That is correct. PROFILE RACING IS NOT SOLD BY WAL-MART*. But, other IBDs (Independent Bike Dealers) like BikeWagon have affiliated their stores with Wal-Mart. Why? Read below… It’s all about 3P retailing or third party retailing and it’s growing quickly in the bicycle industry. The big players are Amazon, eBay, Sears and now Wal-Mart.
You can think of 3P as the classified ads of the Internet. 3P sites have been developed to connect sellers with buyers in an electronic marketplace that is provided by the 3P. The idea is that bike shops use 3P marketplaces to reach more customers. The 3Ps charge retailers a monthly subscription fee plus a commission for each item sold on their web site. The fee is for the use of their web site and transaction services. Essentially, in 3Ps the bike shop or retailer is renting space on a different web site.
Currently, Amazon and eBay are the most well-known 3P markets. Amazon is easily the biggest, but eBay is continuing to aggressively chase them. Now Wal-Mart has entered the race as well, but their website makes it look like they’re selling the merchandise. Other 3P sites to be aware of are Newegg.com, Sears.com and Rakuten.com.
So, when you see Profile cranks being “advertised” on Wal-Mart’s 3P site, it’s not Profile. Look closely and you’ll see a name like BikeWagon, the bike shop in Salt Lake City, selling our cranks. So, when you see this, don’t think that Wal-Mart is selling our products. They aren’t. And, please spread the word when someone tells you that Profile is now sold at Wal-Mart. It just ain’t true.
*Profile Racing is currently working to end these 3P affiliations and thus, this confusion.