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Leatt pulled our account... similar story.

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I read with great interest the post about Leatt pulling the brace from Thumper Talk. My situation is a bit different, but the results were the same - no distribution opportunity.

I live in a different motorsports world... karting. My company, Team Valhalla Racing, makes and distributes world wide a chest protector that is manufactured to documented certification specifications.

Beginning in June of '06, we were involved in discussions concerning distribution the Leatt Brace. For 8 months we were led to believe that we were going to be the distributor of this item to the karting market. We were told this many times during conversations. Based on these conversations, we took the initiative and presented the brace to WKA (World Karting Association) as a needed safety device and as a result, it was accepted as an approved neck collar and called out by name in the tech manual as a WKA approved piece of equipment.

We presented and promoted the brace at two venues prior to the KMI show which resulted in substantial interest from dealers, kart shops, and the end user. For those of you in motorcross, the KMI show is supposed to be the largest karting trade show in the world. Three days prior to the KMI show in Chicago, we were told that the marketing strategy of Leatt Corporation had changed. They were no longer going to market the item through distributors and dealers, but only through direct sales via their web site.

This change in marketing strategy had to be due, in no small part, to the video that came out on Feb. 9 by David Bailey where he's shown calling out top riders of motocross to step up and make the sport safer. He's also shown holding a Leatt-Brace and makes the comment that riders should wear something like it to be safer while riding. I was specifically told by the person from Leatt, that their phones haven't stopped ringing since that video came out, and they are backordered on braces due to increased sales.

Needles to say we were a bit surprised, confused, and even angered. The fact of the matter is, if we wouldn't have contacted them when we did on that Tuesday before the show, we wouldn't have been told until even later.

During that conversation, I asked what we were supposed to tell the people that wanted to purchase braces and sell them to their customers? I was answered by a person yelling at me "What don't you understand about what I'm saying?" "There are no distributors!" "If they want to buy the brace, they do it over the internet." "If you want to buy a brace Mr. Peters, you buy it over the internet." "Your little go kart world is nothing compared to the 500 calls a day we're getting from the motocross world that's screaming for this brace" "Do I make myself clear?"

I answered, "Yes, you do." To which he replied, asking again even stronger "Do I make myself clear?" My response was "Crystal"

The person that I'm referring to is Mr. Patterson.

About a week previous to this conversation, on Feb 12, we had placed an order for 8 braces for the purpose of displaying and selling them at the KMI show. Mr. Patterson told me that he had the braces in stock and would make sure I had the braces in time for the show. A week before the show, I asked if they were on their way and told them we were leaving early am on Friday the 23rd for the show. Mr. Patterson me that "I haven't let you down yet buddy, they'll be there in time." Then on Tuesday night, Feb 20 we're told we're no longer a distributor, but I'll still get my braces in time for the show... but only because Mr. Leatt instructed him to send them to me.

The next day I waited on UPS to see if they showed... they didn't. That night, I'm at the plant at about 8:00 in the evening, the phone rings, and it's the Leatt office in California. They want my shipping address so they can ship my 8 braces. I'm thinking to myself... why did we wait til 5:00 in the afternoon Pacific time to call Ohio and expect someone to still be at the office? If I hadn't have been still at the plant, hmmm, maybe ..."we tried to contact him for a shipping address, but couldn't get ahold of him"... Keep in mind, they had the order for almost two weeks before the show, they had inventory, but they spent pushing $200 in Next Day UPS charges to get me the braces. They had also previously shipped me braces and had an email instructing them where to send the 8 braces. Something doesn't make sense there.

We weren't surprised that we sold all 8 braces within 5 hrs the first day of the show. I have a brace that is my son's that we continued to display for the remainder of the show. Anyone that asked, we explained the safety features of the product. I told them I thought it was a good piece of equipment to have and directed everyone to their website for more information. I had more than one person try and buy the brace that we had left, one guy even offered my $500 for it. Didn't sell it. I mention that because I think the brace is a very good piece of equipment and is needed. I wouldn't let my son wear it if I didn't believe in it.

The Leatt Corporation... or Mr. Patterson ...has made their business decision and that's their/his right. I personally feel that the decision not to sell to Team Valhalla Racing was a result of discussions pertaining to customer service and differences of business philosophies. I got so sick and tired of listening to him whine about how I had twisted his words when talking with corporate.

I can also tell you for a fact the distributor and retail cost of the brace is higher today than it was in July of '06. I have PDF's with dealer pricing and suggested retail prices to prove it.

Now I know I'm a Midwest farm boy and we're a bit slow out here, but how is it that I'm told in February that "there are no dealers", only internet sales. But, here is is the end of March and there's dealers all over the place? Could it be that I was lied to?

Sorry for the long post. Least my first one was a big one!

Steven Peters

Team Valhalla Racing

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Unreal...Cuddies, you were right. :bonk: I still think it's a legit product, but they are clearly driven by the dollar, not the public's safety.

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Ok, somebody needs to get ahold of whoever is over this company and let them know what this jack ass Patterson is doing. I am sure the higher ups would love to be pointed to these threads.

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Wow. I doubt they realize right now how much damage all this dirty laundry will do to their sales. I've seen it happen time and time again in the wakeboarding world.

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It doesn't seem like it is affecting sales that much since there is a damn back order for months. I sure as hell will never buy one. I dont care how many people say how great they are, I will NEVER do business with a shitty company like them. I will wait on another company to make one and use my 661 neck roll until then.

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allthough they might not read it, im going to email leatt, and give em some links to this forum, and the others, its worth a try, and maybe it could let tt be able to sell that as well,

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Beginning in June of '06, we were involved in discussions concerning distribution the Leatt Brace. For 8 months we were led to believe that we were going to be the distributor of this item to the karting market.......

Thats how long this thing has been out

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same ol same ol. just a different market. soon trump will own the rights.

david bailey needs to know about this also. he wouldnt have done what he did if he new people would be jerked around on safety so some smuck could buy another collector car for his garage.

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Forgive me if I'm wrong, but does that mean you advertised, displayed and promoted their product for free and at a loss for yourself?

Why?

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"Forgive me if I'm wrong, but does that mean you advertised, displayed and promoted their product for free and at a loss for yourself?" "Why?"

DR... I wouldn't say that we advertised, displayed and promoted the 8 braces we had for free or at a loss. We did sell the 8 (4 youth - 4 adult) braces at the retail price, so we did have the profit margin from those.

What we did do "for free" was display in the center of our booth space and promote the brace for the remainder of the first day and then for the remaining days of the show. We handed out a number of business cards with the web site addy for Leatt written on the back so people could order it for themselves when they got home. We treated every person that entered our booth with questions about the brace as a potential customer, even though we told them they would have to order it from the company directly. I can honestly say that not one of those questions was answered with what I wrote here today.

The only person I told our story to was the president of WKA. I felt I needed to explain why my company brought a piece of safety equipment to the board of directors saying it was a good thing to approve.... and then in the end we weren't selling it.

We were asked by a couple of our dealers why we continued to display the brace, dispite the fact that we couldn't sell it. I told them the truth - because we believe in it. Like I said, that's why my son will wear one.

My problem isn't with "Leatt Corporation" or the product, it's with the individual that controlls the product here in the States. I can guarantee you that if the warehouse in CA was full of braces and I called to order one... I wouldn't get it.

It's also amusing to me that Mr. Patterson referred to my "little go kart world" as nothing, but word on the street is that they're developing one specifically for karting. Now, it will be very interesting to me to watch and see if some of the feedback on the brace, and ideas that we gave them in January from our first karting shows, ends up being used. If it does.... then I will have a different opinion of Mr. Leatt and his organization.

Steven Peters

Team Valhalla Racing

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"I can't wait until a competitior comes out with a brace for less $$$"

Trust me, I know it's comin'.

Steven Peters

Team Valhalla Racing

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I can't wait until a competitior comes out with a brace for less $$$

agreed. When a more reputable company like evs or 661 comes out with their version, they will get my business. It's not even about the dollars to me, it's about how they treat their customers.

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Steven Peters

Team Valhalla Racing

Just wanted to thank you for sharing your information.

In the other thread someone said "Chris" instructed for the TT account to be pulled... Do you know who that is?

Probably missed something really obvious as usual...

.

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agreed. When a more reputable company like evs or 661 comes out with their version, they will get my business. It's not even about the dollars to me, it's about how they treat their customers.

Exactly

I'm not going to put a price tag on my safety, however I absolutely refuse to support a crook company

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My problem isn't with "Leatt Corporation" or the product, it's with the individual that controlls the product here in the States....

Well now I am really confused since Chris was the one that allegedly was the person to pull the TT account.

Don't know....

You sound like a great guy that works hard for the good of your sport :bonk:

.

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That's just grand.

I have a Leatt Brace now that I've ordered direct from Leatt at South Africa (I don't live in the US, unfortunately :bonk: ) but I don't think I will ever do business with them again, at least after another company comes out with a comparable product. Which WILL happen. I can't think of any common protective product that is only made by one company.

It's a large business and others will catch up.

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"I can't wait until a competitior comes out with a brace for less $$$"

Trust me, I know it's comin'.

Steven Peters

Team Valhalla Racing

Great! The sooner the better.

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