There are many “consumer direct” electric bike brands that promote advertisements encouraging consumers to “skip the middleman” and take advantage of lower prices than those offered by brick and mortar locations.
While it may be tempting to save a bit of money, skipping the middleman doesn’t offer consumers the best value for their money. Here’s why.
The truth is, these “consumer direct” brands are actually middlemen!
Often, the brands that promote buying direct are resellers themselves. In order to skip the middleman they are saying that they have designed and manufactured the bikes that they sell. They may tout their bikes as being American-made, but when you read their product listings carefully, you will likely see that their products are actually “assembled in the USA.” Like many bikes, they are manufactured in China, shipped to the US, and then assembled.
The more important issue is that cut-rate bikes with the key selling point of being inexpensive will almost always deliver performance in line with their price. A cheap bike is a cheap bike. So, when something goes wrong, how easy will it be to have it repaired? How much will it cost?
In addition, even when there aren’t immediate issues with the bike, owners are often frustrated with the difficulty of getting compatible accessories, and the poor quality of those that are available.
The risks are real, and there are many.
As a middleman, Practical Cycle acts as an advocate for our customers to ensure they have a positive long-term experience.
We provide three levels of service to our customers, before, during, and after the sale.
First: We only sell bikes that satisfy our quality standards. We act as a filter, by only allowing the best, most reliable bikes roll out the doors of our shop, and work with brands that understand that customers are best-served when they can talk to an experienced dealer. More importantly, we remove the guesswork for customers by providing a place where you can see, touch, and try out the many models and options available. We have rentals you can take for an extended period, and then apply the rental fee to a subsequent purchase. Our team members provide expert advice and work tirelessly to help customers find the right bike model and size based on individual needs. We also stock a wide range of accessories for you to see and try, and provide support on how to use them.
Second: We accept all major credit cards. In addition, we offer deferred interest financing, cash discounts, free assembly and installation of accessories, easy online ordering, and keep most models in stock for immediate delivery.
Third: We provide a free checkup after 90 days or 100 miles, warrantied repair which covers labor, delivery and on-site service, and post-warranty repairs.
Our goal is to ensure that you are delighted with your new bike, and get many years of enjoyment from it.
The next time you see an advertisement that claims that the best route is to buy a bike online, take a moment to think what that means: That they are encouraging you to make a blind purchase.
We love being the middleman, and having the opportunity to help our customers find the high quality, high value bikes that are just right for them.