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What have you done lately for your LBS?

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What have you done lately for your LBS?

Old 07-08-12, 07:06 PM
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eja_ bottecchia
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What have you done lately for your LBS?

I read a lot of threads here about bad LBS, bad LBS mechanics, LBS that are clueless, LBS that charge too much, etc.

I happen to really like my LBS, Nonstop Ciclismo in Ventura, California.

The owner (Keith), the sales staff (JP, Martha and Nick) and the wrench (Sean) are all helpful, know their way around bikes and always seem to stock all the goodies that I really like.

So, from time to time I like to do nice things for them.

I have tipped the wrench, I have bought a bottle of nice Italian grappa and six pack of beer for them, and I occasionally bring them bagels and cream cheese on Friday mornings. I have also bought books for their growing bike library.

I understand that ours is essentially a commercial relationship, but I also understand that these are people, and just like you and me, they like to be treated nicely.

How many of you do little nice things for your LBS and their staff? What do you do?
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Old 07-08-12, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
I read a lot of threads here about bad LBS, bad LBS mechanics, LBS that are clueless, LBS that charge too much, etc.

I happen to really like my LBS, Nonstop Ciclismo in Ventura, California.

The owner (Keith), the sales staff (JP, Martha and Nick) and the wrench (Sean) are all helpful, know their way around bikes and always seem to stock all the goodies that I really like.

So, from time to time I like to do nice things for them.

I have tipped the wrench, I have bought a bottle of nice Italian grappa and six pack of beer for them, and I occasionally bring them bagels and cream cheese on Friday mornings. I have also bought books for their growing bike library.

I understand that ours is essentially a commercial relationship, but I also understand that these are people, and just like you and me, they like to be treated nicely.

How many of you do little nice things for your LBS and their staff? What do you do?
Mickey's Big Mouth Malt Liquor and Guinness Stout about the time the mechanics are shutting down and seeping the shop floor. I haven't had a drink in 20+ years, so its vicarious for me.

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Old 07-08-12, 08:07 PM
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Bicycle shops are businesses who need to do something for me in order for me to give them my business. They aren't charities which need donations and support.


Do you provide bagals and cream cheese to the places you buy your shoes, clothing, music, furniture, etc. etc. too?
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Old 07-08-12, 08:28 PM
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If it's like my LBS, you do it cause they're just a great bunch of folks that you feel good doing something for.
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Old 07-08-12, 08:29 PM
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Last good thing I did for them was to order GP4000's online. 2 for $85 (free shipping). That leaves the LBS's stock there for suckers to pay $75 each. That's what I do for them.
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Old 07-08-12, 08:42 PM
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I haven't done anything for the bike shop lately, but in the last few weeks I have,
  • Brought coffee and donuts to the checkers at Walmart.
  • Gave a tip to the customer service rep when I paid a parking ticket.
  • Loaded my own trash into the Waste Management truck.
  • Hugged the mailman.
  • Bought my favorite bartender a beer. He thanked me and said it was the first one he'd had since joining AA 468 days before!
  • Tipped my barber $3 even though one sideburn is a little shorter.
  • Made pizza and cake for the local Overeaters Anonymous meeting.
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Old 07-08-12, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Bicycle shops are businesses who need to do something for me in order for me to give them my business. They aren't charities which need donations and support.


Do you provide bagals and cream cheese to the places you buy your shoes, clothing, music, furniture, etc. etc. too?
Actually I do. Just last Friday I took bagels and "shmear" to the guys at the parts department and the sales department at my local Benz dealer. They treat my wife and me real well and often go out of their way to make sure that we get that we are happy and get "special treatment."

It is like tipping the guy who mows my lawn, cuts my hair, delivers my dry cleaning, etc. Those little acts of kindness go a long way in building relationships that are mutually beneficial. You'd be surprised how many doors are opened, wide open at that, by these little acts.

I have raised my children to do the same and they now are beginning to see the fruits of their own actions.

Try it someday, you may be pleasantly surprised.
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Old 07-08-12, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by GP View Post
I haven't done anything for the bike shop lately, but in the last few weeks I have,
  • Brought coffee and donuts to the checkers at Walmart.
  • Gave a tip to the customer service rep when I paid a parking ticket.
  • Loaded my own trash into the Waste Management truck.
  • Hugged the mailman.
  • Bought my favorite bartender a beer. He thanked me and said it was the first one he'd had since joining AA 468 days before!
  • Tipped my barber $3 even though one sideburn is a little shorter.
  • Made pizza and cake for the local Overeaters Anonymous meeting.
C'est drole, tres drole!
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Old 07-08-12, 08:54 PM
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I gave them money in exchange for goods and services.

Last edited by TJPII; 07-08-12 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 07-08-12, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
I happen to really like my LBS, Nonstop Ciclismo in Ventura, California.
It's funny that you should mention them. I've bought a couple things from them on ebay and planned on stopping by when I'm up there for Cool Breeze.

At the local shop I normally go to, the regular customers help bring in the bikes at closing.
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Old 07-08-12, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by GP View Post
It's funny that you should mention them. I've bought a couple things from them on ebay and planned on stopping by when I'm up there for Cool Breeze.

At the local shop I normally go to, the regular customers help bring in the bikes at closing.
They are good people. You will like talking to Sean, the wrench.
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Old 07-09-12, 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Bicycle shops are businesses who need to do something for me in order for me to give them my business. They aren't charities which need donations and support.


Do you provide bagals and cream cheese to the places you buy your shoes, clothing, music, furniture, etc. etc. too?
I agree that some stores are just a retail business. Others I have built a relationship with the people that work there. Want good customer service? Sometimes it takes building a relationship. I have taken beer and pizza into my LBS to share after closing. My wife makes up Christmas goody trays for them. We also do the same for a variety of other stores we frequent. I probably should point out that we seldom frequent big box stores, we much prefer the smaller locally owned stores. As an example of above and beyond service: I bought parts for one of my tractors, the part wouldn't fit, I called the store to see if they had a different part number. It was on a Saturday and they closed at noon, there was no way I was going to be able to get back up there before they closed. The parts guy said don't worry I will bring a couple of different parts out to you. An hour later I have the correct part in hand, now THAT is customer service. I insisted he stay and have lunch with us and he and his fellow employees will be getting a Christmas tray from us. Yes I pay for the parts, but that is the kind of service that goes above and beyond. I don't expect service like that, but when I get it I am always pleased and want to show my appreciation.

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Old 07-09-12, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
Last good thing I did for them was to order GP4000's online. 2 for $85 (free shipping). That leaves the LBS's stock there for suckers to pay $75 each. That's what I do for them.
That also frees up their time from all that stock reordering and shelf restocking.
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Old 07-09-12, 09:46 AM
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Put in 8 hours every Saturday..
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Old 07-09-12, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Do you provide bagals and cream cheese to the places you buy your shoes, clothing, music, furniture, etc. etc. too?
No, but those places are plentiful. We've lost two LBSs in in the local area recently, one of which was my go-to place. I don't really want to lose another one when there really aren't that many around.


As far as what I've done for them recently, on our pub crawl last night, we passed a cyclist and he asked what we were doing. He was new in town, and I invited him to join us, and when we stopped, I introduced him to the LBS owner and a mechanic from the same shop. Some of the best advertisement you can get is via word of mouth.
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Old 07-09-12, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
I agree that some stores are just a retail business. Others I have built a relationship with the people that work there. Want good customer service? Sometimes it takes building a relationship. I have taken beer and pizza into my LBS to share after closing. My wife makes up Christmas goody trays for them. We also do the same for a variety of other stores we frequent. I probably should point out that we seldom frequent big box stores, we much prefer the smaller locally owned stores. As an example of above and beyond service: I bought parts for one of my tractors, the part wouldn't fit, I called the store to see if they had a different part number. It was on a Saturday and they closed at noon, there was no way I was going to be able to get back up there before they closed. The parts guy said don't worry I will bring a couple of different parts out to you. An hour later I have the correct part in hand, now THAT is customer service. I insisted he stay and have lunch with us and he and his fellow employees will be getting a Christmas tray from us. Yes I pay for the parts, but that is the kind of service that goes above and beyond. I don't expect service like that, but when I get it I am always pleased and want to show my appreciation.

Aaron
Aaron, you and your wife are good people and your efforts are obviously rewarded with much-better-than-average customer service.

The mechanic and the owner of the LBS where I bought my 'Nago C59 stayed late--way past closing time--in order to get my C59 ready for me to take home on time for my Father's Day ride. That meant a lot to me.

My parents owned a business for many, many years. They treated their customers right, gave them great prices and fantastic service. Sometimes, when a customer couldn't pay the full invoice, my parents would let them pay whenever they could--my parents were never stiffed by a customer.

During the L.A. riots (I mean civil disobedience) my parents' business went untouched, while businesses on either side of their shop were ransacked. I like to think that people in the community knew that my parents were decent folks and they respected that.

Around Christmas time customers would bring my parents presents, home-cooked meals, cookies, baked goods, etc.

From that experience I learned that commerce is a two-way street. The LBS has to take good care of its customers. Customers, however, need to show their appreciation for a business that goes above and beyond in providing good prices and great service.

A little side story: Three years after my parents sold their business, it closed down. Customers missed my pearents' personal touch. Seems like the new owners were only interested in making the most profit out of the goods they sold and did not care much for their customers.
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Old 07-09-12, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Bicycle shops are businesses who need to do something for me in order for me to give them my business. They aren't charities which need donations and support.


Do you provide bagals and cream cheese to the places you buy your shoes, clothing, music, furniture, etc. etc. too?
I agree. Yea, a tip maybe for SERVICE by an individual above and beyond. But the other stuff is very odd to me. It's a flippin' business, not a prom date.
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Old 07-09-12, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by TJPII View Post
I gave them money in exchange for goods and services.
+1. I'll take a bike in for work that I can't (or don't want to) do myself, pick up some tubes or GU or other things.
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Old 07-09-12, 01:45 PM
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I am a chef and cook for them all the time and bring it in. They always provide me same day service and help me out. In return, I feed them...well!
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Old 07-09-12, 02:07 PM
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I'm nice and friendly to them and sometimes buy small stuff from them that I could have just as easily gotten online for a couple of bucks less, but I can't say I do anything for them. They're ok for me, but I'm not sure that I'd say they go above and beyond to be rewarded. I did try tipping a guy at the hardware shop who has gone above and beyond and he flat out turned me down (he went running in the store looking for the size bolt I needed when my double wide stroller wouldn't fit through their door, then watched the stroller when I went in to pay and has just been generally helpful whenever I visited). I'd thought he might, so at first I tried leaving it for him at the cash register, but the teller told me to ask him about it and he said no thanks.
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Old 07-09-12, 02:28 PM
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I've bought two expensive bicycles from a "local" bike shop (70 miles away). I get a modest to good discount on things and can get anything they have in stock in 1 day UPS (thing extra long tandem cables). In turn I've twice on a Saturday following a mechanical problem with our tandem had the owner offer to come pick us up (2-3 hour round trip). Turns out we were able to get going and didn't need the assist, but it's all about service and word-of-mouth advertising especially when you're selling expensive goods.
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Old 07-09-12, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
I agree. Yea, a tip maybe for SERVICE by an individual above and beyond. But the other stuff is very odd to me. It's a flippin' business, not a prom date.
Exactly! I will give a tip at a restaurant even if the waiter not doing a good job. That is the effect of my daughter wearing off on me. She has said to me before, “Daddy you don’t know what is going on in that person’s life or what kind of day they have had and they may need that good tip more than anyone.” She even gets aggravated with me if I take out a calculator to see how much 15% is. However, giving a tip at a bike shop is not going to happen.

Call me cheap if you want to but the only tip a bikes shop will get from me, is that I will return to buy something I need even if it is a little cheaper on line. How, if it is a lot cheaper on line I will order it.

Last edited by GrandaddyBiker; 07-09-12 at 03:17 PM. Reason: take out a word
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Old 07-09-12, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
I am a chef and cook for them all the time and bring it in. They always provide me same day service and help me out. In return, I feed them...well!
Nice!
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Old 07-10-12, 07:37 AM
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ChefIsaac - What Shop in Cherry Hill?

Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
I am a chef and cook for them all the time and bring it in. They always provide me same day service and help me out. In return, I feed them...well!
Hello Chef,
My elderly Mom and brother live up in Cherry Hill. I always bring a bike when I come up to visit. What shop do you frequent? I've seen them in Marlton, in Haddonfield, and two on Rt 70 in Cherry Hill. The Marlton one seems most neighborly...

Phil G.
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Old 07-10-12, 12:39 PM
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I work disease rides for them.

They've even offered to pay me but I say, "Just give me a T-shirt and I'll wave the flag proudly for you." Then I take my tools and pump out somewhere and set up a pop-up with the LBS logo on it. I pump up tires all day and listen to people tell me that they'll flat more often and won't go nearly as fast if their tires aren't AT LEAST 120 psi and if I don't believe that I must not know what I'm doing.

In return for putting up with that and not killing anybody, the LBS gives me pretty deep discounts on everything that I buy from them.
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