Buying on-line ? Best of luck to you !

Well if the headline sounded 'snarkey' to you, then hey it worked !

Before you buy on line, you might want to think long and hard about that, as impulsive as you may be, or as well 'researched' as you believe you are.

Some questions to ask yourself :

1) Who is going to service the ebike after the sale ?

2) Is the shop that I did not buy from actually competent, reputable, and do they REALLY know how to service the brand I am choosing ?

3) Do I know enough of the technical e-bike industry jargon, and do I have all the right tools, if I need to do my own service and repair, even with so called phone support from the on-line only sold brand ?

4) Where will I get ebike parts, and how quickly can I really get them, especially of the on-line sold brand goes belly up in a few years (being one of nearly 400 'brands' who are merely slapping their 'logo' on a bike frame with two wheels and motor, made from some unknown 3rd party factory in Asia?)

5) Am I actually buying the right sized e-bike, and will it be comfortable, if I have never even tried it ? What are the effects of an improperly fitted e-bike longer term ?

6) How do I know an e-bike is of good quality, and long lasting, if I can't even see it in person, and ask someone I can trust, who is truly knowledgable about the pro's and con's of each component, or how a certain e-bike compares to another for my specific purpose of recreational riding, commuting, or more technical mountain biking ?

7) When there are nearly 400 e-bike 'brands' in the US, what are the odds of the specific brand I choose actually staying in business more than a few years, when e-bike sales (while growing) are less than 1 million annually ? Does that small of a market support 400 brands, 200 brands, 100 brands, or maybe only a few dozen ? Can the market grow fast enough to support even a few dozen brands ? How does that compare to the non-electric bike market where annual unit sales in the US, are between 15 and 20 million bikes, with far fewer than 400 brands.

8) What bike or ebike dealer is going to be willing to service my ebike, if that brand goes out of business, and it makes it challenging for that dealer to source parts ?

9) Why wouldn't a dealer be willing to service my ebike if I didn't buy it through them ? Don't they make enough money from service to sustain their business ? Should I ask local dealers why they would or wouldn't service it, and what that dealer does to maintain their e-bike expertise for all sorts of brands ?

10) Other than getting an e-bike perhaps a few weeks faster, why do I really want to risk buying an e-bike on-line ? What are the real risks, versus any near term 'reward' ?

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