I'd like to support a local business but...

Why do they make it so hard? Are the local distributors really screwing the local guys THAT hard?

Quick search for Vittoria Zaffiro’s today. AU$19 @ wiggle, $55 @ BSC


Even after postage, I can STILL get 2 from the UK for less than walking into a local store. It just defies belief.

How can the LBS’s survive? I guess they’re relying on a “non internet generation” customer base for now - but in 5-10 years time will there be a single local store left?

“Think locally, buy globally”… seems the distributors have the LBS’s bent over and wearing the gimp suit !

The only way to change it is to vote with your wallet. The reason lbs’s charge what they charge is because the market (us) is willing to pay it. Until we stop doing it, there’s no incentive for them to demand better prices from distributors or encourage competition amongst distributors or whatever other market based solution. Until then, tubes are gonna cost ya 12 bucks homie.

It’s mostly the big distributors doing the gouging (BikeSports, DirtJerx etc) and as long as they have a lock on importing the major brands and can pretty much put on whatever margin they think they can get away with, the Little LBS has bugger all chance of competing with the web. Much as I would love to support the locals more, for a lot of things buying local just doesn’t add up (but for a few things it does)

I believe it’s worse in Canada (but I could be wrong about that)

I would suggest that LBSs should look to parallel import the products from somewhere else. Surely our competition laws dont allow any distributor to take action against someone doing that. It would be ridiculous.

i was talking about this with a guy from a bike shop and he was saying when the dollar is strong, he can buy from wiggle and PBK for cheaper than from his supplier.

The only reason the LBS survives is because a) people don’t trust internet sales/stores and b) people don’t know about internet stores. I too would love to go to my LBS all the time but when you can buy so much so cheap of the internet why would you?

I think you’d have to have a huge amount of people out there who don’t really know what they want from the Wiggle website. They need to be told by a LBS dude or dudette what is best for them and their setup. No, I don’t think that really applies to anyone on this forum.
That human interface would be a major cost component for the business that the sales revenue has to cover.
If your a real scrooge though you’ll go down and pick their brains and manhandle their products then ride home and hit the web.

Yes you’re right but it’s ultimately a dumb business model.
I was speaking to someone recently about how the prices of DT spokes from DirtJerx has increased disproportionately to the favourable exchange rate.

At the end of the day, the distributors/local bike shops must be feeling all the lost sales to Wiggle and PBK surely?
Most consumers aren’t dumb and will hunt for bargains, especially nowdays where there is a culture of web-based shopping.

QUOTE: “i was talking about this with a guy from a bike shop and he was saying when the dollar is strong, he can buy from wiggle and PBK for cheaper than from his supplier.”

I have to agree. I’ve found that it’s REALLY frustrating when I could theoretically get parts quicker and cheaper via OS suppliers than our local suppliers.

It’s not so much an issue when the US dollar is strong, but certainly at the moment, shops are struggling. It’s not just a couple of shops, it’s all/most of them. I walked into BSC the other day (I haven’t been there in a year or so) and was extremely surprised that I was the only person in there for about 10 minutes. Shops are struggling, but there’s nothing we can do about it. Shops are certainly doing their bit to put pressure on DirtJerx and BikeSportz, but when you’re a small fish in a big pond, they really don’t care too much.

I think one of the problems is that the distributors would have bought a lot of their stock BEFORE the dollar was strong, and now they’re not prepared to cut their losses and lower the prices so that the rest of you could enjoy the good stuff.

(Horatio, didn’t realise DirtJerx had raised their spoke prices, that sucks! I really don’t want to have to look elsewhere for my supply.)

still plenty of rich roadie commuters happy to go in and drop their credit cards behind the counter and not look at prices, if it means everything is done for them

good shops won’t go out of business.

There is a massive repair and servicing trade that the internet simply cannot supply, not to mention the parts included from the shop for those repairs and services, from this good service a good shop will build great customer loyalty and the customer will genuinely appreciate this, therefore coming back and spending money.

Given all the basic and sometimes stupid questions that are asked here I think some people would be well advised to google more or talk to there LBS.

That’s true, but there’s plenty of examples on this forum of LBS’s giving bullshit advice.

True, I had to explain ISO cranks/BB to one. Needless to say that purchase went to the interwebs…

I was shocked at the price of comps last time I went into abbotsford to buy a wheel’s worth (they were moaning about the price increase too, I guess they get sick of having to tell the story over and over).

I don’t do enough wheelwork to justify buying boxes of spokes from OS but local retail is getting silly. Anyone know an OS supplier that will do job lots of DTs? Mike Garcia at Oddsanendos used to, I think he only carries wheelsmith.

correct… at least here the explanation (in part) is ‘shipping’ and ‘items need to come from the other side of thr world’.

when you know you can drive an hour away and take 20-50% off the price of your purchase without really trying it can get frustrating. of course, there are arguments for tariffs and protectionism.

plus when you made that drive you had to deal with americans :stuck_out_tongue:

A clever store could contact wiggle and/or their suppliers and organise a decent shipment of easily off-loadable small ticket items like tyres, tubes, lights etc then advertise here and on other forums and make some easy cash.

I’d happily ride around or out of the city to pick up tyres I wanted for a reasonable price - if they were (for example) selling a pair of Zaffiro’s for $55, chances are they’d sell A LOT in a weekend.

Till then, Mr. Wiggle, you have my credit card details.

I’m not sure they see it this way. I was in a rush and bought a carburettor jet from my LMBS. They charged $24 for two shoddy aftermarket jets (poor machining = possibly different fuel metering to the stamp)! Ebay, $2.5 per jet + $3 postage for genuine Mikuni. When I commented on this they said “the internet is killing small businesses”.
What I’m getting at is they feel like victims, rather than thinking “hey we can rip these guys off”. Or maybe they just say it to make me feel guilty.

Oh, poor bike shops, victimized and forgotten… :roll:

Feeling sorry for themselves isn’t going to help either the retailer OR the consumer.