There’s no need to go back to the future now that it’s finally arrived.
Despite initially turning down the offer to sell self-balancing scooter hover boards, Super-Bee Truck Accessories in Wetaskiwin is now the Canadian distributor of self-balancing scooter hover boards for a Chinese manufacturing company.
With a few initial challenges overcome approximately 150 of the devices were sold in the first few weeks across the country by various forums.
Super-bee founding owner Brent Metzker explains he has been dealing with the same Chinese sales representative for the past several years and she is the one who first introduced him to the hover boards. “She knows the type of products I like and the type of quality we demand.”
In June 2015 the sales representative emailed Metzker a list of new products available. One was selfie sticks and the other was the hover boards. “Totally not automotive. I looked, not my cup of tea.”
Metzker had a shipment of lights coming over by sea and consented to have five placed aboard to see what they were all about.
In late summer he found a man selling hover boards at West Edmonton Mall for $799. Metzker felt that was too expensive for the average person to pay these days to make the hover boards a viable business decision, for himself.
Another man was selling a similar device on Amazon and Metzker first asking price was $599. “We got them here, I took one one and the kids loved them.”
“But my words were ‘they’re too expensive’,” he added.
When the sales representative asked if he wanted more Metzker decided he did not have a market for them.
Just before Christmas the sales woman asked if he had room in his warehouse to store one container (1,000) of hover boards and the company would send a salesman over to actually sell them; an option Metzker could live with.
Metzker says the salesman was not quite prepared for Canada and it was a culture shock for him, as he did not really understand the country, the food, or the distances between provinces.
“He showed up with a suitcase, backpack and laptop. ‘Now I have to find some customers’ he said,” said Metzker.
The salesman knew of a potential customer in Airdrie and wanted to focus on Calgary, his plan was to take the bus there from Wetaskiwin. Knowing how culturally lost the man would be Metzker balked at him taking the bus and he helped him find a driver.
After staying in Canada for approximately three weeks customers were found and some pallets were shipped to Ontario. Many sales are also being made online and Metzker says he passed the information onto wholesalers who found interested customers. “It’s kind of the accidental sale.”