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Yes, You Can Buy a Revel Scooter on Facebook Marketplace—But You Probably Shouldn’t

Revel scooters aren't gone forever—if you know where to look.

(Hell Gate)

Revel scooters were always for dreamers, for rebels, for people trying to commute outside the box—as long as they were going somewhere that didn't require driving on the highway. The company's eye-grabbing blue mopeds, accessible to anyone with a driver's license and a Revel membership, were deliriously fun to ride—fun augmented by the hint of danger and liability users assumed every time they hopped astride one. It wasn't exactly shocking to see Revel temporarily suspend its scooter rental service in July 2020 after two people died while riding them, and a third driver was critically injured. Still, people with places to go and a certain level of risk tolerance rejoiced when the bikes found their way back to Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn streets a month later, with additional safety restrictions imposed by the City's Department of Transportation. (Bronx moped service was eventually suspended again in 2022, with the company citing bike thefts as the reason.) 

But just when New Yorkers felt assured of their on-demand access to Revel's electric scooters, they were yanked away again, this time for good. In November 2023, the company pulled all of its bikes from the streets due, reportedly, to falling ridership numbers and increased competition in the "micromobility" space. Unfortunately for super-fans, the rideshare company didn't just release its stock of mopeds into the wild, either. In November, a representative from Revel told Hell Gate that the company was planning on recycling the benched bikes, and that many of them wouldn't work without the Revel app anyway (they would need, the rep said, to be modified to include features like an ignition key start).

But Revel's cerulean e-steeds aren't actually gone from our city's streets forever—if you know what to search on Facebook Marketplace. Last week, a friend alerted me to something his friend had recently discovered: that searching for "Niu NQI electric scooter" yielded multiple listings for what appeared to be decommissioned Revel scooters. After doing some browsing of my own on Facebook Marketplace, I was able to drum up four different listings for what look to be old Revel scooters for sale, as well as two different Craigslist posts offering the same—with photos that can also be found in one of the Facebook listings.

Two of the listings are clearly Revels, branding and all: 

Scooters in other listings, however, are less obvious, but if you look closely at the front of the bikes, you can see where the "Revel" branding has been scraped off, and other hallmarks—like the "100% electric" label and the stripes on the front of the scooter—have been left intact.

Naturally, I needed to find out more. The only seller who responded to my inquiries said that the bikes he was selling are totally legit. "good eye??LOL," the seller, whose name we're withholding because we don't want to snitch, wrote on Facebook Messenger when asked if the scooter he was selling had a former life as a Revel rideshare. "yes its a decommissioned revel . works great . fully refurbished by revel before they closed," he continued. He said he bought 30 bikes at once from Revel itself, and that the two he was selling—for $1,200 a piece—were the last of that lot, "with titles ready to ride…road legal after you get a license plate for them." He urged interested buyers to act quickly, because the bikes were selling fast.

Did these scooters come straight from Revel? When we showed Revel these screenshots and asked them whether it was possible these bikes were obtained legally—and, if not, whether they'd actually be functional—the company told a different story. Bobby Familiar, the senior communications manager at Revel, gave Hell Gate the following statement: "Revel did not give or sell any electric mopeds to third parties for resale. We recycled the mopeds at a local facility at the end of the last season. We were able to donate more than 1,200 moped helmets to a nonprofit supporting New York’s delivery workers." Familiar did not specify which recycling facility handled the mopeds.

Hmm, who to believe—a stranger selling scooters on social media or a reputable business? We'll leave that up to you and your best judgment. But if you really miss zipping around the city on a Revel, you'll probably get the best results from buying a moped that's a similar model and painting it blue instead of copping a zombified e-bike off of Facebook.

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