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Topic: Rant about bike shop bashing and online information.

Posted on: 16th Dec 2005 2:34 AM    Quote and Reply

We've all seen and know why togoparts discourages the online bashing of bike shops and how many "newer" cyclists esepcially want to clamour for more "power" to the consumer.


This will never stop IMHO, but to many newbie cyclists and the younger generation, I have this to say.

Do not expect the forums or any other online portal for that matter to spoon feed each and every one of you with detailed information about prices. We've been in an era where there's NO internet, NO emails, NO forums, NO mobile phones, NO SMS. About the ONLY technology available to us was either to call them on the PHONE and actually visiting them.

We built up relationships with LBSs the good old way with sincerity and friendliness that goes both ways. We appreciate the efforts of bicycle shop owners, distributors and the likes for without them, we wouldn't be able to get imported brands into Singapore.

Understand why sometimes prices CANNOT be lowered. If you've been abroad, you'll learn that the prices here are already very low indeed. Just because you've bought something that costs a few pennies less at another shop doesn't mean that you've been conned out of your life savings. Remember that different shops in different venues have different overheads.

When bikeshops bend over backwards to offer you a great deal on older models, appreciate the effort and continue to support them on a long term basis and you'll find yourself getting more and more good prices in the future.

Websites and forums such as togoparts (and others) have been abused and maniuplated sometimes to cause conflicts and misunderstandings not only among the cycling community but amongst different LBSs as well.

Please understand that while there is a voice for riders on forums, it can be easily turned into a malicious assault on innocent parties involved. A simple post about where you got this at $x just to "convince" a retailer that he has to match it isn't any more ethical than a ECP bike rental place trying to sell you a cheng sin tube for $12 because yours punctured.

Do understand that both LBS and cyclists NEED each other's support to the continued existent of the sport we treasure and love. Let's be nice to one another and keep this delicate balance in check shall we?

Remember, Emails, faxes, posts, SMSes, phone conversations and etc CANNOT EVER replace a HANDSHAKE after a great deal has been closed

Lor Sor Forumer
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Posted on: 16th Dec 2005 3:46 AM    Quote and Reply


This ought to be stickied and hopefully, read before anyone decides to use the forum as a catharsis again.

Anyway to add on, there is no explicit ban on "shop-bashing" per se.
If you have an experience to share, whether positive or more often, negative, do it from an objective and unemotional point of view.

The obvious effort on the part of the moderators in discouraging such posts is due to the nature of most threads - Vague accounts with a generous dose of angry,disparage accusations.

We understand you're pissed off by a bad encounter, but posting it on a virtual forum serves little purpose other than replaying the scenario and making yourself more angry, and possibly bring a whoop ass of trouble - from being blacklisted by shops to actual civil suits. It has happened before and will happen again.

Cooling down for a day is good idea. If there is a serious issue, do take it up to CASE or write in to the Straits Times. These avenues are more effective in remedying and reforming such conflict. I should also point out that they require you to present your particulars before it will be published/looked into. Togoparts has no way of doing that.

You have to realise that there are guys who have tried to use the site's mass reach and influence to wreck havoc and slander business owners. While some have a real face associated to their nick, most are just a virtual monicker with an email. It's impossible to sift the legitmate complains from those who have a personal vendetta - past personal feuds or even competitors.

All in all, we're all humans and have our bad days. Sometimes, it can be a simple misunderstanding or misinterpretation of either party. Getting sued for libel because you posted in the heat of the moment and with half-facts is definitely not anyone's intended outcome or purpose.

Happy Trails,
Glausy


Weirdos impersonating me
Lor Sor Forumer
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Posted on: 16th Dec 2005 6:47 AM    Quote and Reply


Quote:
"Formerly posted by SIM37:
We've all seen and know why togoparts discourages the online bashing of bike shops and how many "newer" cyclists esepcially want to clamour for more "power" to the consumer.


This will never stop IMHO, but to many newbie cyclists and the younger generation, I have this to say.

Do not expect the forums or any other online portal for that matter to spoon feed each and every one of you with detailed information about prices. We've been in an era where there's NO internet, NO emails, NO forums, NO mobile phones, NO SMS. About the ONLY technology available to us was either to call them on the PHONE and actually visiting them.

We built up relationships with LBSs the good old way with sincerity and friendliness that goes both ways. We appreciate the efforts of bicycle shop owners, distributors and the likes for without them, we wouldn't be able to get imported brands into Singapore.

Understand why sometimes prices CANNOT be lowered. If you've been abroad, you'll learn that the prices here are already very low indeed. Just because you've bought something that costs a few pennies less at another shop doesn't mean that you've been conned out of your life savings. Remember that different shops in different venues have different overheads.

When bikeshops bend over backwards to offer you a great deal on older models, appreciate the effort and continue to support them on a long term basis and you'll find yourself getting more and more good prices in the future.

Websites and forums such as togoparts (and others) have been abused and maniuplated sometimes to cause conflicts and misunderstandings not only among the cycling community but amongst different LBSs as well.

Please understand that while there is a voice for riders on forums, it can be easily turned into a malicious assault on innocent parties involved. A simple post about where you got this at $x just to "convince" a retailer that he has to match it isn't any more ethical than a ECP bike rental place trying to sell you a cheng sin tube for $12 because yours punctured.

Do understand that both LBS and cyclists NEED each other's support to the continued existent of the sport we treasure and love. Let's be nice to one another and keep this delicate balance in check shall we?

Remember, Emails, faxes, posts, SMSes, phone conversations and etc CANNOT EVER replace a HANDSHAKE after a great deal has been closed

"

i THANK YOU.

Lor Sor Forumer
902 posts
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Singapore
Posted on: 16th Dec 2005 12:32 PM    Quote and Reply


Great post and excellent highlights, Sim37.

Senior Forumer
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Posted on: 16th Dec 2005 2:14 PM    Quote and Reply


Quote:
"Formerly posted by DJ_Monkey: Great post and excellent highlights, Sim37."

 

Hoo yah! to that....  

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Posted on: 16th Dec 2005 2:21 PM    Quote and Reply


I too, add in my personal capacity:

Sometimes shops are pretty nice places to go to, sometimes they're not. Difference? The attitude we bring along with it. Similarly, the pricing. Sometimes we get quoted S$X for an item, only to find out it has gone up the next day to S$Y. And we get peeved. Like any other market, please remember, bike (component) pricing is an alive market - it is still liable to market forces; just like stocks and equity (wah biang, why am I saying this stocks thing though I know nuts?) - so don't be too surprised why there's ups and downs.

Granted, some places have higher pricing, but hey, as SIM37 said, all places have their own mathematics to do. For those who think bikeshops are easy business, think about this. How much does it cost you in capital to buy over say 10 bikes of averager S$3000 retail, even if you are getting it at cost price. Then work in the rental; utilities bill. Then you'll see a different picture.

Gee, this isn't the me I used to know years ago. And I'm glad to learn more along the way how the business goes. So, support your favourite shops, don't visit those that give you high blood pressure - that way no one gets upset

Happy Riding! (and Holidays too!) 

'ShutterBugger'
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Posted on: 16th Dec 2005 5:47 PM    Quote and Reply


I had some experience working at a bike shop and it's not easy to work with customers who ask for lower prices(Anyway, now I'm in a different industry). I really enjoyed serving customers who are into biking and not the guys/gals who come to the shop only looking for the "best" price. It's hard work telling them that I'm in no position to give any discounts. It's not my shop and I'm working for someone else.

I guess it's not what about how "cheap" the stuff is or how much you can save but a standard pricing throughout the industry in Singapore would help. If bike shops especially distributors do not set out a standard price(MSRP) locally, the prices will vary greatly between different shops.

It's really not fair for someone who lives in Jurong to pay a higher price for example a helmet which could be had for much less in East Coast. Singapore is such a small country. Why can't this be done? Some bike shops are profiteering and the rest are struggling.... customers & bike shops lose.

Posting prices on the net isn't wrong as long as it's a standard price set by someone in the industry(basically, this would be the distributor of the product).

Quote:
"Formerly posted by SIM37:

We've all seen and know why togoparts discourages the online bashing of bike shops and how many "newer" cyclists esepcially want to clamour for more "power" to the consumer.


This will never stop IMHO, but to many newbie cyclists and the younger generation, I have this to say.

Do not expect the forums or any other online portal for that matter to spoon feed each and every one of you with detailed information about prices. We've been in an era where there's NO internet, NO emails, NO forums, NO mobile phones, NO SMS. About the ONLY technology available to us was either to call them on the PHONE and actually visiting them.

We built up relationships with LBSs the good old way with sincerity and friendliness that goes both ways. We appreciate the efforts of bicycle shop owners, distributors and the likes for without them, we wouldn't be able to get imported brands into Singapore.

Understand why sometimes prices CANNOT be lowered. If you've been abroad, you'll learn that the prices here are already very low indeed. Just because you've bought something that costs a few pennies less at another shop doesn't mean that you've been conned out of your life savings. Remember that different shops in different venues have different overheads.

When bikeshops bend over backwards to offer you a great deal on older models, appreciate the effort and continue to support them on a long term basis and you'll find yourself getting more and more good prices in the future.

Websites and forums such as togoparts (and others) have been abused and maniuplated sometimes to cause conflicts and misunderstandings not only among the cycling community but amongst different LBSs as well.

Please understand that while there is a voice for riders on forums, it can be easily turned into a malicious assault on innocent parties involved. A simple post about where you got this at $x just to "convince" a retailer that he has to match it isn't any more ethical than a ECP bike rental place trying to sell you a cheng sin tube for $12 because yours punctured.

Do understand that both LBS and cyclists NEED each other's support to the continued existent of the sport we treasure and love. Let's be nice to one another and keep this delicate balance in check shall we?

Remember, Emails, faxes, posts, SMSes, phone conversations and etc CANNOT EVER replace a HANDSHAKE after a great deal has been closed
"

Senior Forumer
561 posts
Forum Rep: 0

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Posted on: 16th Dec 2005 6:17 PM    Quote and Reply


ok, here is my point of view.

i have to agree that shld be a MSRP in place. truth be told, they are in place already, but there will ALWAYS be a few ROGUE shops that don't adhere to it and to be honest and unfortunately, most of the local distributors don't care, they have already made their margins, so let the shops slug it out.

having been in the industry for almost 5 years now, 2 working for someone else and 3 on my own, i don't think things will get better. i wish i could figure out how to post a pic of a price list i took when i was on holiday in Oz and show all of you out there how lucky you are to be staying in S'pore.

i have said many times before, you get what you pay for, although it may not always be the case and if you happen to get shoddy work done, just don't go back to that shop, but if you want your bike to be looked after, don't quibble about prices, if any of you think you can do a better job WITHOUT the right tools then go ahead, but if something screws up, DON'T EXPECT the shop to repair the damage, which was caused by you (not referring to anyone in particular here, so don't take it personally), for free.

so, to all who think that they shld get things done for next to nothing, open up a bike shop and invest in all the tools and i'll come by to visit you with my bikeS. remember, you can't charge me more than $40 for a FULL SERVICE!

Lor Sor Forumer
902 posts
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Singapore
Posted on: 17th Dec 2005 2:08 PM    Quote and Reply


Good points, singlespeed.  Sad to say, consumers are consumers and most won't be bother about how LBS are doing except where to get the stuff they want at the cheapest price.  I for one do not like to support parallel imported stuff especially on hobbies that I enjoy.

And in view of distributors, I can understand that why some don't care since they have met their margins.  While those who does are kinda helpless against the parallel importors due to Singapore law.  In addition, not to mention the few ROGUE shops who's intention is to attract customers by selling local distributoed price at a ridiculous low price.  If I am the distributor and got solid evidence that my dealers are doing so, I would cut them loose for such dealers do not understand the value and do not really care about the products.

In view of such situations, I don't think that it'll be possible for any LBS to post their prices online unless they are the sole distributor/dealer of that product and no one else have it in any kind of manner.

Anyhow, I have witness serveral ugly types at my favourite LBSs.  Like what you have siad, let's hope to see these pricing and services whiners to one day set up a bike shop and see how they enjoy when they face their own kinds.

Senior Forumer
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Posted on: 18th Dec 2005 1:09 AM    Quote and Reply


And of course, I remember the headset cup press that cost waywards of $400 or even more... and gee, I don't know what I spent so much as to ~$900 for tools for my bikes. And I'm very sure there are many more silent forum members who know a lot, but are keeping silent because they don't want to create a scene or reprimand others.

Each time I feel back when I see some riders who can't bother about tool integrity just dropping a wrench that they have just borrowed from the store they're at - and the worst thing is that they don't know what they're doing - probably screwing their own things as well as making the bikeshop having to waste money to replenish the tools.

Oh, speaking of tools - I think these two tools make a very good Christmas (or anytime) gift to your favourite bikeshop - a 5mm and 6mm Bondhus long Allen key. Likeliest to go missing, or getting lost or damaged. Any bikeshop owner would really appreciate you noticing it, I think. 

'ShutterBugger'
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Posted on: 19th Dec 2005 12:31 PM    Quote and Reply


I think consumers make up of two types...... students    .. and those who already work....

Lor Sor Forumer
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