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Performance varies its prices(26 posts)

Performance varies its pricesGary
Mar 6, 2001 6:07 PM
I was in the middle of buying a Dura-Ace upgrade from Performance. Initially I saw their sales in their catalog. Then I logged onto their website and noticed that the rest of the group was on sale, even though it wasn't so in the catalog. That got me excited about buying the entire group. But since I couldn't order it online via my computer at work (firewall), I called them on the telephone. Well, they asked for my name and if I had a catalog. I said that I did and told them my catalog ID number in response to their query for it. Then when I began to order the components I wanted, the operator would quote me the price in the catalog. I told her the price on the website and she tried to enter it as such, but the computer would not accept it. Apparently it was stuck on the fact that I was a catalog orderer and was fixated upon giving me the higher price per the catalog. She said there was nothing that she could do.

I terminated my order and told her that I intended to order it from my PC at home in order to achieve the web price. As it turned out, I got busy with other things and didn't get a chance to order that evening. But the next evening when I logged onto Performance's website, all of the component prices had changed! Some of them were not even on sale anymore. Some of them were still on sale, but at a higher sale price than what I had seen two days earlier. I phoned Performance and they said that their central office controlled the web pricing and that they could change it at anytime.

Not only that, she couldn't verify for me the web prices two days earlier (I had written them down) because she said they had no history of prices, but only what was currently displayed. I then thought to myself, what if I DID order a product at a regular price, and then later it goes on sale on the web, could I get a refund of the price difference? She said yes I could, for up to 30 days from my purchase. But then I laid out the scenario that in order to accomplish this, I would have to check their website each day (as the web prices changed daily) and then I would have to ensure that I called them on the SAME day that I found the lower price (since they could not pull up a price from even the day before). I became very frustrated at their pricing structure and thought it would be lots simpler for everyone if they would simply price their products at a price that (a) matched their catalog price and (b) lasted a reasonable amount of time longer than 24 hours. I remarked that maybe I should do business with Nashbar, to which she retorted that Performance had recently bought Nashbar. Wonderful. The NASDAQ drives me crazy enough with its high volatility. I didn't expect to use a Level II trading system to monitor Performance's prices. Maybe I should just be ecstatic when I do happen to be fortuitious enough to catch a low price in one of their 24 hour windows and be done with it. Now that my rant is over, has anyone else noticed this? Do the rest of the online catalogs do the same thing?
re: Performance varies its pricesDave
Mar 7, 2001 4:38 AM
Gary, I've noticed the same thing with Performance and Nashbar. Go to www.excelsports.com Their prices are the same as the catalog and usually cheaper than the other two
Nashbar now charges sales tax...campy dropout
Mar 10, 2001 5:43 PM
if there is a Performance store in your state. Nashbar IS Performance (bought last year).
more Nashbar BSJR
Mar 26, 2001 2:01 PM
Ordered last Monday afternoon online. Got e-mail confirmation Wed evening. Confirmation says order was shipped Wed morning "via OVERNIGHT EXPRESS" (their emphasis). Now it's Mon evening, and still no order has arrived. So now not only has their service slowed down, but they are lying about shipping. UNACCEPTABLE!
re: more Nashbar BSGary
Mar 26, 2001 2:28 PM
Well...here's the little idiosyncrasies my friends and I have learned...

Performance only ships out items on certain days of the week...like Mon and Thurs...I'm not sure which days or how many...but the point is that if you order something 2 days before their scheduled ship date, then it doesn't go out until the scheduled ship date arrives...and THEN it does go out express or overnight...whatever method you've chosen. If you've paid extra for priority shipping...calling them and asking for a refund of it has worked for one friend.

Performance bought out Nashbar...so I'd expect the same procedure would apply.

Supergo does ship within 24 hours of you ordering the item. We've noticed that items from Supergo do arrive quicker, generally speaking.
re: Performance varies its pricesmichael
Mar 7, 2001 5:26 AM
better yet, go to www.labicicletta.com. their regular price is probably better than the performance price on the duraace parts.
I've also noticed that performance has been getting snippier about price matching too.
re: Performance varies its pricesJerry
Mar 7, 2001 7:04 AM
Better yet go to your lbs and they will get you a great price and will not b!tch at you when you bring your catolog parts in to have them put them on.
You must work in a lbsTrey
Mar 8, 2001 6:03 PM
Most won't price match nor will be within 25% of most mail order companies, unless your LBS is performance, supergo or somebody that also does mail order. I've looked high and low (ok within 50 miles of my house) for the LBS that would be close because I was guilted into feeling like I should support them. I shouldn't feel that way. Their job is to bring me a product at a price that I will feel good about and they can make money on. If that means they should be more aggressive with their suppliers or about trying to find closeout opportunities or what have you to pass along to the consumers, so be it.

Bottom line, I don't ask people to support my business "because I'm the local guy." If that were the case I would be out of business fast. With the advent of the internet the LBShops must alter their business tactics to be sucessful. My LBS's support the club that I am a member of (@1000 strong) by giving a 10% discount and that is it. They don't actively support trail building or racing, so why should I feel guilty about buying my build kit from Colorado Cyclist or whoever.
You must work in a lbsJoe
Mar 16, 2001 9:38 AM
Most LBS I find don't know much more than I know, and can be big as*hol*s. I actually get more info from doing resarch on the internet and reading news groups. So I do not see why we should feel the need to support them.
re: Performance varies its pricesGary
Mar 7, 2001 2:32 PM
Thanks for all your help and insight in this. And yes, I do support my LBS. But I also do live in the realistic "money matters" world. But I would never be as uncouth to bring something to someone to install that I didn't even purchase for them.
re: Performance varies its pricesdave hickey
Mar 8, 2001 4:00 AM
I forgot about this link. They compare Dura Ace as well as other Shimano pricing weekly. It will tell you who has the best pricing on a particular component.

http://www.comparisonpricing.com/
Ah, the market works...TJeanloz
Mar 8, 2001 9:08 AM
As an economist, I have to appreciate the fact that Performance constantly changes its price. As a consumer, it could be a little bit irritating- but you people tell me that finding the deal is half of the fun; doesn't this just make the 'find the best price' game more fun? I'd recommend that you find a company that you really like to deal with, be it Colorado Cyclist, Excel, or your LBS and not worry about the price so much. You'd be amazed how well this works in the long run.

Net result is Performance can charge whatever price they want, whenever they want for their product. It may frustrate you that it changes all the time; but get used to it. We're gravitating towards a world where different customers are charged different prices for the same thing, ala Amazon.com. It's a brave new world, and I can hardly wait.
Ah, the market works...Peter Rhodes
Mar 15, 2001 6:23 AM
I work for a computer resellers in NH. We get price updates daily on all our products. So what you bought today might be higher or lower 24 hours from now. It's a beautiful system and way to do business. I agree with out Economist friend above
re: Performance varies its pricesubimme
Mar 15, 2001 5:24 PM
Gary,

I too have had the same problem, although on more than one occasion with Performance and Nashbar if you phoned in you could get a smokin deal on some components. I got a bunch of Profile stems for $7 from Nashbar in a sale that wasn't advertised in the catalog or online.
re: Performance varies its pricesJamie Harris
Mar 16, 2001 5:07 PM
SO weak- so weak!

I do not think that it is good business to have different price structures along different advertising means. However, due to the flexibility of the internet and immediate ability to change price- I do think it should be a source of special unadvertised sales that people can monitor. I do not agree that same items have different prices. Who feels good about supporting a company that they may overpay one week and not the next? I have a small business and I would be stoned for such activity. I might as well charge more for people who drive BMW or Mercedes autos. It makes that much nonsense.

Anyway, most shops match prices. I try to stick with one shop and just have them match prices. Supergo and Pricepoint are great. However, I have used Performance only when buying alot of stuff due to the fact you get 10% back if you are a performance member for your next purchase. That can add up. Plus, they sent me a free $30 once and I bought some new gel shorts (they are nice!) However, there is a Performance shop 45 min. from my house and they argue with me to match the price. Even the price in the Performance catalog! Once, I called Performance on my cell phone and told the sales guy to talk to her- he didn't, he just gave me the catalog price. He claims they are all privatly owned and do not have to follow the catalog. Yet, the sign in their store says the match any advertised price. Anotehr time, I opened a magazine right in his store and said there is the price. But, since it was SUnday he could not call to verify the price and scammed me the extra $10. Ah- what a joke. I know this is getting long. But, for whatever reason my local shop is all of a sudden offering good prices. I just got a deda stem, a ultegra cassette, and a ultegra derailuer as cheap as mail order. And guess what, it was tagged that price and I did not have to ask. That, I like.
re: Performance varies its prices -- Gary's followupGary
Mar 19, 2001 6:12 PM
Thanks again for all your comments.

As it turned out, yes, the sad truth is that some online bike shops do vary their prices and at any one time can be featuring more than one price for the same item. The way they identify you is by what you tell them. For example, if you call Performance, they'll ask for a catalog number (they can have more than one catalog active at one time too!) and whatever number you give them, then their computer locks in the prices per that catalog.

So, I just worked around it. I had my heart set on a Dura-Ace crankset out of Performance for $175, when everyone else was selling it for $199 or even $219. That especially was the item I was trying to get at their website initially and it went away the next day. Well, lo and behold...their web price changed AGAIN to $175 a week later. I made sure I logged on and ordered it via the web. So I got a deal on it after all, but I had to "sniper" my price. Ultimately, I ended up using three different online web retailers (Supergo, Performance and Nashbar) and one LBS to order my complete Dura-Ace upgrade and no, shipping didn't erode my cost savings. I came out about $175 cheaper than any complete grouping I'd seen period and about $250 cheaper than your "ordinary" group price. It just took some work.
Here's what you gotta do!litespeeder
Mar 20, 2001 12:38 PM
Performance will give you their online price in the store, but you have to print the item from the web and show them. They usually can't (or won't) look it up from the shop. I've done it many times and they've never hassled me. Sometimes their catalog price is lower than their web price, particularly on their sale flyers. If you have a Performance Bike Shop locally, it's worth it to buy the stuff there, at the web prices, and then you can have them installed right there if you need to. Universalcycles.com also does this, although they only have a few stores.
PRINT IT OUT!use a printer
Mar 28, 2001 12:30 PM
No matter how great the price is, even absurd most of the times.
(Like tubes for $1.50.) When you print that SOB and go to the store they will give you that price. It works well in the Redwood City & Campbell (California) Stores.

DO BUY from them when you see a great price,

JUST PRINT PRINT PRINT PRINT PRINT PRINT PRINT PRINT
Listen up all you Wankershardcore
Mar 23, 2001 5:40 PM
You need to buy from an LBS because when you need your bike adjusted immediately, your local dealer will drop all for good customers and fix immediately. What do you do when you are out riding, 15 miles from home and sever a tire beyond repair? Pick up your cell phone and order a new one from Supergo/Performance/Nashbar/whatever and wait for it to arrive curbside? NO. If you are a good customer, you go to your LBS and they front you a tube, tire, and a workstand to repair your bike and continue your ride. You finish your ride and return to the store to pay for your stuff, share a beer, watch a video of some Euro race, and hang with the mechanics, who are happy to see you. You may pay slightly more, but you get service with a smile. My lbs may be a month behind on repairs, but my bike is always the next one to get put into the stand when necessary. And by the way, I get all of my parts at least as cheap as net purchases, if not cheaper. Try the LBS, you may like it!!!!!!!!!
Listen up all you WankersDave Hickey
Mar 26, 2001 8:55 AM
I use my LBS for alot of purchases, however my LBS tells me to order my shimano components via the net because they cannot match the mail order prices. Thats why I give my LBS some of my business.
Reply to Hardcore WankerGary
Mar 26, 2001 10:09 AM
OK, Mr. Harcore Wanker...yes I hear you and understand your point. But welcome to the United States of America where free enterprise reigns supreme (usually). I do some of my business at a LBS and some online. I will NOT pay 30 to 50% markups at an LBS just because I love them so much, and I do. And YES, they DO mark it up that high, sometimes (I've checked prices). So if it's not a significant amount of difference, then I'll throw it to the LBS.

But to show you that we online purchasers ARE evaluating the ramifications. Here is my argument of why I do what I do.

If we all put our money towards something just because it's [(a) good ol'fashioned American made (b) local stuff (c) insert your own ethnocentric preference here] then we would not see any process improvement. We'd still be driving gas guzzling American cars. Don't you find it curious that it took the Japanese imports to actually make a dent in the marketplace before the U.S. car companies bothered to even consider making gas efficient engines? Do you really really think they could not devote their expertise to doing this earlier? Sure they could....but why didn't they? They didn't have to! We, as consumers vote with our pocketbooks. And if we shun outrageous markups, then guess what...the LBS will eventually have lower prices on those items because their suppliers can't move the products through the shops.

It's a simple matter of economics. The two sides of the equation are: (internet prices + full charge for any work at LBS + possibility of some LBS going out of business) VS. (LBS price + discount charges on some work or even free work on simple stuff)
Don't be too suprised if the American consumer eradicates the costly expensive dinosaur.

Still need another good example? How much do you pay for a stock trade now? Ten years ago, you would have gladly paid $60 for a stock trade and they'd get you the "best price" they could that day (yeah, trust 'em). Yeah, ignore ETrade, Datek and all those cheap discount brokers. Go down to your local Goldman Sachs office and demand the service and price they had 10 years ago.

Like one of my respondents said above...YOU MUST WORK AT A LBS. Have you considered going online and offering discounted prices? If so...drop me an email...I'd love to consider your prices! :-)
Intelligent Reply to GaryHardcore
Mar 28, 2001 6:26 PM
Sorry if my remarks were out of line the other day and your points are well taken. Believe it or not, I do not work at the local shop. Maybe I am fortunate as I really do get pricing from my local shop that rivals and sometimes beats mail order. The mechanics in my shop are not teenages (as someone else suggested), but they are actually hard-core riders (one is a Norba Pro)who live to ride and race. Maybe the fact that we all race is a connection. We may just have a great network of riders and shops here in the Mid-Atlantic and maybe I am spoiled. I was just trying to suggest that you can get good pricing from an LBS and it does not hurt to have someone who can fix something on your bike quickly. My LBS also lets me and many others bring our bikes in and work on them ourselves towards the end of the day using their tools. This must be another benefit I enjoy that others do not. It did take some time to build these relationships, but I see all of the local riders treated as great as I am treated by my LBS.
Thanks HardcoreGary
Mar 28, 2001 7:28 PM
Hey, that's kinda neat...I'm very happy to see that you took the time to view things from an objective point of view. I'm not always right by any means...but it's nice to see someone truly take opinions into consideration instead of just trying to divise new points of attack. Again, I'm praising your reconsideration...not any one of the two opinions. With thinking people like this, the world stands a chance I think!

Anyhow...it so happens that I also, like you, have a terrific relationship with a LBS. They let me work on my bikes (I have 4) with their tools even during the day. In return, I buy what I deem appropriate from them, help their customers (sales and repairs) while I'm there, bring in friends and other riders I know to see the shop (where they make purchases), etc. I also promote the shop via rides and races. We have a fairly good symbiotic relationship. The mechanics in this shop aren't teenagers either...but I do know of some shops where that stereotype runs rampant.

Being an engineer, I guess makes me see things from a reasonable perspective. Rampant waste of time, effort or money do not contribute to our overall good and progression. I am not so Machiavellian as to insist upon the bottom line of the dollar everytime, after all, we're all here to make a life out of our time here, but just as long as it is within reason. If you ever get to Houston, look us up! Cyclone Cycles!
Thanks HardcoreHardcore
Mar 29, 2001 3:06 PM
I am glad to see you also have a good relationship with your LBS. Ironically, I was not even responding to your post personally. As I read some of the replys to your post, I was seeing things like "Screw the LBS" and "Let them go out of business" and I was a little upset that people felt that way when I have "nothing but love for my LBS" as you do.

Ride on Gary!
Hey Mr. HardcoreHRH
Mar 27, 2001 12:33 PM
I don't have the time or the desire to hang around teen-age mechanices and suck up to them just to recieve good service whenever my tire blows out.

If your lbs is a month behind in service but your work gets done ahead of others..... well that say a lot about your lbs. Doesn't it.

With the exception of a few, most lbs have crappy service. I wouldn't want to spend countless hours watching videos so I can 'bond' with them.
Do buy from PerformanceCWu
Apr 5, 2001 12:49 PM
Bottom line is you have to tell them what price it is suppose to be!
Yes, print the on-line ad, bring the mailer, bring the catalog, bring in competitor ads. At the time of checkout, be specific to make sure they match the price...Yeh, they can manually change prices in the register.

You gotta remember that the saps (even the cute ones) in the store do not pour over every sale cuz prices always change for the cheapo's out there.

This has worked great in buying:
(1) Last week went there saw 20% off chains & cassettes: well the price on the box showed 39.99, but the register (new price adjustments) showed 43.99. I asked what price showed up and well, they had to manually adjust it to 39.99 then take off 20%. That was 31.99 for an Ultegra 9 (12/23 & 12/25) Although they forgot the 20% on the chain, which I can go return anytime. Hey not bad for spending 5 minutes to ask the manager!!!!!
(2)Easton Carbon ATB bar: $49 internet printout- no problem.
(3)tubes 1.99 - again no prob; I got 15 of those suckers.
(4)Specialized team turbos $20; yup I got 10 of those.
(5)Gu $19, again matched the printout.
(6)Cliff bars match price from mTBaction.

This list can go on forever so. Remember to check the price at the register to help both yourself and the dude/dudette trying to make rent behind the register.

Another note is I buy from LBS(items not avail in M.O) & MO such as Excel, Supergo, Colorada, Nashbar, Frankford. But having customer satisfaction by PB is done by being persistant and a imformative shopper.