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Old 12-06-2012, 06:42 PM   #16
redhandmoto
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Renting. Mmmm. What are the liability insuance burdens like for that? Reasonable? Have rented scoots on vacation before and often wondered.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:52 AM   #17
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Kenny: something to consider with your business plan...
http://www.sportiquescooters.com/ind...ues&Itemid=101
Colin Shattuck of Sportique Scooters and Pride of Cleveland Phil have experience selling Chinese Scooters alongside their other quality brands, and it isn't good.
Just like in Real Estate or any other type of sales, a positive experience brings loyal customers back for more.
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:21 AM   #18
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In your city I think you need an upscale option for scooters along side a quality bread and butter maker like Kymco. You may need to start with just one and get the upscale maker a little later so you can meet their demands for new dealers. Many potetial owners there will have an image to keep. I would also sell discounted parts on the web as part of your buisness plan. This will help in the winter slow season.
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Old 12-08-2012, 06:55 AM   #19
kfsinc
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Congrats on a great plan!!

If you haven't already, talk to the people at http://www.flatsquirrelscooters.com on Randall Rd. in Algonquin / Lake in the Hills. Very similar demographics to Naperville. They've been around for a few years and will certainly know a little about the market.

I like your idea of rental, Americans in general don't know the joys of scootering and rentals will be a good way to get them into it (remember your first experience). I'd also find a way to market to the younger crowd, certainly to the college kids and even to high schoolers. In the Naperville demo, many kids have their own cars. You'll need to make a scooter 'cool'. Maybe a promo tie in with the high school or college??

Here in Crystal Lake, we have started to see a few scooter gangs -- groups of high schoolers riding around -- very good to see and they are clearly having a blast.

Regarding the comments on getting an upscale brand -- I fully agree that you will need to offer a known brand. Scooters are a tough niche -- between cool and can't afford a car. In Indiana, they are known as the only means of transportation for those with a DUI -- not the image you want in Naperville.

Kymco may be a good start, but I would not go with an unknown. You might be able to fill in that niche with a few used Vespas or even Hondas. Given the upscale nature of your market, you customer will certainly want a strong brand image, and will be willing (and able) to pay for it.

Best of luck -- always good to see a new venture!
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:27 PM   #20
JerryH
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I have to agree about the Bintelli brand. They have a good pitch, but they are the same Chinese scooters everyone else is importing/selling under an almost infinite number of different names. The styling is instantly recognizable as Chinese. The Vibe 150 is the same GY6 Honda Joker clone the Chinese have been making forever. There is just no way you can sell a decent quality 150cc scooter for $1599. The Kymco Agility 125 is the single exception to the rule, though they are 125cc and cost over $2000 now. They are a very basic scooter, Kymco opted for quality over style. They may also be a loss leader, it's very possible Kymco is not making a profit on them, and is using them for advertising for repeat customers that will buy something bigger and more expensive next time. I did find something interesting on the Bintelli site I have never seen before. "Does not include shipping and prep fees that each dealer may choose to impose" Most Chinese and Taiwanese scooter dealers here do not "choose" to impose these fees, while Japanese dealers double or even triple them.

Money can be made selling Chinese scooters. It mostly seems to be a matter of luck. We have two scooter dealers here which sell Chinese scooters exclusively. Campus Scooter, and Performance Scooter. They are both located near ASU, and have been around for 3-4 years now. And Scooter Invasion is back to selling them, as "budget scooters" after almost going out of business some time ago because of them. I think if I were selling Chinese scooters, I would tell the potential customer about their poor quality, and that I did not recommend them, but sell them because some people want a scooter based only on low price. If they choose to buy one anyway, I would at least make sure they know what they are buying.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:04 PM   #21
Motovista
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyT View Post
[IMG][*]Scooter sales
The average Bintelli Dealership sells 150 scooters per year. Given the demographics of Naperville and in spite of the cold weather we experience a few months of the year, I anticipate Naperville Scooters to be far more than an average dealership. Their more active dealerships are currently selling 300+ scooters per year, and this would be my target volume in the second year.
[/B]The average Bintelli dealership does about $50K in revenues per year in the service center. The larger ones do more than double those numbers. Again, I don't expect Naperville Scooters to be an average dealership.
When you consider that Bintelli has not been around a year, those are great statistics. Between these figures and the generous warranty reimbursement Bintelli pays, which works out to about $8 an hour if your mechanic is on crystal meth, you should be making money hand over fist.
If you sell Chinese scooters, you want to either have a company that offers no warranty support, so you can charge for everything that breaks, or that pays a realistic warranty reimbursement rate. Even at $70 an hour, when you go by the flat rates the manufacturers pay (anything that takes a professional technician with 10 years experience an hour can be done by the guys the manufacturer hires to set flat rates in 20 minutes), you barely break even doing warranty work. When you sell something that is going to break down a lot more than a Honda, you are going to go broke being reimbursed $15 to replace the head OR wiring harness on a QMB139 scooter. (from the Bintelli dealer packet we received on 5/15/12). Ask anyone who has any professional experience working on scooters how long it takes to R&R the head on one of these (and you do replace a lot, even on Znen products.)

This is the Flat Rate guide we received from Bintelli-

Motor Scooter Flat Rate Guide for Major Repairs
Carburetor Replacement $6.00
Stator / Magneto Replacement $12.00
Head Replacement $15.00
Valve Replacement $15.00
Cylinder Replacement $18.00
Piston / Ring Replacement $18.00
Starter Motor Replacement $6.00
Exhaust Replacement $6.00
Variator / Clutch Replacement $9.00
Complete Engine Replacement $24.00
Wire Harness Replacement $15.00
Headlight Assembly Replacement $6.00
Tail Light Assembly Replacement $6.00
Brake Caliper Replacement $6.00
Brake Line Replacement $6.00
Master Cylinder Replacement $6.00
Complete Brake Replacement $9.00
Throttle Cable Replacement $6.00

Professional Technicians, feel free to chime in...
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Motovista screwed with this post 12-12-2012 at 01:21 PM
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:16 PM   #22
Warney
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Moped medic, it looks tough to make a buck on Bintelli warranty work.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:04 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOPED MEDIC View Post
This is the Flat Rate guide we received from Bintelli-
...
Chinese payment for chinese products.
Some local importers/dealers try to compensate with very strict terms of guarantee, i.e. mandatory 2h inspection every 1000km - scheduled 6 weeks in advance etc.
But these legal tricks in the small print damage the reputation and after some months the customers have learned, which shop they should avoid. Then dealers declare insolvency and start a new chinese shop under a new name some hundred miles away.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:39 AM   #24
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i think you should seriously consider this bintelli thing.

i know you like the idea of it but they are not a brand. they are cheap china clone scooters. they are not like honda, sym, piaggio, gilera... you need real brand of scooter. you get piaggio or honda or kymco or sym and some of their cheaper scoots retail for only a few hundred dearer than china scoots but will give you a quality reputation. every bike shop in every town that carries chinese non-brands just gets a reputation for selling shite. you should try and get maybe a more top end brand like piaggio, gilera, honda or something and then have kymco or sym as the cheaper brand in your store but which is still good. its a combo that works well in my local dealers, the one most local to me is piaggio/gilera but then carries sym as a cheaper alternative that is not shite. however the local shop that is focused on china scoots just has a reputation for selling cheap disposable crap and doesnt carry any real brands any more.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:08 AM   #25
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Hello Everyone,

I've been reading this thread since it started and wanted to chime in. It's a shame that so many people these days just attack and belittle companies they know nothing about. Yes, Chinese scooters have gotten a bad name for themselves overall, but that does not mean that every company that comes along and sells a Chinese scooter is "not a brand". Before we started Bintelli, we had a retail dealership of twelve years that sold only Chinese scooters, and even though we never found the "perfect" distributor, we still were successful because we ran our company correctly and treated our customers well. This is what led us to opening Bintelli... dealers were looking for a distributor that aimed to take care of them. After sales support, parts availability, scooters priced where the dealer can actually profit, and quality products. This is what we have given our dealer network with Bintelli. Sure, it was a struggle when we started because of the mindset that many of you have, but as soon as we convinced some dealers to start with just a scooter or two to test us out, they were hooked immediately. Now, in six short months we have a dealer network of 26 and that number grows every week. We have several dealers who have sold over $100,000 in product in under four months with us.

As far as labor reimbursement, to my knowledge, we are the only distributor with scooters that retail as low as $999 to offer labor reimbursement. If I am mistaken, please let me know. The only chinese scooter I've ever sold that offered warranty reimbursement was Keeway, but their scooters are priced so high, they never sell.... so what's the point of a high reimbursement if you can never sell a scooter? I know that many other distributors with scooters in the $1500-$3000 range offer more labor reimbursement, such as Keeway/Sym/etc, but those are a different market than what we're going after, and those distributors are making substantially more profit on each sale to be able to offer more reimbursement. Additionally, our dealerships that are selling Keeway and other lines that are higher priced are all selling considerably more of our scooters because of the quality of the scooter being offered compared to the affordable price we are selling them at. We wanted to set a trend that even with a $999 scooter, we're willing to stand behind them and offer some labor credits for the more extensive repairs. Due to the quality of the scooters though, it isn't very often that we even have to offer the reimbursement. Sure, we could do what a Keeway does and offer higher labor reimbursement, but that would have caused the price of the scooters to be higher, let's say $100. Now, the dealers that "get it" know that they would much rather sell 50 more scooters a year because the prices are correct, thus putting ($20,000+) more profit in their pocket, than worry themselves over maybe $5-10 on a warranty repair. The dealers who get this are making a lot of money with us, the dealers that don't get it, aren't.

Some dealers don't fit into our business model, and that's fine. We keep our prices fair and that allows our dealers to move a good amount of product. We are making a minimal amount on each sale to help our dealers out, yet we still give warranty credits for what we classify as a major repair. With our prices, do we expect our dealers to make a profit from doing a quick warranty repair? No, we don't... but we do expect to take care of them so atleast they are breaking even a lot of the time. It's not a perfect system, but it sure is a LOT more than other distributors of scooters in the $999 range. We love our dealer family and are really excited about the future. One day at a time, we are changing the stigma that Chinese scooters are all junk and can't be distributed by a quality company. We look forward to our continued growth and an excellent 2013. Have a great day everyone.

Justin Jackrel
Bintelli, President
www.Bintelli.com
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:56 AM   #26
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Fly Scooters tried to do it right and still bit the dust. I'll pass.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:26 AM   #27
Brooktown Geezer
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No matter how you cut it, Naperville will be spending their "profit" to pay for warranty work. And there WILL be warranty work, every manufacturer has it.

Moped Medic is right, it would actually be better for Naperville if the mfgr. didn't offer a warranty.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:29 PM   #28
KennyT OP
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Wow! Hello everyone, and Thanks for stopping in!
I really appreciate the input, I do. I also appreciate Justin from Bintelli to step in and step up for his company...
Honestly, that is one thing I love about Bintelli. Would the owner of Vespa chime in? Probably not. If I had a problem with my distributor/dealer relationship, I could get Justin on the phone. I respect that...
Also, I plan on getting one of Bintelli's bikes as a tester soon. I agree I should learn a bit about the product before diving in, and what better way than owning one. I look forward to it!
Anyway, I hope to start with two brands, and want Bintelli be one of them. I believe my customers would like to have a low cost option. I have also applied with both Lance and Kymco. Waiting to hear back...
Someday I may add Vespa as a supplier, but as of today, they don't care about me or accept my application as a dealer.
Finally, my biggest hurdle is cash. I hope to be 100% self financed, which I can accomplish. I am a Realtor, and will need to close on a few homes first, but it is not far away...
Thanks again everyone!
Ken
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:10 PM   #29
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FWIW, I would consider it foolhardy to jump into a new business without spending any time working in that industry. I been creating websites for 20 years and some of the biggest failures I've seen have been when people think "I created my own (or some group they belong to) website and everyone thinks its great. I'm going to open my own web design company". They find that something was was fun as a hobby not only isn't fun but that their skills aren't what they thought they were when they try to go "pro".

Sometimes they try to go and market by themselves and quickly fold. Sometimes they buy a franchise that offers support including site packages with designers in India, China or some other location who will do all the bells and whistles coding of the sites in their packages.They will provide marketing materials and email campaign templates. I've gotten several from people who bought a franchise then joined the local chamber of commerce. Some of them have paid significant amounts of money ($20-50,000) for their franchise. I've yet to see a single one make it that didn't have extensive previous experience in creating websites. Their expectations on what can be done for what price and still be able to make a living is simply not realistic. They find that those support people aren't always what they are cracked up to be or that what they think would take 2-3 days takes 10x as long because clients want changes or there is a problem that crops up they don't know how to fix.

I grew up working in my mother's real estate and property management company. I've worked retail and owned my own antique store. None of which would prepare me for running a scooter shop. My suggestion would be to get a job in the industry and work a minimum of 6 months in a scooter shop. See what it actually involves, time and money commitments. Get involved with the local scooter community, if there isn't one - work on creating one. Only then would you be able to understand whether or not owning and running a scooter shop is for you. Oh, and you better get at least enough scooter wrenching skills to be able to do oil changes and the most common repairs. If you are going to get Bintelli scooter then get training on working on each and every one of their models. Same with any other brands you are going to carry. I know from my local Vespa/Piaggio dealers (and posts on Modern Vespa) that you won't get a dealership with them or if you somehow do (say buying an existing dealership) you won't get the newer engine scoots like the BV 350 until after you have a certified trained mechanic on that engine. If you don't want to wrench then you better make sure you can keep a qualified mechanic full time and that there is a pool of trained mechanics available in your area (or be willing to pay for their training yourself.) Otherwise, you are likely to fail if you cannot provide support for the scoots you sell. You will also want to be able to service other common scoots in your locality. That's how you'll stay in business.

While I prefer name brand scooters there is a market for lower cost ones. If Bintelli can provide quality and proper support you may find them profitable. If you have to provide too much support at those reimbursement rates you won't. Don't know them so I can't say either way.

A local shop here sells Genuine Scooters and a couple of non brand name low cost scoots , part of his market are students/recent high school graduates in their first job where cost is a big factor in their purchase. I bought my Buddy there and they not only have been in business since at least 2005 but have also expanded considerably since then. However, they service even the ordered over the internet scooters which helped them considerably during the leaner economic years..
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:12 AM   #30
Jim Moore
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Quick question. How does one become a certified Kymco mechanic? Or a ertified Vespa Mechanic?
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