Buying a used electric scooter is the same as buying a used car, you want a good quality vehicle at an affordable price. When buying a used electric scooter there are a ton of places you can look, including Kijiji, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and even right here at T-Dot Wheels.
Although a used e-scooter can work just as well as a new e-scooter there are a few things that you want to look out for before buying. Especially if you’re buying the e-scooter from a person and not an authorized reseller.
In any case, the world is filled with scam artists, whether it be individuals or people, there’s always someone with malicious intentions just looking to make a quick buck. So before you go out and buy the first electric scooter you see on Facebook Marketplace check out these tips on what to look for when buying a used electric scooter.
Does it seem sketchy?
It’s usually pretty easy to tell if something is going to be a scam, even before you meet the person for the exchange. Anything that seems to be ‘too good to be true’ often is, especially when someone is selling a product at half or less of its retail price. Although buying a used e-scooter is cheaper than buying a new one, if the listing seems too cheap then it’s likely, not legit.
You should also look out for minor clerical errors in your communications with the seller, maybe you texted or emailed the person before the exchange, look out for consistent spelling mistakes and the usage of fake logos, this is typically an indication that the sale is fake or the e-scooter is stolen. Maybe even compare a stock photo to the listed photo to spot the differences.
Another clear indication that something is a scam is the ‘sob story’ sales that you see all across the internet. People will write out a whole story about how their great uncle died and left them an E-scooter or how they’re getting deported and need to sell all of their stuff, if you see this, avoid it. Sob stories are just a method of trying to make a quick sale, and usually, the tip-off is when the person asks for an e-transfer or deposit before you’ve even seen the e-scooter.
Does the E-scooter run?
If you’ve found a listing that looks legit, with a real person and a real electric scooter you still have to consider other factors before simply making the purchase. One major technical consideration is if the e-scooter runs, many people will try to rush the sale along, but be sure to power it up AND ride it first before paying.
The most important thing to look out for when buying an electric scooter is if the scooter runs. Take a second to turn the e-scooter on, look at the dashboard, play around with the buttons, and listen for any odd sounds it might be making. When you first turn the e-scooter on there will be a beep sound followed by the dashboard flashing a bit, this is normal and the process is different for every electric scooter.
The best way to ensure that it is powered up correctly is to watch a demo video of that electric scooter make and model before you meet with the seller, this way you’ll know how that scooter is supposed to look and work. If the e-scooter powers up the same way it did in the video then you know it’s still working!
How long has the person had it?
Electric scooters have been around for quite a while now, and obviously, some models are going to be older than others. When inquiring about a used electric scooter be sure to ask how long the person has had it, if it's over 3 years old then you may want to look for another scooter.
Although electric scooters can last quite a long time, the battery on an e-scooter is just like any other battery, if it's used too much it’ll wear down and if it's idle for too long it will begin to deplete. So if the person has had the e-scooter for a long while, whether they’ve been using it or not, the battery won’t be as strong as other newer models used electric scooters.
Of course, if the person has had the electric scooter certified then that's a different story, a certified pre-owned e-scooter is just as good as a new e-scooter and will likely come with some kind of warranty from the place that refurbished it.
Can you still get parts for it?
Speaking of old e-scooters, a lot of e-scooters that were on the market 5 years ago are no longer manufactured or sold, especially in Canada. If the electric scooter is too old then the manufacturer might not make parts for it anymore, meaning that if it needs to be repaired you’ll have a hell of a tough time finding a place that can do it.
Before making a purchase be sure to research the electric scooter first, check out who manufactures it if they still make parts for it, and where you could get it serviced if you ever needed to.
How do the tires look?
One of the biggest issues you’ll find with used electric scooters is the tires, specifically the tire pressure, tread depth and condition. An e-scooter is just like a car or a bike, if the tires deflate it can’t be used, and pumping up the tires can be a real hassle. Another issue to look out for is the condition of the tire, if it looks like the tires have been dragged through hell and back then it's likely damaged or unstable.
When purchasing a used electric scooter be sure to give the tires a good once over, this way you can see if the wheels are deflated or if they may be punctured in some areas.
Test the brakes
Another important component of an electric scooter is the brakes, you’d hate to be going downhill in Toronto with no brakes. Just like the tires or battery, the brake pads can deteriorate over time, if this happens then the brakes won’t work as well, putting you and others in danger every time you use the e-scooter.
Be sure to power the electric scooter up and give the brakes a test, if the scooter still moves when you pull the brakes (either front, back or both) then the brake pads are damaged and it will be unsafe to ride until you replace them.
How does it look aesthetically?
Ever heard of the term “Rust Bucket”, it’s typically used to describe a car covered in rust and dirt, but can be applied universally to any mode of transportation. If the used e-scooter is a ‘rust bucket’ then you should likely avoid purchasing it. An e-scooter covered in rust or dirt typically implies that it’s been left out in the elements or unmaintained over the years.
A scooter that looks bad on the outside is probably just as bad on the inside. If you’re looking for a full restoration project then more power to you, but if you’re just looking for a scooter for casual usage then be sure to pick one that looks good on both the inside and outside, otherwise, you might end up with a dud.
What’s the mileage?
Mileage, just like the age of the electric scooter, is very important in determining how well it will perform. A used e-scooter with a mileage of 1,000KM or under is likely still in great condition, but when the number starts to get a bit higher is when you should take a closer look at the scooter to see if it's still in good shape.
Mileage can impact the battery, brake pads and overall performance of the e-scooter, so if the mileage is too high then it might be risky to purchase that scooter.
Take a test drive
The most important tip for buying a used electric scooter is to take it out for a test drive. Not only does a test drive help you to determine if there are any problems with the scooters, but it also helps you get a better feel for riding it.
When test-driving the electric scooter be sure to test the brakes, lights, speed, and so on to ensure that it's in tip-top shape. While riding it also makes sure that it’s a good fit for you, factors such as height, max payload, stability and comfort are best determined once you’re on the scooter, don’t buy a scooter that doesn’t feel right or make you comfortable!
When buying a used electric scooter be sure to look out for anything fishy from start to finish, a scam can usually be detected when you first start talking to the seller, but other considerations such as the scooter's condition must also be examined before you make a purchase.
Interested in buying a Certified Pre Owned electric scooter? Check out the T-Dot wheels selection today, we’re Canada’s top electric scooter retailer which has serviced Toronto, the GTA and all of Canada for over 5 years! Check out our Certified Pre-Owned selection today at: