Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:13 am

Petty Tyrant
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Petty Tyrant
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Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:13 am linkquote
I keep seeing (mostly over there) objections to the word "boutique" used to describe the Vespa dealerships. I don't think it's really the most effective way to describe the dealership, but I'm not offended by it as others seem to be. I was hoping you guys could provide some insight into why you don't like the word, or why you think others get riled up about it.

Is there a stigma there I'm just unaware of?
Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:15 am

Banned
M@
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Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:15 am linkquote
i really dont like boutiques they are filled with over priced shirts ,key chains & helmets
Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:27 am

Member
GT200 / P200 Stella / P200 / Stella
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Location: Tampa, FL
 
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Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:27 am linkquote
Bo-teeks sell lifestyle and image (and the stuff that goes along with it - trinkets, t's, boots, clothing) in addition to scooters.

Dealerships sell scooters, parts & accessories.

Hell, for that matter all the H-D dealers are bo-teeks!!!


Rich
Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:27 am

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gt200
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Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:27 am linkquote
Hmm...Boutique sounds like they will sell you face cream and a massage, rather than be knowledgeable about the inner workings of a scooter...hehe. It's seems to be a way a lot of shops make it pass the off seasons though.

The word doesn't bother me, it more like how it used to describe certain scooter buyers...wink wink.

X
Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:35 am

Addicted
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Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:35 am linkquote
I don't find it offensive, per se, but to me it's a rather transparent attempt to be "upscale". I think some Piaggio marketing person was trying too hard.

I simply refer to ours as the Vespa shop.
Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:43 am

Hooked
Vespa LX150
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Hooked
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Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:43 am linkquote
The word definately has a feminine image associated with it. It may be fine for the over the pond continental buyer or the infamous metrosexuals that are so proud of their manicured nails and rows of facial creams on the counter.

No offense intended to any metrosexuals here, we're all Vespa riders after all.

That being said, personally, I'd like to see the scooter be viewed as less prissy. Selling them in boutique's instead of dealerships isn't the way to go. BTW, I'd like to see Vespa tell my mechanic that he works in a boutique!!!

Doug
Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:49 am

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Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:49 am linkquote
"Hell, for that matter all the H-D dealers are bo-teeks!!!"

that's exactly why i don't like them
same kind of weekend warrior fashon crap

its like spocks post about modern scoot stigma when the new owner buys everything in sight & is in bed by 8 (possibly still wearing there little vespa shirt )
Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:55 am

Hooked
Vespa GTS Super 300 many others
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Location: So Cal
 
Hooked
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Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:55 am linkquote
Who knows why people get offended by the word boutique and I really never cared about the whining that people tend to produce. I just call it the shop, plain and simple. Since half of my shop including the show room has scooters in for repairs it does not much look like a boutique. Maybe the word boutique was used so that it wouldn't scare away the rich people or people who could afford a new Vespa?? Or to give Vespa/Piaggio a new status in the power sport industery. Whatever they did it has worked, because sales ever since have been good. Well there is my 2 cents, Ciao


Happy scootering,
Sean
AKA Tech 23
Wed Nov 09, 2005 11:04 am

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Location: Pasadena, CA
 
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Wed Nov 09, 2005 11:04 am linkquote
Marketing semantics-that's all it is.

One first has to confirm who Piaggio "thinks" the core Vespa audience is. I would imagine that the Vespa brand in the scooter world is, at least to some, something like the BMW or Mercedes-Benz of the auto world. "History", "luxury", "premium", "Euro-elegance and styling", etc. are all things that come to mind when it comes to these brands. Whether or not they deliver on those promises is up for debate, but I think that's a topic worthy of another thread.

To some, Chevy has "dealerships". Audi has "showrooms". My guess is that Piaggio is making the most of what makes the Vespa brand famous--the romantic Italian theme, classic styling, and their place in the U.S domestic market as a Euro-alternative to Asian brands--and calling their brick and mortar dealership locations "boutiques" is consistent with that strategy.

Personally, the fact that I purchased my Vespa from a "boutique" is a pretty small footnote in my scooter experience so far. I can't confirm that it made any difference in my purchasing decision one way or the other.

In a word: "WHAT-EVER".
Vinnie
Wed Nov 09, 2005 11:55 am

Guest



 
Vinnie
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Wed Nov 09, 2005 11:55 am linkquote
gliderguynj wrote:
It may be fine for the over the pond continental buyer
Can't speak for the rest of Europe but boutiques haven't caught on over here. Then again the P-Range never got outlawed by ever toughening emission controls so the scooter scene never suffered so much that a good proportion of long standing dealers were able to survive.
Wed Nov 09, 2005 1:06 pm

Hooked
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Wed Nov 09, 2005 1:06 pm linkquote
Ah, but I did say continental my Island dwelling friend!

Doug
Wed Nov 09, 2005 2:29 pm

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Wed Nov 09, 2005 2:29 pm linkquote
I've been to a couple Vespa places. They were both rather boutique like. It's not the fact that the place sells clothing or other goods, because a lot of shops do that. What makes it to me a boutique more than a shop is that everything is branded to go along with the bread and butter product. A typical scooter shop might sell Kymcos and a couple types of helmets. A boutique sells Vespas and Vespa helmets, and Vespa jackets. The boutique concept, in its various contexts, is about a branded experience. Some people like that, others find it annoying and crass.
Vinnie
Wed Nov 09, 2005 2:37 pm

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Vinnie
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Wed Nov 09, 2005 2:37 pm linkquote
gliderguynj wrote:
Ah, but I did say continental my Island dwelling friend!

Doug
You did indeed good sir. Just offering the Limey perspective.
Wed Nov 09, 2005 2:41 pm

Enthusiast
Vespa GTS 250 i.e.
Joined: 26 Oct 2005
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Location: Somerset UK
 
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Wed Nov 09, 2005 2:41 pm linkquote
Don't be such old poopies, and get with the laid back Italian vibe.
I'm glad I can say my GTS came from a Boutique (Thompsons in the UK, just when the term was bing ditched). I bought a whole heap of Vespa branded clothing whilst I was there just to pee my husband off! Whahahahaha.

Bellissimo!

Wed Nov 09, 2005 3:18 pm

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Wed Nov 09, 2005 3:18 pm linkquote
Sometimes successful products develop a nemesis anti-following. A few current examples are Microsoft Windows OS, Harley Davidson motorcycles, and Vespa scooters.

There isn't any problem with the so-called "boutiques". There's only the desire to assign them an irrational negative connotation, and then associate that with a branded product.

By the way, I just love my Frigidaire refrigerator. It rocks! I didn't buy it at the Mall. I bought it at Costco.
Wed Nov 09, 2005 3:22 pm

Molto Verboso
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Wed Nov 09, 2005 3:22 pm linkquote
Poopootique
Personally I think the whole "Boutique" thing is going over like a fart in a space suit for Vespa. Yeah I did it and there is nothing I can do about it now because too may dealers have too much invested in what a Vespa Boutique should look like. I'd much rather have access to a shop with parts and service than a "Boutique" with a watch and t-shirt. I occasionally commute to work and ride with friends on the weekend with my scoot. Keep the Boutiques in the Big cities like the Hard Rock Cafe and it would be something special to see. But give the riders and existing scooter shops what they need. Access to parts and service. How about adding a poll for Boutique - Love it, Hate it, or Don't care

Tim
Wed Nov 09, 2005 3:31 pm

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Wed Nov 09, 2005 3:31 pm linkquote
addicted wrote:
There isn't any problem with the so-called "boutiques". There's only the desire to assign them an irrational negative connotation, and then associate that with a branded product.
I'm not sure that's entirely true, but I get your point. There could be a bit of a marketing problem here. In the U.S. some people do have the absurd notion that bigger is always better (see Harley, Hummer, etc.) and scooters are considered either feminine or just wimpy little rides. Yes, it's an "irrational negative connotation", but right or wrong, calling your retail centers "boutiques" plays right into this stereotype.

It's not a big deal to me, and Piaggio/Vespa seems to be doing quite fine doing it the way they are, but they might be able to win over even more people if some of their U.S. marketing wasn't quite so cutesy.

Or maybe not.

Kevin
Wed Nov 09, 2005 3:40 pm

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Hooked
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Wed Nov 09, 2005 3:40 pm linkquote
It does not bother me, However I would rather take my scooter into "Non-Boutique" to have repairs or service. I just feel that the 120 dollar an hr that the local "Boutique" charges goes more to the atmosphere than real mechanic work.
Wed Nov 09, 2005 3:46 pm

Ossessionato
None! I sold it :(
Joined: 01 Nov 2005
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Location: Burlington NC
 
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Wed Nov 09, 2005 3:46 pm linkquote
Botique?
I bought mine from a "Botique", but really could care less. My dealer will take time with me, answers all my "silly" questions, and is actually a very cool guy. I have since been into a BMW, Trimumph, Vespa dealer. Never saw the word Botique, but sure felt like one. I was more comfortable at the dentist office last week.
As long as I get treated good, and not talked down to I will shop. Otherwise no way, Beale.
Sat Nov 12, 2005 5:12 am

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Hooked
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Sat Nov 12, 2005 5:12 am linkquote
For me the truth is that i can care less if you call it burger stand or whatever,what really matters is the service and availability of parts,here where i live there's only one vespa dealer and is like two hour drive from my home town and the sad thing is that every time i need something i end up buying from a mailorder cause they don't have what i need in stock and also if i want to service my scoot i have to leave it for two weeks in order to get the job done,anyways i will support who is supporting the scoot scene needs!

Cheers!
CUCO
Sat Nov 12, 2005 6:40 am

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Addicted
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Sat Nov 12, 2005 6:40 am linkquote
CUCO wrote:
what really matters is the service and availability of parts
Indeed. I imagine Vespa could deck out all of the "boutiques" in pink and lace but if the service was consistently good, parts were always available and the prices reasonable no one would complain (well, there is always someone, but you get my point).

I'll note again (as I did in another thread) that our Vespa shop in DC has been, in my experience, quite good. I understand that hasn't always been the case in other places.

Kevin
Sat Nov 12, 2005 9:27 am

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Sat Nov 12, 2005 9:27 am linkquote
Scootergirl & I got our scoots from a Boo-Teek. It's actually a small, glassed-in section of an used car dealer run by an Italian family. They specialize in European, high-end cars. It's not uncommon for them to have a Porsche 356 (currently) or a Ferrari Testarossa (when we got her LX) sitting on the showroom floor with the Vespas and Piaggios (and some Maliguttis and Kymcos). We're not bothered by the "Boo-Teek" atmosphere. They also have an excellent service department, too, as well as basci maiantainance items. They'd have no problem ordering performance parts and installing them, either.
Sat Nov 12, 2005 9:48 am

Molto Verboso
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Molto Verboso
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Sat Nov 12, 2005 9:48 am linkquote
Re: Objection to "Boutique"?
i beleive that its due to the"demographic" that vespa is trying to attract. it seems to work, i see folks walking into the vespa boutique who never rode before and walk out with all sorts of stuff including vespa's. i have posted elsewhere about my feeling of this word,(which i dont like), and have continually searched my vocabulary for an alternate term. just for fun lets pretend to create another description besides "dealer" or "shop", how about: "the vespa experience center" or "vespa bodega". lol, hope you know i'm just funnin around and not trying to offend anyone, so please no replies saying I'm weird or bizaar. I already know that.
jess wrote:
I keep seeing (mostly over there) objections to the word "boutique" used to describe the Vespa dealerships. I don't think it's really the most effective way to describe the dealership, but I'm not offended by it as others seem to be. I was hoping you guys could provide some insight into why you don't like the word, or why you think others get riled up about it.

Is there a stigma there I'm just unaware of?
Sat Nov 12, 2005 1:02 pm

Enthusiast
Vespa GT200 and Lambretta LI125
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Location: Bend, OR
 
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Sat Nov 12, 2005 1:02 pm linkquote
booo-tteeek
I bought my gt because its a small scooter that can perform well enough to handle highway use. The bike meets my needs (amd looks cool).
But i must admit that the marketing of vespa strikes me as silly and does have a strong "metro-sexual" quality to it. I suspect this is one reason that more traditional scooterists tend to be anti- new vespa.

One company i definately respect is Bajaj. They sell their scooter strictly on the merrits and capabilitys of the scooter itself. That company, in my oppinion, has lots of integrity with their business approach. But maybe integrity doesnt sell scooter...maybe image does (look at the stella).

If i didnt need the power of the gt, i probably woulda gotten a bajaj (efficient, fast enough, clean burning, reliable)

~Anthony
Sat Nov 12, 2005 2:07 pm

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Sat Nov 12, 2005 2:07 pm linkquote
I got mine at VespaCleveland, and while the front end looks like what the photos show of other Vespa boutiques (bright and shiny, clean with lots of posters and almost exclusively Vespa brand lifestyle goodies) it really doesn't give off that feel. The staff is great, knowledgeable, and are real scooterists. One used to have a scooter shop of his own. I was just in this morning for my first service. Labor is $60/hour, and parts were at retail. The shop is full of a variety of scooters, old and new.
Sat Nov 12, 2005 3:55 pm

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Location: Pittsburgh, Pa.
 
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Sat Nov 12, 2005 3:55 pm linkquote
I bought my ET4 from the botique in Pittsburgh. It looked like a botique, too. Where else could I go to if a wanted a new Vespa? Honestly, I really didn't mind the botique idea so much then...I just wanted my scooter. (Scooters are rare in this neck of the woods.)

In retrospect, I don't think the botique idea was really that smart. Yes, it got Vespa some initial attention. But, If you are going to sell an item and market it as a fashion statement, you are going to be left out in the cold as soon as fashion changes...and by nature, fashion changes quite often.

Well, the botique closed. I don't pretend to really know why, but I figured:
1) Upscale Uptown location, but hard to get to and park at.
2) The University students nearby (I think this was a targeted group) don't have that kind of money for a relatively expensive scooter that can only be comfortably used part of the year (Pennsylvania can get COLD in the winter, too.)
3) It was a botique. Sorry, but that just puts some people off.

The dealership was taken over by a reputable motorcycle dealership in the burbs, easy to get to, no Hollywood/Vespa posters on the walls, a real selection of gear and accessories, not just Vespa fashion, and a full-fledged experienced service department.

I like it much better.
Sat Nov 12, 2005 7:09 pm

Hooked
KYMCo Vitality 2004
Joined: 07 Nov 2005
Posts: 114
Location: Phx, AZ, UAS
 
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Sat Nov 12, 2005 7:09 pm linkquote
I think the dislike from the boutique term comes not necessarily from Vespa, but other companies dealerships that put more value in selling you the experience than the product or service. Look at the stories about new Harley models being sold by some dealerships at double or more the MSRP. Why? Simple, they know that in their market, there are fools willing to shell out far too much money to be hip. My biggest worry going into one of these places is having to deal with an obnoxious salesperson who's pitch boils down to 'its a Vespa/Kymco/insert brand name here' and that alone is supposeed to make me buy it at an inflated price, and pick up the all important accessories they sell. No thank you, I'll take a dealership that at the very least knows what they're selling, and why I should buy it. If they're fun to chat with (Luci's Joyrides), all the better.

Speaking of Harley Davidson with how much stuff they've put the brand on, I'm expecting to stop into one of their stores one day, and find them selling Harley Davidson toilet paper.
Sat Nov 12, 2005 8:21 pm

Sergeant at Arms
Weird 80's Vespas & Cool Vintage Lambrettas
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Posts: 11846
Location: The state of insanity, SoCal
 
Sergeant at Arms
Weird 80's Vespas & Cool Vintage Lambrettas
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Posts: 11846
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Sat Nov 12, 2005 8:21 pm linkquote
coffedrink wrote:
It does not bother me, However I would rather take my scooter into "Non-Boutique" to have repairs or service. I just feel that the 120 dollar an hr that the local "Boutique" charges goes more to the atmosphere than real mechanic work.
120 an hour??!! holy fu*k!!

looks like i need to bump up our rate... <<BFG>>

best,
-greasy
Sun Nov 13, 2005 6:05 am

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Sun Nov 13, 2005 6:05 am linkquote
Javarod wrote:
Speaking of Harley Davidson with how much stuff they've put the brand on, I'm expecting to stop into one of their stores one day, and find them selling Harley Davidson toilet paper.


True story: Our blue eyed, very friendly and fluffy, Siberian Husky puppy wears a Harley Davidson branded dog collar, which we bought at the local HD dealership. They sell HD branded dog leashes too. Hmm, maybe these things weren't meant for dogs after all...

The HD showroom is nicer than my entire house! I've always brought my dogs inside their showroom, and they've never even given me so much as a nasty stare. This summer they had a promotion where they gave free Buell backpacks for taking a test drive. Not only did I get the test drive, but the dealerships president told the guy he hand-picked to ride along with me to "give him a good long ride, not like the normal test ride". My riding partner pulled wheelies on every road. The whole ride we played a game of me trying to catch up to him, at way above legal speeds.
Mon Nov 14, 2005 10:51 am

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Peugeot Looxor
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Peugeot Looxor
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Mon Nov 14, 2005 10:51 am linkquote
The Vespa boutique/shop/dealer in my area was just recently sold to a company that started out selling tractors, but moved into ATVs, snowmobiles (Polaris), and now motorcycles (Victory, by Polaris). They just bought the Vespa place, but we don't know what they are actually going to do with it yet.

I often wondered if their location was quite right, and I did hear some customer complaints on long waits for repair service. Other than that, they had a nice showroom and a good selection, and allowed test rides.
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