RoadBikeReview.com's Forum Archives - General


Archive Home >> General(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 )


SHOP OWNER OR WRENCHES - I HAVE A QUESTION! WELL - ANYBODY!(12 posts)

SHOP OWNER OR WRENCHES - I HAVE A QUESTION! WELL - ANYBODY!JustSpinnin
Jun 7, 2001 5:02 PM
Howdy,

A friend of mine is moving into a very tourist driven area in Texas. Several large lakes in the area along with some bike trails, etc.

He is considering opening a ski shop with bikes as an additional line of business. Since I know more about the bike aspect I am researching and gathering info.

I was curious what lines the bike shop owners or mechanics feel is the best and who offers the best customer support.

I suspect the owner would have more info regarding purchasing policies, limits and who charges "less" for their bikes than the others, etc.

I have always liked Trek and Cannondale personally. I would like to carry 4-6 lines that provide both road and mountain if possible. Mountain bikes will probably have more draw in theses areas, however.

Any input or opinions are welcome from ANYBODY that can speak to this topic.

Thanks!

JustSpinnin
re: SHOP OWNER OR WRENCHES - I HAVE A QUESTION! WELL - ANYBODY!Hank
Jun 7, 2001 5:36 PM
Trek's great but they won't just sell to anybody. Most new shops start with bikes like Jamis, Kona, KHS, etc. and try to build on that. I worked as a buyer for a while and would say most of 'em are fine to deal with. Working as a wrench, I'd say the Treks and Giants went together the easiest with the best qc and were the easiest to deal with when there was a problem of some kind (was never a big fan of C'dale from this perspective). Maybe try to get Bianchi for their road line, along with some of the above for mtbs. But yes, people walk in asking for Trek. It takes more work to sell someone a Jamis. All of the above is somewhat dated info - haven't worked in shops since the mid 90s, and I'm sure some things have changed. Good luck.
re: SHOP OWNER OR WRENCHES - I HAVE A QUESTION! WELL - ANYBODY!rattled
Jun 7, 2001 9:43 PM
Hank pretty much has it right.

A few names to add to that list: Mongoose, Redline, Raliegh ...

It is not hard to sell Jamis when it comes to price, they are great bikes for the money, cannot be beat.

But good luck trying to land an account with one of the big boys, espescially if you are near a larger city such as Austin, Dallas, Houston or San Antonio (the area you describe sounds suspisciously like the Hill Country)... Existing dealers gaurd their market share jealously, and Reps are reluctant to p%ss off exsisting dealers, espescially if they pay their bills on time.

Dont forget- just about the only way to make a little money in the bike business is to start out with a lot of it. Espescially lately-- you have been warned!

rattled.
VolumeLen J
Jun 8, 2001 5:45 AM
Trek is looking for volume. If there is another large Trek Dealer closeby That is doing good for them they will not give you the line. If they give you the line, they will be looking for a volume commitment that may be more than you can handle. I would recommend that you contact several lines, see what they are offering, (& requiring) and ask for other dealers you can contact. Also talk to as many LBS s you can. these guys usually will give you the skinny (as long as you are not directly competitive).

Good Luck
you mean Texass GETS tourists?club
Jun 8, 2001 6:27 AM
I thought they only breed them, to grow up and spend their summers in Colorado, driving their 4x4s offroad on the tundra, and looking very red, fat, and huffy trying to pedal up the singletrack.
Maybe we'll stay home this summer...E3
Jun 8, 2001 7:41 AM
...and watch Colorado businesses shut down and their welfare rosters grow.
Maybe we'll stay home this summer...Lazy
Jun 8, 2001 8:35 AM
It won't work. There's always the Californians. LOL

The part of this I'm curious about is why anyone would open a ski shop in TX? Are ski shops common there? If so, do they sell the gadgets that magically allow cowboy hats to stay on your head while careening down the hill at Vail? I would think that there would be a large market for his/hers matching neon ski suits. They seem to be popular amongst Texans.

Ok, I'm kidding about all of this except the part about the ski shops. Is there really enough business to keep a ski shop open?

GO AVS!!!!!!
Maybe we'll stay home this summer...JustSpinnin
Jun 8, 2001 9:11 AM
Lazy,

Ok...I admit I did leave out the word "water" before the word "ski".

No, a snow-ski shop wouldn't have a snowballs chance in...well, you know what I mean.

Water ski supplies and boat supplies are what I am getting at.

And, since there are bike trails around the lake (where the WATER skiing is being done) people will need bikes,support,rentals...and so on.

CHEERS!
Gotcha...Lazy
Jun 8, 2001 9:23 AM
That makes more sense. We Coloradans are a little predisposed to think snow when the word ski is used.

Anyhow, what is going to be the main focus of the shop? Is it going to be a ski shop that oh by the way sells bikes too? If so, it would seem to me that a large selection of kids bikes, and hybrids with a smattering of semi-serious MTB's would be the most appealing to your clientele.

If it's going to be a LBS that oh by the way sells ski gear, then the more up-scale rides would make sense.

I have absolutely no idea about dealings with bike mfg's though. When the store opens, make sure to let us all know where it is so we can stop by when in the neighborhood. Best of luck.
Gotcha...JustSpinnin
Jun 8, 2001 9:47 AM
Lazy,

Oooohhh, you are from C-o-l-o-r-a-d-o. That explains ALOT....just kiddin'... :->

Good question. Shop will focus on the water bumpkins, but there are some bike trails at the larger lake in the area. A BIG tourist draw (local or otherwise) in that area. When the ol' red heat indicator takes a dive, the people with the boats go back home. But, the bikes keep on moving because that is the way we riders are. Just add another layer of lycra if it gets colder, right?

The nearest shop that carrys Cannondale OR Trek is just over 40 miles away. Geese! I wonder if that is considered 'close'? You have to go to Austin OR San Antonio to get those lines.

There are a couple of smaller shops (bike) in the area and they carry the 'lesser known' names. I have recommeded that my friend offer rentals (mt/road) as well. Could be a good market there.

Ken (my friend) knows next to nothin' about bikes. So, how it will ultimately develope is hard to say - it may not at all. But (to finally answer your question) it will be a water ski shop that has a bike shop as well.

It might go the other way eventually....but that isn't my friends area of interest anyway. I would have to move down and run that side of the shop for that to happen...if it paid enough...who knows?

Keep on Spinnin!

JustSpinnin
re: SHOP OWNER OR WRENCHES - I HAVE A QUESTION! WELL - ANYBODY!Peetey
Jun 8, 2001 8:55 AM
Check out the National Bicycle Dealers Association Website.

http://www.nbda.com/starting_a_store.htm

Lots of good advice. Remember, "Retail is brutal"
re: SHOP OWNER OR WRENCHES - I HAVE A QUESTION! WELL - ANYBODY!JustSpinnin
Jun 8, 2001 10:02 AM
Peetey,

Thanks for link...interesting numbers.

I haved passed the info on to Ken.