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AMAZON: THE RISE OF SELLING SCOOTERS

by James Lewis August 03, 2018

Response to Repost from TMZooters - Originally written July 6, 2018

 

This Instagram post from @thevaultproscooters (deleted after being published July 2nd) sparked our interest on the topic. We did our research, kinda, but it fucking sucked. Enjoy another long one from the TMZooters team!

Amazon will soon take over the world. It’s inevitable. Amazon sells anything you could possibly want from groceries, books, equipment, and now Scooters (completes and some wheels).

Envy, Fuzion, and Lucky Scooters on Amazon

Amazon Prime is so fucking awesome because you get free 2 day shipping, access to thousands of shows and movies, etc. Buying Scooters/wheels off of Amazon must be nice because you’ll get that shit in 2 days because everyone’s got prime unless you a bum. Getting Scooters on Amazon should be your last god damn resource. Fuck Amazon for when you are in need of buying a Scooter. DO. NOT. BUY. SCOOTERS. ON. AMAZON. I’m here to tell you why this shit sucks for the industry, sucks for riders, and really fucking sucks for shops.

There are multiple reasons as to why Scooters being sold on Amazon hurts so many different things in our industry. Scooters sold on Amazon are usually priced at a lower cost than Scooters at shops and retailers. Also, typing in Pro Scooters on Google is going to pull up Amazon Scooter listings rather than a Scooter retailer who has supported and will always support the industry. This is most likely what scooter Moms do. This affects the entire market, profits for companies/dealers, and increases downfall in after market parts like signature parts, hurting riders that work hard. The deeper companies like Envy, Fuzion, Lucky, etc. dive into Amazon the further they push dealers completely out of the industry and possibly out of business.

How are Scooters sold on Amazon? Isn’t it the same as buying it from the shop but at a discounted price? No. Not everyone can sell on Amazon, and selling on Amazon isn’t like eBay where you can just sign up and sell whatever you want. Amazon is a lot more difficult to manage and way more goes into Amazon than you might think. SOURCE: we read a few articles and business case studies on Amazon and how it works. Scooter companies are NOT selling on Amazon themselves, they are NOT giving full control to huge dealers like The Vault exclusive deals/the rights to sell on Amazon either. Why? Because there are smart businessmen who know the ins and outs of Amazon and how to increase sales through Amazon who will sell 5x or even more the amount shops would be able to through the Amazon channel.

Exclusive deals and the rights to sell on Amazon? What do you mean? Companies sign exclusive deals through a contract agreement to sell Scooters on Amazon at a discounted cost. How the fuck are some Scoots so much cheaper than retailers? Companies most likely sell HUNDREDS of Scooters to their Amazon dealer providing them a better margin than they do a shop like the Vault. Maybe an Envy Complete costs The Vault $90 while Envy’s Amazon dealer can buy that piece of shit for $75. The margins are ridiculously unfair to the shops that paved way for this opportunity. How are shops like The Vault, Outset, Scooter Farm, etc. supposed to compete with someone whose selling the same scooters they have for $20 or more cheaper? They’re not. It’s not possible. The rich get richer.

SOME of the Amazon Scooter account owners aren’t apart of the Scooter Industry. They’re rich businessmen who know what they’re doing. You’re buying a Scooter from someone who doesn’t support the industry, but supports making their wallet fatter than your mom.

If you don’t fucking understand yet, this kills shops, this affects royalties to riders you want to support, this hurts 10% discount code payouts riders are always plugging. Completes have the highest profit margin and are the biggest selling item in Scooters. Much more than forks, bars, signature decks, etc. Shops survive off of completes. They offer the parts because they can, but they don’t make much off of them at all. If people continue to buy completes off of Amazon then all your favorite shops are going to run out of business. Simple as that. They can’t make the profits they need to continue as a company off of parts. The shops that helped these companies grow are now getting fucked.

There’s not much margin in Scooters anyway. Pro’s are making shit money because there isn’t enough margin and companies only provide them with signature decks. We’ve seen people publicly claim that they got offered $3-$5 a deck sold? Companies ain’t doing bad either. There could be more Pro guys making a better living off Scooters, but maybe companies aren’t at the point where they believe riders are that impactful. A couple dollars for a signature deck sold though… And that’s probablys 10-20% of the companies margin they made selling it in the first place??? Fuck man those sales on the signature decks will continue to fall with Amazon becoming bigger.

If you see a kid at your local tell them to buy parts or a complete at your local shop. Next time you need a complete or a fresh set of wheels, buy them at your damn local shop. Amazon is amazing, but its fuckin’ terrible for the scooter industry and the shops that have stuck around, been around, and helped the industry get to where it is today. Don’t make the distributor companies and random money pigs richer in an industry that isn’t that rich itself.

-Barry

 

 

 OUR RESPONSE - WHICH WENT UPOSTED

 

Well just f*ck me.

We are approaching our 9 year anniversary this month and as one of the OG shops around way before the others mentioned AND in Amazon's backyard, we cannot state enough the importance of shopping locally - this supports your local companies/riders and keeps money in your region for organizing events.

This is just sideshow rant and IMO from the NW. Competition between shops was quite healthy and profitable originally until some (cough*Cali) shops got hyper-competitive by pricing with the MAP (minimum advertised pricing) upon product launch, effectively undercutting every other shop by 10%. This caused somewhat of a knee-jerk reaction within the industry. Additionally, promoting athletes 10% off codes made the market very competitive and easier for those shops to sell more product at cheaper prices, but completely relying on doing more business at lower prices. Distributors played a loose hand in controlling this discounting (as they were to busy feverishly trying to open accounts with any bike or skateboard shop they could find willing to take their brand, which just kills us as a scoot only shop!). Almost every brand/distributor would give you an account without having an actual storefront, so a fuckton of online retailers popped up (100x). The price war combined with an inability to police eBay sellers and mass opening of trivial shop accounts just decimated a bunch of the OG shops. Later, there was a stretch of time when these two or three biggest shops were purchasing nearly 100% of supply chain, so when a new product dropped it was basically unavailable to the small mom & pop shops, essentially leaving all the little guys shit outta luck. Now there are brands directly selling to Amazon, and why not! Amazon has some of the best distribution channels and shipping times, all a brand has to do is create the product and keep some to sell direct to riders and SELL EVERYTHING ELSE through Amazon. I swear its f'n coming! What smart businessman wouldn't do that with his supply channel? At first, I thought it would be all the Chinese manufacturers but now there are US companies selling on Amazon as well (some who ended up switching manufacturing from USA to China after all, FML).

Whats even worse is we've become a showroom for parents to comparison shop and purchase on Amazon. Super FML.

THERE IS NOTHING LIKE THE EXPERIENCE OF VISITING A SCOOTER SHOP, actually feeling and sizing up your items, making sure everything is compatible on the spot, and meeting a pro athlete is just an unbeatable experience!

Props to any brick/mortar shop still hangin in there and ask your parents to support your local shop kids!

oh and fuck it - we'll redeem your amazon gift cards as good-as-cash in store.
we're figuring it out =)    FUCK YOU AMAZON <3

 

PS - We are very 'Lucky' to have PSS Redmond as well as Mothership Everett to utilize in the greater Seattle area, its incredible theres two shops in a metropolitan area when most kids don't have one in their city, sometimes not even one located in their state.  In case anyone hasn't heard about or gone to ride Pacific Scooter Experience adjacent to PSS yet, they need your support as a non-profit skatepark to stay open.  Here's the guys messing around @PSX.

James Lewis
James Lewis