I want to get a debate going!!!!



StartTday

New Member
Jul 12, 2005
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Variety, service, and I wouldnt necessarily call it free stuff.
Offer incentives such as free maintenance. Also, financing is a good way to go. Imagine a customer comes in, can only spend $1000 and isnt sure if they want to buy it. Then you tell them about financing and the no interest for however many months. Then they buy the $2500 bike.
Concentrate on mid level stuff like mentioned above.

I dont know, there is alot. But to sell more, try the financing.
And free clinics are great. Vary it up. Have a basic maintenace clinic, a triathlon clinic, meet the shop employees clinic.
 

DiabloScott

New Member
May 15, 2003
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scotty72 said:
Today, I walked in with my daughter to buy a tag-along. There is a newish guy there. I said - "Can we have a test ride, I want to know that my kid will be ok on it." He hesitated - didn't seem to want to. I damn nearly walked out. His boss overheard and said, no problem.

I know it would be a pain in the **** to attach the hitch etc. (took about 5 mins). But I wanted to be sure my kid was going to be ok before handing over the $$$. In the end, they took the time to reassure. They got the sale, and several more no doubt.

Scotty

Halfwheelers go on and off in seconds, no tools. ;)
Anyway, best to buy from the shop that treats you well. Enjoy riding with your daughter, and post a photo!
 

triguy98

New Member
Sep 19, 2004
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There's a shop two minutes away from here... where I bought my first bike. The dude still remembers my name when I swing in for something small, but I won't buy a bike there. Why? He doesn't carry a solid selection. There's lots of bikes, but no real variety, in price or type.

The hsop I love the most... awesome guys, theyre involved in the bike community, have bike race teams, tri teams, all sorts of group ride, free basic maintenance clinics, etc. They don't have the best brand variety (3 or 4 overall), but they have the whole spectrum of price ranges. They have slide show nights, parties, raffles, the whole nine yards. It's a friendly atmosphere where the wrench with custom the 5.9Madone SL will tell you you've got a nice bike. The wreches races, and ride with the group, and don't make you feel stupid. they'll let you watch, sometimes help with maintenance. An open shop floor is an awesome thing. The shops being in the backroom like some kind of archaic secret sucks. Knock that wall down and invite people in.
 

wheelist

New Member
Jul 7, 2005
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huhenio said:
Bottom line ... I am here to haunt you.:D YOU HAVE TO FINISH YOUR BIKE~~~
I got already mine done .... and I am the champion of the procastinators!!:mad:
Well done Hu!

My wheels arrived last week and the tubs and cement followed on today, so I'll be cleaning up the wheels over the weekend (hopefully! I've got a Sustrans ride and meeting on Saturday :), and loads of website work to do too :()

Just need to sort some cranks then (from my LBS of course!) and I'm about there! :D
 

Rocket^

New Member
Jul 30, 2005
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I want my LBS to be the center of our local universe. Who better than the LBS to organize and bring together all the riders in the area for group rides. I was fortunate in the fact that I bought my first road bike from a shop that had local group rides three times a week. The wrenches ran the group rides and accomodated all skill levels. After moving to a new town, I established my second relationship with a shop that was active with group rides. Even though I moved away from this second location long ago, I still do business with them today.

A good LBS should be the number one promoter of cycling in the community.
 

Goober2

New Member
Jun 12, 2004
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IEatRice4Dinner said:
ok i work at a Local shop. im noticeing our buisness is slumping while our competition is getting better. i would like to know what You think a good bike shop should have.... do consider as many things as possible as far as bikes. Im going to focus one the main ones for us road, bmx, mtb. I think the bmx dept is not bad (cause i run it lol) so consider MTB and road. but think about as much stuff as you can.

so what makes a good shop?

When shopping for my bicycle it came down to one point that made my decision of what shop to purchase from. Proper fitting of the bike to my body. I had desided on purchasing the Trek 7500fx performance hybrid and after visiting a few different shops, I found that only one of the shops offered the service of fitting the bike correctly before it leaves the door. The process took about 1 1/2 hours to complete, and they throw this in when ever you by a bike from them. A fitting otherwise would cost somewhere around 150.00 CDN. High selling point for me and others I know who have bought there. I makes you feel as an important customer with such personal treatment, you actually have to make an appointment.

Does you shop offer this service? Could be worth looking into.

Question: How many of you when purchasing a bike are properly fitted, free or otherwise.

A years worth of free adjustments was also a nice touch.

Not long after I had purchased the bike I was riding with my brother. I wasn't framiliar with the area and went flying down a hill but little did I know there was a sharp turn up at the bottom. Needless to say I crashed hard and baddly warped both wheels. I took it into the shop and they weren't sure the rear wheel could be straightned and even discussed the price of a new wheel, but they would try. Turns out they did get both wheels straight as arrows again, and when I went to pay for it, they said "oh no, its a new bike, its under warranty" wow. My own stupidity was covered, cool.

I actually had the bike in the shop more then a few times after that just for fine adjustments, maybe I was being picky but hey never asked any questions and was alway happy to help.

I've had the bike for about 18 months now and recently took it in for a gear adjustment. Again, they didn't charge me a dime.

The only time I don't go to this shop is when I'm shopping for cycling shorts or other appearal. There are just to expensive. This brings me to my next suggestion. Sell clothing for less then the other shops. It would bring me in.

I like the watercooler idea aswell.
 

jessmcph

New Member
Jul 17, 2004
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Often when i am purchasing bike stuff, i shop different shops in my area (i have my fave but often they don't carry the goods i.e. women's clothing, shoes etc especially in my size). but i go in because i want someone to talk to me, share your knowledge. Also i want a shop that is female friendly. fit the bill and i'll spend a little more to support a co. i like.
 

JohnO

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Jul 5, 2003
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I enjoy shops that are staffed with enthusiasts. People that just love to shoot the breeze about cycling. People whose primary objective is delivering a pleasant experience to the customer. That treat all customers, newbie or pro, as a valued asset to the store.

I don't like snooty experts that talk down to the newbies. Can't say that I care for the attitude, and I sure won't finance it.
 

philso

New Member
Jul 19, 2005
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if someone buys a bike, take them out for lunch. the price of a sandwich and drink is more than worth it for the chance to talk to some one for a 1/2 hour and make a new friend/customer.
 

PCC

New Member
Sep 8, 2005
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My co-worker was telling me about a cool bike store near his house and he was so jazzed about the place I almost made a trip there to check it out (about 60 miles each way!). Why? He bought a bike online, cracked the carbon steerer tube, brought it in to this store because they are a local dealer and they got it warranted despite him not buying the bike from them originally and they were not a factory authorized dealer. He's gone back for adjustments for the shifting and they did it for free. No questions asked. So far he hasn't spent a dime in that store but he will be buying his bikes from there from now on.
 

Yippee38

New Member
Sep 6, 2005
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Several people mentioned remembering your customer's name. However, you should also remember your potential customer's names and/or interests. When they walk in the shop, greet them and ask them their name. Tell them yours. You're looking to create a relationship with them, and this is a subtle way of making them feel that, and feel that they - and not their money - are important to your shop. The same hold true for talking to somebody on the phone. Get their name and remember what they were inquiring about.

NEVER talk down about other shops or other brands. If you don't have what they are looking for, offer to try to get it for them, and if they don't want to go that route, recommend the best of your competitors. Really. It tells the customer that you have their best interests in mind, over your own. If their best interests and your coincide, great! If not, you want to make them happy. Even if they buy whatever at the other shop, they will trust you.

Your prices have to be competitive. I went to many LBS when looking for my first bike two months ago. I REALLY liked the one LBS. They did everything right. This was the fist shop I went to, and when I left I had decided that I was going to buy from them. I went to many other bike shops, and did research on the internet. What I found was that their prices were significantly higher than everybody else's. I called and asked if there was room to negotiate price, and they said no. When I did buy my bike, I got it for half what they were selling it for without haggling. I really want to shop at that shop - they are that good/friendly/helpful - but all of their pricess (accessories, clothing, etc.) are too high.

Check out your competition. Shop their shops. Have friends shop their shops. Find out what you like about their shops and try to integrate that into your own shop.

If somebody says they don't like something you carry, don't get defensive or try to tell them why they should like it. Offer them other suggestions. I was unhappy with the first two floor pumps I bought. When I went to other shops looking for pumps, two offered the two I had tried. When I told them I didn't like that pump, they got slightly defensive. Rather than saying, "Well, then I would suggest this pump," or "I am sorry, but these are the only pumps I carry," they said something like, "That's strange. We use these pumps in our shop and have never had a problem with them." I felt like they were saying, "I know better than you do." I won't go back to those shops.

ALWAYS treat your customers with respect, and ensure that your employees act professionally while customers are in the shop. This includes never lying to your customers. Teach your employees that if they do not know the answer to a question, it is okay (and preferred) to say, "I really don't know. Let me find out."

The freebee thing is a good idea. If somebody buys shoes and clipless pedals, maybe throw in a set of socks or two. It doesn't have to be huge. The idea is that if somebody is spending $1200 on a bike, you don't need to charge them for the water botte they bought with it. Of course, you would need to set limits. Maybe you could set up levels, where if a customer spends "100-200", you will throw in any accessory up to "5" cost. "201-400" and you throw in a $10 accessory.
 

basso97

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Sep 21, 2004
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Support your local bike Club. Give out a 1 year free membership to the club when ever someone purchases a bike. You support them and they support you. And if it gets that new customer gets little more into cycling, they will buy more items more often.

Must have good Service Department.
 

LIKESBIKES716

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Oct 12, 2005
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A little less- "I know more than you can ever know" from the sales people and alot more listening.
IEatRice4Dinner said:
ok i work at a Local shop. im noticeing our buisness is slumping while our competition is getting better. i would like to know what You think a good bike shop should have.... do consider as many things as possible as far as bikes. Im going to focus one the main ones for us road, bmx, mtb. I think the bmx dept is not bad (cause i run it lol) so consider MTB and road. but think about as much stuff as you can.

so what makes a good shop?
 

rofrutos

New Member
Sep 29, 2003
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IEatRice4Dinner said:
ok i work at a Local shop. im noticeing our buisness is slumping while our competition is getting better. i would like to know what You think a good bike shop should have.... do consider as many things as possible as far as bikes. Im going to focus one the main ones for us road, bmx, mtb. I think the bmx dept is not bad (cause i run it lol) so consider MTB and road. but think about as much stuff as you can.

so what makes a good shop?

Good prices and good service. I've been to most shops in my area and now go to one where I get the same level of attention and friendly service regardless of whether I'm buying a $1.25 PowerBar or a $4000 road bike. Most of the time I just need to replace a broken spoke, buy a tube, adjust a headset or some other small purchase, but when I need to do a major purchase I'll remember where I got good service and prices. Nowdays it's easy to compare prices on most items online, and I avoid shops that overcharge under the pretext of providing a service to the community.
 

basso97

New Member
Sep 21, 2004
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What ever you do not survey your customers. They will say they want something that they are not willing to pay for and it will just increase your cost. :eek:

People will always lie about what there real reason for shopping the competitor.:(



When I was an officer in lodge, the reason that member gave for not coming to a meeting was that they could not get up the stairs after the meeting, for refreshment and we did not have an elevator. After my lodge spent a boatload of money and put in an elevator the number of member attending the meeting did not increase, the reasons just changed. Now the lodge is on the verge of going under because they no longer have a nest egg. Do not let the something happen to you business. I do think you will get a better sence of what the customer wants here on the forum then you will from you customers, but I am not sure that the demographics will match you clientele.





Good luck.
 

tjodit

New Member
Sep 8, 2005
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jessmcph said:
Often when i am purchasing bike stuff, i shop different shops in my area (i have my fave but often they don't carry the goods i.e. women's clothing, shoes etc especially in my size). but i go in because i want someone to talk to me, share your knowledge. Also i want a shop that is female friendly. fit the bill and i'll spend a little more to support a co. i like.
I agree with the female friendly recommendation. And with the others who said not to talk down to newbies. I hadn't ridden in years. In March 2004 I went to a local race - which just happened to be the opening race of the NORBA National Mountain Bike Series - and caught the bug. Within a month I was in the local bike shop. I have to admit that at first I didn't feel very welcomed... but I went back. Since then I've bought a mountain bike, a road bike, shoes, pedals, clothing (although the selection of women's clothing is slim (why do clothing manufactures make such un-cool clothes for women?), light system, tubes, tools, and other misc. items. If I had been treated the same way the second time as I was the first I would have walked out and probably never went back. But the second time I was made to feel more welcomed. Since it is generally such a male dominated sport you need to make your female customers feel welcomed and appreciated...and not just the cute 20-somethings. ;) And as someone else said, don't talk down to the newbies. Most of them will eventually progress and probably buy new (read more expensive) bikes and equipment. Remember the newbies can become your life-long customers if treated right. Make EVERYONE feel welcomed and accepted into your "inner circle". Offer to let them watch while you work on their bike and tell them what you are doing. It will only get them more "into" the whole thing which has to be better for your business. Give them a reason to hang around the shop for awhile. If they aren't comfortable or feel out of place there they will leave after a few minutes. The longer you can keep them in your shop the more likely they will buy something. Some of the things my LBS does right: sponsors a team, helps sponsor racing events, does community service, has workshops occasionally, helps build and maintain trails, gives a years free service after purchase of a bike, has a variety of club rides, has club meetings, offers to order stuff if they don't have it in stock. They just helped sponsor a women's mtn bike clinic. They originally expected about 25 women. They ended up with 150! They are the only "real" bike shop within the area, next closest being 30 miles away, but yet they still act like they have to compete for your business. But I think it all boils down to one theme - being friendly and making EVERYONE feel welcomed in the shop.
 

cydewaze

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Jun 17, 2004
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Not sure if anyone has mentioned this yet, but I think it's worth bringing up.

Do not take your regular customers for granted.

I can't remember how many times this has happened, where a shop owner will get used to me coming in, and then when I stop in to get something, I get ignored because he assumes my business is a given.

Sure, sometimes I like to stop in and look around, or shoot the breeze, but sometimes I actually need to pick something up, and I don't want to wait until every person who has walks it is served and the shop is empty before I even get a nod.

If you have regular, faithful customers, at least check on them to make sure they aren't in a rush before you move on to everyone else.
 

mikbianchi

New Member
Dec 21, 2004
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My lbs always knocks a few quid off of the marked price for regular customers. its a nice change from the bigger shops that dont knock a penny off.
 

tingle_wayne

New Member
Nov 17, 2005
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IEatRice4Dinner said:
ok i work at a Local shop. im noticeing our buisness is slumping while our competition is getting better. i would like to know what You think a good bike shop should have.... do consider as many things as possible as far as bikes. Im going to focus one the main ones for us road, bmx, mtb. I think the bmx dept is not bad (cause i run it lol) so consider MTB and road. but think about as much stuff as you can.

so what makes a good shop?

Sponsering is a good idea. The guys at my lbs are always trying to get me to learn more, and that makes me want to buy more stuff. A discount bin for outdated jerseys and shorts and whatever makes me very happy. I got some nice Bianchi gloves for 5 bucks out of one of those.