Amazon ships helmets in their retail boxes, 3rd party vendors often ship more slowly than dedicated Web motorcycle shops, and I like supporting companies that support motorcycle enthusiasts.
We had to buy three new helmets recently. Two of them expired due to old age, and we had to buy a helmet for G-Unit. We purchased (and returned) several helmets before we found some that we liked, and that fit.
We purchased helmets from Revzilla, Amazon, and Motorcycle Closeouts. Some of the Amazon helmets were sold and shipped directly from Amazon, some were sold by other companies and shipped from Amazon, and some were sold and shipped by other companies as part of the larger Amazon marketplace. We’ll use the term “3rd party” to describe the latter two cases throughout this article.
The helmets that were purchased from Revzilla and Motorcycle Closeouts were packed very well, and were all in excellent condition. Zero problems, even when we had to return them (sorry guys, it’s us, not you).
The helmets from Amazon were all problematic for various reasons. Here’s why I won’t be buying any more helmets from amazon.com:
Helmets shipped only in their retail boxes
Helmets fulfilled directly by Amazon were shipped in their retail boxes. Retail boxes offer very little protection. They might have one, very thin sheet of styrofoam inside, but it’s not meant to protect the helmet from damage.
I was concerned that any damage the protective shell took in transit that would be hidden by the exterior shell. Every shipment we received this way had damage, here’s an example of a Scorpion EXO helmet:
Additionally, the box was left on our porch like this, making the contents quite clear to anyone who wanted to steal it. It was also raining that day, which isn’t going to do us any favors.
The proper way to ship a helmet is to put the retail box in a shipping box, and then use appropriate packing material to keep the retail box from sliding around and being crushed during transit.
Helmets bought through Amazon’s marketplace (but from sellers other than amazon.com) were shipped properly. I think this is because those sellers were “real” motorcycling accessory companies, whereas Amazon just treated them like any other commodity item.
Slower order fulfillment from 3rd party sellers
RevZilla and Motorcycle Closeouts fulfilled (shipped) my orders in 1 or 2 business days. I bought something from RevZilla that had a longer delay, but they were upfront about it.
It took as long as 5 business days to ship helmets from 3rd party sellers on Amazon.
I’m not sure why this happened.
I wonder if these smaller companies that sell through Amazon lack the infrastructure to quickly fulfill orders of their more established competitors. I didn’t recognize any of the names of these 3rd party sellers. I’ve been buying motorcycle gear online since 2005, and I’m familiar with all of the major and secondary players.
Supporting businesses that support the community
I buy from Amazon or other big stores because of wider product selection, lower prices, faster fulfillment speed, and convenience. Sometimes other companies will compete on these aspects. However, I will sometimes buy from non-Amazon sites because I want to support that company more than I want a better deal or a faster delivery.
Motorcycle Closeouts has been around forever. They have a special place in my heart because that’s where I first bought Sedagive?’s gear when I wasn’t sure if she would like motorcycling (or me).
RevZilla has also been in business for a long time, and I really, really value their video reviews. They were very helpful in making decisions about helmets, especially given that we were shopping for three different people with three different head shapes and three different preferences.
A motorcycle helmet is just another product to Amazon. It makes me feel good to support companies made up of riders, for riders. Sometimes that’s worth a little more $$$ or time.
I am an Amazon affiliate. I am not affiliated with any other company explicitly or implicitly mentioned in this article other than being a customer.