If you are looking to buy a scooter or motorcycle online, it can be a frustrating and costly experience. You may have heard some horror stories about scooters that fall apart after one hour, shipping damage, inability to find spare moped parts If you are not careful, your online scooter shopping experience can turn into a real online shopping nightmare. This page is aimed at giving you pointers on what to look for when selecting a scooter and an online motor scooter store.
Obviously, we want you to buy your scooter from us at http://evosales.com, but if we do not carry the scooter or moped you are looking for, or in the extremely rare situation you find a better online price, these online scooter buying tips may come in handy.
What you are dealing with:
There are many Chinese scooter factories and only a few body parts manufacturers. The result is many models that look exactly the same; the internal parts however are not. Many scooters look alike but they are not created equal. Unfortunately, there is no way to distinguish between the good and bad quality scooters looking at the pictures online. In order to make the best out of your purchase, you need to evaluate the quality of the online scooter store you are choosing to buy your scooter or moped from.
We hope you will find these tips useful in your online scooter shopping comparison and scooter selection. You should know that there are many scooter forums you may find useful tips and information. You should also beware of super low prices. If you shop for a moped online and found it in 3 online scooter stores for $1500 with delivery and then you find one that's $400 cheaper for the same thing, don't jump on it; make sure you call the company and confirm everything by email.
1. Search for your scooter online. When you see a model you like, write down the following information:
Scooter type touring deluxe scooter, racing moped, 250cc
Engine type 2 or 4 stroke for gas scooters and mopeds. Make sure it's EPA approved. Most
Engine size 50, 150, 250 or more cubic centimeters. Usually indicated by cc i.e. 150cc for gas scooters.
Transmission type automatic, semi-automatic or manual clutch, 3, 4 or 5 gears
Shipping cost. Please be sure to note if the price includes shipping to your door with a lift gate. Scooters and mopeds are heavy items. Some online moped companies offer you a cheap moped price but then have you pick it up at the 'closest' terminal. Other scooter and moped com will quote free shipping to a business and add $120 for residential and lift gate delivery.
URL of online store offering the scooter. This is important because there are many sites offering many bikes, you may not remember where you saw the one you really like or the site that offered the best price.
Beware of the specifications given by the website. For example, if you find the same scooter and one place says it will do 40MPH and another says 65MPH, one of the 2 sites is wrong. The better online scooter stores will make an effort to give accurate specifications.
Check the pictures. If the online scooter store is only offering a small picture of the item or if the picture is blurry, this is usually an indication that they are trying to hide something from you. If on the other hand, they offer many large pictures and they look like they took them themselves, then you can have a little more confidence in that online scooter store.
Once you are done with your preliminary search and selected a few models you like, go back to your search engine and perform a more detail search, for example, if you found a mini chopper 110cc you like, enter 110cc 4 stroke gas mini chopper in your search. This will insure you are comparing apples to apples. Don't get stuck on one body style, we understand you want to get a scooter you like but giving yourself only 1 choice may be a big mistake, be flexible.
Most online scooter stores assign their own model number to each item so searching by model number is useless. You should also know that some scooters come with different engines, the picture looks the same but the engine is different.
2. Compare the prices and make sure you include the shipping cost. Beware of large price differences. If you see most online scooter stores sell a particular item for around $500, be very careful if all of a sudden you see a scooter com selling it for $300. Large price differences usually mean different quality. In a case like this, be sure to compare the details on the pictures (the way the engine looks, pipes, headlight...) Do not assume shipping is free if the site does not clearly state: free shipping on that particular model. A good online scooter store will show you the shipping cost upfront. Please note that shipping can account for up to $200 of the purchase price. Please be careful with this one; some scooter.com sites advertise free shipping but then charge extra for residential and lift gate (can run more than $120 extra). Others give free shipping but only to the closest terminal; you may end up having to drive 100 miles + to get your scooter. You should also check if the shipment is insured or if they charge extra for insurance.
3. Carefully read the online scooter stores warranty and return policy. What you can expect is a 7 day return policy if the scooter has not been used and 30 day warranty. Make sure the warranty also covers labor (or at least part of it). Check the refused and cancel order policy. See if there is a restocking fee and what your are responsible for.
4. Pay special attention to the shipping damage policy. Scooters are prone to shipping damage; some company hold the buyer responsible for shipping damage. If there is shipping damage (about 5 to 10% of the shipments get some kind of damage), you should note that DHL, UPS and FedEx do not pay the claims on scooters (shipping insurance only works if they lose the package or if they totally destroy it.) If the online scooter store holds you responsible for shipping damage, you may be out of luck. They will tell you to make your claim with the shipping company, this may take months and in most cases, you will not get paid. If the online scooter store you select ships via an LTL trucking company (such as we do at http://evosales.com) as opposed to the common carriers (UPS, DHL and FedEx), you have much less to worry about as LTL shipments are insured in most casers and the carriers will pay the claims for damage 95% of the time. Most people do not take the time to read the policies before buying; this can be a big mistake. Its only an investment of 5 minutes of your time and can save you lots of money and headaches. You may also want to print the warranty and policies and keep it as a record.
5. See if they offer part and product support. Dont be shy. If you have questions or concerns, call or send an email to the online scooter store and ask them. Some online motor scooter stores do not have any parts and are not able to get them.
6. Check the stores references. For example, see if they have a Better Business Bureau report. Go to bbbonline.org/consumer/ and enter the companys name and zip code. Many companies have a BBB report even if their website does not display the BBB logo. Try to do a search for the company name on your search engine. If a company has more than 3 complaints with the BBB, they can't sign up to become a BBB member.
See if the store has a rating on bizrate.com, shopping.com, pricegrabber.com and other shopping portals.
7. Find a shop that can work on the bike. It's a good idea to call local shops to see if they can work on the bike. You should also ask them if they can assemble the bike for you or check the assembly after you did it. Any local small engine repair shop such as a scooter, independent motorcycle and lawnmower shop may be able work on it. If you live in a metropolitan area, you will usually find a repair shop within a 5 mile radius from your house or work. If you find a near by repair shop and the online scooter store you are buying from has parts for your bike, you are ready to pay for you order...
8. Pay by credit card or PayPal. If you have a debit card, pay by check or wire transfer, you may have no recourse if you do not receive the right merchandise (or do not receive any merchandise). If you pay by credit card or PayPal, you are protected so long as you follow the policies as shown on the online scooter store. Please note that if you don't have a credit card, you can open a PayPal account and pay by check even if the online scooter store does not accept checks.