It all started in a garage in Ocean City.
The year was 2010. Owners John and Navid were living and working in Ocean City, Maryland with friends for the summer. The pay was great, the weather was beautiful. However, getting stuck in traffic was a pain. They wondered if there was a better way than a car to get around the congested beach town.
Scooters had been popping up around Ocean City like wildfire, and also at their respective schools of Salisbury University and University of Maryland. They seemed like the perfect way to avoid traffic and gas prices all at once. However, when Navid and John went out to go buy scooters, they found the experience to be way more difficult than one would expect for a popular product. They both found over-priced, low-quality scooters at the local shops, plus unhelpful and unknowledgeable staff. So, they decided to find alternative ways to purchase scooters.
Navid took the Craigslist route. He found a Magnum 50 scooter from an Eastern European exchange worker for $300 bucks. It seemed like the perfect deal! However, upon arriving at the purchasers house, it took about 20 minutes to get started. After getting it running, $300 still didn't seem like a big gamble. Hundreds of dollars later and more breakdowns than one could count, it was evident that the investment wasn't a good one.
John took the online route. He found a brand new scooter online, delivered to his house for $800. The site claimed the unit was assembled, however upon it being dropped off, about half of the components were not even installed, and many others were missing! When John called the website to try and get the missing parts, they were unhelpful and didn't provide any after-sale support. After a full day of getting assembled, the scooter then wouldn't stay running. Numerous repairs and parts replacements later, John spent way more trying to keep it running than the initial cost of the scooter new.
These experiences had them come to one thought: there has to be a better way.
College Scooters was born
After a fun summer in Ocean City, Navid and John were frustrated enough with their respective scooter experiences that they knew something had to be done. They were both in college at the time, and saw a huge opportunity for college students to commute on scooters. Since universities are seriously lacking parking and students have tight budgets, scooters seemed like a great solution. From those ideas, College Scooters was born. College Scooters was founded to provided students and non-students alike with a better way to get around. They wanted to create a true customer-service business that just happened to sell scooters. They sought to provide quality scooters, at reasonable prices, with great customer service to boot.
Throughout the first "school year" of the business, Navid and John established connections with scooter wholesalers, who liked their new concept. Their first official "shop", pictured above, was a 200 square foot storage garage on First Street in Ocean City, Maryland. With 5 scooters in the showroom, 15 helmets, 10 bottles of oil, 5 spark plugs, some tools, and a sign, they were in business!
After a successful summer of selling scooters in Ocean City, it was time to take the idea back to Salisbury and College Park. The Ocean City shop served as a great pop-up shop to test the idea, but they knew the bigger markets were in the more year-round areas of Salisbury, and College Park. In the summer of 2011, Navid and John opened their first stores in Salisbury and College Park.