Have you had your eyes on one of the best electric scooters out there on the market, but its price tag is just a bit too steep? Maybe you’ve considered looking for a used version of that same scooter but you’re not sure where to start. Not only that, but is it even a good idea?
Do not fear, my friend, for I have looked into this issue and I’m here to present you with everything you need to know when looking for a used electric scooter!
Why Buy Used?
For most people, there are two major reasons why you might buy an electric scooter that has already been used.
- It’s cheaper. Sometimes it can be significantly cheaper. It truly depends on where you’re looking.
- You don’t think your scooter is going to be used long. Maybe you’re buying the scooter for a small child and you don’t want to spend full price on something that he/she might destroy in a week. Maybe you just want to get some spare parts for another job, and possibly you could be looking just to take a base model and do some upgrades. It might be best to practice on a used scooter instead of spending full price and not getting a good result with the final project.
- You’re not sure if you’re going to use an electric scooter as a commuter vehicle. Maybe you just moved to a new neighborhood closer to work and you think an electric scooter would be a neat way to get around but don’t have any experience. A used scooter can be the perfect learning tool that could eventually lead you to purchasing a higher-end scooter someday.
When you do buy used, there are some issues that you have to consider that you don’t have to when buying something new. How much damage has been done to this scooter? How far/hard was it ridden? Was it ever left out in the rain? When you get something new, you know that it’s pristine and has never been ridden.
Moreover, many times when buying something used, it’s bought “as is.” If you find out something is broken on your scooter after you have bought it you can’t return it for your money back. You’re stuck with it. That’s not the case with buying it new, at least from any reputable store/site.
Who Sells Used Electric Scooters?
Before we make a list, just know that as electric scooters become more commonplace there will be more opportunities to buy used version as time goes by. With the recent explosion in many U.S. cities of the rental scooter market, there are literally tens of thousands of electric scooters on the streets that weren’t there a year or two ago. At some point these rental scooters will be funneled into the secondary market for someone to sell. When that time comes, there will be such a glut of used scooters for sale that they will be everywhere. Just understand that not all used electric scooters are the same. You will need to know what to look out for in a used scooter that will cause problems later.
Here is a list of stores/locations that sell electric scooters:
- Local Electric Scooter Store/Repair Shop
- Campus Bike Store
- Thrift Store
- Garage Sales
It used to be that finding an actual electric scooter shop that sold and repaired these products were few and far between. However, stores like these are popping up all over the country and coming to a city near you (if not already there). Maybe the local bicycle store also sells them. If you can find a selection of new scooters in these locations, there should be used ones as well.
Campus Bike Store
College campuses are one of the most common locations where you should see numerous electric scooters. Students need handy, quick transportation and scooters are a great alternative to bicycles. College campuses usually feature new trends that have yet to make it to your standard metropolitan town or sleepy suburb. Therefore, electric scooters should be present at most college campuses in far greater numbers than anywhere else.
If you’ve never purposefully looked for the best possible price on a product on Amazon, you may never have known that there’s quite a lot of used goods that can sold on the mega-site. Whenever you are on Amazon next, take a look at the used options for anything you want to buy. Currently there are some great used options for some very popular electric scooters of all styles:
- Tomoloo L1 – Normally this great scooter sells for $499, but currently there is one used Tomoloo for sale at $409.19. It’s also actually at an Amazon warehouse so they will fulfill the order and not a third party seller. The benefit of still buying it directly from Amazon is having the return policy still being valid despite the fact that it’s labeled as used.
- Razor E125 – These are one of the most popular electric scooters for teenagers right now on Amazon, so they have a few that they are also selling used. It sells new for $144.95, but the lowest used price on the site right now is for $99 with several more cheaper than the brand new one.
- Razor E100 – Razor makes some of the best electric scooters on the market, and they are definitely one of the most popular brands on the market. As such, they will also have some of the best opportunities when buying used. For the Razor E100, normally selling for $140.98 on Amazon, there are over 30 used versions for sale as well. They currently have several on sale for $83. That is almost 60% off the full price! On Amazon they also always describes what type of condition they think the product is in (Like New, Good, Acceptable) and tell you what makes it so.
Many people still use Ebay as their go-to for used stuff. That can absolutely include electric scooters. You can buy in an auction format or choose a “buy it now” option. Auctions allow for potentially the greatest deals. If you’re going to use Ebay, make sure you take a good long look at the pictures of the product (certainly never buy a used scooter site unseen). Don’t get suckered in by something that appears to be too good to be true.
Currently on Ebay you can search for electric scooters by model, price, and condition. For the most popular scooters, there are a lot of options. Finding a good-looking electric scooter for 50% off the full retail price is not only possible, but there might be even better deals!
If you want a good deal on an electric scooter and you want it now, Craigslist may be your best best. Understand that there are going to be certain times when there will be more electric scooters on their site in your area. You may see a lot of kids scooters go on sale in the fall when the weather turns cold and the kids are no longer outside riding them. By the time spring rolls around next year, that scooter may be too small so the parents are getting rid of the old one now.
You might also find good deals at the beginning of summer when students are leaving college or returning home and no longer need their scooter. Looking for a little extra cash, deals on adult electric scooters may never be better.
Either way, it’s usually feast or famine when it comes to finding an electric scooter on Craigslist.
It’s starting to become commonplace to see kids’ electric scooters for sale at thrift stores like Salvation Army or Goodwill. When folks are ready to clean out their garages and storage spaces, those older electric scooters that haven’t been used in a year will be heading to one of these stores and claimed as a tax deduction.
Depending on the thrift store, you might be able to negotiate the price down on one. If there’s multiple electric scooters in the store, offering less than the tagged price might get you an sweeter deal than you thought.
When it comes to negotiating down a price, garage sales win hands-down. The best garage sales that are the likeliest to sell electric scooters are usually going to be found in early summer in those neighborhood-wide yard/garage sales. In this situation, hopefully, you should try and ride the scooter before you buy it.
What To Watch Out For With A Used Electric Scooter
When you’re faced with an electric scooter that you’d really like to buy, make sure to take a little time and evaluate some areas where trouble is most commonly found. A little extra time and effort taken here can prevent many headaches in the future.
- Does the scooter run? If it’s been left in the garage for the winter, it’s likely to not start. You don’t want to buy an electric scooter that won’t even run unless you’re willing to take on some basic repairs. At the very least, a new battery will cost you $15-45. Don’t forget the charging cable here as well! Does the charging cable light up when it’s connected to a power source and the battery? New charging cables cost another $15-25. If you have to replace both of these components, your “cheap” used scooter purchase won’t be so cheap anymore.
- Speaking of the battery, ask the seller if he can estimate how many times he charged the scooter. Was it 100? 500? More? Most batteries are capable of going through hundreds and potentially thousands of charging cycles.
- Is there any obvious damage? Dents? Scratches? Check under the deck of the scooter as well. That’s the bottom where most battery packs are stored. Is there any side of rough wear and tear? If there is you might want to pass on this scooter.
- Check the tires completely. Look for any signs of patching or punctures. Has the owner ever had to repair or replace the tire? Does the tire look worn? Is there Slime sealant in the tires? Slime sealant is a great way to treat a punctured tire as well as prevent punctures in the first place.
- Does the brake lever squeeze without making a noise? When was the last time it was lubricated? This is when taking a test drive would be crucial. Testing the brakes for effectiveness is best done once the scooter has been warmed up a little. A 10-minute test drive should do it.
- Did the seller ever check the air pressure in the tires? Not all need air, but if they do the pressure should always be on the upper end of the recommended range. An electric scooter with tires not properly inflated will be a scooter with a need for new tires soon.
- Has the seller ever replaced anything on the scooter and why? What kind of maintenance does he do regularly?
- Is this an electric scooter that usually comes with a phone app? Some newer versions do and those apps record data like total mileage, average speed, etc. This would be handy knowledge when buying an electric scooter that may be more expensive than some.
What To Do After You’ve Bought The Used Scooter
Alright, so now you have bought your used electric scooter and brought it home. Time to ride, right?
Not so fast, my friend! You should do some basic maintenance on your new acquisition before you start riding it regularly. First, now that you have more time, perform an even more thorough inspection than when you were thinking of buying it. Look for any smaller signs of wear and tear that you may have missed earlier.
- Check every bolt and screw and make sure they are snug.
- Check all the wire connections and make sure none look damaged or frayed.
- Is there a belt or a chain for the drive? Make sure there’s not more than 1/4″ of play in either. A loose belt can slip and cause damage to the cogs on the rear tire.
- Do the cogs look damaged?
- Check the tire pressure and inflate to the recommended pressure if needed. Check the owner’s manual for the correct pressure. If the owner’s manual was not provided to you then you can usually find one online.
- Clean the scooter! I would recommend using gentle dish washing soap and a soft towel to manually clean. Don’t rinse off with a high pressure hose that could cause damage to the wiring connections. When you’re done, dry the scooter off with a towel and leave it out until it is thoroughly dried. Putting a scooter up in storage while it is still wet could eventually cause corrosion in the motor.
- Finally use a lubricant on your chain to keep it working smoothly and efficiently. A product like Chain Saver works great.
Used electric scooters can be a great buy if you take your time and not rush it. There are several places online and off that you can find great deals on used scooters. Be sure to undertake a thorough inspection and ask the seller any questions you might have about the history of the scooter. Finally, once you bring your scooter home, there are some basic maintenance/cleaning steps you’re going to want to take before you start riding it regularly. If you make sure you follow all these steps, a great scooter at a great price could be in your future.