I Will Never Buy from an LBS Again

The duke

Active Member
I bought my Giant analog bike from my local bike shop 2 years ago. Service was great and they were always happy to help me. I paid probably $200 more than I would have online, but I had them standing behind me and I helped support a local business.

When it came to buying my first ebike earlier this year, I really wanted to buy from them again. But I decided to buy online from LoneStar Ebikes. I saved about $1,000 over buying locally, plus Lonestar didnt charge me tax.

Well, Lonestar was the e-vendor nightmare everyone talks about. All the problems I could have had working with an online vendor, I did. And they went out of business soon after my purchase.

I was kicking myself for not buying locally, until today when I took my analog bike down to my LBS for a 2 year tune up. THEYRE OUT OF BUSINESS TOO!! They only made it 3 years! At leas by buying online, I saved a grand. Both vendors I used for my two bikes are gone. And WE'RE IN A GOOD ECONOMY! Imagine when the cycle shifts down and businesses really start doing bad!

Neither of my bikes has anyone to stand behind it. But I do have the money I saved, still in my pocket. A lesson learned for me. I'll never buy local again if I have the option to save money online.
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PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
At least if you buy from an established brand, like Giant, you will be able to go to any Giant dealer and get your bike serviced. You can't say that for most, if not all, online sellers. I'd stick with the LBS, especially for an ebike.
 

Tars Tarkas

Active Member
The shop I bought my first real bike from almost 50 years ago is still in business, albeit with a different owner. That bike was stolen about 48 years ago. I bought an analog Trek at another local shop about 15 years ago. That shop disappeared about 2 years later. I bought my RadRover from Rad something over a year ago. They've been very supportive over the phone and by email, and they're still around, but I'd want to find an LBS to do any major work, like maybe truing wheels after an accident.

I think it gives you a bit of a leg up on support for a while when you go for service to the place you bought your bike, but in my experience, even if they last forever, they don't remember you that long. Mostly they're interested in cash on the barrel head.

If you need support occasionally for odd jobs, loyalty probably doesn't amount to much. If you come in every two months for a tune up and buy everything they recommend, they'll probably smile and jump right on taking care of you.

TT
 

christob

Well-Known Member
Huh. That seems to me a rather strange lesson to draw here... it feels penny-wise and pound foolish to me to say all LBS's are now not worth your future sales business (while, I'm assuming, you still wish them to stick around and remain solvent for service work) simply because this LBS didn't last. I'm not saying that your LBS going under was due to losing your specific bike sale to online, of course; they could've been badly managed, could've run bad customer support, etc... who knows... but droves of customers across all retail, chasing the better price online, inevitably weaken the revenues at community shops, and closing for good is the painful reality if a shop can't pay the rent. While in the same timeline, the now-failed online retailer who saved you money (perhaps in no small part by eliminating any kind of post-sales support, for issue resolutions you might've expected to achieve successfully in-person at an LBS) never added (nor will the next one you buy from) anything to your community from the start.
 

e-boy

Well-Known Member
Isn't Bicycle Warehouse a Chain , or is it a Franchise ; or just a commonly named Independent ?
 

emtbdude

Member
A tune up is only $60. $80 in an affluent area if the store wants to gouge you and the locals allow it.

If you haven't figured this out yet, online businesses go out of business also.
 

The duke

Active Member
That's really sad.

You should be feeling guilty about contributing to the demise of a local business that provided good service, not proud about contributing to the collapse of a society via tax avoidance.
Hey, I employ a very expensive CPA in my quest for tax avoidance and am proud of every dollar I dont hand to Uncle Donald.

I really think it's swimming against the stream to try and use your own dollars to try and prop up an inefficient business model. My business decision is that if I can save $750 or more on an ebike, that's more than the value of any service or support I could get from an LBS.....and that LBS might not be around to compare to anyway.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Hey, I employ a very expensive CPA in my quest for tax avoidance and am proud of every dollar I dont hand to Uncle Donald.

I really think it's swimming against the stream to try and use your own dollars to try and prop up an inefficient business model. My business decision is that if I can save $750 or more on an ebike, that's more than the value of any service or support I could get from an LBS.....and that LBS might not be around to compare to anyway.
It's all good if the buyer can handle the maintenance and the troubleshooting. Having been involved in doing support for kits since Dec 2015 I can say definitively there are a fair number of buyers that NEED an LBS. I have some pretty amazing stories about ridiculous attempts at self-support. Key in the charge port is a favorite! !!!POOF!!!
 

ChezCheese:)

Active Member
You're so thrilled that you cheated your state out of sales tax. That sales tax helps pay for the parks you like to ride in, the roads and signage that help you get from here to there, and the emergency services to aid you when you crash. Well done you. Freeloading on society.

By buying from a local business, you contribute to someone else in your community, so that they can buy food and services from other businesses in your local community. What do you do for a living? How will it be for you when your customers trail off because their jobs disappeared?
 

Solom01

Well-Known Member
I don't want to get involved in guessing motives, but charging sales tax on out of state companies that don't have a presence in the ship to state is a bad thing. These companies aren't getting any services from the ship to state except for the use of their roads by common carriers, and the common carriers do pay taxes to the ship to state to maintain those roads. I assume some of you remember the Articles of Confederation from school. Our forefathers quickly learned that when you give a state the power to tax a company from another state that can't vote or have representation in that state they quickly rush to tax them until they make interstate commerce a disaster. Apparently that lesson was lost on the idiots in the current Supreme Court. If a state needs more taxes to run by all means raise them. But they should be paid by residents of their state that can vote them out if they don't agree. Remember the Boston Tea Party? Taxing people who have no representation wasn't a good idea back then and it won't be now. States like California have taxed their citizens to the point where a lot of them are moving out - and they're the ones who have money and make good citizens. Maybe they can use some of this new found windfall from taxing foreign states to solve their third world homeless problem? After all, they've done such a good job of solving it after spending hundreds of millions of taxpayer money on the problem.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
charging sales tax on out of state companies that don't have a presence in the ship to state is a bad thing.
None of the companies I buy from online, out of state, charge sales tax unless they've reached an agreement with the state OR have a business presence in MN.
 

Tars Tarkas

Active Member
charging sales tax on out of state companies that don't have a presence in the ship to state is a bad thing. These companies aren't getting any services from the ship to state except for the use of their roads by common carriers, and the common carriers do pay taxes to the ship to state to maintain those roads
It's not the companies that are charged the sales tax, it's the consumer. In Tennessee, if I buy a bike from a company in, say California, and they don't collect TN sales tax, I'm supposed to fill out a form and pay it myself straight to the state. Most people don't do that, and there are certainly varying opinions on the logic involved. The point is though, out of state companies don't pay TN sales tax. They collect it at the point of sale from the buyer and pass it on to Tennessee.

TT