Vespa Schenectady Going Out Of Business
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Bashan 150, CF Moto Fashion 250
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Location: Hyde Park, New York
Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:22 am quote
This is a blow to this area.

Vespa Schenectady
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Blow out sale for going out of business; open by appointment only. 518.281.3636.
Molto Verboso
2006 Vespa GTS250ie, 1992 BMW K75
Joined: 07 Nov 2005
Posts: 1891
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:29 am quote
Re: Vespa Schenectady Going Out Of Business
kz1000ST wrote:
This is a blow to this area.

Vespa Schenectady
·
Blow out sale for going out of business; open by appointment only. 518.281.3636.
With each closing, I find the bar for Vespa ownership raised a bit. Mainly for service for those things I can't do myself.

It also gives me an opportunity to strengthen my commitment to my scooter riding.

I'm no longer certain where the nearest dealer is to me. The Vespa dealer locater doesn't seem to have been updated for a long time.
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Bashan 150, CF Moto Fashion 250
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Location: Hyde Park, New York
Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:48 pm quote
It's really kind of odd. All indications are that the powersports industry had a good year despite, or because of the pandemic. People are buying 50cc scooters to stay off public transportation and to get outdoors.
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2007 GTS 250
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Location: NYC, NY
Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:42 am quote
Totally expected.
What's more surprising is that anyone thought opening an overpriced, luxury, rust-prone scooter dealership in an economically disadvantaged, continental climate with severe winters was a good idea.

I saw it come up for sale on business broker websites about 6 months ago.

There's really only a limited number of markets in the USA where the urban population density, affluence, and climate can support a product such as this. Albany most definitely isn't one of them.

Locals - network with the former mechanics (a regular, independent motorcycle shop should also be able to service these), or start shopping for tools.
Hooked
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Location: Bermuda
Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:56 am quote
Just to stir ILikeIke’s pot a little...how many snowmobile, ATV, and jetski dealers are there in the Albany area? Plenty, I’d guess. Yet everything he says about the Vespa, except “rust-prone” and replacing “winter” with “summer” for snowmobiles, is even truer for those vehicles.

I’d guess that running a Vespa dealership is very similar to those of other product lines - a juggling and balancing act that is rarely self-sufficient by itself.
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Bashan 150, CF Moto Fashion 250
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Location: Hyde Park, New York
Tue Oct 20, 2020 4:38 am quote
If Vespa dealers are to survive in this Country they will have to be free to carry lines of lower priced products. I know of one dealer who carries Piaggio products but sells large quantities of Wolf and Ice Bear scooters to keep the lights on.

Big Four dealers do it all the time. Kymco seems to be their introductory line.
Addicted
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Tue Oct 20, 2020 5:41 am quote
I hate to say it, but not surprised with my personal experience there and from others I heard from.
Hooked
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Location: Upstate NY
Tue Oct 20, 2020 5:44 am quote
Stopped in there this summer for the first time. The guy behind the counter wasn't helpful at all and the few Vespas they had out on the floor were covered in a thick layer of dust. They didn't look long for this world at that point.
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2007 GTS 250
Joined: 30 Sep 2019
Posts: 8
Location: NYC, NY
Tue Oct 20, 2020 6:54 am quote
Juan_ORhea -

Snowmobiles & ATVs aren't fair weather toys in rural areas with long, harsh winters. They're practical transportation through the countryside, so that's not a fair comparison.

You can probably buy a jetski in landlocked Albany, but as there isn't really isn't anywhere within 100 miles to use them, it's doubtful they sell well.

kz1000ST has the right idea. There are few markets in the US where a stand alone Vespa dealership would work. The dealerships really need to be a multi-brand and multi-product powersport outlets. A shops primary business in Albany could be snowmobiles & ATVs, but they could also have a small scooter section with Vespa as one of several brands available.

It should be a tack on, like "Albany Yamaha/Vespa", etc. Vespa is a niche product, with a small customer base, and a microscopic annual production.

If the Albany shop was mismanaged it didn't help the business, but it was definitely the wrong product, in the wrong market. Tank tops probably don't sell terribly well in Alaska, and I doubt you could even find a goose down jacket in Bermuda.
Molto Verboso
2013 Vespa 300 Super, 2007 Burgman 400
Joined: 30 Mar 2014
Posts: 1785
Location: Minneapolis USA
Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:27 am quote
My local Vespa Dealer in Minneapolis Scooterville
As already mentioned on this subject, it is probably important to have
several brands of scooters to sell.

My local dealer has evidently figured this out. They sell Genuine (Buddy),
Vespa, Piaggo, Kymco, and Moto Guzzi. Additionally, they sell several
small all electric scooters. Their leader in units sold is the Buddy 50cc
at $1999. They are currently out of stock on this scoot.

As also mentioned already, small scooter sales are flying high and difficult to
keep in stock. I was at the dealership when Jonathan, (Really good guy and one of their salesman) sold two 50cc scooters to a couple who stated they wanted
something to do during this crappy virus stuff.

That is the news from Lake Wobegon Minnesota. 3-4 inches of snow coming down today.

Bob Copeland
Veni, Vidi, Posti
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Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:58 am quote
ilikeike wrote:
There are few markets in the US where a stand alone Vespa dealership would work. The dealerships really need to be a multi-brand and multi-product powersport outlets.
Well yes, but you say that like you have never heard of a Vespa dealer who sells other brands. You might want to look up the product line at ScooterWest in San Diego or AF1 near Austin. I presently have a GTS and 2 Genuine Buddys. They were all purchased through the same dealership near my home.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
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Tue Oct 20, 2020 6:06 pm quote
“The Motorcycle Shop” in San Antonio carries Vespa, Kymco, Lance, and s number of other lesser priced scooters similar to the prior examples.
Member
2007 GTS 250
Joined: 30 Sep 2019
Posts: 8
Location: NYC, NY
Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:27 am quote
Dooglas wrote:
...you say that like you have never heard of a Vespa dealer who sells other brands.
I haven't.

Vespas North American sales & distribution model is not interesting enough to pay any more attention to than noticing a sign on the store front as I pass by, and the only one I've ever been to was a stand alone dealership in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Which is one of the few markets I would say can support a dedicated shop.

But this thread is about a closure in Albany, NY.
Molto Verboso
GTV300 (wife's)
Joined: 08 Nov 2014
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Location: Central New York
Wed Oct 21, 2020 5:45 am quote
Wife bought her GTV from the dealer near Rochester NY who's main business was selling BMW's.

Unfortunately the couple that ran that dealership decided they wanted to retire and could not find anyone to take over the business.
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Bashan 150, CF Moto Fashion 250
Joined: 07 Dec 2008
Posts: 954
Location: Hyde Park, New York
Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:05 am quote
I would be curious to know how many of the Vespa shops going under are Piaggio only? It seems the ones that are flourishing sell scooters from very cheap to Vespa. All the powersports publications are saying sales of two wheeled vehicles are going well.
Ossessionato
2010 ThunderFly 190, 2008 250 GTS
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Posts: 2768
Location: Springboro, OH
Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:37 am quote
Metro Scooters in Cincinnati carries Vespa/Piaggio, Genuine, Kymco, Royal Alloy. They also carry NIU - small electric scooters.

So it is possible to have a mixed product floor. Piaggio lifted that requirement several years ago.
Ossessionato
2015 GTS 300 Super (Melody)
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Location: Asbury Park, NJ
Wed Oct 21, 2020 4:18 pm quote
ride4321 wrote:
Stopped in there this summer for the first time. The guy behind the counter wasn't helpful at all and the few Vespas they had out on the floor were covered in a thick layer of dust. They didn't look long for this world at that point.
Sounds like a dealer that's been in the ring a few rounds too long, like the dealer I bought my GTS from five years ago. Which brings me to this thought…
ilikeike wrote:
Juan_ORhea -

Snowmobiles & ATVs aren't fair weather toys in rural areas with long, harsh winters. They're practical transportation through the countryside, so that's not a fair comparison.

You can probably buy a jetski in landlocked Albany, but as there isn't really isn't anywhere within 100 miles to use them, it's doubtful they sell well.

kz1000ST has the right idea. There are few markets in the US where a stand alone Vespa dealership would work. The dealerships really need to be a multi-brand and multi-product powersport outlets. A shops primary business in Albany could be snowmobiles & ATVs, but they could also have a small scooter section with Vespa as one of several brands available.

It should be a tack on, like "Albany Yamaha/Vespa", etc. Vespa is a niche product, with a small customer base, and a microscopic annual production.

If the Albany shop was mismanaged it didn't help the business, but it was definitely the wrong product, in the wrong market. Tank tops probably don't sell terribly well in Alaska, and I doubt you could even find a goose down jacket in Bermuda.
My old dealer (Stumpy's, in Neptune Township), which closed its doors some six months ago, had been in business for decades. They sold motorcycles and scooters (Yamaha/Star, Vespa, CCM and, about a year ago, KTM (when they failed to pick up Suzuki). They also sold other power sports stuff (ATVs and small watercraft), as well as…hot tubs. Yes, hot tubs. You'd think they had the whole "products for every season" thing down cold, but it obviously didn't help. It's quite possible the owners just didn't want to put in the work anymore, for whatever reason. My take on the staff was lukewarm: not unfriendly, just this vibe I got that they'd really rather be doing something else, almost anything else rather than talking up bikes or riding gear or even just shootin' the shit for a minute or two. And I actually bought a bike from them, not just a tire-kicker.

My current dealer (Indian/Vespa/Moto Guzzi*/Zero of Monmouth) couldn't be more different: a beautiful showroom, up-to-date service department, and–wait for it–a staff that somehow seems to be into what they're doing. I discovered them a short while before they took on Vespa, when I was shopping for riding gloves: I got the warmest welcome I could imagine, being offered coffee (I'm strictly a tea guy…they've since accommodated me a bit), and invited to check out the place. When I first heard they were taking over the Piaggio franchise from Stumpy's, I was over the moon.

And, in spite of our Current Shared Situation, they're still laying to plans for a Vespa Café, in or near Asbury. Granted, as mentioned before, location isn't a small deal, and even though the business at the Jersey Shore is as seasonal as other parts of the Northeast, there seems to be more staying-power in these parts than average.

(As an aside, my local scooter club, Jersey Shore Chaos Crew, didn't' exist until some two years ago; we now have 90 members, and the dealership is helping us a bit in making things more "official" in organization. Works for us and them.)

Time will tell with all of this, but for the moment I'm fairly stoked.

(*Oh, yeah: remember that Benelli I was kinda-sorta drooling over? It's gone, with the other Benellis. When I had a discussion with the dealer owners about what they should carry after they jettisoned Royal Enfield about a year back, I whispered: "hey, you're in with Piaggio now, why not Moto Guzzi? I think it's a perfect fit with everything else you're selling." They gave me a cryptic "maybe, who knows?", but otherwise noncommittal. Glad they made the move.)

20180424_172759.jpg
How they do it here.

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Bashan 150, CF Moto Fashion 250
Joined: 07 Dec 2008
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Location: Hyde Park, New York
Wed Oct 21, 2020 6:26 pm quote
How come they ditched Benelli? SSR too difficult to deal with?
Sergeant at Arms
Weird 80's Vespas & Cool Vintage Lambrettas
Joined: 21 Oct 2005
Posts: 8019
Location: The state of insanity, SoCal
Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:48 am quote
Honda/yamaha of north hollywood went out several years ago. they'd been around since the 60's, had an awesome showroom, TONS of used bikes for good deals, a great parts department and a flourishing service department (several bays, a bunch of techs). and i'm talking this place was giant. like, half a block long. then honda hollywood (the sister store) decided they were only going to sell ktm and bmw. and guess what, they're gone too.

i don't know if was the owners cashing it out on the land value or they were just over it. but i do know that it was a viable, money making venture. it was always busy with sales, service or at the parts counter.

in a cold part of the country i could see somebody folding their hand much quicker. i mean, how many skidoos or side by sides or atv's are you buying year to year?

hell, two vespa dealers locally closed last year. in socal. food for thought.

-g
Sergeant at Arms
Weird 80's Vespas & Cool Vintage Lambrettas
Joined: 21 Oct 2005
Posts: 8019
Location: The state of insanity, SoCal
Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:52 am quote
kz1000ST wrote:
.....Piaggio products but sells large quantities of Wolf and Ice Bear scooters to keep the lights on.

Big Four dealers do it all the time. Kymco seems to be their introductory line.
fuck icebear with the heat and fury of ONE THOUSAND suns. absolute dog shit of the highest order.

wolf, fine and dandy. kymco, same same. i'll work on 'em all day and twice on sunday.

-g
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