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An open letter against online retailers

Feb. 3, 2011, 11:19 a.m.
Posts: 752
Joined: Oct. 18, 2006

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

That just made my week. Good find, haha!

Just Ride.

Feb. 3, 2011, 11:51 a.m.
Posts: 8256
Joined: Nov. 21, 2002

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

and some areas don't even have an LBS, so what happens to those guys if some brands decide to not sell through online stores?

Supply chains constantly evolve and become more efficient over time and the ease of online shopping is affecting lots of industries. Its an opportunity for proactive businesses and a potential loss for those who refuse to change. Trying to reverse this is futile and counterproductive. Embrace change and find new ways to profit.

WTB Frequency i23 rim, 650b NEW - $40

Feb. 3, 2011, 11:59 a.m.
Posts: 26382
Joined: Aug. 14, 2005

and some areas don't even have an LBS, so what happens to those guys if some brands decide to not sell through online stores?

Supply chains constantly evolve and become more efficient over time and the ease of online shopping is affecting lots of industries. Its an opportunity for proactive businesses and a potential loss for those who refuse to change. Trying to reverse this is futile and counterproductive. Embrace change and find new ways to profit.

Yep. The shop I worked at here in Kingston closed because the 2 brothers who owned it refused to change their methods.

www.thisiswhy.co.uk

www.teamnfi.blogspot.com/

Feb. 3, 2011, 12:17 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Feb. 2, 2004

I call this the politics of the bike industry. Things are changing and we need to change with them. I don't know where all of this is going to end up, but for us it's pretty simple. We sell through many channels. We sell to distributors, directly to shops, and directly to customers through our own online store. The prices are different for each of those avenues of sale in order to keep the prices even all over. There are other rules that stem from distro agreements and such. We started in Canada with a distributor, so in Canada we are in LBS's and that's it, unless there is no shop within a hundred miles of you. All the other avenues of sale are international, and pricing is structured so that if our distro decided to sell in those markets the price would be the same.

GO TO YOUR LBS. THEY ARE GOOD PEEPS WHO WILL HELP YOU OUT.

www.northshorebillet.com

Feb. 3, 2011, 12:43 p.m.
Posts: 47
Joined: May 8, 2007

and then the lbs forgets to order it, or waits until they have more stuff, orders the wrong thing or better yet…charges you shipping because they had to order it in.

in my experience if the shop has to order it in, it's usually faster and cheaper to order it online myself. Then I can buy a bunch of other stuff that's usually cheaper too while I'm there.

and if you aren't selling your product online, fair enough, I'll just buy someone elses product. You can miss out on the sale.

the bike parts industry is indeed changing. LBS and distributor will either find a way to compete or slowly disappear. The consumer votes with their money.

Feb. 3, 2011, 12:53 p.m.
Posts: 5731
Joined: June 24, 2003

Yeah online is great unless you need it today for a ride. Or if you need it exchanged or have a warranty issue. I will only shop online for items I can't get locally or are unlikely to need a warranty like a saddle or tires. Wheels, I have done but they were a known quantity as I already had the same wheels set only they were worn out and it was a skookum deal that included a cassette and tires for less that I could get the wheels only here. Suspension fork or frame? No way. I want to be able to go down the LBS where I purchased some faulty stuff and rant at them to get it fixed or replaced.

Debate? Bikes are made for riding not pushing.

Feb. 3, 2011, 12:56 p.m.
Posts: 5731
Joined: June 24, 2003

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

That is funny but sadly true of some shops. More so in Whistler. BikeCo and Fineline seem to be exceptions up there. There are a few bike shops on the North Shore like that and I am stunned that they still seem to do well.

Debate? Bikes are made for riding not pushing.

Feb. 3, 2011, 1:01 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: May 28, 2009

Suspension fork or frame? No way. I want to be able to go down the LBS where I purchased some faulty stuff and rant at them to get it fixed or replaced.

Not the case with Marzocchi forks. Naz and the crew take care of warranty issues right on the Shore and do it right. I have no worries about buying a Marzocchi fork/shock online.

Feb. 3, 2011, 1:07 p.m.
Posts: 3518
Joined: Dec. 17, 2003

GO TO YOUR LBS. THEY ARE GOOD PEEPS WHO WILL HELP YOU OUT.

Except if they're not, then f*** em.

Bad shops mess it up for good ones, and IMO can burn to the ground.

Feb. 3, 2011, 3:57 p.m.
Posts: 464
Joined: Nov. 2, 2003

Now put yourself in the LBS owners shoes…

Everyone that walks in the door wants a deal.
The only way the LBS gets a deal from their distributor is if they buy 10 or if they agree to a large quantity during booking.
As an example, spend $50 000, get 3%, spend $100 000, get 5% off.

The guys got overhead, he has to sit on all this crap for a year before he can make his profit, he's got a family to feed, and in most cases, he's giving his customers a better deal then his distributors are giving him

Everyone wants their special order ordered today. Well thanks to minimum shipping orders, you gotta place an order of a min of $250 to get the shipping free. And the order has to be in before 2pm. If you want a deal, then you wait till a min order is reached. If 50 paying customers walk in the door that day and the order doesn't get faxed till 2:30, you wait.
Shit happens.

Why is it that mr LBS is expected to stock 4 different sizes in their forks, 8 different sized stems (not including changes in lengths) 30 different sized seat posts, wheel axle sizes…9mm/10mm/12mm/15mm/qr20, qr15, 135, 150, 165? Did I miss a few?
What are the odds that your going to turn a profit and still stock every bloody size under the sun to please your customer?

After it's all said and done, your margins are so little that your lucky to make 60g a year, so your forced to pay your employees fu*k all and in the end you end up correcting all their mistakes and making up for their shitty attitude cause they spend their days looking at hot products they will never be able to afford.

You used to love bikes but now your working 6 days a week and the bikes are sucking the life out of you. The mear sight of a bike makes you want to vomit in most cases, let along going for a ride to relaxe. All of a sudden that $60g your bringing home seems pointless and every customer that walks in the door is a mind numbing experience.

I used to work in a shop.

IMHO, the middle man has to go, or at very least they need to re-evaluate what they're charging the LBS's for product cause we're all going to be buying online soon.

transition bikes

Feb. 3, 2011, 4:18 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: March 10, 2010

Great customer service goes a long way. Example: Decided to get back riding a few years ago and bought a Stumpjumper. Took it up to Whistler and rode it in the bike park for a day. I figured out pretty quick I was on the wrong bike, but still put in a full day. Drove back to Vancouver and straight to the shop, told the owner I needed a bigger bike, and he swapped it out without batting an eye. I have since spent about $10k there on bikes and gear and referred the shop to anyone who'll listen.

I'm more than happy to support local shops who provide great service. If their service sucks, don't go there. They'll disappear eventually.

Feb. 3, 2011, 4:47 p.m.
Posts: 752
Joined: Oct. 18, 2006

Great customer service goes a long way. Example: Decided to get back riding a few years ago and bought a Stumpjumper. Took it up to Whistler and rode it in the bike park for a day. I figured out pretty quick I was on the wrong bike, but still put in a full day. Drove back to Vancouver and straight to the shop, told the owner I needed a bigger bike, and he swapped it out without batting an eye. I have since spent about $10k there on bikes and gear and referred the shop to anyone who'll listen.

I'm more than happy to support local shops who provide great service. If their service sucks, don't go there. They'll disappear eventually.

I'm guessing the shop took it back at a discounted rate?

It's great to be a shop with outstanding customer service and that does indeed go a long way. It's another thing to offer customer service that makes you take products back at a loss just because the customer was confused with what they really wanted.

Just Ride.

Feb. 3, 2011, 5:03 p.m.
Posts: 2310
Joined: April 2, 2005

Now put yourself in the LBS owners shoes…

Everyone that walks in the door wants a deal.
The only way the LBS gets a deal from their distributor is if they buy 10 or if they agree to a large quantity during booking.
As an example, spend $50 000, get 3%, spend $100 000, get 5% off.

The guys got overhead, he has to sit on all this crap for a year before he can make his profit, he's got a family to feed, and in most cases, he's giving his customers a better deal then his distributors are giving him

easy, store buys large stock, opens up online store, sells stuff there too, grows over time and whoops, there is another chain reaction cycles (which started also as a small shop). some are faster, and they earning now. the slower ones are the ones complaining. i feel not sorry for them…

MTB-Freeride.TV

Feb. 3, 2011, 5:21 p.m.
Posts: 464
Joined: Nov. 2, 2003

There are a lot of business agreements that are stopping them from selling online. Shimano for instance, shimano canada will cut you off if you sell their product online. (at least it used to be that way when I worked in the biz)

transition bikes

Feb. 3, 2011, 5:50 p.m.
Posts: 137
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

everyone blames the LBS, should be looking at the distributor….they have no choice in whom they have to buy from…

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