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The Biking Solution

IBD's Offer Longer Term Consumer Financing to Sustain Higher Sales in Tough Economy

04.28.2008
Manchester, New Hampshire

With consumers' discretionary spending dwindling due to higher gas and food prices, the fight for what's left in their wallets is escalating. IBD's are not only competing with other shops, but also with every other retailer looking for a piece of the consumer's discretionary dollar. Many bike dealers are utilizing longer term consumer financing to compete against the likes of home theater systems, high-def TV's and vacations.

With many customers dropping down to slightly less expensive models, and some customers postponing purchases altogether, a number of IBD's have found that offering longer term financing (12 months and up) has a huge impact on their business, in the form of higher close rates and higher average tickets.

"We've had a few customers drive here from farther away to take advantage of the 12 months no payments no interest financing we're offering. Using the financing option allows them to make monthly payments rather than paying a lump sum out of pocket," said Rick Gurney, of Plano Cycling & Fitness in Plano, TX. Chris Holmes of Bicycle World & Fitness in Houston, TX has also been successful offering extended terms to his customers. "I believe that we have an advantage to be able to offer 12 months financing when all of our bike competitors are only offering 6 months," said Chris.

Customers use and seek out financing for many different reasons. For some, long term financing makes a luxury product more affordable because it gives them the opportunity to pay over time. Others prefer to use the bank's money to purchase a product while their money earns interest in their savings or money market account. A common misconception is that financing is only for people that don't have the cash to pay for something. The reality is that often customers who use financing are the ones who actually need it the least.

The keys to a successful retail financing strategy are:

  • offering it to every customer
  • introducing it early in the sales process, and
  • promoting longer term (12 months minimum) offers on your website, in your advertising, in your voice mail and in store.

"I've heard several times that the 12 months offer has been the reason that the buying decision was made, I think this speaks to the consumers' mindset and their need to save money in a down economy. We have the advantage to compete against all of the best retailers in any industry due to our partnership with The Biking Solution. Because of the lower rates they offer their members, I'm able to offer longer term financing to my customers so it's a win-win,"continued Chris.

Greg Brodsky, managing director of The Biking Solution (TBS) adds, "We just ran a 2.32% No Pay offer for 12 months, because we firmly believe that offering financing is a must, now more than ever. Whether it's electronics, furniture, or in our case bicycles, customers expect and seek out financing options that are available to them. Through TBS, we've been able to offer our members the best rates in the industry with great approval percentages. We know that members who promote financing experience significantly higher average sales, increased accessory sales, less discounting and better margins as a result."

In addition to offering retailers access to the lowest financing rates in the industry, TBS provides owner, manager, and staff training on how to maximize their success with this crucial customer service tool.

TBS works best for retailers who are ready to take their businesses to the next level. Members have reported dramatic stories of lives changed for the better because of the increased profitability brought about by TBS services. On average, TBS retailers grow about 30% faster than non-TBS retailers. The Biking Solution is the industry leader at improving the profitability and quality of life for specialty bike retailers. For more information contact TBS Member Services at 1-800-450-7595, or visit www.thebikingsolution.com.

###

Contacts
The Biking Solution
(800) 450-7595 ext. 2167
gbrodsky@ccaglobal.com
www.TBSMembers.net

More from The Biking Solution:
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Children to Benefit from Sale of Special Edition Bicycle
TBS sends one lucky retailer to the Tour de France
The Biking Solution Opens Retailer Doors
Training Even More Crucial in a Slow Economy
The Biking Solution Member Expansion Continues
IBD's Offer Longer Term Consumer Financing to Sustain Higher Sales in Tough Economy
Customer Satisfaction is the Best Advertising
The Biking Solution Holding Prospective Member Meeting at Interbike

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