Just arrived in Vietnam?
Want to buy a legal 2nd hand bike?
Too often do foreigners try to be smarter than the locals, I witness it every single day!
My name is Stevie, owner of Stevie's Garage in HCM City, the largest 2nd hand bike dealer in Vietnam.
I often get foreigners contact me before they arrive in Vietnam, spend hours chatting with them, letting them into my local knowledge of bikes, prices, reliabilty etc. Most of them are nice and will contact me when they arrive, but very often (I would like to say OCCASIONALLY but this is not the case, it happens VERY often) you get one that thinks they have "pulled one over on you" ie now know all the local prices and which bikes to stay away from etc. so will "bypass" you and save a few dollars.
They're not really as smart as they think they are!
Why not to buy private? Why not to buy from small unregistered dealers?...
1. Generally speaking, foreigners cannot register the bike in their own name (yes it is possible if u own a foreign investment company etc. but theoretically speaking it is not possible), so there is no way of you knowing if the bike is legal or not.
2. "yes but it comes with bluecard" (bluecard is the registration document) There are plenty of fake bluecards out there!
3. "yes but bluecard is real, has hologram etc" Bluecard is real, but is it for that actual bike!?
4. "yes bluecard is real and all the serial numbers match the bike" OK so bluecard matches bike, but how do you know police are not searching for that bike because it was involved in something illegal? How do you know the bike was not stolen along with the bluecard?
5. Buy private or small dealer you will not have warranty. Of course they will say anything to close the deal, 3 or 6 month warranty even, but I bet they don't even own a screwdriver let alone powertools.
6. If something happens, you mis-park bike or whatever, and police confiscate bike, how are YOU gonna get it back if YOU are NOT the REGISTERED OWNER???
7. Worse scenario, if bike is illegal for whatever reason, ie involved in "hit n run" or whatever, and police stop YOU, do you honestly think you are just gonna walk away from the situation, or do you think you will be arrested whilst it is being investigated?
8. "I don't need the bike to transferred to my name anyway" There is a difference between you needing, and whether the bike can or can't be transferred. Ask to see the transfer papers of the bike to the small garage you are dealing with (notorised from original registered owner to the garage). Also ask to see his full business license. I bet they can't provide either! (a proper buy/sell license, not just a mechanic workshop license). Which only means one thing, the bike is NOT legally registered to that garage, and the garage is NOT registered either.
All bikes throughout the Stevie's Garage branches come with warranty, and are repaired on site whilst you watch.
We actually DO own tools.
All bikes throughout the Stevie's Garage branches are registered on police database as belonging to garage. If customer gets bike confiscated for whatever reason, police will immediately contact Stevie's Garage and we are entitled to get the bike back from police impound as bike is all legal and registered to us on the police database. We have a full garage license, unlike most small garages.
Whether you NEED the bike transferred to your name or not (in a foreigners case, usually not), Stevie's Garage CAN transfer the ownership, which PROVES that all our bikes are LEGAL. We have NOTHING TO HIDE, 100% REGISTERED and LEGAL business.
So for those "smart people" who think they can save $20-$50 going "private", have another think!
Is the risk of being arrested, deported, hassled, chased by cops, REALLY WORTH the $20 saving? (you're NOT saving anyway as you don't get any warranty!)
Thanks for reading
Thanks to all the "smart ones" who think they have "pulled one over me" by wasting hours of my time extracting knowledge from me, then going private to SAVE a few bucks. Let's see how smart a move that really was :-)