Thursday, April 27, 2006

Why we don't sell "EBAY" drop-shipped scooters!

We sell name brand scooters that we have ridden, tested and serviced. We are always evaluating new scooters to sell, and have found that the quality of many no-name scooters manufactured in mainland China, sold on "Ebay" and "drop-shipped" to your door are of poor quality.

Cheap scooters are exactly that - cheap. When comparing no-name "Ebay" scooters side by side with a Kymco, Genuine or TGB for instance, every single part, from the hose clamps and screws holding the body panels, to the metallurgy of the engine cylinder and cases are of inferior quality.

This picture is of a 4 stroke 250cc liquid cooled engine from a scooter we tested, and that many internet dealers are now selling. The exhaust valve broke off inside the engine, clanked all around resulting in what you see in the picture. The cylinder itself is also cracked. This one blew up on us on US Rte. 95 near Philly. Needless to say, we do not sell this scooter even though the price is low and the margins high.

The quality of Chinese scooters will definitely get better, but our opinion is that they're just not there yet. The current problem is simply that many factories are hastily put up with no manufacturing experience, the workers poorly trained, and they have no concept of quality control. Many internet dealers are simply ordering scooters from these factories at the lowest possible price.

Many "Ebay" scooter sellers are unlicensed and inexperienced, simply working out of their garages or cheap warehouses looking to "cash in" on the scooter upswing. Parts are unavailable, there is no tech help, and many of these scooters cannot be legally registered or insured. This business model is definitely more profitable than the brick and mortar shops like ourselves.

That being said, many of the major motorcycle/scooter manufacturers are outsourcing to mainland China, to take advantage of the lower labor costs. Yes, we do sell on Ebay (usually pick up only), and a few "Made in China" scooters, but only from licensed, reputable distributors with good support and part availability. From you local dealer, you get a fully prepped and tested scooter, and not a scooter in a big box without the front wheel on, that doesn't start or run.