Women Riders

Leather to Chrome for Christmas

Written by  November 30, 2007

Here we are getting ready for the holiday season; bikes cleaned and winterized, saddle bags empty, covers on, leathers cleaned all waiting for the 2008 riding season just as we are. Winter sports are upon us; skiing, sledding, snowmobiling, and ice skating just to name a few fun things to get us through the winter months. And, of course, the most fun is shopping for family and friends; especially those who ride.

Below are a few shopping tips to help get you into the holiday spirit:
Have a plan, a list, and set a budget for your holiday shopping, You will want to be “debt free” before the riding season begins so you can have extra cash for your all your trips.
Visit your favorite motorcycle stores and see all the new merchandise they have stocked this year, but make a list of who you are buying for or you will end up buying everything you want!
Get sizes for shirts, sweaters, jeans, jackets, etc so you are not standing in the store guessing if it will fit. I have actually had men come up to me in a store and say, “My wife is about your size, do you think this will fit her, or will you try it on?” Sure, most gifts can be returned or exchanged, but what a hassle that is, especially after the holidays.
Buy gifts that people want, not just an item to wrap and put under the tree. Put some thought in to your purchases so they please the person you are buying for and give you delight in giving it.
If you don’t know what the person wants, the easy solution is a gift card. It gives them the opportunity to buy what they want and takes the pressure off us. Gift cards can be used after Christmas and the receiver can make a haul on all the sale items that the rest of us paid full price for! Know the terms of the gift cards as some charge a $2 per month fee which decreases your spending amount.
Keep your receipts for everything! Stores have changed their policies over the years; if you don’t have a receipt some will not give you a refund, only an exchange. If you don’t find anything, you are out of luck. Other stores will give a gift receipt and it is usually hassle free to exchange or get a refund.
Retail stores are shutting their doors everyday, be cautious about spending a lot a money in a new store, or one that looks like it is suffering financially. They may not have a lot of items in stock and will want to “order” it for you. Of course they ask you to pay in advance because they don’t want to get stuck with merchandise they cannot sell.
The holidays can be a stressful time, be patient, be courteous, and be kind to the retail clerks, and hopefully they will be the same to you.

I had a shopping experience a few years back when I purchased a substantial amount of gifts for Christmas. When I asked the sales person for some gift bags she acted like they were made of gold, she took a sigh and gave me two.

I was really too shocked at her attitude to say anything, so I took my bags and left. The more I thought of what had happened, the madder I got. Poor, poor customer service; I have never bought anything else from that store since. It’s too bad because it’s where we bought our first bike and it’s so convenient. So, I spend my money where it’s appreciated, not at a place that makes me feel like they are doing me a favor.

So in other words, make your holiday shopping a fun experience!

I also want to share some information about a company in Shawnee, Kansas called Foxhill Farm Leather. It might be just the place you will want to spend some of your Christmas money.

Founders, Bill and Vicki VanDeBerghe started the internet company in 2003. Bill retired after 30 years with Southwestern Bell Telephone Company and Vicki did photography work in support of an Ebay business they previously owned and maintained.

Fox Hill Farm offers everything you need to ride…except the bike. They carry a full line of leather riding apparel, novelty helmets, embroidered patches, sunglasses and goggles, decals, and much more.

Because they manage and maintain their own websites, it significantly reduces expense and gives them total creative control. After being up and running for 18 months, they started receiving phone calls and emails from small retailers and rally vendors. Retailers like the diversity of the Fox Hill Farm Leather products and wanted to be able to purchase products through them for their businesses.

That launched the wholesale website, along with the retail site. There are no minimum purchase amounts and no minimum quantities on any product they offer. They carry leather from Leather Gallery and other quality products by companies well known in the motorcycle industry including; Voss Extreme Sports, Lethal Threat, Global Vision Eyewear, and others. They also manufacture their own ride bells. To date, they offer 12 unique designs like angels, 9-11, tribal, lady biker, Christian, flames, and skulls. They are expanding to an additional 12 designs that they hope to offer by the end of the year. Fox Hill Farm has published a consumer catalog for the second straight year which you can request online.

I liked the statement Bill made, “Keeping customers coming back means providing excellent customer service, treating people like you want to be treated, and doing what you say you will do.” That pretty much says it all for success in the retail industry.

Check out Fox Hill Farm at www.foxhillfarmleather.com or give them a call them at 1-877-369-4455 for all your shopping needs!

Thank you Cycle Connection readers for another great year of having you as a part of our riding family. We value your feedback and suggestions and look forward to a great 2008!

Happy Holidays to you, and be safe, be healthy, stay active and we’ll see you on the road this spring!

Goldie Arnold

“Never rider faster than you angel can fly”

TIP OF THE MONTH: Donate to Toys for Tots sponsored by the Marines or send a Christmas package to our Troops!