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Discussion Starter #1
I am exploring a scooter related business opportunity and wanted to know what you guys think.

The dealer I work with handles Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki. They have an area for dirt bikes, cruisers, and sportbikes. They do have the odd touring bike here and there, but it's not like Gold Wing Heaven.

Same goes for scooters. One or two reflexes and one leftover 03 Silver Wing.

This is not unique. It seems that if you go into a place like this looking for a scooter, well, it can be a bit "intimidating." Furthermore, if the salesman engages in "sales" with you, it ends up he knows very little about the product.

So here's my proposal. This dealership is owned by a motorcycle store franchise of sorts. I am thinking about a dedicated scooter dealership handling the Suzuki, Honda, and Yamaha, along with used scooters and accessories. The service is already handled as I will be within "spitting' distance of the main dealership. They can have one of the mechanics come over to the "scooter" area as needed.

My mindset is "if you build it, they will come" sort of thing. The investment is minimal as the franchise already meets the requirement of a dealership.

So, am I off of my rocker?
 

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No you are not off your rocker!

It sounds promising - but lots of things do and you have to run the numbers and do the research. (Sorry).

First - location is important, I mean location to your market for scooter owners/buyers - it may not be the same location as people who buy bikes.

What is the size of the current scooter market in this location? How much are you going to factor in for potential market growth?

Will the franchised marque dealers play ball with you - whats in it for them? What if they do not play ball? What if they cannot release a mechanic? Over here in the riding season a mechanics time is booked out.

Just a few.
 

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I've had the same idea before. I think it really depends on if the area can support a scooter only store. How are the scooter sales in your area? If they are that good, why doesn't the dealer stock more? One thing that might make it more viable is the scooter accessories and parts. Having a one shop stop that stocks most of the maxi scooter items at a reasonable price could be profitable.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Here's the way I figure it...

First, if the manufacturers will let the requirements met by the main dealership feed to the "scooter store", then the investment is "relatively" small when compared to the all out startup costs you would incure trying to stand up a dealership on your own.

Second, I think the market is there. Even with Aprilia, Honda, and Suzuki being very competitive, Yamaha has seen fit to bring their Majesty over here. That really speaks volumes, in my opinion.

Finally, I dunno if you can compare sales as they are now to what a decent, marketed store would do. Heck, when I bought my B400 a couple of weeks ago, I had to order it in as they didn't even have one on the lot. They had the 03 Silver Wing and two reflexes. The used scooters they have are buried off into the back of the warehouse. And don't forget the "intimidation" factor for folks that aren't bikers anyway but would like a scooter.

I think I am going to throw it at them and see what they think.
 

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Best of luck m8!

I sincerely hope you make a success of it.

I cannot help thinking though - whats in it for them (the marque dealers)?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
They make the same profit off of a scooter that they would a bike and most dealers are ignoring us.

A 7000+ dollar B650 is not a 50cc "camp scooter" and yet the mindset seems to be that, deep down, most dealers seem to market it as one. Kind of like a "*******" child they are willing to sell you if someone comes in and asks for it.

I think that the opportunity to jump onboard and embrace the scooter owners and buyers would lead to a pretty decent amount of sales as the other dealers won't be focusing on the scooter sales anyway.

Five years ago, it was a market of one, the Helix. Now look at all of the options.

Heck, Scion (Toyota's youth brand) is marketing with only three models.

I think it would fly, myself.
 

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Curious as to what your local population is?
Up here in Toronto a city of 3.5 million we just had a new Vespa dealership open up. I have yet to visit it as the vespa does not suit my needs. But they do have a large population to serve.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I looked into starting an Aprilia dealership and even suggested that my local dealer carry them. But they want quite a bit of investment, which is fine, but their dealer support sux. It took me three weeks to get a part on order. They claimed it was because the part was in Italy but I found out that they had it in stock in Atlanta but the Aprilia dealer ordered it three times and three times the order got lost.
 

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billmeek said:
Having a one shop stop that stocks most of the maxi scooter items at a reasonable price could be profitable.
Having an inventory of items could set you apart from much of the other dealers. If you also carried some of the items not normally available here in the states I could see you making a go of it. You might be able to build a business on 'decking out' scooters with options.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, thank you all for your input. I appreciate it!!
 

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I'm not sure that the manufacturers will allow a scooter only store in that they want their entire line represented.

Folks all over have tried to get them to allow scoot only dealerships and as far as I know they have not gone along with it.

Perhaps they understand the dynamics in place (scooter sales vs. the rest of the line.)

Just what I've heard as the local Vespa dealer also wanted to rep for Honda scoots. You can talk with him if you'd like. Vespa Miami in Coral Gables.

I bought a used Honda scoot from him and this is how I came about this info.

Good luck.
 

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Some of the larger dealers I have seen have seperate buidings for different bikes. One dealer had all of his ATVs and Jet Skis in a seperate building down the street from where he sold street bikes. I think this is the type of arrangement bechtoea is referring to.
 

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The Super Scooter Market in the USA is young, but growing. Folks are just starting to become aware of their existance. So I think the questions about current scooter sales in your area are a bit off the mark. They probably aren't too high with the current dealer's attitude toward scooters. A store like you propose might have a shot at changing that, and I'd love to see you give it a go.

I think with new brands entering the USA, and aftermarket vendors starting to make windscreens, trunks, exhausts, backrests, tires, etc available for these scoots, the industry concensus is that the market for scooters will continue to grow. You don't invest in the R&D, tooling and marketing for an aftermarket product unless you are pretty confident that the market will be there for awhile.

One thing you could do, that most motorcycle dealers who sell scooters don't do, is display some aftermarket accessories for the scooters. I think that would enhance sales, and it is an additional source of revenue. It would require additional investment though.

One problem with having the dealer provide service, is that you would lose out on much, or all, of the revenue from service. I've read that many dealers make more money through their parts and service departments than they do from sales. You should try to get a piece of that action.

Another potential problem, is that if you do become successful, the dealership might decide to take the scooter business back - and they'd have the leverage to do it since the product support is flowing through their agreements with the scooter manufacturers. It would take good trust, and a good legal agreement with them, before I would proceed.

With the right business relationship, this could potentially make money for both the existing dealership and yourself - but without foresight, you could end up holding the short end of the stick.
 

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re new Business venture!

I wish you well in your new undertaking, But ensure your contract is well spelled out and examined by your councel ,One of my concerns would be at least in our area and most likely your 's as well is floor stocking inv entory over a lengthy cold winter season while the interest is still being paid out and inventory sitting in the showroom unlike the southern states that have a year round market.

just a thought ,I am sure this is not something that has not been thought out by yourself.

in any case best of luck.

RW
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Bleeder, there are so many times in my life I have been told what I cannot do.

-You aren't smart enough to learn electronics
-You aren't tall enough to play basketball
-You can't fix <fill in> yourself
-You can't get a date with her...

The list goes on. Henry Ford, Orville and Wilber, and Bill Gates among others all had folks like you telling them what they cannot do.

So while others have very good input and have presented the challenges, you simply have said, like most folks, that it cannot be done. You are probably right in your mind as there are 1000 reasons while I won't be able to get this to fly.

But forgive me if I do like Ole' Henry and Bill, and Orville and Wilbur, and even Mr. Honda himself; and just ignore your opinion and give it a go anyway.

Regards.
 

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bechtoea said:
Bleeder, there are so many times in my life I have been told what I cannot do.

-You aren't smart enough to learn electronics
-You aren't tall enough to play basketball
-You can't fix <fill in> yourself
-You can't get a date with her...

The list goes on. Henry Ford, Orville and Wilber, and Bill Gates among others all had folks like you telling them what they cannot do.

So while others have very good input and have presented the challenges, you simply have said, like most folks, that it cannot be done. You are probably right in your mind as there are 1000 reasons while I won't be able to get this to fly.

But forgive me if I do like Ole' Henry and Bill, and Orville and Wilbur, and even Mr. Honda himself; and just ignore your opinion and give it a go anyway.

Regards.
Forgive me and I do not wish to be adversarial - BUT you did title the thread 'OPINION please'.

I am sure all the forum members including the sceptical ones would wish you all the success in your new venture. All new ventures entail risk and with risk comes opportunities and potential reward. If the risk was less more would do it and there would be commensurately lower rewards.

Fortune favours the brave but not necessarily the stupid. As long as you have made sound assumptions, brokered the right agreements, run the numbers, factored contingency and ameliorated the risk you could be successful.

I for one wish you well :)
 

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Scooter Shop

Get a hold of Phil @ ClevelandScooters.com or go to search engine for Pride of Cleveland Scooters.........he owns a scooter only store is a very friendly guy. I am sure he can give you valuable insight. One thing for sure....... a good scooter mechanic who is honest and reasonable is the will always be busy.
 

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Good luck with your venture, hope you can make a go of it, would be a good place to get accessorys for our Burgys. Go for it, I am in the same boat as you, my son and I are developing a soft ware program for lobster fishing, some one has to be first with a new idea :idea: , he is the programer, i am the fisherman :wink: Seatec
 

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bechtoea said:
Bleeder, there are so many times in my life I have been told what I cannot do.


But forgive me if I do like Ole' Henry and Bill, and Orville and Wilbur, and even Mr. Honda himself; and just ignore your opinion and give it a go anyway.

Regards.

LOL!!!
Pardon me, but I thought your post was "Opinions Please", not "Show Support For My Idea Please", or some such nonesense as you now appear to be seeking. There is a tremendously long list of topics about which I should be the last guy on earth to take advice from, and a shockingly short list to the contrary. Business is on the short list.

I do, though, wish you the best of luck Ole' Henry.



Peace.
 
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