Buying Electric Bikes Online vs. Your Local Dealer

Buying Electric Bikes Online vs. Your Local Dealer in Hawaii

Ah yes, the age old question. Should I go down to my local electric bike shop to purchase a bike? Or should I find the seemingly best deal I can online via Amazon or the usual outlets. The prices are so low, how can I resist? We here at Ebikes Hawaii would like to take a moment and address different buying options for all you electric bike seekers out there. More and more we are seeing online outlets push their marketing and discounted prices appealing to all of us budget minded. Although pricing is certainly one aspect of purchasing your future electric bike, there are several other considerations we would like to highlight before making your purchase decision.

  1. Shipping. Due to the sizable lithium batteries on all electric bikes, shipping can be a challenge.  You may find a killer deal on Amazon for an electric bike, however once you get to the very last checkout page, they simply won’t ship to Hawaii. Why, you may ask is it so difficult for mainland/online vendors to ship bikes to Hawaii? The answer lies in the total watt hour battery capacity of electric bikes, being far too large for air freight. Venders will need to be Hazmat certified (which many are not). And even with Hazmat certifications, shipping costs on a single electric bike may be upwards to $400-$500 per single unit of electric bike. Whoa, all of a sudden my inexpensive electric bike became not so cheap

  2. Support. Okay, so I’ve either decided to bite the bullet on shipping or have found some kind of back end loophole online to get the electric bike to Hawaii at a reasonable rate. Although this could be happily ever after for some buyers, we would like to address some real concerns after the initial purchase that may come up during the life of owning the bike. Having good support from the manufacturer, especially living so far away from just about everything in Hawaii is critical. Any failed electrical components can render an electric bike pretty much useless, or in the very best case, a very heavy and hard to pedal regular bicycle. In some cases, the battery or any of the other electric components may fail, and if the manufacturer or online outlet cannot reasonably support their Hawaii based customer (as stated earlier, be Hazmat certified to reasonably ship a replacement battery), you’ve left with a pretty sweet looking paper weight. A “warranty” without the ability to support customers in Hawaii can often lead to some pretty unsatisfactory results. 

Lucky for you, we honor all of our bikes manufacturer’s warranty’s and are here to support you for the full life of the bike. Need any replacement parts? Easy. We order OEM parts direct from the manufacturer with shipping all handled. Our freight forwarders are well equipped to bring any parts from the mainland needed to keep you on the road. Even if the bike is out of warranty, we are still here to support you and find alternate options to keep you happily on the road. Too many times we have gotten electric bikes that need service that were purchased online /Amazon, leading to a failed repair due to lack of support from the manufacturer. At this point, we have implemented a general service policy of not servicing any electric bikes whose brands do not support dealers. This means full support, which in most cases, is limited to only the brands we sell. Simply put, we only service the bikes & brands that we sell and trust.

And Lastly, numero 3, Try before you buy. If you are already on your journey to owning an electric bike, you may be overwhelmed simply by how many options there are. After outfitting thousands of customers on bikes, we can confidently say that the absolute best way to figure out which electric bike is best for you is to simply try one. Theres so many different factors involved that a simple test ride can reveal which your priorities and needs are. Hub motor, or mid drive? Do I want a city style, cruiser, or off road capable bike? Does a smaller 20” folding ebike make sense, will it have enough power? Speculation while browsing the internet can only do so much, and we truly believe that trying a bike before you buy is very important. Even if your local shop does not have something you want to purchase, you can at least get an idea of what your needs are as you continue your journey for the perfect electric bike.