In less than a year, the saga of Green Tire Bike Shop has come to an end. In March of last year we first paid a visit to the new shop in St. Paul to see what they had to offer. With a decent stock of almost entirely used bikes, a small repair area and a booming online business, things looked like they were going well.
But it didn’t take long before things started taking a turn. Green Tire’s main business was selling items on the web, but the way in which they went about it was strange. They were always close to or beating the lowest price listed anywhere on the internet, which is tough to do. On top of that they were offering free shipping and it was pretty easy to find an additional 10 percent off coupon. Combined, these seemed like the formula for a pretty bad business model and they were.
Back in October we started getting some comments on our review of Green Tire from some disgruntled customers. First, people were complaining that it was taking weeks and weeks to get their items shipped. By November the comments turned into complaints of being swindled, paying money but never receiving products or a response.
At the request of one of the out-of-town commenters we swung by the St. Paul shop to see if we could figure out what was happening, but the doors were locked, and the newspapers were piling up outside.
From the bankruptcy filing, Green Tire owed a lot of money ($75,996) to a lot of people,
- BAKER, GOVERN AND BAKER
- PAYPAL BUYER CREDIT
- RALEIGH AMERICA
- SEATTLE BIKE SUPPY
- THEODORE KVASNIK
- UNITED PARCEL SERVICE
- US BANK
- VISION PAYMENT SOLUTIONS
- YAHOO SMALL BUSINESS
But, from the looks of it, this is only a list of companies (and maybe a landlord) that have served Green Tire with a request for payment, what about the long list of individual who paid for products and never received them? Did they get a refund?
While we empathize with the former owners of Green Tire, businesses start and fail in this country every day. We believe that they acted in bad faith by leaving their website up and continuing to process orders and collect people’s money when they clearly had no intention of filling them. More than that, it is online business like this that are killing other local bike shops. Why would someone buy at a local shop when they can get parts from a business online who is able to offer prices so low that they put themselves into bankruptcy?
We hope that all those involved have been able to get refunds through their credit card companies or directly from Green Tire.