Support Your Local Bike Shop

Since starting to work at a bike shop I have learned how important it is to support your local shop, particularly because of the increasing menace that online stores are presenting.  I admit that I did most of my shopping online previously because you can find some great deals but I have now learned what the problem is with that.

The main problem is online dealers in the UK and Shimano has only exasperated the problem.  A certain online dealer, that shall remain nameless, has been able to offer incredible savings on Shimano components.  Their prices are sometimes lower than the wholesale cost that bike shops pay to stock Shimano products which allows them to undercut the competition.  Now Shimano has only given this deal to this one dealer but they have not responded well to industry complaints.

In response to bike shops complaining about this deal that Shimano has going with a certain UK online dealer, Shimano has allowed bike shops to sell their products at a lower price.  Sounds good, right?  Not really.  In order to allow the bike shops to sell their products for less, Shimano has not lowered the wholesale price but instead has reduced the profit margin for the bike shop.  So now bike shops can offer more competitive prices compared to the online dealers but they will make less profit on each sale.

A very good reason to support your local shop.  Without them who will fix your bike?

Shimano solution to the problem of online dealers undercutting the local bike shop and taking business away from our communities has only served to make the problem worse.  The shop I work at was already a pro Sram shop but they now intend to boycott Shimano altogether because there is not profit to be made from carrying their products.

So next time you have a bike related purchase to make, think about supported the men and women who work at your local shop rather than the deals you can find online.