The PCX rush!
Buying a second-hand bike in Saigon
Written by Renzo Linares (October 2020)
The Extra Mile Premium Bike Rental has grown a lot from word of mouth in its years. Our customers know the value of the benefits we offer them, as a result not only do we have customers using our service for over 40 consecutive months! But we also do have several returning customers whose sole option for a bike rental in Vietnam is The Extra Mile. One of the main reasons, is that we always offer them exactly what they need or better.
The volatility of the year 2020 affected our logistics and our supply chain specially. As a result we had to acquire bikes on demand and have them ready fast. Suddenly within the month Vietnam opened its borders to selected expats we ended up having the biggest rush to expand the fleet. Luckily, our whole team understands the standard of service we want to offer, so everyone got on the case right away!
Not only the managers but the staff too felt the need to expand the fleet quickly. Within minutes every one shared as many sales posts and ads they could that would match our requirements. Unfortunately, our usual sources were running low on the bikes we needed so we had to open to all potential sources. For obvious reasons, we can not reveal the names nor locations of our best sources. But we can give insights on the more public ones.
A few facts of the second-hand bike market:
_ At the moment, Facebook Marketplace still has a large number of personal sales. There is a growing number of shops advertising on it but it's still slim.
_ Chotot has been completely flooded by second-hand shops, most which have a very low standard and yet an expensive and firm price.
_ On Facebook Marketplace, most deals are a bit more reasonable on prices, also more negotiable.
_ Second-hand shops will usually negotiate discounts from 200k to 500k. Unless you're lucky, they will stay firm on 500k maximum.
_ Personal sales, which are mainly found on Facebook Marketplace, may be negotiable for 1M VND or more. The best we reduced was 1.5M VND on a deal that was already reasonably priced.
_ IMPORTANT FACT: ALL of second-hand bikes NEED to go through a maintenance. Not a single second-hand bike is ready at its optimal standard at purchase. Regardless of the seller's arguments and promises, a full basic maintenance needs to be done. At The Extra Mile we usually spend from 1M VND to 4M VND on top of the purchase amount to put the bikes in its optimal shape and according to our standard.
During our PCX rush, we saw about 10 different PCX's. Unfortunately many we saw were not well taken care of and yet the prices were high. In order to ensure the optimal quality for our customers, we had to make sure the mechanic history of the bikes we buy is a good one. In the case of a few that were acceptable mechanically, the price has to be right too. For this matter, our chief mechanic Henry gets on the floor to check the bike's interior carefully, taking a good amount of minutes before even test driving the bike.
After spending so many hours finding the right bikes and later on 2 to 3 days to service them properly, we were able to deliver them to the customers by the end of their quarantine.
If you buy a second-hand bike and you don't know how to do its basic maintenance or what to check on it, you may visit our partner shop: Phat Phuc Racing at Bui Huu Nghia, Binh Thanh.
Official shops won't really do a full check. If you go to them, you need to ask specifically what you want to get checked. Which means that you need to be aware of the parts that need a revision. Be mindful that the local standard is lower than in tier 1 countries which impacts the knowledge of the official mechanics as well. So for sure they will do the very basics that any mechanic knows but they won't go deeper into the details that do matter for the expat community.
At Phat Phuc Racing, Henry will properly check with a higher standard and of course inform transparently of all items and estimated cost before getting to work.
At The Extra Mile we purposely partnered with Phat Phuc Racing as we've known their standard for a long time. At some point in our relationship as partners, Henry who owns Phat Phuc joined The Extra Mile as co-owner. As a result we can ensure to provide the best quality of bikes and service you may expect.
It was the case for these newly acquired PCX's for which we spent up to 3 days to service and prepare.
The result: 2 happy customers on their perfectly well prepared PCX's!