Does my LBS want my business?

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  • Does my LBS want my business?
  • Local LBS Merida dealer.
    Walk in, ask about Merida bikes that they are a dealer for,
    – she gets out the brochure and shows me the models.
    I ask to have a look at a size small full suspension.
    – they dont stock full suspension at all – but they do stock the hard tails.
    can i look at a hard tail small,
    – they dont stock it in a small.
    can i look at a medium then and see whats that like if i want a full sus’er
    – the dimensions are different
    how much is a small full suser and can they get one in
    – quotes the brochure price, doesnt think they can get one in for a while.
    so thats the full retail price then i can get myself
    – yes thats right
    can you just supply the frame?
    – no
    is there any other bike i could try
    – no we dont have any small’s in stock.

    …and no, she isnt staff, shes the co-owner.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    I don’t understand the issue with charging brochure price for stuff?

    Premier Icon Woody
    Subscriber

    If that’s a true representation of the conversation, I doubt they will be around for long!

    trail_rat
    Member

    Shops name wouldnt happen to rhyme with bikes would it ?

    as I have been in the trade for far top long…customers have to understand why would we carry all sizes …small sizes don’t sell as often as med/large so the need to have them in stock is low, and I only buy small sizes when they are discounted…or a deposit has been left.
    you sound like you’d try it out then buy on the net…hence her unwillingness to help you…hats off to her !
    stock is low over the winter months due to new year stuff coming out…

    Premier Icon Woody
    Subscriber

    Lol @ unfitgeezer. That was a joke right?

    wrecker
    Member

    you sound like you’d try it out then buy on the net…hence her unwillingness to help you…hats off to her !

    A good business person would have taken the opportunity to make a sale.
    After some rough experiences, I’m done with LBS’. Web for everything from now on.

    trail_rat
    Member

    We used to carry all sizes of the bikes we sold but large and small in base spec bikes for sizing.

    Woody – Member

    Lol @ unfitgeezer. That was a joke right?

    which bit ? I might add I don’t deal in Mountain bikes at all…

    A good business person would have taken the opportunity to make a sale.

    what was she going to sell you they didn’t have stock ? I agree Id have tried to sell something maybe she was having a bad day !

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    If it is the shop tr is intimating, then the lady in question did a very good job of nearly selling me a 13″ Hardrock (for the lad) in the summer. Unfortunately for her, it was a Sunday, and whilst the hire shop was open, the one that did the selling wasn’t. 😕

    Maybe they should lure druidh out of retirement to show them how it should be done.

    johndoh
    Member

    I don’t understand the issue with charging brochure price for stuff?

    And I don’t see the issue with asking whether or not a discount or other deal can be done.

    Premier Icon iainc
    Subscriber

    Geoff and TR – if it is that shop, they wouldn’t sell me a SFN in the summer as they would have to ‘get one out of the store’. And the other bike shop in the same place didn’t have any 🙁

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Subscriber

    you sound like you’d try it out then buy on the net…hence her unwillingness to help you…hats off to her

    But is that not the point when a good business person would step up to the challenge and try to secure a sale anyway. Web don’t offer 6 weeks servicing, ‘trading up’ offers, packages if you need to buy new kit at the same time, try before you buy etc.

    Such a serious lack of initiate and effort.

    @trail_rat 😉

    “maybe she was having a bad day”
    then dont be in a trade where you need to deal with the public every day.
    The web doesnt have a bad day.

    “you sound like you’d try it out then buy on the net”
    then dont open a shop thats 40% more than the net, and thats a big presumption. We were quite willing to purchase local – but that ship has sailed now, i’ll take our own measurements and order online and have it at my door, rather than physically make the effort to go to her shop and enjoy her “bad day” all over again.

    gwaelod
    Member

    The Manufacturers store model is a much better concept for selling bikes….big range of models to try out and doesn’t really matter if the customer buys off the web..as it’s still a sale for the manufacturer.

    Hence Sony shops.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    Hence Sony shops.

    Apple Stores 😉

    Premier Icon Woody
    Subscriber

    which bit ? I might add I don’t deal in Mountain bikes at all…

    The bit wrecker highlighted.

    As the OP posted, not only did the co-owner fail to give the customer what he wanted, she failed entirely on every possible sales and customer service opportunity, in this instance and for any potential future business from the OP.

    And I don’t see the issue with asking whether or not a discount or other deal can be done.

    Asking is indeed fine, but assuming you’ll get one or deserve one isn’t. After all, would you also ask for a deal on a pint of milk at the corner shop? Of course you wouldn’t. Bike shop is no different. They’re not a charity.

    *Disclosure – My beloved LBS almost always gives me some sort of discount, but I’ve never asked for it. They choose to do so as a reward, I think, given the amount I spend with them! 🙂

    trail_rat
    Member

    Oh i beg to differ.

    The web has bad days.

    Not defending the shop in question though.

    nwgiles
    Member

    My LBS is the only place for me, they sell coffee and cake as well as bikes it heaven.

    If I go for a chat/advice or after something they are always helpful, no pressure and extremely helpful, they way a LBS should be run

    Premier Icon iainc
    Subscriber

    so, OP, where is the shop ? clues ? 😛

    I truly am glad for those that have good LBS’ and LBS experiences and I wish i had the same…

    johndoh
    Member

    Asking is indeed fine, but assuming you’ll get one or deserve one isn’t. After all, would you also ask for a deal on a pint of milk at the corner shop? Of course you wouldn’t. Bike shop is no different. They’re not a charity.

    I accept that, but the profit on a pint of milk is pennies, on a high end bike it’s hundreds of pounds. Surely, if they wanted to secure a sale (and potential future business), they would consider it.

    Same for us – if I do a small job for a client, I wouldn’t discount it, if they came to us wanting to spend thousands, I would be more willing to consider discounting to get the business.

    Premier Icon Woody
    Subscriber

    i After all, would you also ask for a deal on a pint of milk at the corner shop? Of course you wouldn’t. Bike shop is no different.

    Can’t agree with that. As a more realistic comparison price wise eg. cheap second hand car, I think many/most people would haggle or expect ‘something’ on any item costing a few hundred or thousand £,

    Problem is, she didn’t even try to interest the potential customer or find out anything about his needs or wants.

    How do you know that a local bike club, who are all very small, hadn’t just been in and negotiated to buy all of her stock of small bikes at a very good discount?

    wrightyson
    Member

    Can totally understand why they don’t have a small in to try, as above they just don’t sell. Which in my case was a bonus last year as I bought two xs treks for the kids from an lbs, they were a year old and nearly half price as I bought two.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    I don;t disagree Woody but I can’t see the OP making any attempt to haggle a discount or free accessories in what was reported.

    Just ‘How much is it?’ and ‘That’s retail price?’ ?

    I think there would be an opportunity for haggling.

    Like with a secondhand car dealer. You don;t stand lookign at it with the dealer as you walk round and start the conversation with ‘well I’d be looking for money off that price to start with’. It’s part of a process.

    TheDoctor
    Member

    Why does nearly everyone expect a discount in a bike shop?

    Did you haggle on price for your mac you’re reading this on? No!

    Never mind, you can always go into Halfords…

    Like with a secondhand car dealer. You don;t stand lookign at it with the dealer as you walk round and start the conversation with ‘well I’d be looking for money off that price to start with’. It’s part of a process.

    So, why does that process not extend to the corner shop and the pint of milk?

    Reductio ad absurdum, perhaps, but I think it’s a valid point. Why is it assumed that you can rub your chin and ask for a discount on one item but not the other? If it’s cost based, where’s the threshold?

    johndoh
    Member

    Did you haggle on price for your mac you’re reading this on? No!

    Not this one, no as I bought it online from the refurb store but the last ones I bought I haggled on the purchase of two iMacs and they threw in two iPod Touches thanks.

    scrumfled
    Member

    In this case theres two options:

    Option 1:

    Look through electronic catalogue in comfort of own home.
    Cant try for size/fit/feel, so take a risk.
    purchase at a discount from rrp.
    return goods if not right

    Option 2:
    Goto someones premises and look through catalogue
    Cant try for size/fit/feel, so take a risk
    purchase at rrp
    interesting returns process.

    So in this case, why wouldnt anyone take option 1?

    dragon
    Member

    So lets get this right you couldn’t try it out so are going to buy on the internet where you can’t try it out?!!! Makes perfect sense.

    If they can’t get one in for a while, then that’s honest. A lot of bike companies seem to have limited stock in the UK or long lead times in my experience.

    johndoh
    Member

    So, why does that process not extend to the corner shop and the pint of milk?

    You could though couldn’t you? Nothing stopping you asking. My ex sister-in-law would ask for discounts on anything she bought, I recall shopping with her once and she got two roll mats thrown in when she bought a rucksack. Then we went to MacDonalds and she asked for a discount there too – didn’t get one, but she did ask.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    Reductio ad absurdum, perhaps, but I think it’s a valid point.

    you’re right.

    there’s a time and a place to haggle.

    in the uk we tend to not haggle on fruit and veg but do on consumer durables bought at non-chain shops.

    Why is it assumed that you can rub your chin and ask for a discount on one item but not the other?

    Generally speaking I buy “last years” models. I expect a discount as the technology does evolve slowly. If I was buying at the time of year when the new stock was due I would expect a discount as other retailers, some on line would be discounting their stock. The retailer is quite within their rights to explain what added value they can add over others if you buy from them.

    Besides the price tag is an “invitation to treat”, you can make any offer you want and retailer can decide if he accepts or not.

    It’s very unlikely that anyone would take you seriously on small ticket items if you asked for a discount. If there is only 5p profit in a pint of milk then there’s not much room to discount and not much of a loss if you lose a sale.

    And to answer your original question I think No. Probably couldn’t be bothered to deal with a fussy, needy, overbiked, short arse who wants discount on everything. 😀

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    By the sound of it they provided you with factual answers just not the ones you wanted. As for chasing every sale a good salesman/business owner knows the ones to leave alone.
    You knew what you wanted, wanted to confirm the size but would probably buy online.

    My LBS is excellent but like anywhere has limited time for tyre kickers

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    back2basics – Member
    I truly am glad for those that have good LBS’ and LBS experiences and I wish i had the same…

    What about the other shop?
    ..although being negative about that is tantamount to heresy to some folk on here

    Lightly used race course trail map anyone?

    Premier Icon mrhoppy
    Subscriber

    For those being deliberately hard of understanding the reason that people don’t haggle on foodstuffs is the low value, high availability, don’t like the price then there’s probably 5-6 other places you can go relatively easily to get the same item, and the lack of differential between products, sainsburys milk is like Tescos is like asda etc, so there is no compromise.

    Things that are commonly haggled over are things with a high value making a discount meaningful, low availability making it feel like a mini monopoly (most bike and car companies have one retailer per town/city) and are a composite of parts that means that you often have to make compromises in a decision based on an overall package. Therefore you look for a discount to offset the compromises or additional things to ‘persuade’ you to take that product over a similar but different product from a different retailer. LBS also have to deal with internet which does hold stock, will get it to me tomorrow not when the next delivery might be coming in and due to DSR means I can try something for size at low risk, it’s not going to go away and LBS need to come up with a USP to encourage people. Food retailers do haggle too, but it’s a mature market and they understand the competition and they dictate the terms which is why you get loyalty cards, price check, bogof, special prices, etc, but because they accept the prevailing market conditions and don’t just sulk that their customers might take value they are able to actively market it to their advantage.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    mikewsmith – Member
    By the sound of it they provided you with factual answers just not the ones you wanted. As for chasing every sale a good salesman/business owner knows the ones to leave alone.
    You knew what you wanted, wanted to confirm the size but would probably buy online.

    My LBS is excellent but like anywhere has limited time for tyre kickers

    How do you get to that assumption?

    Premier Icon iainc
    Subscriber

    geoffj – I had a bad bad experience with a bodged job in the other shop, not for sharing on here, but suffice to say I won’t be back in it (not that they will miss me, but was always handy 🙁 )

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    @geoffj by the way most threads go on here, don’t know the shop in question which is being talked about but not named so maybe it’s them being really crap.

    I should probably have added would probably buy online as it’s cheaper if they didn’t want to budge on price.

    Maybe I’m just cynical.

    Rorschach
    Member

    No.I do the same to everyone who smells yeasty.

    OP stated that he wanted to buy locally, there was no mention of him going to buy online after sizing up what he wanted..

    I wouldn’t buy from a shop if I can get it cheaper on-line. Simple as that, I work for my money, and in all honesty, the cash ain’t flowing from my wallet trying to find places to go… So I like to save what I can.
    I do feel bad, as there is a very good bike shop here (I do often go in to pick bits up, but rarely, and small purchases) but I just can’t justify spending more money on exactly the same product.

    If on the other hand, the shop was willing to price match everything (which by the sounds of it, no one who works in LBS will) then I would only shop there, but I know that small shops are unable to do this, as there profits would be too low. Catch 22

    cranberry
    Member

    Is it so hard for bike shops to do what my UK LBS does – offers the chance of test rides, for which you have to pay ( can’t remember how much, it has been a while ) and if you buy a bike from them the cost of the test ride is deducted from the sticker price of the bike ?

    If as a bike store you don’t have a small size in stock, how hard is it to get a loaner from the manufacturer/distributor ?

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