Thanks to stricter controls at America's ports and tighter enforcement of EPA and DOT regulations Nationwide, we have seen a significant slow down in sales of counterfeit scooters made in China. Several local retailers have folded up their tents and gone home. Unfortunately, new opportunists have moved in. We see their advertisements an Craig's List all the time.
The "rub" against Chinese scooters is more commonly understood by consumers than it has been in the past, but there are still some folks out there who do not understand that these cheap scooters are a complete waste of good money.
If you are shopping for a new scooter, please avoid ones made in China and distributed via the web, by a fly-by-night, unlicensed retailer, at a flea market / swap meet or on Craig's List. Most of these scooters, 50cc models in particular, are imported illegally and fail to meet even the most basic safety and quality stardards. They are disposable. Parts and service resources are not available in many cases.
There's a reason that a decent scooter costs more. Dozens of reasons, actually. Chinese machines are not "real". They're fake - and they're garbage. Before you buy one do some research. You wouldn't buy a knock-off of an Apple computer, would you? We didn't think so. Avoid sellers like THIS ONE.
Here are some links to articles on the topic: