Re: How not to run an LBS
"tcmedara" <tcmedara@REMOVEhotmail.com> wrote in message
| The Nelson Paradigm <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
| > Okay, just how do you think they (and I) make a living?
| By selling products and services in sufficient quantities at sufficient
| prices to produce profit. There are obviously several different ways to
| that. You can nickle and dime people for little things, or you can build
| long term relationships with customers who will spend more money in the
| future. I gotta think when a guy walks into your shop to get a freewheel
| removed because he's doing his own hub overhaul that you don't write him
| as a one-time shopper.
| >Almost any
| > shop has a minimum charge for labor (ours is $4.00.)
| Which hopefully you won't charge to some one who just needs to get a
| freewheel removed.
Probably not, but then more than half the folks still using freewheels are
those with no idea how to work on a bike and often getting that freewheel
off is not so easy a task. Does that fee still sound exorbitant when
somebody rolls the whole bike in and wants the fw off?
| >Sure, I'm
| > likely to wave off somebody with a quickie like that, but when it
| > comes right down to it, that's how they put food on the table. Quite
| > frankly, your attitude is what's wrong with the cycle buying public
| > today.
| Quite frankly, asserting what's wrong with the cycling public rather than
| attempting to cater to that public market is what's wrong with many LBS's
| today. Okay, I guess I'm wrong. And I'm gonna go spend my money at the
| across town that let's me be wrong. Who should I do business with, the
| who squeezed me for five bucks or the guy who pulled a break lever off a
| bike on the floor when my kid broke his? Where should I go, to the guy
| spoke-preps the spokes I bought for free, or to the guy that keeps my bike
| for 3 weeks and then makes me call to find out they can't get the parts I
| want? Where do you get the idea that you can run a business that runs
| counter to the attitude of the public who's dollar you're after? Maybe
| LBS's should stop trying to pawn of $180 Giro helmets to every rube that
| buys a comfort hybrid and the "attitude" might change.
I can understand that with these poorly stocked shops with 50-100 bikes on
the floor and more than half are boutique bikes the general public can't
afford. (by contrast, you have to bob and weave in my shop it's so crammed
Repair turnaround is 24 hours unless there is some special part we have to
order - and guess what? There is a shortage of some critical stuff right
now. There are folks given the choice of leaving their bikes while we hunt
for it or take it home and wait for the call. That is *not* the fault of
the LBS unless you believe they are using it as an excuse to cover up
| >You didn't say what you've done at that shop before. Have
| > you bought a bike? Have you bought accessories? Have you made
| > yourself known as a regular customer? Have you brought in some real
| > labor work for them to do? If not, what were you expecting.
| Actually, I sorta mentioned that in the email to the shop. But yes to all
| of the above -- bought my last bike at a different store (now closed) but
| same company. I was in there two days ago ordering $50.00 worth of
| dealer-only parts. It was like pulling teeth.
Well, that certainly changes the equation from a minor irritant to a 'camel
| > They had to buy that shimano tool. Even the good one Park makes only
| > lasts so long. It's fine on honest-to-goodness Shimano freewheels
| > but it wears quickly on other brands or if the freewheels is almost
| > 'welded' on. Once that thing slips, it's pretty much done for.
| > You said it yourself - you didn't have the tool. It sells for around
| > $7. Why don't you just buy one next time.
| Using that calculus, then charging five bucks is really bull****. Getting
| back 70% of a capital investment in one 30 second transaction is well
| the norm. Ironically, I would have bought the tool if it had been
| instock -- LBS markup and all. Hmm, inventory on hand -- there's a novel
| concept. (Perhaps that's something else that's wrong with today's LBS's,
| inventory to speak of, just a bunch of flashy high profit retail ****.)
| I'll order it on line, just so I don't have to go back to the shop. I
| that's what's wrong with the cycling public -- we're willing to buy things
| elsewhere when the service is better and the parts are cheaper. I love
| shops, honest. I just don't like being treated like a mark when I walk
| You said it yourself -- You're likely to waive off a quickie. $5.00 to
| remove a freewheel is bull****, no two ways about it. I paid the guy,
| lose sight of that. I just won't be stupid enough to do it again. If
| (and you) can manage to run their business that way then it's their
| I'm going across town.
( 1 ) shop has a minimum labor charge and the kid didn't want to bend the
( 2 ) the kid was skimming the labor and really shouldn't have charged for
_`\(,_ Cycling is life,
(_)/ (_) all the rest, just details.
The Nelson Paradigm =^o.o^=http://intergalax.comhttp://intbike.com
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