Glanville also plans to attend events put on by environmental groups. “These bikes are going to appeal to those who are committed to alternative energy sources and transportation,” he says, adding that it costs only a penny per mile to operate the streetbike.
Glanville expects most customers will choose to have the bikes shipped directly to them, but says he’d be willing to receive the bikes first to perform a setup process he claims is not very difficult. “Zero even sends the tools you need with the bike,” he notes, “and the directions are clear.” (The Zero X requires the customer to attach the wheels and handlebar; the Zero S will come mostly assembled, the company tells us.)
What about Zero’s unusual business model? Is Glanville worried that he won’t get paid? Actually, no. He believes that it is in Zero’s best interest that he is paid. “They want to make sure I’m being taken care of, which is great. That makes me a lot more committed to them.”
According to Glanville, customers receive a $50 rebate when they enter a rep’s promotional code while ordering online.
Woodside Motorsports suffered financially from a tough winter, so it did not put up any money for the demo bikes, Glanville says. But the store’s owners will allow him to display the bikes in the store. “They like the idea, and it’s drawing people into the shop,” he says.
Zero Takes On the Big Apple
Zach Schieffelin is owner of Vespa Soho in New York City. He’s preparing to market both Zero models, but given his location, he’s more excited about the streetbike. “We see the S as the bike that’s going to be big for us,” he says, adding that he’ll probably make it his personal bike, and will take it to local bike nights. “So I’ll do a lot of direct marketing. Going to the right places and showing it is going to be key.”
To market the Zero X, Schieffelin has partnered with a guy who benefits from motocross experience and connections with ski slopes and other off-road areas in upstate New York. “He’ll probably take the bike with him on-site for most of his marketing rather than expect people to come to us for that,” Schieffelin says.
Like Glanville, Schieffelin tells us that he’ll have to sell seven to eight dirtbikes to break even on the demo unit. He says the entire setup process with Zero Motorcycles has been “very positive,” and that he’ll be promoting both bikes on his store’s website.
Unlike Glanville, Schieffelin won’t be giving his customers the option of drop-shipping the units to his store. “That’s actually not permitted,” he explains. “The bikes are going to have to be drop-shipped directly to the customer. If they get to us first, then we are technically under franchise law, which is what Zero’s model tries to avoid.” (Note: Zero will follow the rules of each state, it claims. Texas, for example, requires that the vehicles be shipped only to dealers.) (Continued)