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Old 01-03-2013, 02:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lil Joe's Vest - Buyer Beware

I have been wearing a Lil' Joe's vest for a while now and was so thrilled with it that I wanted to order a second one to have just in case something happened to the first. Now at $325/vest that's no small investment, but with the quality of my cut, the fit/style, I was willing to drop the cash.

I was about to place my order directly with Lil' Joe's when I received an e-mail from the FX Shop (Lil' Joe's supplies the guys on SOA now so the FX Shop carries their vests) saying they were having some big sale and gave me a coupon. I thought, great, I can save $100 on the order and it won't come out of Lil' Joe's pocket. So, I placed the order with FX on Nov. 26th, 2012. I even confirmed with Lil' Joe's that it's the exact same vest no matter what dealer I order from.

I finally received my second Lil' Joe's Leather vest yesterday (Jan. 2nd, 2013) after waiting over a month from when I placed the order.

From the first look it was obviously nowhere near the quality of the one I already own and wear. In fact, it looked like a cheap Chinese knockoff and was about half the weight. I was really shocked and thought, this can't be right. I called the owner of Lil' Joe's, took some pics and e-mailed them, and was told he'd call me right back. I explained, very nicely, that I couldn't believe that his tag was on this and I didn't want him receiving any bad press/comments because of someone else's mistake. When I sent him the e-mail I even told him how much I loved the vest I already own.

Today, after no call or e-mail came through, I called him again and was told to "f*** off and send it back". He told me that I wasn't "his customer" and screamed that "he didn't have time to argue with me". Now I was really taken aback. First of all, I explained once again that I was nothing but nice, even going so far as to take pictures so that he wasn't just going on my word. I also explained that I run a club with quite a few people and two different chapters, all of whom are (or at least were) encouraged to purchase vests from Lil' Joe's because of the quality.

This is appalling behavior from any manufacturer, but especially one in this small of an industry who is the single most expensive vest manufacturer on the market. While some of their vests might be amazing quality, I highly suggest seeing them in person before spending the money, and certainly wouldn't expect them to stand behind their so-called "lifetime guarantee". I am very understanding that things do happen and mistakes are made. I wasn't even upset about it, and all I was hoping was that he would see the obvious discrepancy, apologize, and swap me out for a properly made vest. Honestly, I thought that was more than fair. He didn't see it the same way and even called me an a** hole when I explained (after being screamed at) that I had no choice but to make the community aware of these actions.

I attached a few pictures to show you the differences. From left to right here are some notes.

1. Original cut (bottom) with nice thick leather and beautiful curve. Cheap cut (top) with thin leather and harsh edges as well as higher collar

2. Original cut (top) with high end snaps in the correct places. Cheap cut (bottom) with low quality snaps in the incorrect places.

3. Original cut (bottom) with thick leather and nice edges/stitching. Cheap cut (top) with thin leather and crap edges/stitching.

4. Original cut (bottom) with thick leather. Cheap cut (top) with thin leather.

5. Original cut (left) with beautiful stitching and perfect arm holes. Cheap cut (right) with obviously garbage stitching and cheap arm holes.

Very disappointing.
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Last edited by kittonian; 01-03-2013 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You ordered a SOA look-a-like "CUT " and you wonder why you got a P.O.S.???
When dealing with fakes, you get fakes.



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Old 01-03-2013, 03:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for sharing the story.

I don't reckon I was in danger of spending $350 on a vest, but if I was, I would appreciate this info.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webco2 View Post
You ordered a SOA look-a-like "CUT " and you wonder why you got a P.O.S.???
When dealing with fakes, you get fakes.

Lil Joe's has been around longer than the show and I have owned one of their vests for quite some time now. Like I said, the only reason I placed the order with FX is because they sent me a coupon and since they carried the exact same vest I already had, and I wanted a second one as a backup, I was saving almost $100 by doing it that way.

It had nothing to do with ordering some "look alike" from a show.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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dynageno is reading this now saying WTF is this?
I like buying my clothes,boots etc in person. That way I can look it over,feel it,try it on and such. I have a little Joe's vest that is well made. I purchased at a Indy shop years ago. I also understand Little Joe had passed some years ago and the chores of making vests have been handed down. I hope you get this fixed for your sake.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I wonder if it had anything to do with getting it thru a secondary retailer w/ a coupon vs. getting it straight from Lil Joes directly, OR that simply the manufacturing of these vests are being done offshore, and a lil joes tag sewn on. I'd say your primary beef is with who you made your purchase from, you should send it back to them. So saving a hundred bucks got you what you paid for, an imported CHEAPER vest. Obviously it wasn't the same exact vest you already have.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Tim is on the money. You received the "coupon" version of the original.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1bdBagr View Post
I wonder if it had anything to do with getting it thru a secondary retailer w/ a coupon vs. getting it straight from Lil Joes directly, OR that simply the manufacturing of these vests are being done offshore, and a lil joes tag sewn on. I'd say your primary beef is with who you made your purchase from, you should send it back to them. So saving a hundred bucks got you what you paid for, an imported CHEAPER vest. Obviously it wasn't the same exact vest you already have.
Tim
While that would make sense it was not the case and that was confirmed by Lil Joe's. It is the exact same vest, made by, and shipped directly to me from the manufacturer (not FX). In fact, within a few hours of me posting this on a couple of forums I received an e-mail from the guy who berated me at Lil Joe's saying he confirmed that one of his "suppliers" admitted to using the wrong snaps, hammering the leather incorrectly, etc.

He offered to exchange it for a correctly made vest, however, after being treated this way, and receiving no love until public postings were made, I politely declined and am returning it for a full refund.

An additional note is that apparently the FX shop has parted ways with Lil Joe's as they are no longer carrying their products.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Road King Cole is reading this now saying WTF is this?
I also agree with Tim and Dynageno, good advice there.

Curious if it has a "made in XXXX" tag and if your original was USA. Vansons (another quality motorcycle leather manufacturer near me) had tried having stuff made in Pakistan for awhile, but that didn't work out for them.

Hope you don't have any problems getting you money back for that obvious lessor quality vest.

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Old 01-04-2013, 01:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road King Cole View Post
I also agree with Tim and Dynageno, good advice there.

Curious if it has a "made in XXXX" tag and if your original was USA. Vansons (another quality motorcycle leather manufacturer near me) had tried having stuff made in Pakistan for awhile, but that didn't work out for them.

Hope you don't have any problems getting you money back for that obvious lessor quality vest.

rkc
That is an excellent point and we noticed that. The vest I was just sent did not have the Made in the USA tag, whereas the nice one that I've owned for a while does indeed have that tag.

Seems to me like they are trying to save money and have their vests made cheaper overseas. One of the first things that came to mind when comparing the two vests were the words "cheap Chinese knockoff".

FX is being very cool and apologetic and even sent me a return shipping label so that it doesn't cost me anything to get it back to them. As soon as they receive it they will issue me a full refund.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:37 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I am glad to hear that you returned the vest and decided NOT to do business with guys that treat customers that way...especially when you clarified your point. For me, the LEVI jeans are about at the same point,............keep getting thinner, different colored yellow thread for different areas, and fewer belt loops, faading quicker, ...all the while costing 10x what they did in high school. Especially when you could go to a number of discount stores, and buy better quality "clones" for $12.
Hopefully, America will start producing it's own goods, and the quality will get better.....albiet at some extra cost.........BUT>>>
QUALITY ALWAYS COSTS A BIT MORE, usually worth it.
Glad you shoved that vest back down his throat!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:56 PM   #12 (permalink)
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defenitly things to buy in person...and not on coupon day.....and 325$ is about twice what id pay for a vest.....besides the customer service dont giva a fk
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