Following our article on how to tell the difference between a copycat (or counterfeit) Inokim and the original, here is a very good article from our friends from The Wheelies (original article available at their blog) about buying your e-scooters and e-unicycles from non-authorised vendors.
With the growing popularity of buying e-scooters online, it is becoming easier for consumers to compare prices and buying online in the comfort of their home.
With a click of a button, all the prices from different sellers will shown on the computer. If all things are similar, most consumers would probably go for the cheapest price since the products are the same or looks the same.
While the principal product is the same, there is definitely nothing similar in terms of the entire package. Let us look at some factors that you, as a consumer, should be aware of.
1. THERE ARE HIDDEN COSTS
Well, maybe you don’t need the additional services such as delivery and training which authorised dealers provide as part of the package but you need to look at the other factors of the sale such as the fine print or the exclusion clauses for warranty.
Most of these online deals only have a one month warranty, which is ILLEGAL. Lemon law in Singapore states that the 6-month lemon law coverage overrides any warranty coverage provided by seller.
At certain times, what should be part of the package are taken out and sold separately. e.g. charger, cover, handle etc. In some instances, even though the spare parts are part of the warranty, consumer are sometimes slapped with an exorbitant fee to repair.
2. STOCKS MIGHT NOT BE THE SAME AS ADVERTISED
Stocks from unauthorised dealers are mostly procured from China retailers whose goods are supposed to be manufactured for China market and sold there. Do note that the specifications of the product is slightly different for domestic product and export product. e.g NineBot E & NineBot E+, KS16A vs KS16B . It is not difficult to identify which are parallel exports goods as all of these goods carries a serial number. In the instances of parallel exports, the manufacturers do have a right to refuse to supply spare parts or acknowledge warranty claim.
3. WARRANTY ISSUES
Do note that all authorised dealers are appointed by the manufacturers and have signed agreements with them to distribute their products.
“When I bought the NineBot E, I was promised warranty. I noticed there is a problem with my battery on the 5th month and couldn’t be fully charge. I sent for repair for the battery, they denied there is anything wrong and ask me to wait another few more months and monitor. I actually took the advise and went back on the 8th month. Eventually, they told me that the warranty for battery is over and they cannot do anything”
So be aware: Parallel importers and unauthorised dealers will have issues with warranties. You are taking a huge risk when it comes to after sales support.
Do note that to prevent service standards from deteriorating, all major unicycle brands (KingSong, Inmotion, NineBot) have come together and agreed not to service and honor warranty for parallel exporters.
4. REPLACEMENT PARTS ISSUES
As an authorised dealer, the Wheelies will have access to all parts and stocks. If you wheel is under warranty and damage due to manufacturing defect, we are committed to repair it for you, no matter how difficult it may be. This is a commitment and assurance we give to all customers.
5. NO LEGAL REPERCUSSIONS
We believe in doing business in the right manner as we want to be success in the long term, building The Wheelies as a brand of reliability and trustworthiness. We DO NOT CONDONE malpractices. Nothing of the sort of hidden fine prints or under-declaring the value of goods just to avoid paying GST. All our goods have went through required certifications with Singapore Power too.
6. NO EXPERTISE TO SERVICE
Authorised dealers go through stringent training before they are given the rights to distribute the products. Even under unforeseen circumstances where the problem, support will be given to authorized dealers so that they can manage the repairs.
7. STRESS TEST & PRODUCTS REVIEW
The Wheelies believe what we do will have an impact on the industry being the largest electric unicycle group in Singapore. We thread carefully on the boundaries. We also make sure that the products we brought in are throughly tested and reviewed before being introduced into the Singapore market.
8. EXCLUSIVE LAUNCHES
Authorised dealers will have access to the latest product launch as well as demo unit for interested customers to test. All preorders deals are geniune offers and there are no hidden costs and gimmicks.