THE SIGN outside Halifax Motorsports touts flotation suits, which, if you’re a dealer in Phoenix, probably aren’t part of your usual apparel inventory.
And that’s kind of a shame because a good suit retails for around $500 and is a popular item for ATV riders and snowmobilers in Scott Redden’s market.
Redden says the suits don’t tend to get handed down or resold because the winter riders in his area wear them out during their enthusiastic rallies and rides, so his replacement business is good, too.
“The suits are a safety item for riders who might find themselves on some ice that’s not so thick,” Redden says with Canadian understatement. “The suits have a special membrane to keep you afloat for two or three hours. That can be kind of important here.”
Here is Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, where Halifax Motorsports has grown to impressive annual sales of $1.3 million in less than two and a half years.
‘YOU HAVE TO STOCK IT TO SELL IT’
Redden and his wife, Karli, opened Halifax Motorsports in 2011 as a continuation of their hobby. Starting in 2006, they would drive 12 to 14 hours to Maine and upper New England in search of used vehicles to bring back to Halifax for resale. They shopped auctions, dealers and private sellers found on www.Kijiji.ca -- a classified site in Canada operated by eBay -- for clean, low-mileage vehicles in what Redden calls ‘garage condition,’ and haul them back to Halifax to sell. Their hobby quickly became profitable enough to quit their day jobs and open a retail store.
Redden continues to make the drive at least once a month, because there is simply a greater supply of used bikes and ATVs that meet his criteria (fewer than 10,000 miles and under 5 years old) in Maine and surrounding areas. Scott then shepherds the vehicles through customs and negotiates the international paperwork. Once back at his store, the motorcycles are freshened up and given a standard maintenance servicing, then put on display for resale. Scott says about 60 percent of his motorcycles are cruisers, 30 percent are sport bikes, and the remaining 10 percent fall under ‘miscellaneous.’
The 3,200 sq. ft. store only allows for 600 sq. ft of shop space, so Scott limits his mechanical services. “We do standard preventive maintenance like oil changes and tires, but we don’t get into diagnostics,” he says. A couple of OEM stores in the area take care of those repairs.