Guilty as charged!
You’ve over indulged in Cyber shopping and now it’s time for the local group ride at your local bike shop…
Are you avoiding your local bike shop these few days after Cyber shopping week? Feeling a bit guilty about all those bike deals you purchased online. Does it make you worry about facing the staff at your local bike shop all dressed up in gear you didn’t buy there? Well, let’s face it, everyone counts pennies, so if you Cyber shopped and have the LBS blues here’s a few ways to help out your local shop and save face.
Stop by with a thank you….cookies, gift cards, a six pack of local brew all go a long way to show appreciation to the staff for being there when you need something fixed or for hosting the weekly group ride. Include a card with kudos to the particular staff people who help you. This helps an owner know who provides excellent customer service and sometimes earns that person a reward or kudos from the owner. Everyone needs a high five once in a while.
Take your bike in for a basic tune up. Generally, for less than $100 you can get a basic tune or get your bike professionally cleaned. The busier the service department stays, the more hours the mechanic can work and less likely they will be laid off. Good mechanics are hard to find, keep your favorites busy because the internet can’t fix your bike. The weight you’ll lose getting the grime off your components will make up for those extra cookies you eat during the holidays.
Purchase a gift card for a friend. Everyone loves gift cards from $5.00 to $500.00. Gift cards draw business into the local bike shop, every owner loves this. You’ve probably got $5.00 in change between your sofa cushions or your cup holder in the car…spend it locally.
If you purchased a bike online at Bike Exchange did you check if you could pick it up at the shop in person? If not, can you take it to your local shop and have it built? Remember service centers are revenue generators for shops. While the bike is being built maybe you could pick up a few accessories such as lights, nutrition products or a spare tube.
If you can’t buy then promote and attend! Many shop have events during the holiday season. They spend money to host these events and want people to attend. Everyone needs exposure. So, “LIKE” their Facebook pages, Instagram. Twitters and attend/share event pages. Bring a friend who has never been to the shop or invite/encourage your local club to attend. Sign up for the shop newsletter too.
Maybe you know your shop owner personally and feel they could use some help with the web outreach. You could always suggest they take a look at Bike Exchange and see if their business could grow using the reach the internet has…if you can’t beat them join right? Shameless plug, but this is 2015, the internet isn’t going away, but it can complement the modern shopping experience.
Participation. Do you have a weekly group ride that doesn’t start at your local shop? Take it to the shop for start and finish. Ultimately shops need to drive traffic in order for their salespeople to sell, so sometime the little things save shop owners money and mean a lot.
Partner up. Do you have a business that could partner with your local bike shop? Are you a restaurant, a brewery, a book seller, anything that could blend well with a shop? Explore the possibilities. Even if it isn’t a match, the owner will most likely appreciate the gesture.
Resort back to #1 cookies and good beer.
Last resort…sit up next time the owner or mechanic attacks on the hill, suck it up.