Discussion in 'Bike Shop Reviews' started by mtnbikerfred, May 14, 2008.
I would pay $90 for an XTR chain at that shop. No questions asked. :-k
I spent weeks researching, etc and finally decided on the bike I wanted. prices were comparable pretty much everywhere so I said, why not my local shop for a few $$$ more?
I walked in and stood by the bike and waited....and waited....and waited...and raised a finger....and waited....and waited.....and waited....damn, I can't believe I gave them 20 minutes to acknowledge my mere presence before I left.
Seems they were more interested in moving the Beach Cruiser's in their 2 for $300 sale than they were in selling me a $1600 bike.
I was a good move because I waited a week and ended up buying it from Supergo for $1200 including tax (was tax free weekend), but I had to drive to Santa Monica to do it.
Easy. There are more than a few 'boutique' shops (one particular owner & mgr's current definition of their shop) that cater to a select audience and pick/choose which of the general bike-riding public they will lavish their attention on. Thus the "man, that guy is such an arrogant prick -he wouldn't lower himself to give me some advice about my low-end race bike....etc, etc." kind of talk starts on bike forums.
Then there are the high-volume, manufacturer-supported mega shops that do everything, for anyone that can pay, high dollar, low dollar and everything in between, which have polished sales people, knowledgable and ready with a smile to take your questions and your business. The 'Fletcher Jones' shops of Orange County (some have words like 'Rock', 'Surf' in their names )
These latter shops have elevated the game around here. I think it's good to have big shops in the mix. I shop 'boutique' if I know someone there and go big generally when I need to save some bucks on a complete bike.
Still not making the Fletcher Jones connection, but I'll cede that point to you and comment on the last part of your comment. I shop at one of the big shops you mentioned -- it doesn't have Road in the title -- and have to tell you the sales staff is definitely knowledgable. You see, they all ride, and ride a lot. Just because it is a big name manufacturer's concept store doesn't mean it is corporate owned. It has one owner that has been in the business for years. The majority of his staff has been with him for years. They know their customers well and take care of them. Hands down, the best LBS in SoCal.
Personally, I spend a lot of time in there and I don't know how they can deal with the public. Do you know how much of a pain in the a$$ people are? I give anyone credit that can deal with us. Look at how we whine about the smallest thing.
Out of the scene for a few years. Wanted back in and thought I'd bring my kid into the fold. So, time to buy a new bike. Did my research (mags, internet, this forum,etc). Finally, nailed down budget and two bikes. Go to shop with huge rep in the area. they carry one of the bikes I'm looking to buy. Explain my research, budget and bike. Nope they lead me to another manufacturer, which takes up 90% of their showroom. Salesman is now trying to talk me out of the bike I wanted, but never saw, and into another manufacturer at $400 more. C-ya. I just didn't get it. Customer is always right. Right? At least that's what I learned working retail/sales. Went to shop #2 for different bike co. found bike and waited a good 10 min in an empty shop for the sales guy to break away from the conversation he's having with the owner. Finally comes over and ask if he can help. I start to ask the guy a question when the owner comes over with some papers in his hands and interrupts me mid-question with some ramblings of wholesale cost versus mark-up on some item. Owner is clueless what he just did. I look at sales guy and he now is conversing with the owner. Shrugged my shoulders and walked out. Luckily, third shop worked with me and knew the meaning of customer service.
I think the Fletcher Jones comment is in relation to customer service. Treat the customer right and fairly and you'll gain a customer for the long haul. I did frequent a LBS for a few years. Always stayed within my budget and if I dropped by they'd look over the bike: check air, turn the cranks and make little adjustments if needed. They got four bikes out of me in about 2 years (+-$2000). The owner understood customer service.
Another thing that bugs me is when bike shop employees don't know what model year some of their bikes are, especially when they are having a sale on 2010 model bikes. I had to bring in a website printout of a certain manufacturer's 2010 bikes in order to prove to a shop that they should give me the advertised discount on a 2010 model bike, as they kept insisting it was a 2011.
That's one specific example, but I've been in other shops where they've referred to 2009 models as 2010 and so on . . .
I don't work at a shop, and am certainly not an expert, but how is it that 30 minutes of web research gains me more knowledge about a bike than the people who are selling them?
I've had this experience many times at car dealerships, too.
this didn't make them lose my business but i thought it was funny.
this is at performance, which i know everybody hates, i used to too till i found out how awesome they're return policy is. And if you if know how to work on a bike, it's super cheap.
i bought a jersey on sale, go to exchange it and was told i owed the difference from the retail price to the sale price. It took a bit of explaining to the kid at the register, but he finally believed me about the 1 to 1 trade.
lbs in hermosa argued with me that i couldn't use shifter housing for my brakes, I've been running it like that for years, they finally gave in.
I remember when I worked at a shop that Giant carried over The 05 TCR Limited to an 06 model. It was the same exact bike leftover from the year before they just said it was an 06. The OCR limited was the same also. As for the comment on how is a Mercedes dealership like a bikeshop, even polished "salesman" may give you horrible service and may not know what they are talking about. Even the Trek and Specialized concept stores, will give you horrible service. It really depends on the person not the dealership as a whole. I know the one person represents that particular business. I also know that in any retail setting that you will find the good with the bad. My buddy whom I have known 20 years used to work at a chevy dealership and gave me the worst experience I have ever had buying my wife a new car and he was complaining how he wasn't going to make any money. 6 months later I bought another vehicle for myself and I did not even tell him I was buying a vehicle till he actually saw it at my house. He was mad but got my point about how to treat a customer. When I worked in the shop he got parts for cost and paid the labor, infact that is what all my close friends and riding buddies got.
My last gripe, was bringing in a rear wheel to get trued, I left the QR skewer in the wheel, and it was returned without it. I asked about my skewer and they pull out this grease covered archaic skewer that obviously didnt match.
of course i think my story wins, lol, so here goes:
i was getting a rear shock warrantied. the seals were blown. i was told to come back a few days later when i dropped it off. when i return, the mechanic in the back is working on it. they tell me to wait a few minutes. i hear "hammering". i wonder what is going on. after 20 minutes, i notice that the hammering is coming from the mechanic on my bike.
i was scared at this point. i walked behind the counter, went into the back area and saw that the stupid mechanic was using a hammer and punch to "try" to hammer out a the lower shock bolt that is THREADED!!!! wow, i have never seen anyone that stupid in all my life.
i quickly said, excuse me. i picked my frame up and the warrantied parts on their table and walked right out the front door with my frame in hand. no one tried to stop me.
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