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LBS, friend or foe?

jus71njus71n Posts: 138
edited March 2012 in MTB beginners
Just bought a MTB (see my other post) but been a roadie for some time, usually buy my parts online, and in the most part try to educate myself with the basics of repairs & servicing, but having just got my bike the other day I thought I would use a local bike shop to me in Grimsby.

I went on Wednesday to find they don't open Wednesday's, So back Thursday morning for some pedals...... Had a look round, owner seemed friendly enough and bought some pedals £39.99 (shimano SPD's) forget the model now, so I figured it shouldn't be extorsion compared to the internet.....right?.....wrong!! found them for £19.99 online, come on this aint right? double the price, I mean put a bit of mark-up on it but jesus brings a whole new meaning to "think of a price and double it!"

I'm sure most LBS's are completely different but this will stop me using this shop ever again, very dissapointing :(

rant over. lesson learn't
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  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    Er OK
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

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    Parktools
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    So the will not be your LBS then.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,258
    The £39.99 might have been list price. Anyone who pays list price deserves everything they get I am afraid. I always politely ask is that the best price and if they wont move on price I move on. You wouldnt have got it anywhere near half price the shop owner probably pays way more than that for it wholesale but a little off makes everyone happy you feel good and are likely to go back and the shop has made some money. Unfortunately some shops treat asking about the price much the same as a suggetsion that they scarifice there first born to Satan.
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • Dave_P1Dave_P1 Posts: 565
    Ask if they price match, most places will try to.
    The big internet retailers buy silly amounts of stock and it's not something many LBS can keep up with. TBH, that's the way the world is now.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    Except shopping around after you've bought something will generally end badly.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • There is no way the average LBS can compete with most of the big online retailers. It's like CD's. Sainsbury's sell them cheaper than an independent retailer can buy them! Personally I think the LBS is better if it's a good one, you may pay more for your products but hopefully the advice and support you will get in the long term will far outweigh the saving of buying online - that said sometimes the online price is just too good to turn down and online sites usually carry a wider choice of products! I try and buy from both.
  • RushmoreRushmore Posts: 674
    thing is.. if we all boycott the internet... our LBS's wouldn't have to charge the list prices in the first place....

    Support your LBS!

    P.s. if you get to know them, the discount pretty much comes as standard..
    Always remember.... Wherever you go, there you are.

    Ghost AMR 7500 2012
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  • Mojo_666Mojo_666 Posts: 860
    edited February 2012
    All my local bike shops except for 1 are rip off merchants.
  • BeardfaceBeardface Posts: 5,495
    Rushmore wrote:
    P.s. if you get to know them, the discount pretty much comes as standard..

    I've now moved, but my old LBS was awesome like that.. did the odd job for free, and always discounted, as I often took flapjacks with me when I went, chilled and had a cuppa with the guys etc. :D

    I miss my old LBS :(
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    My LBS encourages me to use the internet when they know they can't compete, they want me as happy customer for the long haul and not just for one sale, and know when I need something NOW I'll go and pay the price they have to charge and be happy there is a reason for it.....

    At those prices they will be M520's......

    Simon
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    LBS selling at RRP, fancy that!
  • Mojo_666 wrote:
    All my local bike shops except for 1 are rip off merchants.

    Sadly my only local LBS( within 5 miles ) fits into this category - he'd take the eyes out of your head and then come back for the sockets 30 years ago when BMX was first in its heyday - and he's gotten worse with age , only stocks two brands of MTB and any mention of another brand name is met by a sharp intake of breath, a shake of the head and the proverbial " rubbish mate , absolute rubbish "

    a bit further afield ( 15 to 20 miles ) theres a couple of shops where the guys will happily talk bikes all day ,let you look around as long as you like and will genuinely try to advise you as to the best bike that suits your riding needs - you get none of that at the first shop.

    i'll also add that I must be one of those rare people that has a halfords mega store within walking distance and thier bike hut dept is staffed by real bike nuts , the type that knows a crank extractor from a tin of golden virginia - so I am lucky in that respect.
    " as a child you heard of me , as a youth you followed me - now you must face me - your master "

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  • jus71n wrote:
    Just bought a MTB (see my other post) but been a roadie for some time, usually buy my parts online, and in the most part try to educate myself with the basics of repairs & servicing, but having just got my bike the other day I thought I would use a local bike shop to me in Grimsby.

    I went on Wednesday to find they don't open Wednesday's, So back Thursday morning for some pedals...... Had a look round, owner seemed friendly enough and bought some pedals £39.99 (shimano SPD's) forget the model now, so I figured it shouldn't be extorsion compared to the internet.....right?.....wrong!! found them for £19.99 online, come on this aint right? double the price, I mean put a bit of mark-up on it but jesus brings a whole new meaning to "think of a price and double it!"

    I'm sure most LBS's are completely different but this will stop me using this shop ever again, very dissapointing :(

    rant over. lesson learn't

    So a shop with a decent floor space and lots of bikes and things to sell that is local is a bit more expensive than one huge warehouse which just ships things? Who could have thought. No matter what it is, from bike parts, to computers, to t.v.s; can be found cheaper online than any retail shop can offer them at.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    Saladin wrote:
    i'll also add that I must be one of those rare people that has a halfords mega store within walking distance and thier bike hut dept is staffed by real bike nuts , the type that knows a crank extractor from a tin of golden virginia - so I am lucky in that respect.
    +1, well +2, my 2 local Halfords fit into that category, not every member of staff in every bikehut is good for sure, however many are....one at my local races in a national 4x series.

    Simon
  • ste_tste_t Posts: 1,599
    If you paid £40 for M520's then yes, that is bloody expensive, but you had them in your hand ready to fit there and then. If you had your bike with you and didn't have a pedal spanner they would most likely have fitted them for you for free.

    That is just the way an LBS works. The lads at mine are a great bunch so I buy stuff from there because they love bikes and are always happy to chat and offer advice. Plus they give me 15% off, but I do give them 20% off beer
  • YacobyYacoby Posts: 211
    Yeah, you pay more (Probably around the RRP) but you get the recommendation, the experience and the instant delivery.
  • Why buy local? Personal service, after sales service, relevant personal service, free servicing and free advice. Trial and error might work for you sometimes, or you might strike gold in the rants on here. My LBS has on more than one occasion told me to buy on the internet because they either cannot supply the best product themselves or compete on price. If I make a substantial purchase, I would always do it through my LBS if possible, as they will deal with any faults etc. There are obviously good and bad ones out there as with anything else though.
  • I always do my research BEFORE buying from the LBS.

    I've found myself a nice local and small LBS that is very very good ad does have competitive prices.
    Ok, they are a few quid more expensive than online (not double the price though) but with them working on my bikes quite a bit and giving me discounts on labour for stuff I can't do myself, I don't mind making up for it by spending a bit of cash on a few parts.
  • I always do my research BEFORE buying from the LBS.

    I've found myself a nice local and small LBS that is very very good ad does have competitive prices.
    Ok, they are a few quid more expensive than online (not double the price though) but with them working on my bikes quite a bit and giving me discounts on labour for stuff I can't do myself, I don't mind making up for it by spending a bit of cash on a few parts.

    That is exactly it, If I buy parts from the LBS, I get free service and installation if I need it. Another benefit of knowing the people in the LBS, when getting my new Soul built up, I needed a front wheel rather urgently. Stopped in, talked to him about what I needed from the wheel, ran to McDonalds to get coffees for everyone, and walked out with a very good handbuilt wheel an hour later. This was 10 minutes before closing as well. Try getting that kind of service from an online store.

    Plus I like to try different parts out if i'm not sure how it will feel, such as handlebars, pedals, seats and such. I can walk into the LBS, say hey I was thinking of trying this part because I have this problem with my current, they recommend something that will maybe fix it, I take it home and go for a ride, and let them know. If I like it, I buy one of them, if not, I just try another. No waiting for post for something i'm unsure about, then sending it back and waiting for refund/exchange if I don't like it.

    I'm not a completely stingy farker, so i'd rather pay a few extra euros for amazing service and keeping my buddies with a job then supporting a faceless, and often voiceless warehouse.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    I still use my LBS, for many things. I don't have the bigger workshop tools for starters, and if in a hurry for a part, they are worth their weight.
  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,258
    The only things I would buy from my LBS are stuff like chain lube and tubes. I dont have much call for wicker shopping baskets or bells with pink flowers on.
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • My LBS that i personally think is pretty rubbish has no closed down, no suprise in my eyes given they were selling inner tubes for £6.00 !! (i think a good judge of pricing in a shop is their inners lol)

    Ofc other things were silly over priced and they quote " prices are the best we can do"....RRP- £1.00 = best price lol.

    So with those sorts of shops i dont miss them at all.

    The best LBS i know of are the ones with good workshop, as if they are good i dont mind paying a bit more for quality work.

    but end of the day a LBS isnt just a shop if it is, they wont survive, they need to be part of the local community otherwise they will go under if they dont activly sort out people, ie mountain bike clubs ect
    London2Brighton Challange 100k!
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  • Does no one on here used Evans? I been to the York Leeds & then today the birmingham store - consistently friendly & helpful staff, happy to price match where possible, always happy to have a natter about bikes, the weather, trails etc.

    And their online shopping experience is brilliant with good reviews/product info/q&a..
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    Its the BS I find most annoying about my LBS. OK they are not top executive sales people, but they come up with all sorts of BS and have on a number of occasions lied to me about the quality of some alternative product that they want to sell me. I buy bikes from them when I want to buy new, purely because on a occasion they have helped my out with little bits here and there from their parts bin, sometimes not even charging me.

    The only LBS I buy from regularly is Evans, because you generally get good advice and most importantly a quick google of merlin, crc etc on the phone and they will price match. So best of both worlds.

    The high street in general is doomed if shops don't add value beyond selling things.
  • nferrarnferrar Posts: 2,511
    My closest LBS is pretty good, it's a Giant shop so not a whole lot of choice (there's non-Giant accessories obviously :p ) but the workshop is good, especially the turn around time. If I want an LBS to go for a browse for some ideas (normally clothing) then Cycle Surgery or Evans work best due to the breadth of stock they carry - kinda bored of the traditional small LBS choice of Endura or Altura (although understand why they're like that).
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    I have four LBS in my town, one tried to rip me off once and ripped a friend off, so only go there occasionally when they have a 'chuck out' sale on, the other 3 are top notch and I know personally people working in two of them so tend to get a couple of quid off.

    The only 'chain' bike shop is Halfords which aren't bad (pretty good for a Halfords) but the staff are tied on prices. Evans closes is Brumingham and I only go there if I'm in brum for another reason.

    Simon
  • mcnultycopmcnultycop Posts: 2,143
    I bought my bike from my LBS when I got back into MTBing and I probably could have shopped around and got a better bike for the same money, but they have looked after me and when I've had minor problems they've looked at and sorted them for nothing. Now I've got more knowledgeable about bikes and some (but not all) maintenance I need them less.

    I want to buy my next bike from them though so I've got someone I know that I can shout at if something goes wrong. However they stock limited brands so I may get a much better deal elsewhere and have to balance this. I'll have to cross that bridge when I've saved up enough.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    Generally speaking bike shops are competitive on bike prices and make their money on the extras.
  • SalsaSalsa Posts: 753
    Bear in mind that for example those 520SPDs cost the LBS £17 from the supplier so a couple of quid mark up isn't worth it for them after they pay postage to get them delivered. They would lose money matching the OEM bagged 520s some on-line places sell for £20.
    There's a really good friendly LBS near me that I used to use for servicing my bike years ago, I no longer get them to do it but I'll happily pay a bit extra to buy consumables from them as I need them, plus they always knock a couple of quid off for me.
  • lpretro1lpretro1 Posts: 237
    Once all the LBS are gone because everybody uses the internet instead then who will be there to fix all the mistakes made by a lot of people who post on the workshop sections of the forums and who obviously haven't got a clue what they are doing?
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