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Owners of small sport and bicycle shops can gain a considerable amount of credibility by becoming authorized bicycle dealers for well-known manufacturers. Being affiliated with major corporations of trusted brand name products can do wonders for improving your business reputation and trustworthiness and give you an edge over your competitors. Most retail bicycle businesses can become authorized dealers of brand name bicycle products by completing a simple application.
Choose the brands of bicycles that you would like to sell. Virtually dozens of brands of bicycles exist for a number of different sports and recreational purposes. Research manufacturers that offer the types of bicycles you wish to retail, like BMX, mountain or racing bicycles. Investigate current market trends, consumer reviews and product descriptions to pinpoint the brands and types of bicycles that will sell best in your establishment and to your demographic.
Contact the manufacturers of the brands you've chosen. During your research, bookmark the websites of manufacturers and distributors of the bicycle brands you intend to retail. In the "contact" area you should find phone numbers and email addresses to correspond directly with the corporation. Call or email to request a dealer's application. In some instances, bicycle manufacturers provide detailed information about becoming an authorized dealer and direct links and phone numbers to appropriate departments.
Review the terms, conditions and guidelines required for dealership eligibility. Most of the time, bike manufacturers are quite particular about whom they allow to act as representatives of their company and products. Expect certain stipulations regarding your store's estimated overall annual sales, projected sales of the bicycles in question and what other lines of bicycles you might carry. Carefully review the conditions for dealership eligibility to determine your eligibility.
Assemble all required documentation and complete the application. In some cases you may be required to provide copies of your business license and tax identification number, or enter such information in an online contact form. Provide all requested documentation and complete the application in its entirety leaving no spaces blank. Applications generally request your full name, address, phone number and email address, company contact information, business hours and a short summary of what bicycle models you are interested in.
Wait for a determination letter. After submitting your completed dealer application and all corresponding documentation, there is little else to do besides wait for a letter of determination. The application approval process may vary by manufacturer, but no matter what bicycle distributor you apply to you should receive a letter of approval -- or denial -- within a few weeks. You can also follow up via telephone or email to check the status of your application.
Begin the order and shipment process. After receiving a letter of approval, you will typically be contacted by a sales representative to discuss the terms of your authorization and arrange all aspects of your dealership privileges. At this time, you can also go over sales and shipping procedures to begin taking stock of the bicycles.
Michelle Renee is a professional trainer and quality assurance consultant in the career, education and customer service industries, with two decades of experience in food/beverage and event coordinating management. Renee has been published by Lumino and Career Flight as well as various food, education and business publications.