The Hardest Part of Shopping…

…is knowing where to go.

Part of the fun of endurance for me is all the stuff that it can entail.  My motto is, “If you can’t ride fast, ride pretty.”

I think this picture makes my point:

Note all the coordinating purple and gold and wild tights (from Evelyn).
Although my shopping is down to pretty much a bare minimum now (not much I actually need anymore), I still end up picking up to occasional replacement piece…stuff does wear out over time.
But it’s really hard to decide where to shop.  I’ve had the pleasure of having very, very positive encounters with all of the endurance vendors I’ve ever done business with.  I’d go back to every single one of them…and many of them, I have.  You can see the “Recommended Gear and Vendors” tab at the top of the page for a more detailed write-up of some of my favorites.
But yesterday, Action Rider Tack got a double thumbs-up from me.  I love browsing their webpage…they tend to stock stuff no one else does, and I’m pretty much insatiably curious about what’s out there, even if it’s stuff I don’t use or need.
After about an hour of browsing, I finally placed my order (proper sharpener for my loop hoof knife, if anyone’s curious).  Less than an hour after placing it, I received a notification that my package was shipping out, along with a fabulous, creative customer service email from the ladies at ART, thanking me for my order.
Now that’s fast turnaround!  Definitely impressed me, and I’m sure I’ll be placing future orders there.  
I have to spread out where I order things, since I like/am friends with quite a few of the vendors out there.  It helps when a specific product is only carried by one vendor.  
But I love good customer service.  I’ve been raised in a small-business environment where I’ve watched my parents go out of their way to provide their clients excellent customer service in both the carpet cleaning business and memory art business.  During high school/college, I working in a shipping/mailbox center that emphasized cheerful, helpful customer service.  That has continued to be the case now in working at Renegade.  
So I’ve pretty much had a lifetime of providing customer service or seeing what good customer service looks like (and bad…I’m looking at you, ASU and Gateway CC…good customer service obviously isn’t part of the college make-up), so when I’m on the receiving end of it, it feels really good to know that plenty of other people out there also care.

4 thoughts on “The Hardest Part of Shopping…

  1. Those are some extremely classy tights, Ashley. I got my hi-tie from ART and I agree, they're awesome! Their shipping email makes me giggle every time.

    (I also got an ART free shipping coupon with my top-ten hoofpick, and I am trying very hard to ignore it. Do not need! Be good, Funder, you don't need anything else!)

  2. Ah ha, another appreciator of the wild tights! (I get harassed about them at the boarding stable every time I wear them, since no one else is a crazy endurance rider. I call them my “Emergency Beacon For When My Pony Dumps Me In A Ditch” tights.)

    I'm gonna be a bad influence and say, “There's always something you need!” Free shipping is one of those things that makes me very happy (the main draw for an Amazon Prime membership), so I'd definitely be using that coupon.

  3. I just spent SO MUCH MONEY at the convention though!

    Although, now that you mention it, those stupid discount stirrups DID make my feet go numb, and they do have caged easyride stirrups… that's more of a safety issue than a frivolous want, right??

  4. DO IT!!!

    Sorry, I did say I was a bad influence, right?

    A good pair of stirrups is SO worth it, though. All it took was one trail ride in normal western stirrups when the pony jumped up a rock outcropping and my foot went the whole way through the stirrup and around my ankle (even with paddock boots on). I was on the phone, ordering a pair of good endurance stirrups the next day.

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