The Soapbox: Why I Shop Local

Welcome to the Soapbox – a place where we invite you to express your opinion, no matter how well or ill-informed. A chance to vent your spleen, sing your praise, or chuck a tantie.



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PLEASE NOTE: All Soapbox pieces represent the opinion of the writer solely and do not necessarily reflect the views of Flow!

I’m using my time on the soapbox to ask ‘why’. Why can we jump online and buy parts from overseas for less than the wholesale prices our local bike shops can buy them for from the local distributors?

I love my riding and living in Sydney with all the sandstone tracks my bike cops a hammering. It seems to be every 12 months I will go through a couple of chains, chainrings, derailleur hangers, derailleurs, cassettes, brake pads, tyres… The list goes on. Maybe I’m a poor rider and even worse maintainer of my bike? Back to the point.

I have made the decision to support my local bike shop, so I buy my all spares from them; I want them to stay in business. But I know a lot of my mates buy from overseas because they get what they need at prices that are sometimes 40-60% cheaper. I don’t blame them on one hand when the family budget is tight.

I don’t think our domestic shops or distributors are at fault. I can’t help but wonder, are we, our local distributors and our local shops being fleeced by the large companies? They know that we are now able to buy in a global market. They know that the so called ‘high cost of transport’ is no longer an excuse given the fact online retailers can provide free shipping on many items. Do not they know that their actions puts pressure on our local shops? Or don’t they care, as it is all about the bottom line?

Whatever the case, I encourage you all to support your local bike shop. You may find they offer way more than than those overseas suppliers – it’s called customer service. And campaign to your local member of parliament to see if our leaders can’t do something to even up the playing field!

Done! Ahh! That feels better.