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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Question for CLSB vendors

My friend is writing a paper on effects of e-commerce. Since there are a good amount of small/mid-size business owners here, I want to know how selling online has helped or hurt your business.

If you've decided to do business only from a brick and mortar shop and not online, how has your business suffered / benefitted from your online competition?
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 01:21 PM
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I wonder if CP has an opinion on this matter .
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gone In 3 View Post
My friend is writing a paper on effects of e-commerce. Since there are a good amount of small/mid-size business owners here, I want to know how selling online has helped or hurt your business.

If you've decided to do business only from a brick and mortar shop and not online, how has your business suffered / benefitted from your online competition?
There will be a charge for this information.

Greg

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 02:26 PM

 
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50% of my business is from something online.

The most effective has been Facebook , I can not believe how much business I have gained from something free.

Our Company Facebook ==> http://on.fb.me/TYp7jw
First Place Oils
Check out what AMSOIL has for your bike!
See this post ----> https://www.chicagolandsportbikes.com...1&postcount=16
Click here for our CLSB SPECIAL!" https://www.chicagolandsportbikes.com...68#post2010368
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 02:40 PM

 
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State Farm apparently has some of the best online systems when it comes to having an online account setup, mobile banking, etc. I guess industry wide it's known we're the leader in this field.

We've invested so much into this because corporate realizes that clients want to do business on their terms (where they want, when they want, how they want). That is why we have agents for those that want brick and mortar support, 24/7 phone in options, and online shopping. All best in class.

With that said, I'm part of things like Facebook, Search Engine Optimization, Google Adwords, and recently Yelp. All these things to drive business to us, whether in person or onto our web pages.

I would say 70% of our business comes from sources that are internet related, the other 30% from referrals / word of mouth.

We are historically a brick and mortar type business (even though we don't actually had over a physical product at time of purchase), but that has moved towards online shopping in a big way, and we'd be behind the 8 ball if we didn't keep up with technology.

Hope this info helps!

Peter Katowicz
State Farm® - Agent
108 E Lake St. Unit 2
Bloomingdale, IL 60108
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 02:42 PM
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I believe online helps a lot because it gives you more exposure. Instead of just people within 10 miles of the ghetto neighborhood that CP is located at, he can have millions of people check out his low quality orange county choppers style bikes all over the world


wat, iz was being honest
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 02:50 PM
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The internet allowed me to start a business, we do all of our sales from our website as well as promotions and advertising.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 03:19 PM
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100% online only, fuck dealing with people in person. cheap ass wankers
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 03:22 PM
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IMO it depends on the product being offered as to just how much web presence is required. But by no means do I see being able to sell a product successfully without one unless you have some gravy government contracts.

That said I have a hard product that installs into an existing system and is by no means "bolt on". Its a process that requires technical knowledge, possibly expensive tools and experience helps tremendously even though there are published documents and specifications on the assembly process.

In this regard I depend heavily on a skilled/trained brick and mortar dealer network to extend my sales range beyond the local installation area I can cover. I realize not everyone is technically competent, financially invested in tools or just do not care to take the time to DIY.

Quote:
Oh he can drive. He can drive beyond the limits of the tires, the engine, the car or anything else.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac11 View Post
I realize not everyone is technically competent, financially invested in tools or just do not care to take the time to DIY.

this is my core biz being DIY.

you're the yang to my ying.

Last edited by FiReBReTHa; 11-03-2011 at 03:37 PM.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 03:34 PM
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Depends on your current situation, business model, what you are selling, etc. For the motorcycle industry, it turned things inside out, and how business is conducted now is completely different, so the typical business model for a retail brick and mortar shop is unsustainable right now. Yes, your exposure increased to a certain extent, but your competition increased moreso.

Because I am primarily set up for face to face transactions and service/support/sales, it destroyed my parts sales. Time to roll with the punches and gear more towards online sales and less with customer service/retail for parts sales.

Some people can do well with it if their business lends itself to that. A very small seller with a unique product and small budget will do well with the intertoobz.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago Performance View Post
Some people can do well with it if their business lends itself to that. A very small seller with a unique product and small budget will do well with the intertoobz.
yaaay! thats me~!~

Quote:
Oh he can drive. He can drive beyond the limits of the tires, the engine, the car or anything else.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiReBReTHa View Post
this is my core biz being DIY.

you're the yang to my ying.
some products lend themselves more to that sort of thing than others. Another important reason I am setting up a dealer network is so I don't have to deal directly with ppl. fuck that. picky, bitchy, pains in the ass. I want to act as a manufacturer/distributor and R&D shop. Not much more.

Quote:
Oh he can drive. He can drive beyond the limits of the tires, the engine, the car or anything else.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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This is good insight.

I was expecting everyone to bash e-commerce as it has taken some toll on local businesses.

I might reach out to couple of you for some more details.

Please add any more details if something comes to mind.

Thanks!
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac11 View Post
I want to act as a manufacturer/distributor and R&D shop. Not much more.
Ha!

Thats my same goal exactly, good luck to you!
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 04:43 PM
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you as well, sir.

Is this the lighting and etc stuff you have posted on here about or something different?

Quote:
Oh he can drive. He can drive beyond the limits of the tires, the engine, the car or anything else.
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 04:53 PM

 
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my situation

in my case, the internet is a double-edged sword. I get a lot of inquiries, but as a percentage of business = sucks.

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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 06:23 PM
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac11 View Post
you as well, sir.

Is this the lighting and etc stuff you have posted on here about or something different?

Yup, still rocking it, until my competition is crushed I wont be happy.


www.reefledlights.com is my biz.


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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 07:02 PM
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I think in the motorcycle business it killed your brick and motor people. You can't keep the doors open on a 10-14% profit margin. Every year you get new internet guys that startup and give stuff away at 5% over cost thinking they are going to eat the loss and try and take market share. The problem is...they do that for a year...realize how hard they had to work to make 5K and basically just moved money around and worked their butt off to make nothing...Walmart would have paid better. The reason that is so low is because you also have other costs built in there....equipment, shipping (cause you have ship everything for FREE), etc.

That guy...disappears...and Mr. Newbie shows up the next year to fill his place along with 4-5 other guys. People who have been established for years suffer and struggle to keep doors open.

You have to change to survive....I kept cutting overhead and moving to a smaller shop and had to broom all of my employees. Now, I have my smallest shop and do things mobile. I started doing car stuff with a buddy of mine in a mobile business mobile and have an unlimited market. I'll also start doing more mobile stuff down here in the spring like I did in Chicago this spring.

Nowadays....you have to stay incredibly lean to stay in business. Think if how much stuff you have to sell just to pay your overhead of 5K for a decent sized shop at 10-14% margins....I'll help you out..that's $100,000-140,000 a month in sales for a brick and mortar. Plus you have to factor in that Chicago is really only a 6-7 month window of generating income and numbers go up.

Joe Blow sitting at home in his underwear has a $100 a month invested in a website and credit card processing. You do the math....that's why B&M shops are falling like flies right now. Dealerships have astronomically higher overhead than 5K a month.

You'd have to be a complete idiot to open a motorcycle shop right now. Just look at how much a 600 has gone up in cost...they are over 10K now because of the exhange rate with the yen. Japan is taking over a 40% hit right off the bat in profit.



Does that help?

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post #21 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Kevin! Very helpful indeed.
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post #22 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 07:38 PM
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Yeah, all of that.
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post #23 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 10:45 PM
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What people also forget...because they are one of them....are sportbike riders are freakin cheap! They sit at their computer at work all day surfing the internet to save $2 after they have already called me and asked about a product to see what works...thus costing their employee tons of money in waisted time...not a dime out of their pocket.

I think it's funny now because people are whining about how hard they have to work now since their company has laid off a bunch of people and just added those old jobs on to existing workers. My take on that....welcome to the club people...that's the life of a business owner because we aren't making money unless we are selling or working on something. Talking to you on the phone isn't putting one dime in my pocket until you buy something. And those that keep jerking around at work....better start looking in the mirror because you are probably the next to get laid off because the economy is going to get worse and only those that produce will still be around.

Moving on from my rant.....doing car stuff is way more profitable. What I've realized though is how dishonest car repair/dealerships are. They can talk you into spending 2K on stuff that isn't broken if they know you don't know anything about cars and put $1,500 in their pocket. Not bad for one days work....I get people asking me about stuff down here and I look at them with my mouth hitting the floor over some of the stuff people pull. However, you can still be honest and make good money.

That being said...I still love bike stuff and will continue to keep doing it. I'm even going to break down and do Harley stuff in the spring. Who wants to have somebody follow them to the dealership to drop off their bike, get screwed over and then have somebody drop them off to pick up their bike. I keep it simple...show right up at your house while you're at work and your bike is ready to go when you come home. Not a lot of parts on a Harley, but I'll still do jap stuff as well.

Anyone interested.....we should be able to set you up with a turn key operation for Chicago in the spring and train you as well. Contact me if interested.

Kevin Hanson
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