Local Bike Shop Demos for Everyone

We get this request a lot, people want to demo wheels at their local bike shops. These types of demos have been going great at the very few test shops that we’ve had over the past year. Right now we are putting the systems together that are necessary to get our wheels into LBSs around the world.

We’re thinking to help people do demos this way: any feedback?

  1. You come to the website click a button to do a demo.

  2. You put in the website address of the bike shop you want to demo at (It can be any bike shop in the world)

  3. You also select the model that you want to demo

  4. On our backend, we’ll contact that bike shop and pitch them about becoming a Tokyowheel dealer, and specifically we have a customer that has requested a demo at their shop.

  5. They become a dealer and order the wheelset you want to demo.

  6. We’ll keep you updated on the process and let you know when your wheel is ready for demo at the LBS

  7. If you don’t want to get the wheel, that shop can keep it for sale to another customer or return it to us for the 110% money back refund.

How does that sound?

I’d look into GCN as well. It’s a British cycling show with a huge following. And the gentlemen that host the show all come from a professional cycling back ground and really seem open and friendly. They do pretty much everything cycling. Product Testing, tech, racing techniques, ect.

Would the LBS make any $$$ from the demo program? Would this program help them sell your wheels? Since your sales are probably 100% online, how would a LBS compete against that? Here, in Los Angeles, CA, that LBS would also have to charge sales tax. That’s a little under 10%.

I contacted you a few months ago regarding local dealers and you mentioned that there is only one. That shop was in Pomona, CA. His website has no mention of your wheels. I don’t know. Maybe it’s setup that way so as not to compete directly with your online sales. Either way, you need to find a dealer to represent you on the westside of Los Angeles and/or the South Bay.

Hi Rob,

Thanks for the great comments. A few points. We get shops contacting us every day to retail our wheels, but until now we have mostly told them to wait. We have had 3 distinct test dealers over the past year that we have been monitoring to determine if we should sell through dealers. At first it appeared to not be a good idea at all, because inorder for the dealers to have an acceptable profit margin, we need to operate at nearly zero profit margin on their sales.

But given the following facts, it’s looking more and more like it makes sense.

  • We don’t allow 3rd party online sales, so no one is canabalizing our main sales channel (this is why you don’t see our wheels for sale on the Coates website, but in all honesty we do ask them to post things like reviews and blogs).
  • Customers can get a huge value added to the Tokyowheel experience by having the local bike shop involved.
  • We are focused on brand building, and even if our dealer sales are a break even segment of our business, having a network of Tokyowheel dealers worldwide is a major asset.

The dealers do make a modest profit from our products, although it’s less than they make selling 3,000USD wheelsets (Money makes the world go round, and high priced products have a lot of profit margin to incentivize dealers).

All that considered, we are currently updating our technology to allow for a ‘dealer portal’ to streamline the dealer process. Once that is complete, we will begin an outreach to dealers. They are customers as well, and need to be sold to. This is one reason why I believe that the novel approach I have outlined here (shop demos), will help to show them the interest in our products.

It will also allow customers to demo the wheels. So it seems like a win/win situation.

P.S. Which bike shop would you recommend on the westside of Los Angeles and/or the South Bay? and which model would you like to demo at their shop (if any). We’ll give this business model a try.