Buying Gear Online
February 16, 2010 at 12:33 am #3706ShamRock229Participant
Anybody have any sites they would recommend?February 16, 2010 at 12:50 am #24429MunchParticipant
pick any major brand… dot comFebruary 16, 2010 at 2:00 am #24449RabParticipant
Motorcycle Superstore has reasonable prices and lots of honest reviews (Leatherup only print the glowing reviews I’ve noticed).
Competition Accessories and Iron Pony often have good closeout bargains.
Aerostich has expensive motorcycle clothing, moto-camping gear and (mostly unnecesary but cool) gadgets. They seem to cater to the affluent BMW types. The free printed catalog is worth getting.
These ones have a limited selection but are worth a look:
J.C. Whitney (motorcycle section).
Shadetree Powersports.February 16, 2010 at 2:20 am #24448SantaCruzRiderParticipant
Online sites that I’ve used recently and would highly recommend include:
NewEnough — can’t beat their prices
MotorcycleSuperstore — pretty much everything you need, great prices, plus cool bargain basement
DennisKirk — ditto
Bike Bandit — only drawback is that they carry EVERYTHING, so you can get lost in the site
JCWhitney — a mix of some cheap off-brand stuff and some gear that is overpriced compared to some other sites. Great site for tools and garage gear.February 16, 2010 at 3:29 am #24447IBA270Participant
Don’t buy gear online…unless you absolutely have to. You can’t see it, you can’t touch it, and most importantly, you can’t try it on. With a notable few exceptions, I ALWAYS try to buy locally. My Aerostich stuff is the only stuff I order online because…it’s the only way it’s sold!February 16, 2010 at 4:32 pm #24551Sean_DParticipant
… 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.February 16, 2010 at 4:37 pm #24552JackTradeParticipant
Motorcyclecloseouts.com is a great place for bargains, if you don’t mind wearing last season’s stuff…February 16, 2010 at 4:59 pm #24553eonParticipant
I’m probably 50/50 on buying stuff local compared to online. I like to support local shops as I like to try stuff on but there is just no way they can have the same stock or prices as the large warehouse places. If a local shop has what I want at a reasonable price then I will buy from them. Too much of a mark up and I will look elsewhere. It’s hard for my local shops (Seattle) to be competitive as the local sales tax is near 10%. Motorcycle Superstore is just down the road in Portland with zero tax and free delivery on most orders. Being so close that’s 2nd day delivery. Still, I buy local when I can.
As to what online stores to buy from, I’ve not really heard of any bad ones. Other than the ones mentioned above, I’ve also bought from sportbiketrackgear.com and revzilla.com.February 16, 2010 at 5:06 pm #24554SantaCruzRiderParticipant
Allen is right, you can’t try on or touch gear you only see online. For anyone who thought otherwise — I’m impressed that you’ve stretched your intelligence enough to even get on the Net. But no, that cool looking leather jacket doesn’t actually feel like “computer screen”. )
Seriously, I’ve purchased nearly everything I own online and saved at least 50% over what I’d pay at local shops. In fact, the only piece of gear I own that turned out to be a turd was a helmet I purchased locally at the CycleGear shop. The mistake was my own, but suffice to say that red flags over gear purchase are not restricted to online shops.
One advantage that I may have when buying online (and which might be shared by others who use the web shops) is that I’m a fairly standard size and proportion. Some folks aren’t (long torso, beer gut, short arms, whatever). I also tend to stick to product lines I know and that I know fit me.
One area that gives me fits is gloves. It seems I have oddly long thumbs — so I buy local and cry about having to pay twice what I would if I ordered from MCsuperstore.February 16, 2010 at 8:22 pm #24555Sean_DParticipant
… of online purchases is to check out their rating with Resellerratings.com. Not all of the stores people mentioned are listed and you have to read their ratings with a skeptical eye as some folks just like to whine, but it can help in making an informed decision. Also it definitely pays to fully understand the resellers return policy. Some have a full money back satisfaction guarantee, others only a store credit. Number of days in which you can return, shipping charges, restocking fees if any can all vary greatly. I am sure most people know to do this, but I admittedly learned an expensive lesson or two in learning to fully read the policies.
And to share a good online buying experience…
I just placed an order from Kisan Technologies last week, for a Vectralight license plate frame. They sent the wrong item. I wanted the euro-version for my Triumph (amber signal lights) , they sent the US version (red). I called them up and they immediately sent out a replacement. They didn’t bill me for the replacement (the we will bill your card and credit you back once we receive the wrong item routine) and are trusting me to ship the wrong item back using a label *they* provided. Talk about a good buying experience even though I did initially receive the wrong item. Mistakes like that can happen. It is how a seller deals with the mistakes that make a difference. Just wanted to give a shout out to them for resolving this well.
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