The Chainlink

When a website that claims to be promoting local cycling in the city of Chicago has a banner ad for a site which is one of the many internet discount outlets that make it hard for local bike shops.

Way to go Chainlink, bravo.  Is the advertising dollar worth making things harder on the local shops here in Chicago?

Is this site about serving the local community or is it about being a profit center for it's owner?

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Do you really think the banner ads are making a "profit" for the owner?  Maybe if you consider her time worth 3 cents an hour.  (Just guessing here on the margin, but you get my drift.)  I have heard that a site owner does not have any, if much, control on the ads placed on their site...please someone tell me if I am incorrect. 

As HE uses the site for free advertising to promote............

Group hug!!

...a local bike shop.

Yes, obviously, I have a vested interest in local bike shops, specifically the one I work at, but this is nothing new.  Even before I worked in the industry I have been a proponent of shopping via a local shop vs. online purchases.  I order almost nothing, bike related or otherwise, online because I think of it as detrimental to local businesses and to a small extent the local economy. Buying local is, in my opinion, 'the right thing to do' with your purchasing power.

I also feel that cyclists, as part of the small, often under serviced, community have an obligation to try and support local shops.  By extension The Chainlink, as a online cycling community has a certain obligation to help out local shops over out of state online businesses.

Michael A said:

As HE uses the site for free advertising to promote............


Yes, I do think there is a net profit from the site.  Remember this site only has to make a cent more than it's operating cost to be a profit center for the owner

If Julie has no control of the ads on the site why are they, for the most part, local businesses?

I would also point you in the direction of the posting directly under the ads on the site:

To find out how to get your business, organization or ride logo and link on
Chicago's online bicycle community, email: ads@thechainlink.org

I very much doubt those suddenly appeared there for free.


Michelle Gregorek said:

-1

Do you really think the banner ads are making a "profit" for the owner?  Maybe if you consider her time worth 3 cents an hour.  (Just guessing here on the margin, but you get my drift.)  I have heard that a site owner does not have any, if much, control on the ads placed on their site...please someone tell me if I am incorrect. 

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Jeff Schneider said:

I prefer to support the LBS as much as possible.  But if I want something they don't stock, I don't feel guilty about ordering online.  It's not evil to order online, and it's not evil for a website to make a profit.

Whatever Julie might make from this site, it is small compensation for everything she does.  Am I the only one who remembers how this website changed EVERYTHING?

Why not just have the LBS order it?  It shows up just as fast, if not faster, and there is no shipping.

I am all for Julie making money with The Chainlink; I just would like it better if it was not from businesses that hurt local businesses.

Jeff Schneider said:

I prefer to support the LBS as much as possible.  But if I want something they don't stock, I don't feel guilty about ordering online.  It's not evil to order online, and it's not evil for a website to make a profit.

Whatever Julie might make from this site, it is small compensation for everything she does.  Am I the only one who remembers how this website changed EVERYTHING?

How exactly does showing an ad for a discount bike parts site go against the goal of "promoting local cycling" or "serving the local community?"  The community is all of us cyclists, not just a few bike shop owners and employees.  I'll keep riding and spending my money where I want, thanks.  I do support several local bike shops when I can, but I also ride a homemade freak bike, so nobody's making a lot of money from me.

And I never really noticed the ads until now.

P.S. It's "its owner," not "it's owner."

I've just started using Ebay and noticed that there are a lot of local bike shops on there selling stuff, and at good prices too.  Does Rapid Transit do this?  

I'm a fan of supporting local businesses, but unless money isn't an issue for you, it can be hard (nigh impossible) to pimp/maintain your bike at a reasonable dollar while patronizing many of these places.  Besides a few shops, the prices are just too high and unfortunately many of the employee's I've encountered at said places are unfriendly or unhelpful people.  I feel not a twinge of shame or guilt for shopping online, and I will continue to do so until the prices at LBS' come down to the point where I won't be having to skimp on food or something for the month just so I can go to Rapid Transit and pay 50 dollars for something that is 20 or 30 somewhere else.  

Well its a new year, and the same whining going on from you! 

You wanna know what is really lame, when your bike shop charges twenty dollars for a flat, that sssssooooooo lame..... 

As far as the ad you are talking about, I don't know which one you are referring to.

Is it not up to the consumer to chose what they want and when they want it?  I think it is just business, some bike shops overcharge the consumer with their prices and really poor customer service. 

Me personally I shop around and see what bike shop has the best price and it all depends on customer service for me!

As far as the internet, I have not ordered nothing at all from this thing called the internet, however  consumers use this outlet to purchase goods they cannot find or find a better price on the merchandise they are seeking.

Your argument is nonsense, if people do not choose to shop at a the local bike shop but rather go to this discount site good for them, it is just business.  DUG welcome to the new MILLENNIUM where computers and robots work with humans....!!!...

 

I really think this thread should be deleted.  It's such garbage on all accounts.  

It seems like some people want to put a halo around the phrase "local bike shop", while ignoring the reality that it is not some noble civic duty to go out of our way to support a business that often either a) doesn't deserve it b) does not make monetary sense for a number of consumers.  

As far as RT goes, maybe Dug is taking the Bill O'Reilly approach to promoting cycling and buying cycling gear.  It doesn't matter what you say, just how loud you say it.  Whatever works I guess.  

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