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LBS vs. online shops

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:32 am
by mellowJohnny
As much as I try to buy from one of the five bike shops in my area, I still can't resist the occasional killer online deals as well. After all, I'm not a registered charity, and there is only so much I can spend on lightweight parts I don't actually need...

So, what percentage of your bike stuff is purchased at your LBS vs. online?

For me it's 50-50, although all my big money purchses are always at the LBS (bike, wheels, expensive clothing).

And I'm not one of those guys who leeches info from the shop guys and then buys online, although I will sometimes ask if they can match online prices...they usually come pretty close.

Re: LBS vs. online shops

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:49 am
by 53x12
We have had threads like this in the past and they usually don't end well. Usually spiral out of control by the 2nd page.

Honestly the vast majority of my purchases are online. Around 95-99%. Part of the reason is that my LBS are horrible, don't have the items I want in stock, take 5-7 days to arrive and aren't competitive price wise. So if I have to wait, might as well order it myself. Online shops are more competitve price wise. Greater variety and usually get it in 2-3 days. Don't have to pay state sales tax. Also don't need to worry about the shop ordering the wrong part or size. Really only time I purchase something from a LBS is if it is an emergency and I don't have a spare nor does one of my cycling buddies.

Re: LBS vs. online shops

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:02 am
by prendrefeu
I'll make a pricey purchase from my LBS every once in a while, but 95% of component purchases are online. I also send anyone I know who is relatively 'new' to cycling or not DIY such as myself to the LBS. They've been good, they support both one of my teams as well as my non profit and I'm great friends with the owner and store manager.
LBS may do wheel truing, since I don't have a stand right now.
All other mechanic stuff is done at home.
I will also purchase one-off 'sports nutrition' products from the LBS if I want to try something new before committing to a large quantity, which would then be purchased online.

Re: LBS vs. online shops

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:14 am
by Brandonnie
online i was able to build a caad10 with full new sram red and open pros to ultegra hubs for 1600$

Re: LBS vs. online shops

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:19 am
by 53x12
^ really? That is fantastic. Was everything new or did you use some used parts as well?

Re: LBS vs. online shops

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:15 am
by kac
53x12 wrote:We have had threads like this in the past and they usually don't end well. Usually spiral out of control by the 2nd page.

Honestly the vast majority of my purchases are online. Around 95-99%. Part of the reason is that my LBS are horrible, don't have the items I want in stock, take 5-7 days to arrive and aren't competitive price wise. So if I have to wait, might as well order it myself. Online shops are more competitve price wise. Greater variety and usually get it in 2-3 days. Don't have to pay state sales tax. Also don't need to worry about the shop ordering the wrong part or size. Really only time I purchase something from a LBS is if it is an emergency and I don't have a spare nor does one of my cycling buddies.


I agree with all of this. Plus, at least one on-line outfit will take anything back at any time with no restrictions and the service is personalized and excellent. One exception: in the small city I live in, there is a one-man repair shop. He does fantastic work and is reasonably priced. Sometimes, I'll buy replacement parts from him, even though the cost is >>>on-line (e.g. Record chain for $50 on-line vs. $85 at his place)

KAC

Re: LBS vs. online shops

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:03 am
by konky
Apart from the obvious, price and availability, I like online because it's nice to get parcels and with online products you know it hasn't been tried on by a multitude of people or test ridden, i.e. it really is new.

It is easier to buy on line of course.

Re: LBS vs. online shops

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:15 am
by adidavas
I buying stuff 95% in online stores.

Re: LBS vs. online shops

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:42 pm
by HUMP DIESEL
I think a lot of the LBS's are missing out on the internet and what they can offer now from times in the past. Some are doing it right, check out Glory Cycles in Greenville, SC. That is one shop that has a stand alone place and online. You could also go the way of Above Category in Cali.

HUMP

Re: LBS vs. online shops

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:56 pm
by campbellrae
I tend to buy about 90% of my stuff in my LBS, but that's only because they are great and I get a big discount, basically getting it at trade price 8) So it works out cheaper than online. I only get things online when they can't get it, so for some hard to find light parts or if it is not worth their while, having to set up a new account with a supplier just to get a part or two for me.

Where I lived previously, all the LBS's were pretty poor so it was more like 90% online, 10% in store. I guess for me it comes down to how good the LBS is, if they suck I will go straight online...

Re: LBS vs. online shops

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:04 pm
by sawyer
90%+ from online. Buy most energy products in store and the odd thing I need when the bike is being maintained. Have an excellent LBS that focusses on service and doesn't try too hard to shift product.

Agree with 53x12 about these threads not ending well ... .

Re: LBS vs. online shops

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:37 pm
by kode54
my LBS doesn't carry what i'm looking for and really caters to the norm. weight weenies? not a concern at the LBS. also, the owner knows that i like to wrench myself, but once in awhile, i need a chain pin or something else in an emergency, so i visit them to make those purchases. otherwise, i buy about 95% online. besides, i just don't have the time to drive 2 hours to a more boutique bike shop to buy parts that i need.

Re: LBS vs. online shops

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:53 pm
by nathanong87
my purchases are probably 95% to 5%m online vs LBS

there are some services that i do not have the tools to do, or patience, or what have you. Wheel truing, wheel gluing, steerer chopping, etc.

other things that i can* do , i like to attempt before handing it over to "professionals". And still in case i've found that some LBS wanna charge me 10$ to 'reinstall' the headset during a steerer chop job. It kinda goes both ways... i tend to reward LBS's with my business if they've been helpful in the past or have just been nice to me in general. If the cost is relatively close ie, bartape 20$ at LBS vs 15$ at amazon/ebay, i'll just do LBS

With that being said , online prices are really ridiculous and from my limited knowledge of owning a business or being part of a coorporate business it kinda sucks to realize how much margin LBS are making.... [speaking generally here based on one bad experience] but some shops believe the way to combat this economy is to charge MSRP and keep costs high... imho cutting prices down, being kind, and prompt might go a long way. [ideally at least]

i dont understand how PBK can offer tires so cheap and free shipping across the pond when LBSs down the street from me charge 25-30% more per tire....beyond me.

Re: LBS vs. online shops

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:04 pm
by Monkeyboy3333
The majority of my purchases are online, especially where products are standard. I recently bought a Assos jersey online £50 cheaper than my LBS. As much as I want to support my LBS, I want to support my family much more. My experience in the 4/5 LBS's near me are poor stock levels and a we're superior attitude. I'm in Bristol and the exceptions I have are Zero G who are as happy to talk about the latest copy of Pro Cycling as they are about £500 Tacx trainers. Also Tri UK in Yeovil who shaved £400 quid off my Cervelo frame just because I asked what's the best deal they could do...You don't ask, you don't get in my experience.

Re: LBS vs. online shops

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:52 pm
by tranzformer
nathanong87 wrote:but some shops believe the way to combat this economy is to charge MSRP and keep costs high... imho cutting prices down, being kind, and prompt might go a long way. [ideally at least]


I agree. I wonder how successful a LBS could be (in the right market with a large cycling community) if they actually sold for the same price as the online shops. Go for the volume sold over the get as much money per sucker possible attitude. I have no idea, but I think they might do better. More people would buy local if the price was as competitive as online or within maybe 5% (would pay extra for the convenience of getting it right away). Otherwise, LBS in general are a big big rip off.