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I think it's lame behavior. If you go to a LBS you should patronize them to some degree. An LBS can't always get you the best price (especially not on items they don't stock), but good shops (and I've dealt with them) will do what they can (even to the point of letting you know their costs).

In my case, I don't frequent a LBS as (in my area) they don't stock what I'm looking for. They can order it, requiring multiple trips to a shop (time and fuel) vs. just ordering it myself, this wasn't possible years ago but the world has changed (if you are able to buy without seeing it first hand - some folks aren't good with this).
 

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this argument has been going on for ages...it's nothing new.

I use a few LBS in town...one or two for service, others for various random parts. I also shop online...no LBS stocked the wheels I recently purchased, so the only option was online. when I shop tells me 'we can order it'...that's my cue to order it myself.

have I ever sized something at a shop and then bought on the net?...sure. have I purchased items from the stores, even when they were available cheaper online?...yep.

it's not all cut-and-dried...bottom line is that my money is being spread around fairly evenly.
 

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I won't showroom a LBS. I might showroom a big corporate place like a performance bike, but not a mom and pop shop. There are a few reasons.
1) These are business owners trying to make it it just not right.
2) Most LBS are small and don't have the selection to showroom in the first place.
3) Stuff that I want to buy like helmets, clothing and shoes I want touch and feel I will buy local because I want to touch and feel them. A crankset, stem or chainring is the samething ever where and there is nothing to "look at" and will just buy on line for lowest price.

That said I simply don't buy from a LBS very much. I bought computer from my LBS (mom & pop local) last year. I wanted to go in and check them out. I needed the computer and bought it. I know I paid more than online. Oh well. I have bought tubes, chain lube and cable housings at mom and pop shops, but I have also go in not being able to get what I wanted since they did not have it in stock. For somethings I will pay more to have it now, but if I have to wait 3-4 days I might as well order online. As for clothing I am cheap, but want to touch and feel so I have been using performance bike for that. Low prices and stuff I can touch. Most mom and pop shops don't have the selection in stuff like that.

Now I will say it can be tough for any LBS, but that is the way life is. As for service I do it all myself so internet sales work great for parts.
 

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I don't buy from my LBS too often because mostly, my needs are way to esoteric and there's very little I can't fix myself.

But showrooming is lame as hell.


I'd hate it if the LBS's went out of business. I love the fact that I can get a brake pad right now instead of waiting 3-5 days.
 

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People have been doing this with electronics for years. Check out the product at (insert your favorite big box store here, e.g Best Buy) then buy online at (insert your favorite online store here, e.g. Amazon).
 

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There are two LBS choices in my area. A small one that is a bit farther away and a bigger one (which is a local chain) that is fairly close.

The smaller one that is owned and staffed by Bike Racers and enthusiasts and most of the time I will drive the extra distance to give them first crack at my business. They also offer a discount for those who are members of a cycling club in the state. The service at this shop is much more personalized than at the larger shop and I have no problem paying a little more to support a place like this so it is there when I need it.

The larger one is staffed by younger people who don't seem to care at all about customer service. They have more stock and I have to admit that I've done some browsing there or trying on of clothing of particular brands and bought via the internet instead (not the exact item they had, another color or variation that they did not have in stock). I feel zero loyalty to this place but still will not all-out showroom them.

For wear items that do not require any short of shopping and that I don't need immediately (tires, tubes, cassettes, etc...) I'll buy on line.
 

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From the article,

If you’re a true cheapskate who does all his own wrenching and simply refuses to pay full retail for products, then either stick with quality online retailers without showrooming your local bike shop, or better yet, buy what you seek slightly used from private sellers on Craigslist or eBay.
No, but thanks for your opinion.

In the end, you get what you pay for.
I recently purchased a foam mattress. The first store I went to quoted me nearly $2000. I went online and bought the same thing for $200. Just because you're spending a lot more, doesn't mean you're getting a lot more. So no, that adage is BS. But you almost had me there for a second.
 

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A) Check the economy..."big" businesses are trying to stay afloat, too.

B) The flaw in the article is that he implied that even shopping for best price locally is bad. That I, as a customer, cant go to one store to check out and price an item and then go to another LOCAL store across town to see if their price is better for said item. That's not "showrooming." That's good ole shopping around for best price.
 

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Where's that GPS?
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Do you go to all your local shops for all your needs or Walmart?

Most people do a little of both. Cyclists, I suspect, are the same.

I don't just go to any LBS because they are a small bussiness and deserve to be supported by the community - I go because they give me good and prompt service at a reasonable price. If I want to buy something right now - tubes, lube etc. - I have a selection of LBSs I can use - I choose to use the friendliest (not the cheapest) of the three vendors in my town. If you're gonna treat me like a noob - I'll go elsewhere or order online.

For stuff I don't need immediatly - or specialty stuff - I prefer to order it online from vendors like PBK - especially if I can buy in bulk at a good discount.
 

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The basis of the article is dumb. People have been doing this for a long time. Don't we do the exact same thing when we buy a car? I don't see any complaints about that. I buy what I like and take it to the shop to get it service. If they don't want to service the bike I bought online, someone else will. For example, I just bought a set of Dura Ace C24 9000 from Wiggle for $720. There is not a single shop in the states where I can get anything close to that price. Should I go ahead and spend $1200 at a shop for the same pair of wheels? Maybe some people have $500 to waste. I don't.
 

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My LBS gives everybody who purchased a bike from them a 20% discount on everything, even things they have to special order. The price I pay at LBS, for comparable merchandise, is almost always cheaper than any online source.
 

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Cranky Old Bastard
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That guy in the article peed me off; I'd never do that. To me he ripped off that shop owner because of what the owner pays to rent and heat the building and to have that stock on the shelves. That guy was just selfish, thumbed his nose at the owner after he used his stock to help make his decision.
I don't like the ap either. Is everyone who can't charge the absolute lowest price doomed to go out of business?

I don't want to shake the hornet's nest but are all of our communities better because MalWart moved in?

But I'm a people-person, a nonrepublican, and always try to support an individual owner rather than a corporation.
I say try because my budget is tiny and I have to stretch every cent.

I bought my new bike from the LBS because I've gotten to know and like the owner; he's friendly, honest and extremely knowledgeable.
He did a perfect job setting up the bike, lubing everything, etc., and a perfect job adjusting it to me, but I could have done those things myself just as well.
I could have gotten a bikesdirect bike for about 60% of what I paid but I made the decision to support my friend and community.

I buy most of my stuff online because he can't beat the low prices. But I try to give my dealer money when I can; this week I'm going in for a new rack because we'll be able to actually try them on the car, and a new helmet that fits my oval head(!) and new gloves that have just the right amount of padding.
 

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When it comes to small, menial items I'll shop at the LBS, but anything that costs over $100 is where I start comparing to online retailers. If I'm prospecting an expensive item or service, my mindset is that the establishment has to demonstrate that they want to earn my business vice taking it for granted. Recently, I upgraded my phone to a Samsung Galaxy Note 2, which Sprint advertised for $300 with the two-year contract. Wirefly advertised the same thing for $250, so I asked the sales associate what he would do to accommodate me. He said that he couldn't move on the $300, which I knew was nonsense, and it was further exacerbated by his impatience and condescension. I said to him, "If you don't want to earn my business, then find somebody who does." He brought out his manager, and I explained the situation to him, and the manager said he would match Wirefly's price. Figuring that I already got them to budge, I tested the waters more by asking, "Why should I settle for a price match if I already know I can get it from Wirefly for $250 with free shipping and no tax? What are you going to do to get my business right now?". He ended up beating Wirefly's price by $25 and threw in that flip-book cover that is specific to this phone. Had I been buying a USB cable, I wouldn't have said anything about the price, but this was obviously something far more substantial. Like others here have said finding a balance is important, but then again you also stand to get yourself high-grossed every time if you don't at least ask for a better deal.
 

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Do you go to all your local shops for all your needs or Walmart?

Most people do a little of both. Cyclists, I suspect, are the same.
I am anti-Walmart thus I rather pay a bit more for my grocery than give my business to a corporation who pay their every day workers minimum wage with crappy health insurance and benefits. I have no problem doing the same with bike stores.
 

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LBS only makes a fraction of the profit off the sticker price. The 5 G you are paying goes to the brand(Trek, Giant, Cervelo, Cannondale, etc) The shops make their money with bike service and accessories. Much like a convenience gas station making their profit on foods, drinks, car accessories since gas doesn't bring in much.
 

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I guess game of words or total BS, of course profit will be fraction since it can not be full amount, but if they can heavily discount bikes during fall it is quite profitable fraction. on $5500 Cannondale they still make good money when selling for $3500. Do not know other brands but probably it is similar.

if making money on accessories only would be the case they would go bankrupt since everyone buys overpriced accessories online according to the initial post.

all full msrp prices are ripoff, same applies to computers, TVs, and other items where margins are super tight due to market saturation, bikes are still quite opposite but eventually will end up there too at one point.
 

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Cranky Old Bastard
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Really? He ripped off the store by not buying anything?
Yes, he absolutely did.

Everything
costs the owner money, every single second: the rent, the heat, the lights, payroll. Those things all get paid whether he sells anything or not.

The money the owner paid to have those shoes sitting there would have earned interest if it were banked or invested. Or, like a lot of businesses, he may have used credit to get that stock. Now he is paying interest.

Did anyone on the payroll approach this jerk to ask if they could help him? Bam!, that cost the owner money. They just wasted time that could have been used productively.

We've all gone into stores without buying anything and that's ok. Part of the cost of running a business. This is different.

Time is money. Information is money.

I'm upset by the bigger picture here. Someone rejoiced at creating this ap that makes it incredibly easy to screw anyone who doesn't have the absolute lowest price. I bet that every day, all over the world, store owners are losing money to people that have no intention of buying from them.

Is it hard to imagine someone tying up a salesperson for an hour, let's say trying on clothes or shoes, that won't feel guilty about walking out with nothing but information? Salespeople are paid to help you buy, not to educate you so that you can give your money to someone else.

I'm an old fart and remember when it wasn't all about me me me.
 
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