With the outbreak of the Coronavirus Pandemic, we will be witnessing several changes in consumer attitudes. There is no doubt that COVID-19 will have an enduring impact on society as a whole. In this scenario, no one can predict what the future holds in the post-COVID era. This pandemic will not only change consumers’ attitudes, behaviors and spending habits but also have an enduring impact on the young millennials who are also grappling with this crisis. The new consumption patterns will not focus on enhancing one’s social status but on the immediate need-fulfillment of an individual. Moreover, once the lockdown ends, more than an estimated 70% of Indians will steer clear of public transport while 62% are indicated to avoid cab-hailing apps like Ola and Uber.
The next question is will we see a pragmatic shift of Indians to buying second-hand cars or two-wheelers as seen in other countries? The post-pandemic trend definitely shows a predictable shift in the purchasing habits of customers, from high-value products intended for long term use, to relatively value-for-money products for short to medium term use. This sudden shift is accelerated by socio-economic factors such as current job losses, job insecurity and weak consumer sentiment.
There has also been a massive rise in the preference of private-mobility ownership over shared mobility and public transportation, for the fear of virus transmission. An increase in private ownership of automobiles and the shift to purchasing of value-for-money products have been the two most defining trends, emerging out of the current pandemic situation, that will shape consumer behavior forever. In my opinion, consumer interest will shift towards used two-wheelers in the coming times due to all these factors.
With more than 200+ million two-wheelers currently present on Indian roads, a user should look out for buying a good quality used two-wheeler that will save them a significant amount of money. In my personal experience, I have seen people struggling and most of the time they get cheated by both sellers and dealers. Despite being a large market, customers transacting in the second-hand bike segment have to deal with poor customer experience at the hands of small-time dealers.
In such a scenario, it is necessary for consumers to understand the second hand or used two-wheelers market and how they should choose the right vehicle.
Reputed Company: The most important thing to consider is that the customers, who are looking for good quality second-hand bikes at a reasonable price, should definitely buy them from a reputed company/ brand that can also offer post-sales support, insurance and other value-added services, all under one roof.
Budget: Users should consider buying a used two-wheeler due to its extremely lucrative price – with no additional taxes or depreciation to factor. Customers should also take into consideration factors like quality, age of bike, brand value and availability of the two-wheeler in question while deciding their budget.
Research: Buyers should focus on researching online and also through sellers and set realistic expectations. This is critical as no model/ brand of two-wheeler will be a 100% match for their needs. Also, look for customer review scores of sellers. It is advisable to buy from used two-wheeler brands that have a solid rating and customer reviews, online.
Scam Alert: Be alert of fraudsters as the second-hand two-wheeler market in India is still highly unorganized. So buyers should be aware and it is strongly advised to buy from a verified, institutional seller as opposed to individual sellers or unorganized dealers off the street.
Home Test Ride: A buyer should consider a trial run before finalizing the deal. This determines finer aspects such as riding comfort, on-road performance, the mechanical performance of brakes and other components. In this lockdown time, organised used two-wheeler companies are offering home delivery of bikes and contactless delivery as well. Consumers must definitely make use of such offerings.
Paper Verification: Before buying a second-hand bike, it is mandatory to check all related documents like insurance, RC book, chassis number, manufacturing date, and pollution certificate. In the case of a previously-on-loan bike, a bank hypothecation certificate is also a must. A paid verification from the RTO will also ascertain if there are any open violations against the two-wheeler or not. In this age, where producing duplicate documents is very easy, I strongly advise customers to take extra care to avoid getting cheated by sellers.
Warranty Period/ Post Sale Benefits: While opting for a second-hand bike, it is advisable to check the warranty dates and exchange validity. Clarifying such terms will help you return or exchange the two-wheeler if you are not satisfied with its quality.
Author: Sasidhar Nandigam, Chief Strategy Officer, CredR, used two-wheeler marketplace
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the original author. These views and opinions do not represent those of The Indian Express Group or its employees.
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