Why Won’t Shimano Open an Account for my Bike Shop?

To whom it may concern,

I’m the recent new owner of a small service and repairs focused bike shop in Brunswick, Melbourne called Sunup Cycles.

I wanted to reach out so that you might pass on a warning to other small shops or individuals considering investing in a new bicycle retail and/or repairs venture.

I have many years’ experience in the industry including working as a full-time mechanic at a premium Specialized dealer. Yet after two months of twice weekly attempted communication with Shimano Australia to try and set up a new account for my shop, they have told me that I they won’t give me an account because I don’t stock ‘one of the big bike brands’.

They have been incredibly disorganised during this process, and never gave me an indication initially that my application would fail. This has caused me to waste time pursuing them, and my time is incredibly valuable as a small business owner.

This shop has been established for 2 ½ years and the previous owner had a Shimano account.

I believe that this indicates a shift from Shimano Australia that will mean they have no intention of supporting small bicycle businesses in the future, and so I want to prevent others from going through a fruitless attempt to get an account with them in the future. Although I take my work very seriously as a bike mechanic and would have been regularly purchasing parts from them, it seems that this isn’t enough to ‘qualify’ for a wholesale account with them anymore.

Thanks for hearing me out, and thanks for being a great publication.

Regards,
Tobias Cockerill, owner of Sunup Cycles.
9 Church St
Brunswick Victoria 3056.

3 Comments

  1. Bobby Digital on 22nd January 2024 at 6:31 pm

    I’m all for their hard stance, you are either a bicycle shop or not. Unfortunately too many back yard and “side industries” have tried to get supply. When you have expectations you have grey area and people taking advantage.
    This shop looks to be one step away from a gumtree seller, thanks to Shimano for protecting those with skin in the game.

  2. Adam Townsend on 8th January 2024 at 3:49 pm

    That’s appalling behaviour.
    Reach out to the good folks at MTB Direct and have them set you up with a trade account. It may take some pressure off while Shimano gets their act together.

  3. Michael Light on 11th December 2023 at 1:42 pm

    Well this sucks to hear, I can concur myself. I run The Rapid Wrench, a mobile bike repair service in Melbourne.
    A bit about us… We’re almost ten years in the game at this point, have 4 operators travelling around Melb (3 of them are full time), over 1000 reviews about our business, etc. So I think we’re well established enough? Despite this Shimano have maintained their stance that they do not support mobile operators unless they have a shopfront. I don’t know how professional of an operation we have to become to convince them that we’re the same as any other big shop when it comes down to what we sell and how we sell it. We have our ways of getting the product, and thats fine. Just a shitty situation that I check up on once a year. And for the record, their rep wants us to have an account but its not up to him.

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