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Sunday, October 14, 2007

TO ALL CRAPPY BIKE SHOP OWNERS!

Before anybody gets their panties in a bunch, let me say this: Most bike shops and bike shop owners out there are good, friendly hard working folks. This post is not addressed to them, I admire and respect them all. No, this post is addressed to idiots who are not confident enough in their work or are only interested in making an easy buck first and everything else comes second.

I know that this blog would ruffle some feathers. Imagine, giving away free information, what a sacrilege in this world that we live in. I had a few stupid comments left and I must admit I was surprised that I didn't get more. I don't claim on knowing everything, but I am confident that I know enough to help a lot of people. This week I decided to promote the site via an ad in Craigslist in the "free" section. Some bozo decided to flag the ad and that just freaked me out! Hence this post and the above image.

If you are a bike shop owner or mechanic and feel that your business is threatened by this site, think again. You WANT to have informed customers. Informed customers will not go out and buy a new bike at Wally world when it breaks down. They will come and see you. If they don't make you fix that bike, they will buy parts from you. Last time I checked, Wally world and the likes don't service bikes or have any kind of serious part inventory, you have. So you won't be making a fortune on selling a few parts to this informed person, but when they get tired of that Wally world special and want to spend some bucks on something decent, they'll come and see you.

You have to understand what your good colleagues have already figured out: you are not selling bikes, you are selling your shop. Informed cyclist will buy more stuff because they are more inclined to become enthusiast about it. They need a place where they can buy there stuff with confidence, trust someone that can fix their baby when they can't and have a long lasting relationship that they will be more than happy to share with others. I have such a relationship with a bike shop. The owner knows for a fact that he will never see my bike in his work stand, but he knows that I will be buying parts that I need, or don't, and that I always refer people to his shop.

Lastly, remember that everybody offers the same thing at about the same price. What people are looking for is good, friendly and honest service and they will be more than willing to pay for it. Sorry for the rant people, I just needed to vent. I'll be back with more how-to articles this week. It's been crazy lately.

Til next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)

p.s. If the people concerned think that I will slow down because of bullying, you should now this: It motivates me even more to go on. ;)

4 comments:

Mike said...

Hi Gerry,

Sorry to hear you've had some flack about the site. I enjoy and value your blogs and I hope you continue to write about fixing bikes. I'm no bike mechanic - but I like to tinker, and with the throw away society it's easy to pick up old bikes that can be worked on just for the fun of it. Most bike shops would laugh at my collection of junk bikes.

You are spot on about bike shops needing to provide a good relationship with the customer to survive.

Keep up the good work and don't worry about the folks who don't get it.

Regards Mike
Reading from Melbourne, Australia

GhostRider said...

Gerry, stick it to 'em and stay the course, man...I love your blog and you ARE providing a great resource for people who are put off by the heavy-handed/incompetent/arrogant bike shop employees out there. Keep it up!

Gerry Lauzon said...

Many thanks to all of you who support and enjoy this blog. I enjoy writing it very much and I'm not about to stop.

Gerry :)

Neil Jenkins said...

Hi Gerry,

I hadn't stopped to read your blog on this subject until now.

I just wanted to say that I stumbled on your site a few weeks ago when I had a problem with my bike and was having a look on the internet to see if it's something I could attempt myself without having to visit the bike shop. The result of finding your site is that I have become inspired enough to not only attempt, and successfully complete, that task (realigning a wheel) but have bought myself a basic bicycle tool kit and the cheapest repair stand on the market (48 Euro, which is about 65 Canadian dollars). For a couple of weeks now I've been enjoying getting my bikes up on the stand, doing maintenance work (adjusting, applying fluids, etc.). The latest job, performed this last weekend, was my very first chain replacement. In the recent past this was something I considered only a bike shop can do, but now I know I can do it myself.

And where did I gather all my knowledge whilst embarking on this mind-expanding quest? You website, Gerry.

Thank you for inspiring me, and thank you for giving me (and all of us) the confidence to do what I previously didn't think possible. You've removed the mystery!

And you're right .... I'm also spending more time at the bike shop looking for, and asking about, components, etc. They certainly see more of me now!

Humbly yours,
Neil Jenkins
(A Brit now living in south west France)