Saturday, February 26, 2011

Alpinestars Close-outs - How To Save Money and Get Great Gear


Being one of the larger, if not the largest, supplier of motorcycle clothing in the world - I like to call them the NIKE of the motorcycle world when describing the company to newbies - Alpinestars develops a lot of product each year, a lot of new product. And with the new product, comes a lot of old product, a lot of stuff that needs to be let loose, set to sail, off into the sunset, kicked out the door to more happy trails, instead of some dusty old warehouse. Alpinestars Close-Outs.

There's nothing wrong with stuff that's on close-out, or clearance. Even though the stuff that replaces it is supposed to be better- some times it actually isn't! Some times the new stuff comes out and it's cheaper, thinner, less. The old stuff, can be better, more.

Sometimes, the close-out stuff has some "issues", or "tissues" as my son would say. A size run will be off, run small, or big, causing chaos at the warranty and returns desk. Sometimes, a $69 gloves should have been a $55 glove. Sometimes, an item built for a certain riding style will be eclipsed by another brand, or another product of the same brand. Why stuff doesn't sell is often a mystery.

Like any builder of stuff, some times Alpinestars just plain makes too much stuff, other times, they don't make enough stuff. Some times they'll make too much of a specific colored stuff, other times the styling of the stuff will be a little off to the price, or a new item is introduced that puts the old stuff to shame, sending it to the back of the room with its tail between its legs. Other times, people just can't afford to buy the stuff! Other times, there's no sense at all to it.

Whatever the reasoning - Alpinestars produces a lot of close-outs each year and Motostrano has a habit of watching the close-out list like a hawk so we can in turn offer our customers some great deals on last years price-reduced clearance items from one of the best motorcycle apparel companies in the world.

It's a tough game to play. You got some dough and don't want to spend it. But, your moto threads are stinky or ripped or non existent and up comes all this new stuff that you can't afford. Dig a little deeper and you'll see last years stuff on sale for as much as 50% what it sold for just a few weeks ago. Wow. Great.

We've been selling motorcycle stuff and Alpinestars in particular for 9 years. We've seen a lot of product come and go and we've made a lot of it go ourselves. We know a little bit about this game of close-outs.

Motorcycling has two main seasons. The beginning. The end. The beginning is about Spring and Summer. The end is about Fall and Winter. New products from all makers of moto stuff are released around these times, which means old stuff is jettisoned out the door around the same time. Good riddance!

Once a batch of product is put on close-out, it's only a matter of weeks before all the good choice, colors and sizes are gone. So, a main point of advice here is that if you want the good stuff, buy early. Buy when it's raining, not in the middle of summer. In other words, buy motorcycle stuff, when you are probably out skiing, or locked up in your garage with the space heaters purring.

Depending on the product, the economy and last year's buying habits, the quality of what goes on close-out varies radically. One year there might be complete size and color runs of top tier leather suits, jackets and boots. Other years, you're stuck digging through size 4xl pink perforated mens jackets with matching assless chaps. It's all over the board.

Close-outs are close-outs. They are on clearance. They are priced to move and NOT COME BACK. If you're expecting to buy something at 80% off retail, get it and return it because it doesn't match your socks. Think again. Most close-outs are going to be final sale type deal, with the exception of a store credit or exchange option, as with Motostrano. We allow returns on standard close-outs for exchange or store credit. But, I can tell you, we sure don't like to take back close-outs. So, try to keep them if you can, please.

Be flexible on color. If you are like most of the dark, gloomy, colorless, drab and dull American motorcycle men out there, if it isn't BLACK, all black, you won't buy it. Riders in South American and Europe will wear any imaginable color combination of gear. Americans buy black motorcycle gear or none at all. Like our cars, which are nearly all silver or gray or pewter, our moto gear for street has to be black.

But black is not on sale. Almost never. Sorry. What's on sale? Blue is on sale. Red is on sale, White is on Sale and Green, Yellow and Orange are DEFINITELY on sale. Primarily, because you aren't buying those colors at regular prices. Never have, never will. I often wonder why they are even around, except perhaps to round out a catalog. Personally, I would not want to make things, I just new would not sell. So, I don't get that.

DON'T be flexible on fit. Look, this stuff is made and you are spending your hard earned dollars on it to PROTECT you. If it looks good in the process that's good too. It's also made to keep you comfortable. Don't buy, keep or use a close-out item based on price alone. If it isn't the right size, don't keep it. Give it away, throw it to the Ebay dogs. Trash it, wear it for Halloween next year. An unfitting motorcycle garment will do you no amount of good.

(If you're not local to our store and you're buying online, sight unseen, one of the things you can do to avoid buying the wrong size is call us. Talk to us. Email us. Get us on the phone. Ask us how tall we are, how much we weigh, get us to get off our chair and go try on a jacket or suit, then have us come back and tell you how it fit. We're happy to do it. ASK US ANYTHING AT ALL)

At 50% off retail, you start to loosen up your color matching principals and have even been known to .... mismatch colors and for instance, wear a red jacket on a blue Yamaha. I know, I know, blasphemy. But, if it involves saving $200, I've seen it happen, even with most fashion conscious men among us.

So, now you know some of the secrets to buying Alpinestars close-out gear. Doing so, is a great way to get your mitts on some quality motorcycle gear at some tasty prices. We're happy to offer it to you. We're happy to sell it to you.

Still have questions? Call us, email us.

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