WARNING! ATTENTION! ACHTUNG!
Your Local Bike Shop wants to Help You!
The information contained in this article will grant you great power when it comes to navigating your local bike shop. But just remember, for your own safety, what Spiderman’s late Uncle Ben had said to him:
“With great power, comes great responsibility.”
3 Powerful Tips to Help You Get the Most From Your Local Bike Shop
I have been employed in a bike shop for about 7 years, and I’d like to share with you some insights that will help you get the best experience out of your local bike shop.
Some people already understand these concepts, and are putting them to use, yet they appear to make up a fairly small percentage of the customers we see these days. These concepts are very simple, and have obvious benefits, so it must be that most people just haven’t thought of them before. Once they are made aware of these secrets, I have no doubt they will choose to use some of them to improve their shopping experience.
Remember that every shop is different, as is every customer so just follow the approaches outlined below and adapt them to the needs of you and your local bike shop’s employees.
These tips are guaranteed to work at Ski Shops and your local Automotive Shop too. They may also work at the Dentist’s and Lawyer’s office, but this has not been thoroughly tested, so proceed there at your own risk!
1) Don’t Ask For Deals
Don’t ask for deals? Sorry, I know that sounds harsh, but you have to hear this. Many people believe that asking for a deal is a good way to get a deal. That’s because in a way it is, yet the truth may be that it’s not. Now allow me to explain that illogical statement.
It is a fact that if you ask something like, “Is that the best you can do?” you will sometimes get a deal that you would not have otherwise. To most customers, this behaviour seems rewarded, and so they learn to repeat it over and over again every time they visit the shop.
But if only we could make this one point clear to any one who might be that customer: As shop employees, we will find you rather annoying, and will be much less inclined to give you any help above and beyond the bare minimum, if you are always asking for deals. We don’t work for commission, so selling things is not our primary motivation for being there. It is important for the store to sell product, but the employees that are helping you out are there because they love talking to other people about bikes, and biking. We are there, (or at least should be there,) because we have a real passion about cycling and just like working in bike shops. These jobs aren’t making us rich.
As a customer, you are going to get far better service if you share your love for bikes with us! When a customer displays a genuine love for the sport, an instant bond is formed that will see that customer getting great service, and the best deals we can afford, once a relationship has been built.
So be nice, your local bike shop is not there to loose money, and give away stuff for cheap. They are there to share their love of biking with you, and to help you in your pursuit of happiness via the bicycle.
In short, you gotta give a little, to get a little!
2) Bring Your Friends
The best customers are the ones that are stoked on your shop. They have brought their own business to your shop, had great experiences and kept coming back.
If you want to improve your standing at the local shop you frequent, do your best to bring them some new business in the form of your friends and family. Introduce them to the shop and two great things will happen. Firstly, your friend or family member will earn some valuable trust points from your local shop based on their relationship with you. It kind of gets them “in through the back door” if you know what I mean. Secondly, bringing all the new business you can to your local bike shop earns you some major shop karma points, and any good shop (which your’s is, because you’re stoked on them for a reason, right?) will not hesitate to give you a great price on your next big purchase. After all, the relationship is now moving past Retailer/Customer-ship and into the zone of Friendship!
Be a good friend of your Local Bike Shop, and it will be rewarded in savings, swag, and probably some good riding buddies!
Did you just wreck something on a bike trip, and need it fixed right away? Bike shops are often busy with service and repairs, and depending on the time of year, getting your bike fixed can take anywhere from an hour to a week. Shops typically work on a first come – first serve basis, so customers should keep in mind that they are not the only rider in the whole world that wants their bike done NOW! Usually your bike is, “Just another drop in the bucket,” so to speak.
Don’t lose heart though, as this little trick I’m about to teach you will probably get you just the results you were looking for! Although it is illegal to bribe your local government officials, it is actually common practice to bribe your local bike shop. In some cases, it may even be considered as being a good person!
I would start with beer. I have yet to meet a bike mechanic or ski technician that would turn down beer, (If you ever meet one that does, perform a quick background check to make sure he can be trusted!)
Coffee may also work, but it doesn’t have the buying power of beer. Don’t even bother with coffee after lunch, as your local bike mechanic has probably already drank too much espresso, and his hand is shaking so much he can barely get a shift cable into a piece of housing!
That’s it. Not to complicated at all now, is it? If you have any other tips on how to get more from your local bike shop, leave them in the comments below.
For more information about proper bike shop etiquette, check out this article: