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  #1  
Old 08-28-2017, 03:33 PM
Climb01742 Climb01742 is offline
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Why Amazon will (and should) put Performance Bike out of business

Amazon Prime has perfected frictionless buying of almost anything. Including more and more cycling bits. Particularly saddles.

Like an idiot, I ordered a saddle from Performance Bike. They shipped me the wrong saddle. There is no online way to initiate the return. I have to print a return form and fill it out by hand. I must pay, upfront, for return shipping on a mistake they made. And I gotta wait until heaven knows when to have my CC credited for the return.

Compare that to an Amazon Prime return. Go online. Request a return. Hit print. Stick prepaid label on box. Drop off at UPS. The moment Amazon sees the package has been dropped off and scanned, they credit your card. Whole thing takes maybe an hour, on a slow day.

It's not just Performance, though they are strikingly antiquated. So many cycling online retailers are needlessly painful to use and behind the times. It's hard to believe they don't realize that Amazon is setting both the rules and expectations today. One click gets me a product in two days, with free, no questions returns, and a CC credited back in minutes.

Amazon will, and should, consign online retailers like Performance and others to the dustbin. Either step up (like Competitive Cycling did/has) or step aside.
  #2  
Old 08-28-2017, 03:39 PM
eddief eddief is offline
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yes, but where will we go to smell the leather

before we buy? I think there's an Alexa joke in there somewhere.
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  #3  
Old 08-28-2017, 03:44 PM
Climb01742 Climb01742 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddief View Post
before we buy? I think there's an Alexa joke in there somewhere.
I think LBSs will, and should, survive by finding a niche and focusing on good service. But online? Amazon sets the rules. Why deal with others who lag behind so badly?
  #4  
Old 08-28-2017, 03:54 PM
eddief eddief is offline
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ah yes, smell it at the LBS

and buy it from Amazon. I'm just funning with you. I get it.
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  #5  
Old 08-28-2017, 04:01 PM
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BobO BobO is offline
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Performance Bikes handles their online ordering in a somewhat unusual manner. The orders are taken by a single point system and disseminated to individual store locations where the orders are filled and shipped. There are an awful lot of moving parts and varying quality control with this sort of system. A high failure rate is inevitable.
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  #6  
Old 08-28-2017, 04:16 PM
Burnette Burnette is offline
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Be Careful What You Wish For, LBS Will Crash First

Quote:
Originally Posted by Climb01742 View Post
Amazon Prime has perfected frictionless buying of almost anything. Including more and more cycling bits. Particularly saddles.

Like an idiot, I ordered a saddle from Performance Bike. They shipped me the wrong saddle. There is no online way to initiate the return. I have to print a return form and fill it out by hand. I must pay, upfront, for return shipping on a mistake they made. And I gotta wait until heaven knows when to have my CC credited for the return.

Compare that to an Amazon Prime return. Go online. Request a return. Hit print. Stick prepaid label on box. Drop off at UPS. The moment Amazon sees the package has been dropped off and scanned, they credit your card. Whole thing takes maybe an hour, on a slow day.

It's not just Performance, though they are strikingly antiquated. So many cycling online retailers are needlessly painful to use and behind the times. It's hard to believe they don't realize that Amazon is setting both the rules and expectations today. One click gets me a product in two days, with free, no questions returns, and a CC credited back in minutes.

Amazon will, and should, consign online retailers like Performance and others to the dustbin. Either step up (like Competitive Cycling did/has) or step aside.
I know Performance Bike pissed you off by messing up your order, but they are in between the shop/internet interface where they do both things and Amazon will do just one, internet.
The Performance Bike near me has regular group rides, the do good repair work and their prices for some things are awesome. Amazon will crush the average bike shop's clothing and gear income because some of them are forced to carry the high priced Trek or Specialized gear and clothing. The LBS will be impacted hard by Amazon well before they impact Performance Bike.

At the local Performance Bike in Greensboro, NC, before a group ride, buy some gel packets, pick up those summer arm sleeves that are on end of season sale now, have them adjust the rear mech and you're off for a group ride. Amazon can't do that, nor can most bike shops tied to the big brands and their costly goods. I think Performance Bike will be just fine. They are well positioned to weather this storm. Fear for the traditional bike shop, some are being restricted in what they can sell and they have to compete with the internet. And compete with Performance Bike.

Some people scoff at Performance Bike's stuff but sometimes you only need a tube, some gloves or socks or something for hydration and energy. As far as them botching orders, it shouldn't' happen and it's a pain in the rear. Yes, Amazon will do that better. But there is a need for brick and mortar with internet pricing and Performance Bike has nestled into that niche nicely.
  #7  
Old 08-28-2017, 04:40 PM
rePhil rePhil is offline
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CyclingTips podcast latest podcast was something like "How bike shops can survive in an Amazon world"

Interesting perspectives.

Last edited by rePhil; 08-28-2017 at 05:10 PM.
  #8  
Old 08-28-2017, 04:54 PM
OtayBW OtayBW is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnette View Post
Some people scoff at Performance Bike's stuff but sometimes you only need a tube, some gloves or socks or something for hydration and energy.
I go to Performance to buy Accelerade - that's about it. And now they quit carrying it! (at least in my local store). I walk around while there and try to find something interesting to buy, but I'm sorry to say that most of the stuff there interests me about as much as a subscription to Bicycling Magazine. Alright, I'm a snob....
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  #9  
Old 08-28-2017, 05:06 PM
Climb01742 Climb01742 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnette View Post
I know Performance Bike pissed you off by messing up your order,
Truthfully, messing up the order wasn't what pissed me off. Stuff happens. I was just bummed out by the mistake until I went to return the wrong saddle. I think the true measure of any company isn't whether they make mistakes (we all do) but how easily and speedily they correct the mistake. The return and refund process at Performance is painful. It was state-of-the-art in 1970. That's the part that is unacceptable. If you sell online, there's simply a minimum standard you need to meet to stay in business. Performance feels like they're trying to shoestring an online business on the back of their brick-and-mortar. And failing, for me anyway.
  #10  
Old 08-28-2017, 05:06 PM
Pierre Pierre is offline
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All I know is that prices on Amazon are not nearly as good as they used to be. My take is that this is partly a result of taking other players out of the action and then having the market clout to raise prices because we are left with fewer online options. Buyers beware!
  #11  
Old 08-28-2017, 05:08 PM
Burnette Burnette is offline
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Ha!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OtayBW View Post
I go to Performance to buy Accelerade - that's about it. And now they quit carrying it! (at least in my local store). I walk around while there and try to find something interesting to buy, but I'm sorry to say that most of the stuff there interests me about as much as a subscription to Bicycling Magazine. Alright, I'm a snob....
Their top range bibs are good, really. When they go on sale here soon, try a pair and don't tell anyone! Some of their gloves are decent too and yep, I buy sun sleeves there too.They have blow out sales on gels and tubes and tires and such, go by there when the season end sale hit and stock up.

You know, there was a time when a product was a bargain and a good value wasn't a bad thing.

I too buy nice things but I'll rock a good bib, my peers be darned.
  #12  
Old 08-28-2017, 05:08 PM
dustyrider dustyrider is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Climb01742 View Post
Truthfully, messing up the order wasn't what pissed me off. Stuff happens. I was just bummed out by the mistake until I went to return the wrong saddle. I think the true measure of any company isn't whether they make mistakes (we all do) but how easily and speedily they correct the mistake. The return and refund process at Performance is painful. It was state-of-the-art in 1970. That's the part that is unacceptable. If you sell online, there's simply a minimum standard you need to meet to stay in business. Performance feels like they're trying to shoestring an online business on the back of their brick-and-mortar. And failing, for me anyway.
I have had the same feeling for amazon for years now because of very similar circumstances. Amazon gets zero of my dollars.
  #13  
Old 08-28-2017, 05:08 PM
rnhood rnhood is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnette View Post
I know Performance Bike pissed you off by messing up your order, but they are in between the shop/internet interface where they do both things and Amazon will do just one, internet.
The Performance Bike near me has regular group rides, the do good repair work and their prices for some things are awesome. Amazon will crush the average bike shop's clothing and gear income because some of them are forced to carry the high priced Trek or Specialized gear and clothing. The LBS will be impacted hard by Amazon well before they impact Performance Bike.

At the local Performance Bike in Greensboro, NC, before a group ride, buy some gel packets, pick up those summer arm sleeves that are on end of season sale now, have them adjust the rear mech and you're off for a group ride. Amazon can't do that, nor can most bike shops tied to the big brands and their costly goods. I think Performance Bike will be just fine. They are well positioned to weather this storm. Fear for the traditional bike shop, some are being restricted in what they can sell and they have to compete with the internet. And compete with Performance Bike.

Some people scoff at Performance Bike's stuff but sometimes you only need a tube, some gloves or socks or something for hydration and energy. As far as them botching orders, it shouldn't' happen and it's a pain in the rear. Yes, Amazon will do that better. But there is a need for brick and mortar with internet pricing and Performance Bike has nestled into that niche nicely.
Nicely stated and I fully agree. Performance Bike has several stores in Raleigh and they serve a good purpose to the biking community. When I buy a saddle from Performance via on-line, I can return it for a full refund in 30 days. Try that with Amazon. So I have to drive down to the store to return it or, fill out a return label....BFD.
  #14  
Old 08-28-2017, 05:16 PM
54ny77 54ny77 is offline
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i frequent a local performance often, they're my go-to source for nutritional stuff, tools or parts in a pinch, occasional sale "stuff" and last time i was there, they had doors to walk into a building, actual employees selling bikes, working on bikes, and others selling bike-related stuff.

fyi, while it might not be an option for you, if you order it online and need to return it, a local store will accept and process the item(s).
  #15  
Old 08-28-2017, 05:17 PM
Climb01742 Climb01742 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnhood View Post
When I buy a saddle from Performance via on-line, I can return it for a full refund in 30 days. Try that with Amazon.
That's exactly what Amazon does. I've done it effortlessly at least five times.
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