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post #106 of 111

Re: Bad Bike Shop Manners??

> You know, that reminds me: maybe I'm just too gosh-darn nice. Maybe
> these people expect an attitude and would respect one. I never haggle
> price! I know it sounds crazy, especially since I work as a buyer and
> I haggle prices nine-to-five (!!), but I myself never (99%) haggle
> price.
>


I didn't think of it as haggling on the price. It was simply that I knew the
price of the new bike and the one he had was "well used". There were a few
dings, missing paint (small chips), etc. Also it was my first trike and if I
could spend a bit less that would appealed to me. Since I knew the price of
the new TT 3.5 (at that time), I couldn't see paying $100 less for a very
well used older model.

But on the other hand, this guy setup almost a dozen different trikes and
let me take them on a mile long test ride that he had mapped out. You really
can't beat that kind of service.

Jeff
post #107 of 111
Thread Starter 

Re: Bad Bike Shop Manners??

Jeff Grippe wrote:
>
>
> I didn't think of it as haggling on the price. It was simply that I knew the
> price of the new bike and the one he had was "well used". There were a few
> dings, missing paint (small chips), etc. Also it was my first trike and if I
> could spend a bit less that would appealed to me. Since I knew the price of
> the new TT 3.5 (at that time), I couldn't see paying $100 less for a very
> well used older model.
>
> But on the other hand, this guy setup almost a dozen different trikes and
> let me take them on a mile long test ride that he had mapped out. You really
> can't beat that kind of service.
>
> Jeff




Okay, "haggling" probably has too many negative connotations, but I
recognize that one has to pay for great service, for the shop being
there in the first place to provide the service, etc., etc., etc. Of
course that's all up to the proprietor to work out, and I'm not saying
it's my concern as such; no, I'm just saying that I "recognize" that
and so I guess it just doesn't "occur" to me to even try to get a
"better" price. I don't believe I'd get more than, what, 3% off, and
what's 3% when all things are considered?

I know that sounds "defeatist" of me as a consumer, but I just like
rewarding intangibles as tangibly as I can. Perhaps even "rewarding"
is the wrong word, as if they were just prostitutes of some sort. But
much as these guys piss me off, I think that LBSes in general should be
supported, and this is my way of putting my money where my mouth is.
post #108 of 111

Re: Bad Bike Shop Manners??

>> $200 margin isn't $200 profit. Keep in mind bicycles require substantial
>> time in assembly; not many other items you'd buy require all that work
>> before they can go out the door. Car dealers tell me they can prep a car
>> in 20 minutes, which is 2 hours, 40 minutes less time than it takes for
>> many bikes.

>
> But what's the incremental cost of selling that bicycle versus not selling
> it. It would seem like you'd want to keep these customers from going
> elsewhere even at the cost of an occasional extra shipping charge. They're
> likely to be buying all the high-margin accessories and clothing from the
> shop that they buy the bike from, as well as returning there for service
> after the warranty. Sure you can't afford to be special ordering every
> single bike, but once in a while it would seem to be a worthwhile expense,
> if it's a high end model.


On an inexpensive bike, it's not incremental profit, it's incremental loss.
That holds true up to about the $400-$500 area for the better shops; there
are some that can probably make a profit on a $300 bike, because they put so
little time into them.

On a higher-end bike yes, we will special-order one in-between larger
shipments if need be, because it's less-expensive to do that than to carry
so many in stock that there's no possibility of running out in-between major
shipments.

>> situational pricing (you charge customers differently depending upon your
>> mood, or that they won't buy something without bargaining, or the
>> business is in a cash flow crisis), but that's generally not a long-term
>> road to success. Everyone involved in the shop, from owner to salesperson
>> to mechanic, loses any real sense of value, in terms of what they're
>> delivering to the customer, because it's different to each one.

>
> Welcome to the world of retail. It's pretty rare to find a store of any
> kind that charges the same price to every customer, with all the sales,
> rebates, discount clubs, % off coupons, cash discounts, etc., not to
> mention plain haggling. I'm not sure that this is necessarily bad, as it
> enables the business to sell both to price-sensitive and non-price
> sensitive customers, increasing volume.


It may be rare, but that's us. We have no club discounts, no team-in
training discounts, no %-off coupons, no cash discounts. The product is the
same price to everyone, no exceptions. If we cannot establish that we're
worth "x" price, the customer will go elsewhere. That's fine; not everybody
wants to do business the same way. But it encourages us to be competitive
and deliver the best-possible service we can, because we're establishing
that *we* believe the product has a certain value, so we have to support
that.

We do however want to support various events, so besides direct
contributions we also offer 5% of a customer's prior-year purchases in the
form of a check to whatever charitable ride they're doing. We also do a 10%
discount on parts purchased with the bike.

> My favorite discount was one that the Bicycle Outfitter once had, where
> they had 15 or 20% off everything in the store, during the hours that the
> Super Bowl was on. It was the one time to buy stuff that rarely goes on
> sale, such as Rivendell bicycles.


You're probably aware that they changed hands; one of the problems they had
was that they trained customers to wait until they had their sales. They had
prices that were pretty high the rest of the time, but fewer buyers. That
can lead to the need for even more sale events to generate cash, which
further discourages people from shopping otherwise... a vicious circle that
makes it difficult to stay in business.

There are many successful business models out there; I'm not suggesting that
what we choose is better than someone else's. It just happens to work for
us, probably mostly because we're absolutely consistent. It also works great
because the customer who comes in saying his friend bought a bike from us
and got X$ off on it and he wants the same deal... well, we know that isn't
the case. We end up not wasting nearly as much time chasing customers who
are more interested in bargaining than in actually riding a bike. Yes, there
are people for whom the thrill of the negotiation is more important than
anything else. Me? I lose several years off my life everytime I have to buy
a car.

--Mike Jacoubowsky
Chain Reaction Bicycles
www.ChainReaction.com
Redwood City & Los Altos, CA USA
post #109 of 111

Re: Bad Bike Shop Manners??

If you're ever in the Roc Hill, SC area, check out College Cycles.
Robert will fit your requirements quite nicely, I believe.

- -
Comments and opinions compliments of,
"Your Friendly Neighborhood Wheelman"

My web Site:
http://geocities.com/czcorner

To E-mail me:
ChrisZCorner "at" webtv "dot" net
post #110 of 111

Re: Bad Bike Shop Manners??

Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:
>
> Presta valve caps serve no reasonable purpose that I can see. They
> certainly aren't air-tight. The best they might do is keep the area
> clean so you don't blow grit into your tube, but I've never seen that
> cause any trouble.


I thought they were there to stop the end of the valve chaffing the tube
when it was rolled up.

--
Andy Morris

AndyAtJinkasDotFreeserve.Co.UK

Love this:
Put an end to Outlook Express's messy quotes
http://home.in.tum.de/~jain/software/oe-quotefix/
post #111 of 111

Re: Bad Bike Shop Manners??

Fritz M wrote:
> Johnny Sunset wrote:
> > Since I was the only
> > rider on a bicycle with a front fairing and fenders, I only got wet
> > above the shoulders. The rest of the riders were soaked everywhere.

>
> And... what next? They all melted?


Someone implied that recumbents would be worse than uprights to ride in
the rain regarding the rider getting wet and dirty. I posted a real
world example that indicated the opposite was the case.

If there had been lightning, the upright riders would have worked as
lightning rods for me.

--
Tom Sherman - Fox River Valley
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