Chinese ATVs Are Junk – Or Are They?
Many people have a certain conception that all products that come from China are cheap junk put together by a one-armed peasant. Okay, maybe not the one-armed peasant thing, but the rest holds true in most Americans’ minds. So you may be asking is it true…does China put out only crappy products? The answer is of course not.
Just because you have had cheap remote or something made of plastic with the logo “made in China” stamped on it, doesn’t mean that all products that come out of China are junk. You would be surprised to find out how much of your own stuff was actually made in China for companies like GE, Panasonic, and others. Everything imaginable comes from China these days.
The big difference is what place in China made the product. If you are an ATV fanatic or just simply enjoy riding one from time to time, you may have come across a too good to be true deal that was an ATV for under $1000, sometimes way under. You see things like this all the time if you do a Google search for ATVs. People are selling ATVs for $399. How is this? To turn a reasonable profit on each unit after advertising, they must have only paid $50 for each unit. This is because they are buying the cheapest stuff possible from government owned factories. These factories hire unskilled labor and can really make a lot of mistakes.
Not all factories in China are like this. There are many that are privately owned and hire highly skilled laborers to assemble the products. These factories have very good quality control, and will fix things when problems arise. Not only that, but they are usually close in cost to the government owned factories. Sure they cost more, but for the extra quality that you receive, it is well worth it.
What are the benefits and setbacks of buying online vs. buying in a local dealership? Most name brand ATVs are sold in dealerships only. You hardly ever see Polaris, Honda, Yamaha, or other name brands being sold new online unless they are being sold by someone that simply bought one and is trying to sell it for one reason or another. They are not dealerships. This is because before the internet, the ATV companies set up dealer territories. Dealers could not sell to customers outside their territory, especially someone else’s territory. The cost for a name brand ATV ranges anywhere from $3000 to $11000, not including the helmet and any accessories you may purchase. Chinese-made models cost between $400 and $3000. They are considerably cheaper and can be a great deal if you choose wisely.
It seems that the only websites that are selling online are ones that sell Chinese product. The product is always cheaper than any name brand and usually has something like free shipping included. This is a huge benefit to buying online. Not only that, but sales tax is only charged if you live in the same state that the shipping warehouse is located in. The sales tax savings may not last forever, because the government is watching a lot of tax dollars go out the window, but due to a couple of court cases that said charging tax on items that were sold from another state was against the interstate commerce ruling, it is still cheaper to buy things online. So enjoy if you are a buying or selling on the internet.
Be careful which product you buy online. If the seller does not offer a 90 day or longer warranty on the ATV then you may be about to get taken to the cleaners.
Most online dealers will ship the product about 80-90% assembled. This is to reduce shipping costs. If you don’t understand how to assemble the remaining product then you will want to take it or have it shipped directly to a professional for assembly. Don’t assume that because you know how to change your oil, you will be able to assemble an ATV out of the crate, unless you have very good instructions.
The repairs are just like any other piece of machinery. Most Chinese models are copied versions of name brand ATVs, so you can even buy Yamaha parts, for example, to repair your ATV.
So if you choose to buy an ATV online, pick a good dealer. They can provide you with the quality you are looking for.