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A question for everyone

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A question for everyone

Old 01-06-20, 01:35 PM
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A question for everyone

Hello people of the forum.
My name is Luka Petrovic I am from Belgrade - Serbia and I am 18 years old.

In the past 6 months I was in business of buying used mountain bikes and turning them into ebikes.
Now that I sold my last ebike I am starting my own legit business in electric bike industry.
Basically I am going to produce the ebike by welding the frame of the bike in my hometown and importing other parts from the suppliers.

Since I do not know what kind of an ebike the market wants I am here to ask what you people from electric bike community really want. I am interested in what you guys think all the other ebikes lack.
Would you like an ebike with motorcycle type seat, do you think that ebikes lack comfort, do you think that extra battery capacity is worth the extra buck, do you care if components such as suspension and shifters are branded would you pay the extra buck if they were branded.
Would you rather buy an enduro type or maybe cross country type or even a city bike.
My focus is to build a product that suits the consumers needs and wants so I please provide as much info as you can.
Other than that if you have any suggestions or tips I would really appreciate the feedback.
Also I am new in ebike forum community so if you could suggest other groups, forums etc. that would mean a lot really.
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Old 01-06-20, 08:56 PM
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I am on the other end of the age spectrum. I just bought an ebike for riding when we go camping in our RV. My health is poor, so I need the extra help. I plan to stay on paved or packed dirt roads. My trips will likely be 10 - 20 miles or less.

My check list of must have includes
350W motor,
36V , 10aH battery
Mid or rear hub motor
Disc brakes
Ergonomic handlebar grips
At least 5 PAS levels and throttle.
Display including battery charge status, PAS setting, speedometer, odometer, trip odometer

Having known brand battery and motor is of some value.
Depending on price point, hydraulic disc brake would be very appreciated, as would better brand shifters.
I want fenders, either as part of the bike or as an optional feature.
Multi speed bike
I really like the 2 leg stand on my bike.
Headlight and tail light which operate off the main battery would be a very nice feature or option.
What I bought was a nearly new GenZe 102 bike.
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Old 01-06-20, 09:15 PM
Russ Roth
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I've been looking some into converting a bike to an e-bike for my wife, finding a site that clearly lays out the kits, what is needed and explains the technical meanings could be good.
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Old 01-06-20, 11:10 PM
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It's a tough market for a newcomer to break in. I would avoid MTB and road racers for now, as that can be a very expensive investment. I would stick with city bikes and hybrids to begin with.
Also see if your country/province offers financial incentives for this type of business, either producing or buying.

good luck
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Old 01-06-20, 11:20 PM
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What sells in your country could be very different than what sells here in the U.S. for example. I'm assuming you're going to start with local sales, as shipping ebike batteries is very complex. So I'd try to find some clubs or forums in your area. When you're ready to branch out and sell to other countries, do a lot of market research (obviously you are already on that) and develop a solid business plan and see if you can get some investors based on your local sales. Good luck, I wish you success, I love to see young people following their passions.
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Old 01-11-20, 06:02 PM
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Hello Luka,
Don't want to be negative, here's my take on your question. Proceed with extreme caution. You're an honest, hardworking young man with entrepreneurial spirit. Unfortunately, unless your customers are family, everybody you deal with in business, today, will do everything they can to leave you holding the bag. If you find a good supplier for frames, batteries and all the components, since you're new to the game, you'll have to prepay everything. If you have the cash to prepay and put together a distinctive product and you sell to wholesalers, sooner or later those wholesalers will not pay you. If you think you're going to sell a wholesaler your distinctive product and they're going to prepay for anything (cash before delivery), in the U.S., at least, that will never happen. In the U.S., the big guys know exactly how much your distinctive product costs and the reason they're not having it made directly for them at the source is because they'd rather you use your money to make it for them and and sell it to them and give them 90 or 180 or 360 days to pay you. Sweet!!!! (for them). Since they know exactly how much everything costs you, for the honor of selling them on an open account basis, they will let you make 5 - 7.5% gross margin. Just make sure that, when you ship to their distribution center, your product is properly labeled (on at least 2 sides with lettering exactly 10 cm x 5 cm high) properly strapped (poly strap not metal strapping every 35 cm) otherwise, as noted in the 78 pg routing guide which was emailed to you 2 days after goods left country of origin, they will take a deduction. Goodbye gross margin. Hey, Luka, how are you doing, hey, the sell-through on your bikes is not that great we're going to need additional terms, at least 90 in addition to the 180 you gave us and we're going to need to discount them because a lot of ebikes are in the market so we need to lower the price a little, just 15%. All those % come off what they'll pay you down the road, sometime, because their margins are sacred. Sweet!! (for them)
So wholesale is a problem, what about retail? The factories are going to be Chinese factories and they won't really support you if you come to them and want to make small quantities of anything. For small quantities you just go to aliexpress and get your stuff there like everybody else. Then you'd have to put everything together and either sell from your own brick and mortar store or your country's emarketplace. Maybe you could generate interest on social media, somehow, so that, when your product is ready, there'll be pent-up demand (kickstarter). The one positive thing about retail is that nobody can ask you for, or rather, demand, open account terms.
Also, you need to hurry. If Serbia is going to enter the the EU then Serbian customs policy is going to leave for Brussels. You're young so 5 years might seem like a long time but the 2025 entry is actually tomorrow, if you know what I mean.You need to be mindful of what changes that could bring
But enough negativity, here are some ideas. I really think that you're conversion business is nice. You could see if you could have someone buy used bikes for you here in the States. You or someone should be able to find bikes cheap. Say $20 - $50 range. Not sure you could do a huge volume, but I really think you could get your feet wet. Find a consolidator (NVOCC non vessel operating common carrier) who can ship you via ocean freight LCL (less than container load). It should be cheaper than UPS or Fedex from the States. Maybe there's an NVOCC with a transfer station in, say, the New York area and they would take your bicycles on without having to box them and just put them up in the space between the ceiling of the container and whatever other freight is going in. There's always room up there if the other freight is cartons and bicycles up there would be a perfect fit. You could try a few unboxed and see if they withstand the rigors of an ocean voyage.
For components, google China ebike or bike fair or convention and see when the next one is. A trip to see everything in one place can be a great education. Be prepared to be wowed by the Chinese industrial juggernaut.
Whatever you decide, srećno
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