Bad Bike Shop Manners??

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.marketplace' started by NYC XYZ, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. NYC XYZ

    NYC XYZ Guest

    Matt O'Toole wrote:
    >
    >
    > Well, the good ones do both well, but people with that combination
    > of skills can make more money almost anywhere else.
    >
    > These days the quality of bike shop staff, like coffeehouse staff, may be
    > explained by the "bad barista index":
    >
    > http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5073210
    >
    > Matt O.



    GREAT LINK! THX!!!
     


  2. NYC XYZ

    NYC XYZ Guest

    Jeff Starr wrote:
    >
    >
    > If you really like Kevin, you will think twice about recommending
    > NYC??? to him.


    I think this here is the problem: these shops think it's just me
    handing over the money like it was McDonald's. But even there I can
    ask for unsalted fries, etc. -- does $3K not mean at least that much?

    > This guy shows up every few months, causes a commotion, does some
    > trolling, and gone again.


    You mean you honestly read the newspaper for good news?

    > I think last time it was boats swamping, and
    > mistreatment.


    Of course, you don't pay attention because it's enough that you fill in
    the blanks how you choose.

    > As others have said, when bad things constantly happen
    > to one person,


    You need John Allen Paulos' classic best-seller "Innumeracy" -- or at
    least a dictionary to distinguish between correlation and causation.

    >you have to consider the person.


    Considering that you have nothing of substance to say, I'm worried
    about you -- pride goeth before a downfall and all that.

    > Life is Good!


    Sure, ignorance is bliss!

    > Jeff
     
  3. Roger Zoul

    Roger Zoul Guest

    Johnny Sunset <[email protected]> wrote:
    :> Roger Zoul wrote:
    :>> ...On my road bike I get all nasty when it rains
    :>> (mostly down my back), I just though it would be much worse on a
    :>> 'bent due to long chain (throwing stuff alone your entire backside
    :>> - seemingly, anyway) and the because (seemingly) you're mostly
    :>> leaning back so that rain gets you more in your face than on a road
    :>> bike where your head tends to lean forward.
    :>
    :> I have never really noticed much water coming off the chain while
    :> riding a recumbent in the rain. But then, the rain never has bothered
    :> me as much as most other Midwestern riders (good thing they do not
    :> live
    :> in the Pacific Northwest near the coast).
    :>
    :> On a long wheelbase bicycle (LWB) a front fender is a necessity, as
    :> the spray from the front wheel will otherwise be directed at the
    :> rider's
    :> face at normal speed. On a short wheelbase (SWB) a front fender is
    :> very useful in keeping spray off the rider's feet, legs and crank/BB
    :> area
    :> of the bike.
    :>
    :> Rear fenders are also necessary for recumbents unless they have
    :> hard-shell seats, as the water will easily pass through a mesh back
    :> and/or soak the base padding.
    :>
    :> Of course for the ultimate in recumbent weather protection, see
    :> <http://www.leitra.dk/>.

    Thanks for the info. I'd keep it. The pic in the link reminds me of a duck
    :)
     
  4. Mike Rice

    Mike Rice Guest

    On Sat, 21 Jan 2006 21:30:25 -0500, The Wogster <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:
    >>>>Now I ask you all; does that sound crazy or what?
    >>>
    >>>These dealers you've been dealing with are all recumbent people?

    >>
    >>
    >> I was thinking that myself. Peter Stull is definitely into recumbents, as
    >> well as the other shop he mentioned (with recumbent in their name). The
    >> place he got the Trek 1000 sounded pretty normal; there really aren't such
    >> things as "floor models" in bike shops... because you can't properly build a
    >> bike on the spot, you need to have your inventory built up ahead of time.
    >> And the guy "stealing" valve caps? A common inside-joke at shops is the way
    >> customers believe there's some big black market for valve caps, and the
    >> reason we leave them off (which happens accidentally more often than it
    >> should) is so we can score big bucks selling them.
    >>

    >
    >Maybe a bike shop, should take the ones they find in the shop, and put
    >them in a jar by the register, with a note that if you need one, help
    >yourself. Then the customer who has one forgotten, will just come back,
    >get one, and it saves the environment, from having all those millions of
    >valve caps going to land fill. And saves the shop, from the
    >embarrassment, of forgetting one.


    My LBS left off a valve stem cover. Next time I passed by I stopped
    in. They laughed, and took me in the back, to a large jar of valve
    stem covers and said 'Take your pick".

    No problem.

    Indiana Mike
    >
    >Personally I never throw a nut, bolt or screw away, I toss them in a
    >small parts organizer (value caps go in there too), when I need a bolt,
    >nut screw or valve cap I go to my organizer first, 99% of the time, I
    >find what I need in there, which saves me a trip to the local hardware
    >store ( or the home depot, since the local hardware store is a block
    >away, I go there, it's shorter then the walk across the parking lot at
    >the home despot ) and of course saves wear and tear on the car.....
    >
    >W
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
     
  5. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "NYC XYZ" <[email protected]> writes:

    > I was talking about his boss, the Big Fella
    > in the lawn chair winking at me while I was testing out the SMGTe.


    Ya but don't recumbents emanate from The Dark Side? ;-)


    cheers,
    Tom

    --
    -- Nothing is safe from me.
    Above address is just a spam midden.
    I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn [point] bc [point] ca
     
  6. G.T.

    G.T. Guest

    Qui si parla Campagnolo-www.vecchios.com wrote:
    > G.T. wrote:
    >
    >>Qui si parla Campagnolo-www.vecchios.com wrote:
    >>
    >>>
    >>>The converstion in a retail place should in ALL cases be ended by the
    >>>'customer', not the employee. A bike shop is supposed to be the expert,
    >>>the person that listens and then, perhaps, sells. Sometimes it IS a
    >>>chat room, and that's how you grow your biz. If a person is comfy just
    >>>talking, then he will be comfy later giving you money. Pretty simple.
    >>>NOTHING is so important in a toy store, that the employee shuts a
    >>>person down, in order to talk to another, even if they have a $20 bill
    >>>stuck in their nose, waiting to buy. The surly attitude displayed by
    >>>some in this thread is WHY many bike shops go under. They commit
    >>>suicide, they don't go outta biz.
    >>>

    >>
    >>I've seen guys stay in a shop literally for hours without ever intending
    >>to purchase a thing. You would entertain these guys for that long?

    >
    >
    > I think you get the impression that we sit down in our little lounge
    > and yack about everything including some bike stuff.


    Do you excuse yourself for a minute to help another paying customer
    who's been standing there waiting 20 minutes just to buy a tube? Or
    possibly even a larger purchase?

    Greg

    --
    "All my time I spent in heaven
    Revelries of dance and wine
    Waking to the sound of laughter
    Up I'd rise and kiss the sky" - The Mekons
     
  7. G.T.

    G.T. Guest

    NYC XYZ wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    > THANK YOU!!! That's why I'm keeping track of 'em now! I'm like, WTF,
    > *all* my three bikes have no valve caps!!!! How did that happen!!!
    >
    > At another LBS the guy said oh you don't really need them, it's no big
    > deal. Is that true? I know they're not air-tight like a vaccuum, but
    > are they really just decorative???
    >


    They're just to keep grunge off the valve. If you stick to paved roads
    you'll probably never miss them.

    Greg

    --
    "All my time I spent in heaven
    Revelries of dance and wine
    Waking to the sound of laughter
    Up I'd rise and kiss the sky" - The Mekons
     
  8. NYC XYZ wrote:
    > That's Saint Ed the Great. I was talking about his boss, the Big Fella
    > in the lawn chair winking at me while I was testing out the SMGTe.


    For a while Mr. Ed (aka St. Ed the Grate) was posting as "GOD".

    --
    Tom Sherman - Fox River Valley (For a bit)
     
  9. >> place he got the Trek 1000 sounded pretty normal; there really aren't
    >> such
    >> things as "floor models" in bike shops... because you can't properly
    >> build a
    >> bike on the spot, you need to have your inventory built up ahead of time.

    >
    > But here's the thing: you're gonna build one *anyway* if I take the
    > floor model (that's what you call it, right; it's there for people to
    > try out, etc.), so why not give *me* the new one, seeing how I'm paying
    > the new-price?? I'm not asking for it on the spot, mind you -- though
    > if I take the display/floor model, you can be sure they'll build a new
    > one that very night so there isn't an empty spot the next day.


    There's really no such thing as a "floor model" in a bike shop. In general,
    bikes don't get ridden much and not purchased, certainly not current models
    anyway. And the ability to just build another one up? Not so easy (or smart)
    to have enough inventory to do that... it's a very easy way for a shop to go
    broke. Let's see now, the Trek 1000 comes in 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60 & 63cm
    mens sizes, plus 43, 47, 51, 54 & 57cm womens. One color for womens, two for
    men. So if a shop have only ONE, just one of each, they'd have 19 of that
    one single model in stock. And there are, what, 25 road bike models this
    year, maybe more?

    Inventory management is the key to differentiating between a shop that goes
    broke and one that stays in business. More important even than margins.
    That's why it's unlikely he'd have another bike to build up "new" for you.
    Having said all that, if there is a boxed bike that's sitting in back,
    building it up is no big deal... why not?

    > THANK YOU!!! That's why I'm keeping track of 'em now! I'm like, WTF,
    > *all* my three bikes have no valve caps!!!! How did that happen!!!
    >
    > At another LBS the guy said oh you don't really need them, it's no big
    > deal. Is that true? I know they're not air-tight like a vaccuum, but
    > are they really just decorative???


    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.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
    www.ChainReactionBicycles.com


    "NYC XYZ" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >> I was thinking that myself. Peter Stull is definitely into recumbents, as
    >> well as the other shop he mentioned (with recumbent in their name).

    >
    > That's why I was like, it is just me or what??
    >
    >> The
    >> place he got the Trek 1000 sounded pretty normal; there really aren't
    >> such
    >> things as "floor models" in bike shops... because you can't properly
    >> build a
    >> bike on the spot, you need to have your inventory built up ahead of time.

    >
    > But here's the thing: you're gonna build one *anyway* if I take the
    > floor model (that's what you call it, right; it's there for people to
    > try out, etc.), so why not give *me* the new one, seeing how I'm paying
    > the new-price?? I'm not asking for it on the spot, mind you -- though
    > if I take the display/floor model, you can be sure they'll build a new
    > one that very night so there isn't an empty spot the next day.
    >
    >> And the guy "stealing" valve caps? A common inside-joke at shops is the
    >> way
    >> customers believe there's some big black market for valve caps, and the
    >> reason we leave them off (which happens accidentally more often than it
    >> should) is so we can score big bucks selling them.

    >
    > THANK YOU!!! That's why I'm keeping track of 'em now! I'm like, WTF,
    > *all* my three bikes have no valve caps!!!! How did that happen!!!
    >
    > At another LBS the guy said oh you don't really need them, it's no big
    > deal. Is that true? I know they're not air-tight like a vaccuum, but
    > are they really just decorative???
    >
    >> --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
    >> www.ChainReactionBicycles.com

    >
     
  10. Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:

    <snipped>
    >
    > There's really no such thing as a "floor model" in a bike shop. In general,
    > bikes don't get ridden much and not purchased, certainly not current models
    > anyway. And the ability to just build another one up? Not so easy (or smart)
    > to have enough inventory to do that... it's a very easy way for a shop to go
    > broke. Let's see now, the Trek 1000 comes in 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60 & 63cm
    > mens sizes, plus 43, 47, 51, 54 & 57cm womens. One color for womens, two for
    > men. So if a shop have only ONE, just one of each, they'd have 19 of that
    > one single model in stock. And there are, what, 25 road bike models this
    > year, maybe more?
    >
    > Inventory management is the key to differentiating between a shop that goes
    > broke and one that stays in business. More important even than margins.


    <snipped>

    Aren't you making a case for the large-scale bike makers, who have
    extensive "menus", to establish regional distribution centers? This
    would help the dealers both with inventory levels and with customer
    service. Seems to me that if "brand T" can get a bike to a dealer
    faster and more economically than "brand C,G or S", they would have a
    real advantage, both with dealers and customers.
     
  11. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    On Sun, 22 Jan 2006 21:32:51 +0000, Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:

    > Inventory management is the key to differentiating between a shop that
    > goes broke and one that stays in business. More important even than
    > margins.


    So how can so many shops afford to be stuffed to the gills with shopworn
    crap that's been there for years?

    Matt O.
     
  12. The Wogster

    The Wogster Guest

    NYC XYZ wrote:
    > Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>I was thinking that myself. Peter Stull is definitely into recumbents, as
    >>well as the other shop he mentioned (with recumbent in their name).

    >
    >
    > That's why I was like, it is just me or what??
    >
    >
    >>The
    >>place he got the Trek 1000 sounded pretty normal; there really aren't such
    >>things as "floor models" in bike shops... because you can't properly build a
    >>bike on the spot, you need to have your inventory built up ahead of time.

    >
    >
    > But here's the thing: you're gonna build one *anyway* if I take the
    > floor model (that's what you call it, right; it's there for people to
    > try out, etc.), so why not give *me* the new one, seeing how I'm paying
    > the new-price?? I'm not asking for it on the spot, mind you -- though
    > if I take the display/floor model, you can be sure they'll build a new
    > one that very night so there isn't an empty spot the next day.


    I am sure some shops wouldn't mind building one out of the box, if it
    makes the customer happy, and the customer is willing to wait a few days
    for it....

    >>And the guy "stealing" valve caps? A common inside-joke at shops is the way
    >>customers believe there's some big black market for valve caps, and the
    >>reason we leave them off (which happens accidentally more often than it
    >>should) is so we can score big bucks selling them.

    >
    >
    > THANK YOU!!! That's why I'm keeping track of 'em now! I'm like, WTF,
    > *all* my three bikes have no valve caps!!!! How did that happen!!!
    >
    > At another LBS the guy said oh you don't really need them, it's no big
    > deal. Is that true? I know they're not air-tight like a vaccuum, but
    > are they really just decorative???


    They do keep water and dirt out of the valve, and dirt could lead to a
    valve failure. Thst's rare though, my bike is missing one, and the car
    is missing 3, no ill effects.

    W
     
  13. Paul Cassel

    Paul Cassel Guest

    NYC XYZ wrote:

    >
    > Anyway, as it turned out, the Bulgarian mechanic actually lives in my
    > neighborhood, so I'm paying him directly now for that kind of stuff.
    >


    Glad to hear it's settled then. Time to ride and not regret past actions
    which can't be undone.
     
  14. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Matt O'Toole <[email protected]> writes:
    > On Sun, 22 Jan 2006 21:32:51 +0000, Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:
    >
    >> Inventory management is the key to differentiating between a shop that
    >> goes broke and one that stays in business. More important even than
    >> margins.

    >
    > So how can so many shops afford to be stuffed to the gills with shopworn
    > crap that's been there for years?


    I think it has something to do with the Pareto Principle (aka the 80/20 Rule).


    cheers,
    Tom

    --
    -- Nothing is safe from me.
    Above address is just a spam midden.
    I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn [point] bc [point] ca
     
  15. Capri

    Capri Guest

    Here's a novel concept for you. Learn how to fix a flat tire yourself!
     
  16. The Wogster

    The Wogster Guest

    Ozark Bicycle wrote:
    > Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:
    >
    > <snipped>
    >
    >>There's really no such thing as a "floor model" in a bike shop. In general,
    >>bikes don't get ridden much and not purchased, certainly not current models
    >>anyway. And the ability to just build another one up? Not so easy (or smart)
    >>to have enough inventory to do that... it's a very easy way for a shop to go
    >>broke. Let's see now, the Trek 1000 comes in 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60 & 63cm
    >>mens sizes, plus 43, 47, 51, 54 & 57cm womens. One color for womens, two for
    >>men. So if a shop have only ONE, just one of each, they'd have 19 of that
    >>one single model in stock. And there are, what, 25 road bike models this
    >>year, maybe more?
    >>
    >>Inventory management is the key to differentiating between a shop that goes
    >>broke and one that stays in business. More important even than margins.

    >
    >
    > <snipped>
    >
    > Aren't you making a case for the large-scale bike makers, who have
    > extensive "menus", to establish regional distribution centers? This
    > would help the dealers both with inventory levels and with customer
    > service. Seems to me that if "brand T" can get a bike to a dealer
    > faster and more economically than "brand C,G or S", they would have a
    > real advantage, both with dealers and customers.


    It's not uncommon for a company on the East Coast to get an order before
    4PM, get it shipped out the door by 6PM, and delivered to the dealer by
    10AM the next day. He gets it built and ready for the customer by 4PM.
    So 24 hours from the time the the customer say yes, to the time the
    bike is ready for pickup. Not easy, but if the customer *really* wants
    it, and is willing to pay for the express shipping, it can be done. A
    smart shop, could even suggest it....

    W
     
  17. >> There's really no such thing as a "floor model" in a bike shop. In
    >> general,
    >> bikes don't get ridden much and not purchased, certainly not current
    >> models
    >> anyway. And the ability to just build another one up? Not so easy (or
    >> smart)
    >> to have enough inventory to do that... it's a very easy way for a shop to
    >> go
    >> broke. Let's see now, the Trek 1000 comes in 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60 &
    >> 63cm
    >> mens sizes, plus 43, 47, 51, 54 & 57cm womens. One color for womens, two
    >> for
    >> men. So if a shop have only ONE, just one of each, they'd have 19 of that
    >> one single model in stock. And there are, what, 25 road bike models this
    >> year, maybe more?
    >>
    >> Inventory management is the key to differentiating between a shop that
    >> goes
    >> broke and one that stays in business. More important even than margins.

    >
    > <snipped>
    >
    > Aren't you making a case for the large-scale bike makers, who have
    > extensive "menus", to establish regional distribution centers? This
    > would help the dealers both with inventory levels and with customer
    > service. Seems to me that if "brand T" can get a bike to a dealer
    > faster and more economically than "brand C,G or S", they would have a
    > real advantage, both with dealers and customers.


    You better believe it! And that's something they've been working on for some
    time. Presently, the problem is primarily SKU proliferation. Too many models
    & colors, so it's impossible to keep a good representation of what's offered
    in stock. But they have done a much-better job of having inventory in stock,
    at the warehouse, when I need it. Without that, I'd be out of business.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
    www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  18. >> Inventory management is the key to differentiating between a shop that
    >> goes broke and one that stays in business. More important even than
    >> margins.

    >
    > So how can so many shops afford to be stuffed to the gills with shopworn
    > crap that's been there for years?
    >
    > Matt O


    Matt: If only I knew. Presently I'm dealing with this sort of thing in our
    apparel inventory. We have way, way, WAY too many choices (too many brands,
    too many offerings), so we end up with all manner of odds & ends left over.
    Much worse than with bikes, because unpopular leftover apparel just sits &
    rots and has little residual value.

    Bikes, fortunately, are better off. Assuming a bike has a certain degree of
    utility, it's a matter of matching up the bike to a particular customer.
    Road bikes generally aren't obsolete for quite some time, so a
    three-year-old road bike model isn't such a terrible thing to have on the
    floor. Older than that? It's still useful, still has "utility", but tends to
    get "lost" and ignored.

    One of the problems shared by many small businesses is that the owners are
    involved directly in the purchasing, and often don't want to admit that they
    screwed up, and thus dead merchandise hangs around longer than it should. If
    the buyer was told outright that, by a given date, "x" amount of what's
    purchased has to be gone, or else... and at the same time reasonable margins
    overall to show for it... then that buyer is probably going to do a much
    better job of keeping inventory levels reasonable and not allowing clutter
    to build up. But an owner is sometimes too "proud" of his/her decisions and
    not able to stand back and say "This crap has got to go!"

    I fight this stuff all the time, but for the first time am trying to get
    systematic about it. In all seriousness, it *does* make the difference
    between survival and not, in the long run. The world is squeezing just about
    every last bit of fat out of the food chain (an unfortunate metaphor since,
    literally, it seems the reverse is true!), with rapidly increasing insurance
    & rent costs, moderately-increasing labor, and steadily-declining margins.
    It's very scary math, and I'm not talking about just the bicycle business.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
    www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  19. >> At another LBS the guy said oh you don't really need them, it's no big
    >> deal. Is that true? I know they're not air-tight like a vaccuum, but
    >> are they really just decorative???

    >
    > They do keep water and dirt out of the valve, and dirt could lead to a
    > valve failure. Thst's rare though, my bike is missing one, and the car is
    > missing 3, no ill effects.


    I think that's more true of standard valves than presta.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
    www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  20. The Wogster

    The Wogster Guest

    Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:
    >>>Inventory management is the key to differentiating between a shop that
    >>>goes broke and one that stays in business. More important even than
    >>>margins.

    >>
    >>So how can so many shops afford to be stuffed to the gills with shopworn
    >>crap that's been there for years?
    >>
    >>Matt O

    >
    >
    > Matt: If only I knew. Presently I'm dealing with this sort of thing in our
    > apparel inventory. We have way, way, WAY too many choices (too many brands,
    > too many offerings), so we end up with all manner of odds & ends left over.
    > Much worse than with bikes, because unpopular leftover apparel just sits &
    > rots and has little residual value.
    >
    > Bikes, fortunately, are better off. Assuming a bike has a certain degree of
    > utility, it's a matter of matching up the bike to a particular customer.
    > Road bikes generally aren't obsolete for quite some time, so a
    > three-year-old road bike model isn't such a terrible thing to have on the
    > floor. Older than that? It's still useful, still has "utility", but tends to
    > get "lost" and ignored.


    In either case, the shop has to purchase the product, then they need to
    pay for it, using money that could be used to purchase product that is
    selling. This is why many large companies are using JIT. JIT is short
    for just in time, the idea being to hold it in inventory for the
    shortest possible time.

    A three year old bike, has probably cost the shop double the original
    price, in carrying costs. Which is why many shops will have
    end-of-season sales, so they don't need to carryover.

    > One of the problems shared by many small businesses is that the owners are
    > involved directly in the purchasing, and often don't want to admit that they
    > screwed up, and thus dead merchandise hangs around longer than it should. If
    > the buyer was told outright that, by a given date, "x" amount of what's
    > purchased has to be gone, or else... and at the same time reasonable margins
    > overall to show for it... then that buyer is probably going to do a much
    > better job of keeping inventory levels reasonable and not allowing clutter
    > to build up. But an owner is sometimes too "proud" of his/her decisions and
    > not able to stand back and say "This crap has got to go!"


    The key is turnover, say the distributor credit policy is net 30, you
    want it sold, within 30 days, so that you sell it, before you need to
    pay for it. After 60 days, mark it down, your cutting your losses by
    that point anyway. If you can get additional stock in 3 days, you
    certainly don't want more then a weeks worth of inventory at any one
    time. Computerizing your inventory process can often help, because the
    computer can have minimum and reorder quantities, along with in stock
    quantities, so the minimum may be 3 days worth of sales, the maximum
    might be 7 days.

    Say you sell 2 road bikes a month, and can get additional stock in 2
    days, you might keep one of each low to medium end model in stock, of a
    size that sells often. Someone wants a larger or smaller size, you can
    order it, you sell the one you have of a certain model, you order
    another one. High end stuff, you carry as special order, nobody wants
    to keep a $10,000 product in inventory, unless you KNOW that it's going
    to move, very quickly.
     
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