Do you go internet shopping when you need motorcycle riding gear and bike accessories, or do you shop around locally?
The belief is that you will get gear cheaper with internet shopping, especially from overseas. However, that is not always the case.
In these days of the Global Village, it is sometimes just as cheap and certainly more reassuring to buy something locally.
One of the big problems with internet shopping, especially from unproven overseas distributors, is that the article may not be up to standard, the wrong size, or even a fake. I’ve dealt with the latter before.
But, even if you are buying a trusted brand from a trusted overseas distributor, it still may not turn out to be any cheaper than you can get it in your own country.
I’ve recently been told by several riders that they can find gear cheaper from overseas, but once they factor in shipping costs, it isn’t really much of a saving.
A good example is Bell Helmets. Monza Imports in Australia did a really good bulk-buying deal and managed to get the helmets for almost the same price as you can get them in the USA. The advantages are, of course, that if you get them here they are Australian compliant, you can try one on first to make sure it fits, and if it fails, you can easily return it.
Another example I recently stumbled on was Roland Sands Designs gear from LA. I wanted to buy Mrs MotorbkkeWriter a quality leather jacket and gloves and went to the RSD website in LA because I couldn’t find anywhere in Brisbane that sold them.
Luckily, before I placed my order, I happened to discover that Oliver’s Motorcycles just down the road from me in Moorooka now stocks some RSD gear. Not only were the goods virtually the same price as I could get them shipped from the US, but my wife could try them on, see herself in the mirror and be content that she had bought the right gear.
Another rider told me he wanted to buy a pair of riding gloves from overseas, but he had to spend a minimum of $300 with the distributor before they would ship anything to Australia.
Yes, we know some retailers don’t stock a lot of sizes and colours of items, and we’ve also heard they won’t sometimes won’t get them in unless you put down a deposit.
But these days competition is tough and most retailers will do their best to match prices and bend over backwards to get your business and keep it.
Look around, do some bargaining and support your local motorcycle shop, no matter where you are.
What are your experiences with buying gear locally, over the internet and from overseas?