What is it with the trash-talking of bikes you used to sell?

I have been reading NZ ebike-related websites for a few years, and every time I see it, I am shocked and surprised at the unprofessionalism of it. Trash-talking a brand that has ceased their supply to you, that is. Some links have since disappeared or been edited, possibly due to legal actions, and some more possibly will as they read this and get a bout of regrets. That would be good. It all remains on the Internet Archive of course.

The first was Anebike, who accused Smartmotion of being dated and not locally made. The bones of the post are still there but it has been adjusted to remove the brand. They also had a negative take on Magnum (after earlier positive messaging), when they started selling Hiko. Today I heard about Electric Bike Hub in Nelson, erstwhile distributors of eZee. What they have said is simply not true and the new distributor, Electric Bike Team, has issued an explainer. There have been others but I have probably made enough enemies for one day.

One thing I have learned in business is that if you recommend or sell something and later tell your customers it was rubbish, you lose credibility. If you trashtalk your suppliers and other brands, your customers and current suppliers start to wonder if you can be trusted when things might become difficult should something go wrong in future. This is a nascent and growing industry, and as the choices become less about feature/new bauble and more about service and trust, the market will gravitate towards the dealers and brands that have kept the faith and built trust.

So sorry to have appeared to break my own advice by calling names out here, but I’m not speaking out of school. Those statements are there for the world to see. I hear others but don’t repeat them because they are private conversations. NZ ebike industry, time to get professional. To those already there, I’m sure your customers are spreading the good word for you.

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5 comments

  • Eleven months on, Nelson-based Jace Hobbs still has negative comments loaded up on his website relating to eZee brand bicycles he used to sell.

    So I ask, are these bikes genuinely rubbish, being that which Jace currently insists on? In which case, did he knowingly sell rubbish products, misrepresenting these to his customers, which included contracts with government agencies?

    Or, is he now rubbishing these bikes, knowing full well that what he is currently representing on his website is totally untrue?

    Either way, this makes the man look very dishonest, and he sullies his own reputation significantly. If I was from one of those government agencies, I would be taking a close look at the claims he is currently making about the eZee brand bikes they were sold.

    So Jace, if you’re reading this, STRONGLY suggest you have a serious rethink on the current listings on your website; dishonesty is a really difficult reputation to shrug off.

    • These bikes are not rubbish. Like any brand, they have some issues but are built to a high standard for reliability and longevity.

  • Very interesting. I am in the market for my first e-bike, and found the statements about eZee from Electric Bike Hub to be very off-putting (and generally inconsisent with other reviews I’d read). I didn’t want to discount the brand but seeing a bike shop diss them like that made me hesitant. I’ll take it with a big heaping bowl of salt now… Thanks!

  • I had a big smile to myself reading this, as it echoed a few thoughts I have always had. Good on you for speaking up. Keeping the industry professional is our best defence against big-box retailers and crappy bikes/crappy service. A united front will serve us well in the longer term, and when advising customers, my view is that acknowledging qualities of another brand while extolling virtues of your own is the most credible approach. For example, at Think Electric Bikes we no longer sell Magnum, now that the Electrify chain is established, but it doesn’t mean the bikes are suddenly rubbish! Still good bikes, and we still support any warranty claims and maintain a good relationship with the Electrify boys. It’s a small town, really!

  • I’ve always been confused with the relationship between Electric Bike Hub and Electric Bike Hub Auckland. This puts the final nail in my understanding. Thanks for an interesting read 🙂

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