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Shop monkies

greenchris

Turbo Monkey
Jun 24, 2005
1,382
0
DA BEARS.
So, I could possibly be employed by my favorite lbs after this weekend. I was wondering if any of you insightful monkies could give me any tips for a first time shop workers?
 

greenchris

Turbo Monkey
Jun 24, 2005
1,382
0
DA BEARS.
Wake and bake.
Ha, funny you say that... My interview I believe will go as follows...
Bossman: You want a job
Me: yes
BM: Don't come to work high
Me: okay
BM: don't bring your dog to work
Me: okay
BM: your hired

LO- Mostly sales but one of my good friends is the head mechanic so he'd be teaching me all kinds of stuff so I could build bikes/and do minor repairs
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,027
3
Denver
LO- Mostly sales but one of my good friends is the head mechanic so he'd be teaching me all kinds of stuff so I could build bikes/and do minor repairs
Cool.

So which shop? I'm gonna come in and ask you to list in order both product lines for Campy and Shimano road groups. If you fail, I'll kill you.

Seriously, I heard a chick at Performance say that Tiagra was the lowest and 105 was above Ultegra. Idiots.

Also, try to actually understand your client's needs. Like if they have an injury that you can work around instead of putting them on the wrong bike.
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,027
3
Denver
That sucks, I thought the only 2 reasons people worked in a shop was the absence of sober and dogs.
Ah, working in a record shop in the late 80s.

First time I did cocaine was with my boss while we tried to destroy the speakers around the store with volume. His wife was hawt.
 

geargrrl

Turbo Monkey
May 2, 2002
2,379
1
pnw -dry side
Know your product and the product of your competitor's brands.
serious advice:
don't discount/prejudge based on appearance or gender.
is, assume that the fat person wants a comfort bike and not a real bike; that a chick doesn't know anything, etc.

gg
 

buildyourown

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2004
4,837
0
South Seattle
Learn as much as you can about all facets of cycling. I'm not a roadie but I worked in a primarly roadie shop. Learning all about how to run chris king hubs on a campy bike will help you. Never sit on you butt. Bike shops have lots of down time. Make yourself busy by cleaning, organizing or learning about all the different product lines so when a customer comes in you can make legit recommendations.
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
35
Find out which brands they sell, go to the manufacturers web sites and pull down all the spec sheets, pdf's and manuals you can and start studying.

Read up on bike fit too, this is one of (if not the) most important elements of sales.

Ask the wrenches about their assembly and adjustment standards. You want to have all the bikes on the floor dialed in to an "average" adjustment, (seatpost, handle bars, etc) then make minor tweaks before test rides. make sure they are reset to average before they go back on the floor.

Every bike on the floor should be adjusted to shift and brake perfectly. Bikes that brake well and shift smoothly sell fast. If you notice anything that isn't adjusted right, give it to a wrench to remedy it.

DO NOT LEND ANY TOOLS TO A CUSTOMER, even for a second. Once this happens, customers will start to expect it and tools will disappear. (exception: tire levers and air)
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
30,429
3,330
Portland, OR
Just don't be an ass to people. I remember a guy that used to work at a shop I frequent. A dude came in looking for a seat post for his cheap ass bike. He didn't bring the bike with him thinking all seat posts were the same size (I never understood why there wasn't a standard either).

Customer: I need a seat post for my bike.
Dude: What size?
Customer: I don't know, it's a mountain bike.
Dude: Walks over to the wall of post, "Is it this one? Or this one? Or this one?"
Customer: I don't know, I didn't know they were different sizes.
Dude: Come back when you know what you're looking for!

Dude was fired minutes later. I lol'ed.
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
35
serious advice:
don't discount/prejudge based on appearance or gender.
is, assume that the fat person wants a comfort bike and not a real bike; that a chick doesn't know anything, etc.

gg
Excellent advise.

Last shop I worked at, our heaviest customer dropped major coin on two really nice road bikes. He rode them to death, then spent major coin on maintenance.

Greet every customer from square one.
 

r464

Turbo Monkey
Oct 17, 2006
2,608
0
Earth
DO NOT LEND ANY TOOLS TO A CUSTOMER, even for a second. Once this happens, customers will start to expect it and tools will disappear. (exception: tire levers and air)
You can lend them air, but don't let them keep it!
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,411
0
SF
The 2 mistakes I see with beginning bike shop employees is not tightening bolts enough and not being friendly enough.

I wouldn't worry what you know: most people will recognize that you are a newbie and not trouble you with anything too complicated.

The number one mistake I see with beginning employees is that the bolts are not tight enough, particularly the stem bolts. Don't go crazy when you tighten them either, i.e. strip them, but be careful and check your work afterwards.

The second thing is being friendly and nice. You think it is pretty obvious, but I was at another shop, and I wanted to fill my bottle from the cooler after I bought a drink powder from them. The junior kid acted mad that I was going to use the shop water.

If I was a "real" customer, I would have told him you're pissing me off (actually, I know the shop from my bicycle outside rep). But I see this alot with kids: ignorance combined with arrogance is an obvious sign to customers that you are a jerk.

The kids around my shop are very nice, and I notice it works great.
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
35
I wouldn't worry what you know: most people will recognize that you are a newbie and not trouble you with anything too complicated.
Customers really appreciate it when you take a moment to get the RIGHT answer for them if you don't know it.


A few questions to ask:

1) What kind of riding?
2) How frequent?
3) Where will the bike be stored? Commuting? (this can lead to extra lock and accessory sales)
4) Are they an "upgrade" type of person? Do they want an end-all bike, or something they can improve upon later?
5) Any special concerns? (next injury, etc) - this can dictate frame and component selection of they need to have a certain posture on the bike or they have limitations. (more upright, wider gearing, etc) This one is tricky, but it helps to ask sometimes, especially during a fitting. "How are your knees, do you ever have knee pain while riding?" is a good one. Often customers will bring up other issues they did not think about that may effect the fit.
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
35
Just fuggin walk in and start telling the wrenches what to do!
Alot of this is off the top of my head, and assuming the job is landed.

I've had customers take bikes out on test rides and fvck with everything. Brakes, shifting, etc all thrown way out of wack. You have to keep an eye on the bikes on the floor and make sure they are just right.
 

jdcamb

Tool Time!
Feb 17, 2002
16,442
3,786
Nowhere Man!
Tell them right off the bat that you don't work weekends and that you need Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and every other friday off. It's always good to start off setting the parameters of your employment. Say WTF in response to every question or request a lot too....
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
30,429
3,330
Portland, OR
Set the bar LOW, then just barley fail to meet them. That way when you actually do something, you look like a hero.
 

HAB

Chelsea from Seattle
Apr 28, 2007
10,711
993
Seattle
Customers really appreciate it when you take a moment to get the RIGHT answer for them if you don't know it.


A few questions to ask:

1) What kind of riding?
2) How frequent?
3) Where will the bike be stored? Commuting? (this can lead to extra lock and accessory sales)
4) Are they an "upgrade" type of person? Do they want an end-all bike, or something they can improve upon later?
5) Any special concerns? (next injury, etc) - this can dictate frame and component selection of they need to have a certain posture on the bike or they have limitations. (more upright, wider gearing, etc) This one is tricky, but it helps to ask sometimes, especially during a fitting. "How are your knees, do you ever have knee pain while riding?" is a good one. Often customers will bring up other issues they did not think about that may effect the fit.
Good advice. Also, ask about how much they're looking to spend. If they're not sure, show them a big range, discuss their merits and shortcomings, and help them make up their mind, but don't be pushy about any one bike in particular. That said, if they're doing somthing really dumb (ie buying an expensive FS mountain bike to commute on), let them know gently that you think they could make a better decision. If they do give you a figure, show them bikes in that range, plus one or two that are slightly above and below their range.

If you don't know an answer to a question, be frank about it. Making somthing up on the spot is one of the worst things you can do. Honesty is the way to go here. Also, follow up. Tell them you don't know, and then FIND OUT.

No matter how obnoxious people get, (and there will be jackasses) have a smile on your face, and greet them pleasantly. You can curse them out to your coworkers once the shop is closed. :D

Good luck.
 

jdcamb

Tool Time!
Feb 17, 2002
16,442
3,786
Nowhere Man!
oh, and flatter the MILFs who like to come in and spend $$. Chances are they have secret fantasies about young shop wrenches...
Brush up against them when they least expect it and you're guaranteed a sale! Oh yeah, never ask them "are you a milf?". They don't seem to like that....