*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Entrepreneurship, Canadian Style

So I'm supposed to support my LBS (local bicycle shop), eh?  Not at a 50% Canadian premium I won't, nor with attitude.

I found a good deal on a wheel set in Japan, where I am, but I thought I'd give my 'local bicycle shop' in Toronto the opportunity to come up with a decent, even if not matching, offer.  I emailed:
I have a touring bike from your shop that's about six years old, and I'd like to replace the Open Pros on it with the Deore/Mavic A319 combo, for wider tires.  However, that's $407 CAD with tax on your website; I am in Japan and can bring back the same for $275 CAD.  I'd rather not have to take them on a plane, and I have been happy with service and purchases from your store.  Since they are for an a bike bought from you, is there any possibility of a discounted price for the retrofit? Thanks.
I would have gone for it if they'd split the difference: $340.  Somebody responds, getting my name wrong
The wheels we have in stock are handbuilt (sic) in the USA which warrants the higher price tag. I am afraid we cannot offer a deal on those wheels at this point in time. However, if you are a student or Cycle Toronto member we can apply the 10% discount on them.
No bone thrown worth speaking of: $407 could become $366 if I were a member of two things it's unlikely I am, as I stated I am in Japan.  Nothing for someone who'd bought a bike there for over $1000, and much else besides.  I'm supposed to be impressed they're brought in from the States?  Just means they don't do the work themselves, and I can get them from the States or even from the UK.  They get them from the States, after all, managing that way to get the duty on parts from Taiwan/China into the US, and then from the US into Canada on top of that!  I had to respond:
Um, why did you even bother to reply with an offer like that?  You think I'll pay that price rather than the Japanese one, or get them myself from the States?

Mind you, this is the same store I had made a similar offer of price-matching a couple years ago, for something that would have cost $450 in Japan.
The wheel would be a custom hand built wheel.
Alfine 8 speed internal hub retails around $360
The rim can range from $50 to well over a $100, depending on what you would go with.
Spokes are $1 per if you want to use DT Swiss straight gauge silver spokes
Labour for the build is $45.
J-tek 8spd shifter - around $100
To install the wheel - $20
To install/adjust the shifter - $25
I was just as convinced to make the purchase then as now.
Well... that's $700 for one mediocre wheel.  This is why people shop out of Canada. 

1 comment:

  1. I tried on a pair of boots here the other day - $250. I can get them online for $100. You don't even get halfway decent customer service here! No shopping locally for me.