… the places near me almost *never* have a bargain. But I do at least give them first shot. I go to the store, see it, touch it, try it on. IF they have a halfway reasonable price I will buy from them, but often places like Motorcycle Superstore, Jafrum, New Enough etc. will have the same item at a *significantly* lower price. So much lower, in fact, that I would have to be blindly loyal or just plain foolish to buy local from them in every case. This is particularly true if they don’t have a style, size or color I want on their shelves. The local shop offers *NO* returns on special order items, for which they charge you *upfront.* The online places mentioned above will allow me to return the item if it doesn’t fit, I don’t like the color, style etc. No offense to the local guys, they have great people and great customer service as a whole, but if I am spending $200, $300, $400 or more on an item I sure want the option to return it if I find I don’t like it.
Allen mentions that some stuff is only sold on line. Some of that is as good if not better than what is sold in stores . Often at a better prices as it is part of how they keep their prices down I suppose. Aerostich, as he mentions in one example, British Motorcycle Gear is another. I recently purchased a couple of pairs of the Thermosport Gloves for my wife and I. They cost only $8 or $9 more than the Joe Rocket Nitrogen Gloves that I had purchased from the local shop, they are at least twice the glove and don’t leak like the JR’s. I purchased them after reading many positive reviews on a number of forums and I am very pleased with them. Hood Jeans was another online purchase. Far and away I find them better than the Draggin Jeans I had purchased locally.
For myself, I will continue to shop online. I have already been burned once on a special order from the local shop. I just don’t see the risks of buying online as being any greater.