The word “sale” gets used so frequently in media these days that you can be forgiven for thinking that having a sale is normal for a retail business. On the contrary – there are sinister components to a sale that are often looked.
Wheelworks was built on the ambition to offer the world’s best wheels and service, and therefore every business decision or crossroads has been very easy for us to negotiate; we just ask ourselves: is this the right thing for the sustainability of Wheelworks and for our customers? Any idea that doesn’t hold up to that question is quickly axed. So with that in mind let’s look at the economics of having a sale:
If we have a 25% off sale tomorrow we would need to either (1) already have inflated prices (2) reduce the costs (and quality) of raw materials on ‘sale’ wheelsets and/or (3) cut corners in the labour time used to build our wheels.
We’re not happy with any of those options, and quite frankly, it undermines all the hard work our brand has been built upon.
Gavin hard at work on a pair of wheels which are NOT on sale
In addition to going against the grain of our ethos having a sale presents another age-old problem that you can likely relate to: We all have our favorite stores where we wouldn’t dream of negotiating the price and it’s assumed they offer great products and at a fair price, right? But what happens a week or two after your purchase when that same item goes on sale; how does that make you feel? We’ve all been there and it feels like crap. We never want any of you to have that experience with us and therefore we charge a fair and competitive price for our products and services.
Ed on his way to winning the Coppermine on a pair of wheels NOT on sale.
We do a number of things behind the scenes to keep our prices fair. Most notably many companies factor in the defects / cost-of-returns / warranties into their retail price. Through 12 years of carefully documented trial and error we have an astonishingly low return rate and have no need to factor in costs-of-returns into our pricing. We could quite easily halve the time it takes Liam and Gavin to build a pair of wheels but then your wheels would be more likely to go out of true, loose spoke tension, or have other issues requiring man-hours and cash for us to correct. Our defect / return / warranty rate is so low precisely because of these “extra” steps in our wheelbulding procedures.
All our wheels are designed for daily use, not just ‘race-day’ wheels, and consequently, the amount of use our wheels endure compared to that of some of the larger wheel companies is exemplary. For example with some riders now clocking over 50,000km on our Maker wheels more use means less cost per kilometer ridden.
All of this is fine but means nothing if we don’t adapt to the changes in the world of bicycle wheels. As new waves of crappy carbon wheels sprout up from overseas suppliers on one end and appear as original-equipment on new bikes at the other end we fear too many people will become victim of marketing hype and murky warranties. Last week we cleaned up and organised our mountain bike range and in the coming weeks you’ll see the same approach taken to our Road and Gravel wheels. All of these wheels are built right here in Lyall Bay to the highest imaginable standards and are backed with the industry’s best warranty.