Is the internet killing bike shops?

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby casual_cyclist » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:57 am

lachlanfry wrote:Interesting article in The Age Today.

http://www.theage.com.au/executive-styl ... 2da2q.html

I for one will always choose my LBS over wiggle / online cause I want things now and John the owner of my LBS in Newport VIC is a top bloke. :D

He lets me ogle (AT) the Bianci's in his shop. :mrgreen:

What are ppls thoughts?

I really like the guys at my LBS and support them when I can. Last time I needed a part I asked if they could supply it... a) they said "no" they could not order it from Shimano and b) it would cost more than 3 times the price of CRC.
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by BNA » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:43 am

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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby Lukeyboy » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:43 am

Considering I dropped $360 at two bikes stores today I'd say they still have a future here :P
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:39 pm

Lukeyboy wrote:Considering I dropped $360 at two bikes stores today I'd say they still have a future here :P

Why'd you need to get two sets of tyres, a brake cable and a roll of bar tape in one hit? :|
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby AUbicycles » Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:58 pm

Generally bike shops that have closed are not closing because of internet sales, true, there can be an impact though internet is still only a fraction which affects mostly accessories. I have seen new stores open and do well which shouldn't happen at all if there is nothing left in the market.


(Posting on a smart phone is bad)

Wanted to finish up, when the results of the BNA ultimate cyclist survey are in, lets see if I have to eat some of my words.

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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby Shpox » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:48 pm

AUbicycles wrote:
Wanted to finish up, when the results of the BNA ultimate cyclist survey are in, lets see if I have to eat some of my words.


Apologies if you've already posted this somewhere, but what's the ETA? I think it's going to be extremely relevant for many future discussions, let alone this thread. :mrgreen:
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby Lukeyboy » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:12 pm

Mulger bill wrote:Why'd you need to get two sets of tyres, a brake cable and a roll of bar tape in one hit? :|


Oh that was last week :lol: :lol: This week I picked up some new Shimano Ultegra carbon pedals + these bad boys :P

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Would have gone for the Dura Ace pedals but my kidney didn't want to depart just yet :twisted:
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby Lurkin » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:10 pm

Having moved to Australia in the last two years from NZ, there has been an remarkable lack of customer service.

Further, we buy as much as possible online now, without regard for whether the purchase is from an online retailer who is in Australia or overseas, because:-

- Its cheaper
- more efficient as I spend less time traveling to shops
- more efficient because the prices are quicker to evaluate
- don't have to deal with salespeople who talk rubbish and just 'sell it'
- don't have to deal with people running LBS that are totally incapable of running a business
- end up with higher quality components for the same money due to being cheaper
- removes the task of 'shopping'
- greater variety of choice
- Google provides a much, much broader exposure to 'advice' than one 'expert' in an LBS
- doing it yourself = greater knowledge and less need for 'experts'
- get the pleasant delivery of new toys at work, making for a better working day
- I can drink beer and 'shop' for anything I want

so why would I go to an LBS again?
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby petal665 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:16 pm

Ui2 junction box, $28 on pbk, just quoted $120 locally. Enough said.
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby antipodean » Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:59 pm

Lurkin wrote:Having moved to Australia in the last two years from NZ, there has been an remarkable lack of customer service.

Further, we buy as much as possible online now, without regard for whether the purchase is from an online retailer who is in Australia or overseas, because:-

- Its cheaper
- more efficient as I spend less time traveling to shops
- more efficient because the prices are quicker to evaluate
- don't have to deal with salespeople who talk rubbish and just 'sell it'
- don't have to deal with people running LBS that are totally incapable of running a business
- end up with higher quality components for the same money due to being cheaper
- removes the task of 'shopping'
- greater variety of choice
- Google provides a much, much broader exposure to 'advice' than one 'expert' in an LBS
- doing it yourself = greater knowledge and less need for 'experts'
- get the pleasant delivery of new toys at work, making for a better working day
- I can drink beer and 'shop' for anything I want

so why would I go to an LBS again?


I'll drink to that!
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:29 pm

petal665 wrote:Ui2 junction box, $28 on pbk, just quoted $120 locally. Enough said.

How much??? :shock:
Somebody's gougin' and I'll bet it isn't the owner of your LBS. THAT'S what's killing local traders.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby bychosis » Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:49 pm

Nah, the internet is killing everything.
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby Ozkaban » Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:01 pm

Lurkin wrote:- get the pleasant delivery of new toys at work, making for a better working day

+1 to this one :mrgreen:
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:42 pm

The_Eggman wrote:[. Manufacturing is largely already gone,


And thoroughly deserves to go if the place i used to work at is anything to go by. You would be very hard pressed to find a place with worse quality control, business management, or HR. Utterly rotten from top to bottom, and no reason for it. <rant over> :) .


Back on topic though, i wanted a set of RS80 wheels, local shop said "about $1100", purchased online from a seller in Vic for $450. On a very limited budget, how can you ignore that kind of difference?

Another example, i had a chat to a bloke at a bike shop the other day about TT/Tri bikes (and was straight up that i won't be looking to buy for quite some time, just looking for info at this stage) and he did his very best to convince me that TT bikes are a liability, you CAN'T ride them up hills or for any distance and i would be much better off doing a time trial on this here Merida Reacto. :roll:
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby wurtulla wabbit » Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:00 am

It's pretty simple. Internet prices are easier to match in lower economies.

UK, easy.
Australia not so easy due to higher pay.

Pretty simple hence why chain reaction and wiggle do so well.
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby bychosis » Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:28 am

I looked at some disc brakes. Online price $110ish per end. Asked the LBS to see if they could get close thinking if it was $125 or so I would order then and there. Best he could do was $145 and was up front saying that he wouldn't be very competetive with Shimano gear. I can't justify $70 just so I don't get 'the look' when another package arrives at the door so I'm holding out.

Somehow the LBS needs to fix that sort of difference if they want people to buy parts. I'll still go there for servicing I can't do (not a lot), but I wont pay that much difference for parts that I can install.
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby wurtulla wabbit » Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:30 pm

Importers are the problem.
Not assisting the shops to get sales is counter productive.
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby boss » Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:44 pm

I like how the Internet lets everyone say the same stuff and make the same points over and over and over.

We get it. The Internet is cheaper. Shops sometimes offer useful service. Australia is a high cost and geographically removed and small economy.

We get it. We get it. We get it.

Why don't you start a thread on a subject that hasn't been done to death like mandatory helmet laws or whether you wear Lycra or not and why.
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby petal665 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:20 pm

boss wrote:I like how the Internet lets everyone say the same stuff and make the same points over and over and over.

We get it. The Internet is cheaper. Shops sometimes offer useful service. Australia is a high cost and geographically removed and small economy.

We get it. We get it. We get it.

Why don't you start a thread on a subject that hasn't been done to death like mandatory helmet laws or whether you wear Lycra or not and why.

Why do you still feel the need to post in it then?
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby darkelf921 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:49 pm

Whilst the Internet is generally cheaper, I try and support my LBS when I can, if they can get close to prices I find online. E exceptions being bikes. I won't buy a bike online but that is just my personal preference.

Today is a good reason why I still buy at my LBS. it has been extremely wet here. So I went in to my LBS, after looking online at prices, with regards to a roller or trainer. I've never used either. They suggested I look at rollers, they are familiar with my riding as I occasionally go on group rides with them. To make sure I am happy with going with rollers, they suggested I borrow one of theirs for a week or so and come back to them if I wish to purchase.

After testing, I not only ordered a set of rollers from them but also some new pedals and a cadence sensor for my Garmin 500 so I can use my older alloy bike on the rollers instead of my newer CF bike.

This service may not be common in LBSes and perhaps I am lucky enough to have found such a great LBS. I do still occasionally buy online so I think they compliment each other.
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby tubby74 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:08 pm

ldrcycles wrote:Another example, i had a chat to a bloke at a bike shop the other day about TT/Tri bikes (and was straight up that i won't be looking to buy for quite some time, just looking for info at this stage) and he did his very best to convince me that TT bikes are a liability, you CAN'T ride them up hills or for any distance and i would be much better off doing a time trial on this here Merida Reacto. :roll:


I had the exact opposite two weeks ago. Told them I was looking for a relaxed geometry bike for my aging bones, they tried to sell me a TT bike.
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby rifraf » Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:23 pm

Most bike shops (that I've been to) are killing themselves. :idea: Enough already with hiring people who just want a job. :shock: Hire people with passion or at the very least with some idea of customer service and start training to build on this. Preferably accredited training so theres a head to roll if its proven theres a shortfall in the skills :!: People who ride to work too instead of people who "might" ride on weekends :roll: Learn about rapport :!: Start ordering what people want and stop pushing high profit junk at customers as your ruining the future credibility of your staff :( A good salesperson can sell anything but recognises their past customers role in repeat business potential. Repeat business and word of mouth is what makes or brakes/breaks a business in my opinion. LIFT YOUR GAME bike shops :!: :!: :!:
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby Ross » Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:00 pm

I'm thinking a retail shop (selling anything, not just bikes) would be super hard work. Every customer wants something different, some want the cheapest price, some want the salesperson to spend a lot of time explaining and demonstrating the products and some don't know what they want. Customers don't walk in the shop with a badge pinned to their chest telling you what type they are, you've got to guess. And if you guess wrong it can pi$$ the customer off and they will walk out and buy their stuff elsewhere.

Then as a boss you have to deal with employees. Sometimes they can be like herding cats. You have to be their boss, their friend, their mentor and sometimes even their surrogate parent. You can't watch them every minute of the day, you have your own work to do and you have to trust that they are doing the right thing. But they don't always do the right thing. They might have distractions such as a relationship breakup so are thinking about that rather than what the customer wants. Or they could be just general slack ar$es or they could be dishonest and steal parts or money.

Then there are suppliers that charge the wrong price or too much, fail to send goods or are slow at sending or send wrong goods (they have good and bad employees too).

Then there is the courier companies and/or Aus Post. They can deliver wrong parcel, damage goods, deliver late or not deliver at all.
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby DavidS » Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:02 pm

wurtulla wabbit wrote:Importers are the problem.
Not assisting the shops to get sales is counter productive.


This I do not understand. If the importers want to survive they need to get more competitive.

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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby MarkG » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:00 am

In most (if not all?) cases the products are imported by only that company so they lack competition as far as any other legit companies are concerned. The shops only option is to not carry that brand. The shop is the low guy on the totem pole and is at the mercy of the importer and the customer.
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Re: Is the internet killing bike shops?

Postby Lukeyboy » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:12 am

Local retailers can get around them by importing from somebody else (unofficial). But that can come at the cost of warranty/discounts (cashback etc). So the customer might get something cheaper but they'll be screwed if something goes wrong. That can also make the retailer look bad for offering poor after sale service. So the retailer can get screwed both ways.
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