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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:34 am 
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I just bought a conti comp tubular at local bike shop didnt want to wait a few days to order so buy the bullet. Wiggle and ribble in the uk have them for around 70$ shipping is less than 10$ but you gotta wait 3-5 days. So I figured local shop will be a 100$. To my surprise it was 125$ plus tax so out the door at almost double the cost. It seems 125 is actually a pretty avg price here in the US. I'm just thinking if I can buy tires from wiggle for 70 there cost has to be less right. Even at 70$ from wiggle reselling at 125 your making 55$ profit per tire. Does anyone who works at a US shop have an idea what bike shops are getting these tires at cost wise.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:27 am 
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I won't divulge wholesale pricing but I will say that a lot of UK re-sellers pricing is below our cost here in the states.

I think the main reason we are seeing this is because these large retailers are getting distributor pricing and selling direct to the customer. They make their profit margin and don't care that its hurting bike shops all over the world.

With shimano products over there its absolutely out of control.


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Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:27 am 


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:14 am 
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Yeah I'm all for local shops getting there profit. But if you get a tire for 50$ say and you charge a 100% mark up your looking at a 100$ are they getting the tires for 62.50 and then doubling price. Does anyone know what typical bike shop mark ups is?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:16 am 
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From your comment it sounds like the retailers out there are cutting out the distributor. So maybe its the distributors in the us that are charging too much. You wonder on a 125$ tire how much conti actually got paid for it.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:47 am 
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Doolop wrote:
I won't divulge wholesale pricing but I will say that a lot of UK re-sellers pricing is below our cost here in the states.

I think the main reason we are seeing this is because these large retailers are getting distributor pricing and selling direct to the customer. They make their profit margin and don't care that its hurting bike shops all over the world.

With shimano products over there its absolutely out of control.



Have you ever asked your rep's if you can do the same? I'd be interested to hear why some many products can be bought in Europe for less than U.S. wholesale. I'd be interested to hear what they plan on doing in the future to level the playing field.

I've been in your shoes in another industry and I feel your guys pain. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:44 am 
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That conti comp is $100 at Excel Sports, online and brick&mortar place in Boulder CO that seems to have good prices sometimes, for the US anyway. I don't pretend to know much about bicycle retail, but it seems to me the distributor lockup plus the retailer lockup in the US does result in absurd pricing relative to other markets. Check wheels for example - Campy Neutron Ultra for $730 including shipping from wiggle you'd be hard pressed to find under $1000 from any US retailer, online or otherwise.

Sorry @doolop, but boo-hoo to the hurting bike shops all over the world. I've bought multiple bikes from the same LBS over the last 25 years, and none of the employees would even recognize me. I know who the owner is and how wealthy he is, and he wouldn't recognize me either. Why should I pay 50-100% more for commodity items (tubes, tires, etc) from him? Not being snotty, but a serious question. What value do I get from buying local? Perhaps you can address why UK reseller pricing is below wholesale in the US. Tariffs?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:06 am 
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UK/EU retailer (bricks and mortar) prices are significantly higher than the online shops as well.
Depending on which retailer/online you compare, anything up to double the price.
In some areas (where rents and staff costs are high) the costs are so far out of whack i'd rather wait a week for mail order and fit it myself. And save even more by getting last years colours.

It's not *just* a US problem. Even when the stuff is made literally 5 minutes down the road there can be a massive difference between online and shop prices.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:12 am 
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Cross out "tires" in the heading and put "everything" and you pretty much describe the Australian market.
IMO it comes down to exclusive distributor networks so the is only one official distributor and one channel for the shops to buy from. No competition means big prices. The shops need to maintain their margin since most smaller shops don't do anywhere near enough volume to compete at small margins with the online guys.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:51 am 
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Location: North London
Doolop wrote:
I won't divulge wholesale pricing but I will say that a lot of UK re-sellers pricing is below our cost here in the states.


This might be a naieve question, but why then don't you source your products in the UK?

I bought some Pro4 Endurance last week not on offer for £25 delivered, that's $39. I've bought Pro3 in the past on offer for £16 ($25). I've barely been to a physical bike shop in years and I don't miss them. Every now and then I give a local shop a chance and they always let me down.

Another well regarded shop near me never has even simple spares (like the time I wanted a square taper crank bolt and they told me to come back when the mechanic was in - in three days' time!) I can perform many more mechanical tasks myself than the shops are able to carry out. Shops don't want to fix anything, just throw it out and bolt a new one on.

Then there was the time I didn't fancy cutting my carbon steerer so I took it into another well regarded shop. Stupid me, should have done it myself. They just cut straight through it with a rough saw, lots of really obvious chunks and splinters coming out where the cut left the tube. Sure the poor guy must have breathed in a load of carbon dust, hopefully not in the same air as the customers breathe. Expensive fork ruined.

A few weeks ago a female friend of mine was told in a shop that they wouldn't put a lower geared cassette on the road bike she was buying from them despite being prepared to pay extra for it because they didn't think she'd need it. The same shop refused to take back an obviously fautly frame. In the end they intimidated her into taking an old folding bike they had in stock as a "swap".


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:01 pm 
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We are a rep for a few cycling products. Shops don't want to see products they can't double. They know you can get it cheaper online but to keep there head above water it needs to be keystone (aka double). Bikes/frames closer to 30-40% markup. I get one of our products cheaper online then at cost from our distributor. Funny thing is that this online shop buys them from our distributor! He buys in massive quantities, gets a killer deal. Doesn't get double but sells in volume at a lower profit margin. I kinda have to push the local bike shop so we can get consumers interested in our products. But other then nutrition i never go to the LBS.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:21 pm 
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Yeah, i think the industry needs to change somewhat. it's to the point that I buy stuff at the local shop because I feel bad. Which is lame. If the prices where anywhere near I would do it without thinking. But when you want say DA shifters and an online store has them shipped to my house in a couple days for 50% less ie 100-200$ how can you pass that up. The answer is you can't. I've asked bike shops about some of the big name uk stores and they say they never heard of them. Either they are out of touch or just in denial.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:13 pm 
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Location: Ruidoso, NM
Bantamben wrote:
Yeah I'm all for local shops getting there profit. But if you get a tire for 50$ say and you charge a 100% mark up your looking at a 100$ are they getting the tires for 62.50 and then doubling price. Does anyone know what typical bike shop mark ups is?


Bike shops (at least the smaller ones) do mark up small items 50-100%. You can argue that it would be in their interest to sell cheaper, but I don't believe it is. They can't compete when consumers can buy tires retail from the UK and ship them to the US, for less than US wholesale!

That last bit is the curious part. Even the big US online shops have much higher prices on most things than the UK. Someone in the US supply chain is taking a big %. Are the manufacturers charging US distributors more? Or are the wholesalers exercising some kind of monopoly control to increase their share?

Speaking of tire prices... I can put a nice tire on my fricken truck that will last 50k miles, for the same price as bicycle tire that might last 2k miles. If the bicycle tire was made out of exotic materials or was manufactured to some kind of extreme tolerances, it might make sense. But rather the truck tire seems to have better QC... and there is 100x+ the amount of material.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:20 pm 
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Location: Canada
I was told by a Bike store owner that the UK online shops get these "special" prices because they are seen as bike constructors, they make bikes and have their own brands (Just like Specialized, Giant, etc..). These types of licences allow for lower prices from parts and accessories brands than a distributor one...

Louis :)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:10 pm 
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Not really buying that argument. If that was true, they could offer that price on full bike builds, but not on all the tires they sell.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:15 pm 
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Giggled when you said you thought YOU pay high prices in the states. Stuff is so expensive here, I often import from the states!!
Loving Wiggle for tyres atm.

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Used to race....got too wrinkly and old ;) Updated: Racing again! Thought this was unlikely! Eventually, I may even have a decent race!
Edit: HAD a decent race! 16/08/2014 :)


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Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:15 pm 


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