THE TRUTH ABOUT ONLINE RETAILING
MYTH #1: Online is cheaper because the retailers buy in mass quantities and therefore get better pricing from the suppliers.
REALITY: False. Online retailers employ buyers who do nothing but shop for "closeouts" all day long. Closeouts are the bikes and other product that has proven hard to move (for whatever reason). All major suppliers have strict rules about advertising below MSRP online and, as such, those cheap bikes, components and accessories consist of those products that have become old enough that the rules no longer apply. All bike shops have access to the same closeout lists as the online retailer, but independent bike shops such as The Velo Shop stock their floor with the newest products offered. Thus, while it appears that independent bike shops are more expensive, the reality is that shops such as The Velo Shop deal in the leading edge of the business, while online retailers often deal in the trailing edge of the industry. Tell us what you're buying online and there is a strong likelihood we can get the same product for similar pricing, but we will tell you EXACTLY what model year you are getting.
MYTH #2: Online is cheaper because online retailers have little overhead.
REALITY: Not so. First of all, many online retailers operate their online business as an adjunct to a brick and mortar operation in an effort to move leftovers and dated inventory. In short, the online outlet is a repository for the stuff nobody really wanted. Not that there's anything wrong with this, but you should at least know what you're buying and all too often online retailers DO NOT disclose model year of a product. Pure online retailers may not have the expenses associated with a storefront, but they have other expenses, including online access fees, which can make their business model VERY expensive. As discussed above, the online industry is built largely on the model of moving lower priced, unwanted, older inventory.
MYTH #3: Online retailing provides the same level of service and expertise as a brick and mortar shop.
REALITY: Absolutely not! The purchase of a bike is different from any other product. Unlike automobiles, for instance, bicycles are delivered in a partially assembled state. Final assembly is done by the retailer and the safe use of the bike requires that it be assembled responsibly and professionally. The bike must also be properly sized and fitted to the customer; otherwise, it will not be long before the rider realizes they have made an ill-advised purchase. Proper fitting and sizing simply cannot be done through online fitting charts and email dialogue. It requires the trained eye of a seasoned professional. The Velo Shop team devotes countless hours of expert counsel and guidance, AT NO EXTRA EXPENSE, in every purchase of a bike (or other components and accessories). THIS SIMPLY CANNOT BE FOUND IN THE ONLINE EXPERIENCE.
MYTH #4: Online is more convenient.
REALITY: Not a myth; absolutely true. Yet, to quote famed writer Bodie Thoene, “What is right is often forgotten by what is convenient.” The Velo Shop will NEVER be as convenient as shopping online, for we devote all we have to each and every customer. The day we do things out of convenience is the day we shall shutter the business!
The Velo Shop Team