Images via Glam Shops
From the outside looking in, being a bike mechanic seems like a pretty plush job. Loose uniform standards, get to work on cool bikes, no one is judging that neck tattoo, and you've got a discount on all the best stuff.
This all assumes thought that you have enough money to live comfortably outside of the bike shop. If not, then it can seem to be a thankless job. I have written about bike technician salaries before- but recently converted some of the research into a quick slide deck. Check it out.
If you share this slide deck with your favorite bike mechanic they will love you and think you're cool. No, really, they will. Better share it now! Thanks - Donny
In the bicycle industry many retailers refer to themselves as an IBD or Independent Bicycle Dealer. IBDs have often classified their work as selling bicycles, bike repair, cycling apparel, tools, and accessories. However the IBD is an aging dinosaur in need of a new moniker.
I believe that there is a difference between an Independent Bicycle Dealer and an Independent Bicycle Retailer (IBR or simply bike retailer). An IBD is a dealer and, just like a drug dealer standing on the corner, they schlep a product. Moving product as fast as possible with little or no concern to who buys it or what they do with it. An IBD doesn’t care about the community, an IBD doesn’t care about their reputation, and an IBD will do anything to make a sale. The IBD discounts, cuts deals, screws over their vendors and their customers. They look for the easiest way out of everything while trying to snatch every dollar from the people silly enough to buy from them.
An IBR on the other hand is constantly focused on creating a positive shopping experience. They care about the look of their store. They never stop striving to improve the services they offer. They work to cultivate a positive community, and the IBR creates a lasting engagement with their customers. The IBR never needs to cut corners or slice prices, their customers recognize their work and see value in everything they do. The IBR may not be cheaper, but they are different, they are better, and customers see themselves as partners.
Are you an IBD or an IBR?
Thanks for reading this far. If you found this valuable it would be awesome if you could share it. Thanks - Donny