It’s not that hard! Most motorcycle leather shops online are legitimate, and offer fine quality products with excellent customer service. Here are a few tips to help you develop a process when judging a site.
Find Something You Like
This would be the first step. Use a Search Engine to find the sites that would most likely have the product you want. Searching for the term motorcycle jackets for example, will yield broad results and show you the most popular sites for that term. “Pink motorcycle jacket” will yield more specific results, if that is what you are looking for.
Find at least two or three sites and compare prices of similar items. Look for good descriptions and accurate depictions of the product. The picture on the product page should be clickable for a larger image (turn your pop up blocker off!). Make sure the web site gives you all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Things to Look For on a Motorcycle Leather Web Site
Get as much information as you can about the type of leather and its tanning process. Find out if the leather is Buffalo, Lambskin or Cowhide, and if it is top grain, naked leather, or split. A good website should be forthcoming with this information, and even provide you with the thickness of the leather, usually in millimeters.
Avoid sites that use the term “Genuine Leather”. If you encounter terms like Aniline, Soft Milled etc., make sure you understand what that means. If the website defines those terms somewhere easily found, chalk that up to points for up fronted ness.
Look for detailed descriptions that provide you with all of the features of a particular motorcycle jacket, chap, or vest. Type of hardware, snaps, zippers, braiding or embossing, right down to the number of pockets and if they zip or snap shut.
While some written descriptions are all business like, others will highlight a particular feature that the merchant would like to point out, or even try to inject a little humor into the site. That’s all right! If the written description doesn’t itemize every feature of the product, look for a bullet list that does somewhere on the product page.
How Deep to Search?
“Maybe I should stay on the first page of the search engine results to be safe”. Sure, go right ahead! But you’ll be sorry! While it has often been said that most online searchers only look above the fold on the first page, anyone that is looking to purchase a top quality product reaching well into the $ 200 range would behoove themselves to search further!
The first page for the keyword term motorcycle jackets will certainly get you to the big boys, but not necessarily the best product, most scrupulous vendor, and for sure not the best deal. Think about it. I’m on the front page, got tons of traffic, why should I lower my prices? Do yourself a favor and explore beyond.
Read the About Page and take note of any contact information. In fact, to get an idea of their quality of service, go ahead and ask a question via the contact page. Speed of response should not be the only factor here. It may take a day or so, but did the representative actually answer your question? Suggest products you might be interested in? You get the idea, customer service!
Search engines say that two determining trust factors for a website are a physical address, and a phone number. That’s a great idea for a brick and mortar bike shop with a web site.
For the leather shop that deals exclusively online, i.e. dropship, a physical address may not be so relevant. For liability reasons, some may not be setup to process credit cards over the phone, and thus may not want to include a phone number on the site.
In any case, there should be ample means clearly marked on the site to contact the vendor. Try it out and see what kind of response you get first!
Michael T Lewis, a.k.a Biker Mike, has been offering quality leather motorcycle apparel to the World Wide Community for over five years. Visit the interactive Biker Site and Leather Shop, Motorcycle Leather Web 2.0, for motorcycle jackets, chaps, and more, or download the free PDF, The Definitive Motorcycle Leather Shopping Guide at http://MotorcycleLeatherWeb.com/leather-facts