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local shop vs online retailer decision...help!(8 posts)

local shop vs online retailer decision...help!mlbd
Mar 12, 2002 6:33 PM
i'm about to purchase a new suspension fork for my ATB. my local shop quoted $430 for it; supergo has it on sale for $230. that is a much bigger difference than i anticipated. i like to support the local guy, but for accessories etc i never do. my approach has been to go to the local shop for big purchases (wheels, bikes, FORKS etc), which is partly how i rationalize spending all my accessories money online. but a $200 savings for this fork is hard to turn down. if the difference was more like $75, i'd go with my local shop. any insights would be welcomed.

thanks.
No one can answer this one for you.Ahimsa
Mar 12, 2002 6:47 PM
Let thine concscience be thy guide. (Not your "Cosmicconscience" however)

I will wax philosophical-like for yas though, 'cause that's what ya want, right?

Well then....

I buy bikes from the LBS. I like the service. I buy parts from anyone with the lowest $. I'm not big on the mega online retailers like Performance as I find that the same stuff is available elsewhere on the net for the same money usually, and almost always from a smaller E shop. At least maximize your small bidness dollar when you go online shoppin'. It will take some searching though.

I also give my LBS a shot at my parts wish lists and am happy to report that they accomodate me on a regular basis by matching the price whenever possible. Usually the big ticket items like cranks and forks they can't get at, but shifters and cassetes and such they can do, and that way they are still making a sale. Everybody wins. Especially my meager wallet.

Cheers!

A. (Capitalist pig with a heart, and no money to show for it)
Buy online and negotiate a price for..Barnyard
Mar 12, 2002 7:55 PM
Installing the race, and jamming a star fangled nut down the steering tube. You could cut the steering tube yourself. 200 hundred dollors is a lot of money. Unless you're running a "Chris King" headset, you might as well buy a new headset online and negotiate a price for installing that also. Also, some colleges have bicycle co-ops. They let you use their tools for an hourly fee. However, knurling tools, and headset facing/sizing tools are not always available at all shops. But don't let that discourage you from buying on-line.
no brainergtx
Mar 12, 2002 8:31 PM
Buy it from Supergo. If you feel guilty, give the $200 you saved to charity or something. Or use it to buy some other stuff at your LBS. Your LBS isn't a charity. It's just a bike shop. So is Supergo.
SimpleBreakfast
Mar 13, 2002 10:41 AM
Buy the fork online, maybe new Chris King headset, then call your LBS and schedule a fork/headset install with the mechanic when you get the items. Don't mention where you bought it, since the LBS isn't going to like hearing it, just say a friend turned you on to a deal or whatever. The shop will make money on the install and everybody wins.

Bragging about the deal, or trying to negotiate prices with the LBS is not especially productive or advisable.
Give the LBS a chanceno excuses
Mar 13, 2002 2:49 PM
My experience is that the LBS will accomodate you without hard feelings. Usually to cut their price. It may not match the online price, but you pay for convenience and that's worth something.
Well, now that I've had a day to think about it.Spoke Wrench
Mar 14, 2002 6:25 AM
Just so there's no doubt where I'm coming from, I work in a LBS and I've owned my own shop.

The assumption that everyone is making is that the LBS will feel bad if they don't get the fork sale, and I'm not positive that's true. Your Supergo fork is a close out. I might be able to get a good price from the manufacturer on a last year's fork and match prices, but maybe not. At best it's going to be a lot of activity for a low margin sale, and I'm still going to have to dicker over price of the installation.

I think I'd just as soon you buy the fork yourself. That way YOU take the risk the fork isn't what you want. I'll install the headset, cut the fork, whatever you aren't comfortable doing and collect full margin for the service.
Talk to the OWNER of your LBS first....DINOSAUR
Mar 16, 2002 7:20 AM
I had a similiar situation, although it was with a major purchase, a new bike. I was all set up for a custom fitting and for the heck of it I called my LBS and talked to the owner and told him I wanted to give them a chance. He set up a before hours appointment, did a fitting and we talked about bicycles. I walked out saving 22% on a new bike.

I buy little stuff over the internet, major purchases where a warranty is involved I feel more comfortable purchasing from my LBS.

It's also important that you talk to the owner directly, not some employee. He is the one who can do the wheeling and dealing.

Good point also about installing the fork. Labor would probably be dirt cheap and you have the comfort of knowing it was done right.

And if it's Supergo, for that price, you can bet it was last years model. I bet your LBS can get the fork for the same price somewhere.