Monday, March 29, 2010

End the Cheap Chinese Stores

I'm calling for an end to the Cheap Chinese Store.

My rant today will be about the endless supply of Cheap Chinese Stores. One closes and two open every year.

I think it should be a requirement from now on that if someone should decide to call themselves a scooter shop in America they should at least have 1 ( one ) decent brand made in Taiwan, Korea, or Europe. I would say Taiwan is the more affordable of the three options there and there's no excuse you shouldn't have one of these brands.

So if you want to carry every Roketa and Tank brand out there, SUN L or Cheap brand get at least one reputable brand like Eton, CPI, Genuine, TGB, SYM, Kymco, Adly something made in Taiwan. As to high end brands out of China there's only one or two in that price range like CF-MOTO and Benelli.

Why you ask? So that both your staff and your customers can see the difference. It's hard to be a straight shooter in life and have to talk to people who tell you on the phone a Tank scooter is excellent quality. I find myself asking them what planet they live on. The worst thing about it is that they believe they are right. It's hard to talk to a store mechanic or owner when they are convinced brand X is the best brand in the world.

"Sir, I'm sorry but I've actually read the reports on lab test data and those brake pads you purchased are defective, the scooter is imported with headlights that wouldn't meet basic NHTSA standards, and the company offers a 30 day parts warranty which is highly illegal in most states, plus you would probably get sued for a lemon law violation." The reply is usually "what is a lemon law" or "this is the price range my clients want." I'm a firm believer people pay for quality and thats the reason companies like Kymco have made it in the US despite being a little more expensive than the Chinese ATVs or scooters. Consumers want quality.

You have to explain to them the difference. Has anyone driven a Baja lately? The quality is terrible.

If NHTSA actually had more than one or two field people out there checking the Chinese ATVs and Scooters we might have someone playing by the same rules, but they are overwhelmed like much of the gov't these days. Too little staff and too little money. That's the reason we still have so many lawsuits and kids dying on cheap Chinese ATVs. We have to compete with Chinese importers who don't pay taxes, don't have light bulbs that actually comply with US standards, don't pay liability insurance, and on top of that sell below manufacturing cost. I know the small shop owner doesn't care about these big "Macro" issues, but sooner or later it affects them.

One of these cheap Chinese local shops just closed down after they sued the owner for negligence and the state came down on him. The distributor couldn't provide him with parts, guess what the distributor is out of state and couldn't be bothered. The law meant the dealer had to give the clients new bikes or refund their money. He couldn't comply. How many times do we have to watch this happen before people smarten up?

Do everyone a favor carry decent brands of motor vehicles. Real People are riding them and if they die because you purchased the cheapest scooter out there it might come back to you.

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