Bikes have always made an ideal Christmas present. On QXL.com, customers not only get a great deal for Raleigh bikes, but they can have as much fun bidding for them as the recipient will have using them.
Those are the words of QXL.com UK MD Herbert Kim in a press release sent to British consumer bike mags today.
Raleigh will be supplying the bikes direct to consumers, says the PR company for QXL.com.
This will be 1000 bikes not bought through IBDs (and perhaps at hugely discounted prices) and this wont please Raleigh bricks and mortar stockists. Nor would they be happy about QXL.com's picture of buying a bike from an IBD: "Do you really want to look go to every single store - possibly miles apart,jostle with hundreds of other shoppers, and then try and transport your chosen bike home in one piece? At QXL.com, there is no need to leave the comfort of your own home to find the best bike for the best price in the country. So, if you're really serious about getting the best bike in town for the best price in the country, register now and place your bid."
Shops may not be convenient (for QXL.com anyway) but they will be expected to handle servicing and warranty problems because QXL.com's PR company says bike buyers will be expected to take their bikes to authorised stockists with any problems.
These are the bikes on offer:
Raleigh BOB s 17.5ö 24 26WH Ladies Copper Flash
Raleigh Firefly 15GS 21ö Gents Electric Rubin
Raleigh Max 18 GS 20ö 26W Gents Mustard
Raleigh Time Raider SS 16 Junior Boys Gloss Black
Raleigh 12 inch Max Y GSR Lime Junior Girls Bike
Raleigh 14 inch Spirit 15 Ladies Mountain Bike
Raleigh 16inch Spirit Nexave 21 Ladies Mountain Bike
Raleigh 18.5 inch Mantis 18 GS Ladies Mountain Bike
Raleigh 19 inch Max Lite FS3 27 spd Mountain Bike
Raleigh 19inch Pioneer 18 RS Gents Mountain Bike
Raleigh Hocus Pocus 12in WH Junior Boys Bike Basilico
Raleigh Planet Hopper Trike for Toddlers
Raleigh Sea World 14 inch WH Junior Boys Speed Blue Bike
However, it could be argued that this online auction will raise the profile of bikes in general (and the auction is aired on computers, the product category that cycling has to fight against at Christmas) and that the people who buy the bikes will be consumers that would never have gone into IBDs anyway. The site leads with a rosy picture of British cyhcling to tempt newcomers: "Why bike? Monday am year 2000. Traffic is grid-locked as far as the eye can see. Meanwhile, you're on your bike, gliding down the special cycle lane the government has built for you; you're a fit, mean green cycling machine"
BikeBiz has contacted QXL.com to find out their modus operandi and will report back when we get a reply.