Who do you trust? Tips When Buying Motorcycle Parts and Accessories
March 27, 2010 | By: Tim Barcz
What’s your decision-making process whenever you choose where it is that you’re going to buy something? I’m not talking just about motorcycle parts, either; think for a moment about groceries, bath towels, luggage, books, and other items. What factors go into where you make your purchases? Do you look for a store with a long-standing name? Someplace where you know the floors are clean or where the prices are the lowest in town? Without really knowing it, we size up companies each and every day — from the restaurants we frequent to the grocery stores we buy from, and yes, even where we choose to buy aftermarket motorcycle parts.
At J&P Cycles, we recognize there are a number of places you can buy your motorcycle parts and accessories, including online where anyone with a computer and some extra garage space is now clams to operate an Internet “superstore.” Unfortunately for you — the consumer — it’s often difficult to tell whom you can trust…in other words, you can’t really tell who is behind that nice looking website you found that carries the parts you want at prices that seem too good to be true.
How do you decide where to shop and what should you take into consideration before making a purchase online? Here are some key points to consider when purchasing motorcycle parts or accessories online, whether from J&P Cycles or someone else.
Many companies give lip-services to customer service, but with rising costs you will often see organizations cutting customer service first or off-shoring it, where it’s cheaper. There are, however, companies (and we are one of them) who keep their customer service team in the United States and work tirelessly to monitor nearly every aspect about customer service to make sure the customer is served at the highest levels possible. Customer service should be the bed rock of any company that sells motorcycle parts and accessories. We can all name restaurants with mediocre food and great customer service, but very few have great food and terrible customer service. Since customer service matters, look for a company that offers top-notch service and a variety of avenues to access it, such as phone, email, live chat, and an online center where you can find answers to commonly asked questions and connect with other customers who have successfully dealt with some of the same types of issues you’re likely to encounter.
In this economy, price is undoubtedly an issue for everyone. Consumers are working to get as much mileage out of their shrinking dollar that they can. Make no bones about it, price matters. Price however isn’t the only factor to consider. Using the grocery store analogy, while one store may have the lowest prices in town, we may not shop there because the clerks are rude, the floors are dirty, the shelves are barely stocked, and the selection is poor. In a lot of cases, with lower prices, you’re giving up many of the qualities that endear you to a company that gives you confidence in your purchase. Just as you shouldn’t allow yourself to be gouged on price, you need to exercise similar caution when shopping solely on price.
When you’re shopping around for something, do you prefer choice or a single option? We all want choices, don’t we? A large selection also means I have the ability to purchase at a single store, generally saving me time with only having to work with a single company. Consider Target and Wal-Mart, which now offer grocery items in many of their stores. For some, they can now buy clothes and household products and pick up grocery items all under once roof.
When you buy something time spent waiting for delivery is time not spent enjoying your purchase. A company may offer a large selection (see above) but may not have popular or rarely purchased items in stock. When researching companies to buy from, look for those who stock the products they offering in their catalog and who carry sustainable levels of inventory.
Who do you turn to when wondering if a part is going to fit your bike, or who do you ask for help when it comes time to understanding the complexities of an installation? It’s important to shop with confidence and be able to rely on the expertise of the employees of the store where you’re shopping. Too often, people are left to wonder on their own about the parts and service they’ll need to make to their bike. We recommend that you look for a company that offers tech support from quality motorcycle technicians. J&P offers several ways to get in touch with our many technical support technicians whether it be through phone, email, or even live chat online. Our expertise is at your disposal and we encourage you to use it.
Related to customer service but big enough to stand on its own is the return policy of the company you’re buying from. If there’s a problem with an order or you ordered the wrong part, how easy is it to return and get a replacement? How long do you have to return a product? A trend we’re starting to see is that companies who do not have adequate staff (see “customer service” above) are referring their customers to the manufacturers. For the customer, getting the runaround is frustrating, time consuming, and confusing. At J&P Cycles, we have one of the best return policies in the industry. Customers can work entirely with us and we work on their behalf with manufacturers, should the need arise. In fact, we’ve taken product back after the manufacturer would normally have allowed, and have gone to bat for customers to get everything take care of to their satisfaction.
Recently, price has become the number one issue many consumers choose to focus on. Not a coincidence, you’ll often hear people lament, “What ever happened to good customer service?” At J&P Cycles, we provide competitive pricing backed by the best customer service in the industry. We carry most major brands of motorcycle parts and accessories, giving you the largest selection possible. In addition, we likely have your product in stock, which means it’s delivered fast. If you have trouble installing the product or don’t know which one to buy, you can get in touch with our technical staff, which will gladly assist you so you can get back on the road. If there’s a problem with your order, rest assured, we’ll work with you to get it right.
With the popularity of the Internet, you will likely see more retailers offering parts and accessories at what appear to be unbeatable prices. Before you buy, however, use the above points to evaluate which companies can earn your business.