Naperville Scooters: Why Scooters? Why Naperville? Why now?

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by KennyT, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Motovista

    Motovista Parts is Parts

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    #21
  2. Warney

    Warney Been here awhile

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    Moped medic, it looks tough to make a buck on Bintelli warranty work.
    #22
  3. alicethomas

    alicethomas Been here awhile

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    Chinese payment for chinese products. :evil
    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.
    #23
  4. Forde

    Forde Been here awhile

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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.
    #24
  5. Bintelli - Justin

    Bintelli - Justin n00b

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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
    #25
  6. Brooktown Geezer

    Brooktown Geezer scooter guy

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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.
    #26
  7. KennyT

    KennyT Adventurer

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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
    #27
  8. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

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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..
    #28
  9. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Long timer

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    Quick question. How does one become a certified Kymco mechanic? Or a ertified Vespa Mechanic?
    #29
  10. Brooktown Geezer

    Brooktown Geezer scooter guy

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    By going to their tech training center and getting certified.
    #30
  11. hugemoth

    hugemoth Long timer

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    For Vespa my dad went to Pontedera Italy for a couple weeks to get certified. I was certified in San Francisco by Plauto Magnioli, an engineer from Piaggio, so I didn't get to go to Italy. :-(
    #31
  12. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Long timer

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    Thanks. Were you already a certified mechanic?
    #32
  13. hugemoth

    hugemoth Long timer

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    Wasn't certified before that but had a ton of experience having grown up in the business.

    #33
  14. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    My brother in law started out designing websites as a hobby, several years he opened a business and is making a lot more money than I am turning wrenches, and he does most of it from home.

    I am ASE certified in a bunch of things (just so you know, that doesn't actually mean much, Pep Boys "mechanics" are ASE certified in what they do), but I have to continuously attend training classes put on by vehicle and equipment manufacturers like Ford, GM, Chrysler, John Deere, etc. to stay current on their latest developments. It is an ongoing thing, not a one time thing. My fleet dept. is government, and they are not allowed to buy non American brands of anything if an American brand is available. The mayor and council made that decision. Then the mayor turned right around and had us buy him a new Toyota Camry as his "official" vehicle. We offered him an '87 Caprice that a former mayor had driven, but he turned it down.

    It is very true that what works well as a hobby does not always work as a business. I got a job as a mechanic (or maybe I should say I worked my way into it) because it was and still is my hobby. But I do not like my job. I like doing things right, and our time schedule does not allow for that. You have to throw it together and move on. There is an endless list of things to do.

    But as I said, I plan on retiring in just over a year, at 55, and hope to get into something that is both a hobby and a way to make some money, working on vintage cars. I already have experience in that field. I would be able to work on the type of cars I love, and not be rushed, because I could turn down or put off anything I wanted. But then I would not be totally depending on this as a means of making a living either.

    I still would not sell Chinese scooters, though if you are going ton rent scooters, Chinese scooters might work well for that. Most scooter rental places use Chinese scooters. You are taking a big risk by renting someone a brand new Vespa, what if they crash it? To cover the cost of proper insurance for rentals, you would have to charge a fortune, and that would put people off. Harley is a good example of that. It costs a fortune to rent a Harley, because in addition to making a profit, the dealer has to have enough insurance to protect themselves. That costs more than the profit they make.
    #34
  15. hacksaw55

    hacksaw55 Been here awhile

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    #35
  16. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

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    Can't speak about Kymco but for Vespa you need to complete the course at the Vespa Technical Center in Orange County, CA.

    JerryH Good to hear that your brother-in-law succeeded in going from a hobbyist to a professional. Few do, at least well enough to make a living at it. It is possible but the odds are against it. Your plan to pick up extra retirement money from your hobby of restoring vintage cars is one that may also succeed. You've got the skills and experience to pull it off.

    That constant training and education on new technology is something that a lot of people don't understand. BTW, hopefully that Camry was built in one of the US plants. Most of them in the US are built here.
    #36
  17. Motovista

    Motovista Parts is Parts

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    It costs about $35 a month for insurance for each scooter you are renting out. The insurance company provides the rental agreement, for the most part.
    #37
  18. KennyT

    KennyT Adventurer

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    Hi Moped, CD, Hacksaw, Jerry, Hugemoth, Jim, and Brooktown. Thanks!
    I enjoy the amount of interaction these posts are creating.
    And I move forward...
    Thanks again!
    Ken
    #38
  19. KennyT

    KennyT Adventurer

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    I stopped by a local Vespa Dealer today (Vespa of Downers Grove). Obviously, they are beautiful bikes...
    But unless I had a ton of money, I wouldn't buy one. There average bike costs over $4,000. That is a lot of money for a scooter. Again, beautiful, but are they worth it? I don't know, and could see why they would be struggling...
    If I were a buyer today who wanted that retro "Vespa" look, I would look at a Lance Cali Classic over a Vespa...
    My thoughts...
    Thanks again!
    Ken

    [​IMG]
    #39
  20. Bar None

    Bar None Candy Ass

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    "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!"
    KennyT,
    Good plan. Please report on the test results here.
    Did you contact the US SYM importer? Very good scooters at a reasonable price.
    #40