Bike Shopping and LBS attitude...

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Jaguar27, Aug 26, 2005.

  1. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    Crickey, I got a real bollocking at my LBS the other Day...

    Last December time I was looking for a new Bike (I ended up with a Six13), so I was visiting a few LBS and spent obviously too much time at my closest one...

    Anyway, I haven't been back there since, I bought a Bike from a different shop...so the other Day I was cleaning my Bike and noticed the rear sprocket was loose...so I took it in to the nearest shop because I didn't have a sprocket removal socket , maybe they should call them a "Sprocket Socket"??? Sounds cooler than a Casette socket...

    Anyway, soon as I walked in the Owner said "Where did you get that Bike"?? So I told him...he was REALLY pissed that I'd bought a Bike from another shop....he reckons he deserved to sell me a Bike because he'd spent so much time with me!!!

    Anyway, I made a quick U-Turn and tightened the thing myself with a $4.00 Sprocket Socket myself...the lock ring wasn't even finger tight by the way, so I took the Cassette completely apart and cleaned them all really well....

    Has anyone else noticed an attidude from their LBS if you don't buy a Bike from them?? :mad:
     
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  2. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

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    They must not want to stay in business. Why did you buy the bike at the other shop? Was it pricing, or did the first one just not carry it? Either way, getting angry at someone who wants to pay you to fix their bike is not the way to run a shop.
     
  3. huhenio

    huhenio New Member

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    There is a bike shop in Manyunk, PA, that has the most massive attitude. Henious to say the least. They think they are the creme of the crop and such. It happens that wife and I are good savvy shoppers and we expect customer service given that the most menial and insignificant purchases or service reflects the policy of the business big time.

    One thing is for sure. I am not spending 1500 dollars when the time comes with those people. I feel sorry for the owners, but their employees are the worst. On the other hand, there is a locally owned LBS that has good prices and they are friendlier. Equally equipped and skilled, I spent close to 700 dollars with them in a week. No attitude, they are better business people than the others in Manayunk.

    Good business practices vs bad business practices are seen in EVERY purchase. The guy that spends 20 minutes to spend 35 bucks might be testing you for making that big ticket purchase in the future ... that might take only fitting time instead of selling and price haggling time.

    I dont go where my 35 dollar purchase is not welcomed.
     
  4. martin_j001

    martin_j001 New Member

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    I hate LBS' with attitude. If they don't treat me right when I want to buy a powerbar or a bottle of drink mix, why should I think they will treat me better if I'm buying bigger items (other than the fact they want my money). If a shop won't help with the smallest purchase, they don't get my business at all--not every sale of theirs makes them a lot of money, but everything I buy costs me money, and therefore customer service is a big deal to me.
     
  5. wheelist

    wheelist New Member

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    Went to my LBS the other day for bits for my fixie. The guy in there didn't try to sell me anything, gave me loads of advice and invited me to visit the workshop to see what spare bits they could scrabble together for me.

    Needless to say, when I do have some money (one day...) then I'll be going back there to spend it.

    Good customer service always wins.

    p.s. The shop is [size=-1]On Track[/size] in Prestatyn, UK. :)
     
  6. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    Yes, it was basically pricing, it's a $5800 + Tax Bike...and I got a better price elsewhere...

    I have a great LBS here in SoCal that I use all the time...very fast service, they'll take care of most problems while I wait...also great prices and most of all VERY friendly/knowledgable Staff it's just that the "other" LBS is closer and it was only a 10 minute job to tighten the rear Cassette, he told me I would have to leave it with him for 2-3 Days...!!!

     
  7. Batesy

    Batesy New Member

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    My LBS is good at making you feel welcome, even if you are just after advice. The shop owner knows that if he gives the right advice he'll get people coming back to spend money. If its an item that they can get in or have in stock, then they will usually match or beat the price (within reason), although he has been known to say "buy it from there then", usually because he knows it will be coming to him to be set up right pretty soon.

    I like a business that has confidence in its own produsct and standard of work, without looking down on everybody else.

    I spend that much money there that I now get 10% discount on everything.
     
  8. martin_j001

    martin_j001 New Member

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    Thats crazy, and a good reason (in my opinion) not to go back there. Any shop that expects you to wait 2-3 days for a simple wheel truing, cassette tightening or anything like that spends more time getting your name and number than it would take to do the adjustment right then and there. My favorite LBS is a ways away from me too, but I go there for the advice, friendship and good service that I would expect from everywhere else, but that I only get from this shop. They always say "here is our price, if you can find better elsewhere go for it" and "here is what we have, if its not exactly what you were looking for try _______(other shop's name)" and things like that. Its good to hear, and like Batesy said they know I'll be back at some time to spend money with them--and lots of it most likely.
     
  9. mattjf

    mattjf New Member

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    The LBS I bought my bike from was very helpful. I think the mechanics were the nicest. They offered to let me watch them do a few things, so I would know how to do it on my own. The other day I went in to buy some grease to install my new speedplay pedals. The mechanic said "here, I can give you some grease for your pedals. Don't worry about buying some."

    Maybe we should start a thread with the names of these helpful LBS's. They should get some free publicity for running a great place. I've had some horrible experiences with other shops.

    -Matt
     
  10. TKOS

    TKOS New Member

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    I broke my chain and had no chain tool with me so I dropped by a local shop (a good 20 minute walk at that point in my bike shoes) and the repair guy had no problem setting his work aside for the quick 10 minute fix. I paid them $8 for some labour and a part which was fine and I was on my way. I will buy stuff from them in the future.
     
  11. joetronic

    joetronic New Member

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    There are two here in Wetminster MD. One is a small Chain bike shop and one is a mom and pop. I will not even buy a water bottel at the chain store. Every time I am there for even the smallest thing, they give me a attitude like i'm not good enough becuase I don't look the part or whatever.

    Now the mom and pop store on the other hand is great. they always try to get the best price and are willing to just talk bikes, no sale needed. I have been takign my MTB there for around 10 years, and now that I have started road cycling, I know I will be using them for many more.
     
  12. LOW2000

    LOW2000 New Member

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    Jag, mind naming names? I'm newly into road biking again. I've been to JAX on willow and bellflower in long beach once, and they seemed nice enough. I wanted to slap the girl a bit for thinking I was a complete idiot for not knowing the difference between a thornproof and normal tube when my tube went out, but in general they seemed nice. The place was busy and have been there forever, i'm guessing they are doing something right.
     
  13. shannons dad

    shannons dad New Member

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    I use MK Cycles in Bolton. No matter how much I spend or don't spend, I always get top-notch service. Although, admittedly, it's the only LBS I ever visit, so I've built up a good relationship with them. I did once buy a frame from another LBS because MK didn't have a frame within my price range, but they were more than happy to help out on any jobs I couldn't do myself (lack of proper tools etc). On more than one occasion, they have repaired the bikes for free if it was a small job and have never once been wrong about any advice they've given me. I can, to some extent understand an LBS getting upset if they've spent time giving advice on buying and riding a certain bike. I think that service should be rewarded in some way if they've gone out of their way to help you. But if it's just to get a sale from you, stuff'em. Go somewhere your custom is appreciated and stick with them. Over the years, your loyalty will pay off over and over time and again.:)
     
  14. 2boysintow

    2boysintow New Member

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    The good shops that I go into have well educated employees that can wrench on the bikes, sell the bikes, and suggest ways to save money or inform their customers on how to maintain their own rides. Fix my bike and I'll thank you for a day, show me how to fix it and I'll thank you for a lifetime.

    There is no doubt in my mind that knowing how the freaking F/R derailluer contraptions work has added years of enjoyment to cycling. I also spend bunches of money at a local shop. I go in to buy a water bottle and walk out with a $50 invoice. The low dollar stuff is where they make their margins. Period.

    When I run into a snobby owner, I make sure that I tell him that his attitude is the reason that I will not do business with him. Many hate the internet and the fact that customers can come in educated on features and costs. If they were smart they would do as other dealers mentioned and bridge the gap between cost of goods sold and margins to keep the customers from going on-line.

    We won't even get into what they need to do to make sure my potential new ride actually fits me...>!(!(!*!&^! :mad:

    There is no doubt that I have bought things on-line and by the time freight was added in, I paid more money than at my LBS. Keystone-ing (cost X 2)every product is unreasonable unless it's a low cost item or you run the market on the item. It baffles me that more can't figure this out.

    I regress here a bit, but 2-3 days for tightening a loose cassette is not right. it's a 30 second job and if they took your wheel, told you to shop for 10 minutes and charged you $5 for 22.87 seconds of their time, they would of had a happy customer AND made the equivalent of $787 per hour. maybe it's really not that simple... maybe I'm just not a smart man.... maybe I'm happy that I bought a "sprocket socket" and can do it myself. :eek:
     
  15. Insight Driver

    Insight Driver New Member

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    Living in a city has it's advantages. I have visited most of the bike shops in the entire metro area. I see there are different classes of bike shop. Now I'm a particular kind of customer, so there are those kinds of shops that appeal to me. There are shops that won't stay in business too long because of poor business practise and there are shops that stay in business because of the kind of clientel they cater to. Let me explain.

    I know the snooty kind of shop where they will look down on you if you are not the roady rider they cater to. This particular shop stays in business because there are enough elitist roady types to keep them in business. Basically birds of a feather if you get my drift.

    Another type of shop is the one that caters to the general public. You know what I'm talking about when you think about it. The average joe walks in, looks at prices and is thinking he wants to spend $300 for a good new bike. Sticker shock hits them. The people are generally clueless about shifters and types of bikes, etc. The owners of such shops are wary of any biker types because they run into too many know-it-alls in their daily business as well.

    There are the big, well-managed shops. It's dicey what service you get because they have a large sales force and you can easily get stuck with a new guy who has enthusiasm, has learned the models of bikes they sell, but are not knowledgeable as I am about the biking world in general. There are also those salepersons who are salespersons that irritate me. Getting a good wrench in such a place changes your opinion right away. Shops such as these need to be visited more than once because of this. Obviously they cater to a larger variety of clientel because they are so huge.

    My chosen LBS is a small, busy shop in a newer neighborhood on a pad at a strip mall. This is the shop where I ordered my custom bike from and have developed a great relationship with. It gets down to personality in a shop like this because you get to know the people and they get to know you.

    Some shops were started by moutain bikers and cater to mountain bikers more than road bikers. Some are old-school road racing caterers. In spite of catering to pros they also get the clueless walk-ins and are good people and will help people of all stripes.

    The final category I will describe is by no means a complete list of categories. These are just some that I have thought of off-hand. There are the big bike parts stores that have their own branded bikes and sell components at discounts. These shops are daunting because you basically need to know what you want and are a do-it-yourselfer. The sales staff in these places are not knowledgeable of the biking world in general.

    For those of us for which biking is a part of our lives we get to know the good shops in town.

    I've had my share of fuzzy feelings and bad tastes left in my mouth by different shops.

    I'm lucky to have the choices in different shops in a close geographic area.
     
  16. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

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    There was a good letter on this subject along with a really asenine reply from the shop in question posted at www.drunkcyclist.com the other day. (Note: don't click the link if you're easily offended or there are other people in your office...)
     
  17. IEatRice4Dinner

    IEatRice4Dinner New Member

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    id hate schedualed service... i work at a shop and most of the time we wont even change a tube... sounds bad but in areas like the midwest in the spring ppl bring there bikes in for service.. we usually have 3 people on.. were a small shop cant have alot of employees. when u have more customers then u can deal with it get's to be frusterating. we do tuneups we try to get 1 per person a day and due as much backed up tubes and stuff. in any given spring day i might only get time for 2-3 hours of mechanical work. the rest talking to customers and selling stuff. and ya got to remember if it's busy and an employee gets an additude they are probably frusterated, everyone gets like that.. if they are liek that on a constant basis then screw them lol

    on the employees u got to remember most shops are multi platform and might have specialized employees... like one know mtb and road and bmx. so one might not be the best.... when i started 4 years ago i road BMX i dident even know how to adjust a deur... :eek:
     
  18. fatbottomedgirl

    fatbottomedgirl New Member

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    If i had the option I'd buy every bike at the 2 lbs that I like to have them fixed at - but there's only one local that carries the next bike I want ( Breezer Uptown). in fact the major shops all carry completely differrnt brands, so if i was completely true to one storeI'd wind up buying a Bianchi Milano or Electra Townie , and they're just not what I want:( But anyways, unless I have an emergency they probbbly won't even be doing the maintenance on it because the breezer has an internal hub an anywhere would probbably consider it a pain to work on.
     
  19. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

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    Unless they get completely trashed and need to be rebuilt, internally geared hubs are extremely easy to work with. You shouldn't have to worry about a shop not being able to handle it.
     
  20. wiredued

    wiredued New Member

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    I had trouble with an LBS that I did buy a bike from. I wanted tubes for my commutter slicks on my MTB they were 26 x 1.5 and he gave me 26 x 1 3/8 . they were to big cicumference wise and I brought the tire in to show him when I was returning the tubes and he didn't even want to look at it and said that "These are the tubes for those tires". It turns out that that is a common mistake to make with tubes but he didn't even want to hear it.
     
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