STAY SAFE WHEN BUYING USED
WED, 10/17/2012 - 10:11AM
The ins and outs of buying a used Segway PT is probably the most common conversation we have with people when they contact us. We have written at length in some of our other blog articles about the subject but have not yet touched on the darker side of what can happen when buying used. This will be one of our shorter articles but we will hopefully drive home the point that a great deal on Ebay or Craigslist may be anything but.
I personally am a guy that tries to buy everything short of underwear and socks used. There is a huge upside into letting someone else take a hit on depreciation and picking things up at a value price. The one thing that we need to consider when buying something used, in this case a Segway PT, is how do we protect ourselves from getting too good of a deal that may turn out to be bad!
A few months ago we ran into an issue when a customer sent in a key to get it programmed. When we went to make a copy of the key we got the dreaded error message telling us to contact Segway technical support. Turns out the machine was stolen and had been locked out of their system for any type of repair, including key replacement. The customer who had the machine claims that he had bought it on Craigslist three years prior and had no idea it was stolen. After speaking with him it was pretty clear that he was extremely upset about the whole ordeal and most likely telling the truth. Regardless of his character it was very clear that unless he could prove he had legitimately bought the machine he would be left out in the cold for any type of technical support. Lets dig into this a little deeper.
Gen 2 Segway PT'S all have internal parts that are serialized. This means that every internal electronic component (minus the charging card) must be individually programed and encrypted at the factory in order for it to work in that machine. Part swapping is not an option and without a ton of specialized equipment and technical knowhow programming your own is impossible. The customer we were dealing with at this point is stuck with a machine that will be rendered useless as soon as he looses his last key or something inside goes out. There is no way around this making it quite a high price to pay for getting a “great deal” on a machine.
Like any other large purchase be sure to get copies of important things like driver’s license and also a bill of sale. Get serial numbers in advance and have either a dealer or Segway technical support run them to make sure you’re not going to get hosed. Sadly If you do get burned on a deal I find it highly unlikely, even if you have the sellers information, that police will spend a great deal of time tracking the individual down. Cops tend to look at Segway’s much differently than they do other types of items in the same category. If someone were to sell you a stolen car, motorcycle, or boat there may be a little more priority in the case. If someone sells a hot Segway it will most likely get the attention of a stolen dining room table. Im not trying to be caddy but in my experience with law enforcement they tend to not get very excited about stolen Segway units.
So there you have it. If you buy used be sure to be very thorough on covering yourself. Local dealers are just a phone call away. If you cant get through to one in your area you can always contact Segway corporate in New Hampshire Here.