I've been in the bike business. I know how it works. I realize that you cannot stock every bike, part, or accessory to make customers 100% happy. It's just not good business practice. Conversely, if a customer takes the time to come to your shop, don't treat them like they are jerkoffs, especially if they are good customers who spend copious amounts of cash at your store.
If that customer wants you to order an item, and you know they can pay for it, order the fucking thing! So what if it'll cost $12 to ship it! What's better, eating $12, or not getting a $250 sale?
I tried to go buy a $250 pair of mountain bike shoes this morning. I knew exactly what I wanted, the size and the color. Making the sale required nothing more than a phone call to place the order.
Instead, I got a ration of shit from the staff because they 'just did an order' with the company in question and didn't want to do another one, AND they didn't want to place the item into inventory.
Hey dumbasses, you won't have to keep the item in inventory. Once it shows up on the UPS truck, you make a call and inside of 30 minutes, I'll be there to throw $250 at you. Simple, easy, no fuss, no muss...
Now, I'm going to make a couple of phone calls to friends I have in the industry and get the shoes at a very deep discount (if not free!), and the shop will get jack shit!
It amazes me! Sometimes I think the shops just don't want the money customers are willing to give them. I know it's Christmas and the shops are flush with money from selling kid's bikes, but we'll see how business is in 6 weeks, when the doldrums of February have set in. You guys might just NEED my $250 then!
Oh, as an aside, I'm planning on dropping somewhere North of $5k in the spring on a new road bike. Any guesses where I'll be shopping?