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Supporting local businesses is sometimes hard

Discussion in 'Businesses and Service Providers' started by Tubehead, Jul 24, 2015.

  1. I buy a lot of part's and if the price gap is not big prefer to buy in Australia to support local business.
    I recently ordered a $400 set of handle bars off a sydney business even though I could have bought them on ebay $30 cheaper.
    I have bought off the ebay supplier before and delivery times are pretty accurate which is 7-10 days ex L.A.
    The local outfit told me 7-10 days at the time of order but that was 21 days ago.
    Still no handlebars so I called to check and was told in a very sarcastic manner that if I had read my order it clearly stated they would be posted to me as soon as they took delivery so why was I ringing as obviously they have not taken delivery yet!
    Not all but some business's still think it's the good old days when they were the only game in town and choice was limited.
    No wonder online shopping is taking over and local business is struggling.

    • Agree Agree x 8
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  2. I detest bad customer service.
    With the dollar so low at the moment this is when retailers should be making their point of difference known. Personal service. Polite service. You want to leave a customer with a 'they were decent to deal with. Happy to go back there'.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. I know how you feel. I truly want to support local businesses too as you usually get nice people & a very nice helpful lady at the front counter ready to serve you but as you say, d**kheads everywhere. I personally feel that I should support our own economy rather than a debt-ridden foriegn country such as the U.S or even the stingy chinese as it might impact for example myself or you job-wise all for the sake of saving $30 dollars.
  4. Totally agree with you. I have been luck enough to find a local dealer with a couple of people that have done a good job. Although it is 200kms away from where I live, I still order all the things I can from there even though I have a few bike shops in a 50km radius. Just make sure you don't give them any more of your money and spread the word about their service.
  5. I will always try to support the local bloke first.

    I was at the bike tyre shop last week pricing up a new tyre and the conversation turned to Ebay and other internet purchasing. The bloke at the shop said he liked to "spread the wealth" so would buy stuff locally where he could as well as over the interwebz at other times.

    I always get my tyres from this bloke because he doesn't charge fitting if you buy them from him and he's always $cheaper than anyone else within a couple of hundred KM radius.

    When my wife worked at the local HD/Buell/Aprilia dealer the manager got upset with her once because she didn't try hard enough to sell a helmet to a customer. The customer was on a CBR1000RR and wanted a full face helmet for a track day that coming weekend (it was Thursday afternoon). They only stocked open face and some cheap full face helmets that didn't fit him. Janice told him she could order what he wanted but it wouldn't be here on time so rang the other bike shops in town and found him one, gave him directions and wished him well with his track day.

    A couple of weeks later the bloke came back, thanked Janice for her help and to show his appreciation ordered $3000 worth of race suit, gloves and boots saying they'd be his first stop from now on and wondered if they serviced Hondas.
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  6. Most people don't mind paying a little more for convenience and service.

    What really pisses me off is businesses not carrying stock. I know it's the way of business these days - carry as little stock as possible so as to reduce interest charges on the debt. But if your business model is to charge more than online and promote your customer service, then failing to deliver the goods in a timely manner is just stupid.
    Even worse is scrimping on delivery costs by surface transporting orders from the country of origin. Quite a few official importers do this, and add insult to injury by waiting until they've got a bulk order to fill (extra savings).

    Business school thinking will kill this country.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  7. Have given up on local businesses, especially around here. If you don't "look the part" you are totally ignored.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  8. Word of mouth is possibly the strongest means of advertising for any business
    • Agree Agree x 4
  9. So tell me, how many variations of brand/model/colour/size helmet should a bike shop stock? Or boots, how many brands, styles and sizes of boots should a bike shop stock.
  10. If a business had to place an individual purchase order on each individual item and manage the delivery of each one individually, the time and expense would grind them to a halt, that's why they bulk order and that's why suppliers bulk supply. It keeps costs down.

    It also results in delays which ends up losing customers.

    It's a fine balancing act - some businesses do it better than others.

    The other issue is that retail doesn't pay brilliantly so you don't generally get brilliant people. That factor often results in customer service issues.
  11. That depends upon volume but the importer/distributor should have all variations of colour/size for each model of helmet (or boot) that they stock (even if that means restricting the number of brands they stock). And if they aren't willing to carry all variations of a particular model from one of the brands they carry then they shouldn't carry that model at all (and it should be marked on their website as 'not available ex stock in Australia - special order only or similar).

    So yes definitely restrict the brands and possibly restrict the models within the brand but don't restrict the sizing and colour of the items one advertises as supplying.

    On top of that the distributors/importers need to have overnight shipping arrangements to all of their stores so that if a store doesn't have a size or colour in stock then it's there next working day and in major metro areas (Melbourne/Sydney etc) they should have couriers available to deliver helmets to stores the same day.

    None of the above is rocket science, it's just basic logistics and yes it'll add some cost but I'll pay for convenience. What i won't do is pay for worse service and longer delays just to buy local.
  12. #12 b12mick, Jul 24, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2015
    I agree the importer/distributor should, but I asked specifically about a bike shop, meaning the retailer.

    Here's a tip for you all, if a bike shop says they can't get a common use part in to stock inside 3 working days there's a damn good chance they haven't paid their bills and are either on 'stop credit' or 'restricted credit' with it's suppliers.

    My wife used to deal with HD and Polaris and even with parts coming from overseas it was only ever a 5 working day supply lead time for 'in stock' items - providing it wasn't held up in customs or 'on the docks' which was common.

    One other thing to consider, is the relationship between the retailer and distributor. I know of at least one brands distributor that was also a dealer that would undercut other dealers prices and deliberately delay deliveries....
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  13. It's not about having the biggest range, just about being able to get what you offer to the customer in a reasonable time frame.
    I'm certainly not blaming retailers for this situation (it's usually the importer), but they do have an obligation to give the customer full facts before accepting the sale.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. I order the majority of my gear from various shops in Europe and it's cheaper and usually much quicker than anyone here.
  15. Retail is a hard caper.

    My Wife runs retails stores (within a large Women's fashion group).
    She works hard - damn hard.

    I'm some office guy with some letters after my name - I work hard, in a very different way.

    The divide in remuneration is astounding.
    The missus is damn good at what she does and has pulled many stores back from the brink.....

    All in all - the 'brick 'n' mortar' model is tough.
    You need to pay for stock on hand, staff, theft, utilities, insurance, compliance, site cost etc, etc, etc.

    Margins are tight.
    And this is for clothes!
    Made in India, or Pakistan, or Thailand.

    $2 to make, $20 to import.
    $150, $200, $400 to sell.....
    And still hard to remain viable.

    I can't imagine how hard it would be with products who's cost price was within 30% of their sell price.

    Support any store you can.

    I buy milk from the mixed grocery up the street.
    His name is Paul - he is Vietnamese and his Son is doing dentistry at VicUni.
    He's a nice guy - has a small Shih Tzu and likes my dogs.

    If he sold bikes I'd probably give him my monies........

    ::end of line
    • Like Like x 3
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  16. I'm happy enough to pay a small margin to buy local and get good service. Since that rarely happens a lot of my money goes overseas and that's fine by me.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. With you about service.
    Trouble is, a small margin isn't nearly enough to cover the enormous bite that the rent-seekers in Australia require to allow you to run a business - all those leeches that live off of 'compliance' to this, that and every regulation and rule that the administrators and their corporate masters can think up.
    Stuff that OS retailers don't have to deal with.
    So, next time you need a local to help you out, don't be surprised if they aren't there any more.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  18. Understand what you mean but in the end I won't pay 30-40% extra just to support a local shop. Of course I then take the risk with warranty etc but that is something I am willing to do.

    Like I said, if the price is close enough I am happy to buy locally.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. It never will be.

    Local 'market place economics' do not map in the 'global economy'

    The only thing 'physical retail' has going for it is immediacy. Purchase satisfaction - on, the, spot.
    You need to get that right.
    Else, game over.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. That's true although one of my favourite shops in Europe will have something delivered to me on a Monday if ordered on the previous Friday. Add in the 30% discounted price it's not a hard decision.