The dangers of importing an electric scooter
Electric scooters are the latest trend to appear in cities across the world. Providing a convenient and eco-friendly mode of transport, it’s no surprise that these kick-scooter upgrades are used by the coolest of commuters.
However, despite their popularity in countries like America and France, e-scooters are illegal to ride on UK roads. However, they can be used on private property.
Whilst there are plentiful opportunities to purchase high-quality scooters from reputable UK companies, several buyers opt for imported models, despite the associated risks. But what exactly are the dangers of importing an electric scooter, and why should you stick to a reputable UK supplier?
Risk of purchasing fake e-scooter models
When a trend rises as quickly as e-scooters have, there will always be some people who will try to cash in on a product’s popularity without worrying about quality. In the case of e-scooters, this has led to an influx of fake models from abroad, with China being the primary point of origin.
These products will often be convincing duplicates of models offered by reputable manufacturers, meaning an unsuspecting buyer could pay above and beyond for a sub-par scooter. As these fakes may be artfully copied, it can be tricky to tell whether or not you are receiving a genuine product when importing from an overseas online retailer.
The primary danger posed by fake e-scooters is poor build quality. A producer of fakes will not be working to the same safety regulations and standards as that of a genuine manufacturer, which may result in a product that is inherently unsafe.
How to spot a fake electric scooter supplier
There are a few easy ways to spot a rogue supplier when looking to import an electric scooter:
- Check the website for any spelling or grammatical errors. This is a tell-tale sign as to whether the company is legitimate and values professionalism. It’s true that typos may appear occasionally on any site, regardless of reputation. However, if it’s a recurring issue across all pages – steer clear.
- Check online reviews. A reputable supplier will probably be the recipient of many reviews from happy customers, validating the quality of their products and services. Be sure to check independent review sites as well, to avoid fake reviews.
- Be wary of bargains. If you’re aware of the specific price for an electric scooter when bought directly from the manufacturer, it’s suspicious if the exact same model is significantly cheaper elsewhere – bargains often aren’t all that they seem.
Imported e-scooter suppliers can be unreliable
Even suppliers providing genuine e-scooters can be unreliable when it comes to importing. If something were to go wrong with your vehicle, consider how difficult (not to mention expensive) it may be to ship it back to the supplier in order to get it repaired or obtain a replacement. Shipping the product back could take weeks. The same time frame may also apply when sending it back to you.
Overseas suppliers are also not subject to the strict selling regulations UK-based suppliers are. When buying goods from a domestic online supplier, the product you receive must be of a satisfactory quality and should match the given description. Even if the e-scooter you import is a genuine product, you may still not be happy with what you have received. If it has been imported, you will not be protected by UK buyers’ rights.
If you decide to import an electric scooter from overseas, you may also find that customer support from the supplier is limited. This could translate into a lack of delivery updates, no support for potential faults as well as reduced scope for a refund.
Import fees are often expensive
Another key consideration when importing is the cost. The shipping fee alone will be considerably high. Even the most compact of e-scooters can be heavy and will require extra packaging and care to protect them during transit, which does not come cheap.
You must also consider the customs charges items incur when shipped from abroad. These are typically not advertised on a supplier’s website. The cost will vary from purchase to purchase, but some buyers have experienced fees of up to 30%. Before making a decision, it’s wise to refer to the Government’s import and customs guidelines to find out what you can expect to pay and avoid any nasty surprises.
Increased scooter delivery times
Depending on where you are importing your e-scooter from, the delivery time can be significant. Whilst purchasing a vehicle from mainland Europe may not incur as significant a delay, buying from far-flung locations such as the US or China will be a different story. Delivery times for imported purchases can reach several weeks, occasionally months, which will serve as both a source of irritation and anxiety.
By buying from a UK-based supplier, you can mitigate this inconvenience and expect to have your brand-new scooter with you in a matter of days, ready to ride!
Should I import an electric scooter?
Ultimately, we’d recommend against it. Even if you manage to avoid the counterfeit electric scooters on the market, you may find yourself either dealing with an unreliable and unhelpful seller or having to wait weeks for your new scooter to be delivered.
When dealing with a reputable, UK-based seller such as Scooters Direct, you can remain confident in the level of service you will receive, as well as the quality of the product. We’re proud to have a close relationship with couriers, meaning your scooter will arrive within a week.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like more information – our customer service team is always on hand to help.