Have you ever thought it would be cool to own a Segway?
Have you ever thought about buying a Segway on Ebay?
The Segway is an engineering marvel and you can get pretty good deals on them but you need to know what you are buying and how to buy one.
Any high-ticket item on Ebay is a potential fraud target and the Segway is a HUGE fraud item on Ebay. Anywhere up to 50% of the Segway listings on Ebay may be fraud. Ebay is geting better and better about taking them down quickly and they are generally relatively easy to spot.
Fraudulent Ebay Segway listings typically want you to contact them directly outside of Ebay, they want money wired via Western Union or another money transfer vehicle – cash, money order, wire transfer, etc… that leaves you with no recourse when your Segway doesn’t show up. The first thing to do, or not to do is to ever bid on a Segway (or any other item) on Ebay that says not to contact them through Ebay and insists that you contact them though an Email address posted in the auction. If you have any doubts about the auction, contact the seller through Ebay and start communicating with them. Ask any question just to see if you get a response. Fraud often occurs with new accounts that have zero feedback ratings but can also occur with power seller accounts that have thousands of positive feedback ratings if the account has been hijacked.
Just because you are dealing with a legitimate seller does not mean that you will get what you think you are getting when you try to buy a Segway on Ebay or online in general. The Segway is an awesome “toy” that can be a cheap and fun way to get around or commute to work but you need to know what you are buying.
Before you bid on any Segway, you need check on a number of things and if at all possible, verify what the seller tells you with the dealer where the Segway was originally purchased. Dealers in fact list many of the Segways on Ebay and these are legitimate listings. If the one you are bidding on or planning on buying is a dealer listing you can generally rest easy and expect to get exactly what they tell you, you are getting.
Currently there are first and second generation Segways in the marketplace. The first generation Segways include the i80, i70, i67 and XT (off-road model). The second generation Segway includes the i2 and the X2 (off-road model). If you are buying a first generation Segway, the most you want to pay is $3,500 give or take a little bit but possibly as low as $1,500. For a used second generation i2 or X2, the lowest price you’ll typically find is about $4,000 and you can go up to about $6,000 if it is brand new, comes with accessories and you get stuck paying sales tax.
So what things will affect what you should pay for a Segway?
Batteries – Does it have NiMH or Lithium Ion batteries? NiMH batteries tend to have a range of about 12 miles and Lithium Ion batteries have a range of up to about 25 miles. The 1st generation models generally come with NiMH batteries and if you are buying a 1st generation Segway that comes with the original batteries, they may be good for a lot less than 12 miles. Ask the seller of a 1st generation Segway what type of batteries it has – some have been upgraded to the Lithium Ion batteries.
All the generation 2 models come with Lithium Ion batteries and as such are worth more. New Lithium Ion batteries for a Segway cost around $1,600 new.
No matter what Segway you buy, confirm with the seller that the batteries have been charged regularly. If the seller bought the Segway, stopped using it and packed the whole thing away somewhere, the batteries may hold very little charge and require a new battery set. If this is the case, tack on $1,600 to your purchase price for a new set.
Segway Keys – Just like a car or other motor vehicle, keys are used to start the Segway. Make sure the seller has all the keys for it. The 1st generation models come with 3 different keys that affect the maximum speed of the Segway. The second generation Segway comes with an “info” key that is like a high tech car key FOB. Make sure the seller has the keys.
Segway Serial Number – Since many people don’t know much about Segways but think they want one or that it would be cool to steal one, you need to make sure you are not buying a stolen Segway.
When Segways are purchased they may be registered with the Segway corporate office. If you buy a Segway and the keys do not work or the seller ships it without keys you will have to go to a dealer or to Segway corporate to get replacement keys. If the Segway you bought turns out to be stolen, you probably won’t be able to get keys made for it. If possible get the serial number from the seller and check with Segway to make sure the unit is not stolen.
Segway Mileage – Ask the seller how many miles are on the Segway. THis isn’t to critical but the lowere the mileage, the better shape your Segway is likely to be in when you get it.
Segway Crashes – Has the unit ever been wrecked? The Segway is a pretty durable piece of equipment. They can be a little tricky to ride and an aggressive rider may have crashed the Segway causing cosmetic and possibly functional damage to the machine. Generally this is not that case and it would have to crash rather hard to functionally damage the Segway but it is something to ask about. I’ve only ever seen Segways with cosmetic damage but in some instances, a unit can be wrecked such that the wheels will wobble when they turn. Most of the time this does not adversely affect the performance of the machine but could be an indication of internal damage that could affect the performance of the Segway down the road.
When buying a Segway – Ask about the batteries, buy in person if possible, inspect the machine and make sure it is not stolen, stand behind someone else and make sure the wheel don’t wobble when they ride it, check your local laws for riding it and if buying on Ebay, pay with a credit card if possible and if you must use PayPal, find the PayPal payment with a credit card so you have recourse if you don’t get what you think you are getting.
Another good resource for Segway information, advice on buying a Segway or even to find a Segway to purchase is the Segway Chat Forum
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