Making the choice to purchase a scooter is equal parts overwhelming and exciting. The prospect of having a bike of your very own means a lot, but there’s more to buying a scooter than running out to the store and picking up a bike from the first rack you see. If you plan to use your new scooter for commuting, frequent transportation, or anything that goes beyond simply cruising your neighborhood for the simple enjoyment of speed, buying a scooter should not be a decision made in haste. Instead, it’s important to research the product you wish to buy, and how to go about buying it.
Just as all scooters are not made equal, neither are all methods of purchase. Once you have thoroughly evaluated the make, model, size and speed of the scooter you have in mind, there’s still one big step: finding the right place to buy. Owning a scooter is a big responsibility, so purchasing from the right place can make a real difference. The shop or vendor you choose should be known for its reliability, consistency, and quality, as well as for offering benefits like warranty protection, repairs and replacements, and connections to quality service centers.
Making any kind of purchase requires due diligence, especially when you’re looking at high-end motor scooters. These are some factors you should keep in mind before choosing a vendor for the scooter of your dreams.
What to Consider Before Purchasing
There are many factors that should go into where you buy a scooter; driving down the street to your local sporting good store might not get you the best possible deal on what you’re looking for. By comparing and contrasting the pros and cons of different stores, you can find out which option gives you the most bang for your buck.
Knowing how much motor scooters cost will help you determine when and where you should purchase your scooter. In general, purchasing a scooter shouldn’t result in vastly different results from store to store, but sales, markups, and other complications can affect pricing by as much as a few hundred dollars for high end bikes. Call, visit, or search pricing for the bikes you want in a variety of different places, and make sure you’re getting the best possible deal on the scooter you have selected. To truly evaluate the accuracy of pricing, you can also consider checking manufacturer sites for MSRP, guaranteeing you’re not grossly overpaying for the scooter you want. A good store will not overcharge you for products. If you have time to wait, consider checking if the stores you have in mind run sales for events like Boxing Day or Black Friday to see if you can potentially save extra on the list price.
Bear in mind that overhead costs can play into the overall cost of a scooter. Brick and mortar shops often have to pay additional expenses to maintain a storefront than can drive up rates. Online stores are less likely to have these fixed costs, making lower prices a possibility.
You’ve found the bike you want, done the research, and picked a store recommended by a fellow scooter fanatic. So, you stop by to take a look at the bike you have in mind, only to find that it’s out of stock and there’s no expected date for restocking. What now?
A store’s inventory should be a major consideration in your sale. If you know what you want, or you’re considering several different scooters, a store’s inventory is essential to your overall success. A consistent, stable inventory is a sign of an adept business owner and a successful shop. If you cannot find the bike you want, you’re probably not in the right place to make a purchase. If you believe you have found the right shop but it does not support the inventory you have in mind, consider asking the owner to place you a special order.
Benefits and Extras
Besides your scooter, is there anything else you’d like to get out of your purchase? Reputable stores often provide benefits to new shoppers or frequent shoppers to encourage return business. If you choose a vendor that rewards customers for spending or loyalty, you may be able to benefit from extra perks down the road. Ask the stores you are considering if they have a reward program, a discount for return customers, or any other benefits and ways to save.
If certain spending thresholds are met, some stores will throw in add-ons or extras, like helmets, bike racks, or other additions. If you plan on dropping a lot of money on a nice scooter, stores may be more likely to offer you incentives for staying. If you know how to negotiate, you may get a lot more for your money than you additionally planned on.
The available warranty protection on your scooter is among the most important benefits a vendor can offer. Most bikes, like other forms of transportation, come with factory warranties, but these policies are often not all-inclusive, leaving holes when you need protection most. Many reputable vendors will offer additional warranties for purchase, giving you the option to protect your bike from accidents and damage, whether from normal wear or tear, collisions, or vandalism. Some stores will even include these for free with a purchase, offering you extra incentive to buy. Online and brick and mortar stores often offer legitimate warranties, helping with parts, repairs, and protection when needed. Third party vendors, like those on auction sites, may not provide the kind of warranty necessary to protect your scooter from incidents related to use, making what seems like a good deal potentially risky under the wrong circumstances.
Where to Purchase a Scooter
With the popularity of internet vendors, online auction sites, and specialty sporting good stores, there are now hundreds of destinations for scooter sales. Where you choose to buy means a lot, and most options have pros and cons worth considering. Online scooter vendors (such as TaoTao), specialty stores, big box stores, and auction sites can all be excellent places to buy a scooter than will get you where you need to go.
There are countless online sites that specialize in sporting equipment like scooters, offering deep discounts on great products. Most online retailers have less in overhead, meaning that they can keep prices lower in order to stay competitive. Online retailers also tend to work directly with distributors, ensuring high quality goods that can be shipped all over the world.
Online retailers, unfortunately, aren’t all legitimate. Before taking advantage of a deal that sounds too good to be true, do your research, read reviews, and check carefully to make sure you’re working with a name you can trust. In addition, online stores have no way to show tangible products to customers, providing you with something of a mystery until your product arrives.
Specialty scooter and sporting goods stores can be excellent resources for scooters. As these stores are specially geared towards athletic equipment, or scooters in specific, they are often filled with the best products from top brands. In addition, the salespeople who work in specialty stores are generally experts in their fields, providing you with valuable information when you have questions or concerns. Most sporting good stores also have inventory on the floor, allowing you to try different bikes while searching for your perfect fit.
The cost of operating a specialty store is, however, unfortunately high. The overhead to maintain a small business with no governing corporate body can be very steep, leading to higher than average prices. Resources at a specialty store may be strong, but it may be possible to find better prices elsewhere.
Big Box Stores
Big box stores or department stores like Walmart, Target, or Sears can be great all-purpose destinations for everything from household cleaners to groceries. Many of these stores also sell sporting goods, like motor scooters. In general, expenses are often low at these retailers, giving you a great bargain. With reduced overhead due to corporate costs and low labor expenses, a big box store can offer a low cost product in a trustworthy place.
Despite the costs, many big box stores do not carry the performance scooters many riders will be looking for. Selling limited brands that may not meet needs, these stores can be highly hit or miss when it comes to giving you what you have in mind.
Auction sites, like eBay, are becoming more and more common, offering low cost alternatives for new, used, and resale items. These sites often sell a little of anything, including a wide range of scooters in thousands of makes, models, and specifications. While there is no guarantee that the scooter you are looking for will be available, it’s possible to find an excellent deal on a new or gently used bike.
Auction sites, unfortunately, are not always a reliable resource. Third-party sellers are not always honest, and there is only so much a site can do to protect against fraud or impersonation. In addition, most sellers on auction sites do not have access to additional warranties, potentially leaving your new scooter vulnerable in case of incidents. While it’s possible to receive a high-quality product, there’s no guarantee with sellers you cannot meet.
Buying a scooter is a big step, especially when you don’t have a reliable place to purchase lined up. By examining all the factors that go into a purchase, from price to location, it’s possible to make the best possible arrangements for your new scooter. It’s not always easy to choose the best resources for making an expensive purchase, but with research and attention to detail, it’s possible to find the perfect place to buy the scooter you’ve always wanted.