How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

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Edwards
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby Edwards » 14 Feb 2015, 7:06am

If other things are factored in then the internet does not look so good.

Wait in all day for the delivery. Never daring to even go for a sit down on the toilet. As you only have a few seconds before the goods disappear to the next delivery.

The item is damaged in transit and you could not get to write "Signed for unchecked" on the electronic thing that does what it wants.

It is the wrong item in the package and you then spend your time and usually money rectifying the senders mistake.

If the item goes wrong you have to send it back usually at your expense and wait for the returns department (who will not speak to you directly) decides to stop playing on the computer of whatever to deem that it was your fault.
You then spend days sorting it out.

It gets damaged in the post using the company return system. Then you find out it was not insured and as it was damaged before they got it. So you spend another week sorting that out.

You get a replacement item (after weeks of your time) and it is the wrong item/colour/shape/size, so you start all over again.

But then again there is an alternative you go to this magical wonderus exotic place where you can see/hold/check the item before paying secure in the knowledge that you can go to this place of wonder again if there is a problem.



The magical place of wonder is a good Local Bike shop who will be like all the other stuff we remember fondly from the past soon.
Keith Edwards
I do not care about spelling and grammar

Psamathe
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby Psamathe » 14 Feb 2015, 10:38am

Edwards wrote:If other things are factored in then the internet does not look so good.

Wait in all day for the delivery. Never daring to even go for a sit down on the toilet. As you only have a few seconds before the goods disappear to the next delivery.

The item is damaged in transit and you could not get to write "Signed for unchecked" on the electronic thing that does what it wants.

It is the wrong item in the package and you then spend your time and usually money rectifying the senders mistake.

If the item goes wrong you have to send it back usually at your expense and wait for the returns department (who will not speak to you directly) decides to stop playing on the computer of whatever to deem that it was your fault.
You then spend days sorting it out.

It gets damaged in the post using the company return system. Then you find out it was not insured and as it was damaged before they got it. So you spend another week sorting that out.

You get a replacement item (after weeks of your time) and it is the wrong item/colour/shape/size, so you start all over again.

But then again there is an alternative you go to this magical wonderus exotic place where you can see/hold/check the item before paying secure in the knowledge that you can go to this place of wonder again if there is a problem.



The magical place of wonder is a good Local Bike shop who will be like all the other stuff we remember fondly from the past soon.

You can look at things from different perspectives. You visit your local shop and after a 1hr ride (in the rain) or even longer looking for somewhere to park your car, you peruse their stock and find exactly what you want, except you need Medium and they only have small or XXXXL. So you compromise and go for XXXXL and buy a belt as well. You get home (after another hr in the rain or having spent more than your mortgage paying for parking) only to find that 100% reliable internet based company has your exact size in stock, free next day delivery (and free returns if you change your mind), at half the price you just paid, etc. But you are now soaked through, have wasted half the day already and all to pay double the price ...

I'm no great fan of internet shopping but my experiences have generally been good (talking mainly about non-cycle products).

Ian

iandriver
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Location: Cambridge.

Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby iandriver » 14 Feb 2015, 10:53am

blackbike wrote:
iandriver wrote:I was in Hamleys toy store a while back. This was a place of wonder to me in the 1970s. Now, we are so used to superstores like toys r us that it didn't seem special at all. What's happened to the independent High Street toy shop? All gone.

I think the people advocating cycle cafe style businesses are on to something. Provide an experience as well as a service.

The world has just changed.


Well, I hope these new style bike shops are a success for the sake of those who want a living from them.

But I don't want to experience high street prices.

For the last thing I bought, the internet price of £26 was a discount of 35% on the price of the same thing in my two local bike shops.

Or to put it another way, the high street price was 53.8% higher.

I don't disagree. Just ordered a rack from Germany for £67 delivered instead of £117 with ctc discount at Wiggle. The distribution model in the UK doesn't seem to be helping the small guy too much. Looking at the regulars who cycle at work, most are not enthusiasts who know exactly what that want. They still need a bike shop. Getting away from the current norm would appeal to quite a few of them. Often they are seen as male dominated places where you are fobbed off. A really good lbs seems to be as rare as rocking horse poo. Some of the nonsense I hear in them is astonishing. Usually wanting to sell you what is on the shelf rather than the right bit. We have countless bike shops in Cambridge. I couldn't find a bike that was right and in stock for her to try. They'd have all sold me a bike though. It was Evans ship to store policy that sold us the bike in the end.

It's experiences like this that make me think the model of a small shop that tries to fill every need is doomed, and good riddance. The two better shops near me have moved out of town to much lager cheaper locations.
Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

JohnW
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby JohnW » 14 Feb 2015, 10:58am

Edwards wrote:If other things are factored in then the internet does not look so good.

Wait in all day for the delivery. Never daring to even go for a sit down on the toilet. As you only have a few seconds before the goods disappear to the next delivery.

The item is damaged in transit and you could not get to write "Signed for unchecked" on the electronic thing that does what it wants.

It is the wrong item in the package and you then spend your time and usually money rectifying the senders mistake.

If the item goes wrong you have to send it back usually at your expense and wait for the returns department (who will not speak to you directly) decides to stop playing on the computer of whatever to deem that it was your fault.
You then spend days sorting it out.

It gets damaged in the post using the company return system. Then you find out it was not insured and as it was damaged before they got it. So you spend another week sorting that out.

You get a replacement item (after weeks of your time) and it is the wrong item/colour/shape/size, so you start all over again.

But then again there is an alternative you go to this magical wonderus exotic place where you can see/hold/check the item before paying secure in the knowledge that you can go to this place of wonder again if there is a problem.



The magical place of wonder is a good Local Bike shop who will be like all the other stuff we remember fondly from the past soon.


+1 - absolutely - well said Edwards.

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661-Pete
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby 661-Pete » 14 Feb 2015, 1:25pm

Edwards wrote:If other things are factored in then the internet does not look so good....
I've read all your points, and I understand what you're driving at, but luckily, for me at least, not all these horrors have happened at once! :shock:

In the case of missed delivery, I try to choose those suppliers who deliver via Royal Mail/Parcelforce - which is most of them for small items. Reason: I can easily cycle it to the parcels office on the other side of town, hand in the 'red card' and pick up my item. Done it often enough. In fact it gives me marginlly more exercise than cycling to the local shops in the town centre would. Only on the rare occasions when it's something too big for the bike, do I have to take the car.

Faulty or damaged goods? Yes, but the same can happen with items bought in a shop, especially if you bought them in the box and unexamined. And then you're at the mercy of the shopkeeper's viewpoint. I've been there!

I've actually ordered a complete bike by mail order - just once. Our son rang up in a panic, saying his frame had snapped and the bike was a write-off. It so happened that it was just before Xmas, and we were totally flummoxed as regards presents, so the problem was solved for us at a stroke! So I was able to tell him, not to worry, Xmas-pressie on the way! Since he lives in Scotland and we in Sussex, we agreed on a model via the websites, he wanted it asap so I then ordered it mail-order to him. It arrived just fine within a few days and he's happy with it. OK things could have gone pear-shaped but they didn't on this occasion. Having said that, I wouldn't like to buy a bike online in any other circumstance, there are limits...
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

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661-Pete
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby 661-Pete » 14 Feb 2015, 1:32pm

iandriver wrote:The two better shops near me have moved out of town to much lager cheaper locations.

I just love that typo! I take it the bike shops are close by to popular out-of-town pubs, then? Good thinking (or should I have said 'drinking'?)! :lol:
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

AlanD
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby AlanD » 14 Feb 2015, 4:56pm

Irecently needed to purchase a new bair of cycle shoes. I went to my LBS and came out with a pair by Shimano for roundabout £85. The following day, I looked at the website for my local Halfords and buying the very same pair there would have given me change out of £40. Other sites had similar prices. LBS? No thanks!

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Heltor Chasca
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby Heltor Chasca » 14 Feb 2015, 9:09pm

I was in Bristol today. I don't know it as well as I would like to but I struggled to find any lbs's. For such a bike-friendly city I thought there would be more. I'll do my research next time and find out where they are. I only know where a Specialized and Cycle Surgery is.

Today I was fingering my way through the panniers in Cycle Surgery and got chatting to a sales assistant. Long story short: we had a social chat just as you would expect at any lbs AND he price matched the panniers with a set I had seen on the Internet. £20 off the advertised price so that's quite a chunk.

Top marks to Cycle Surgery Bristol....hc

Flinders
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby Flinders » 14 Feb 2015, 9:32pm

I work from home, so delivery isn't a problem. However, I use my LBS for everything I possibly can, even if it might cost a little more, because I need them to be there when I have any problems, and I need them for advice.
It's a case of use it or lose it.

However, if I got [i]bad [/i]advice there, or they were rude, I'd not bother.
I supported a village shop near here for years, but they were rude to strangers (think Royston Vasey), and at least one newcomer locally who could have become a regular customer only went in once, partly because of that and partly because there were smelly cats all all over the veg. Eventually one of the staff was rude to me, even implying I was a liar, so I never went back. Oddly enough this was in a dispute they had started about fairtrade, which they insisted was a total scam (even though I pointed out that someone I know worked for a fairtrade firm and had been to visit their producers, apparently I was making it all up) and she said people ought not to pay extra for fairtrade. This was especially ironic, as it was the same feeling on my part that makes me buy fairtrade as made me shop in her shop when she was more expensive than a supermarket.
Other people had the same treatment, even after being customers for decades.

Unsurprisingly, it closed and there is now no shop. I can't say I think customers were to blame in that case. Small shops sometimes can't buy stock for what other places sell it at, so they have to give value in other ways than money- by being friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Customers, OTOH, should not abuse that by accepting the advice but buying elsewhere, as some people seem proud of doing.

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661-Pete
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby 661-Pete » 14 Feb 2015, 11:03pm

I've had poor face-to-face service in a well-known cycle shop, one of a big chain - starting with waiting ages to be attended to, and going on to the point of what I'd regard as rudeness from the staff, coercing me into buying something different from what I'd asked for. Perhaps best not to name them (it wasn't H*lfords btw). I should point out that this was the exception: on other visits I've been well looked after. But this retailer also does a big mail-order business, and I've bought stuff from them online, several times without problems. So what's the best option, here?
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

Psamathe
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby Psamathe » 14 Feb 2015, 11:46pm

661-Pete wrote:I've had poor face-to-face service in a well-known cycle shop, one of a big chain - starting with waiting ages to be attended to, and going on to the point of what I'd regard as rudeness from the staff, coercing me into buying something different from what I'd asked for. Perhaps best not to name them (it wasn't H*lfords btw). I should point out that this was the exception: on other visits I've been well looked after. But this retailer also does a big mail-order business, and I've bought stuff from them online, several times without problems. So what's the best option, here?

If I experience bad service in a shop I go home, take three deep breaths (important) and contact the store head office/customer service or store manager (if no Head Office available) normally by e-mail. Polite and basically asking them how they would feel and pointing out the cost of petrol, parking, etc. all for a visit they have made futile. And normally they try hard to remedy the situation. e.g. (non-cycling example) I wanted two fan heaters, got abysmal service when the store had only one (their online systems having said they had two in stock); later same day store manager phoned me at home, they would have the 2nd in by 9am next day (she was personally collecting it from another store) and I could have two for the price of one. e.g. (cycling example) from a well known/poorly regarded cycle chain, got product home and they'd left on the security tag (clothing) meaning a return visit (petrol & parking costs), so manager said to buy petrol to twice the costs I would incur, keep receipt, call in and they would refund the petrol receipt (they needed the receipt to replace the cash taken from the till). Sensible shops appreciate complaints as it gives them the opportunity to recover the situation meaning you will visit them again and more importantly not go on all the online review sites and forums and post about your experience doing much more damage to their reputation.

Ian

SteveHunter
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby SteveHunter » 15 Feb 2015, 2:42pm

I had need to use my LBS this morning. I picked up a puncture and as I was nearly home I decided to just inflate it and see if I could make it home. I don't carry a pump only CO2 canisters. I got about a mile but wasn't going to make it home but I was outside the LBS.

I popped in and asked if I could borrow his pump to inflate my tyre to get me the last half mile home, he looked at the valve and then retrieved the pump. The young lad proceeded to inflate my tyre for me and then asked me for £2.00 for the privilege.
I wish I had just walked home, or sat outside and just put my spare tube in and inflated it myself with another CO2 cylinder.

I know £2.00 is not much money, but I really wasn't expecting to be charged for the privilege.

So far my experience of this bike shop has been going in to buy some inner tubes and them not having any, and then on another occasion being charged for inflating my tyre.

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al_yrpal
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby al_yrpal » 15 Feb 2015, 3:29pm

Edwards wrote:If other things are factored in then the internet does not look so good.
The magical place of wonder is a good Local Bike shop who will be like all the other stuff we remember fondly from the past soon.


I stopped work 10 years ago. I ran a business before that, one of the pioneers of using the internet selling computer hardware or software, delivering goods dozens of internet orders vis couriers every day. Even back then only about 1% of orders we took went wrong in any way, about 0.3% concerned delivery problems, we monitored it. Its nonsense to say that there is any large scale problem with ordering goods from the internet. These days the couriers are much better, you often get a tracking number and a text or even a phone call to tell you when someething is going to arrive. Things will get better and better because the ones not offering timed delivery will get shunned IMO.
My experience where I live is that LBSs are thriving and indeed multiplying. There is no danger whatsoever of them disappearing in the near future and so those that want them will still have them especially because a good proportion of their customers wont even try to fix a puncture. Its all about selling new bikes at a decent margin and providing services. And, the specialist touring bike suppliers like SJS and Spa can only exist offering a good choice of proper touring bikes and bits because of the internet.

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?

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661-Pete
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby 661-Pete » 15 Feb 2015, 4:04pm

One thing Edwards didn't list in his long list of internet horrors, is the risk of identity theft/online fraud.

Luckily for me, I've not been there - yet! But it could hit me any day.

I remember a horrible moment some years ago when I lost or mislaid a slip of paper on which I had written every single mail-order password I was using :oops: . Please don't lecture me about 'never writing down your passwords' - everyone does it, especially when they get to my age! Cue a frantic couple of days visiting every site I could think of and changing every password I could think of. Luckily, the really important passwords like those for online banking and E-mail, weren't on that slip; I was certain of that. Anyway, I was lucky, nothing amiss occurred.
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

landsurfer
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Re: How is the Local Bike Shop going to survive?

Postby landsurfer » 15 Feb 2015, 5:41pm

My LBS. Brake cable £7.99. Decathlon £1.99. I drive past decathlon 3 times a week as part of my work. I can also get top quality cycle clothes. Casual clothes for the family as well.
the LBS hasn't got a chance, which is a genuine shame.
The Road Goes On Forever