We All Want to Support Our LBS......BUT!!!

Dave7

Legendary Member
Location
Cheshire
I needed 3 new bottle cages so..................
I went to my LBS and chose the one I wanted. The guy was very helpful..........brought his own bike out to show me that THAT is the cage he uses etc...
Deal done (sort of :smile: ).............£10.00 each which I thought was expensive so........................
I just purchased the one and went 1/2 mile to Decathlon.
EXACTLY THE SAME CAGE.............£6.99.
The last cycling item I purchased I found (exactly the same item) nearly 50% cheaper elsewhere and told the LBS---then asked him what he could do. The answer was "nothing".

As I (and others) have said before.............
a) I accept that the LBS can NOT compete with the buying power of the multiples.
b) If the LBS can get "somewhere near" the price I will happily pay the extra
BUT
50% more ?????
Never having run a small business I have no idea what the margins are or what the difference in buying power makes so I am not "having a go" at the LBS..........just the situation.
 

Smokin Joe

Legendary Member
I needed 3 new bottle cages so..................
I went to my LBS and chose the one I wanted. The guy was very helpful..........brought his own bike out to show me that THAT is the cage he uses etc...
Deal done (sort of :smile: ).............£10.00 each which I thought was expensive so........................
I just purchased the one and went 1/2 mile to Decathlon.
EXACTLY THE SAME CAGE.............£6.99.
The last cycling item I purchased I found (exactly the same item) nearly 50% cheaper elsewhere and told the LBS---then asked him what he could do. The answer was "nothing".

As I (and others) have said before.............
a) I accept that the LBS can NOT compete with the buying power of the multiples.
b) If the LBS can get "somewhere near" the price I will happily pay the extra
BUT
50% more ?????
Never having run a small business I have no idea what the margins are or what the difference in buying power makes so I am not "having a go" at the LBS..........just the situation.
You've answered your own question.

In addition to the lower wholesale price they can command a large chain might be happy to make just a few pence profit on a small item that shifts by the thousand where as in a single shop it just wouldn't be worth it.

Think Tescos and Mr Patel's Mini Mart.
 

Turbo Rider

Just can't reMember
Yeah...it's buying power...distribution...cost of premises and other bills...bit like tesco selling a tin of beans for 20p when the corner shop sell it at £1...or maybe exactly like that...a lot of these superstores end up getting their math wrong in the end though and then it's all doomed.

TMN to SJ...if you believe in such things.
 

KneesUp

Guru
I have a small business. I don't think anyone ever goes to John Lewis and says "How come - even with your massive buying power and your promise to never be undersold - you sell these for more than Knees Up does?" It often seems to me to be an unfair comparison - people notice when small independents are more, but not when they are less.

As others have said, if you have acres of floor-space you can fill some of it with things you make almost nothing on, so that when customers come to buy that cheap thing, they might also get something else, or notice something else they will come back for. If you have limited floor space you can't afford to speculate in the same way - every item has to have a 'proper' margin. I'd have given you a discount on three though.
 

w00hoo_kent

One of the 64K
If it's a thing I want, it's in front of me in the LBS and the price seems like one I'd be happy to pay then I won't nip off and google it to check if I could get it cheaper, I'll buy it. If it feels a bit more than I want to pay, then I'll probably skip it and might then google it to find out if I could get it cheaper. Then again, if I need something for the bike, I'm likely to remember it while sat in front of the computer, so will price comparison Wiggle, CRC, etc. and just order it from the cheapest/one that has all the bits I'm after. I've no idea if my LBS gets enough of my trade, but they get a bunch of it. And if I buy a new (shiny new) bike, then I like doing it in person, so an LBS somewhere will get that money.
 

winjim

✊🏻✊🏾 🌈 😷
Am I a bad person for buying some spokes from a wheelbuilder, yet building the actual wheels myself?

winjim giveth, winjim taketh away...
 
High St shops. Use em or lose em.

I've bought 4 bikes form my LBS in past 5 years. Buy all sorts of other bits from them. Have also bought bits from Wiggle as sometimes it's easier.

Instant demand shops will thrive (cafes, food, hairdressers etc). Other shops will only survive if people, not just use them, but buy big ticket items. Our high st is great. I often see people wondering in and out of the shops but the shops won't survive is all they buy is a coffee and a newspaper.

Some markets are destined to go online (buying music/books/films etc gets a far better service online) as they're just a commodity rather than service. Those that provide service (eg LBS) will only survive if people use them. I have no issue with people swapping to buy cheaper as long as they're not the ones who moan because they cannot buy things quickly as the LBS has now closed down and Wiggle won't deliver until the end of the week.
 
If you become a regular face at your LBS, they can sometimes cut you some slack, sure it won't always be to the extent of a bulk buyer, but there is always an undersell to Peter, on a smaller item, then oversell on a pricier item to Paul. As long as Peter is well known, and Paul is happy with the price he pays, everyone is happy. My favourite local bike shop, is an amazing 'Aladdin's cave' of bankruptcy potential, with friendly and knowledgeable staff. They have a price match policy as well. But if you don't ask, you can't get, can you?:thumbsup:
 

Turbo Rider

Just can't reMember
High St shops. Use em or lose em.

I've bought 4 bikes form my LBS in past 5 years. Buy all sorts of other bits from them. Have also bought bits from Wiggle as sometimes it's easier.

Instant demand shops will thrive (cafes, food, hairdressers etc). Other shops will only survive if people, not just use them, but buy big ticket items. Our high st is great. I often see people wondering in and out of the shops but the shops won't survive is all they buy is a coffee and a newspaper.

Some markets are destined to go online (buying music/books/films etc gets a far better service online) as they're just a commodity rather than service. Those that provide service (eg LBS) will only survive if people use them. I have no issue with people swapping to buy cheaper as long as they're not the ones who moan because they cannot buy things quickly as the LBS has now closed down and Wiggle won't deliver until the end of the week.
There's an LBS in Reigate (Maison Du Velo - lardy dah!) who double up as a coffee shop...haven't been in...bit out of my price range, but they may have just beaten the market!
 

winjim

✊🏻✊🏾 🌈 😷
I have no issue with people swapping to buy cheaper as long as they're not the ones who moan because they cannot buy things quickly as the LBS has now closed down and Wiggle won't deliver until the end of the week.
Did I mention the fortnight lead time on those spokes? I did? Oh well.
 

dan_bo

How much does it cost to Oldham?
Location
Failsworth
I have a small business. I don't think anyone ever goes to John Lewis and says "How come - even with your massive buying power and your promise to never be undersold - you sell these for more than Knees Up does?" It often seems to me to be an unfair comparison - people notice when small independents are more, but not when they are less.

As others have said, if you have acres of floor-space you can fill some of it with things you make almost nothing on, so that when customers come to buy that cheap thing, they might also get something else, or notice something else they will come back for. If you have limited floor space you can't afford to speculate in the same way - every item has to have a 'proper' margin. I'd have given you a discount on three though.
Yep- and have you seen the prices on service in the big outfits compared to LBSs?
 

Mile195

Über Member
Location
West Kent
I don't mind paying extra to help support local businesses, but I was a bit peeved when two bolts that fix one side of the crank to my bottom bracket cost me 2.50 at a shop in Sidcup.
There was nothing remarkable about these two bolts, except the price. Maybe it's Shimano's fault, but I haven't bought anything there since. When I consider that a pick 'n mix bag of 500grammes worth of bolts, nuts or whatever the hell you like is 99p in Wilkinsons, I have difficulty accepting that two individual bolts of a specific (but not unique) thread pitch can ever cost that much to produce that the markup should take them to that sort of price even at a small business that has higher costs and overheads. Who knows - maybe everything else in the shop is actually quite reasonably priced, but I'm not that inclined to go back and find out now.

Shame really, because the people in there seemed quite nice and knowledgable.
 

KneesUp

Guru
It depends what they are made of (and I have no idea, I should add)

I do know that once the driveshaft popped off my car because the previous owner had replaced the five bolts holding it in place with normal steel ones instead of the special 'strong steel' ones he was supposed to use - and which were £2 each of Fiat, or something like that. It was fine for tens of thousand of miles afterwards.
 

w00hoo_kent

One of the 64K
Seems an odd thing to fall out with your LBS over. How much profiteering do you think they're doing? If the bolts have anything special about them (size, thread, metal, colour, quality) then they are going to be made in a different way to your tub of bolts from Wilkinsons, which means they are going to be made in smaller quantities, which means they are going to cost more. Just because they both look similar on the outside doesn't mean they are identical things. Agreed some things are over priced (always an issue for me when the child was in to skateboarding and buying ludicrously overpriced bearings which really were just identical bearings plus marketing fluff) but that's a buyer beware thing surely. A couple of Shimano bolts are going to cost largely what Shimano have decided to charge for them...
 
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