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Discussion about DIY vendors, delivery delays, communication, and transparency


#1

I had a post on reddit about DIY vendors, more specifically just one of them. Someone had started a discussion about that post in this forum. I was unaware of this, saw it last minute. Before I even got a chance to see it on this forum it was deleted, I didn’t get a chance to comment. The point of my original post on reddit was that DIY vendors need more accountability, and need to own up for things like ridiculous delays, false promises, no communication, poorly made boards that require multiple repairs and are in the shop more than being ridden.

It wasn’t meant to offend to any one particular vendor, I’ve dealt with 3 or 4 DIY vendors. It was a general statement about how DIY vendors in general should behave. I didn’t post names. Someone in the discussion here asked if I have proof, yes I have 3 years worth of emails…screen shots, many customers of theirs who have reached out to me and shared their horrible experiences as well. It even got to the point where certain people were so discouraged by these vendors that they totally left esk8. Will I post that proof? No, unless the vendors deny something or want me to post it…then sure, I can.

Let’s not filter any content that has constructive criticism. I’ve been in esk8 as a consumer since 2014, and have been following this whole industry very closely (including the DIY scene since the days enertion came out with just motor mounts). I’ve been promoting esk8 and good vendors, and in fact I even encourage many other customers to buy boards from various DIY vendors because I was falsely under the assumption that they deliver what they claim. When I find out things aren’t what they seem, it’s only fair I mention that too because I don’t want more future esk8-ers to have a poor experience and leave the esk8 world.

I also want to mention that I have had an excellent experience with certain other companies who started as DIY builder on this forum, and so have other customers. So it’s not all bad, a few companies do deliver quality on time and live up to their promises. I’m just being fair and honest here.

EDIT: original post below if you want to read it…

What the issue is

There are about 2-3 esk8 builders I know who are either not great at building boards or have terrible business practices. These builders are generally all nice people, but in reality the boards they build are just garage projects that may never get delivered. Most of what they sell will have issues, and unfortunately many customers have just paid a lot of money for a paper weight or boards they never received. These are high end builders that sell boards for $2000+. The general public who hasn’t bought boards from them will think they are awesome boards, but will not think of what has happened to all the other boards they have sold. The reality is, the boards you buy from them have high chances of having an issue and are potentially not safe, or you won’t get the board in the first place. Unless you can do DIY fixes and know enough about building boards, you should not have a board from them. It’s not like buying a boosted or a lacroix that get delivered when the promise, and work as expected. MORE IMPORTANTLY, my main issue is that one of these vendors just lies and this needs to stop.

So I’m at a moral dilemma here, do I tell people to avoid purchasing boards from xxx person and potentially hurt their business? I don’t want to effect anyone’s livelihood, specially since some of these builders are great people. Or do I just keep quite and continue to let people spend 2000+ to end up with unusable boards or not boards? So far I have not mentioned names, but anyone who does a search can find this information easily. Some customers have been vocal, but their posts have gotten deleted or buried. Others have stayed quiet and just given up on esk8.

Why haven’t we heard more about this? (More people on this forum need to speak up, some of you know all of this also)

Simple. People who buy from the are usually older and financially well off people. They usually don’t post online much either so you won’t hear about it much. And just like me, the people who do business with them don’t want to hurt their business either so they won’t be posting negative reviews about their boards on reddit. Then there are others who buy a first board from them, and don’t even know what to look for in a board and have no basis of comparison. Lastly, they don’t sell a lot of volume so let’s say if they sold 10 you will have 6 people who don’t post anything, 1 or 2 who will mention all the issues and 1 o 2 who will say it’s a great board. But it’s those 6 that are quiet that really need to speak up. There are others who just wait and wait for a board and deal with all the BS.

What do I think?

There’s a fine line between your hobby/passion and a business. Many cross that line and try to turn it into a business. To do that, you really really need to know what you are doing. You have to have the electrical engineering knowledge, software knowledge, skateboarding knowledge (trucks, bearings, wheels), production knowledge, proper QA/testing, and business knowledge. One person cannot have all that, that’s why you need teams for a business. You hire others in the aspects you are lacking. A person working out of their garage trying to accomplish all that alone will not work out well. Some of the builders are extremely sensitive to criticism as well. Rather than being sensitive or deleting criticisms or trying to debate this post, just admit where you lack and improve there.

Why am I posting this now?

I realized I could have died, I had a board with failed breaks. I had another board on order from DIY vendor for a year who kept lying to me non stop. Multiple people have messaged me telling me their negative experiences and similar stories from some vendors. Two people told me about their boards just being lemons and falling apart recently. Other builders never delivered boards even, and I still see posts daily about people still waiting for their boards with no communication from vendors. Some vendors have went radio silent, with customers trying to reach them on so many platforms with no luck. This should not be happening in any industry, and this only makes the esk8 DIY builders look bad. Why is no one stepping up to stop this?

Does everyone have issues with these DIY built boards?

Of course not, keep in mind that for all the issues one will have there will always be another person with the same board who isn’t having issues and is doing fine. There will always be those one or two people who vouch for a company or a builder. But when it comes to safety, there should be more consistency. There shouldn’t be only 1 or 2 happy customers with many unsatisfied ones.

Who should I not buy boards from?

I actually won’t be mentioning specific people. What I will say is, look at all the boards sold from a particular person and see where they have ended up. Don’t just take the word of one or two people vouching for a person. Also you want customers to do the praising of the board you plan to buy, not the company/vendor praising their own product. Look for a builder or company who has sold a good amount of boards, and one where the feedback from all the customers is consistently positive. Seems fair and obvious right?


#2

I have a feeling you’ll get plenty answers…calm before the storm. kinda like it


#3

I want answers, but hopefully solutions…not debates.

Also those who have not purchased boards from these DIY vendors cannot make claims about their boards or service. I have purchased boards and so have the customers who have messaged me with their negative experiences.


#4

I have a feeling people are a bit exhausetd since last time this came up…

However, if someone is interested in getting a “pre-built-DIY-type board”, I suggest they try to learn as much possible (for example on this forum) about what things make a board reliable and well built. And, if someone has a reputation of building great boards and has done so for quite some time, that probably means something…

And DIY vendors for me is vendors selling parts for DIY builds or someone who only puts available parts together, not contributing much to the uniqueness of the finished board.

The builders that have their “established” brands (even if they are doing it small-scale compared to the meepos etc) shouldn’t be named DIY vendors…

Not many esk8-brands/builders (if any) can offer boards that don’t need repairing down the line, and board is in no way more likely not do break because it comes from a bigger brand… But, you are probably more likely getting great service from the smaller established one-man-brands, as they put a lot of pride into their brand and boards.

I also believe that you are a lot more vulnerable as a smaller brand as things tend to get personal (especially for the customer, but maybe for the builder as well) if things go wrong or not as expected, whereas with a bigger brand your expectations are different. I believe that one is more likely to accept that the bigger brand has “its way of doing things” good or bad, even if you think it sucks…


#5

I jumped out the original thread as it became crazy…
but you know what?

it´s with everything the same.
don´t tell me that the boosted has a great service.
don´t tell me that the evolve batterys are great
don´t tell me that all this kickstarter make only true promises
don´t tell me that about delays…

You just can´t put all diy vendors in one bowl.
The same are with all the comercial sellers.


#6

Ok, then let’s call them builders with “established” brands.

It doesn’t matter if you are small or big, plain lying for a year is unacceptable. Claiming “your board will delivered next week” for one year week after week is just wrong.

Selling a board that has to be sent back after riding it one or two charges means there are other issues that need to be worked on. It doesn’t matter how willing the small time company is to fix their boards, if it keeps breaking down after each repair eventually they will give up or the customer will continually have to pay shipping fees and cover fees for parts. Not to mention they won’t have a board to ride.


#7

I’m quoting myself. Is there a badge for that?

Of course, I believe this should go for those buying from the bigger brands as well. One shouldn’t buy a Meepo and expect it to perform as a … ehm… what bigger brand perform well??


#8

I’m not putting all DIY vendors/companies in one bowl, that’s why I specifically said 2-3 builders. I also mentioned I had great experience with one DIY person who is now a company.

Boosted, evolve, etc…they deliver board when promised. That’s already way ahead of certain DIY vendors. Boosted does not have blatant lies. Boosted boards work for the most part and a small percentage have issues. Evolve has crap batteries, everyone knows that before buying.


#9

and need 5-20days to answer a simple service mail and 5weeks to solve an easy battery issue… that´s behind a lot of diy vendors…

just think you hit the pride of some of our guys here with the words you chose.


#10

I don’t know. I bought from a " company" on my first board.
My truck snapped in half after 5 weeks.
Took them almost a month to replace it.
New one started bending in less time than it took them to replace it…


#11

here we go…
DIY … you know for what it stands???
you also know before that not everything is perfect and that you should have some understanding from what you get. It´s not a plug and play.

And just to say, boosted made me to go DIY because of how they handled me as person…
don´t want to say there CS is in general shit, but i´m a bit really pissed that my board broke after 250km and the CS is totally overstrained with it…


#12

Blind pride being hit is the same thing as being sensitive to criticism. True pride would be to make customers happy with quality builds, and with honesty/transparency about when they can deliver boards and what actually is happening. And also by not going radio silent on customers.


#13

Funny thing is, some of these builders know about all this. Customer X took his board from builder A to builder B, builder B said “wow, builder A has no idea how to make a battery pack and these welds are horrible. Let me re-do this for you.”

What I’ll never see is builder B saying that about builder A publicly, even if it’s the truth.


#14

that happens also with the big companys.
just saying.

I just had good experiences with local diy vendors, so i can´t tell anything else.
If you support your locals you can´t get wrong in my opinion. Let´s see what time will bring.

You know, DIY and ready product are a big difference.
We build board, we work with them, we learn who shit works, we create new stuff etc.
Not all of it is great and work in first run.
Not everything get ready in time.
But in the end I´m proud of what I created.

You can´t expact that a single man army have years of research on custom build boad…
When every bord is unique it´s possible that some things work better than others.
If boosted would sell every single board in a different configuration, you think they would work always without issues? they even now don´t do so…


#15

that´s why it´s imortant to understand what you buying.
you should understand the basics.
how to set up a vesc, how to fix small issues, how a good battery pack should look like…
if you can´t than you just not the right person to buy a custom made board.


#16

I think you either need to be specific or stop scare mongering. Who are you talking about mate? You by your vagaries are tarring everyone with the same brush. Either put up or stop this.


#17

this is NOT about all vendors. Firstly I am talking about vendors who sell completes only, not parts. As I clearly mentioned I have had excellent experiences with certain vendors selling completes. But a few who are well known here, most of their customers have consistently bad experiences (very few do have good experiences with them).

Why no names? Because I don’t want to effect anyone’s livelihood, rather I want those vendors to improve themselves. And at least admit they have been not so honest to many customers. I’m in the US so it’s US based vendors.

Telling people to do research before they purchase is not scare mongering, at the end of my thread I simply stated that ask most of the previous customers from a specific builder about their experience before purchasing a $2000+ complete from that builder. That’s 100% fair.


#18

Here’s the big questions you need to ask yourself Mr Photorph.

  1. You appear to share this opinion entirely with yourself. The rest of us understand that being an esk8 vendor is a challenge, accept the inherent problems and move on with our lives.

  2. Is it not clear to you that spouting this nonsense on Reddit will do nothing but smother the innovation, development and choice this community bring to esk8. You are damaging the reputation and livelihood of builders who gave you all of the “amazing innovation” that the major vendors are currently incorporating into their Chinese decks.

  3. Why do you need internet validation? That’s clearly what this is all about. You’re here again, opening up a discussion with yourself in a clear and simple attempt to create drama and feed your ego. Calm down small son, we don’t really need your input.

End of thread, see you next year when you need more upvotes and bring this all up again.


#19

Well then exclude the bloody people that don’t then. You are influencing people against their will without any solid back up.


#20

Actually just take your issues elsewhere.

Can we get a stop on this because it serves no purpose and will degenerate into a mess.
@moderators