Project Demo days / Demo Program

Would you pay money for a multi-day demo ... shipped to you? Partially built.

  • Nah ... too much hassle

  • Yes, Whatever is fair re price and rebates for as long as possible

  • Yes, for 2 weekends and under $400

  • Yes, for whatever time and under $300

  • Yes, for whatever time and under $200

  • Nah, if they want my money demos should be for free. Economics is your problem


Results are only viewable after voting.

Nerf Herder

Wheel size expert
Would you pay for a demo + shipping over 2 weekends?

Context
Aussie is a big place ... Perth / Darwin may as well be another country let alone fracking regional areas in WA, FNQ, NT, SA . A complete bike to Albany from Sydney is like +$159+gst

A full wagon train of roving bikes and crew to man the marquee and rego ... just isnt practical without big dollars, which means big volumes and or big price tags. But with the rise of B2C how is the consumer going to throw a leg over to get that all important validation before handing over the bread. Do riders in regional areas even get demo days via LBS?

Similarly, tire kickers ... nuff said.

So many pluses and minuses to demo days from both the provider’s point of view and the consumers.

Anywho ... thinking about bike hire, car hire as a surrogate for a demo day ... say I have a trip to Derby why not book a demo have it land at say Sprung in Launceston, pay for the build + hire and you have 2 weeks of bike to ‘ ride it like you stole it ‘ if you want ... with optional but recommended bend it you bought it cover. Or more Likely get 1 week on the local trails then a weekend away before returning it.

Anyway appreciate your thoughts... yay/ nay ... the all important how much ... what service expectations ?? How long do you need it for? are you happy to build? (Similar to you taking your bike on an interstate plane trip) Does it need to go to a retailer? Insurance coverage a must ?? Cost rebates with completed sale etc etc. all suggestions and or ideas for further considerations appreciated.

Yes, it’s a Link Sports thing. Yes outcome could influence commercial decisions.

Thanks again in advance.
 

pink poodle

Our man in Japan
I'm happy to be wrong here, but in the good old days of mountain bikes didn't Need ship out Santa Cruz demo bikes for free? I know I received a demo bike for free during the process of the one time I purchased from them.
 

SF Trailboy

Likes Bikes and Dirt
I’d happily pay.

There are so many dealers already charging for demos and then if you purchase said bike, the demo cost comes off from the purchase price.

I think from a business point of view it will be very likely lead to being break even at best, even when consideration of new sales are taken into account. I am guessing 20-30% conversion rate demo to sale.

From a logistical point of view you maybe better served with dealers having demo stock in strategic locations close to trail centres.
 

Sethius

Crashed out somewhere
I'd probably end just hiring the bike each holiday period with the lack of riding being done over the last year..would make more fiscal sense for me..
 

Boom King

Wheel size expert
Insurance is a must but it has to be built into the package price from your side, no consumer option. Full rebate on completion of sale plus some sort of sweetener. Maybe a discount if the bike is purchased immediately after demo, thereby not requiring shipment back to LinkSports.

I understand the conundrum from your perspective and I'd consider paying but I can't get away from the feeling that it should be something I shouldn't have to pay for.
 

Halo1

Likes Dirt
I am happy to pay for a demo or travel to where a demo bike is available, but nothing beats a demo on your local trails, even if they are informal and I am trespassing here.

One of the LBS here does free demos and the bikes are pretty trashed by the end of the season. Another cost a small amount to cover servicing of the bike and you get this back off the purchase price. I think this is the best model.
 

Tubbsy

Party Pooper
Staff member
I'd definitely be up for it.

It might be more out of curiosity to try different things than immediately pre-purchase though. But the option of trying out something more boutique than the regular rental options at LBS would be nice.

In terms of building it myself, I'm assuming you mean that the drivetrain and brakes are installed and ready to go, and it's just fitting the handlebars and wheels etc? I wouldn't want to put the time into a full build that wasn't for me.

Overall I like the idea.
 

Flow-Rider

Wheel size expert
I see a lot of logistic problems, like bikes turning up late and damaged, people sending you back bikes that are damaged and saying they didn't do it. It might be OK within a small scale of bike clubs but once you go public with full strangers it will be a different story. The LBS here rents high end bikes out for $99 a day and if you buy within a month it gets deducted from the from the sale, they've already had a few bikes disappear too.
 
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Mr Crudley

Eats Squid
I see a lot of logistic problems, like bikes turning up late and damaged, people sending you back bikes that are damaged and saying they didn't do it. It might OK within a small scale of bike clubs but once you go public with full strangers it will be a different story.
Agreed, you can easily see potentially ugly situations when some CF bling has been axed by some sandstone or lowlifes just stealing stuff because they have a chance of getting away with it. Swapping old for new parts and sending it back too.

Could be like a rental car where it is always good practice to take a few photos before driving away.

If everyone played nice it could be a goer but unfortunately, you all know what people are like and it isn't always good.
 

caad9

Likes Dirt
I'll second and third Flow-Rider and Mr Crudley.
Ultimately, you are relying on someone you have never met to not only treat your products with care, but also be organised well enough to return the thing.

It's a great idea in theory, just people aren't overly reliable in this day and age.

My LBS has been hosting demo days on the local trails midweek to get a few people out and I applaud it, but it's a shitload of effort for a very minimal return in the form of sales.
 

creaky

The obviative
Nerf, I reckon from a commercial perspective it would be cost-prohibitive with the transport, insurance etc. costs, plus an administrative nightmare for you by relying on customers to pack and send back on time, relying on the freight service etc. especially when you have another demo booked in resulting in a disappointed customer.

I'd say you would be best off from a commercial POV by focusing on getting a partner LBS in each major city which means that:

  • you have a selection of bikes in a few places rather than tracking them all over the country
  • the capital cost of additional bikes for this type of model will be offset by avoiding the freight and administrative hassles/costs
  • more reliable build, servicing and freight from a LBS compared to random people
  • the bikes are in places with the highest population/potential customer density - people choose to live in regional areas, it's their choice not to have access to basic services :)
  • demo rentals would be much cheaper without the return freight costs if people can pickup+dropoff to a LBS without returning to link sports
 

caad9

Likes Dirt
Nerf, I reckon from a commercial perspective it would be cost-prohibitive with the transport, insurance etc. costs, plus an administrative nightmare for you by relying on customers to pack and send back on time, relying on the freight service etc. especially when you have another demo booked in resulting in a disappointed customer.

I'd say you would be best off from a commercial POV by focusing on getting a partner LBS in each major city which means that:

  • you have a selection of bikes in a few places rather than tracking them all over the country
  • the capital cost of additional bikes for this type of model will be offset by avoiding the freight and administrative hassles/costs
  • more reliable build, servicing and freight from a LBS compared to random people
  • the bikes are in places with the highest population/potential customer density - people choose to live in regional areas, it's their choice not to have access to basic services :)
  • demo rentals would be much cheaper without the return freight costs if people can pickup+dropoff to a LBS without returning to link sports
If the LBS and the customer saved from a demo that lead to a purchase, it would be a little more attractive.
 

Nerf Herder

Wheel size expert
Thanks heaps farkers... appreciated as always.

Re: Logistics PITA and user risks
It’s just a cost of doing business unfortunately ... my assumption is that my target customer has done the research ... is pretty much on board ... but just needs that final demo to secure the deal. The Hire costs really are an attempt to weed out the tire kickers like Tubbsy ... JKS ... more seriously the hire cost in combination with insurance excess and credit card security is the only real safe guard from the provider’s POV.

Re: LBS
Definitely in the considerations ... but it’s more a service model as opposed to a sales model. Which is kinda new thinking so finding the right partners is both the risk and the key.
 

Litenbror

Likes Bikes and Dirt
my assumption is that my target customer has done the research ... is pretty much on board ... but just needs that final demo to secure the deal.
If your just trying to confirm the buyers decision have you considered what some other online sellers do by offering 14 days money back? The customer gets 14 days to try the bike and if they don't like it send it back (at buyers cost) once the bike is back and checked over you refund the purchase price. Buyer has confidence that the bike they have researched online will work for them because if it doesn't work they are only out postage. This should be a small percentage and you can use these as demo bikes elsewhere.
 

moorey

I'm full, couldn't eat another dick
I’m tight AF....but it is was a bike I was dead keen on...that I couldn’t test any other way...I’d consider it...particularly if the demo cost was to come off the price if I bought one.

I’m not your demographic though, Al. The last new bike I bought myself was 2002.
 

Tubbsy

Party Pooper
Staff member
It’s just a cost of doing business unfortunately ... my assumption is that my target customer has done the research ... is pretty much on board ... but just needs that final demo to secure the deal. The Hire costs really are an attempt to weed out the tire kickers like Tubbsy
So the bike would be a brand new one for each ‘rental’ with the aim of the person loving the bike, paying the balance and not returning it in most cases? What happens to the returned ones?

I guess the success of this will really depend on the cost - too much for someone to just rent one for a weekend or two, but not so much that you put off people willing to risk what is basically a non-refundable deposit.
 

puffmoike

Likes Bikes
So the bike would be a brand new one for each ‘rental’ with the aim of the person loving the bike, paying the balance and not returning it in most cases? What happens to the returned ones?

I guess the success of this will really depend on the cost - too much for someone to just rent one for a weekend or two, but not so much that you put off people willing to risk what is basically a non-refundable deposit.
This.

Is it really going to be a demo program? (Will you be sending out bikes that have already been demoed?)

Or a regular sale with a generous, no-questions-asked return policy? (New bikes only?)

If you are only going to send brand new bikes, then you need to get full payment up front. Otherwise you’re going to be left with an awful lot of barely-used bikes that were effectively rented for two weeks (say for a once-a-year trip to Tassie), and unless this is some clever accounting trick so you can offer lightly used bikes at appreciable discounts on retail (perhaps gaining you some tax benefit or avoiding pissing off retailers/distributors???) then it looks like a massive risk.

(No industry experience, but as a consumer I’d be tempted to exploit such a scheme. Having said that I got a free demo bike – a cheeky two-for-one request after a mate had already paid for a three-day demo – with no intention of buying and after an hour realised this was going to be the most expensive freebie I’d ever enjoyed. Bought the bike)
 

slider_phil

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Do manufactures give the supplier a discount if the bike has been demoed?

If we get 8 signatures for a demo day on one of our sprayers then we get a 30k discount on the machine. Works really well since it's not hard to rustle up 8 farmer's on any given day. Not to mention each demo day usually gets a sale or two.

Bike demos are Interesting. If it was me looking at buying a bike I'd be interested in this way of doing it so I didn't have to wait for a specific day, at a specific trail head and hope on the day I get to ride the specific bike in my specific size.

I'd be happy to pay a few hundred dollars for the privilege of it being shipped to me for a weekend and that price being deducted if I ended up taking that bike. If it's not the bike for me then a few hundred is nothing much in comparison to spending 5-8k sight unseen and regretting your purchase.

Plus it's not like I spent the money for nothing, I got to ride a bike for a weekend and figure out what does/doesn't work for me.
 

hifiandmtb

Sphincter beanie
As a buyer, I'd use the experience only once I was 99% sure it was the bike I wanted (within spec differences) and I needed to be sure about sizing.

So I'd likely buy a bike but it might not be the demo bike.

Makes it all a bit tricky.
 
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