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 )


Getting the most out of your LBS- what do you do?(10 posts)

Getting the most out of your LBS- what do you do?globalhelipimp
Jun 23, 2003 3:52 PM
I'll be purchasing a new bike sometime this week, and would like to know the things I should be asking my LBS.

Free life time tune ups and how often?

Clothing discounts and to what percentage?

I can't think of anything else, but I'm sure I should be asking more .. so help me out! Thanks.

Dave
re: Getting the most out of your LBS- what do you do?hackmechanic
Jun 23, 2003 6:24 PM
Maybe he'll cut your grass and drive your kids to soccer practise for a year. Really though, what do you expect him to do? How much extra do you think you need to offer where you work to keep your boss happy and your clients coming back? I think offering you a fair price on a competently built bike that suits your needs and your budget and fits you properly is all he owes you.
The Tune Up Question is Far!Jeff Rage
Jun 23, 2003 7:12 PM
I've noticed that varies tremendously from shop to shop. Some give no tune-ups, some one year, some lifetime. The shop where I bought my last bike had 1 free tuneup 30 days after purchase and then one i year after purchase.
What's your job?Atombomber
Jun 23, 2003 8:39 PM
Ask yourself what you would give up in order to generate some business.

It is common that a bike shop will offer a year of tune-ups, but they are mainly simple adjustments. A fair market price of the bicycle is all that the shop should charge. Bikes don't have huge profit margins, so asking for anything is unreasonable. You want bottle cages, buy them. You want a pump, buy it. You want a couple of spare tubes, fork it over. The bike shop still needs to pay staff, lease, utilities, advertizements with the small profit generated. That leaves pretty much nothing for the owner.
It seems that most shops offer a bundled discount,djg
Jun 24, 2003 5:58 AM
which is probably to their advantage; that is, by offering 10 or 15% off accessories that are purchased at the same time as the bike, the customer feels like he or she is getting a good deal and the shop is increasing its net on the bike sale (they've invested the time and service on the bike sale, tacking on the extras, even at a smaller-than-usual margin, remains profitable).

I think the thing to do is simply, and politely, ask--you want to know what, if any, after the sale service is included and you wonder if there's any discount on accessories purchased with the bike. The shop probably has a policy of some sort--no point arguing over it but no harm in asking.
re: Getting the most out of your LBS- what do you do?russw19
Jun 23, 2003 9:19 PM
What can you give him? Is this the 14th bike you've bought this year from that shop? What do you have to offer? And what do you do for a living? If the shop gives you a lifetime of free tuneups, I think there is an unwritten rule that you are therefore obligated to bring them a 6 pack of Newcastle every week.

OK, let's be a little serious... what are you offering over the next guy that makes it so you deserve special treatment? You can get upset for me asking that if you like, but seriously, what sets you apart from any other person in that shop looking at bikes and why should you get treated any differently? Are you a ride leader for your local club? Do you help inner city children by fixing up their bikes for them? Are you doing anything to give back to the cycling community so that this shop wants to attach their name to you? That's what I look for when I hand out the heavy discounts. Are you a DJ on the radio where you can drop free plugs? What do YOU have to offer is the better question here.

Your local shop is being hit hard by the economy. So damn hard that Shimano is not going to sell parts to some mail order houses so that your LBS can actually stay in business. That's how bad the cycling world is right now. Mail order and ebay are killing your local shop and people who look locally and shop globally like the internet allows you to do is what is driving shops out of business. If you want a new Record Rear Derailleur, you could go buy it at your LBS or you could save $30 by getting it off some cut-throat dealer selling it on ebay with no overhead to worry about.

So your LBS is going to be graced with the chance to sell you a bike if they give you enough free stuff... it's not enough that they will probably fit you for the bike, adjust it to your needs, swap out stems and saddles for your comfort... what more can you really ask of them? Most shops give free tune-ups, but I would think a year is more than adequate. A lifetime is too much to ask. And keep in mind that it should only be for tuning up things that don't require removal from the bike. If they can tighten your crankarms and adjust your derailleurs, that one thing, but to clean your drivetrain or overhaul your hubs is another story.

How do you plan to pay for this bike? Are you paying cash or check? If so, I would give you a slight discount on your accessories. If you are paying Credit Card... no discounts. I just lost anywhere from 3 to 6% of that sale to your card company, I am not losing another 15% to you as well. That adds up to no profit which means why be in business.

Sorry to sound harsh on you in this... and I assure you it is absolutely NOT to be taken personally by you... but only to let you know that there are two sides to this issue and by the way you worded your query, it is obvious that you only see one side. To be fair, I see your side, and it is your hard earned money... you deserve to make it go as far as it can go... but realize there are other people on the other side of this who also deserve to make a fair profit for their work. The thing that tends to happen when these two forces collide is that customers tend to whine about how the shop didn't give them enough, and the shops tend to try to screw you out of your money. The two are connected. If you shop at a place that treats you fair and doesn't try to jack you on prices, treat them fair and don't try to jack them on free stuff. That's reasonable, right?

No offence meant to anyone in this, but I just want people to see that there's another side to this issue...

Russ
print off a bunch of price lists from the internet and bring emshamelessgearwhore
Jun 24, 2003 12:16 PM
in when you shop.

"Mail order and ebay are killing your local shop and people who look locally and shop globally like the internet allows you to do is what is driving shops out of business."

I know all the arguments here, but I swear I've had way more mediocre to bad experiences with LBS's than good ones that I don't feel at all guilty ordering something from the web. The only difference between ordering off the web and walking into your LBS is SERVICE AND ADVICE!
How many times have you gone into a shop with a question or an idea and been told unequivocally that your problem is that your riding with an ABC unit (that they don't sell) when really you need XYZ unit (that they happen to sell).
I'll grant that it is probably a hard industry to make a profit but I'll trust the shop that is capable of actually telling you NOT to buy something when it won't accomplish what you want.

" If you want a new Record Rear Derailleur, you could go buy it at your LBS or you could save $30 by getting it off some cut-throat dealer selling it on ebay with no overhead to worry about. "

So if you had four or five major components to purchase and you saved $30 each just do the math $120-$150 savings! No business model in the world will hold up to this scenario unless you install for free (most don't) and offer a liberal return policy (again, most don't).
print off a bunch of price lists from the internet and bring emrussw19
Jun 25, 2003 5:29 PM
Cool! Have fun trusting a faceless person over the internet when you can't go to a shop anymore because the internet destroyed their business. If you think the rampant fraud on ebay is bad now... wait 5 more years and tell me if you are better off... even though you saved all that money.

It's going to be just like spam on the net... at first it was a mild annoyance, now it's epidemic to the point that the same companies like AOL and MSN who sold your info to anyone willing to buy it are now trying to convince you that you should buy thier product because they block spam. Sure they can block a lot of it, they know who they sold your info to.

Ebay will be just as bad. Look at the decline in the past year.. you think it's going to get any better? Sure... the internet is the way to go. Unregulated so that any theif can steal your money. Have fun.
re: Getting the most out of your LBS- what do you do?Tony the Tiger
Jun 24, 2003 2:46 AM
I agree with the others who said that a well set up bike and good service is the best extra you'll ever get, and you should shop on the basis of this rather than price or freebies alone. If you get at all serious about cycling, yo will soon learn to do your own tune ups anyhow.

That said, I can tell you that the Geneva Bicycle Center that I mentioned in reply to your other post charges full retail on current model bikes, and a small but reasonable discount if they have a leftover model from a previous year. They give a free 30 day and 1 year tune up (as I recall), and usually give you 10% off accessories at the time of purchase. And they are extremely knowledgeble, friendly, fair and honest, which is worth more than anything else!

--Tiger
re: Getting the most out of your LBS- what do you do?ochsen
Jun 24, 2003 5:20 AM
Assuming you've already decided what bike you're getting, here's what I'd ask:

-Do they offer free tune-ups after the purchase of a new bike? They'll tell you their terms. Actually, I'm surprised they haven't told you already.
-Do they offer discounts on accessories when you're purchasing a new bike? Don't be offended if they say no. Some are just lower priced to begin w/, and some people do price compare from shop to shop for accessories.
-Do they install accessories for free (no labor charge) if you buy from their shop? Sometimes installing computers can be a hassle and better left to them.
-What are the good ride routes?
-Do they have group rides at your skill level?

Other than that, I don't know what I'd ask.