The Duckmeister wrote:BikeHound wrote:(snip)... in some cases I can source bikes from overseas below the Australian wholesale cost.
How do you go with warranty support on that?
I only provide the information i.e. "this bike is the best fit for you. We can get it here (insert local bike store) for this $price$, although we can get it here (insert OS web retailer) at this price. Warranty will take an extra week or two if we use the international seller, and we may incur freight costs to ship the part/frame/wheel back, but it is your decision."
Some bikes are not available on the web i.e. trek and giant. Some are the same price no matter where you buy it in the world (BMC) so it is easier to just get them from the local store if they are available within the client's timeframe. Others you can find at prices which are beyond belief if you know where to look.
clarification Duckmeister, I am loyal to my customers, but I am only providing them with the information. At the end of the day, those that want to shop online will do so and I am fine with that. In a product sourcing scenario, I'm not doing my job properly if I don't provide my client with ALL the information, and that would include the overseas pricing and the realities and risks of doing so.
If they then want to proceed, one of the services I provide is doing the work for them. They choose where to get the bike/parts from, I facilitate the order, manage the freight, accept delivery and build if need be. Any service my client wants me to provide (in relation to bikes of course) I do, if they would like to do the work themselves (some people find it fun and enjoy the chase) then it is no skin off my nose. I always give the LBS the chance to play ball because I would like to keep the money within Australia, But the reality is that sometimes they can't compete, and I have to look after my customers first and foremost.
I didn't want this to be a sales pitch, but after re-reading it I realise that's what it sounds like. Anyway, this is my way of providing great customer service, which I believe is the only way the bike industry will survive the impending economical doom of the next few years - by removing the sale from the equation and providing unbiased and honest advice, and then doing the work for the client I think is a great way of getting more people not just on bikes, but on the right bikes for them.