Are you thinking about buying an ATV or scooter online?
Then I am sure you have checked out the prices in the dealerships and felt that buying a scooter online was the better deal. Some of those online scooter prices are so unbeatable you cannot believe your eyes. But I bet you are unaware of the nightmares that most online scooter buyers have experienced.
There are several reasons why scooters and ATV's prices are cheaper online than in a dealership. Did you know that most, but not all on line websites are run out of someone's basement. Let me explain eight hidden facts to you that you maybe unaware of. Don't believe me just because it is written here, do some research on Google about other people's online scooter purchases and their nightmares.
1) The very first consideration is, are you comparing apples to apples? A scooter that looks like an apple online may really be a orange, or even a lemon. Just because the body of the scooter appears to be the same as the one you saw in the dealership, it in fact may be manufactured by a completely different manufacturer with lower quality control or substandard parts.
2) Is the shipping price included? Does the shipping cost include delivery to the ground in a residental neighborhood? Shipping can cost you as much as $200 or more, did they mention that in the purchase details? Or did they tell you the shipping is free? Many trucking companies charge extra to deliver to a residental address, normally about $40.00. They also charge extra for a lift gate, normally another $40.00. If the web site offered free shipping it most likely is not paying for these items. You get to pay for them when your scooter arrives. If the scooter and crate weighs 250 lbs, how are you going to get it off the truck. The drivers responsibility is to move the freight to the back of the truck only. You need to get it off the truck.
One other common stunt some web sites pull, is to tell you the shipping is included. But they forget to tell the trucking company and when your bike arrives the trucking company wants a huge fee for trucking and COD charges, $260 and more. Then the web site claims that the trucking company was not suppose to bill you. The trucking company is not refunding the trucking fees to you. You'll need to get the money back from the web site; good luck!
3) Who is going to assemble the bike? Some sites will state that some assembly required, or that you can assemble it in minutes. An ATV or scooter takes about 2 to 3 hours to unpack and assemble. Do you have the appropriate tools and know how to put one together? If not, you need to hire a scooter shop to do this for you. Most scooter shops will charge you between $55 to $70 an hour and you will need to get the bike to them so they can assemble it for you.4) Shipping Damages! Oh, did they forget to explain in detail about shipping damages? I am sure that they told you that the trucking company is fully insured. If the bike has any shipping damage (the crate must be damaged) the trucking company is responsible, but you must claim the damage before the driver leaves. You cannot unpack the bike yet or your shipping damage claim is not visible for the shipping company's inspector to see. You must wait until their inspector arrives to inspect the damaged crate, about one to 2 weeks. Then you get to argue with the trucking company. They are most likely to claim that the bike was not packaged correctly, which caused the damage, unless a forklift drove over the carton. The inspector will tell you to contact the shipper, the place who sold you the bike. So this leaves you arguing with the Web site you purchased it from. Now all you have to do is locate their phone number and the person who handles damaged items, if they have one. They will claim that shipping damage is not their responsibility, call the trucking company. Which leaves you paying for all the damages, this could be hundreds of dollars more out of your pocket.
5) Concealed damages are another nightmare. These bikes were packaged in China and placed in a container, one on top of the other. Shipped by boat through rough seas, moved all around at the docks. Each carton opened and inspected by US Customs and then again by the EPA. Then trucked to a distributor and handled by a forklift. Then resealed and shipped to you. Now, if there is any damage to the bike, the web site will tell you it is shipping damage, see Item #4. If they do take the responsibility for the damage, they will charge you for the shipping of the replacements parts. Their shipping charge is almost always as much as the parts retail price as well as the actual shipping cost of the part. It is actually cheaper for you to just go buy the part locally. And do not expect them to pay for the labor to install the new part, that does not happen.
6) How about the warranty. What did they tell you, 90 days, 1 year? Did you read the fine print? It states parts only for the engine not the whole bike. Most of these online sites do not stock parts and they do not pay for the labor. You get to pay for the shipping, see item #5. Now remember, they do not plan on you buying another scooter from them nor do they want the servicing of the bike, a dealership does.
If you bring your online purchased bike into a scooter shop for repair, they will not honor the warranty, they did not sell you the bike. Hence, why should the shop pay for anything. Your on your own again.
7) Parts are another problem. The engine and drive train should not be a problem for your local scooter repair shop to fix. However, when it comes to anything else, they may not be able to locate a replacement part. Not even from the web site you bought the bike from.
We have had this problem several times. Recently a customer brought in a Milano Viva 150 that needed a mirror and a speedometer cable. After 3 weeks of searching we were unable to locate either part. The mirror was not the big problem, we just replaced both mirrors so they matched. The speedometer cable was impossible to find, and we had to tell the customer we could not fix the non functioning speedometer. So now he has no speedometer, it will read 329 miles for they rest of its life.
8) Bikes received damaged by the dealerships are returned to the distributor for replacement. The distributors are not going to tell their dealers who buy lots of bikes to pound salt. They'll exchange the bikes for them; but what happens to the bike once the distributor gets it back? You buy it online!! See item #5. Unless you think they just scrape them.
You need to remember these online sites drop ship from a distributor that they can buy bikes from cheaply. You know the old saying "You get what you pay for!"