discount gear - where do you buy?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by bone, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. bone

    bone Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    101
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    After finding yet another case of local dealers charging twice as much money for gear than I see our american neighbours buying for, I find myself lusting after their breadth of choice when it comes to online retailers.

    I know whitehorsepress.com will ship to Canada, but their shipping charges seem pretty high: "Add 20% of your order subtotal..." (from their website). If I buy a $300US jacket shipping will be $60US on top of that plus potential duty fees? That's just not going to make me buy there.

    So what are the best online retailers you Canadian guys have found? I'd prefer to keep it in Canada if possible, but that's probably not possible. I've heard all the arguments for investing in your local bikeshop and to be frank, at this stage in my life the bottom line is the bottom line. Where are the best deals for Canadians?
    #1
  2. Ridemuch

    Ridemuch Ciao

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,289
    Location:
    GTA,Ontario
    BMW Toronto was having a sale 60% off last years stuff. Fin got a nice jacket from there. If you call BMW ask for Tim in sales.
    #2
  3. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2004
    Oddometer:
    16,658
    Location:
    West is the Best
    To be honest, we've been getting totally ripped off for years, mainly because our dollar was in the tank. Now that our dollar has increased in value, we see that the local importers/bike shops have not adjusted pricing accordingly. Some local shops here [B.C.] are taking notice by doing the best they can, but the are in a tough spot as companies like Motovan and Parts Canada are still charging the shops too much. I'm willing to understand a small percentage more for stuff, as we are a much smaller market up here, but 50-80%?? No frickin' way.
    Be very carefull ordering stuff from U.S. based online retailers, if you plan on shipping it directly to your home. You will be faced with very high brokerage fees, and extra "foreign" shipping fees, as well as Canada Customs fee for opening the package to see if it's anything illegal. The best thing to do is to have a post office box in a border town in the U.S., or at least a freight accepter. Alot of these online companies will even offer free shipping in the U.S. for a minimum purchase amount. Bring it across yourself [no brokerage costs there] pay your taxes, and be happy knowing you've saved hundreds.
    Regarding BMW riding apparel, BMW shops in Canada have prices that are INSANE compared to the same stuff across the border, actually 100% more on the one jacket I recently noticed [Santiago jacket] comparing a local Vancouver shop with 1 in Seattle.
    Online Canadian suppliers? I think there are 1 or 2, but while they beat every shop, they don't come close to U.S. prices.
    And don't get me started on bikes purchased south. I just bought one out of Portland at 1/2 price I'd have to pay up here, and that's landed in my driveway. My buddy just saved 6,000CDN buying a Ducati ST3 1 hour south of the border, than either of the Ducati dealers. Now what's going on there?? I just priced boots across the border, $249US vs $395CDN. You do the math even after adding %15 to the U.S. price and tell me where I'm going to buy them.
    I think I'm more frustrated than you.
    Ciao, Steve
    #3
  4. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2004
    Oddometer:
    8,550
    Location:
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
    The difference in price in motorcycle tires pisses me off...
    #4
  5. bone

    bone Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    101
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    Ha! You're West-Coast me! Hell, my name's even Steve!

    I bought a Ducati Multistrada in the US this summer. This bike was (MSRP) US$14k in the states and C$20k here in Canada. Well over C$4000 more to buy locally and that's just for MSRPs. I negotiated for a couple of months with my local dealer (who's also Ducati Canada), flat-out told him what kinds of prices I found across the border in Michigan and NY, and told him unless he could meet or come damn close to those prices I wasn't going to be able to buy Canadian. In the end, we signed off on a great deal (in Canadian terms) for a new '06 Multistrada 1000S and he took my downpayment, only to come back a week later saying that he couldn't find any of the bikes anywhere in Canada - they were sold out. He gave me back my money, and since I was fed up I started looking at Ebay... I ended up buying one in Oregon and riding it home to Toronto with my girlfriend as my vacation in august.

    I bought my main pair of gloves and helmet from the states off Ebay too. Not because I wanted to, but because 1.) the gloves weren't available in Canada, at least not locally so far as I'm aware, and 2.) the helmet was WAYYY cheaper online than around here and I couldn't justify sucking up such a subtantial amount of money.

    I have bought many things here in Canada, and thanks to Ridemuch's tip above I think I'm going to be able to buy my boots right here in Toronto, but generally speaking I'm looking more and more to the states to find reasonably-priced gear and parts.

    The brokerage fees are nasty, and I've learned to stay far, far away from the crooks at UPS. If it doesn't ship via US Post, I tend to avoid it.
    #5
  6. bone

    bone Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    101
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    BTW, thanks so much for that info! I've told a buddy about it too who just went through a head-on crash and has to replace all his gear... it's looking good!

    Merry Christmas all!
    #6
  7. tor1150r

    tor1150r --

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    It's a big probelm for us up here. The price differences are far greater than the present exchange and the landing costs. WTF??

    I have all my 'large item' gear so I'm ok for another year or two. I still buy the small stuff that isn't avail in Canada (gloves, straps, small accessories).

    Most people have family or an aquaintance in the US. Send it to them and have them send it up as a gift (with goofy wrapping paper and a card!).

    As for the rest...bicker with the Canadian vendors. You can beat them up a little at the end of the riding season and during the winter.
    #7