Purchasing over internet (vs local bike shop) - tax savings

Operator7

Active Member
As I am researching details for my future purchase, at the top of my list is the ST2 because of battery life. If I purchase from a vendor over the internet (in a different state), I would save a very considerable amount on tax. If the price-point of an ST2 is around $6k, the tax I would be charged on a local purchase here in Taxifornia would come to around $600. A purchase from an out-of-state vendor would save me that $600, and even though I'd have to pay for shipping, the savings would still be considerable.

Thoughts/opinions?

I lean heavily towards a local shop, for their service and expertise in helping me adjust my new bike and so forth, but not being rich and price being very significant with these ebikes, I'm looking to save money.
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
For a bike of that value, I think having the support of a local shop is well worth the cost for an electric bike - if it were an expensive non-electric and you could easily do the maintenance yourself I would say go for it - but not in this case!
 

Operator7

Active Member
In addition to this issue is the fact that I was able to achieve a much better price from an out of state vendor. I COULD go back to my local shop and negotiate, but the tax savings alone makes me think that the local shop will not be able to come close to the same savings.

I would MUCH prefer to buy from the local shop, in order to support them, as well as have all of their expertise and hand-holding, in getting my new ebike. I am NOT handy, and from what I've been reading, things like seat position, tire treatment, handle-bar position, etc are all VERY important things to establish with a new bike. I'm at a cross-roads right now, and pondering...
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
it's all fun and games until things go wrong. I would probably go for the savings but I know that I would really hate to go to that local bike store if I needed warranty work. Actually Stromer might first send you to work things out with the vendor you originally purchased the bike from.

Having said that, my experience with ebike vendor from another state has been nothing but excellent. However, the anxiety before things were taken care of was significant.
 

Operator7

Active Member
Wow, you think Stromer would stipulate that I actually have to get service from the vendor I purchased from? That would indeed suck. Strange policy, especially in a hypothetical situation that vendors from time to time close their business.

And yeah, I don't think I could go to the same local shop after not purchasing from them. Even if paying for the servicing, I would feel really low. But still, the REALITY is that the price of the bike is very forbidding. I am thinking that I could go to a different local shop in the area and claim that I had bought the bike previously while living in another state, though I hate to go this route. But what is my choice? Pay an extra thousand dollars so that I can feel "honorable"? And do these businesses have the same feelings/worries of being "honorable" towards me?

But having said all of that, I still don't like the option of going to a local bike shop for initial setup and future servicing, however I also don't like the option of spending an extra thousand dollars. So that is my dilemma.
 

Lenny

Well-Known Member
If you're going for an ST2 and you're not very handy with bikes, then go with the local bike shop.
Also, check out BH Neo Nitro series + extra battery. ~30mph top speed and significant savings compared to ST2.
 

stevenast

Well-Known Member
I am also mechanically inept. :p

When I got my Haibike from an out-of-state ebike shop, it was with the knowledge that my local regular bike shop, who I have had a relationship with for years, could easily do all the repairs and maintenance except for mid-mounted motor/battery.

...and I have a high quality, reliable Bosch system, so that eases any worries there.

...and my bike is marketed by Currie Tech in the US, a strong, established, major ebike player, and any authorized shop will honor the warranty work.

It's good to think things completely through before making a major purchase like this!
 

Operator7

Active Member
Definitely agree with that, Steve. I've been doing a ton of research. For me, cost is VERY much an issue, because to put it simply - I am not rich.

I am interested in the ST2 primarily because of the battery. I considered other bikes and an extra battery, but after testing a bike out, it seems like it would be pretty awkward lugging a second batter around (maybe I am mistaken?). Having an ST2 where battery life becomes a non-issue is a huge plus for me, since I have a long commute in mind. I could make another bike such as the ST1 work, in regards to battery life, but the ST2 seems to be the highest quality bike, and for a major purchase, I want to make the best decision.

Lenny (or anyone), can you elaborate on how much adjusting/servicing one might expect with an ST2? I was told that these bikes were extremely reliable - would you agree with that sentiment?
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
Lugging a second battery sucks. The way it works is to have a second charger at work and leaving one battery there.
 

Operator7

Active Member
Well for my long commute, the second battery would be for one half of the trip. My commute as you know is 30 miles, and therefore some batteries might not make it the whole way, depending on my power usage. I'm GUESSING (still doing more research) that I could make a battery like the one on the ST1 work; however, it would be great to have the battery of the ST2, where I don't have to constantly worry about monitoring the battery usage. The ST2 is considerably higher priced, but I'm thinking that it's also considerably more bike, so that is why I was/am leaning towards the ST2. Sure I could save money by going with a cheaper option, but on a major purchase, I've learned from experience to get what you need if possible.
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
Well have you checked how long before a depleted ST2 battery is fully charged? Make sure you get out of work on time and in circumstances when you do get out of work early aee you able to make it back on the battery you have left?

The ST2 is great for sure but besides the battery and the integrated technology it is just another quality bike. There are many equipped the same or better.
 

Lenny

Well-Known Member
Definitely agree with that, Steve. I've been doing a ton of research. For me, cost is VERY much an issue, because to put it simply - I am not rich.

I am interested in the ST2 primarily because of the battery. I considered other bikes and an extra battery, but after testing a bike out, it seems like it would be pretty awkward lugging a second batter around (maybe I am mistaken?). Having an ST2 where battery life becomes a non-issue is a huge plus for me, since I have a long commute in mind. I could make another bike such as the ST1 work, in regards to battery life, but the ST2 seems to be the highest quality bike, and for a major purchase, I want to make the best decision.

Lenny (or anyone), can you elaborate on how much adjusting/servicing one might expect with an ST2? I was told that these bikes were extremely reliable - would you agree with that sentiment?
ST2 has some major advantages.
Huge battery, painless removal of front and rear wheels with quick motor disconnect etc. Hydraulic bakes can be serviced by any bike shop but if you want to replace the hose, it’s a different story. It’s not easy to raise the stem on this. You’ll have to get used to slightly aggressive riding style. The lighting cable, steerer tube are not long enough for stem upgrade. You can however put a longer handlebar like Thomson Elite and gain slightly better palm positioning. The bike parts are very modular but the electronics may need some expertise. If you maintain the drive train and do general maintenance, you can go many months or even a year without visiting the dealer.

If you purchase a no-name brand online and get burnt, it’ll leave a bad taste about internet purchases. If you’re smart and learn everything about the bike and purchase from a dependable dealer, you should do fine.
 

Operator7

Active Member
An empty ST2 battery has a battery state of charge of approx. 80 % and changes to voltage charging mode after a charging time of just under 4 hours. The battery is full in under 5 hours.
 

Operator7

Active Member
Lenny, what I'm thinking about doing is going to a local bike shop (one I have not visited yet), and pay them handsomely for initial adjusting and subsequent servicing. Sure they don't get the profit of the initial sale, but they still get business for servicing. I'll most likely just tell them I bought the bike while living in another state, and recently moved. I hate to lie, but I can't reconcile spending an extra thousand dollars (or more) on taxes and increased price, just to give a local shop the sale.

I haven't decided anything yet though. And if anyone has any suggestions, they are all most appreciated. I checked out the Neo Nitro, but as stated, it would most definitely require me to lug a second battery. At least with the ST1, the min/max is 35 to 55, so while I'd have to monitor things, it would still work for the trip. The Neo Nitro lists min/max at 20/40.
 

Cameron Newland

Well-Known Member
Lenny, what I'm thinking about doing is going to a local bike shop (one I have not visited yet), and pay them handsomely for initial adjusting and subsequent servicing. Sure they don't get the profit of the initial sale, but they still get business for servicing. I'll most likely just tell them I bought the bike while living in another state, and recently moved. I hate to lie, but I can't reconcile spending an extra thousand dollars (or more) on taxes and increased price, just to give a local shop the sale.

I haven't decided anything yet though. And if anyone has any suggestions, they are all most appreciated. I checked out the Neo Nitro, but as stated, it would most definitely require me to lug a second battery. At least with the ST1, the min/max is 35 to 55, so while I'd have to monitor things, it would still work for the trip. The Neo Nitro lists min/max at 20/40.
There's no need to be so sensitive about not having purchased your bike from a LBS. Local bike shops would certainly prefer that you buy your bike through them, but I think they also understand that ecommerce sites offer advantages to ebike buyers due to lack of sales taxes, greater economies of scale, and lower costs. Local bike shops also make money servicing bikes and selling parts and accessories and they're simply not competitive with the pricing offered online, so don't feel bad about getting a good deal on a bike and then having it serviced locally. Either way, you're going to be supporting your LBS when you take it in for service. Think of your LBS as a service center that you're actively supporting, not a new bike dealership that you're neglecting to support.

There are people out there who lie, cheat, and steal, and it is THEY who should feel guilty, not the man who supports the works of others by paying for their valuable goods and services.
 

Kaldeem

Active Member
It depends on where 'out of state' you buy it, I know that when I was calling around, most online comps charged you the tax of the state you lived in, so you might be better off just buying it in TaxCaliforniaCation. or w/e you cali girls call it. ;)
 
D

Deleted member 803

Guest
I am ambivalent about the purchase issue. My opinion is as follows: BUY THE DAMN BIKE FORM WHOMEVER AND WHEREVER YOU LIKE REGARDLESS OF LOCATION. IF THE LOCAL BIKE DEALER IS NOT WILLING TO COMPETE FOR THE BUSINESS THEN THEY ARE POOR BUSINESS PEOPLE. IF AFTER PURCHASING YOUR BIKE ELSEWHERE YOUR LOCAL BIKE DEALER REFUSES SERVICE THEN THE DEALER IS A VERY POOR BUSINESS PERSON. The smart bike dealer will welcome the opportunity to build a relationship with any customer who walks in the door.

Believe it or not I had a regional rep from a major e-bike firm disparage me for buying a bike out of state and implied that warranty problems occur as a result. The only possible response to this is: "absolute bullshit." The bike industry is run like an 18th century business with substandard dealer support for post sale activities and customer satisfaction. Any manufacturer that offer a national warranty is required to render warranty service at any authorized dealer.

However, the reality of the IBD/EBD market is that most of them, while bike enthusiasts, are terribly poor business people.

I have never asked a merchant what they paid for an item as it is none of my business. What I do however is shop and shop extensively for just about everything of substantial cost. A funny anecdote: 20 years ago I offered a local auto dealer the opportunity to sell me two (2) automobiles at a specific price and color. The manager of the dealership called me into his office and told me that my request was unreasonable. I asked if I could use his phone. I then proceeded to call six competing dealers in the area, told them I was sitting in the manager's office of Dealer X and proffered my offer. 3 out of the 6 indicated they would take the deal and would have the cars prepped and ready and waiting for me. I hung up the phone and asked for the manager to respond. He said no.......the dealership closed about 18 months after the event.
 
D

Deleted member 803

Guest
There's no need to be so sensitive about not having purchased your bike from a LBS. Local bike shops would certainly prefer that you buy your bike through them, but I think they also understand that ecommerce sites offer advantages to ebike buyers due to lack of sales taxes, greater economies of scale, and lower costs. Local bike shops also make money servicing bikes and selling parts and accessories and they're simply not competitive with the pricing offered online, so don't feel bad about getting a good deal on a bike and then having it serviced locally. Either way, you're going to be supporting your LBS when you take it in for service. Think of your LBS as a service center that you're actively supporting, not a new bike dealership that you're neglecting to support.

There are people out there who lie, cheat, and steal, and it is THEY who should feel guilty, not the man who supports the works of others by paying for their valuable goods and services.
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