Thursday, 23 July 2015

Use Bicycle Trade Suppliers Or The Likes Of Chainreaction and Wiggle?

With most industries nowadays, it's become harder for trade suppliers to match online price's, let alone be cheaper.

Using a trade supplier does not always mean buying cheaper.

Most independent Bike Shops and Mobile businesses use a mixture of trade to buy stock and Chain Reaction Cycles/online retailers to buy one off small orders to help with margins and to maximize profit.

Many B2B and online sales websites have baskets you can add items to, making it easy for stock ordering and some suppliers will match online prices and give an extra 5% off.

"It do's not seem right using non trade suppliers and I do still believe buying from trade suppliers"

Shimano Parts & Accessories on display - Mobile setup (Photo 2011)

Chain Reaction Cycles CRC
Wiggle and Chainreaction Cycles now known as "Chiggle"
  • Can beat most (But not all) trade prices with no minimum order
  • Offer free delivery that usually comes next day
  • Have help line and support
  • Easy returns from collect Plus and free returns on orders over £9
  • Can pass on price difference by charging RRP (Min 30%)
  • Choice of delivery address  
  • Easy to return parts for refund or exchange due to failure/warranty  
The only downside is credit is not given, so if you are buying large amounts of parts, you will need a cash flow to cover costs until customer collects and pays.

Trade suppliers

  • Rep's don't help - they are mainly salesman working to a target. Be-wary to let them in your shop, they are not helping your business, by giving the wrong advise what you should be stocking. Do try and build a relationship from the start, by letting them know what your business is about and that you are working to a budget and need fast moving stock to make a return. Why do you need to stock clothing, kids bikes, etc.........?????
  • Have minimum orders for free delivery from £100 - £200
  • Easy to buy things not required to make up free delivery - better off paying £5 delivery charge (Do use the basket to put in stock items, that will make up the order)
  • Do not stock everything - Can be out of stock and then not able to make up your order for free delivery
  • Paying post for returning any parts
  • Trade suppliers can be out of stock as they supply to the big online bikeshops!
  • Trade suppliers do have great product knowledge, with years of experience
  • Help with looking up those hard to find parts saving you time
  • Many specialist parts are cheaper
  • Give credit
  • We work closely with our suppliers for the best buying deals, with premier rates with some trade discounts suppliers. And bulk buying deals for Cycle Tech Group
  • There are many that do support the small businessman 
  • Huge discounts on tools
  • Build a relationship
  • News letters with special offers on every day parts
  • Many distributors invest into promoting cycling

Group bulk buying stock direct from the trade supplier

You need self discipline: 

Many bikeshops and mobile businesses are carrying less stock than in the past and using the supplier as the warehouse. (Due mainly to not over stocking, too many variations, next day)  By keeping only fast moving bread and butter parts and accessories in stock. The downside is parts when required maybe out of stock, with a back order of over 2 months.
This type of business like many others, have a very busy period followed by quite times. Giving a misconception, which is all too easy to spend on buying large amounts of stock and bikes when busy and be left with a lot of money on the shelf or invoices that need paying at the end of the month. Finding a balance of how you are running your shop over the whole year and forecasting what's required.

As I say a lot on here - make notes, take small steps, do one thing at a time and act on it!!!

Don't know what to stock, where to buy from, stock control? Then I can help you.
Email me for a information brochure

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