Indonesian Bike Dealers…. Buyer Beware
I am trying to do my part to help anyone like me out there who is in the market for a new ride not get taken by the multitude of the Indonesian bike dealers out there. While the price looks very appealing at about 1/3 of what you would pay at your local bike store, my research has proven these are scams and you should steer clear from these dealers. While I do not want to paint them all with the same brush, I have found nearly 20 different dealers in my due diligence that fall into this category. My recap below is just my experience but as you will see I was not looking to do anything more than just get a good deal on a new bike and stumbled on this.
I was in the market for a new TRI bike and began to do some research based on knowing what I wanted to see if I could save a few $$$. It can’t hurt if you know your size right? So I did a simple Google search on the bike I was looking for. The result set returned was predominantly populated with dealers that were from Indonesia. So I began to research their products. Found exactly what I wanted and at a price of 1/3 what I have at my local bike store. Awesome right, well let’s continue the story here. So, like any purchase of this amount ($2000+), you have to do your homework, so I checked some of the other dealers in the Google search and many had very competitive prices on the same product. The common thread between ALL of these was that they were in Indonesia. Having never purchased anything directly from an Indonesian dealer in the past I started to do some research.
My research started with investigating the web sites of the dealers and looking at things like dealer contact information, About Us, Terms & Conditions and what the Return policy was. This turned up not only common themes, but word for word text across most of these sites right down to the mission statement for the company. Most of these could only be contacted by e-mail and had no direct phone. None of these allowed you to pay by credit card and only accepted wire transfer or PayPal. Many of these sites were just re-skinned versions of one another.
Next steps were to reach out to a few of these to ask five very simple questions that any reputable vendor would be able to answer without issue to both assure the buyer they were legitimate and to provide validation this was not fraudulent and your actually receive the goods you purchased.
Question 1 – Import Tax / Duty
Would there be any additional fees, duties or taxes that I would have to pay on top of the bike cost and shipping fees you have outlined on your checkout page?
Question 2 – Shipping
Who will you use for freight service of a purchased bike for shipment to the U.S.A?
Question 3 – Payment
You only accept Wire Transfer and PayPal as payment. Do you accept COD or Credit Cards?
Question 4 – Validation from prior customers
There is a tremendous amount of BAD comments/publicity about using companies such as yourself in Indonesia. I understand that you cannot give me a list of prior customers to contact for privacy reasons to validate your product and business. So, how can I validate that you are a credible vendor and this is not a scam?
Question 5 - Warranty
On your website you state that “All products are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Warranty terms vary between manufacturers as well as products, so please refer to your documentation for details. If you have warranty questions please feel free to contact us. Keep all manufacturer bicycles to help yourself communicate with us, or them directly if the need arises. Be aware that shipping and service charges are not covered by manufacturer’s warranty”
How does your stated warranty work given what the manufacturers list on their web sites do not support this? If you can provide more detail on this it would be extremely helpful in making my decision to purchase and the product I select. I look forward to getting more information from you on this.
Cervélo's warranty policy is valid only for Cervélo products purchased through authorized Cervélo retailers. Cervélo products purchased through any channel other than an authorized Cervélo retailer are not covered by the Cervélo warranty.
We warrant Your new bicycle or frame from KUOTA to be free from any defects in material or workmanship for a period of 36 months from the delivery date, in other words for an additional 12 months compared to the guarantee period implied by Norm CE 99/44. The warranty coverage is in any case supplied directly by Your Kuota Dealer, to whom You should turn in case of need. Your KUOTA bicycle or frame is covered by guarantee for original conformity defects right from the moment it is delivered to You by the “Kuota Official dealer”. We ask You, however, to check with Your Dealer, whether Your new KUOTA bike or frame conforms to Your expectations and to verify beforehand with him the compatibility between the product and Your own physical characteristics and requirements.
Felt Racing LLC Limited, Lifetime Warranty
All Felt frames and forks on Felt adult bicycles and bicycle framesets (Road, Triathlon, Speed, MTB, Cruisers, Comfort), except Shot models, are warranted to be free from manufacturing defects in material and/or workmanship for the lifetime of the original owner. This Warranty applies only to the original owner and does not transfer to subsequent owners.
This Warranty Does Not Cover:
• Any damage resulting from normal wear and tear, including the results of fatigue. It is the owner’s responsibility to inspect his or her bicycle before each and every ride.
• Any damage, failure or loss caused by abuse, neglect, improper repair, improper maintenance, alteration, modification, failure to follow instructions or warnings in owner’s manual, an accident or other abnormal, excessive, or improper use, including, but not limited to, stunt riding, ramp jumping, acrobatics or other similar activities, or in any other manner for which the bicycle was not designed.
• Any bicycle or frameset purchased by mail order or via the internet.
• The original owner shall pay all labor charges connected with the repair or replacement of the frame. Cost of shipment or transportation to or from an authorized Felt dealer or Felt are specifically excluded and not covered by this Warranty.
• Assembly and adjustment of the frameset and component parts must be completed by an authorized Felt dealer or Felt or other outlets specifically authorized by Felt to distribute Felt bicycles. Framesets and/or bicycles which are not assembled and adjusted either by an authorized Felt dealer or Felt or other outlets specifically authorized by Felt are specifically excluded and not covered by this Warranty.
This is where the wheels really came off. As I said, you can only e-mail these dealers, there were no 800 number to contact any of them. Some did show a local number but that was not utilized in my research. So I e-mail them the 5 questions to the sales support address they list on the Contact Us page. The results I received were interesting. One dealer replied with “please purchase the items and then we will send you all of the information you have requested.” Another said, “Thanks for your reply sir. Don't worry about that sir. You still can claim the warranty to Manufacturer's.” Another was, “Thanks for your questions sir. I think it's not important.” Only one even partially answered one of the questions I asked with “Of course our company is the official and real in Medan-Indonesia. For the moment our company only accepts payments via Bank Transfer. And to tax costs and insurance will be known if your order has been registered to delivery. Transport for the delivery of our company via FedEx, DHL, and UPS.” I really can’t make this stuff up. These were the actual responses to my five questions.
Needless to say that ended my research effort and put a nail in the coffin of the Indonesian bike dealer’s option. I hope that anyone who takes the time to read this will head the warning and not be scammed. Luckily, I did my homework and did not fall into this trap. I have listed the 18 vendors I have found with only cursory digging that represent themselves as credible dealers. I hope this helps in your decision in the future.
Sites / Dealers