Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

LBS Parts Policies

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

LBS Parts Policies

Old 08-11-05, 04:25 PM
  #1  
Cyclepath
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Willimantic, Connecticut
Posts: 499

Bikes: '70s Puch sport tourer, '90 Peugeot Success.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
LBS Parts Policies

I recently took a new 105 rear derail from Nashbar to be installed on my Peugeot Success & the mech said, "Would you bring food to a restraurant & expect them to cook it for you?" I can see they'd rather sell me the parts, but is it standard ettiquette to buy your parts from the shop? Don't want to put the LBS out of business, but how much of a profit do they make on parts as opposed to labor?

All LBS guys seem surly - maybe it's those razor-thin profit margins....
Cyclepath is offline  
Old 08-11-05, 04:33 PM
  #2  
webist
Huachuca Rider
 
webist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 4,275

Bikes: Fuji CCR1, Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It is probably somewhat unique to that shop or individual. If you were asking fo rit to be installed free, that would be one thing. Any intelligent LBS representative would have long ago accommodated their business model to the existence of mail order, internet sales and large bike chain sales. Service is one area they clearly retain the advantage.

Would you tolerate someone being a jerk about installing something you got as a gift from a loved one? I suggest you take your business elsewhere.
__________________
Just Peddlin' Around
webist is offline  
Old 08-11-05, 04:38 PM
  #3  
Pocorider
Trailmaster
 
Pocorider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Port Coquitlam BC
Posts: 101

Bikes: 2005 Norco Bigfoot

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Wow. I would definitely not go back there. My bike shop mechanic actually suggests to me sometimes to buy elsewhere for cheaper and he installs it.
Pocorider is offline  
Old 08-11-05, 06:41 PM
  #4  
capwater
Senior Member
 
capwater's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Quahog, RI
Posts: 1,509

Bikes: Giant TCR Comps, Cdale R5000, Klein Q-Pro, Litespeed Siena, Piasano 105, Redline Conquest Pro, Voodoo Bizango, Fuji Aloha

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Cyclepath
I recently took a new 105 rear derail from Nashbar to be installed on my Peugeot Success & the mech said, "Would you bring food to a restraurant & expect them to cook it for you?" I can see they'd rather sell me the parts, but is it standard ettiquette to buy your parts from the shop? Don't want to put the LBS out of business, but how much of a profit do they make on parts as opposed to labor?

All LBS guys seem surly - maybe it's those razor-thin profit margins....
Typical Mass Hole. I brought a headset to my local shop that I got off the internet since I didn't want to buy the tools to knock out the old cups and install the new ones. Guy did it for 10 bucks on the spot no questions asked. Now this is a local racer/rider type shop and not a chain. He realizes customer service is number one and also doesn't worry that I'll probably never buy a bike from him. Just a good guy doing the right thing and naturally his rep around town is top notch.
capwater is offline  
Old 08-11-05, 07:57 PM
  #5  
BostonFixed
Banned.
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,416
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Was this a shop in the boston area? Just curious, that's all.
BostonFixed is offline  
Old 08-11-05, 08:22 PM
  #6  
spider-man
Ferrous wheel
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 1,388

Bikes: 2004 Gunnar Rock Hound MTB; 1988 Gitane Team Pro road bike; 1986-ish Raleigh USA Grand Prix; mid-'80s Univega Gran Tourismo with Xtracycle Free Radical

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I would talk to the manager. If you get lip from him, tell him you'll take your business elsewhere.

I have an heirloom pocketwatch. My local jeweler is happy to service it for me, even though I didn't buy it from him.
spider-man is offline  
Old 08-11-05, 08:45 PM
  #7  
monogodo
NFL Owner
 
monogodo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Irving Heritage District
Posts: 1,488

Bikes: 7-Eleven Eddy Merckx, Vitus Futural, Catamount FRS, Colnago SL, SS MTB

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've been thinking about LBS profit margins as they relate to labor recently.

Back when I was a mechanic, I worked at a shop that had a bonus plan for the mechanics. They assigned a SKU to each of us to use when ringing up labor. They then were able to track each of our labor dollars sold. They then compared amount of labor sold to the amount of payroll we cost the company. If our labor exceeded our payroll (on an individual basis), we split the difference with the company, 50-50. There was no penalty for having payroll exceed labor dollars. During the year the program was in place, out of 4 mechanics, I was the only one to ever get a bonus from it. One guy got close a couple months, and another actually bonused. The rest never did enough in labor to cover their own payroll. I didn't hog all the high-dollar repairs, I did my fair share, then moved on to whatever hadn't been done. I guess I did well because I worked faster than the other guys. I also had the advantage of having my workbench closest to the shop entrance, so I got most of the quick repairs.

My point is, I wasn't profiting enough to make up for the loss the other guys were incurring. The owner looked at the Service Department as a necessary evil in owning a bike shop. His main focus was sales. Maybe it was just a poorly run shop.
monogodo is offline  
Old 08-11-05, 09:00 PM
  #8  
roadfix
hello
 
roadfix's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 18,601
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 149 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Cyclepath
"Would you bring food to a restraurant & expect them to cook it for you?"
Reply: "No, but the restaurant charges a corking fee everytime I bring my favourite bottle of wine."
roadfix is offline  
Old 08-11-05, 09:10 PM
  #9  
'nother
semifreddo amartuerer
 
'nother's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Northern CA
Posts: 4,599

Bikes: several

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Yeah, that shop sounds lame. I went to a shop, they didn't have the part I needed so they told me to go to a competitor's shop and buy the part, come back and they'd put it on. They even called around to the other shops in the area to help me locate the part. Of course they charged me a fee, but it was minimal, just their time. I tipped them more than they charged me (I don't normally tip, nor advocate tipping for standard service, but it was a pinch situation, they fit me in ahead of a full schedule of other repairs). I do a lot of my own wrenching now, but that scenario sealed my relationship with this shop -- excellent behavior IMHO.
'nother is offline  
Old 08-11-05, 10:02 PM
  #10  
Cyclepath
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Willimantic, Connecticut
Posts: 499

Bikes: '70s Puch sport tourer, '90 Peugeot Success.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for the feedback, guys. The shop is the only one in Northampton. I think it was the owner i was talking to. Next time i'll try one in Amherst.
Cyclepath is offline  
Old 08-11-05, 11:18 PM
  #11  
Raiyn
I drink your MILKSHAKE
 
Raiyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Posts: 15,061

Bikes: 2003 Specialized Rockhopper FSR Comp, 1999 Specialized Hardrock Comp FS, 1971 Schwinn Varsity

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Cyclepath
I recently took a new 105 rear derail from Nashbar to be installed on my Peugeot Success & the mech said, "Would you bring food to a restraurant & expect them to cook it for you?" I can see they'd rather sell me the parts, but is it standard ettiquette to buy your parts from the shop? Don't want to put the LBS out of business, but how much of a profit do they make on parts as opposed to labor?

All LBS guys seem surly - maybe it's those razor-thin profit margins....
It's pretty cut and dry. If you want to buy stuff online - learn to install it yourself. Problem solved.
__________________
Raiyn is offline  
Old 08-12-05, 08:26 AM
  #12  
rmfnla
Senior Member
 
rmfnla's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: La La Land (We love it!)
Posts: 6,300

Bikes: Gilmour road, Curtlo road; both steel (of course)

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 268 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
FWIW, some shops have this policy because if their wrench breaks something their supplier rep will usually warranty it; if it came from that rep's company.
__________________
Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...
rmfnla is offline  
Old 08-12-05, 09:31 AM
  #13  
MerckxMad
10 Speed
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 400
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by The Fixer
Reply: "No, but the restaurant charges a corking fee everytime I bring my favourite bottle of wine."

Uh, this is sort of like George Costanza's reply to his colegaue: "The jerk store called and they ran out of you."
MerckxMad is offline  
Old 08-12-05, 01:08 PM
  #14  
Impoliticus
roadie (mostly)
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 141

Bikes: Iron Horse Cyclone and a Jamis Exile

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
lol, it totally does sound like bikeworks. I know a friend who went there once and now tells horror stories.
Impoliticus is offline  
Old 08-12-05, 01:48 PM
  #15  
jalexei
Senior Member
 
jalexei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 112
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If I worked at a shop, I like to think I wouldn't be rude to a customer who bought something elsewhere and asked me to install it. At the same time, I think he had a point with the restaurant metaphor, and while we can agree that some shops' markups are a bit outrageous, I'd never have a shop install anything I bought elsewhere. I just wouldn't feel right.

Now that's my own hangup, so I don't want to judge anyone else, but Raiyn does make an excellent point.
jalexei is offline  
Old 08-12-05, 05:14 PM
  #16  
liv_rong
Senior Member
 
liv_rong's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago's Northwest suburb
Posts: 351

Bikes: It has two wheels

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
That is b.s. Im so sick of all these bad stories of bad shops. It sickens me to hear all of this customer abuse. Every shop Ive ever worked at had great customer service, i dont know if its just ive been lucky, but they have all been great. There are obviously a few bad apple employees who try to put their business ethics into the shop, but it has never really angered customers to any great extent. its so bad for shops to have all these people complain on the internet about why they suck. Because all of the good shops out there are getting a bad name. Fuk the bull-ish, dont go there anymore. Anyone in there right mind who worked at shop would install anyhting the customer asks, unless its not safe or doesnt fit. That said, go for a ride and when you get back drink beer.
liv_rong is offline  
Old 08-12-05, 05:16 PM
  #17  
liv_rong
Senior Member
 
liv_rong's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago's Northwest suburb
Posts: 351

Bikes: It has two wheels

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
BTW, I witnesses and took part in many, many occurances of customers bringing in stuff to install that they didnt buy at the shop. It is very common.
liv_rong is offline  
Old 08-12-05, 05:27 PM
  #18  
fmw
Hoosier Pedaler
 
fmw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,432
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I had a pleasant surprise at the LBS today. I was looking for a Park BBT-8, a type of bottom bracket tool. They didn't have one. The service manager showed me his Shimano tool and asked if it was the right one for the bottom bracket. I said "yes, are you selling those." He said, "no, this is our shop tool but you can borrow it if you bring it back before we close." That blew me away. I need to own one, though, for various reasons so I declined his offer. But it did blow me away. I bought some rim tape, chain pins and lightweight tubes from him as a small gesture of my appreciation. This is a shop that not only understands people having their parts, but also understands people doing their own mechanical work. The shop has been there for 91 years.
__________________
Fred
A tour of my stable of bicycles
fmw is offline  
Old 08-12-05, 08:09 PM
  #19  
Daily Commute
Ride the Road
 
Daily Commute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 4,059

Bikes: Surly Cross-Check; hard tail MTB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Raiyn
It's pretty cut and dry. If you want to buy stuff online - learn to install it yourself. Problem solved.
Raiyn's right. Part of why you pay the higher price is for the service. I can see why many shops would, for a fee, install a part bought elsewhere. But I wouldn't think that would endear you to them.
Daily Commute is offline  
Old 08-12-05, 08:27 PM
  #20  
skelly
anarchy burger
 
skelly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 969
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I usually only get service if I don't have the right tool. I just had a cog/lockring installed that I bought online. Since I asked him to install it after I picked out $70 worth of merch he installed it no charge. I've never asked for service without making some kind of purchase but I would expect them to just charge me a reasonable amount for labor, the idea being that I would come back to them to buy stuff. Being mean to the customer isn't usually a good call.
skelly is offline  
Old 08-12-05, 10:24 PM
  #21  
tonyt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 175

Bikes: 1982 Bianchi Superleggera (restored with NOS campagnolo components), 1987 Bianchi Campione Del Mundo, 1995 Bianchi Denali (M900/950 XTR components, viscous cycles rigid fork, mavic ceramics), 1996 Specialized Hardrock (winter beater, 8 speed XT group

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Cyclepath
Thanks for the feedback, guys. The shop is the only one in Northampton. I think it was the owner i was talking to. Next time i'll try one in Amherst.
Not sure if they are still there ( 10 yrs. have passed since college days) but I can vouch for Bicycle Two in Amherst. Great people to deal with great service too, say Hi to Parker for me if he's still running the show.
tonyt is offline  
Old 08-13-05, 12:48 PM
  #22  
askrom
Senior Member
 
askrom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 205
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Here's how to avoid stress at the bike store: Tell em you got the part from craigslist or ebay from someone who changed their mind after buying it.

It's enough of a fig-leaf cover story that even if they find it hard to beleive they won't be able to feel confident enough about it to actually refuse the service or give you lip about it.
askrom is offline  
Old 08-13-05, 12:57 PM
  #23  
askrom
Senior Member
 
askrom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 205
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Other good lies:

"I'm from out of town, and I bought these from my LBS there."
"I bought these here a year ago, but I never got around to installing them myself."
"A gift from my wife/husband, I assume she/he got them here."

Of course, the best policy is to tell the truth and, if they get snotty, tell them you'll never come back.
askrom is offline  
Old 08-15-05, 12:43 PM
  #24  
FreeHeeler
Junior Member
 
FreeHeeler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 9

Bikes: '91 Kona Explosif and a custom '04 RM Blizzard

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
<thinly veiled sarcasm>Funny, I've taken my car to a mechanic that didn't sell me the car. He didn't have a problem doing the repair.</end thinly veiled sarcasm>

It is the perogative of the shop owner whether he/she wants to have a policy regarding installing third party purchased parts, but being rude to a customer just isn't acceptable. Besides, that's why bike shops charge labour.

On the flip side, it would be rude of the customer to come in to the store, pick the mechanic's brain for an hour about the best parts to gain the benefit of the mechanic's experience, and then go and buy the part online because it was $20 cheaper. The mechanic had to invest his time and effort to gain that experience and knowledge. If it only costs you $20 to get it - isn't that worth it?
FreeHeeler is offline  
Old 08-15-05, 01:07 PM
  #25  
jalexei
Senior Member
 
jalexei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 112
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
<thinly veiled sarcasm>Funny, I've taken my car to a mechanic that didn't sell me the car. He didn't have a problem doing the repair.</end thinly veiled sarcasm>
I agree with the rest of your post, but this analogy doesn't quite work, unless there are places that just fix bikes without selling them. Because I have gotten hassled for taking my car in to a different dealer than where it was purchased (not that I'm defending the a**hats, but it does happen).
jalexei is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.