A customer recently wanted Joy Machines to price-match an item from Amazon. I thought the dialogue on the Facebook page was pretty good/inspiring, so I”m adding it here (with last name erased just in case someone gets mad!).
Sorry if it looks crazy. ALSO, GO ENTER MY BITCH MAG CONTEST IN THE POST BELOW!
Joy Machines Bike Shop
Someone just asked me to price match an Amazon price they had pulled up on their phone
Stephen Tell them “OK” and then make them wait 2+ days to get it. Also put it in a box and kick it around the shop for a while. Then let them know when they get a flat and need a tube for that days ride, they will have to order that from Amazon, as you CAN’T price match that. SUPPORT LBS!!!!!
Logan Don’t forget to add in the shipping costs
Joy Machines Bike Shop Stephen i will try that next time!
Joe I’d definitely rather support small businesses but to play devil’s advocate I don’t think asking is that bad of a thing, hell you may have said yes. But if they got angry when you couldn’t do it then they’d be a real dick.
Mitchell Oh no.
Krissie Target has recently announced they are going to match Amazon during the holiday season. Only during the holiday season. Target. To expect that of a local business, when Target doesn’t even do it, is a little bit wild
Katie Will you also honor competitors coupons?
Joy Machines Bike Shop he didn’t get mad or anything. i just said, “sorry man, i can’t do that. we’re just a mom and pop and we can’t price match the massive warehouse operations”. and then he left.
Mary Jo You can sell the service that you provide, a purchase from Amazon does not come with the support you guys extend.
Natril Gear that’s no fun
Terry That’s tacky as F.
Joy Machines Bike Shop the funny thing is, they came in because her bike has presta valve tubes and they had no idea what they were or how to inflate them. they asked me what was up with the valves and what sort of pump would work on such tubes. i explained that there are valve adapters as well as pumps that work on presta valves directly. she asked to see what a presta compatible pump would look like so i showed her. when i told her husband that the price was set, they left, full of new knowledge
Stephen A lot of times when you frequent a LBS you get to know the guys and the mechanics and can get a hand when you need it. That to me is worth a few extra bucks on a part, let alone the ability to get the part I need THAT DAY. I don’t understand people who buy small items from online retailers. People will understand how important LBS are when they are gone.
Meg Petco stores won’t even match their online prices… Why should you? Keep on doing what you do!!!!!
Days Roll By-Reconditioned Bicycles & Repair I’ve had similar consumers – they come in needing answers, leave with free knowledge and buy somewhere else to save a dollar. I’m not so kind anymore and not so free with advise either … I sure liked Stephen’s answer above!
David How to take these newbies and convert them to customers who will buy their next REAL bike at your shop. They’re gonna need a lot of service help if they even bother to ride the bike much. I fear it will just sit dusty in some garage corner…
Kelly Keep copies of the Bike Snob’s latest editorial from the November Bicycling Magazine handy under the counter. The next fool who asks such a question should immediately receive a copy to read.
Martha I echo Mary Jo’s response. Say, “I’d love to be able to compete on price, but what we offer are a human beings to answer your questions and provide the kind of service that Amazon and other mail order companies can’t provide. Your purchasing from a locally owned business contributes to making Cleveland a cool place to live.”
Michael I remember spending time fitting shoes and helmets. Then they said they would be back. The next time you saw them with the stuff they bought online/catalog.
Barrett I’d tell ‘em that this isn’t a frickin Walmart and that if they want, they can go down to the Walmart at Steelyard Commons where they can take up the price issue with an employee. Then they can get a fantastically shitty bike for a low, low price, from an employee who ineluctably has no knowledge of bikes and absolutely no customer skills. Lol
Barrett customer service skills*
Christina You guys provide an invaluable service to me. I can’t walk into Amazon and pester them with dumb bike questions and touch everything in the store and ring all the bells and then buy a bunch of stuff I probably don’t need but is SO COOL and make jokes and keep the rain off my head for a bit when it’s kinda crappy out.
Native-Cleveland Here comes a bad Yelp review….
Clifton amateur hour
Rob We see it all the time. Last xmas season, when the amazon app for comparing was offering a $5 credit for using it, i had three people allow me to help them for several minutes, then pull out their phone, scan the barcode, and bring it up on amazon. They then showed me their phone, with the price that was below our cost….it’s total bullshit. Just roll with it, keep being helpful, and maybe you’ll net a percentage of the people who didn’t know about you before as repeat customers. Then – give heat to your reps who sell brands that also sell to amazon.
Brian Cell phone signal jammers and protected WiFi FTW.
Mehul This person is not your customer just like the Wal*Mart or Dick’s customer is not your customer. This individual (and all the others that will follow) unfortunately let you know he is not your customer – to your face . As an LBS, folks that value good service and innovative products are your customer.
I would take this experience as an opportunity to distinguish yourself from low-cost providers (big box stores and online retailers) – something you knew already.
Joe You guys need to fire the price buyers. Some people dont appreciate quality or service so you will never sell to them. Part of the blame also goes to your suppliers for selling to amazon so low. They should realize they are reducing their profits considerably.
Matt Take comfort in the fact that somebody who doesn’t know what a presta valve is, is going to f’ up putting together their mail order bike.
Kate Charge ‘em fifty bucks when they bring in the blown tube for you to patch. Karma bites.