Another day, another customer. This time, a longtime customer who brings in a printout from an online source based right here in our adorable hipster paradise, asks if we can special order the item and then asks if we can match the price.
Online retailer's price for said item is $64.00.
While customer cools his heels out front I research the item in the ordering office.
Our wholesale price determines that we would have to sell the item for $76.00; we can't even come close to price-matching without cutting off several body parts and giving up most of our margin on the item.
I tell the customer we can order the item for him but that we cannot match price. Longtime custoemr shocks me by saying he'll buy the item here, and asks me to special-order it for him. At our price.
I'm pleased, but also more than a little confounded. With the outcome of this sort of interaction growing increasingly hard to predict, how will brick-and-mortar bike shops like ours plan ahead?
Some days I just want to bang my head against the wall.