Archive | October, 2010

WARNING: The Big China Rip Off

We’ve seen some shops trying to make money off of growing interest in cargo tricycles and bakfiets. However, a lot of them are either price gouging customers or they’re getting ripped off by their suppliers. These shops are selling Chinese built cargo bicycles for five times the manufacturing and shipping costs. How does a cargo tricycle costing $275/unit plus $100 (shipping, customs, & storage), retail for $2100?

To make matters worse, some of these shops are implying that these tricycles and bakfiets are Dutch built. They’ve got names like Dutch this and Dutch that with websites that imply the same. For example one shop we talked with didn’t even mention that the bikes were built in China until we asked them directly. They gave us an explanation of how they retrofit these tricycles with high quality US and Euro parts, yata yata yata. A week later that same shop updated their website to say that the bikes were built in China.

We did a group buy of ten of these same tricycles and bakfiets a couple of years ago and learned a great deal about the pricing, shipping, customs, etc. The conclusion, Chinese made cargo tricycles and bakfiets should retail to the consumer for at most $1000. Even with a 100% markup over cost and $50 to have someone assemble the bike, it’s realistic that these “China” trikes and “China” bakfiets could retail at $750 with profit.

If you’re interested in reading more about what we learned from our group buy experience, please let us know by commenting on this post and we’ll try to answer your questions.

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