My wife is one with all of the “gift-getting” talent. I either procrastinate for way too long, or I get stuck in “analysis paralysis.” I simply don’t have her eye for the perfect gift. On the other hand, I usually don’t have much trouble coming up with gift ideas for myself. I guess that might be true for all of us. We probably know what we would want ourselves, but it’s not always so easy to figure out what someone else wants.
With the holidays fast approaching, there’s a good chance that you’ll find customers inside your store looking for gift ideas. Let’s walk a mile in their shoes, shall we? They’re in your dealership looking for gift ideas for their spouses or family members who happen to ride. If they don’t ride themselves, they’re probably feeling a bit out of place on your showroom floor. They’re trying to come up with gift ideas while also trying to stick to their budget.
If you were to approach this type of customer, are you prepared with a few gift suggestions? Or do you know what questions to ask so you can help that person narrow down his or her choices? You have an opportunity to help customers find the right gift at the right price, so let’s explore some options you can give them.
Starting Small: $1 to $99
Let’s start out small, and work our way up. If your customer is looking for a small, inexpensive gift, there are lots of options to choose from. If they’re looking for stocking stuffers, I would start with the branded memorabilia in your store: cups, hats, socks, keychains and everything in between. I know some riders who collect T-shirts from their favorite motorcycle brands. Maybe they’d like die-cast models of their favorite bikes to display on their desks. These types of gifts can really bring a smile when they’re opened.
Riding Accessories and Gear
Moving up a notch, let’s talk about smaller but very useful pieces of riding gear. This category consists of safety glasses, ear plugs, gloves and so on.
An old, worn-out set of grips can be unsightly, but many riders will continue to ignore them as they deteriorate. This always surprised me as they’re so inexpensive and easy to replace. Why suffer with old grips? For $10-15, a new set of grips could be the perfect gift idea.
If the rider has armored gear, these inserts can typically be swapped out for upgraded units which offer added protection in a crash. This relatively cheap upgrade will offer increased impact protection in a collision, and that’s a good thing for everyone.
What if they’re looking for something more convenient? A handlebar-mounted phone mount offers the rider the ability to quickly access their device while on the go, glance down for turn-by-turn navigation and more. If he or she were to choose this as a gift, be sure to offer a phone charger along with it.
Small, compact tool kits are another great idea in this category. Nothing too big or heavy — just the necessities, like a mini screwdriver, sockets, ratchet, wrenches and so on. The last item in this category would be a kickstand pad, also known as a “puck.” These pads help to distribute the load from the kickstand and provide more traction to help prevent the bike from falling over while parked.
If they’re looking for something in the “peace of mind” category, I would suggest a portable battery jumper. These jump packs are pretty inexpensive, and they can be a real life saver if your battery dies unexpectedly. They’re surprisingly compact as well: not much bigger than a modern smartphone. I’ve had one of these jump packs in every vehicle I own for years now, and I highly recommend them!
If the customers is looking for more of an upgrade, let’s talk about helmet visors. A colored visor can be a nice aesthetic upgrade, but a tinted visor is more of a functional upgrade. Depending on which helmet the giftee owns, it may be possible to upgrade to an auto-tinting visor that can tint itself based on ambient lighting. These visors are terrific; I own one, and I love it. It saves me from having to bring multiple visors with me all the time. There’s another major upside to auto-tinting visors: If the lighting changes suddenly like when you enter a tunnel or go under a bridge, the tinting can react quickly, so you’re not left blind or dazzled by the light.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention pin-lock visors. Pin-lock visors helps to prevent moisture from building up on the inside by using a pocket of air trapped between the visor and the liner, which acts as an insulator. This is the same principle used to insulate the windows in your house but on a much smaller scale. However, for those of us who ride in colder temperatures, having that anti-fogging protection can be a real game changer!
Let’s round out this category with some of the things that riders probably wouldn’t think to buy for themselves. Ask your customers if they know how old their giftees’ helmets are. Many helmet manufacturers will offer replacement parts even after the helmet is no longer being made. I can tell you that I never replaced the helmet liner inside either of my helmets, and I probably should have! The foam can break down over time and begin to smell. Liners are rather inexpensive, and it’s a practical sort of gift a rider may never think about asking for.
Thinking Bigger: $100-plus
If your customer is looking for a really special gift idea or for something more valuable than anything we’ve covered so far, we’ve still got a few suggestions for you. These gift ideas may be a bit unconventional, but they can be an extremely thoughtful gift to the right person.
Rider Safety Training
I’ve talked about rider safety training a few times. I’m a big proponent of education and keeping your riding skills as sharp as possible. My wife and I started riding motorcycles thanks in part to a very thoughtful wedding gift: a rider’s education course. One of our friends paid for us both to take a weekend riding course at a local motorcycle dealer, and it was such a terrific experience for both of us.
Let me put this into perspective: When the course started on Saturday morning, my wife had never even turned a motorcycle on before. By Sunday afternoon, she passed her riding skills test with flying colors. And, of course, I passed the test as well, but I’m more proud of my wife than I am of myself. These rider’s education courses can really make a big difference to a rider who is just starting out. But rider training isn’t only for beginners! Some dealers will offer advanced training courses that are one-on-one and really focus on helping a more experienced rider to hone his or her skills and gain some more confidence.
Riding Apparel and Accessories
Now let’s talk about riding gear for a minute. If you’re like me, you can never have too much of it. There’s always something else I’d like to add to the collection, and chances are your customers may feel the same. One of the great things about this industry is that there’s a piece of gear out there to fit any rider’s needs for any weather condition and any type of riding that person is planning on doing. So, this means that any piece of gear could be a potential gift idea. Maybe the rider needs a jacket for hot weather or a pair of proper riding boots. It’s safe to say that we’ve all been caught out in the rain before, so maybe a nice set of rain gear would make for a good gift.
I’d like to wrap up this list with what became my favorite piece of gear: a helmet communication system. Helmet communicators absolutely fall into the convenience category — and come with a pretty hefty price tag. But I can tell you from experience, if you ride in groups or ride with a passenger often, this might just be the best piece of gear you can buy. It’s a game changer, the ability to talk in real time with your riding group and coordinate fuel stops, breaks, meals, or potential road hazards or animals on the side of the road. Communication isn’t the only benefit they have to offer. You can connect your phone to stream music, turn-by-turn navigation and more. Best of all, there are communicators out there for every shape and style of helmet. If riders don’t wear a helmet (there’s another gift idea), there are helmetless headsets out there as well.
So, as we head into the holiday season, what gift ideas will you offer to your customers?