Rather than tell you not to buy pre-owned, we thought we’d educate buyers to help lower your risk when buying a used electric scooter.
Although there is far less risk in buying new, there can be a lot of value in purchasing a used electric scooter. Occasionally you can find some real gems on Facebook Marketplace and Kijiji with super low mileage. Many times, these kickscooters were purchased as gifts and have been barely used. Other times, sellers will list a kickscooter that is on its last legs as they look to make a quick buck by offloading it.
Of course, as a retailer we would encourage you to buy new – but the reality is there will always be a market for used electric kickscooters. Rather than tell you not to buy pre-owned, we thought we’d educate buyers to help lower your risk when buying a used device. Here are 7 steps you should follow when purchasing a pre-owned Segway-Ninebot electric kickscooter:
1. Test ride first. This may seem obvious to some, but hey, there’s no harm in mentioning it. Never purchase a pre-owned electric kickscooter without test riding first. Try to do a few laps around the block as some problems can occur intermittently and aren’t obvious on first glance.
2. Listen for any strange sounds coming from the motor or elsewhere. As you test ride the device, pay attention to the sounds the scooter is making. A hum from the motor is natural, but any grinding, creaking, or straining could mean the device is in need of service.
3. Look for any signs of damage. Superficial damage does not necessarily imply internal damage, but it may help you talk down the seller. Look for scrapes and cracks as you inspect the device. For insight on internal damage, keep an eye on the display dashboard of the scooter for error codes. Some system errors can be easily fixed, while others could require extensive repairs. Error codes don’t always appear when the scooter is first powered on, so this is where you’ll want to do a couple laps around the block and check in on the dashboard. The quality of a used electric scooter can be unpredictable – but clear physical damage is usually a good indicator that you should pass.
4. Ensure the device can receive a charge. Have the seller connect the charger to the device and check to see if the device is receiving a charge. Make sure the seller provides you with the appropriate charger for the device as part of the sale! Stolen scooters are sometimes sold without chargers, if the seller doesn’t have this part you may want to skip buying it. If you trust the seller and they’re just forgetful, you can always buy a charger directly from us.
5. Perform an odometer check. Have the owner show you their odometer on the Segway-Ninebot app. This will tell you how many kilometers the device has logged in its lifetime. Caveat: A scooter with 5,000km isn’t necessarily in better shape than one with 8,000km, but it can help you assess the value of the scooter.
6. Determine the original purchase date/year. Typically, the lifetime of Segway-Ninebot batteries is around 1,000 charge cycles – which is approx. 4-5 years depending on usage. If the owner isn’t sure when the device was purchased, you can determine when the device was manufactured based on the Serial Number. Serial Numbers on the MAX G30 and G30 LP models can be found next to the battery port, whereas on ES models they can be found under the deck of the scooter. The middle digits in every serial number tell you the year and week in which the device was manufactured. For instance, if the serial number is N2GSD2112K0101 – the scooter was manufactured in the year 2021 in the 12th week.
- If the owner doesn’t know when the kickscooter was purchased AND there is no serial number on the device, this is a RED FLAG that the device may have been stolen.
7. Ensure the owner “unbinds” from the device. In order to properly transfer ownership of the device, have the seller Unbind the device from the Segway-Ninebot app on their phone. Once they have done so, you will be able to register the device in your name on the app.
- IF the owner can’t “unbind” this is a RED FLAG that the device might have been stolen. If your device has been stolen, post your serial number on our Discord channel so that we as a community can look out for each other.
Other Common Questions
What happens if the seller can’t unbind from the scooter?
If you are not able to transfer ownership, it is not the end of the world. You will still be able to pair to the device on the Segway-Ninebot app and change settings, however technically speaking the ownership has not been transferred.
Is the warranty transferable?
Unfortunately, not. Even if the device is within the warranty period, the warranty will not transfer owners. The warranty belongs to the original purchaser only.
Is someone able to lie and reset their total mileage on the odometer?
Mileage is not something that can be hacked through the manufacturer’s app, but it is possible to reset the mileage if certain internal components are replaced (we don’t want to give people any ideas so we won’t get into more detail). Always cross-reference the mileage with the condition of the scooter. Tire tread condition and production date (based on serial number) are good indicators.
How can you tell if someone “hacked” and/or modded their device
The way to tell if someone has hacked or modded their system is if the scooter can achieve speeds higher than the devices advertised specs on flat terrain. Most hacks affect the top speed and acceleration so check the speedometer while you test ride. Scooters that have been hacked typically experience control board failures and are not advisable.
So Should You Buy a Used Electric Scooter?
When buying a pre-owned electric kickscooter be wary of super cheap prices. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you have strong doubts when it comes to buying a used electric kickscooter then it is better to buy new. Book a test ride in the Distillery District to find the right ride for you.
Segway of Ontario offers a trade-in program* where you can buy and sell pre-owned devices. All of our pre-owned units have been inspected by our technical team and are subject to availability.
*We cannot guarantee your device will be accepted for trade-in and value is determined by senior management. Contact Segway of Ontario for more information.