they don't have a store if I get everything from CRC. I don't have a bunch of blokes to ride with on Saturday if I get everything from CRC. I guess I understand that I don't HAVE to have Ultegra. I've ridden Tiagra and even Tourney quite a bit. But once you spend 3K on a bike, you aren't a Kmart customer, and you can't be upset when a store treats you like a cashcow because your purchase means you ARE. Even imagining 100% markup, Campy 11 speed starting at 300 bucks is stupid expensive for most people!

Issues with respect and service are shop specific, not "distribution model" specific. I'm aware that stores in my local area have correlations between their bunch riding/culture support and the way they treat their customers... and let's face it, if you aren't prepared to pay, you aren't prepared to play.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby boss » Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:42 pm

RonK wrote:It seems the Royal Mail is one of the most efficient and inexpensive postal services in the world. Even the stores in Germany cannot match the UK shipping arrangements.


Ron, I quite liked your theory RE: shipping prices from the UK being subsidised by Royal Mail (very neat really), except CRC used DHL Express for my order.

I did some, albeit brief, research on Royal Mail and subsidisation by the UK taxpayer... couldn't find much on the topic. I believe Royal Mail is similar to Australia Post - government owned corporation. I did find that the UK government plans to sell 90% of RM in 2013-14. 10% will remained owned by RM staff.

So I'm still quite curious as to how shipping is so cheap UK to Aus. My vote would be on economies of scale... but that does not explain the UK vs US differential... is there more to it?
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby Oxford » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:16 pm

jimboss wrote:...

So I'm still quite curious as to how shipping is so cheap UK to Aus. My vote would be on economies of scale... but that does not explain the UK vs US differential... is there more to it?

maybe geography and demographics, the UK is about the size of Victoria, the USA is about the size of Australia. Royal Mail has a large base over a small area, USPS, large base over large area, AusPost small base over large area.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby WoolleyMammoth » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:46 pm

All about the definition of 'value'. I didn't really appreciate the other elements of value until I moved to a small town where the nearest LBS was over an hours drive away. How much do wiggle, CRC etc do to foster a local cycling culture, advise you of better purchases, give you expert advice? And is it worth paying that extra % over the internet price?
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby mezla » Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:37 am

I feel sorry for the LBSs. I'm sure they'd love to be able to offer good prices, and it's very sad that they can't compete.

*wistful*
Damn it'd be awesome to be able to buy all my stuff from a local shop, but I'm not made of money. Oh well.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby boss » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:12 am

mezla wrote:I feel sorry for the LBSs. I'm sure they'd love to be able to offer good prices, and it's very sad that they can't compete.

*wistful*
Damn it'd be awesome to be able to buy all my stuff from a local shop, but I'm not made of money. Oh well.
*wistful*


I think it's important for us all to remember to give our LBSs a chance.

Sometimes it's all to easy to jump on CRC or whatever, order our gear, and wait patiently for it to arrive in the mail.

I've posted a couple of mentions of my LBS offering really good prices on some consumable stuff (tyres, cartridges) via their own online store. It's actually quite cool, because I can order something after close of business, and they will drop it off to me the next day.

That obviously isn't going to happen all the time, but just give your LBS a chance!
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby mezla » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:42 am

The other major problem (at least in Canberra) is that our bike stores don't put their prices online... so to give them a chance you have to trek all over the city.

I'm a pure cyclist - no car - so riding all over the place on the off chance a local shop might have a sale on a nice pump and some fancy knicks (or whatever) is not really appealing when I know I can probably beat their price by a lot and get free postage with 5 mins clicking in Chrome.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby Oxford » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:42 am

There's this wonderful invention called the telephone, been around for a while, before the internet in fact, in fact the internet often uses their lines to access the global network. You can use it to talk to real people in stores to find out prices without going anywhere. It does mean waiting for times when they answer them, but it is very effective. :roll:
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby MarkG » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:42 am

Oxford wrote:There's this wonderful invention called the telephone, been around for a while, before the internet in fact, in fact the internet often uses their lines to access the global network. You can use it to talk to real people in stores to find out prices without going anywhere. It does mean waiting for times when they answer them, but it is very effective. :roll:


nice :)
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby boss » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:44 am

Oxford wrote:There's this wonderful invention called the telephone, been around for a while, before the internet in fact, in fact the internet often uses their lines to access the global network. You can use it to talk to real people in stores to find out prices without going anywhere. It does mean waiting for times when they answer them, but it is very effective. :roll:


Telephones also allow you to price match!
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby boss » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:44 am

Oxford wrote:There's this wonderful invention called the telephone, been around for a while, before the internet in fact, in fact the internet often uses their lines to access the global network. You can use it to talk to real people in stores to find out prices without going anywhere. It does mean waiting for times when they answer them, but it is very effective. :roll:


Telephones also allow you to request a price match!
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby jcjordan » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:45 am

The other major problem (at least in Canberra) is that our bike stores don't put their prices online.


In fairness the majority of LBS in Australia a small single entity stores and do not have the skills, resources or funds to develop and upkeep that type of website.

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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby mezla » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:52 am

The telephone is not even remotely comparable to the internet in terms of research, and price/feature comparison. Pretty ludicrous to suggest it is... could lead an objective reader to suspect some people were just saying the first nonsense that came into their head to try and inflate the competitiveness of bricks & mortar.

Also, I trust my information gathering skills far more than I trust some sales person in a bike shop to:
1) Know everything about all their products
2) Tell the truth all the time
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby MarkG » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:55 am

mezla wrote:The telephone is not even remotely comparable to the internet in terms of research, and price/feature comparison. Pretty ludicrous to suggest it is... could lead an objective reader to suspect some people were just saying the first nonsense that came into their head to try and inflate the competitiveness of bricks & mortar.

Also, I trust my information gathering skills far more than I trust some sales person in a bike shop to:
1) Know everything about all their products
2) Tell the truth all the time


I'm not reading this thread any more.
Mezla, you're a moron.
You're irrational and refuse to listen to anyone's opinion but yours.
Maybe try hanging around the scene for more than 15 minutes before you carry on like a complete half wit on matters you clearly know nothing about.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby sogood » Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:01 am

Ikea Australia's boss has spoken out that,

1) Cost of business here in AU is way high, more in like with Japan.
2) AU only accounted for 2% of Ikea's business worldwide.

I assume the same business condition applies to bike products.

http://www.smh.com.au/business/ikea-to- ... 27n09.html
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby boss » Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:06 am

mezla wrote:The telephone is not even remotely comparable to the internet in terms of research, and price/feature comparison. Pretty ludicrous to suggest it is... could lead an objective reader to suspect some people were just saying the first nonsense that came into their head to try and inflate the competitiveness of bricks & mortar.

Also, I trust my information gathering skills far more than I trust some sales person in a bike shop to:
1) Know everything about all their products
2) Tell the truth all the time


You said that you ride a bike (no car) and could not justify visiting each shop to find out prices. We said use a telephone.

At no point was it suggested that you place all your trust in a LBS for their opinions of XXXX, YYYY, ZZZZ products and which is better for your situation rather than doing your own independent research via the internet. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
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Re: Ridiculous Prices (rant thread)

Postby Oxford » Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:11 am

mezla wrote:The telephone is not even remotely comparable to the internet in terms of research, and price/feature comparison. Pretty ludicrous to suggest it is... could lead an objective reader to suspect some people were just saying the first nonsense that came into their head to try and inflate the competitiveness of bricks & mortar.

Also, I trust my information gathering skills far more than I trust some sales person in a bike shop to:
1) Know everything about all their products
2) Tell the truth all the time

Are you sure you should be trusted with any of these new fangled technological devices? If you cannot use a computer to research a product and then a telephone to price check shops in the area (and ensure they are giving you the right information) then I'm afraid you lack some very basic life skills. You do know before the internet, the telephone was how you price checked things and shops assistants were no better than they are now. Maybe you're too young to remember the Yellow Pages and their marketing slogan "Let your fingers do the walking" (walking across the telephone key pad that is). I think that you're now just being obtuse, which is okay, but just be honest about it. Anyway, this thread is over for me now, if this is all you can offer in terms of rebuttal to a sensible and practical solution there is no hope for you at all.
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