The idea for Carolina Fun Machines started back in 2007 when Linda, a high school French teacher, told Tim that she wanted a scooter to drive back and forth to school. So they went out and visited a number of the local scooter dealers and they also looked into what was available on the internet.
They found that the local dealers that actually had service and parts for the scooters they were selling were adding $600.00 to $800.00 on top of the scooter price for documentation, freight and assembly fees. They also visited a number of hardware stores, used car dealers and tire dealers that were selling the low quality scooters but found they didn't stock parts or have any qualified service people on staff to work on them when something went wrong down the road.
In researching the internet sellers they read about all the horror stories regarding the quality of the scooters they were selling and when something went wrong there was no support to help figure out what was wrong and when they did it would take weeks to get the parts they needed. And in checking the Better Business Bureau ratings on most of these internet sites they were rated an F.
In doing all this research they learned that not all Chinese made scooters were of the same quality even though many of them, from many different manufacturers, looked very much the same. When they spoke with the Chinese factories they would be asked what quality scooters they were interested in buying. When they asked the factories what they meant by that question they were told that most of the companies that purchased scooters from them wanted the absolute cheapest scooter they could buy because they were selling them over the internet and the only thing that mattered to their internet customers was who had the lowest price because whoever had the lowest price on a particular style of scooter got the sale. So the factory would take the order and build the scooters for them with the cheapest, lowest quality, parts so they could still make some money on the order. When you sell a scooter to someone that lives a thousand miles away you can promise them everything to get the order and then deliver very little to them.
After some 500 hours of research they decided to go with only the better quality manufacturers. One of their brands Znen, along with manufacturing scooters also manufactures motorcycles and automobiles. They actually manufacture most of the parts that they use to build the scooters they sell. This allows them to have more control over the quality of the scooters unlike the other factories in China that only assemble scooters from parts they purchase from other suppliers, like the factories making the cheap scooters for the internet sellers and low end scooter dealers.
They also liked the fact that they could specify the quality level of specific components that were used to build the scooter such as the carburetor, drive belt and battery.
Although they are not perfect scooters they are a much better scooter then the ones being sold under the Sunny, Velocity, Peace, VIP, Eagle, Roketa and a number of other low quality importer names. To review a complete list of these low quality brands click HERE.
Over the last 5 years Carolina Fun Machines has serviced over 1,500 scooters and we have found that these low quality scooters tend to start having problems within the first 30 to 90 days and the cost of parts and labor to keep them on the road during the first year of ownership far exceeds the cost of buying a higher quality scooter in the first place.
When you purchase a scooter you need to not only look at the initial scooter purchase price but also the cost of keeping the scooter running during the period of time that you plan to own the scooter. This is called "Total Cost of Ownership". The low quality scooters end up costing you more in labor and parts cost to keep them running to where they end up being more costly over the first year or two of ownership then buying a good scooter to begin with.