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Thread: Buy local when possible

  1. #1
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    Buy local when possible

    For anything that requires an accurate fit (helmets, gloves and boots come to mind) I strongly encourage you to try to buy locally unless you are simply wanting to replace a worn-out product with a still-available identical product.

    This spring I did considerable shopping for a new helmet in Canada. One store (not BMW) gave me great service and I decided upon a Shoei RF-1000 after wearing it in the store for a half hour. But I wanted a white helmet and none were in stock.

    Then I checked the US internet big motorcycle stores. After I got their prices and factored in the dollar difference, I realized my local store was asking about $100 Can. more than I would have to pay if I had the internet supplier ship it to my mother's residence in Washington state.

    I then went back to the local store, documented the price difference, and told them very honestly that I would love to support their business but not if this admittedly expensive helmet cost me an extra $100. I got the helmet for $50 more than I woud have spent having it shipped to a US address.

    Another interesting story about gloves, but out of room.
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

  2. #2
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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  3. #3
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    When Possible...

    Our favorite dealer #1 has a different person in charge of apparel now. Used to be lot's of brands and choices. That person decided ,based on personal choices/opinion as told to Helen when she asked where all the different choices were, that certain lines would not be carried anymore. Those lines sold well as we always sent folks to buy from them. Now, the only way to buy that line is online. A fellow rider asked about a matching/close to matching deal on a Nolan helmet last week and they said they could not budge at all.
    The other shops, H-D's & CycleGear,and the Ducati store do not have certain brands either.

    Another local dealer #2 in the other close by large city will not budge on prices at all...typically 30% over list on parts and accessories. They have been approached before about this and are pretty set. People who live near this shop drive to city #1 regularly due to the attitude. I am headed there today to ask again about matching #1's prices on parts. I hope it goes well...cautiously optimistic you might say.

    In todays economy I try to suport the mom & pops and the locals. That said one also needs to get the best value for their dollar. It's a hard choice at times and a hot button topic for some as seen in the helmet thread. I do both based on comparing the shipping, the hassle of driving into the Metro and if it's a replacement of a known size. Sometimes the local guy # 1 gets it, rarely do I buy from #2 even though they are a bit closer. Remember that some of the internet guys are mom & pops as well...small shops that depend on word of mouth or tiny ads in the ON.
    Steve Henson
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  4. #4
    Seeking Mental Floss
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    Quote Originally Posted by henzilla View Post
    When Possible...

    Our favorite dealer #1 has a different person in charge of apparel now. Used to be lot's of brands and choices. That person decided ,based on personal choices/opinion as told to Helen when she asked where all the different choices were, that certain lines would not be carried anymore. Those lines sold well as we always sent folks to buy from them. Now, the only way to buy that line is online. A fellow rider asked about a matching/close to matching deal on a Nolan helmet last week and they said they could not budge at all.
    The other shops, H-D's & CycleGear,and the Ducati store do not have certain brands either.

    Another local dealer #2 in the other close by large city will not budge on prices at all...typically 30% over list on parts and accessories. They have been approached before about this and are pretty set. People who live near this shop drive to city #1 regularly due to the attitude. I am headed there today to ask again about matching #1's prices on parts. I hope it goes well...cautiously optimistic you might say.

    .
    I know exactly who and where you are talking about, and agree 100%. Sometimes, local is just not possible. I have found some of the best deals on apparel and helmets at the local Japanese shops.......and this was prior to my most recent purchase there.

  5. #5
    RTFlyer
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    I like to do business locally, but I live in a relatively small town, so I don't always have the options I would like. From my limited experience, the local BMW dealer seems to run pretty competitive with most internet pricing on items they carry. They have a decent selection of accessories and riding gear on hand it seems, and have indicated that would order my size if I need something. I think it's reasonable to ask any merchant to match prices that you find elsewhere while explaining that you would prefer to give them your business.

    Now having said all of this, I'm also a big proponent of Ebay. I have no problem buying gently used items there if I know sizing details on clothing or applications for parts. I bought like-new Olympia Airglide pants to match the jacket from the local BMW dealer for a steal. Also, buying local for me doesn't necessarily mean the BMW shop. A local Victory dealer carries a good selection of gloves and apparel at 50% off usually. Joe Rocket, Fieldsheer and other brands.

  6. #6
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Why not, but I draw the line at price differences.

    What dealers don't realize is that large orders end up going south. I'm not going to order just one oil or air filter. My ''stocking'' orders end up holding me over for a couple of years which saves me time and gas.

    Money talks, BS walks!

  7. #7
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    Price sells! While this isn't a helmet/gear story I can tell you that , for the most part, a small car dealer will not sell at near the price point of a larger dealer. I just bought a new Toyota truck that sold through a large dealer that acquired it via dealer trade from a smaller dealer and it was over $1k cheaper from the larger dealer,based on my having priced it. Now, isn't it a nice thought were I to have given my business to the smaller dealer! I don't live in the town nor state where the sale took place and if I did, don't have that much money to be running a dealer charity operation.
    All things equal, I would opt for the little guy...

  8. #8
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kantuckid View Post
    I just bought a new Toyota truck...
    Now thats downright un-American!!!

    No wonder GM is having tough times.

    Kidding...of course.

  9. #9
    cheesewhiz
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    I was recentely at a dealer (Mischlers / Beaver Dam, WI) during their BMW open house testing a '09RT. I was in the market for some cold weather gear so I checked their prices and found that with their 20% open house discount I would come out even over the internet price when the freight was factored in.
    I get my gear.
    I pay what I wanted to.
    The dealer gets a sale.
    I support my local dealer.

    Talk about warm and fuzzy!


  10. #10
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Local dealer for what?

    I agree with the OP that for things that require an accurate fit I shop my local apparel dealers. They all are within a 20 mile round trip. I have a size 8+ melon so fit is very important when looking at something like a helmet. When I factor in time shipping and the potential costs of returns their prices aren’t that bad. They just happen to sell Japanese brands Triumphs Harleys and various other V-twin bikes.

    I support my local BMW dealer, who is a 130 mile round trip away, when ever possible for my BMW parts. It requires a bit of planning. They can meet my anticipated parts needs for maintenance and repairs. In many cases they have met my emergency needs allowing me only to go online when they can’t meet an immediate need. I’m a daily commuting rider so price is not the major factor for me that it may be for others. How fast I can get the Roadster back on the street is my first concern. The 130 mile trip for parts to make a same day repair is the trade off.
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

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  11. #11
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    I don't have a "local" dealer. Not where we live. I do buy a few things from an all-brand independent shop down the road - but it is primarily a shop for tire and shop work - not gear or accessories or model specific parts.

    So I patronize what used to be my "local" dealer - parts are a phone call or email away - shipped same day and I usually get whatever I need within 2 days - sometimes next day from Kansas City to Texas. We spend most of the summer "on-the-road." I have the same shop send me anything I need badly, to wherever I happen to be. I broke the gas cap on my R1150R last year and had a replacement the next day.

    There are several other dealerships I will head for as needed when traveling.

    And in the context of where I live this is shopping "local." I don't patronize the "internet" shops that promise discount prices if and whenever they happen to order my parts or tires or whatever, and get around to sending them to me. Life is too short for that run-around, for me. I use an established dealership with bikes, and parts, and tires, and gear, and accessories that I know and trust.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  12. #12
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    While I agree that in a perfect world local purchases are a great idea, without the business there would be no local shops, but it's not always possible. I have no local dealers, the nearest dealer with any selection is 40 miles one way and caters more to the Harley crowd with leather and "salad bowl" type helmets. The nearest BMW dealer is over 60 miles one way and has a very slim selection of gear on hand. A good dealer and I like their service work and the shop in general, but they just can't keep much of a selection. They are happy to order anything I want but that sort of defeats the purpose of buying at the shop. I can order what I want myself without a mark up.

    I've had very good luck with online/phone orders for both helmets and riding gear. While it's nice to actually try on before a purchase, especially helmets, online orders don't have to be a guessing game for fit. Many of the large online shops have good fitting instructions and some actually have customer service reps who do a good job of guiding you through the process. In addition the selection is always larger than any local shop could afford to stock plus the prices are generally better. I've also ordered aftermarket bike bits from some of the large BMW dealers that the local dealer just can't stock.

    Not an endorsement, just and example, but I have done a lot of business with Revzilla for both helmets and riding gear and have been very happy with their service. I wanted Arai XD3 helmets for myself and the wife and no shops that I could find within 100 miles carried them. I followed the fitting instructions from the Revzilla site and both of the helmets were a perfect fit. In the case of riding gear I ordered two Rev'It Cayenne jackets, again one for myself and one for the wife, and a pair of their Dakar pants for myself. I followed the fitting instruction on the site, including the warning that Rev'It gear ran at least a size small. In my case I came up in the middle of some aspects of the sizing, especially with the pants, where the chart had me in a short size, I've never worn a short in anything. I gave their customer service a call with the measurements I had taken and the rep agreed that a short seemed a bit odd. I ordered a standard length from him and when the gear arrived within a week they were perfect. Wish I would have done the same for the wife's jacket. The sizing chart worked for her measurements but I think the Rev'It sizing came into play as the jacket was just a bit too tight. I called the Revzilla customer service and explained the problem, got a return authorization and ordered the next larger size. They sent the new jacket the same day, even though I hadn't sent the old jacket yet. Once they got the jacket they credited my card for the price within a day.

    So while it's nice to support local dealers, if you have any, I like to get exactly what I want at a competitive price. If a local dealer had what I wanted and the price was competitive then I would buy from them, but to get the gear I want with good service and price, I'm more than happy to support the online dealers. When they have good customer service and return policies as well as a good selection, they will get my business.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post
    Now thats downright un-American!!!

    No wonder GM is having tough times.

    Kidding...of course.
    Actually, I was reading a book about Japanese treatment of our guys in WWII while searching for a deal on a truck. It is called "The Special Prisoner". I also lost an uncle in Pearl Harbor, so I suppose I qualify for "forgiving" in nature, huh? I drove and priced Ford, but just didn't like the truck as well... so went with built in TEXAS!

  14. #14
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    I'm presently facing this dilemma. I need new boots.. my collection of Prexsport boots is getting a bit old in the tooth, and a full day of rain riding has proven that "waterproof" isn't forever. So - I'm looking for new boots - and I have certain requirements (size, fit, GoreTex - no substitutes - sole pattern) only met by a few boots that I've found. Problem is - no dealer near me carries the ones I need in my size (42 Euro.)

    So I'm stuck with buying on-line, which means I'll have to use newenough.com - since they allow returns without having to be an "exchange".. Since Alpinestars are all sold for MSRP - the choice of vendor isn't a $$$ thing - it's simply to find someone who stocks them. I could ask my friendly local dealer to get some in for me - but then they're stuck with them if they don't fit me.

    Quandary - dunno what the answer is.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

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