The trick to finding the bike part you want… fast

With varying product names, different model names and different seasons (years) for bikes and gear it can be very difficult to find the exact bicycle part you are after, in particular replacement parts. You either have too many, or no matching items. Often the brand websites are just as difficult to navigate as the online retailers.

Here are three ways to quickly find the product you are after.

Tip One
Search using the article number, start with your preferred online bike shop and revert to google if your shop doesn’t stock the item. Often products will include this unique number somewhere on the product page. As a unique identifier it can provide the quickest and most accurate results.

Tip Two
Expand or Narrow the search results using ‘operaters’. Searching for a Shimano Derailleur will return too many search results. Try Shimano Ultegra RD-6700 Derailleur.

If you use the + symbols, the search results MUST include the search term, for example Shimano +Ultegra will return resulst where “Shimano” is optional while “Ultegra” is mandatory.

If the search results have too many unrelated items, use the – symbol. For example +Shimano +Di2 -XTR will return results with “Shimano” and “Di2” and specifically exclude any results with “XTR”.

Most search engines inside bike shops use these ‘operaters’ however google can be used to search within a specific website using the site: operater. For example:
ultegra site:chainreactioncycles.co.uk

This ‘query’ will search for any items with the word “ultegra”, only in the  Chain Reaction Cycles website.

Tip Three
How would the product be described, how would it be categorised? Using descriptive terms for example “commuter” or “commuting” or “urban” can be effective approach to finding a bike or product based on how it is sorted and described.

 

 

Online Shopping: Is the price you see, the price you pay?

The biggest motivation for shopping online is is price savings compared with buying in a local bike shop.  But it is annoying when you end up paying more than you expect, even if it is just a few dollars.

This is specific to overseas purchases, here is a brief overview of some of the common things that may affect the price – each shop will be different, the better ones ensure that price discrepancies are minimal:

• In Store Currency Conversion – online bike shops who serve an international audience often show prices in different currencies such as US Dollars, British Pound, Euro, Yen, Australian Dollars, etc.  However sometimes are converted on the fly with payment actually billed in one currency and customers have additional currency conversion fees and potentially a poorer ‘day rate’.

• Currency Conversion on Payment – Similar to the above although specifically for additional fees with your bank (or paypal) for making overseas payments.

• Overseas Payment Fees – Some banks charge a premium or fees for overseas payments, even if there is no currency conversion.

• Customs Duty -Depending on trade agreements between your country and the ‘origin’ country, customs duty may be levied before your goods are released. Some countries such as Australia have a minimum order threshold with orders under $1000 (AUD) in value exempt.

• Logistics Surcharges:  Watch out as some shipping companies such as UPS impose additional charges ‘local clearing fees’ – while they are not genuine (eligible) charges and shouldn’t be charges, often customers don’t question these and pay.

• Taxes – This is in two parts, often you will be exempt from paying the value added tax in the origin country for items purchase overseas. Some shops may automate this however with others you may have to claim – which can prove complex. The other component is added local taxes that may be levied when you import.

N.b. do your research and know if there are tax and customs duty exemptions which may affect how your ordered is declared at customs (to avoid time consuming manual claims).

• Incorrect Pricing – Numerous factors including human error can influence the display price – whether you are eligible for the price you were presented depends on the local consumer protection laws (where the shop is based), the shops willingness to resolve and your willingness to pursue.