Crazy pricing in resort bike shops

Home Forum Bike Forum Crazy pricing in resort bike shops

Viewing 29 posts - 1 through 29 (of 29 total)
  • Crazy pricing in resort bike shops
  • This year I was lucky enough to spend a couple of months in Europe with my bike and spent a few weeks riding downhill in the well known French resorts.

    I always go away with spare tyres, brake pads and as many tools as I can carry so I’m prepared for all but the biggest breakdown. This is because I know that if I need any service parts I will be absolutely bent over by the local shops who will quite happily charge double the UK RRP for fresh rubber or brake pads. You try buying a dual-ply High Roller in Morzine for less than 80 quid!

    But then there are the luxury goods. Lots of shops packed from floor to ceiling with all the latest day-glow fashions and anodized alloy at heavily inflated prices. I know what it’s like when you’re on holiday and you throw your foreign money around as if it’s not real but I fancied some long legged pants to keep the mud out of my pads, shoes, socks and leg hair during a week long deluge and I’d never part with 220 Euro for some Troy Lee GP’s. I lost count of the amount of times I saw someone pick something up just to check the price and then laugh incredulously before showing it to his mates. Lots and lots of people going in and out of shops and then doing a group order from CRC. I would have liked to replace my tired old gloves and kneepads and would have been happy to pay RRP for the convenience but I’m not going to pay double.

    I saw some young German kid who had just snapped his Spank bars trying to replace them within budget and he came out of the shop with the nastiest old pair of Easton’s that they probably had lying around since 2006. He wanted a proper downhill bar but the Renthals were 120 Euro.

    This isn’t a whinge about the high prices because I exercised my right to not actually buy anything. I just wonder, how can these shops survive from year to year? There are a lot of bike shops in this small region and they’re all packed with this years gear but the season is very short. How do they shift it all?

    I know they have a ‘captive audience’ but they seem to only have two types of customer. Those lucky few for whom money is no object and those poor kids who have broken something and have to grudgingly hand over a few days food budget to get back on the trail. How is there enough of either type to keep the doors open and the lights on? Surely reasonable prices would see a lot more casual shopping and not ‘break wallet in case of emergency’ type spending. I certainly would have picked up some new riding gear given the opportunity to browse so much of it and try it on in a real shop.

    Wow this post was much shorter in my imagination.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    Good on em. RRPs make for lazy retailing. Price for your market, not what the distributor says you should charge.

    LoCo
    Member

    Captive market they can pretty much charge what they want, have to cover themsleves for a fairly short season.

    grahamg
    Member

    Judging from the odd comments from Brits living in France and even my perusing the odd bike shop here and there, it’s not a resort thing. All the French bike shops basically charge RRP for absolutely everything, regardless. I gather there’s quite a large cross-border mail order market (from UK/Germany etc.) because the French retailers are so ingrained in the ‘no discounts’ way that no-one there has stepped up to be their Wiggle/CRC/Rose.

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    I never found Morzine particularly expensive, I don’t think I have ever seen anything above rrp. Which taking into account the cost of doing business there aint too bad.

    grahamg
    Member

    Oh, and try Switzerland for truly eye-watering price tags 😉 I got told there that a plain old water bottle at €6 was ‘disposable – you don’t really want to use that for too long’!

    Sale or return on the stock maybe?

    It’s a bit daft, because if they priced expensively, but not ridiculously, they would sell a lot more.

    Premier Icon stevomcd
    Subscriber

    To be fair, we’re all a bit spoiled by CRC/wiggle/etc.

    We stock a few tyres, tubes, etc. for our clients, so I have a trade account with Maxxis.

    I remember trying to come up with a price list, taking the trade price, adding a (small!) margin, adding VAT and thinking “**** me, I wouldn’t pay that for a tyre!”.

    I also thought about taking the “I’m not out to make loads of money on this, I’ll just charge the same as CRC” approach, then realised I’d be selling stuff at a loss….

    LBS’s, I feel your pain…

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    You try buying a dual-ply High Roller in Morzine for less than 80 quid!

    I bought a dual ply high roller for €40 from DSV right in the centre of Morzine. I bought POC goggles for about €30. I bought Bliss kneepads for €30.

    There were a couple of expensive shops, mainly one just up the road from Bar Robinson but on the whole I found the prices to be ok and on a par with LBS prices here, except they actually stocked stuff you wanted to by instead of the standard LBS fodder or bland Endura or Altura stuff we get here. DSV and Torico were both reasonable and there were plenty of bargains to be found.

    Premier Icon on and on
    Subscriber

    Yep, Switzerland and France aren’t cheap places for anything, not just bike related stuff.
    The bikes shops that I’ve found in geneva all charge these sorts of prices. My wife had to pay 20 Swiss francs for a 20 inch innertube for her commuter bike when the valve split. That’s about £16.50 at the moment.

    Strange but my new ipad was £50 less here than in the uk.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    Stayed in alpe d’huez last year, prices were about uk retail, the only thing that was a bit over the odds were brake pads, but not massively, given the captive market.

    Premier Icon DoctorRad
    Subscriber

    So you’re saying there’s a killing to be made buying a vanload of sundries cheap from CRC, then driving around the resorts selling out of the back cheaper than the shops? Repeat on a weekly basis or just get the stuff shipped out there? Hmmm…

    I bought a dual ply high roller for €40 from DSV right in the centre of Morzine.

    You just made me check my post. I meant 40! I was there right from the start of the season and there was absolutely nothing resembling a bargain to be had anywhere.

    I was just wondering if there’s a reason why they do it other then a captive market concept. Something to do with the French industry or culture maybe. I was wondering if a slight decrease in prices would increase the amount of willing customers rather than over charging the hostages of mechanical breakdown.

    So you’re saying there’s a killing to be made buying a vanload of sundries cheap from CRC, then driving around the resorts selling out of the back cheaper than the shops? Repeat on a weekly basis or just get the stuff shipped out there? Hmmm…

    I’m going back next year and was thinking of piling the van to the roof with High Rollers!

    ninfan
    Member

    So you’re saying there’s a killing to be made buying a vanload of sundries cheap from CRC, then driving around the resorts selling out of the back cheaper than the shops? Repeat on a weekly basis or just get the stuff shipped out there? Hmmm…

    Isn’t that what Codagex was invented for?

    There’s a lot of that, but very much worth shopping around, because some of the shops, while not CRC-competitive, are considerably better priced.

    I_Ache
    Member

    I was wondering if a slight decrease in prices would increase the amount of willing customers rather than over charging the hostages of mechanical breakdown.

    I often wonder about price elasticity in these sorts of places. Surely they would sell more if they lowered their prices.

    When I first went skiing, in Morzine, I was expecting the prices to be silly at £10+ a pint. I was pleasantly surprised that even up the mountain I could easily get a pint for about £5. In the village the food seemed reasonably priced and while most things were RRP I didn’t notice inflated pricing anywhere. I’n fact the local beer in the supermarket (Ed) was seriously cheap, I paid about £3 for 24 stubbies and it tasted just fine.

    dirtyrider
    Member

    So you’re saying there’s a killing to be made buying a vanload of sundries cheap from CRC, then driving around the resorts selling out of the back cheaper than the shops? Repeat on a weekly basis or just get the stuff shipped out there? Hmmm…

    365 day returns as well, just return what you dont sell 😉

    Premier Icon ddmonkey
    Subscriber

    The resort shops are a captive market and they need to make their money for the year in two months, generally the prices are not too bad for most stuff. But key things that people break and must buy now in order to be able to enjoy their holiday are marked up obviously, as are really trendy things that people might get carried away and want while on holiday. Hang around til the end of the season and get some bargains…

    ianv
    Member

    It does seem to be counter productive. The year before last I needed new brakes in Deux Alpes, the shop had the ones I wanted but at an inflated price and he would not do a deal. In the end, I drove down to Grenoble to get them.

    In Andorra the prices are pretty reasonable and there is loads of people spending money in the shops, some even buying bikes.

    Premier Icon stevomcd
    Subscriber

    When I first went skiing, in Morzine, I was expecting the prices to be silly at £10+ a pint. I was pleasantly surprised that even up the mountain I could easily get a pint for about £5.

    You would be amazed at the number of people who come to the Alps and say “$£$£ing hell, it’s £5 a pint!”

    ianv – Member

    In Andorra the prices are pretty reasonable and there is loads of people spending money in the shops, some even buying bikes.

    Tax havens are good like that

    jimoiseau
    Member

    It’s true that France isn’t cheap for bike stuff from a real shop, but seeing as wiggle, crc etc deliver to France for more or less the same price as the UK it’s never been a problem for me.

    The real problem I’ve found living in central Paris is finding a proper good LBS for mountain bikes. There’s a fixie/vintage type one just down the road that I buy most bits for for my 70s tourer in, but even there a bottle of good chain lube will run you 8€.

    I admit I do take advantage of alps trips to try on stuff in their lovely shops and then buy it online when I get home, for both MTB and snow gear. Don’t feel the least bit guilty about it either considering their “RRP minimum” pricing policies.

    ianv
    Member

    Tax havens are good like that

    Yes I know but, they could have gone down the captive pricing route but chose not to, probably doing a lot better in the long run.

    Premier Icon beanum
    Subscriber

    Here in Switzerland a pair of Shimano M088L cycling shoes are £100 (in Athleticum).

    Wiggle are selling them for £48.

    Grrr!

    zero cool
    Member

    CRC will ship to Morzine in 3 days

    Premier Icon Nick
    Subscriber

    I managed to blow up my front XT disc brake in Les Arcs last summer, rolled into Bourg and tried every bike shop in town only to be told they couldn’t fix it (non servicable seals or something) and they were all too busy anyway.

    Eventually I found Revolver around the back of the supermarkets, bloke there said no problem, whipped an SLX caliper off a bike in the shop and sorted it out for me while I had a beer up the road.

    Charged me 50 Euros, which I thought was damn reasonable, so damn reasonable that I bought him a six pack of beer.

    Hasn’t needed bleeding since either.

    Premier Icon colp
    Subscriber

    3.4 euros a pint in Maria Alm (15 mins from Leogang), and picked up a Leatt DBX Comp 4 on the day before Leogang closed for 275 Euros. Definitely a massive difference between France & Austria.

    zero cool
    Member

    There are often quite a few deals to be had at the end of the season out there.

Viewing 29 posts - 1 through 29 (of 29 total)

The topic ‘Crazy pricing in resort bike shops’ is closed to new replies.