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How do bike shops even stay in business?

kuksul08

Monkey
Jun 4, 2007
240
0
I really don't get it. How do bike shops stay in business with so many online retailers around.

I'm sure they make most of their money from working on bikes, and selling to impulse shoppers or dedicated customers, but still... prices at my local bike shops are AT LEAST 50% higher than what I can get stuff for online.

The only reason I buy stuff from my local shop back home despite prices is because the owner is a cool dude. Not all shops are like that though :plthumbsdown:
 

dmilkman589

Chimp
Mar 5, 2008
62
0
ny
mhm yea i no what you mean not realy shure... maybe they sell online to. and they could also be sponsoring races so that could keep them somewhat well known so theres atleast a small steaty flow of customers
 

HAB

Chelsea from Seattle
Apr 28, 2007
10,884
1,147
Seattle
-A lot of people want to ride bikes before they buy them.
-Tons of people have no idea what they're doing, and need a bike shop to help them out.
-Plenty of people have enough money that it's not worth their time to work on their own bikes, or deal hunt online.
-Some shops actually have good prices.
 

BMXman

I wish I was Canadian
Sep 8, 2001
13,830
0
Victoria, BC
-A lot of people want to ride bikes before they buy them.
-Tons of people have no idea what they're doing, and need a bike shop to help them out.
-Plenty of people have enough money that it's not worth their time to work on their own bikes
yeah I think these 3 about sum it up....D
 

DirtyMike

Turbo Fluffer
Aug 8, 2005
14,376
947
My own world inside my head
I really don't get it. How do bike shops stay in business with so many online retailers around.

I'm sure they make most of their money from working on bikes, and selling to impulse shoppers or dedicated customers, but still... prices at my local bike shops are AT LEAST 50% higher than what I can get stuff for online.

The only reason I buy stuff from my local shop back home despite prices is because the owner is a cool dude. Not all shops are like that though :plthumbsdown:
Because a good shop, has good prices, and a smart customer checks the prices at the LBS before he orders Online. Maybe is even smart enough when teh LBS doesnt already match the price, to ask if they can. Come to my shop one day, after looking around at, say, Jenson USA, or Nashbar...... We generally beat ther prices right off the bat, specially one you add shipping into the mix.


Not to mention alot of people will pay that little extra for the ease of warranty, or the ease of bringing back to exchange for another when they dont get the exact right one the first time ETC
 

pain

Monkey
Mar 15, 2006
264
0
I order just about all of my parts from my lbs and if i dont, its normally a used part. When you support your lbs you can get better deals and service then you would ever find online. Not to mention shipping is usually alot faster then any online places.
 

bikenweed

Turbo Monkey
Oct 21, 2004
2,435
0
Los Osos
Local shops will often have sale and clearance racks with good deals hella.

Local shops also have old bins of parts that you don't need to buy new, like $5 saddles, $5 seat posts, free broken old deraillures with salvageable parts, dumpsters with all kinds of neat free shiit, you name it.

When you break something (handlebar, crank, wheel, etc) and can't really ride until it gets replaced, it's much faster to just go to a shop and get the specific part you need, than it is to wait for shipping and such. To me, bikes are about riding, not looking at while waiting for a part that was discounted $15 to arrive in the mailbox. Especially when all your buds are getting 4-5 rides in while you're twiddling your thumbs.

LBS are great spots to start/end rides, too.
 
Ironically, the demographics of the cycling world state that it is only 30 percent that actually build/work on thier own bikes, the rest are average consumers who dont have any interest in working on them. the other item that keeps shops work is walmart and other chain store bikes. these bike are at least 50 percent of most bike shops service tags. when you are dealing with a 50 dollar tune up and random parts and accessories for a bike that costs less than a hundred dollars, that guy is always going to be coming back for repairs.

sales will always be the bread and butter though, like it was said previously, most people like the warranty issues and a place to bring it back to if there is problems or concerns.

those other 70 percent of folks will not purchase a bike online usually without seeing or touching or even riding a bike that costs 2 grand or more.

there are a few other draws that shops use to lure in more sales such as loaner test bikes, club rides, preiodical maintenence schedules, professional bike fittings, the list goes on for a long time.

now that fuel costs have jumped we have seen a reasonable increase in touring/commuter bike sales at the shop I wrench at.

cycling is one industry where there will always be a need for point of sale retail just because the larger group of cyclists needs them.
 

HAB

Chelsea from Seattle
Apr 28, 2007
10,884
1,147
Seattle
<snip>these bike are at least 50 percent of most bike shops service tags.<snip>
The shop I work at has been known to refuse to repair Wally World bikes, because they're too much of a PITA to deal with. :rofl: We only do this when we're a little backed up in the service department though.
 

JohnE

filthy rascist
May 13, 2005
12,647
667
Front Range, dude...
Have estimated Huffys so high that it would have cost less to replace then repair...was it right? Nahhh, but it alleviates the PITA factor, and if the guy guy bites, makes it worthwhile.
I like to finger diddle parts before I buy, actually try on clothes (Sizes vary from manufacturere to manufacturer) and yap with staff. Do I ultimately end up doing stuff myself? 90% of the time, give or take.

I am in San Antonio now, and there is a Performance shop in the same strip mall as a local high end guy. I asked staff at both how they co-exist, and both said "They have their clients, we have ours."
 

ire

Turbo Monkey
Aug 6, 2007
6,199
4
The shop in my hometown had horrible service (and prices), so I never patronized them and learned to work on my own bikes. Even though I live in a different town, I still do all of my own work (I have most of the tools I'll ever need). The shop in my hometown ended up going out of business after another group of people opened a nice, friendly shop. I guess the demographic there can support at least one shop
 

geargrrl

Turbo Monkey
May 2, 2002
2,379
1
pnw -dry side
I like the instant gratification of " I need to buy a XXX today!". I like to BS with the guys. I appreciate that I can bring a half done project in and they help me fine tune it. I like getting my sock fix.
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,027
3
Denver
LBS are like restaurants... those who get rich are a very small minority. You just hope to make a living doing something that you like.
 

MTBstud12

Monkey
Jan 24, 2008
484
0
Tejas
I really don't get it. How do bike shops stay in business with so many online retailers around.

I'm sure they make most of their money from working on bikes, and selling to impulse shoppers or dedicated customers, but still... prices at my local bike shops are AT LEAST 50% higher than what I can get stuff for online.

The only reason I buy stuff from my local shop back home despite prices is because the owner is a cool dude. Not all shops are like that though :plthumbsdown:
Keystone pricing marks up on avg 90-100%. I was gonna get a set of Ultegra SL's for my road bike..Bike shop=$150.00 Ebay=$75.00-$90.00
 

BigMike

BrokenbikeMike
Jul 29, 2003
8,933
0
Montgomery county MD
It's mostly all been said already, but bike shops stay in business because most people that shop there are not "us". Most people that walk into a bike shop are you average Jane and Joe looking for a bike for their kids, or looking for a hybrid to ride around the neighborhood with. There is the occasional high end repeat client, and the occasional person that walks in off the street and has no idea what they are doing but they know they want to get into it. That person needs to talk to someone. If they looked online, they may end up buying a DH bike, because it's the most expensive, and they figure the most expensive must be the best, when really all they needed was a mid level XC bike.

Service on low end bikes is also a big money maker, as cheap expendables (helmets, socks, water bottles, clif bars, etc.)