How online bike shops make you buy more

It is no secret that “Free Shipping” is the biggest motivator for online shops to get shoppers to buy. They have known for years that their Free Shipping offers have two significant effects, firstly for undecided shoppers, it can be the deciding factor. If you have been thinking about new gear for a while, these real savings on the cost of shipping are enough to make you press that buy button.

Free Shipping promotions are usually based on a minimum purchase value which induces that second effect. The majority of online purchases are low value purchases under $100 (ca. 75 Euros and 60 pounds), so creating a Free Delivery incentive for purchases above $99 makes shoppers add extra items to reach the quota.

Considering that the largest online retailers such as Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles each have an annual turnover in excess of $250 million each, the small increases in the average sale amount have a real effect on annual turnover.

Buying Cycling Gear Online Locally or Overseas?

The chances are that you are already spoilt for choice between online bike shops located in your country online bike shops overseas.

There is the impression that the overseas online retailers have lower prices on bikes, parts and accessories. The online shops are running a tight operation with low margins and high volumes and can also pass on tax savings to their customers. As an example, if you reside outside of the United Kingdom and order from a UK retailer such as Wiggle or Chain Reaction Cycles, you don’t pay VAT (Value added Tax). And depending on your local tax regulations and trade agreements between your country and the origin country – you may escape local taxes and / or customs charges entirely on your ‘imports’.

While the item you want may be marginally or significantly cheaper overseas (don’t forget shipping), a very important consideration is the warranty and your consumer rights. If something does go wrong, the local bike shop (LBS) and brand distributer can rightly reject your warranty claim. Instead you probably need you organise this directly with the online shop who may give you the ‘run around’, may make you pay shipping charges and it can simply become a big hassle, especially for high priced gear and bikes. Buying locally provides certainty with regard to your consumer rights whereas overseas purchases means that your rights can become blurred.

Keep in mind, when purchasing online, make sure you also check out the prices of your local online bicycle shops. When there is a price difference, weigh-up the value of local support, valid local warranty and protection under your local consumer laws. In hindsight we are all clever, but smart thinking in advance can help you make a smarter choice for your online purchase.