Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How to woo a framebuilder, pt. 2

Got a polite email today from a fellow who had narrowed his choices to a few different framebuilders, and wanted to know why one of my bikes would be better than ____ or ____.

Folks, there's nothing really wrong with the question, but here's the thing (or the things):

-We all know each other, mostly. I would *never* say anything bad about a fellow framebuilder to get someone's business, and I am pretty sure the same goes for most other builders regarding me. Pretty much any builder who's been around for more than a few years is a reputable, responsible person who will do a great job for you or die trying. There are a few who aren't, but I'm not about to publicly badmouth them - that's just bad karma.

-You're not going to get me (or anyone else) into a bidding war. If Billybob cycles will do it cheaper, or faster, or both, great - but don't tell me this, because it's not going to get me to give you a cheaper price or a quicker turnaround time. Honestly, if you get someone who *is* willing to bargain like that, you probably want to run the other direction as fast as you can. Info on pricing and wait times is right there on my site - heck, you can even track how I'm doing in terms of when people paid deposits and when they get their bikes, if you're willing to watch the waitlist enough.

The best way to figure out who you want to build your new frame is to send some emails and make some phone calls, and try to get a sense of how the process will work and how well the builder understands your situation and desires. Lots of people can build you a great bike, so if you're even a little bit conscientious about doing your research, you're virtually guaranteed to be happy in the end.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

When customers start playing these games, run the other way. That behavior will spill over into their order, and you can bet it'll be more aggravation than it's worth.

Your antenna should be up on this one.

Margo said...

I'd second that sentiment.

steve-o said...

the title of the post is funny, because this week is the redlands bike classic, so a bunch of racers come into the shop and need work done fast. Im happy to oblige most of the time, but almost every time i get, "My bike runs sweet man, what kind of beer do you drink?" and since i dont drink, in about a week's time, you should reap the benefits of my last minute handywork. How's that for wooing my framebuilder?

chris said...

Anyone employing bidding war tactics between BMW and Ferrari for a custom handbuild car is out of there mind. Similarly I can't believe anyone would do this with custom frame builders. Way to make a heck of a first impression. Good Story.

Anonymous said...

Tell me more about this 'happy ending'...

Walt said...

Yes, I also offer sensual message/custom bike frame package deals. The happy endings cost extra, of course.

T-roy said...

I didn't see any pricing on the happy ending.....doh, never mind the wife just walked in!

Steve-o: The shop I work at in the summer usually has a good stock of beer, occasionally even a couple Schlitz Malt Liquor Bulls grace the refrigerator. You know you've done a good job when a true roadie brings a 6er of Zima.....