So go ahead and read about Trek’s online venture here.
All in all it’s a great idea if it works. People buy bikes online everyday and there is nothing we can do about that. Trek makes the bikes available to buy for those who shop in their underwear and the bikes get sent to the local dealer who gets a very reasonable cut. For the consumer, they get a win\win. They get to shop from home AND get a LBS experience when they pick the bike up, or deliver as we offer that service. Imagine, some person buying online and not getting the bike delivered in a box from UPS but fully assembled by the LBS.
Heck, I cant count how many times someone has come to my store with a bike in a box they bought online. Not from eBay, from a bike manufacturer. And then pay us another $50-60 bucks to put it together. Now they get that service in the cost of the bike already.
I for one would never buy a bike online but there are many people who do. It happens everyday. And I applaude Trek addressing the online issues us bike store are fighting. I hope this all works out for both consumers(you), manufacturers(Trek) and dealers(me).
When these bikes are ordered online, the buyer picks which store it will be delivered to. The store receives an adequate cut from the initial sale, plus gets to interact with the customer for accessories. It just might work.
Of course the media gets ahold of this way too soon and without all the correct info (imagine that) and this gets a lot of bad press faster than a illegally poached lion. Lots of bad uninformed statements being made. One dealer says its the end of the local bike shop. One guy says if he sold Trek he would dump them immediately. Thats would be a bad business move.
Really, the only people in the industry who get it is the Trek dealers. The people who know the entire story on how this will operate. I realize there could be issues but I applaude Trek for taking this on. For not sitting back and complaining about online sales. They are attacking it.
Attacking not to destroy it. The internet is not going away. Like I said, people sit at home in their underwear and shop for stuff. Sometimes it’s a new bike. Now my store can take back some of those sales and thats a bike I would not have sold before. And it costs me nothing to participate.
Still, lots of questions. What if the frame is the wrong size? As I sit here I do not know the protocol if that happens but Im pretty sure Trek has thought about that and has a practical solution to practice. This has been in development for two years. Im pretty sure that has come up in the meetings.
I or anyone can’t say if this is going to be successful. Things like this have been tried before. In the scheme of things I think this is going to have a very small impact. At least at first. But Im willing to give it a try.
Time will tell.