What is it with cycle shops?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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horizon
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Re: What is it with cycle shops?

Postby horizon » 17 Sep 2012, 10:58am

danfoto wrote:
Tonyf33 wrote:if you can't handle people first and foremost you generally don't have a viable business unless you have such a USP or are the cheapest by a distance that the customers flock to you even if you are a total gimp.


Thank you for that, sir. I was beginning to think that I was the only person still thinking that way.


No you weren't, your post made reference to both service and product (as I thought did tonyf33's). I picked up on the product side of things but your point about service still stands. Whether the two are connected is a moot point - I would expect much better service and politeness, erudition even, from someone selling touring bikes than someone selling MTBs. :D :D :D
The experience of travel is something that you have to pay for but can never buy. Ho Ri Zon Chinese philosopher

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danfoto
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Re: What is it with cycle shops?

Postby danfoto » 17 Sep 2012, 11:24am

horizon wrote:I would expect much better service and politeness, erudition even, from someone selling touring bikes than someone selling MTBs. :D :D :D


Oh dear ...

:lol:
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

dslippy
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Re: What is it with cycle shops?

Postby dslippy » 17 Sep 2012, 2:36pm

Fascinating discussion.

My proper LBS seems to make life difficult. I have set out to buy stuff - at first a bike - and made a determined effort to check there first. Of five visits, they were closed on three occasions, and I was ignored on the others. The staff seemed keen to continue a discussion about having ridden a stage from the Tour de France.

Another chap went in to buy a road bike. he is sensible and new to this so was unwilling to spend a lot in the hope that he might like cycling. He was told, very shortly, that they didn't stock any bikes under twice his limit, and weren't interested.

Another friend describes the owner as a . . no . .

He is free to choose what he wants to sell. He knows the business far better than I ever will, and he is free to make his profit where he thinks he can. It is just galling to have to go past such a shop on the way to another in the next town.

I keep reading that I should 'support your local bike shop'. I wish I could.

binsted
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Re: What is it with cycle shops?

Postby binsted » 17 Sep 2012, 3:19pm

dslippy wrote:Fascinating discussion.

My proper LBS seems to make life difficult. I have set out to buy stuff - at first a bike - and made a determined effort to check there first. Of five visits, they were closed on three occasions, and I was ignored on the others. The staff seemed keen to continue a discussion about having ridden a stage from the Tour de France.

Another chap went in to buy a road bike. he is sensible and new to this so was unwilling to spend a lot in the hope that he might like cycling. He was told, very shortly, that they didn't stock any bikes under twice his limit, and weren't interested.

Another friend describes the owner as a . . no . .

He is free to choose what he wants to sell. He knows the business far better than I ever will, and he is free to make his profit where he thinks he can. It is just galling to have to go past such a shop on the way to another in the next town.

I keep reading that I should 'support your local bike shop'. I wish I could.



Have to say regretfully that is pretty much the same scenario for my LBS...................I got the impression it would be like that when I first went in to ask if there were any local cycle clubs he could recommend and I was told "Look on the Internet", Google "cycle clubs in XXXXXXX".

Ant
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Re: What is it with cycle shops?

Postby Ant » 18 Sep 2012, 10:49am

I have a few near me, the nearest is a "proper" lbs and is run by a right misery guts. Always seems annoyed. After a number of unpleasant encounter I now take childish pleasure in going in, looking through the sale rail only and then leaving. Occasionally I buy something from said sale rail. Last time he gruffly commented that the over pants I was buying were "too cheap".
I cheerfully agreed.

I never recommend anyone to go there and use an lbs near to my work for service or repairs. Most everything else I get online. The lbs model belongs to a different time and I do feel a bit sorry for those trying to make a living nowadays, but the key point has been made repeatedly. If you don't like people, fair enough - but then don't choose to work with the public...

If I were opening a bike shop it would be primarily a meeting place cafe type thing. Location would be absolutely key. Bike things and repairs would be a side issue as there is so little money in retail (when you are competing with the internet gianats) but I think the repairs could be the growth sector over next decades and everyone bemoans the loss of actual places to go, hence meeting place first, bike shop second.

Unfortunately I have bills to pay and a real job to do, so I'll not be opening this place anytime soon!

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horizon
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Re: What is it with cycle shops?

Postby horizon » 18 Sep 2012, 11:05am

The world has plenty of grumpy nasty types. Nowadays however they are well protected and well hidden behind and at the expense of ranks of smiling, poorly paid, artificially trained and powerless staff. The hype is that the big firm will give you a better service but probably not if you actually ever met the people who run these giants. Society is polarising between have-a-nice-day floor staff and the highly paid, pushy and aggressive managerial elite. There is precious left in the middle, for grumpy old men running local bike shops. I prefer a smile but not an artificial one.
The experience of travel is something that you have to pay for but can never buy. Ho Ri Zon Chinese philosopher

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al_yrpal
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Re: What is it with cycle shops?

Postby al_yrpal » 18 Sep 2012, 11:13am

I agree with so many of the comments here about the exclusiveness and arrogance of some specialist businesses like bike shops. In my business I learnt to have endless patience with unknowledgeable customers, it paid off most times and you ended up with a loyal friend who came back again and again as they moved on to the next step in the ladder. As for the cafe, that is a great idea, we used to be open house. Any customer could call in any time for a chat and a coffee. It was an opportunity to show such callers the latest thing, and many times the wallet came out. I just don't understand why some retailers feel entitled to be rude and arrogant. I think perhaps its a sign of stupidity. Its now 8 years since I retired and I still have many friends that I first met as customers. Most people are nice, but there is the 1%... why they occur so frequently in bike shops I have no idea.

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

SJSBrompton
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Re: What is it with cycle shops?

Postby SJSBrompton » 18 Sep 2012, 11:43am

I must be truly blessed in that there London - whilst the local bike shops are all chains close to the office in Victoria, I have had nothing but good service from Action Bikes and Cycle Surgery. I also got my current Brompton from Bikefix in Conduit Street, who were very helpful, and I certainly didn't feel intimidated as a woman in office clothes walking in any of them.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: What is it with cycle shops?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 18 Sep 2012, 11:58am

My LBSs are all really nice - OK - one has recently sold all stock to another and closed down, but the one that bought it has massively improved since.

They don't really get 'bents (although are interested) or dynamo lighting (grr) but they're not dedicated to road racing.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
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honesty
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Re: What is it with cycle shops?

Postby honesty » 18 Sep 2012, 12:27pm

Reading this thread really makes what we have here in Taunton seem rather good. In a town of about 50,000 we have 7 bike shops. 1 electric specialist, 1 kiddy bikes, halfords and 4 shops that do the range with some specialising. You can usually find about half a dozen different touring bikes between them, the only area not covered at all is recumbents. The shop I go to near work have been great and will price match online prices. Cant ask for better really.

reohn2
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Re: What is it with cycle shops?

Postby reohn2 » 18 Sep 2012, 12:32pm

horizon wrote:The world has plenty of grumpy nasty types. Nowadays however they are well protected and well hidden behind and at the expense of ranks of smiling, poorly paid, artificially trained and powerless staff. The hype is that the big firm will give you a better service but probably not if you actually ever met the people who run these giants. Society is polarising between have-a-nice-day floor staff and the highly paid, pushy and aggressive managerial elite. There is precious left in the middle, for grumpy old men running local bike shops. I prefer a smile but not an artificial one.


Well said that man!
Though it still doesn't excuse grumpy behavour.
I've told this story before on here but feel it's worth a second airing;-
Whilst fitting a couple of windows for an elderly lady toward the end of the day the lady's elderly neighbour tentitively asked if I fitted tap washers and if I had time for such a small job.
As I always carried a few plumbing fitting on the van I said yes and did the job which took me all of 15minutes.The lady wanted to pay me but I said to call it a favour.
Some weeks later the lady's friend phoned and asked me to fitted her house out with windows and a front door,a couple of months after that her son asked me to price an extension to his house which I was successful in getting.
I think the term is what goes around comes around.
.
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I cycle therefore I am.