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-   -   Arai to ban helmet sales online! (http://www.motorcycle.com/forum/paranoid-news-clips/987-arai-ban-helmet-sales-online.html)

veefer69 12-31-2001 10:34 AM

Re: Arai to ban helmet sales online!
 
Whatever, sounds like a company whining about selling to distributors and distributors finding a way to sell the product effeiciently. Whaaaaaa.... Eh, I could be wrong...

Twitch 12-31-2001 10:38 AM

WTF?
 
I wonder why they are doing this. Logic dictates that they would not want to hurt sales or profits, so why do this? I am baffled.... Anybody with business savvy have an idea?

ColinL 12-31-2001 10:58 AM

Re: Arai to ban helmet sales online!
 
uh yeah, welcome to last week! ;-)



some enthusiasts on sportbike.net and several other forums have been going absolutely nuts about this for a while now.



my opinions-- worth what they cost you.



1. arai probably has a concern about liability in death/injuries where an 'expert' decides that a poorly fitted helmet could have saved Johnny Squidly (or prevented vegetative brain damage) when he was doing 80 in a 35 and broadsided a UPS truck. this could be viewed as a serious attempt to make sure that fitment is proper, in the court's eyes.



2. arai's comments about this not being about money are not telling the whole story. true, they make money at the distributor level. BUT it costs money to offer the helmets in the way they are asking it to be done. it certainly costs more to have stock on hand and a salesperson measure you and suggest whether your noggin is oval, round or in between. by eliminating internet / mail-order sales, they eliminate competitors that could avoid those costs. in short, they ENCOURAGE sales through the direct market by allowing the dealers to compete with prices that can cover their costs. you can't offer that kind of service and cover a reasonable inventory when helmetshop.com has the product for $10 over wholesale.



instead of doing what they are, they could just enforce a minimum MSRP as Simpson does. but that's not as effective at achieving goal #1, a proper fit for liability purposes. now I haven't queried Lexis/Nexus to see what sort of cases are out there, but I know that blood-sucking lawyers go after the money and Arai has more of it than most resellers or distributors.



-Colin

The-Bone 12-31-2001 11:58 AM

Re: Arai to ban helmet sales online!
 
So, are you saying that I will not be able to walk into a dealer and purchase whatever size helmet I want? If I can and then become a potato after slamming into a wall, I can turn around and file a lawsuit against the Dealer and Arai's lawyers will defend the dealer that sold the helmet. If everything is going to go fall back on the attorney's at Arai, you would think their lawyers are available for all issues the dealers have revolving problems with improper fit. Not to mention you'd expect some type of certification system for being able to recommend the proper size helmet for an individual as well as some type of waiver/checklist saying that a person was sold the proper size helmet or declined to be fitted by the staff at the dealership.

-Terrence

static 12-31-2001 12:24 PM

Re: Arai to ban helmet sales online!
 
I believe that it actually puts more responsibilty on the dealers and less on Arai, as long as the helmet itself isn't defective in its construction.



On the other hand, it does protect local dealers from ultra-low pricing. Most shops don't have large warehouses to buy in enough bulk to keep prices down.



As a consumer, though, I will miss paying the online prices for their products. Whenever my signet GT needs replacement, I would like to get another one, but if the prices are as high as they are currently in the dealerships, then I will have to look at another brand.

static 12-31-2001 01:23 PM

Re: Arai to ban helmet sales online!
 
For this to work for everyone (except online distributors) the distributors need to aggressively seek out local dealerships to increase the number shops that carry the product. Unfortunately, if Arai thinks that customers will be happy with with their current dealer base, they are sorely mistaken. Most dealers that I have visited limit their lines to HJC, Nolan, and Fulmer (i.e. the cheapest helmets that actually are safe). Only a few high end dealerships (with highend prices) within 300 miles of me carry Arai.



If enough dealerships carry Arai, then maybe the price will come down.

tony 12-31-2001 02:04 PM

Re: Arai to ban helmet sales online!
 
The big savings on internet purchases are helments on the high end or the more expensive helmets. I'm sure most new riders purchase their first helmets from a dealer. Arai needs the dealers to get folks started on their helments other wise they wouldn't be inclined to start. Dealers need to turn over their stock and if they can't compete with online orders on a specific model or helmet line why would they stock them.

I think they are hoping more dealers will carry Arai now they don't have to compete with online sales. They must be leave that most of those that already purchase their helmets won't switch brands. I'm price sensitive and Arai never was in my price budget anyways. I found other brands that fit me as good for less.


bjcamp 12-31-2001 02:12 PM

Re: Arai to ban helmet sales online!
 
I tried one on, then bought a Shoi...Who cares?

kypd 12-31-2001 02:24 PM

A blood-sucking lawyer replies!
 
As a blood-sucking lawyer, I might be able to shed light on your comments. Yes, Arai could potentially be sued for someone wearing a helmet that doesn't fit. However, being sued and being sued an losing are different. In my humble (though legally trained) opinion, such a suit would most likely be unsuccessful if Arai fought it. Such suits against "deep pockets" are often nuiscance (I can't spell that damn word) suits that are only filed to get a quick and easy settlement. They can be fought, and should be in my opinion.



Ironically, Arai is perhaps risking a different kind of court case through it's current policy. There have been successful anti-trust lawsuits against manufacturers who try to limit the manner in which their goods are sold at the retail level. (See, for example, the 1911 U.S. Supreme Court opinion in Dr. Miles Co. v. John D. Park & Sons Co. .) This is in fact why we have MSRP's. It stands for Manufacturer's (read: "Arai's") SUGGESTED Retail Price. In prior anti-trust lawsuits courts have held that manufacturers cannot set and legally enforce a retail price for their products; the retailers themselves must be allowed to set the final retail price to the customer. Thus the manufacturer's price is merely "suggested." Can manufacturers informally make it "uncomfortable" for retailers to sell below (or above) MSRP? Yes, and they most likely do. But by openly coming out and establishing a "no online sales" policy, Arai risks anti-trust trouble. The reason for this is simple, and has been discussed in this forum already. Consumers should have a choice of whatever they want: high-end service (good fittings at a full-service dealer) or cheapies at $10 over wholesale via the internet. I think this is a poor (and possibly illegal) policy on the part of Arai. If you're stupid enough not to get a helmet that fits well and meets specs and are injured beause of it, it's your fault.



P.S. It says I'm anon. squid, but really I'm KYPD.

Really!

ZR-7 12-31-2001 02:35 PM

Re: Arai to ban helmet sales online!
 
Ditto! I just bought my first Arai helmet. www.parts411.com had it on special for $317. My local dealer wanted $425 and didn't have it in stock.



ZR-7


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