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Avoid the Drop Shipper and Volume Scooter Dealer
A problem many people encounter when buying online is that they are so motivated to find a scooter for the lowest price possible that they end up buying from some of the worst online dealers around. This is due to the fact that in order to sell scooters for the lowest possible price the online dealer has to operate in way that is really detrimental to the customer. There are two significant ways that some online dealers have accomplished their rock bottom prices.
The first way online scooter dealers create rock bottom prices is by being nothing more than a drop shipper.
The Drop Shipper
First, let us establish that the original intent of drop shipping was a fantastic idea. The intent of drop shipping was to avoid unnecessary logistical movement of retailed products. When retailers began selling online, the products they sold were first shipped from the supplier to the retailer to hold. When the customer bought a product, it was then shipped from the retailer to the customer. In all the product was shipped twice, once to the retailer, and then again to the customer.
Drop shipping was a service that suppliers began offering retailers for online purchases. Instead of initially shipping the product to the retailer and then passing those costs on to the end customer, drop shipping allowed the retailer to sell product that was still at the supplier. Once the retailer sold it, the supplier sent it directly to the customer. The product cost the customer less because the product shipped only once. Everyone wins, right?
Well they did, until drop shipping became a service that anyone could sign up for. In the above scenario, the product being sold is a product the retailer already knows how to support after the sale. Drop shipping is just a service to enhance the retailerís offerings. In fact, even though the product shipped from the supplier to the customer, the drop shipping agreement requires that the retailer provide support for the sale, and not the supplier.
The Abuse of Drop Shipping
But today drop shipping is really being abused, and itís the customers who are suffering. Itís being abused by online retailers who know nothing about the products being drop shipped. It works like this. Joe Schmoe and his friends, who know nothing about motor scooters at all, sign up for a drop shipping agreement with a motor scooter supplier, and set up a website to sell scooters. The prices on the website are determined by one thingÖ the drop ship costs. While real retailers of motor scooters can opt to sign up for a drop shipping service as well, they set the price of their scooter with the knowledge of how much it takes to support the customer after the sale. Joe Schmoe and his friends have no knowledge of those costs, nor do they have the intent, nor capability or capacity, to even support the customer after the sale. The result is Joe Schmoe and his friends have the lowest prices available on scooters on the internet. Customers love the prices, buy scooters from them, find out they need support,
and low and behold Joe Schmoe and his friends have no support to offer. And the supplier that sent you the scooter isnít going to help you because the sale was made under the agreement that the retailer provides all customer support.
Again, weíre not saying to avoid getting a drop shipped scooter. What we are saying is donít get a scooter from an online retailer who is doing nothing more than drop shipping. If you are going to buy online, buy from an online retailer that actually operates a local scooter showroom, or actually manages a warehouse of scooters. While they may ship you a drop shipped scooter when you buy from them, they at least have hands on knowledge of the product you are buying. Their costs are going to be a little higher than the drop ship only online dealer, but thatís because theyíre prepared to support you after the sale.
The Volume Dealer
The second way online scooter dealers create rock bottom prices is by focusing far more on volume than on the customer experience.
To accomplish this tactic an online retailer drops his prices significantly below his competitors which actually raises his total revenue as a result of increased sales. The problem that rises with this business model is that the discounted online retailer may have twice as many sales as his competitor, but is only making 10% more in overall revenue, meaning the support staff is likely the same size but with twice as many customers to support. This creates an environment where customers frequently get frustrated with the lack of support available after the sale (for example).
Unless you are the type of customer who never needs a part, or is willing to wait months for paperwork without complaining, avoid these types of online retailers like the plague.
It is the numerous bad experiences that scooter buyers have had with these types of online dealers that has led to the bad reputation buying scooters online now has. However, if you the customer can: 1) avoid these types of online dealers; and 2) prepare yourself for what the experience of buying a scooter online is like by READING THIS ARTICLE first, then you can join the many online
scooter buyers who are perfectly happy with their purchase.
Recommended Online Dealers
So where can you find online scooter retailers that are real scooter showrooms or warehouses that arenít discounting their scooters so deeply that they canít support the products they sell?
We can suggest a few that we are aware of, but this list is not all encompassing. Literally any small mom & pop local scooter shop can sell their products online and do a great job of supporting you after the sale. And given there are hundreds of these across the country we canít list them all here. The list below references the larger operations of online scooter retailers that operate real scooter showrooms or manage real scooter warehouses, and havenít discounted their scooters so much that they canít support them after the sale: