Are we getting suckered by online eBike companys?

tlippy

Member
Looks like a new business model is emerging-and we are bringing it upon ourselves! JIT. Means JUST IN TIME. In out quest to always buy the cheapest the online guys are accommodating our desire. But it's coming at a cost and risk. Hereafter is my opinion. And you know what opinions are? Everyone has one:mad:.
I just ordered a 700 from Ride 1 Up. $1500 in advance with a delivery estimate of Sep 15. This is where the new JIT business model kicks in. They have no inventory. Your order gets in line with all the rest. After the charge is approved by the credit card company. They order the bikes from China, using our money and hope the product arrives close to the promised delivery date. It is more complicated I know but -in essence that's what it is. They can miss the promised delivery date by as much as 90 days and if you want your $$$ refunded, it costs you $45. Pretty clever I'd say!
It's not just R1U. Aventon has the same policy. And we're doing it to ourselves! How? Today's buyers have no concept of what a contract means. If you place an order it means you're committed. Truthfully, I'm happy these guys have figured a way to make it cost $ to be a "wishywashy" buyer. Your word to buy should be backed up with consequences.
The risk! A few years back I ordered $40,000 in good coins from The Washington Territorial Mint in Seattle. They too got all the $$$$ up front. They then ordered from the U.S. mint. My order was 6 months past promised date. I did get the coins. Three months later they declared bankruptcy. All those people behind me lost their $$$$.
Going in I knew the risks. I'm willing to take them to get something I want for a fair price.
Are you?
 

GypsyTreker

Well-Known Member
You are correct, we are feeding this new model. The illusion is having someone to hold accountable, for the need to $ave, even though so many things can go wrong once money has changed hands. I can't imagine any of these companies being able to refund $250k if their supplier can't deliver. If your willing to really take the risk, perhaps Ali Baba direct is the way to go. If everyone or even half of everyone who wants an eBike was patient the pipeline would begin to fill up as the remaining eTailing marketing companies began to start "investing" in inventory.
 

TMH

Well-Known Member
What you are currently seeing in e-bikes is not what had been the normal. Currently e-bike companies are still dealing with the impacts of a several-month shut-down by all of the Chinese bike and component manufacturers as well as a doubling, tripling or more in e-bike sales volume.

When I purchased my R1U 700 in early February of this year, I purchased it from R1U's stock. No money down and wait for the next production batch to be built and shipped over the ocean. That was the 'normal' for this industry, and will likely come back before the end of the year. By then you will be able to peruse the manufacturer's web sites, choose your model, size and battery capacity, order your bike and have it on its way to you within a week.

However some manufacturers did and will continue to release new bikes based on the crowd funded model. Not all, but some. For those buyers who wish to believe in the initial promises and have to have the latest and greatest, that part of the business model will continue. Some in the past have been completely burned (no bike, no refund), some partially burned (bike delivered but not of the originally promised specs and no warranty service available), and some have been completely pleased with the whole process. Performance by the various companies in these crowd funded campaigns will either cause them to expand (if the companies deliver a product as promised), or will drastically decrease (if the companies deliver junk, or nothing at all). Regardless, there will always be some folks who 'want to believe', so crowdfunding will continue on at least some level.

But it won't be the majority, that's for sure.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Looks like a new business model is emerging-and we are bringing it upon ourselves! JIT. Means JUST IN TIME. In out quest to always buy the cheapest the online guys are accommodating our desire. But it's coming at a cost and risk. Hereafter is my opinion. And you know what opinions are? Everyone has one:mad:.
I just ordered a 700 from Ride 1 Up. $1500 in advance with a delivery estimate of Sep 15. This is where the new JIT business model kicks in. They have no inventory. Your order gets in line with all the rest. After the charge is approved by the credit card company. They order the bikes from China, using our money and hope the product arrives close to the promised delivery date. It is more complicated I know but -in essence that's what it is. They can miss the promised delivery date by as much as 90 days and if you want your $$$ refunded, it costs you $45. Pretty clever I'd say!
It's not just R1U. Aventon has the same policy. And we're doing it to ourselves! How? Today's buyers have no concept of what a contract means. If you place an order it means you're committed. Truthfully, I'm happy these guys have figured a way to make it cost $ to be a "wishywashy" buyer. Your word to buy should be backed up with consequences.
The risk! A few years back I ordered $40,000 in good coins from The Washington Territorial Mint in Seattle. They too got all the $$$$ up front. They then ordered from the U.S. mint. My order was 6 months past promised date. I did get the coins. Three months later they declared bankruptcy. All those people behind me lost their $$$$.
Going in I knew the risks. I'm willing to take them to get something I want for a fair price.
Are you?
As far as price goes, this method is great idea.
Ebike companies in the US can order ebikes from Alibaba or wherever Chinese manufacture once they receive enough online orders.

Have you ever ran a business? or know anyone who does?

Anyone who owns a business will tell you that commercial lease is super expensive.. just leasing a warehouse will eat up significant amount of money.
In this e-commerce industry, you can't survive if you charge more for your ebike just because you have a warehouse in the US.

If your product is something unique.. yeah sure people will pay more for the product or service. But if you're just selling generic Chinese bikes, no way.
 

PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
Looks like a new business model is emerging-and we are bringing it upon ourselves! JIT. Means JUST IN TIME. In out quest to always buy the cheapest the online guys are accommodating our desire. But it's coming at a cost and risk. Hereafter is my opinion. And you know what opinions are? Everyone has one:mad:.
I just ordered a 700 from Ride 1 Up. $1500 in advance with a delivery estimate of Sep 15. This is where the new JIT business model kicks in. They have no inventory. Your order gets in line with all the rest. After the charge is approved by the credit card company. They order the bikes from China, using our money and hope the product arrives close to the promised delivery date. It is more complicated I know but -in essence that's what it is. They can miss the promised delivery date by as much as 90 days and if you want your $$$ refunded, it costs you $45. Pretty clever I'd say!
It's not just R1U. Aventon has the same policy. And we're doing it to ourselves! How? Today's buyers have no concept of what a contract means. If you place an order it means you're committed. Truthfully, I'm happy these guys have figured a way to make it cost $ to be a "wishywashy" buyer. Your word to buy should be backed up with consequences.
The risk! A few years back I ordered $40,000 in good coins from The Washington Territorial Mint in Seattle. They too got all the $$$$ up front. They then ordered from the U.S. mint. My order was 6 months past promised date. I did get the coins. Three months later they declared bankruptcy. All those people behind me lost their $$$$.
Going in I knew the risks. I'm willing to take them to get something I want for a fair price.
Are you?
Actually, the Just In Time model of supply has been around for quite some time; part of the development was to save warehousing costs. Just In Time is for producers, not customers 😉.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Looks like a new business model is emerging-and we are bringing it upon ourselves! JIT. Means JUST IN TIME. In our quest to always buy the cheapest the online guys are accommodating our desire. But it's coming at a cost and risk. Hereafter is my opinion. And you know what opinions are? Everyone has one:mad:.
I just ordered a 700 from Ride 1 Up. $1500 in advance with a delivery estimate of Sep 15. This is where the new JIT business model kicks in. They have no inventory. Your order gets in line with all the rest. After the charge is approved by the credit card company. They order the bikes from China, using our money and hope the product arrives close to the promised delivery date. It is more complicated I know but -in essence, that's what it is. They can miss the promised delivery date by as much as 90 days and if you want your $$$ refunded, it costs you $45. Pretty clever I'd say!
It's not just R1U. Aventon has the same policy. And we're doing it to ourselves! How? Today's buyers have no concept of what a contract means. If you place an order it means you're committed. Truthfully, I'm happy these guys have figured a way to make it cost $ to be a "wishy-washy" buyer. Your word to buy should be backed up with consequences.
The risk! A few years back I ordered $40,000 in good coins from The Washington Territorial Mint in Seattle. They too got all the $$$$ upfront. They then ordered from the U.S. mint. My order was 6 months past promised date. I did get the coins. Three months later they declared bankruptcy. All those people behind me lost their $$$$. Going in I knew the risks. I'm willing to take them to get something I want for a fair price. Are you?
Nothing wrong with this business model... until you need support. It works for some... just not for everyone. 😉
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
This is not new. EBike internet companies have never been cash rich. I know it started at least in 2015, maybe sooner. It was accepted then because of the lure of $500 eBikes and it took off. Everyone else just saw the acceptance and jumped on the wagon. If the consumer drops the acceptance, the model fails. But I don't see that ever happening. Consumers are more than accepting to the idea of cheap goods. There is even the group that feel they can get even cheaper by buying directly from China. Even the ones that have absolutely what it will be like when components fail, nor have any clue on how to fix it, or even what it will cost to get it to their door. It's a consumer product that people don't even want to make up their own mind on what to buy! Seems like every third post is someone asking for others to tell them how to make a choice. Why would they mind letting someone else hold their money, on a purchase they have never sat on, ridden, or even know if that one size fits most frame will work. Just take my money and send me something that I hope works in the future!!!!!!!!
 

john peck

Well-Known Member
I´m on my 2nd ebike. I recall what seemed an endless wait for the first bike which was finally delivered after many desperate pleas.
My current bike, which cost 1/2 what the 1st did, arrived from Seattle the day after I ordered it. Thus far I am more satisified with the
second than the first,( now a parts bike). For a cheap bike the engineering is better in every way. Ebikes are evolving so fast. Maybe
Iĺl break this bike just so I can catch the next wave, but so far so good. Itś like a Ford compared to the $4 & 5K Audis & Beamer bikes
I read about here that still have issues in spite of the price. Sometimes simple is a great notion.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
In the high-end bike world build-to-order has been the thing for many years, and I don't think there's anything wrong with it.

If you want a Breadwinner, a Stinner, or a Sklar you will be putting down some serious dinero and waiting for months (on the Breadwinner page the current lead times are 8-12 weeks). Given that bare frames from these companies can be $4000, you can easily drop $10k on a bike.

What do you get for that money? You get a bike that is custom-sized for you and your riding style, with the stuff you want on it and none of the stuff you don't want or don't need. You get a bike with awesome ride feel that goes where its pointed and actually makes you ride like a superhero. You get a flexy steel-framed bike that is lighter than a mass-produced bike (though not as light as a carbon bike).

Yes, that is a lot of money, but I guarantee that if you rode one of these custom bikes for fifteen minutes you'd either steal it or start furiously scheming on how to get one.

As for high-end bikes versus low-end bikes, I think you'll notice here that most of the people who are riding far and fast and living the dream are doing so on high-end bikes. There's a reason for that.
 

GypsyTreker

Well-Known Member
I agree with @richc as far as people asking what eBike to purchase. Do the research , read owner posts telling of their experience owning a particular company's product and make your own decision.
 

Taylor57

Active Member
In the high-end bike world build-to-order has been the thing for many years, and I don't think there's anything wrong with it.

If you want a Breadwinner, a Stinner, or a Sklar you will be putting down some serious dinero and waiting for months (on the Breadwinner page the current lead times are 8-12 weeks). Given that bare frames from these companies can be $4000, you can easily drop $10k on a bike.

What do you get for that money? You get a bike that is custom-sized for you and your riding style, with the stuff you want on it and none of the stuff you don't want or don't need. You get a bike with awesome ride feel that goes where its pointed and actually makes you ride like a superhero. You get a flexy steel-framed bike that is lighter than a mass-produced bike (though not as light as a carbon bike).

Yes, that is a lot of money, but I guarantee that if you rode one of these custom bikes for fifteen minutes you'd either steal it or start furiously scheming on how to get one.

As for high-end bikes versus low-end bikes, I think you'll notice here that most of the people who are riding far and fast and living the dream are doing so on high-end bikes. There's a reason for that.
I think a lot of us enjoy riding and the freedom and wind in our face but we also aren't interested in riding far. 45 minutes to an hour a day is far enough for me and my bottom. My days of far and fast are long in my Mirrycle!
 

tlippy

Member
As for high-end bikes versus low-end bikes, I think you'll notice here that most of the people who are riding far and fast and living the dream are doing so on high-end bikes. There's a reason for that.
I don't buy this thinking. It's ego that's driving this decision. IMHO the vast majority here want a descent bike that's priced for the components. Not for a brand name. Do you really think the majority here would notice the difference between a Shimano Acera vs an XTR group? I would think bike snobs would even find the XTR not satisfacrory.
 
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GypsyTreker

Well-Known Member
I think a lot of us enjoy riding and the freedom and wind in our face but we also aren't interested in riding far. 45 minutes to an hour a day is far enough for me and my bottom. My days of far and fast are long in my Mirrycle!
I think you have it on a key point. Knowing what your real needs are will direct you as to how much you need to spend, unbridled emotion and suseptibility to hype will determine how much you spend.
 

Asher

Well-Known Member
Money costs money (i.e. interest). So does overhead. If you don't front the money, the cost of providing the bike is higher, and you will have to pay more.

Pre-ordering also solves the challenge of forecasting how many bikes to buy.

Juiced is an established brand but still does Indiegogo preorders a year in advance... and the Indiegogo price is several hundred dollars less than the retail price (even when it's on sale).

When a brand like Ride1Up is using this model, it's judging that having bikes on demand just isn't worth the extra cost, to you, the customer. If you're ready to order the bike 3 or 6 months in advance, why not save a couple hundred?

Do you have a link showing the $45 order cancellation is official policy? I haven't heard that.


Agree with Timpo:

As far as price goes, this method is great idea.
Ebike companies in the US can order ebikes from Alibaba or wherever Chinese manufacture once they receive enough online orders.

Have you ever ran a business? or know anyone who does?

Anyone who owns a business will tell you that commercial lease is super expensive.. just leasing a warehouse will eat up significant amount of money.
In this e-commerce industry, you can't survive if you charge more for your ebike just because you have a warehouse in the US.

If your product is something unique.. yeah sure people will pay more for the product or service. But if you're just selling generic Chinese bikes, no way.
 

john peck

Well-Known Member
In the high-end bike world build-to-order has been the thing for many years, and I don't think there's anything wrong with it.

If you want a Breadwinner, a Stinner, or a Sklar you will be putting down some serious dinero and waiting for months (on the Breadwinner page the current lead times are 8-12 weeks). Given that bare frames from these companies can be $4000, you can easily drop $10k on a bike.

What do you get for that money? You get a bike that is custom-sized for you and your riding style, with the stuff you want on it and none of the stuff you don't want or don't need. You get a bike with awesome ride feel that goes where its pointed and actually makes you ride like a superhero. You get a flexy steel-framed bike that is lighter than a mass-produced bike (though not as light as a carbon bike).

Yes, that is a lot of money, but I guarantee that if you rode one of these custom bikes for fifteen minutes you'd either steal it or start furiously scheming on how to get one.

As for high-end bikes versus low-end bikes, I think you'll notice here that most of the people who are riding far and fast and living the dream are doing so on high-end bikes. There's a reason for that.
In terms of maintenance Hi-end is definitely better. If your a guy who changes his own oil, has the skills, & enjoys the zen of bike
maintenance, there are bikes that perform well but require TLC. I can buy 4 bikes like mine for the price of a high end bike, but
I do devote a fair amount of time keeping in fine tuned, Itś a Ford, not a Porsche.
 

Taylor57

Active Member
I think you have it on a key point. Knowing what your real needs are will direct you as to how much you need to spend, unbridled emotion and suseptibility to hype will determine how much you spend.
And if I get bored with riding and the bike sits for awhile or even breaks and is toast I am out a $$grand. If I buy a fancy bike, I'm out $$5-10k...
 

tlippy

Member
You must prepay with a credit card. They charge the card. If you cancel they charge 3%. Claiming that's what the credit card company charges.
 

ruffruff

Well-Known Member
I've been talking about this for awhile.

I played the game once and it was OK, but going LBS for a lot of reasons on my next one.