Thursday, December 4, 2008

Piece Of Your Action

I'd like to thank Paul from Retro BMX for alerting me to the latest sign of the apocalypse: ActionVillage mailorder is getting into BMX. It's such an important part of their business that they list it right in their header along with paintball, skateboard, Airsoft, apparel and snowboard gear—oh wait, no they don't.

Stuff like this really confuses me. Especially now, when the economy's in free-fall. On the one hand, maybe it makes parts cheaper for kids who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford them, and maybe it pushes BMX to another market. That's good, right? But on the other hand, it takes business away from longtime BMX-only mailorders like Empire and Albe's who have done so much for the sport. Hobby. Pastime. Addiction. Whatever you want to call it. That's bad, right?

Yet at a glance it appears that all the major companies are behind it. I understand that the goal of a company is to make money, but do you really want your stuff sold alongside snowboards and Airsoft guns? Do you really want to take business away from the mailorders that have supported you from the start? Isn't this about a step away from LAFs being sold at Dick's? Is that what the goal is?

Honestly, this sucks. Cash rules everything around everyone, but isn't there more to it than that? Somewhere around here I have my first-ever BMX mailorder receipt. It's from Trend Bike Source, back in 1989. I ordered an R.L. Edge wheelset (with the coffeegrinder "freecoaster") and an Odyssey six-bolt stem. The stem was out of stock, so they replaced it with the more expensive TKO Pro at no additional charge. From that point on I ordered from Trend, and when Tom and Tina left to start Empire, I followed them there. It wasn't about price, it was about relationships, as corny as that sounds. I could e-mail Empire in the middle of the night and hear back right away. I could ask a question about a new part or video, and know I would get an honest answer. Is that how it's going to work with ActionVillage?

My gut tells me this won't last. That people will continue to order from Albe's and Empire and even Dan's, keeping things in the family, and that ActionVillage will get out of the BMX business as quickly as they got into it, preferably with a Lotek footprint on their corporate ass.

Then I see this, and I'm not so sure.

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If you're a glutton for punishment, I started a SPRFLS Twitter page. If I remember to update it for a week, I'll be amazed.

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R.I.P., Mosh.

Someone sent me an e-mail the other day about starting a BMX company dead pool. Everyone picks X number of names and we tally things up at the end of the year. I was like: "Dude, that's a terrible thing to suggest. Why didn't I think of it?" Anyway, one down, I guess.

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This bike is awesome. I want it. Send me one, Jim. Please?

In other Odyssey-related news, I'm pretty sure this is my fault:


(Hey, why is the team shirt lighter than the Aaron Ross shirt?)

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28 comments:

Francis said...

Don't forget the Repeater shirt (.33lbs)!

Francis said...

Oh and I forgot to add, if you go sleeveless, you save .06lbs

Anonymous said...

yay for updating!

Anonymous said...

a quick glance at the products on that site can tell you who is involved: Tip Plus (primo, federal, colony, eastern), S&M (Fit, S&M), and Sparky's (Shadow, Mutiny, Subrosa, Sputnic)

will core shops/mailorders revolt?

Dans can, and probably will, get Action Village vetoed pretty quick

Anonymous said...

ooops, forgot System (DK, Mankind, Eclat)

Anonymous said...

fuck action village.

noel said...

One of the top 10 guitar solos of all time.

Beau said...

Duke, let's go do some crimes.
Yeah. Let's go get sushi and not pay

Anonymous said...

But we have a relationship?!
Relationship? fuck that

A.I.D.S. said...

http://www.amazon.com/s/qid=1228476382/ref=sr_nr_n_2?ie=UTF8&rs=3403591&bbn=3403851&rnid=3403591&rh=n%3A3375251%2Cn%3A3403201%2Cn%3A3403591%2Cn%3A3403851


they're not the only game in town selling bmx

Chris said...

Is Empire still considered "BMX only"? After all, they carry skateboards and skate brands, and even do shop decks. It's funny, but if Dans did "Dans decks", there would be a huge outrage. You would probably even do a post about it. But since it's Empire, it's OK. But now, you're asking Dans to use their weight, and revolt, so Action Village can't carry BMX parts.

ben said...

Russ...

This might be one of the best posts to date.

You started sleeping didn't you ?

brien said...

I believe most of the BMX mailorders sell skate stuff in their retail shops.

Russ said...

I never asked Dan's to "use their weight, and revolt." I said I hope people continue to order through BMX mailorders like Empire, Albe's and yes, Dan's, and don't support ActionVillage.

Empire making decks doesn't bother me. T1 making decks didn't bother me. I come from a generation when half of FREESTYLIN' covered skateboarding. To me, there should be no separation between church and skate.

Anonymous said...

Why should I support rider owned shops when the bike companies/distributors sell to anyone? I might aswell buy from anyone then...

tom/empire said...

Chris, i haven't been into another bike shop besides Empire in about 3 years, and have never been to a "bmx-only" shop. i assume most other shops sell whatever they can (skateboards, airguns, fixies, etc.) as their markets dictate. Trend sold a lot of skate stuff because a lot of skaters hated the local skate shop back then, and requested that we do so. now, there are a few really good skate shops in town, so we have no reason to get up in their business. most of our team and staff skates, some of them pretty well by the way, so we made 100 boards. guess who has purchased them so far? riders. the local Kr3w rep rides, and is an old friend of Tina's. he approached us to carry Kr3w, and we're happy to sell the stuff. you know who buys it from us? riders, not skaters. if a bmx brand made comparable jeans, we'd sell those. we sell the Deathwish video because it's fucking sweet.

we don't sell fixies, road bikes, mountain bikes, beach cruisers, or anything else on two wheels, except BMX. if we're not a bmx-only shop because of two decks, some jeans, and a dvd, i can live with that

tom/empire said...

one more thing, regarding us getting a pass on the decks, while Dan's would presumably be crucified. we are catching some shit for them, mostly anonymously and some via email. whatever, we like the drama. we don't sell anything and everything, so i think a lot of people recognize that the decks aren't simply a money grab

Russ said...

Dan's would catch shit because no one in their right mind would pay for a Dan's skateboard deck.

Also, if it were a "money grab," I'd hope you'd sell something more lucrative than skate decks. Like black tar heroin.

Anonymous said...

im pretty certain that action village is catered to people that don't know anything about bmx but want to try it out. them and parents that don't know anything about ordering bikes or parts. following the initial purchase, if the person that gets the bike or parts from action village decides to stick with bmx and becomes more integrated in the scene, their repeat buys will be with a more for lack of a better word, core shop, such as empire and albes. its a gateway shop.

Anonymous said...

Dans catalogs are like herpes..I just got a 'late holiday' one after getting my 'holiday 08' version 1 week before

Anonymous said...

Dan's is CCS, isn't it? They sell store-branded decks. No one cares (or buys them).

I did see a dude rockin' the Dan's "Pro Parts Package" once. Death of BMX #6309.

Russ said...

I want to say Dan's was CCS/Alloy, but went back to being just Dan's? Anyone? Bueller?

Anonymous said...

every mailorder had a "parts package". trend did and even had a 'build your own and we'll know an amount off'. they even had an all primo one so you could order and have your moustache bars, casket stem, powerbites, and viking clamp in one go.


death of bmx #4130: people not knowing their history so they don't have a frame of reference.

Anonymous said...

Alloy still owns Dan's, just a subsidiary does now.

http://www.findownersearch.com/owner/xp-innovation-llc/2212386/

Lettusdude said...

The lack of updates was alomst worth it for this post. One of your best in a long time, I'm glad I have something interesting to read on a boring Friday at work. I don't see them selling BMX for too long. There's just not a big enough market right now in my eyes. One thing I think you should have mentioned in your post is how it will affect local shops. I honestly do everything I can to support Transition, and will only go mailorder when I need to. I'm kind of scared BMX will end up like skateboarding, but at the same time I can also see it swinging the other way and becoming "dead" like it did in the early 90s. Which might not be a bad thing.

rully said...

they should just stick on selling Tony Hawk bikes

Sunday! said...

Way to go Russ! Sunday started twittering as we speak!
http://twitter.com/sundaybikes

Oh and Kurt's bike looks good right? Black bikes are making a comeback!

IN THE INDUSTRY said...

Really wish I wouldn't have heard about this so late in the post. I hope someone enough of you read this.

Its a pretty simple understanding that if you really support the company of your choice, you would have no doubts in your mind that they're doing everything they're doing for a reason. Not just signing onto the internet whenever they feel like it and talking to people and posting photos. No. As an industry everyone is here for one reason. To make money. We also get to have an awesome fucking time doing it. Some of us will stay, some of us will go. Most likely the ones who will go, are the ones trying ever so desparetely to keep your undivided attention and appear cool so that you, the consumer, buys their stuff. And look where it got them. You're absolutely ripping apart a place that keeps them around. Is there really such a thing as keeping it real? If so, who the hell is deciding?

BMX is like a teenager with his balls about to drop. Out in the garage smoking weed talking about how much his parents suck. As soon as we all sharpen our tiny fucking pencils, you'll understand that Action Village is pushing up the ante. Not only for bike shops, but for all mail orders like Dan's etc.

Before you type something you don't really know a whole lot about, think about the effects you're imposing.