MONEY MORAL DILEMMA. Would you leave a small shop in the lurch?

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  • Janey51
    Janey51 Posts: 1,195
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
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    Small shop every time.
  • I would honour my deal with the small shop, but not feel obliged to use them in the future.

    We are consumers, mainly on tight budgets. All suppliers, big or small, have to compete to survive. Small local businesses often feel that they have a god given right to survive, rather than provide a better service or price than their competitors.

    If you can afford to use them out of charitable intent, lucky you!
  • debbsie
    debbsie Posts: 17 Forumite
    There's a small bike shop in Oldham, quite close to a Halfords, (it's called Skidmores, lol), and he does a very good business indeed. I bought all the kids bikes from there, as I was able to pick them up at a more convenient time, and he had a better choice than Halfords.

    Halfords is GREAT for car paint . . and the Advanced Car Cleaning Products though!
    . . . there's debt you have to pay, and debt you can get away with . . know the difference . . they can't hang you for it!!!
  • Yup, small shop. As a small business owner myself, I know that we cannot compete with "big boys" on cost but we more than make up for it in service.

    On this point, I know this site is about Moneysaving, but that b1oody Dominic "Don't Get Done, Get Dom" Littlewood does my head in :mad: You wouldn't walk into your local M&S and try to haggle £25 off a dinner service but he shamelessly squeezes the local independent shops for every penny, it is cringeworthy to watch. Fair enough if the product is ex-display, has no box or someother minor flaw but for a perfectly good product, pay the advertised price or don't buy it!
  • This question is loaded towards the LBS by them offering you a free service for nowt.

    As a former employee of a LBS I can assure you that for a set of pedals, that anyone with a spanner can fit, the cheapest supplier wins every time. However if I needed to take my bike to be repaired or actually purchase a bike then the LBS wins every time.

    At the LBS we had at least one Halfords purchased bike in a week on average for basic maintenance that Halfords were unable to do correctly. Simple things such as fixing squealing brakes.
  • Great to hear all the support for small shops, but to join ken1414 in defence of Halfords, their King's Lynn branch has an excellent bike mechanic who is a proper cyclist. A well-known independent shop in these parts, on the other hand, has given me service that's best described (as they say in these parts) as "normal for Norfolk".
  • The LBS guy gave your bike a service. Even if he used no parts, his time is worth something. £3 is a pittance to quibble over, and in the long run, a decent LBS will outperform the service and helpfulness of a larger brand such as Halfords, despite the excellent work they're doing in getting actual cyclists as sales staff.

    Besides, my not so local LBS (Wheelcraft) is the best in Scotland, because he cares about the bikes and customers, and isn't so interested in selling you the most expensive model of this/that/theother if the standard one will do you fine! And they always have a pot of free coffee on the go! And on top of all this, they're suprisingly inexpensive. Big Al of Wheelcraft true'd my wheels over two years ago, and since them I've broken my rear axle (not easy to do, unless you land quite hard), did my wheels go out of true...barely! Best wheels, best service, best BS in Scotland. (That's Bike Shop, not Bull S...)
  • I love my local bike shop. They've given excellent service to me and my partner on a range of about 8 or 9 different bikes, and have also gone the extra mile (eg the manager cycling to another LBS last week to pick up a pannier I needed urgently which hadn't arrived!). They help out with community projects, donating freebies for Bike Week and other events, and have also been very straight about products not bought from them, giving advice on a failing folding bike enabling my partner to return it and get a full refund. Also, they were able to spot immediately the problem with a bike just picked up from Halfords/Bike Hut which my partner was forced to get through their terrible tax-free bike scheme: he picked it up from Bike Hut who had signed it over to him, took it round the corner to the LBS who said 'that's too big for you'. Yep, it was the wrong size and Halfords had handed it over without even attempting to fit it to the owner...

    So I say local every time. They may be pricier but they give good service. My previous landlord ordered us a new washing machine from Sainsbury's Direct and the whole deal went horribly wrong, service-wise. He eventually cancelled the deal and bought the replacement from the local electrical appliance shop and it was in the house before the end of the day. I'm sure he will have paid more for it, but it was definitely worth using the local specialist!

    We've got a wine shop, butcher, fishmonger and deli at the end of our quite residential road. Anyone want to open a greengrocer, so we can have the set?
  • nope.

    service is more important to me than price.

    especially since i ride my bike to work!
    What goes around - comes around
    give lots and you will always recieve lots
  • definately stay with the local shop.

    i did the london to brighton bike ride this year and 3 days before i was due to ride my chain snapped and i found out that the main cog had worn so badly it had to be replaced.

    the guy in the local shop stayed late to get it finished so that i could use the bike at the week-end.

    if thats not worth a couple of quid more i don't know what is.
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