I was down in the big smoke yesterday and had a bit of time to fill in so I visited one of the well known CBD bike shops.  I was aghast at the prices you mob are being charged for things.  I don't know whether it goes across the whole range of things, but just a comparison for Conti Ultragatorskin tyres ('cos I'm interested in them at present) showed the following prices

Sydney cbd lbs $99-$110
Newcastle lbs $60-$80
Chain Reaction Cycles and Wiggle - both UK internet shops <$40

All of this for the same tyre!  You're being suckered boys and girls, especially if this price disparity extends across their whole range of stocks.

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Agreed, do it yourself (or when I did this the bike shop in question charged $40 more than their ticket price to fit a new chain & cassette - yes, yes, I can now do it myself). For the jobs I can't do myself I've found a bike store mechanic who's got all the tools and is quite prepared to do it in the evening for cash at about half the hourly rate of his shop (and no, I won't be putting his details out there sorry!).

WRT the bike shop doing it themselves they might get away with it until the local wholesaler finds out about it, and either complains to the source manufacturer about how another of their suppliers is undercutting them / providing parallel imports*, or, have a word to the bike shop and threaten to stop supplying them will all the products they provide. Otherwise I agree, it would happen more often.

I suspect that by the time they've ordered it in for you, paid duty (if being delivered to a bike shop customs will pick it up as for commercial use regardless of the value) and applied GST and their usual retail mark-up the price isn't that different to their shelf price.

The last thing any of us want or need is a local cycle industry that disappears thanks to the web and international postage.

* I suspect this is what happened with Polar - any one tried purchasing any Polar parts from O/S? It appears they're very strict on their wholesaler territorial rights.
I used to ride in the UK and did it mostly in the rain which wasn't always the most pleasurable. The sleet and snow wasn't much better either. Thus my UK bike got much less use than my Aussie bike. So in retrospect your great Aussie weather which allows you to enjoy your slightly more expensive bikes for more days of the year actually means in a weird kind of way bikes and parts are cheaper in Aus.

However you cant go past wiggle and chain reaction for amazingly cheap parts, even with the shipping its still a lot cheaper. My LBS told me to get it in the UK and they will fit it for me. How nice of them. Maybe they have realised they can't compete with the internet savvy shopper and offering servicing is a better long term option for them.
"If the product is faulty, how do you return it?
If it doesn't fit, how do you return it?"

When the markup is what it usually is in Oz, you probably still save money!

"You are sending your dollar out of the country & not contributing to our local economy."


Example, $2000 bike from LBS is $1000 OS. The $1000 difference does not cease to exist. It may well be spent in other areas where more of the money stays in Australia, e.g. going out for a meal. This is not even taking into account of the money that is leaving the country through wholesale. Do you ride an Australian manufactured bike?

"You are leaving the way open to the "Category Killer"stores to get a foot hold..."

If this is true then, errm... no, the LBS/distributors are. They are the ones setting unrealistic prices which their potential customer's are unwilling to pay.
"Insurance, rent, electricity,fuel, registration and licences had all risen by over 30% in the same time frame & in some cases by 60%."

This is a different situation to their potential customers in what way?
I fully understand, I work in IT and was dealing with outsourcing/India etc long before the general masses thought about shopping on the internet much.

However, the fact is that being twice as expensive as your competitors is not a recipe for survival unless there is something very special being offered.

I do not know what the answer is, but it is certainly not threatening, one way or another, potential customers.
John, You have a new nickname now..... Hi Tower
The real point here John is that local bike stores need to realise they are trading on service not on a 100% mark up on parts. When they realise that they will be viewed as service providers rather than gouging the golden goose.
I'm forced to buy all my (non-cycling) shoes from overseas, the Australian shops won't even do special orders. Even with shipping costs it still works out cheaper than I would pay *if* the shoes were available here - it is not just cycling gear that we are being ripped off on. Books and CDs are also a huge ripoff compared to overseas. I went record shopping with a musician from the US and he could not believe how expensive our record shops are.

I'm all for supporting the LBS. I buy as much as I can from them, particularly things like lights that may be faulty and need to be returned. I have bought a few things from PBK and thankfully haven't had to return them, but there was a vest that was a little bit small, and if I had purchased it at the LBS I would have taken it back and got a different size.
A well known cycle industry person said in recent years "You can't punish consumers for practicing consumerism"
I agree with the essence of his remark. I guess what business & government has to grapple with is making the transition to the new e-commerce environment.

There's no "fair" or "deserve" in doing business against cheaper competitors. There's just the value proposition & how well it can be communicated.

Many other industries have already passed through this process.

The bicycle industry also will.

As for taxes etc. we will eventually have to do something since e-commerce for all products & services is only going to grow.

At some time in the future the government will reach a tipping point where tax lost to oversesas trade by local consumers is a problem.
Playing with Ribble during my lunch break, and Out of interest, and not going cheapest nor dearest, mid range campag groupset.........

Ribble Deda EM2 (Sloping) Road Frame 56cm Blue Alpina
Alpina Carbon/Alu Race Forks 1 1/8 ITS
Ribble Headset Unbranded 1 1/8" Hidden (ITS) 45 x 45
Campagnolo Veloce 10 Spd Double Groupset
Campagnolo Record Ultra-Torque Overboard Cups Eng
Campagnolo Veloce Black Brakes Road
Campagnolo 10 Spd Veloce Cassette 13-26
Campagnolo 10 Spd Veloce Ultra Narrow Chain
Campagnolo Veloce Black UT 10Spd Chainset 175 39/53
Campagnolo Veloce Black 10 Dble Front Gear STD/CT Bz-on
Campagnolo Veloce Black 10 Spd Rear Gear MD
Campagnolo Ultrashift Ergos Veloce Black 10 Spd with cables
Pro-Lite Pair Wheels Como Clincher Black 9/10/11 Camp
ITM Alutech 6061 (31.8)Bars Black 44cm
ITM Alutech 6061 (31.8) Stem Black 110mm
Selle Italia XO Alloy Transam Saddle
Alpina Alloy Seatpillar 27.2 350mm Black
Vittoria Rubino Rigid Tyre 700x23mm Red/Black
Vittoria Butyl Ultralite Tube 700x19/23 SV42mm
ITM Cork Embossed Handlebar Tape Red
Look Keo Classic Pedals red

all up 931 GBP, (incl 20 postage, so lets call it 1000)

even with another 100 GBP postage, I can't imagine You would be able to match that
campag equipped bike anywhere in Oz.

So with fx rates the way they are, you're getting a damn good road bike for sub 2K oz
Change the word "bike" to "fishing" and Kylie's comment works just as well.
The $$ for Shimano fishing reels can be big, if not bigger than the bike stuff.

Your LFS is up against the dept store prices but has all the jungle drums on who is biting, what works when and with who and why.
Just like your LBS and who knows when we will need them for tide charts as well.
I've just noticed that Wiggle are selling folding Conti Ultragatorskin tyres 700 x 25 for $29 AUD. Makes Sydney prices look sick!


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