Dealers Vs. Direct Sales Only

We have a huge amount of requests to become Tokyowheel Dealers, up to now we have not allowed any bike shops to resell Tokyowheels (Actually we have allowed 1 or 2 as test cases). We are at a decision point if we will allow dealers or continue as a Direct Sales Only company (Like Canyon Bikes).

Let us know your toughts.

Pros of selling through Dealers

  • People can trust their local bike shop, and get their hands on the product before they buy.
  • The possibility for exposure is greater
  • They can potentially provide faster aftersale support

Cons of selling through Dealers

  • The largest Con is that when selling through dealers we have to prioritize our efforts to cater to the dealers as opposed to prioritizing the end users. For example, a lot of dealers will never allow a 110% 365 day return policy, so should we eliminate that policy to make the dealers happy, or keep the policy and make the end user happy
  • If you’re familiar with the 80/20 Principle, dealers would be the 20% of customers that require 80% of our attention.
  • They also represent the 80% of customers that generate 20% of profits (the profit ratio is actually lower than that, its mostly a break even business model)

Pro’s of Direct Sales Only

  • By far the larges Pro of direct sales only is that we can fully focus on the end customer, and develop innovated business models and products to benefit them.
  • We offer the best warranty and guarantees in the industry, better than anything you will get from a local bike shop.
  • We can respond to feedback from customers more rapidly

Con’s of Direct Sales Only

  • A lot of people want to go into a shop and touch a product before buying. Online, direct sales just doesn’t allow that. (Except via the things we are developing in this thread Brand Building, Demo Booth, Service Center

The topic is up to public debate. Would you like to buy Tokyowheels in your local bike shop, or would you prefer a better experience that is based on online direct sales, or is there another option all together (sponsored clubs, sponsored athletes, sales reps, demo days, etc) Let us know what you are thinking.


hello James,

My opinion for Dealer vs direct sales only, obviously like a local cyclestore is from the dealers side.
I believe that when people get their hands on the product before they buy give advance to the product
and it is very important when there is a face to face support.
Also i believe that the cost for the support is lower when there is a service center.
Certainly the dealers selling ,prioritize your efforts but make it easier .
The policy for 365 return can be eliminated because , you buy a product that in some cases is avaliable for a test ride first.

we have many option to talk about.



My thoughts were certainly heavy before buying your wheels bec.of the brand & uncertainties of reliability & performance. My final decision came from all your attractive guarantees. So your direct sales at the present time certainly works . appointing sponsored cyclists would help to promote your products.


James; I would continue with your current business model. My decision to purchase your wheels (which I love by the way 60 clinchers :slight_smile: was pretty easy and quick. Price, warranty, speed of delivery, options in build configuration and lots of satisfied customer testimonials made my purchase a no brainier. I shop on line for almost all of my bike gear - except WD40 cleaning gear (not available online only via dealers :frowning: . I know this will upset some LBS but they need to move with the times and adapt their business practice to the modern world.

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There’s one more con to the current business model. The thrust. I’m from Denmark, and I know there’s multiple taxes if I order from you, and then I don’t know the end price. You have your garanties, but I don’t know you, so can I thrust the garanty? I know for a fact, that several riders from my country knows about Tokyowheels, but they are not sure about the end price, and therefor haven’t made any orders from this website.
And sorry for the misspelling in English, but I thought you would better understand this, than in Danish :wink:

Yes, trust is always an issue when ordering online. That benefit of trust validation by selling through dealers is certainly a reality. But I do believe that selling through local dealers is not the answer to the real issue you have brought up, which is trust and social proof of Tokyowheel. This is something that needs to be addressed via our website, community or 3rd party trusted peer companies, and presented to every potential customer. Perhaps we should become a Google trusted store, or a Norton shopper guaranteed store, etc.

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I continue to wonder how the cost of the wheels would be affected if they were no longer available direct from manufacturer. As I’ve said previously, Tokyowheels are less expensive than some of the big name brands available in local shops but they’re not cheap by my standards. If a wholesaler buys 2000 wheels and multiple shops buy from the wholesaler then each time there will be some markup in price. The wheels that many of us have bought for what we felt is a very reasonable price might then approach a tipping point that would drive some to go with another brand that has larger market traction. Big disclaimer is I have no idea how much products are market up at wholesale and retail shops.

Traditionally the wholesale / distributor model doubles the retail price of products over the direct to consumer model.

We’ve been test selling via a few dealers over throughout all of 2014. Tokyowheels have been continuously sold via well a established shop, an international shop, and an international custom bike builder. We limited dealers to these test cases to collect data throughout the year.

Based upon these experiences, we’ve come to the following conclusions:

  1. The local bike shop experience is very different than buying online, and there is real value for the consumer in the LBS experience.

  2. We have evaluated the financial model of dealer sales, and we believe we can operate under this model (with some very key modernizations), as a compliment to our direct sales model. We could never operate under a dealer only model like Zipp etc at our current price point.

  3. If we frame this business model as a brand building, customer value added, community building initiative, we can see the real possibility of improving the Tokyowheel experience via dealer sales.

  4. We will continue to test the dealer sales business model and put resources into a dealer sales initiative, supported by regional Tokyowheel sales reps in 2015.

If you are interested in selling Tokyowheels in your shop, or becoming a regional Sales Rep, send me an email

We welcome and appreciate your feedback and criticisms.


That’s more than I expected but not surprised.

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Hello James, I think your philosophy is very authentic.
Although, the market conditions tend to drive you to terrains you never expected. For instance, if the purpose of Tokyowheel is to compete with the big brands, sooner or later you might have to expose your products in local and online stores.
In such case, you would definetely not be able to control the whole buying experience and will be sometimes forced to sacrifice part of your philisophy, but I guess that will be decided by how profitable it is for you to limit your sales exclusively through the website.
For all I know, your priority must always be to keep the good products coming and maintaning the low prices and guarantees.
Keep up the good work!

We just launched our dealer program. You’ll start to see a lot more Tokyowheel dealers popping up. If you want your local bike shop to carry Tokyowheel, then post here.

  • Shop Name
  • Shop Contact Email
  • Shop Contact Persons Name

We’ll get in-touch with them and help them become a dealer. Thanks!

Hi James. Below are Local Bike shops that I think performing awesomely in Kuching Sarawak, Malaysia

Operating for more than 10yrs with good track record of sell at valuable price and provide superb service to their customers

Shop Name: Thong Sen Cycle Sdn Bhd
Contact Email:
Shop Contact Person: Mr. Lau Kim Ann

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