Does my LBS want my business?

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  • Does my LBS want my business?
  • Sancho
    Member

    Well I own a bike shop its a lbs and I don’t find in general the Internet sellers all that cheap for current stuff
    You can always find a deal somewhere but we have no problem competing on price with xrc etc
    Often you find the part you want isn’t as cheap as the advertised 60% off as that price relates to an obscure size
    But the sales woman sounds shit in the original post

    Premier Icon lunge
    Subscriber

    I have some sympathy with the OP here. Part of the reason I would buy a bike from an LBS is so I can sit on it and see if it fits. I can also so I can see the bike in person, look at the frame, at the components, generally make sure I like it. I acknowledge there is a price to pay for this above the internet price, I’m comfortable with that and will pay it, though I will ask for a discount as I do with anything costing more than about £100. The challenge for the OP (and the LBS) in this case is that if I can’t see the bike I would like to buy, if I can’t sit on it to make sure it fits then a big part of the added value an LBS offers is gone so I am more likely to buy online. I pretty much always need XL/20” frames, if I’m buying a bike I want to sit on one, if the LBS can’t provide me with one I can sit on I will go to another LBS, and if I run out of LBS’s to visit I’ll buy online.

    Premier Icon bails
    Subscriber

    Went to an LBS on a Monday a few weeks ago.

    Looked at a few saddles, including sitting on a couple of bikes. One of the shop guys said “try this one”, so I sat on it. “Yeah, that’s OEM only so you can’t buy that saddle anywhere”. 🙄

    Get back to the saddle display, pick an expensive (black) one as they didn’t have the mid-range (black) metal railed one (still £60) I wanted so I decided to treat myself to the (black) carbon version.

    Get to the till and someone points out that the carbon rails might not work with a normal seatpost. So I ask if they can order in the saddle I originally wanted?

    “Yes, no problem, we’ll call you when it’s here”.

    The weekend arrives and I’ve heard nothing so give them a call.
    me: “Hi, I came in at the start of the week after a saddle, you were going to order it in for me”
    Shop Assistant 1: “I’ll just go and see if it’s here yet”
    *Click* as the phone goes onto hold.
    Then straight away *click* as it comes off hold again.

    In the background I hear
    SA1:”Is the saddle forbails here?
    SA2: “No, I haven’t done it, I’ll order it next week”

    *click*


    *click*
    SA1: “Hello?”
    Me: “Hi”
    SA1: “Hi, we ordered it but it hasn’t arrived yet, it should be here at the start of next week”
    Me: “right….”
    SA1: “But you don’t need to phone us, we’ll phone you when it’s here”

    The end of ‘next week’ arrives. So I phone them again

    me: “You said you’d phone when the saddle arrived, is it there yet?”
    SA: “Yes, I think it turned up yesterday”
    Me: “Ah cool, I’ll come and pick it up then”
    SA: “Okay, it’s the white one right?”
    Me: “Er, no… I didn’t know you could get that saddle in white. I looked at black ones, I even tried to buy a black one. You took the product code off a black one and said you’d order the same one but in a different size”
    SA: “Well do you want it?”
    me: “You can probably put it out on the shelf, I might come in on my way home from work to collect it…”

    I didn’t.

    I went to an LBS recently with serious intentions of spending 3k on a bike. I would have pulled the trigger there and then if I hadn’t had a bad experience. The sales guy asked me what sort of riding I did, showed me a few bikes in brochures, despite me kinda knowing what I wanted, then tried to push me towards an outgoing model, which didn’t really suit my riding.
    I perservered and asked if I could sit on or test ride the bike I wanted, they didn’t have any in stock in my size, and acted like getting one in for me to have a look at/test ride/sit on was going to be a pain and a long process. I left with 3k still in my pocket.

    Support Good Business Not Local Business.

    Simples

    robdob
    Member

    I had the same problem buying a road bike for my wife. She is 4’11” so needs the smallest that a manufacturer makes. No-one stocks them. At all. I was quite happy to pay RRP but every shop said I’d have to buy it if I ordered one in the right size for her….. but if it didn’t fit I couldn’t get a refund. Errrr not doing that then! I know they don’t do sale or return with their suppliers and that must lose them a few sales.
    Bought in the end from Evans, where it is delivered to the store and my wife could try it for size and we could get a refund if it wasn’t ok. Since then I’ve used Evans a lot for this sort of thing and been very pleased – never anything ultra cheap but great facility for customers being able to order online and pick up from a shop.

    Sancho
    Member

    Conversely we did our best to help a customer get a road bike for his son we now have two very small road bikes we haven’t been able to sell yet and he bought something else online once he had figured out the size he wanted

    Bought in the end from Evans, where it is delivered to the store and my wife could try it for size and we could get a refund if it wasn’t ok. Since then I’ve used Evans a lot for this sort of thing and been very pleased – never anything ultra cheap but great facility for customers being able to order online and pick up from a shop.

    and that’s exactly what puts local independent out of business

    every shop said I’d have to buy it if I ordered one in the right size for her….. but if it didn’t fit I couldn’t get a refund. Errrr not doing that then!

    so go to Evans try it out and then order from LBS !

    Premier Icon iainc
    Subscriber

    Sancho – there are good shops (yours sounds like one) and poor shops. A few folks on this thread perhaps know the shop the OP is referring to and have had poor experiences in it too…..

    so go to Evans try it out and then order from LBS !

    So, the shop that actually helped, you put no money in their pocket?

    robdob
    Member

    and that’s exactly what puts local independent out of business

    So I should buy something risking that it won’t fit, and when I found out it doesn’t and it’s useless just shrug and say “well at least I’m keeping my LBS in business, I disn’t need that £1000 anyway”????

    Idiot.

    so go to Evans try it out and then order from LBS !

    I don’t like Evans but that seems as wrong as going to a LBS to try something on and then buying from CRC.

    My LBS charge like wounded buffalo and I don’t use them for much.

    Last thing I got was a chain wear gauge:

    “Hi – Do you have a chain wear gauge please?”
    “Err – No. I think we have one in our workshop but not for sale.”
    “Oh. Ok then.” As I was walking to the door another bloke sticks head out of back area and asks his mate what I wanted. Then calls me back to sell me a gauge that hey do have in stock.

    Now I got what I wanted in the end but didn’t exactly inspire confidence.

    rene59
    Member

    Support Good Business Not Local Business.

    Simples

    Well said.

    Winston – I like that about LBS, staff with a passion for bikes or at least an interest. It may not be slick or even efficient but it is a little bit of the human touch that you don’t get on the interwebs. But maybe I am lucky to have a good LBS that always give discounts!

    maxtorque
    Member

    At least the original shop owner was honest. I’d much rather be told “sorry, we haven’t got one” than “Yeah, yes, of course, we’ll get one in” etc for about a month before it becomes blatantly clear to both parties that what was promised is unlike to be made reality!

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