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LBS (Local Bike Shop) Question(14 posts)

LBS (Local Bike Shop) QuestionZman
Sep 18, 2003 4:57 AM
I was following the banter below and it made me laugh, anyways, I have a question.

Can you buy a Trek (high end) or a Cannondale (high end) without going through a LBS?

I am not creating debate here, I am asking a legit question.

Not new onesTJeanloz
Sep 18, 2003 5:05 AM
You can, from time to time, find Treks and Cannondales on the so-called "grey market", which means that they aren't being sold by an authorized dealer. A few years ago Costco bought a couple of containers of Cannondales that the Russian importer couldn't pay the shipping on, so $2,500 bikes were showing up in your local Costco. Cannondale was not pleased. Anything purchased from a non-authorized dealer would really be "used" (and warranty voided) regardless.
Sep 18, 2003 7:51 AM
of course, depends on what you call 'local', but there are plenty of on-line cycleries out there.
I could be wrong,TJeanloz
Sep 18, 2003 8:02 AM
But I don't believe any Trek or Cannondale dealers are allowed to sell complete bikes on-line.
whats an 'on line' sale?Steve_0
Sep 18, 2003 8:09 AM
I'm uncertain as to the restriction of on-line sales via specific manufacturers, but on-line cyclries do make sales and delivery of trek and 'dales.

Perhaps a phone call in response to a web add isnt 'online'? or perhaps your mistaken? Dont know. they can be had though.
Dealer agreements,TJeanloz
Sep 18, 2003 8:23 AM
Every Trek dealer agreement I've ever seen mandates that the bicycle be delivered in person, fully assembled. It's a liability thing for them. Cannondale was the same when we were a dealer - it's relatively industry standard. Mail order of any type is banned, and internet sales are usually covered under that.

The rules may have changed recently, but I doubt it. Do you have a site where said bikes can be purchased?
yes, butSteve_0
Sep 18, 2003 8:57 AM
see post below.

FWIW- I know a guy who had an ms1000 delivered to his doorstep.
ANY sale of Trek bikes on-line is a breach of dealer agreement..RyanC
Sep 18, 2003 8:28 AM
I work for a shop that sells Trek bikes, and their dealer contract says it loud, clear and simple. Any internet sales by any dealer is grounds for termination of the dealer account, including individual sales of new bikes by employees of Trek dealers (even E-bay!). Trek Corporation has recently started "cracking down" more on this, so it might prove difficult to find a new one with full warranty coverage. Can't say much about Cannondale, but their policy I believe is much the same. Trek and Cannondale also don't sell overstock to on-line retailers at the end of the year as well, so finding wholesale closeout prices on these bikes is (should be) virtually impossible.
again, whats an 'online' sale?Steve_0
Sep 18, 2003 8:55 AM
is a telephone sale on a bicycle advertised online an online sale?

There are numerous co's selling Treks and 'dales via the mail. I'd provide examples, but i wouldnt want to be the reason for account termination. so i wont.
As we point out, legally, there is no outlet,TJeanloz
Sep 18, 2003 9:23 AM
The sales which you detail would be considered grey market - outside the scope of the dealer agreement. Warrantees on these bicycles are technically void, but its unlikely that Trek would enforce that.
Yearend Closeout for Trek and C-dale?Fez
Sep 18, 2003 9:06 AM
Can you expand on your statement that Trek and Cannondale and what they do with overstock at end of year.

Have they mastered production volume so the inventory is very small at yearend?

Or did they pretty much strongarm the retailers into ordering a large mininum quantity that effectively forces all the inventory to the retailers.

FYI - I don't see huge discounts of these bikes even at yearend.
No, they phase new models inTJeanloz
Sep 18, 2003 9:21 AM
They generally plan to run out of current-year models in late July early August - almost always producing less than they think they will sell. Coinciding with this, they begin to amass production of "next years" models earlier. What happens is that the line between "this year" and "next year" is blurred so that they don't get stuck with bikes.

When they have very unsuccessful bikes (the Trek VRX, for example) they tend to discount them heavily to their bigger retailers.
Complete contrast to ABG...Fez
Sep 18, 2003 9:29 AM
Every year it would appear that a large quantity Litespeeds appear out of nowhere right after September. It appears they clear them out to some of the larger retailers and the price is about 33% lower.

Why doesn't Litespeed use the Trek method? And while they are at it, why not charge a fairly reasonable MSRP like Trek does. The $3,300 Litespeed for $2,200 after September promotion is getting old.
It gets stickyTJeanloz
Sep 18, 2003 9:34 AM
Litespeed [ABG] has a couple of issues that make the Trek model harder for them to implement. One is that their models tend to change quite a bit every year. Trek sells pretty much the same bikes with different paint. The other is that the volume moved by Trek makes planning easier. Litespeed has to make X number of size 48's, to make sure they always have stock, but they sell very few of those. If you took a popular bike, like a 57cm Tuscany, it should be pretty rare to see it on a blowout.

Also related to volume is that the higher price works against them. Trek most effectively uses this policy with their ~$300 bikes - Litespeed has none of those. I have no idea why Litespeed's MSRP is so high, except that dealers love it, because they can give everybody a "great deal".