Thursday, February 21, 2008

What A Guy: James Duer

... the guy what runs East Side Scooters, that is.

He called to let me know that he found some tires for the Vino, as I had requested. He also let me know something about the People 250 that I wouldn't have thought of, myself. He said to get used to it over a period of time, and that it'd probably take me a good 45 minutes of riding to get a feel for it.

See, the People has a lot of liquid weight up front -- both the radiator and the fuel tank. So, he suggested that I be aware of that, and prepare for the difference in handling that makes over the two smaller, lighter, air-cooled scooters I have, now. Dang. He may have saved me dumping it.

Here I've bought a used scooter, not from him, and he's lookin' out for me.

C'mon, Nashville -- why would you even consider buying a scooter anywhere else?!

Seriously. The "big three" two-wheeler brands have showroom after showroom in the area. Their scooters are nothing short of awesome -- I don't know how many people with Vespa lust I have steered towards an Asian scooter (and in particular, Japanese scooters). Thing is, those "big three" dealers don't usually seem too terribly interested in selling you a scooter. More often, they'll steer you towards a small-displacement sport bike or cruiser. Maybe the profit margin on scooters is lower than on their motorcycles, or watercraft, or ATVs. You're lucky if the showroom has one of each of the line's scooters (and Honda's cut back to 3-4 U.S. models, this year!). To them, scooters are an afterthought.

James rides a scooter to work, most days. He wants to be the scooter guy in town, and with the customer service he's provided me so far, I think he's well on his way.

My dad was a salesman; he sold furniture for a couple of companies, to retail outlets. Now, sure... my dad used furniture (indeed -- he used the lines he sold, but he would get a good deal on it), like many first-world humans. :)

But I'll never forget Dad's thoughts on selling: "Earn their business." It was a simple philosophy that meant closing the sale would be the beginning of a relationship -- not the end. Hell, the lady who sold me my house sent me a bottle of non-French "champagne," and a $50 Home Depot gift card, which was certainly a nice thing to do... but that was the last I heard from her (and she made ~$3500 on the sale!). I'm guessing James hasn't made $500 off me, yet, and he stays in touch, anyway. He doesn't have to do that -- no one expects that, these days, do they?

Point being, I don't know if James is good at making money, but I know he's good at making friends. If he sells you a scooter, you're going to be happy you bought it from him, and that I will guarantee.


  1. No doubt about that. I bought a scooter yesterday, Feb. 23. My friend tried it out the same day and wrecked it. James is going to meet me at the store so I can drop it off today, Feb. 24. The thing is, he's not supposed to be open again until Tuesday. I respect quality personal service and I respect a small business. He's won me over.

  2. Adam -- Sorry to hear about the spill, man. What scooter did you end up getting from James?