Tuesday, February 15, 2011

[expletive deleted] online bike shops

A customer comes in and inquires about a big-ticket item. Our retail on said item is $495. We charge $75.00 labor to assemble and set up said item. Customer informs us that [insert name of online bike warehouse] is selling the same item for $439, and he plans to build it up himself anyway. He wants us to price-match. I gently tell the customer that the warehouse shop can order 50 to 70 units at a time, which is why they can sell the item for so much less. We are unable to price-match, but I point out that the customer will probably pay the difference in shipping and handling anyway, meaning he would not save any money.

Customer tells me the online dealer is offering free shipping with a minimum dollar purchase for the next couple of weeks. I smile and shrug my shoulders; what else can I say to him? It feels like he's baiting me, and I don't really feel like dealing with his line of reasoning just now. I am polite and kind but I cannot give him what he wants. He leaves. He will probably keep looking until he finds a shop who can give him the best price AND is willing to throw in some free or cheaper labor.

It's a cutthroat business these days.

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