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I have spent months researching and debating on a good set of saddlebags... full grain leather, split leather, top grain leather, leather wrapped hard bags, synthetic bags with and without reinforcements... well I found what I was looking for, but it took some research.

Many bag sellers are just middlemen, resellers of someone else’s product, but the "sell" on their WebPages can be pretty convincing... some claim "An American Company" or "Sold in the USA" rather than "Made in the USA" and you find your getting a Pakistani made cheap ass set of split goat leather rather than good quality full grain heavy stitched pair of bags actually manufactured by hard working blue collar American hands!

There is another side to finding the right bags, and one that in this economy is of utmost importance... and that is of course price...and maneuvering and researching the 20+ distributors that sell the same bag from the same manufacturer can be tricky... often you start with a re-seller and have to backtrack to the manufacturer. Surprisingly many resellers will tell you who they actually get the bags from with a friendly phone call… once you get to the actual manufacturer you can ask them who their resellers are and get a good head start on your quest for an honest price on a honest product… and this is where my quest brought to light a few dealers whos practices really cheese me off!

I have found a few distributors that seem to think that any price is justifiable and I wanted to share my comparison with anyone who might be interested… I found my bags.. manufacturers code H772SP… actually made by Carroll Companies in Boon, NC… their bags are sold throughout the US by a number of manufacturers, including a very popular and reputable Chilhowee Motorcycle Leather, highly regarded for their excellent customer service and in my opinion, reasonably priced, however they did not carry this particular model (neither did the Carolina Leather that I ultimately ordered them through, although again, all it took was a friendly phone call with the Manufacturers stock # and my bags were on the way)

There was some significant, and I guess expected ad customary variance in pricing for these particular bags (I found ranges from $425-$575 for the pair) however there was one company, Chatahoochee Biker gear, who’s pricing really chapped my ass… They listed these bags… now take a deep breath…. for “$689.99/ea” !!!!!!!!!! can you believe it? That is nearly $1,400 for the pair. (http://www.chattahoocheebikergear.com/product.asp?id13b=268&id13=&par13=)

Through that friendly phone call to Carolina Leather (http://www.carolinaleatherworks.com)and a few minutes of my time… the identical bags were on my door for $335.00 plus a minor shipping fee!

Now I am not going to defend the stupidity of some consumers… in the age of the internet and such easy access to price comparisons and reviews I would be stunned if they have ever sold a pair, but it burns me up to think that someone new to the sport (Lifestyle, Obsession, Addiction, whatever Mantra you tout) might actually make the mistake of ordering products from a company that engages in such price gouging….

Now I will admit I have not invested the time to compare other product lines, but honestly with this experience I would not recommend ordering anything from a dealer that engages in such practices… I mean in today’s economy one would hope that greed would give way to an honest product for an honest profit, hell in any economy one would hope that… it seems that many dealers, however, are praying on the uninformed consumer. With the help of discussion boards and communities like the Café, however, Corporate Karma will ultimately come back to haunt the gougers.

Be informed, do your research, every day you get to cast an economic vote on something. Cast your vote for those engaging in honest and fair business practices… and cast your vote American, we need it right now.
 

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Good stuff!

Let the buyer beware, and be careful of what seems like a deal that is too good to pass up--it will likely bite you in the butt later...

It looks like you got a nice set of bags for a fair price.
 

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Unfortunately there are alot of people who don't shop around, or even know how to. Some may not have access to a computer. We obviously all do and I would hate it if I no longer had this site to come to for information.
Thanks for the heads up on a good and a bad seller.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Retraction, I have been contacted by this dealer

To all who have read this post. It seems I have misjudged a distributor of Motorcycle apparel and equipment and I am writing to own up to my misgivings and give a follow up to my earlier posting… Today I received a direct email from Pat Turner, Owner and operator of Chattahoochee Biker Gear (http://www.chattahoocheebikergear.com/) and I wanted to post an apology for my quickness in criticizing their pricing concerning the specific bags I was discussing.

As I had mentioned in my earlier post I had not invested the time in comparing their other products concerning price but that in this example the delta between manufacturer cost and dealer cost was egregious.

Pat writes that their website is undergoing a revamp and that their posted price ($689.99/ea) was a misprint, and that this pricing will be rectified quickly. At the moment I am not sure what their listing price will be, however I am following up with Pat to inquire as to what they will be listing these bags for. (H772SP by Carroll)

Pat further explains that he prides himself on providing his customers with a good value and the highest levels of customer service and satisfaction, and his clients will attest to that. I have to say I believe him, and this is why I am motivated to print, or rather blog, a retraction. Pat I misjudged you and your company and I am impressed that the “big cheese” took the time to respond to the concerns of a single consumer.

Pat expresses that this was a rare oversight in Quality Control and only wishes that I would have contacted them concerning the pricing before I decided to go to a competitor and humbly asks for the opportunity to change my opinion. I am going to give him that opportunity… down the road a few miles I am going to be needing something, be it bags, apparel, boots, rain gear, riding glasses… they truly carry it all, I am going to give their staff a try.

Help me out and share your story if you have purchased from Chattahoochee, and if you haven’t… look them up and maybe give them a try, and let the members hear your story and experience.

In closing I would again offer my humble apology for jumping to conclusions, and offer an apology from Pat for the error in pricing on their site for this item. I still strongly encourage all to due your homework and make sure you know what you’re buying, from where, and from whom…. Bike parts, accessories, and gear are costly, and doing your homework can save you thousands…and following the email I received this afternoon make sure you visit http://www.chattahoocheebikergear.com/ and give them a chance at earning your business… if you think their too high… give them a shout or shoot them an email… they just might beat it.

Ride safe, Ride Often,

-Charlie
 

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I'm interested to see what their price is. If that is a misprint in quantity only and it is actually $689/pr then... well... I have a problem with any company that wants a 100% profit just for drop-shipping or even remailing. IMO, what I see on their page is a bit high. They have my riding boots listed for $60 more than I paid for them in a local storefront shop. Just saying... :hmm2: Perhaps that's an error too?

Kudos to you, chazz, for piping up about Pat's e-mail. Hope he gets it straightened out for the sake of his business. Do 100 things right and nobody notices but people always remember that one bad thing FOREVER.
 

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I agree with Rodent let's wait and see what the price is before we completely forgive them. I'd been looking at their tank and fender bibs but I'll really have to look them over before I order now. Thanks for both posts and I took guts to print the retraction. Did they say how they found your post.
 

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I've purchased a few things from Chattahoochee Biker Gear and have always been pleased with their prices and their service. I bought a leather vest after checking many other places. The vest was very soft yet thick leather and it was about the same price as stuff I had seen elsewhere with half the quality. I also bought my V & H Big Shots from them. I know they were just looking to get rid of them at the time since exhaust systems for specific bikes sometimes takes quite a while before someone with that bike happens to want that particular exhaust. Again, the price was very good and they even installed them within an hour. I have been very pleased with my experiences.
 
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