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An open letter against online retailers

Feb. 3, 2011, 7:34 a.m.
Posts: 13026
Joined: Nov. 24, 2002

Just found this on a German website - what do you guys think?

Basically it is a letter stating that online retailers like Chain Reaction Cycles are along with magazines and brands responsible for a situation in which gear is sold at much lower cost than a LBS could ever do.

I know there have been heated discussions on here in the past, and it is more or less a dead horse being kicked and punched once again….but still.

I think there are some valid points, although I really think that nothing beats a good local shop where you can see products, have a chat and are treated like a customer should be.

Letter here.

"You don't learn from experience. You learn from reflecting on the experience."
- Kristen Ulmer

Feb. 3, 2011, 7:45 a.m.
Posts: 2311
Joined: April 2, 2005

laughed yesterday about it already.

MTB-Freeride.TV

Feb. 3, 2011, 7:47 a.m.
Posts: 2099
Joined: April 22, 2006

I just recently found out that one of my most money making items that I sell (I get a commission incentive on top of my regular wage to sell equipment to printers.) is now being sold direct by the manufacturer online. To MF boot they sell the item to me for $1100. Post the MSRP as $2100 and have it for sale on their own website for $1300 direct to the consumer. Pretty much F*CKED me out of $700 last week alone. In a matter of one day I no longer have anything to do with that company.

And I think that is the final solution.

If a store is being treated unfairly by a manufacture or distributer regarding online sales then said store doesn't do business with them.

Feb. 3, 2011, 7:49 a.m.
Posts: 4983
Joined: Dec. 6, 2002

People are very short sighted when it comes to being consumers.

The people that make me laugh the most are the ones that complain about the demise of smaller local business while they are filling up their carts at WalMart to save a dollar or two.

C4 Rider Training 2013

Contact me at: cory@c4ridertraining.com

I am not so good at returning PM's as some have noticed.

c4race.com

Feb. 3, 2011, 8:06 a.m.
Posts: 464
Joined: Nov. 2, 2003

I recently made some online purchases.
I got a D3 for $315 and 2 pairs of rennie 5-10 hightops for $74.99.

About 5 years ago I bought 3 e-13 chainguides from bikeroom.com for 75$ each and flipped 2 of them on pb for 125$ a piece. So basically I got mine for free.

There is something wrong with the whole system if I can go online and buy something for less then a bikeshops wholesale cost, and it's not the bikeshops fault at all.

Kelowna's a small place and I do a lot of building so pretty much every shop here in town treats me well and I make a point of spending my money equally between them. Every now and then a good deal comes around online and you gotta jump on it though. Like this.

transition bikes

Feb. 3, 2011, 8:12 a.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Aug. 12, 2007

When I lived in the UK, I spent plenty of cash with online retailers because I'm the sort of person who generally knows what they want and researches products before buying them. I don't need to take up shop time by chatting about stuff for hours. However, when an LBS pointed out they'd get as close as possible to the likes of CRC, that combined with one or two warranty issues which become a pain when shopping online resulted in me going back to local shops. Since then, I've worked in shops but I don't really have a grudge against them, for the reasons above, and professionally, people are just going to walk out of the door if one make snide comments.

There's no getting away from the fact that the supply chain is smaller when buying online, so shops can't advertise at near-online prices or they'd go out of business, but shops that price reasonably, price match where possible and put the emphasis on customer service and technical knowledge still do well. The UK is significantly more 'advanced' than over here in that respect and the decent LBS are still flourishing. Too many people over here are too busy bitching about MEC to see the global picture and I guess we'll be saying goodbye to them within ten years.

treezz
wow you are a ass

Feb. 3, 2011, 9:08 a.m.
Posts: 11932
Joined: June 4, 2008

The majority of bike and board shops hire unmotivated/untrained people to staff their shops.

Feb. 3, 2011, 9:23 a.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: May 28, 2009

It's a shift that many industries face. If you can no longer compete on price you have to compete in others ways, like providing good service too.

I've had good experiences with LBS' and bad ones. I don't mind paying more in the LBS for products if they provide good service. What annoys me is when you're loyal to a shop and spend a lot of money there and they still want to charge you full price on everything you buy over time. As a loyal customer, it would be nice to have them offer some kind of discount if you've bought several thousand dollars of merchandise off them over several years at full price. I'm not talking about making them lose money and they don't have to do it all the time, but the gesture of offering a bit of a price break on some items when they know you've been supporting them for several years matched with good service goes a long way.

Feb. 3, 2011, 9:29 a.m.
Posts: 4794
Joined: Aug. 4, 2004

The majority of bike and board shops hire unmotivated/untrained people to staff their shops.

When you're not paying big money, you don't get big talent. There have been more bad bike shop experiences than good in my time. However, when you find an LBS that you like to work with, respect that relationship. In a lot of cases, online retailers aren't there for you when it hits the fan and you need the help. Conversely, if you're an online whore, don't expect VIP service on the friday before a Whistler weekend trip when you blow a brake line.

Feb. 3, 2011, 9:34 a.m.
Posts: 14574
Joined: Dec. 16, 2003

I'd like to thank online shops like CRC for making this sport affordable.

Feb. 3, 2011, 10:14 a.m.
Posts: 1029
Joined: Feb. 12, 2009

I recently made some online purchases.
I got a D3 for $315 and 2 pairs of rennie 5-10 hightops for $74.99.

About 5 years ago I bought 3 e-13 chainguides from bikeroom.com for 75$ each and flipped 2 of them on pb for 125$ a piece. So basically I got mine for free.

Like this.

I totally agree with your first point - if I am buying something I can handle myself I will buy it at the cheapest possible price (the benefit of service / warranty doesn't usually come in).

That said, I am always surprised that bike stores haven't adjusted to make things more convenient for the consumer. I am a loyal shopper (to a fault, I will go back to the same place I bought my bike every time) but if a store is not open in the evenings and on weekends (especially Sundays) then I am not going to make it. Also, I am astounded that more of the BC retailers don't have online sales through their website. If I could buy a part online from my LBS I would likely do it every time.

Feb. 3, 2011, 10:26 a.m.
Posts: 11932
Joined: June 4, 2008

When you're not paying big money, you don't get big talent.

Bingo. However as a consumer this is simply not my problem.

If you staff your shop with slackers who size everyone up to some inane ideal, well, you reap what you sow.

Feb. 3, 2011, 10:53 a.m.
Posts: 4794
Joined: Aug. 4, 2004

^
Or conversely, you put some hungry looking geezer on your sales floor and he treats it like his own used car lot. I was amazed the things I overheard at a LBS when old guy was trying to hard sell to a lady looking for a kid's bike.

Cap's, are you listening?

Feb. 3, 2011, 11:15 a.m.
Posts: 2254
Joined: Aug. 25, 2004

Yep more bike shops are appearing on the shore, and none are leaving.

I don't see a problem.

Feb. 3, 2011, 11:17 a.m.
Posts: 26382
Joined: Aug. 14, 2005

I'd like to thank online shops like CRC for making this sport affordable.

^This.

Add to that in some areas the only option is to do it online unless one likes getting screwed by the local LBS.

www.thisiswhy.co.uk

www.teamnfi.blogspot.com/

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