There are 3 principle places to buy riding gear in Europe:
- FC Moto.de: Only 1 physical store, great online selection, great discounts
- Motoin.de: Only 1 physical store, good online selection, great discounts
- Louis.de: Lots of physical stores, average online selection, average discounts
I wanted to buy the Dainese Pro Armor G back protector for my Rev’it Airwave 3 jacket for level 2 protection. It wasn’t available at FC Moto, and for some reason the reviews for Motoin.de didn’t look satisfactory to me. I’ve been told by friends that it’s actually a good place to buy gear, so probably I’ll give them a try sometime in the future.
Louis.de review: Lovely
Louis had both the G1 and G2 sizes for the Dainese back protector, so that’s where I placed my order. When I tried to create an account with them though, I saw a strange thing.
When you request a new account with Louis, it takes them 2 days to activate it.
That surprised me, I’ve never heard of someone being so thrifty with website accounts. I didn’t want to wait for the account to be active, so I placed the order for the G2 size as a guest, and that went all fine.
I ordered the G2 size because based on the online dimensions available of the Rev’it back protector, it looked like the G2 size will be a perfect fit. It was perfect, a bit too perfect.
The Dainese back protector is not very flexible, at least not as much as a D3O or a Rev’it one. The G2 size was fitting the jacket pocket in such a way that it wasn’t possible to bend it and push it all the way in. It was like parking your car perpendicularly between 2 walls, it can certainly be done, but it’s not going to be easy going in or out.
So I ordered the G1 size from Louis. By this time my precious account had been approved. It was time for the second surprise.
When I got to the checkout screen, a new payment method called “Bill” was available. The description said that you can just place the order, and you can pay within 14 days after receiving the package.
Naturally, I did.
The package arrived pretty quick, and it fit perfect, the good kind of perfect. I kept waiting for Louis to send an online link or something so I could pay for the damn thing, but nothing arrived for a few days. So I emailed them and asked them dudes, I got this thing, how do I pay for it?
They told me that I’d to pay via bank transfer, and that info was on the invoice I’d received. In my defense, that thing was all in German.
By this time the lightbulb in my head also went off, and I realized the reason for the 2 day delay in Louis granting me an account was because they were running a credit check on my delivery address, I presume.
I sent the G2 size back. They made the returns process extremely easy, there’s no extra returns label to print or anything, they have it already printed out and in the box when you get the package. All you gotta to is stick it on the box and send it over.
Louis has free shipping for orders above 200 Euros, but the back protector was only 70 Euros or something, so I paid 4.99 extra for shipping. The third surprise though is that when I returned the item, they refunded the shipping cost as well. That was awfully generous of them, FC Moto didn’t refund the shipping fees when I returned the Alpinestars Flex Pro Elbow protectors in size S.
If I had ordered both the G1 and G2 sizes together in one go, I wouldn’t have needed to worry about the shipping costs and refunds or anything. So when you buy riding gear from a place with free shipping, order multiple sizes, keep what fits and return the rest. That’ll save you a whole bunch of time and hassle.
It took me 5 online orders and 2 months to get my gear in the perfect fit, don’t put yourself through that pain.
My only complaint against them would be that both FC Moto.de and Motoin.de give 10% discount on their products the moment you subscribe to their newsletter. Louis does not do that.
In the end, my experience with Louis has been great, and I would buy from them again.
Their primary value is in the fact that they have a very large number of physical stores, so it’s very easy to try before you buy, and also the returns process can be very easy with a store near you. I didn’t get to try either of those things because of the fucking pandemic, but hey ho.