Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: To my LBS (all of them) - What gives?

  1. #1

    To my LBS (all of them) - What gives?

    I try really hard to support my LBS's, but they are making it really hard.
    Find me a rigid fork?
    Green chain ring bolts?
    How 'bout a particular rim?
    Titanium parts?
    Bontrager 29-4 tire?
    9mm QR like these?
    9mm-QR.jpg
    10mm?

    I've already had 2 bikes with them, but apparently they are impossible to find or order.

    What gives?
    If all they did was say "We'll order it up." and order it from the same website I would have ordered it from I would give them some credit for the effort. Maybe business doesn't work that way... I don't know.

    -F
    _________________
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  2. #2
    Big Terry
    Guest
    The internet is killing small business. I still try to support them (the lbs) because they take care of me when I can't figure something out. Plus, it can be a cool place to just hang out and chill for a few, with kindred spirits.

    those skewers have some cool colors though

  3. #3
    It's also hard for LBS to carry very specific high end parts. You must also remember This is not the mecca of mountain biking so that doen't help. Overhead is everything in the LBS world and you have to pay for what you carry.

    If you can't tell I work for LBS and even I have to order most if not all my parts (mainly because we specializes in road, tri, and cross bikes bigger group in this area)
    Last edited by justme; November 13th, 2012 at 12:12 PM.

  4. #4
    What makes this hard for the lbs is some of the parts you are looking for might not be handled by a distributor. For the lbs to get it for you they have to first find a source, then give them a call, con the source into selling them a small quanity or one, then get it shiped to them, then sell it as cheap as you can find it on the internet, and make money? Not easy.
    AOA Leader

  5. #5
    HWB, You are spot on.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by HWB View Post
    What makes this hard for the lbs is some of the parts you are looking for might not be handled by a distributor. For the lbs to get it for you they have to first find a source, then give them a call, con the source into selling them a small quanity or one, then get it shiped to them, then sell it as cheap as you can find it on the internet, and make money? Not easy.
    I understand the economics - mostly - but a shop that breaks even on a few odd things (that don't come from a dist. with wholesale pricing) will likely get more customers just due to the fact that "they always get me what I need".
    On another hand, is it unusual for a shop to carry replacement parts for the bikes they sell? Like spokes, hub bearings, fork seals, brake rotors, extra headset crown races, special fasteners... Or are those parts usually handled through the mfr.? (so the shop doesn't have to stock them).
    It just seems odd that for all the stuff any shop does have, they seldom have what I need, so I am forced to shop online.
    Maybe that's how the industry will be: buy complete bikes and clothes from a brick-and-mortar store, but buy everything else online. If that is the case, then the LBS should be pretty happy about installing parts purchased online by the customer.
    ???

    -F
    _________________
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    I understand the economics - mostly - but a shop that breaks even on a few odd things (that don't come from a dist. with wholesale pricing) will likely get more customers just due to the fact that "they always get me what I need".
    On another hand, is it unusual for a shop to carry replacement parts for the bikes they sell? Like spokes, hub bearings, fork seals, brake rotors, extra headset crown races, special fasteners... Or are those parts usually handled through the mfr.? (so the shop doesn't have to stock them).
    It just seems odd that for all the stuff any shop does have, they seldom have what I need, so I am forced to shop online.
    Maybe that's how the industry will be: buy complete bikes and clothes from a brick-and-mortar store, but buy everything else online. If that is the case, then the LBS should be pretty happy about installing parts purchased online by the customer.
    ???

    -F
    Well spokes and hub bearings are some what common sizes between mfr., however fork seals, brake rotors, and crown races are pretty unqiue to the mfr. of the brand you have . If it's something we deal with alot then of course we will have extras on hand. In the bike industry no two parts are the same they mite do the same job, but are designed unqiue to the brand. Like Tekro aquila disc brakes are not the same as Avid BB-5's both are cable actuated, ball bearing supported action, but use completely different pad designs (we carry the avid's there more popular).

    I understand the economics - mostly - but a shop that breaks even on a few odd things (that don't come from a dist. with wholesale pricing) will likely get more customers just due to the fact that "they always get me what I need".
    I'm not sure were you are going with this statement but there are lots of dist. but they require you buy so much every year and all carry the same brands with a few odd brands here and thier. So you have to pick one or two outside the bike brands you carry (they have there own parts dist. catalogs too).

    Please don't take anything I say as mean or angry. I'm just being as informative as I can with a fourm. In person this would be much easier.
    Last edited by justme; November 14th, 2012 at 02:20 PM.

  8. #8
    The problem I have with most the LBS that I have dealt with. Is how long it takes to get my parts. It seams most only order once a week. You get there a day late. So they don't order for 6 more days. Then it doesn't come in on the shipment. Comes in on the 2nd shipment. Then it was ordered incorrectly. Then it takes 2 more weeks to get the right part. This actually happeened to me. Thank goodness this wasn't a critical part for me. But for my friend it was a derailleur hanger. A month is a long time, when our riding season isn't all year around.

    When I was involved in in remote control hobbies. The local shops ordered daily. Most the time you would have your part in 2 days

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by justme View Post
    ...

    I understand the economics - mostly - but a shop that breaks even on a few odd things (that don't come from a dist. with wholesale pricing) will likely get more customers just due to the fact that "they always get me what I need".
    I'm not sure were you are going with this statement but there are lots of dist. but they require you buy so much every year and all carry the same brands with a few odd brands here and thier. So you have to pick one or two outside the bike brands you carry (they have there own parts dist. catalogs too).

    Please don't take anything I say as mean or angry. I'm just being as informative as I can with a fourm. In person this would be much easier.
    Thanks - No offense taken.

    I would think that if a shop made the effort to at least order some of these niche parts - even if they didn't always keep them on hand - that they would build a reputation as THE go-to shop. No, they would not make much, if any profit on some of those parts, but people would go there more often if they thought that this shop could track things down for them. And no one can tell me that bike shop employees are sooooo busy all day that someone can't spend time seeking out niche parts online so that if someone asks for something the shop can say "We'll have it here by Monday", instead of "We can't get those. They're not available."
    If all the shop did was tack on a little extra cost it would be worth it to most people to just be able to get their parts and not have to search or wait for a deal. And once the shop's reputation built up, they would get a much better idea of what kind of niche parts to keep on hand.
    And I'm talking about getting the parts from anywhere - not just through a distributor. Or does the distributor determine who you are allowed to order from?

    -F
    _________________
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  10. #10
    First to Fordohio yes most shops order once week mainly because the disturbutor have set order limits and charge an exrta fee if you are under that limit.

    Fleas- In a perfect world this would be possible, there are alot of factors why this is hard mainly it's just plan lack of interest on the shops part. I personally try to help the customer out the best I can (23 years riding & fixing bikes, 14 years with the shop),but I'm limited to the dist. we deal with (which are pretty good) and the stuff we're an authorized dealer to sell. I personally wish we had a better Mountain bike and accessories selection but the road groups are is so big around us in the greater cleveland area that it's hard to fight. We used to be more even but with trails being far and few between (a few years ago) the owner chose the best path for the business to grow (and business is good). If I didn't only work part time maybe I could push the issue and grow the mountain business but as it is that's not in the cards.

  11. #11
    Forum Rider
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Rubber City
    Posts
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    I understand the economics - mostly - but a shop that breaks even on a few odd things (that don't come from a dist. with wholesale pricing) will likely get more customers just due to the fact that "they always get me what I need".
    On another hand, is it unusual for a shop to carry replacement parts for the bikes they sell? Like spokes, hub bearings, fork seals, brake rotors, extra headset crown races, special fasteners... Or are those parts usually handled through the mfr.? (so the shop doesn't have to stock them).
    It just seems odd that for all the stuff any shop does have, they seldom have what I need, so I am forced to shop online.
    Maybe that's how the industry will be: buy complete bikes and clothes from a brick-and-mortar store, but buy everything else online. If that is the case, then the LBS should be pretty happy about installing parts purchased online by the customer.
    ???

    -F
    Fleas,

    Remember how much blingy oddball stuff we had in the cases at Outback? WTB (the original company) Topline, Ringle (the original company), Grafton, old Campy Victory and Record stuff, etc. Well, a lot of that stuff sat in those cases for years. Yeah, we sold a bunch of high end bling, but the 'display' parts or more esoteric bits and pieces (roller cam boots, toe flips) just sat. Pete, who bought the shop from Richard and Susan dump a ton of old parts a few years ago. Stuff that literally had been sitting on shelves for 10 to 15 years. It's just easier to stock the basics and order bling that you can get on an as needed basis

  12. #12
    Maybe I've been spoiled that way: always getting the exact part I wanted.
    I'm sure it is a difficult balance to please all of us [me ] all the time.

    I am hoping that one shop rises to the top as the "go-to" shop for high end parts.

    I wonder if they'll offer powder coat and anodizing services?

    -F
    _________________
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  13. #13
    Fleas and all...after more than 23 years in the cycling industry, here are some truths I've learned...

    It is impossible for a LBS to stock every part that may be desired by folks who walk through the door. Shops that are experienced know the bread and butter items that need to be on the shelves daily, the upgrade components/parts that make economical and performance sense as replacement items, and those parts that we desire but end up being operating money vampires due to niche markets.

    Operating a LBS is a tough business in today's online/mail order economy. When a customer can purchase a part and have it shipped in 2-3 days to their home for less money than the shop can simply purchase it for from a wholesale distributor, it takes a strong service oriented shop to keep customers.

    Contrary to what's been stated, QBP, BTI-USA, Seattle, etc... do not care if you order daily or once a week. There are no minimums from their perspective. However, economically, the LBS is better off grouping a larger order together to qualify for free/discounted shipping and purchasing incentives, lowering their overhead and increasing the potential for some profit. Want a special item ordered? Insure that you are purchasing your every day needs from the shop as well and they'll be right on it. Customer loyalty justifies the effort to find those niche items for ya.

    Most LBS need to hit the marketing mean to survive; that means selling lots of low to mid range models for the average family consumer and stocking the parts to accommodate their repair needs. The high end niche is one that is hard to feed as the top end of the tech and design spectrum literally changes seasonally. There are a few NE Ohio shops that come to mind that cater to this market and do it well, it is up to you to patronize these establishments if you want to see these "go to" shops survive.

    Want to piss off a LBS? Come in, ask lots of questions, test ride and size bikes/products/clothing/shoes, then walk out and buy those items online. Yes, they may be cheaper and delivered more quickly, but the increase in cost you pay at the LBS insures those fine folks are there to provide technical wrenching, talk with you to educate, share knowledge and camaraderie, and help foster a grass roots cycling vibe. The good local shops are the ones that invest in you and the local scene because they know it will return to them in loyal customers.

    Operating a local business in the cycling industry is one that will provide a sustainable living with a lot of work. Most who choose this area do so because like you, they believe in the cycling lifestyle and those that embrace it. Isn't that worthy of our support?

    rody

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •