Funny how things change. It’s always hard to keep up but recently I was checking out the Brompton Australia Distributor’s website (http://www.kobie.com.au/brompton-bikes.html) & was rather shocked to see how prices have changed. I’m not talking about all the Brompton parts on the website (those parts & accessories that would previously have required an online purchase from overseas – or very slow supply via a dealer order?) but indeed the prices for the stock Bromptons available on the website!
It’s been quite some time since I first noticed Bromptons included on Kobie’s site & what was immediately disappointing was that prices seemed so much higher than what the Brompton Bike Builder system suggested should be the A$ MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price). When the local pricing is hard to define for Bromptons that need to be ordered as B-Spoke supplies & with inordinate/vague lead-times, perhaps the Kobie site prices were true local prices? Still, no need to involve myself as Ralph & Robinson were sitting happily at home & our Brompton family seemed settled? Of course, another o/s trip is always an appealing way of picking up a new Brompton (at a competitive price?) isn’t it?
However, my recent Kobie website shock was in fact, a very pleasant surprise. First, the number & range of Bromptons listed had grown. Next, the later entries were shown with prices the same as Brompton’s A$ MSRP figures! Finally, I was amazed to see “Special prices” listed for these new entries, with discounts that seemed about 10% Surely I was dreaming? A bit of research needed here, I decided.
Back at the Brompton website, there were more surprises in store! (How does one keep up with change?) Aside from seeing that Australia was now listed as having a 2014 Brompton National Championship event (albeit still to be confirmed), the Australian dealer listing was nothing like I remember & for example, showed 5 dealers in Sydney. Gotta look into this I thought & headed out for some visits. At the end of the day (as some are fond of saying?) I was still confused. While those dealers I visited were mostly still pale imitations of what I expected a good Brompton dealer to look like (decent stock of bikes & accessories, professional display of product, knowledgeable staff?), at least things are happening? As for the new prices I’d seen at Kobie’s website, I got the impression no-one knew much about it? (Belatedly a CheekyTransport dealer website update appeared about the “supplier receiving a huge shipment” – but with nothing up-front about pricing?)
With the tantalising new prices & some stock bikes that were very appealing, it wasn’t long before an order was placed for the S6E Brompton in Cobalt Blue for Mrs Aussie. Woohoo!