Be polite and courteous! Stay on topic.
Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:36 pm
My point in all this was that an LBS can make money from BBB riders. And the response, which seems to indicate that the LBS makes almost nothing from a sale makes me wonder just what it is that he *does* make money at? Repairs? Upgrades? Adjustments? If so, then if he turns away big box bike riders he's chasing money away from his shop. If you can't make money selling them and you chase away the people who can use your skill set (and pay for it), then you deserve to go broke.
Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:54 pm
LOL... And That's The Way It Is!
I have a favorite shop, It's in Hopkinsville KY, Trek dealer, with some Specialized, about an hour and 10 minutes away. I have 2 LBS about half the distance, but one is a Giant dealer and he's busy hating my 29er obsession and I'm busy hating his corporate fed 27.5 obsession, the other is a Specialized and Cannondale dealer who has sticker shocked me away. Sometimes, it's just the attitude that throws the customer And the dealer off. I don't like being told what to buy and apparently, some dealers don't like being told what we really want. $100 less, and I'd be riding a Specialized.. I'll have as much in my bike soon and I just don't see that I'd be much happier with their $700 bike. It had an 80mm Suntour XCT ffs!.. For the same $$, I have a fun bike to mess with and by the time I do reach the same $$, I'll have a lighter fork with more travel and the overall difference in weight, bike to bike, will be so close, it won't matter.
The only problem I have with my favorite bike shop is, this one guy said I'd look good on a Trek... If he's getting fresh with me, I'ma have to start wearing less revealing jeans!
Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:52 am
wa_desert_rat wrote:My point in all this was that an LBS can make money from BBB riders. And the response, which seems to indicate that the LBS makes almost nothing from a sale makes me wonder just what it is that he *does* make money at? Repairs? Upgrades? Adjustments? If so, then if he turns away big box bike riders he's chasing money away from his shop. If you can't make money selling them and you chase away the people who can use your skill set (and pay for it), then you deserve to go broke.
Well summed up. Those are my thoughts as well. I also really question his stated margins, as it would be near impossible to run any kind of a shop with those percentages, let alone pay another employee.
Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:29 pm
Some of the prices LBS's charge for some work seems crazy to me. I was in a shop last week talking to the guy who owns and works there since he does BMX racing, and this guy comes in and says that his son wanted the wheels off a bike he had when he was a kid but said the axle was messed up and wanted to know how much he'd charge for a new axle and to take the old one out and put the new one in. He didn't seem that interested in doing the work to me and then told him it would be about $35. Maybe that seems fair for him to take the time to do it, I don't know, but knowing what it takes to change out an axle it seemed high to me.
My friend that I used to ride BMX with ended up working at a bike shop a few years ago, and last year when I saw him he told me that the owners of the shop told him that anything anyone asks for to look in their book and whatever the price was, charge double. That seems typical of the shops around here. Before the internet I ordered all my BMX stuff through mail order. Anything I got, if the LBS had the same part it was twice what I bought it for through mail order. I'm a member of a BMX forum and there's a guy there that owns his own bicycle shop that only sells BMX stuff. I've seen pictures of his shop and it's not like he has a high volume of parts like online stores. Yet his prices are comparable and says he will match or beat anywhere else and ship for free. I actually recommended some cranks he had for sale to Falkon on here and he ordered from him. But that's proof that an LBS doesn't have to charge outrageous prices for their stuff. He also provides an interesting service that I haven't seen from any other shop; he does custom builds where people can have their frames powdercoated a custom color.
Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:37 pm
I think that about 95% of the "only buy from your LBS" argument is specious, anyway. Just on the face of it.
Warranty? The LBS typically offers only the manufacturer's warranty and a pretty big percentage of those are denied due to "rider abuse". One guy had his (very expensive "custom") frame break just riding down a trail. It was denied on the basis of "rider abuse" but it turned out that the manufacturer (not the designer and seller) had used sub-standard tubing and that an entire shipment of those frames were breaking in exactly the same way. It still took the guy months to get a good frame and he had to promise never to tell anyone about the tubing substitution. But he told me.
Fit? Oh, please.... show me an LBS that will let a buyer with a fistful of cash walk out of his shop because there isn't the "perfect fit" bicycle in stock.
Employees fairly treated? Really? They get medical, sick leave, vacation pay? And enough money to support a family? I suppose the larger ones might, but frankly I find this claim to be the most suspicious of all of them. Most small businesses pay their help minimum wage and very carefully watch their hours so that they stay well under "full time". Walmart and Target do the same thing but at least there is the possibility of advancement to a job with full benefits.
The simple fact is that some LBSs are well run, well stocked, and with products that are priced fairly. The employees have a clue and are eager to share it with you. But lots of them are run by schmucks who will sell you a 1992 Trek for $500 and promise you that it's the very latest thing if they think they can get away with it. Walmart has assemblers who may not know which direction the cranks go when you pedal it forward but at least you can take it back and get a full refund within 30 days. Try *that* with your LBS.
Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:03 pm
I'm 71 (yes, you read that right)...I've gone OTB (Over The Bars) 3 times in the past 4 years. Two of them by hitting hidden obstructions (one in grass and one in a snowpile) and one of them by not bunny-hopping quickly enough; or at all, actually.
Ok. So this is the most awesome thing ever. At 71 wa_desert_rat rides in the winter and bunny hops! At 28 i have just learned to bunny hop and just this week tried my first winter ride. Spoiler alert! I fell...and split my pants from the belt to the knee...i pretty much can only hope that my skills at thier peak will be comparable to desert rat in his 100's (cause I'll bet he lives to 150).
Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:45 pm
Now I'm curious as to just what the typical margin on a LBS bike is - I work for a BBB and know that our margin on bikes sold is pretty decent even after figuring in assembly time and floor space required. However, I only make about $7 on a $400 PS4 system due to the high cost from the manufacturer. So does the typical LBS get stuck with little margin on bikes because the manufacturer keeps the costs of their bikes high? I realize that as a BBB I have thousands of items to sell across the store, supporting the cost of our bikes and a LBS can't depend on selling paper goods and groceries to sustain their business, but the stated margin of $.07/dollar seems silly low.
The justification for a LBS to love Big Box Bikes is in the margin for parts. Everyone (BBB and LBS) has a high mark-up for parts. The item with the highest margin in my entire store (out of 35k+ items) is bicycle tubes. By far. I can't tell you exactly what our margin is because of corporate policy but I can tell you that you would be quite irritated to know what the company pays for a tube that retails at $10. Many of the parts that I order for repairs are also high margin. And even at a BBB store my trained monkeys (my loving nickname for my bike builders!) can repair most of the problems quickly and cheaply.
So if a LBS doesn't want to work on and repair BBBs, they shouldn't state that it is because of low margin for parts or that repairs take too long to be profitable.
Sat Aug 22, 2015 9:45 am
Hello there, everyone.
Steady Eddie here, still alive and kicking..but now, at 69+ years old, I have Parkinson's Disease...
In addition to that, I have a blood pressure issue now (too high) and must take one blood pressure med per day..
But--I can still ride a bike....I do not "shake" in the arms or hands..I wish the LBS would cater more to folks with disabilities, as they could make some bucks off us..
Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:21 am
Hey Steady Eddie, nice to see you back here. Missed your pithy comments. And yes, catering to disabled riders could lead to some good sales and rebuild profits. I have a friend who is a double amputee (above the knee) and his hand-power bike was stolen by a little a$$hole who broke it just before he was caught and his hand slapped by the lords of justice and then released to brag about his short trip to juvie.... wait.... am I ranting?
Oh well... anyway he is trying to get someone to repair it and no one around here has the ability to do it.
I just paid my LBS to install a new fork on my Deception. I could have done it myself but, frankly, I'm pretty sure I did it mostly wrong when I decided to take it to the LBS who got it right. (I should have just used the same head tube bearing but I wanted to upgrade that, too and the instructions were less than useful.)
Jeez... I'm off the thread again....
Anyway he charged me $40 and only took two weeks to do it. LOL. But that new fork makes a world of difference on my Deception. It's even more the go-to bike for me now after a weekend of riding in the smoke.
Welcome back. Sorry about the Parkinson's. It's hell getting old, that's for sure.
Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:35 am
There are a LOT of videos and several sponsored bike events related to Parkinson's. Apparently bike riding (high effort riding for around 30 minutes) has an effect on the body that helps slow the shakiness and lack of control associated with Parkinson's. That could mean a reduction in the medications intended for the same purpose. https://youtu.be/7XDiVvuZNyY?list=FLIbB372qkFu2H77spXWRAlw
So, even if we buy Big Box Bikes, the bike shops eventually could capitalize on Parkinson's patients as we need service and specialty parts for our bikes
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