Blog

Scooters Australia - Careers - Electric Mobility Scooter, Home Health Care, Electric Scooter, Gopher mobility, Scooters Australia

Used scooters – how to buy, sell, and trade-in

From snagging a cheapie off Gumtree to making the most of that large scooter that doesn't suit your life-style any more, getting the game right can make a big difference. This is a rundown of buying, selling, and trading in used scooters.

BUYING

Where to buy

 

Gumtree

Gumtree is an online classifieds website with a wide range of products, including mobility scooters and power chairs. Buying and selling doesn’t take place on the website itself. Rather, it connects buyers and sellers, who arrange to meet, at which point the sale may or may not take place.

Pros

    • Low prices, usually with the option to negotiate
    • Can inspect and try-out the scooter before actually handing over the cash
    • Very large range
    • Can pay with cash or Paypal
    • Gumtree doesn’t take any cut

Cons

    • Difficult to assess the state of the batteries
    • Unlikely to have warranty
    • Unlikely to have been verified and serviced by a technician
    • Unlikely to include delivery
    • Unlikely to be able to return
    • Can't pay with card
    • Harder to assess credibility of seller

 

Ebay

You can also find used mobility scooters and powerchairs on the popular online auction website Ebay.

Pros

    • Auction system gives flexibility over how much you want to bid
    • Very large range
    • Can pay with card or paypal
    • Several delivery options
    • Often includes a limited returns policy
    • Strong system for assessing credibility of seller

Cons

    • Can't try out the scooter beforehand
    • Difficult to assess the state of the batteries
    • Delivery may cost extra
    • Unlikely to have warranty
    • Unlikely to have been verified and serviced by a technician
    • Ebay takes a cut

 

Person-to-person

Whether it's from a friend-of-a-friend, or posted on a community notice board, or even on Facebook it is still possible to sell on your scooter the old-fashioned way (sort of).

Pros

    • Dealing with people you know, from your own community
    • No middle-man
    • Prices flexible

Cons

    • Unlikely to have been verified or serviced by a technician
    • Difficult to assess the state of the batteries
    • No warranty
    • Limited selection - no real ‘market place’

 

Scooters Australia or other retailer

We can’t speak for what other retailers do. Many don’t deal with second-hand scooters, but some do. Here’s our process: after we take a trade-in, we figure out if it's a scooter we can sell used, or if it's one we'll just use for parts. For the scooters we do decide to sell, we make a thorough check, replace the batteries if need be, and do any repairs we think are necessary.

Pros

    • Thoroughly verified and serviced by a technician
    • Batteries either totally fresh, or confirmed to have a good remaining lifespan
    • Often comes with warranty: 1 month, 3 month, or 6 month
    • Delivery included
    • Card and cash accepted
    • Can inspect and try-out the scooter before buying

Cons

    • Price will most likely be higher. Costs of storage, labour, risk of taking on uncertain inventory, and delivery have to be accounted for.
    • Range limited to what’s in a store’s warehouse

 

WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR

Buying a second hand product can be risky business. Especially if there is a mechanical component to it. Trying out a scooter for yourself solves some of these issues. If it’s a smooth ride, can make it up slopes, doesn’t sound it’s about to fall apart, and steers OK, then you’ve got yourself a working scooter - at least in the short term. The long term, however, can be a different matter.

Find out as much information as you can about the batteries.

Replacing the batteries on a scooter can easily run in to the hundreds of dollars. Making sure the batteries on your prospective purchase still have legs in them is probably the single biggest cost-saving measure you can take.

Try to negotiate a returns policy or warranty

This the big downside to using a website like Gumtree or Ebay. Recurring mechanical issues might surface only intermittently, and unless you have some mechanical savvy, there’s no way to know until it actually happens. Servicing or repairing these faults will cost at least $100 and often a lot more, depending on the parts involved. At Scooters Australia we usually offer a limited warranty, in addition to first verifying and then servicing the scooter. We hate to disappoint our customers!

 

SELL OR TRADE IN?

If you have an old scooter you want to get rid of, there are two options: selling it directly to a used scooter buyer, or trading it in with a retailer in order to discount a new scooter purchase. Note: Retailers will rarely buy your used scooters. For example, most of the time at Scooters Australia, we are already juggling too many trade-ins.

Selling

Pros

    • End up with cash

Cons

    • Requires work to sell on a web-site like Gumtree or Ebay
    • Unless you’re willing to accept a very low price, it can take a long time for a buyer for your particular scooter to come along

Trade-in

Pros

    • Very little fuss - happens instantaneously
    • No burden to find a buyer
    • Can be used as a bargaining tool

Cons

    • Only an option if you’re buying a new scooter
    • You don’t end up with any cash

 

WRAP UP

At the end of the day, the decision of where to buy, sell, or trade-in is about risk and convenience. You’ll pay a little more to decrease your risk and increase your convenience, and vice versa. Where you decide to fall on that spectrum is up to you. Just make sure you go in to any decision aware of all the costs and benefits.