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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the midst of getting new tires, keep in mind that I'm a broke college student. I'm looking for a good quality tire for cheap. I found a website that suited my needs but thought I'd make a call to my local shop to keep my business local. I was left a voicemail for a few quotes on tires one was for a continental $110 for the front and $150 for the rear and the next quote was for dunlops with even more of a ridiculous number. No biggie I think to myself I can talk him down to a fair price afterall I found michellins for $196 sold, bought, and paid for. I kid you guys not I have heard every excuse in the book but he was feeding me lines I've never heard before. He started talking about dates on tires tread wear from sitting in the warehouse. I mean come on. Perhaps I'm just ranting but here's my question.

How do ma and pa shops stay open when they don't want to make money? Even a $20 profit is better than losing the customer all together I won't even look in his direction anymore.

tl;dr: I understand.
 

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I actually saw a news report some time back that its VERY important to go by the dates on tires. There may not be an imprinted date on the tire, but there's some code on the tire that lets people know how old it is and when it was manufactured. The report said its unsafe to sell a tire thats past a certain age. So he wasnt bs'ing you about that.
 

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Many online retailers are just that. They sell large quantities and have a completely different overhead compared to a mom & pop.

The key is this:

Find a ma & pop shop that does GOOD work. Then don't question their retail prices. You'll get great service and know you'll be taken care of.

I own a retail business and I love when people shop me online. I can't even come close to the prices they can get online, but generally speaking even though it's the same brand name, short cuts are taken and my product is absolutely different & better quality. Plus, if you have a problem - you can come find me from 8am-5pm every day and make me deal with it.

I don't know how the tire business works, but if a shop doesn't budge it's price - there is usually a reason behind it. They see you as a risky customer who will never be happy with their service, so they need to profit enough to atleast cover their hides should you come back and throw a fit and cost them time & labor. OR, they make very little money IE, 15-45$ per tire + install fee. Consider cost of the machine & labor for the installer.

It's tough to make money man....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I actually saw a news report some time back that its VERY important to go by the dates on tires. There may not be an imprinted date on the tire, but there's some code on the tire that lets people know how old it is and when it was manufactured. The report said its unsafe to sell a tire thats past a certain age. So he wasnt bs'ing you about that.
I could see a tire deteriorating in say 4-5 years but as far as a year or so I would still throw them on my bike without question. And I can't see a tire lasting in their warehouse a popular tire at that! for 2+ years.
 

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I try to buy local but its really hard, esp when you can go online and buy the same thing for cheaper and have it shipped straight to your door.
 

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Found this a while back, i thought it was interesting....

How do you know how old the tires are? All tires have an industry-standard dating code stamped on them. Look for digits stamped into the mold on the rubber sidewall of the tire. The date code for tires made prior to 2000 is: "WWY", where WW is two digits denoting the week of the year, and Y is the last digit of the year. A tire produced on May 30th (the 22nd week) of 1996 would be stamped 226. (A tire produced on May 30th of 1986 would also have a code of 226, but will probably have a ton of dry rot.)
As of 2000, the date coding system has changed a bit. All tires are still required to be stamped with a DOT number on at least one sidewall, but now there's more data. Look for a code that starts with "DOT" and has up to 12 letters and numbers. The last four numbers are the date code in the format: "WWYY", where the WW two digits denote the week of manufacture, and the YY denotes the last two digits of the year. So a date code of "DOT913ACX3C2200" would have been manufactured in the 22nd week of '00. If the three/four digit stamp you found doesn't make sense with this scheme, you're not looking at the date code stamp. Keep in mind that both tires will have this date marking (possibly/probably different), and that tires should be replaced at least every third year, or whenever they have damage that threatens their integrity. (Punctures, cuts on the sidewall, excessive wear, dry rot, etc.) Frequent tire inspection could very well save your life.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Many online retailers are just that. They sell large quantities and have a completely different overhead compared to a mom & pop.

The key is this:

Find a ma & pop shop that does GOOD work. Then don't question their retail prices. You'll get great service and know you'll be taken care of.

I own a retail business and I love when people shop me online. I can't even come close to the prices they can get online, but generally speaking even though it's the same brand name, short cuts are taken and my product is absolutely different & better quality. Plus, if you have a problem - you can come find me from 8am-5pm every day and make me deal with it.

I don't know how the tire business works, but if a shop doesn't budge it's price - there is usually a reason behind it. They see you as a risky customer who will never be happy with their service, so they need to profit enough to atleast cover their hides should you come back and throw a fit and cost them time & labor. OR, they make very little money IE, 15-45$ per tire + install fee. Consider cost of the machine & labor for the installer.

It's tough to make money man....
Part of owning a business is about taking risks I understand joe schmo is going to waltz in there and shell out the green for those tires but that would be 1/20 would be my honest guess. He let 19 people get away so he could make that $100 dollar profit. It doesn't add up. The labor part of a shop I can understand. But I look at it this way. The small shop offers me a great deal on tires I think to myself wow this guy hooked me up I will definitely tell my buddies and any work that I need done will have him do my work all because he hooked me up.
 

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yeah usually its a code like [1609] 16th week of 2009, but i agree with ^ for having a 4-5 shelf life, but who keeps there s*** that long anyway ?
 

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CasualCBRrider,

You absolutely have a valid point. But unfortunately business just doesn't work that way. I can sell my product for a $150 product profit with $100 profit from labor to 50 people. But they will not get the same customer service as the person who I earn $200 product & $150 labor from.

You have a good point about taking a risk: Sometimes I get the impression from someone that they will refer me to others, so I will definitely wheel & deal with them. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn't. But either this shop thought you were a nickel and dimer or they just won't take that risk.

I bet if you had been a familiar face in there for service (I bet you weren't), things would have turned out differently.

Sometimes you can't walk into a place of business and get the deals right away.

My distributors all stick it to me to begin with, but once they see the steady flow of orders, the deals roll in.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
CasualCBRrider,

You absolutely have a valid point. But unfortunately business just doesn't work that way. I can sell my product for a $150 product profit with $100 profit from labor to 50 people. But they will not get the same customer service as the person who I earn $200 product & $150 labor from.

You have a good point about taking a risk: Sometimes I get the impression from someone that they will refer me to others, so I will definitely wheel & deal with them. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn't. But either this shop thought you were a nickel and dimer or they just won't take that risk.

I bet if you had been a familiar face in there for service (I bet you weren't), things would have turned out differently.

Sometimes you can't walk into a place of business and get the deals right away.

My distributors all stick it to me to begin with, but once they see the steady flow of orders, the deals roll in.
I see what you're saying. The times have changed drastically and these shops need to conform to today's unwritten standards. You have to think businesses are no longer catering to baby boomers, rather they are catering to generation X. They are still stuck with the old ways, if you will. You can literally see the difference amongst shops. In todays world respect is earned in a totally different manner.
 

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Yeah times are tough...for sure. For a long time I never budged on price with new customers, but now I'm finding around 50% of the time I am bottom lining with my first quote.

Retailers have to work harder for less. Well, everyone is working harder for less - but running your own business in a tax heavy state is terrible.

Buying my CBR was a nightmare. I will never deal with that dealership again. I didn't even bring the bike there for it's first 'free' service. The salesman has called me a few times looking to schedule service dates and I have told him I was not happy with the service and will never return. I suppose if he tries a couple more times to make things right, I will return.

Have you ordered tires yet? And what did you end up getting for a deal?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah times are tough...for sure. For a long time I never budged on price with new customers, but now I'm finding around 50% of the time I am bottom lining with my first quote.

Retailers have to work harder for less. Well, everyone is working harder for less - but running your own business in a tax heavy state is terrible.

Buying my CBR was a nightmare. I will never deal with that dealership again. I didn't even bring the bike there for it's first 'free' service. The salesman has called me a few times looking to schedule service dates and I have told him I was not happy with the service and will never return. I suppose if he tries a couple more times to make things right, I will return.

Have you ordered tires yet? And what did you end up getting for a deal?
I understand the taxes and all that but I'm one of those people that want it now :crackup:at my convenience not theirs. I'll put it like this. Todays respect is earned by a store owner on how heavy the customers wallet is when they leave the door.

I havent made the plunge yet to buy them but the pilot powers for $196 free shipping. A pretty good deal if you ask me.
 

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I have a similar story. I've been searching for a set of tires and I like to keep my business local so I was checking the shops. There is a particular shop that has given me good service so I check there and a set of Michelin Road 2 CT's would cost me $350 plus $100 (and tax on top of that) for mount and balance. But Cyclesector will ship me the same tires for $240 to my door. I want to help these guys and I wouldnt mind paying an extra $10-$30 but $100 is just too much. Furthermore this isnt just some little mom and pop shop. This is a big bike store that moves a lot of inventory and I am a regular customer. Whats the deal with these guys?
 

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I see what you're saying. The times have changed drastically and these shops need to conform to today's unwritten standards. You have to think businesses are no longer catering to baby boomers, rather they are catering to generation X. They are still stuck with the old ways, if you will. You can literally see the difference amongst shops. In todays world respect is earned in a totally different manner.
lol, you're a joke. "Today's unwritten standards"??? I don't know a single person who would walk into a store and try to talk down someone's price. Around here, we understand that you may have to pay a little more somewhere but the reward is better service. You're the type that wants everything and you want it for free and you want it now. You'd shop at Walmart over a local store to save a dollar, which is the problem with america these days.

You plain and simple can't afford to maintain the bike you bought, so quit yer bitchin and take the bus.
 

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Having worked as a technician for 15+ years I can tell you that most shop owners want the customer in and out. It got to the point in one shop, where as an employee, I was buying my stuff online! This is also the same shop that refused to do first services on bikes that weren't bought from them or to work on bike brands they didn't carry, even for something as simple as a tire change. And this is when there's NO OTHER BIKES to be worked on!!! So they're sending sales people and techs home due to lack of work because of their great customer service practices! Needless to say, I don't work there anymore :D

The shops that really invested in their customers didn't make money off of tires, we used tires and stuff that we could discount to bring them in THEN we got them in with QUALITY service and engine building. Why screw around with a manufacturer's profit margin on products when you can write your own profit margin on service?

You don't guarentee good customer service by charging more, and saying that someone is getting less customer service by paying less is just as rediculous. Customer service is a skill and a mentality which most shops these days just don't understand.
 
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lol, you're a joke. "Today's unwritten standards"??? I don't know a single person who would walk into a store and try to talk down someone's price. Around here, we understand that you may have to pay a little more somewhere but the reward is better service. You're the type that wants everything and you want it for free and you want it now. You'd shop at Walmart over a local store to save a dollar, which is the problem with america these days.

You plain and simple can't afford to maintain the bike you bought, so quit yer bitchin and take the bus.

i dont agree with this statement at all!! so you telling me u walked into the dealership or were ever and paid the price they were asking for on the bike?:crackup:

I walk into a lot of stores and talk down prices... just bought a brand new bed for 300 off what they wanted.. and they still gave the me the free 50 inch plasma. Every TV I have bought has been talked down.. sometimes hundreds of dollars.. I got my bike for a lot less then what they wanted it for.

Now dont get me wrong i will support my local store, but at the same time they need to know that prices arent driven by the local economy now. they are driven based off the national economy, esp since the invention of internet! Local markets have now grown to national markets. and if someone in CA is selling at a cheaper price than in NC, and at a price that it is worth it, then i will go there..

So before you go calling someone a joke, why dont you ubderstand that markets are now nationally and internationally, and they are pretty much available at the click of a button!
 
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You don't guarentee good customer service by charging more, and saying that someone is getting less customer service by paying less is just as rediculous. Customer service is a skill and a mentality which most shops these days just don't understand.


Nicely put!
 

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There's something called Pareto's Law or the 80/20 rule. In business it is applied as such; 20% of your customers bring you 80% of your income. That's not a concrete number, for some it could be 30/70, etc., but you get the idea. If you're giving him headaches are those headaches worth the money you're bringing him?

I called one of my local shops just for a tire swap (I was bringing in the wheels) and they quoted me $20 more than the usual shop. I told them this and they told me to go to my usual shop. I didn't argue. Do they really want to deal with me if when they have customers that are willing to pay the full price for their service?

I'm currently doing a part out and some people have approached me with offers that were too low or asking way too much from me. Sure I wanted the money but the hassle wasn't worth the money that I was going to lose had I made the deal. This shop you're talking about is operating under the same principal.

He's probably been in business long enough to know a potential problem customer ahead of time, so instead of giving in to your demands and making a little money he would rather avoid it and put his efforts in to finding a good customer that he can build a life long relationship with.

Don't get mad at a shop if they can't compete with internet prices, it's pretty much impossible for them to do so. If you want internet prices then buy off the internet but be prepared to do your own work. If you can't then be prepared to deal with shops and their prices. Lots of shops do great work and are easy to deal with but they don't work for insanely discounted prices.

Remember this quote the next time you complain about parts/service/etc. for your bike: "The only thing cheap about a motorcycle is the gas".
 

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lol, you're a joke. "Today's unwritten standards"??? I don't know a single person who would walk into a store and try to talk down someone's price. Around here, we understand that you may have to pay a little more somewhere but the reward is better service. You're the type that wants everything and you want it for free and you want it now. You'd shop at Walmart over a local store to save a dollar, which is the problem with america these days.

You plain and simple can't afford to maintain the bike you bought, so quit yer bitchin and take the bus.
dude your a f*cking retard !!

i dont know what country your from but around here we negotiate prices and try to get the best deals possible.

please read what this guy wrote down here, he knows what hes talking about.

Having worked as a technician for 15+ years I can tell you that most shop owners want the customer in and out. It got to the point in one shop, where as an employee, I was buying my stuff online! This is also the same shop that refused to do first services on bikes that weren't bought from them or to work on bike brands they didn't carry, even for something as simple as a tire change. And this is when there's NO OTHER BIKES to be worked on!!! So they're sending sales people and techs home due to lack of work because of their great customer service practices! Needless to say, I don't work there anymore :D

The shops that really invested in their customers didn't make money off of tires, we used tires and stuff that we could discount to bring them in THEN we got them in with QUALITY service and engine building. Why screw around with a manufacturer's profit margin on products when you can write your own profit margin on service?

You don't guarentee good customer service by charging more, and saying that someone is getting less customer service by paying less is just as rediculous. Customer service is a skill and a mentality which most shops these days just don't understand.
 
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