So my article yesterday stuck a nerve with a ton of people - what a polarizing thing internet shopping has become!

This is an addendum to yesterdays post:
The problem with the way some small business owners think
I want to ensure the record is set straight here - I HAVE NOT PURCHASED NEW TIRES AS OF YET.

I want to clarify a few things about my circumstances and the way I feel about the mentality of some small business owners...

My husband is a mechanic, so other than warranty work under my extended warranty, he takes care of everything else, except my tires. He goes by the manual to ensure that my ride is safe for me and he's an excellent mechanic who owns tens of thousands of dollars worth of tools.

If I am home when I am thinking of changing tires, hubby pulls them off the bike for me and I take the tires and rims in for install and balancing. Generally costs me $65 per tire.

If I am on a long haul, or riding in the Yukon where tires get chewed up faster than greased lightning, I get my work done at Eyecandy Customs in Smithers, and I book the appointment in advance, because I KNOW I am going to need a tire.

When I rode across Canada the last time, two years ago, I asked all the locals in New Brunswick, in advance of riding into their region where the best place to get tires was and got told G. Bourque, so I booked my appointment there.

The price differences between Smithers and Moncton/Dieppe were amazingly small.

When Sam changed the back tire on my old Street Glide for me, the bill was around $285 for the tire portion. I had also booked my service with him and he uncovered a few things that riding the Top of the World highway did to my bike.  His service was above and beyond, his prices were fair and he built value in his shop through his rapport and awesome service.

When I was in Moncton, same thing, G, Bourque installed 2 tires for around $440 + taxes.
Service was awesome, fast and friendly.  They built the value in their shop by treating me fairly and taking care of me and my ride.

My biggest beef with shops like the one I called here in Alberta (one of many), was that this shop owner RESENTED me price shopping, yet he never built any value in his services or shop to support me paying an extra $200 to him for the tires.

You see had he said, "Well suggested retail is $635 for the two, but I can give them to you a little closer to the price you found on line if you are also getting them installed here.  Would you be bringing just the rims to install on or do you want us to remove the tires and do the install and balance and reinstall the rims?

But no, instead of starting a dialogue that would have me see value in his business, he chose to BITCH ME OUT.

He accused me of buying off the internet and not understanding that by doing so, small repair shops like his wouldn't be around....

Well, to my way of thinking, it's his attitude towards his own customer and their need to make their dollar stretch farther that is the issue.

You see, he was, in my opinion looking at his situation as a shop owner in a very narrow minded way.

What is better? To make a bit less profit, but still a profit, or to have a customer walk away never spending a dime with you?

What is better? Take a little less profit now but earn other business from said customer and have the potential for referrals?

What is better? Building the value the customer perceives they are getting from your shop even when your rates are higher than others, or making a customer feel so insulted and chastised that they take their money and run as hard and fast in the opposite direction as they can?

Perhaps internet shopping does take a bit out of your bottom line, but from your customers perspective, you need to realize that while wages have stagnated for many, the costs for gas, electricity, phones, cable, property taxes, groceries etc have all gone up and those necessities and small luxuries in life tend to be a pretty big priority for most.

Everyone is reaching into the consumers pocket book deeper and deeper leaving less and less for them to spend on other luxuries.

If I bought my tires from a buddy who runs a tire shop but can't install my tires for me, do I deserve to be bitch slapped by the motorcycle repair shop that I ask to install them?  If someone buys them for me for a birthday present, and I have no idea where they came from as far as purchase, do I deserve to get bitch slapped by the repair shop I ask to install them?

If I can save $200, but still add to your bottom line through install fees, I then have money that I can spend at a mom and pop coffee shop, at a tattoo shop or a paint shop or a leather goods retailer...If I give one shop the lion's share of my disposable income, then I have little or none to spend elsewhere.

Treating a customer fairly, building value in the services you offer, building trust and rapport with your customer, those are the things that ALL businesses need to do to be successful in my humble opinion.

There are many ways to look at any situation in business - there are opportunities everywhere, BITCHING potential customers out over price shopping and ASKING why your prices are so much higher is NOT creating opportunity for your business, it is slamming the door on opportunity - HARD.

EMS - Essential Motorcycle Services in Vancouver operates a quick lube and light repair service.

EMS in Vancouver found an opportunity and makes internet customers his target market!

They install bulbs, do oil and fluid changes, install belts, bolt on accessories and tires.

The only things they stock are filters and fluids. If you want a new air breather - they will assist you with using parts books, hand you a phone and you order and pay for the parts to be delivered to the shop.

They want NO PART of trying to carry inventory and manage it or pay for the space that requires.  If you buy the wrong shit - you can't bitch at them because YOU brought the parts in.
They will help you all they can, but they take no crap over your provided parts.  Fair enough!

Businesses that treat customers fairly and offer a measure of customer service without breaking the bank are the ones that I prefer to deal with.  I AM NOT A STUPID CONSUMER - I know every business needs to have a profit margin to be successful and grow BUT I WILL NOT deal with a shop that bitches me out and makes me feel like protecting MY bottom line as a consumer is the wrong thing to do.

And that's my thoughts on this topic - what are yours?

I love the dialogue that's been happening on Facebook!

If you are blessed to be riding today, please ride like everyone around you is blind and cannot see you!

Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. The Belt Drive Betty Blog makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site & will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Post a Comment

  1. Can't disagree with you .. As a matter of fact when our dollar was at par 3 seasons ago .. I researched these se tires .. Canadian price $585 a set was the lowest price i could find. Online thru a canadian online warehouse was $375 plus free shipping .. No brainer .. What really erks me are shops that charge a outrageous price to install two tires reguardless of were you purchace them .. That said you have picked the best tires on the market for touring .. 2 sets later and an easy 15'000km per ,if you keep you air pressure at 40psi