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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Hi Simon,

I agree with much of what you and others here say, but a couple of points:

People often bring up the "yeah but what about warranty issues?" issue. In reality, how often do we really put in warranty claims?

Often it is not the matter of a "few bucks". Hypothetically, if an item is 50% cheaper with an OLBS compared to LBS (including any postage, and as they often are) and you assume there is no warranty provided by the OLBS you need to gamble that it will require warranty/replacement 50% of the time in order for the cost to be equivalent to buying locally for the net benefit to be 0 (admittedly with the added inconvenience of ordering the replacement). I wouldn't buy any product from any retailer if I believe there is a 50% risk of it breaking in the first place.

Furthermore, if a product sold by both the LBS and OLBS has come out of the same factory, why should I expect the quality and therefore risk of needing to pursue a warranty claim to be any different?

I wouldn't assume that LBS &/or distributors are perfect when it comes to warranty claims. Or that the "hassle" involved in getting it to your LBS is any less than posting it back overseas. In fact one well-known OLBS will 1) let you know if they accept your warranty claim before you return it to them (you submit a claim online which takes 2 minutes) and 2) refunds your postage for returning it to them. Does your LBS do this, will they advise you over the phone or via email if they accept your claim (usually not, they say bring it in and we'll send it back to the distributor to adjudicate), do they refund your travel costs or parking (rhetorical question) to get it back to them? From personal experience I have found dealing with warranty issues with OLBS much easier than LBS, and more successful too.

I'm not saying one is better than the other, but you need to consider the pros and cons of both.

As for the legal question, although I don't know I would suggest they are bound to trade according to their local laws regardless of the country of residence of the purchaser. But yes, pursuing this might be more difficult than doing so with a local retailer.

Your point about meeting Australian safety standards is a good one, hence the reason I will never buy a rhymes with the decorative panel that covers the top of your curtains>> online; I have heard of people who have had their rhymes with the decorative panel that covers the top of your curtains>> confiscated by Customs because they didn't .

So my personal opinion, if I want the contact with my LBS or need their advice, I pay their price out of respect for that. If I don't need anyone to assist me in making my purchasing decision, I go with what is important to me (usually convenience & or cost).
Weird confiscation. Do they give you your thing without the hair back on departure? Seems ultra vires to me.
The trouble is, its not a matter of "saving a few bucks". Many members on here have saved thousands by buying products from overseas. Many, many more have saved at least hundeds.

Product liability is an interesting one. However, in the exceptionally rare and unusual event that you were able to establish sufficient nexus between your faulty bike part and personal injury, you are talking about years of argument, costs, and litigation before you see a cent in damages.

If you are that concerned about compensation, personal insurance is a much better idea. That way you leave it up to the insurance company to seek redress from the supplier. The savings on buying your stuff offshore buys a freakin' lot of insurance.

That being said, it's not worthwhile going overbaoard by waiting until you have a sizeable order before ordering every little thing. I needed a new derailleur last week. I could get for about $35 through Wiggle, but it was only one part and I wanted it NOW. Ordered it from the LBS, had it next day, and stumped up $89.50 for the privilege.
A good point, and one that would need a test case. I might ask a lawyer friend for an opinion on where the liability issue lies, I think above from memory it is the jurisdiction where sold (how could an Australian court hold a UK retailer accountable?).

As for local distributors handling import warranty claims, I am amazed how many do, unless it is a requirement enforced by the manufacturer (and the manufacturer reimburses them accordingly).

Ethically, my bigger issue is with OL retailers in general (not just OLBS) who know many of their sales depend on advice provided by the L retailer to a customer who then buys from the OL retailer - which is why I've come up with my position: local advice gets local sale at local price.
I guess this report was paid for by the local bike industry. Seems to cover some of the issues of warranty and recall.

Lame! Rig as a singlespeed until the $35 part arrives!!
Yes, you are quite right sir.

I admit it's lame, but what can I say - I'm impulsive.
Was asked $28 for a Maxxis inner tube today.

Not just bike stuff:
Half litre of excellent export, pils or weissbier in de: 39c
Train bus or tram to work: 1.70

We are being utterly and royally shafted in au. Example: high high tax for being an honest worker yet just $2 per year per body on boik facilities.

My advice- go OS to work and buy the good porn. Enjoy the fabulous Aussie climate and geography as a visitor.
I work in the software development & support area and see more and more of the industry going to large "cheap" Indian or Chinese organisations, the bigger & richer the Australian organisation (eg Banks) the more likely they are to out source to offshore, won't be too long before no software is written in Australia.

This makes me especially sensitive to ordering from O/S stores as I really want to maximise the spend in Australia so that someone will be paying taxes and funding my pension sometime (not to mention all the bike paths I will need).

But recently I have been looking at Ortlieb Front Panniers (and other stuff). Wiggle @ AUD110 including shipping or local online store @ $250 PLUS shipping or some LBS @ $300 !

I can't afford principles that cost that much so Wiggle will be it.
The cheap software labour is as good as the price.
Try negotiating your requirements with Bangalore. Try that really really hard if you are a woman.

You will get code that does something sometimes. Not what you need.


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