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View Full Version : Support your local dealer!


OnMyOwn
02-01-2006, 10:58 AM
I am struggling with the cost of supporting my dealer on ancillary purchases such as; filters, 2-cycle oil, plugs, etc. He is an outstanding person and I receive top notch service from him. We have had this relationship for some 15+ years. The only problem, as many of you know, is that the dealer pulls his GP margin on all parts.

In no way do I begrudge him making a profit off his clients, because he has a family to support. I just think about going to NAPA for filters, Lowes for plugs, and online parts stores for blades. However, everytime I start to purchase cheaper parts from other sources, I feel as though I am cheating on the guy because he is my friend, and has been instrumental in my success.

Do any of you put this much thought into your dealer support?

rodfather
02-01-2006, 11:09 AM
I consider my dealer to be my "silent partner"...need I say more?

OnMyOwn
02-01-2006, 11:15 AM
Rodfather...

That may be the easiest way to say what I spent a paragraph rambling over. That's a nice way to look at it, and I must remember that he markets my business for free. I have business cards on his counter and he has helped me secure several nice clients. I almost feel bad for posting my indecision.

nitrotim
02-01-2006, 11:23 AM
I am struggling with the cost of supporting my dealer on ancillary purchases such as; filters, 2-cycle oil, plugs, etc. He is an outstanding person and I receive top notch service from him. We have had this relationship for some 15+ years. The only problem, as many of you know, is that the dealer pulls his GP margin on all parts.

In no way do I begrudge him making a profit off his clients, because he has a family to support. I just think about going to NAPA for filters, Lowes for plugs, and online parts stores for blades. However, everytime I start to purchase cheaper parts from other sources, I feel as though I am cheating on the guy because he is my friend, and has been instrumental in my success.

Do any of you put this much thought into your dealer support?


My dealer has always given me great support, Most recently the dump trailer I bought off them burned the ground wire to the charging system while I was dumping and it was stuck in the up position. I called them and they promptly came out to the dump I was at in 30 minutes. Apparently there was a bad battery ground so it was fixed under warranty. They are no the cheapest but with the kind of service they give me its worth the little bit extra. I completely understand ROD's silen partner comment.

macaw
02-01-2006, 11:25 AM
Yes support him my dealer is 35 miles away so I do buy oil filters, and plugs on line and mail order sharpen my own blades I get all the oem parts from my dealer and they do all major repair work.So if I brake down I call tell them about what time I should get there when I get there my mower most of the time don't
even get off the trailer it's fixed on the spot now that what I call dealer support.

Remsen1
02-01-2006, 11:28 AM
It sounds like you have a good realationship and he is there for you when you need help. You wouldn't want that to change, and have to wonder how he would feel if he came out to help you and found a napa filter, or after market belts etc.

cborden
02-01-2006, 11:32 AM
I do as much as passable to support my local SCAG dealer, he is one of the very few things in life I have no complaints about. I bought a used WB from him this past summer, after three hours of use it had a major mechanical failure. I bought this unit as a spare and without a warranty, but he still went to a large expense to repair the mower at no cost to me. If I don't have time to fix something, I can usually drop it off and pick it up in a couple of hours. I don't care if I can save a couple of dollars on filters, plugs or belts by going to another provider, good service and a good friend are hard to replace.:)

Green-Pro
02-01-2006, 11:54 AM
My dealer has a vested interest in my continued success; ergo, the more I succeed, better service I receive, the more influence that will hold with me when making not only equipment purchases but parts as well from routine maintenance parts to anything more serious.

I mentioned this in another thread about this same issue, I reward loyalty with loyalty, there is a right way and a wrong way IMO and this is the right way.

Richard Martin
02-01-2006, 12:09 PM
I used to buy everything from my dealer but something happened to change that. Things have also happened since that first incident to reinforce my notion that dealers don't care about you or your business, they're in it for the money and nothing else. In the first incident I wanted to buy a simple Tiny Tach for a mower I bought from him. I figured "No problem, 35 or 40 bucks and I'm outta there". Well my dealer wanted $65 for the same exact Tiny Tach that lists for $34.95 from Tiny Tach's website. I'm all for everybody making money and all but that is just out-right gouging. Other things like $20 fuel filters and stuff like that convinced me that I couldn't afford to buy parts from my dealer. In the latest incident I sent a friend to him to buy a new Dixie Chopper. CASH. Well the friend wanted a XW2503-50" model. That is the full commercial model with the 25 horse Kohler engine. Well my dealer only had a 20 horse Silver Eagle in stock and told my friend that there were no XW2503 mowers and that he should just buy the Silver Eagle since that was all my friend needed. I ended up sending my friend to another dealer further away from my house that I bought my first Dixie from and he ordered him the mower he wanted.

lafrance4078
02-01-2006, 12:18 PM
I have had trouble with my local dealer in the past, because I hadn't purchased my first mower from him. It was a GD SS that I bought used in another state. The local service center was not very interested in providing me with the best service because I hadn't purchased from him. This year I bought a new ZTR from him and now they bend over backwards to help me. I still am not sure if I will purchase filters and blades and such from him. I do agree that they are an integrel part of my business, but are they really out to help me? Only time will tell.

work_it
02-01-2006, 12:29 PM
I don't buy everything from my dealer. There's little things that I buy elsewhere (like light kits for the mower), but for everything else they have my business. Even though I bought my mowers elsewhere they're the only ones I allow to work on them. They're very understanding and realized I couldn't afford to buy a mower from them (bought them used from friends), but offered to check out my Scag TT for me before I closed the deal. Honestly, they've been great to deal with and give me very fair prices on repairs I can't do myself as well as any parts. They recently rebuilt my 22hp Kawasaki and only charged me 4 hours labor. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up for Kenny, Jim and their crew at Bluegrass Lawn and Garden.

OnMyOwn
02-01-2006, 05:19 PM
-gotta say I'm not impressed with my "BIG" John Deere dealer. I called in a week back to order a fuel tank cover for a used surfer I'm buying, because the other one is bent and scratched deeply. The main guy at the desk was not very impressed with the small sized order, so he handed it off to an older lady that was very nice. The part was due in Friday, no, Saturday, no...problem, try Monday.....oops...another problem, try Wednesday.

So, I go in today to pick-up my piece and they recognize me as a guy that shopped them last fall when I wanted to purchase (2) new ZTR's. I chose Gravely instead, due to dealer support and comfort level. Anyway, they bring out the box and want to collect my $$$. I told them I would not pay for the product until I checked it out to make sure they ordered the correct part. When they opened the box....WOW!!!!!....this thing was scratched to heck and back! It looked like a trade-in that someone boxed and shipped as new. It was absolutely pathetic. I said, "You have got to be kidding me" at which they responded, hmmmm. that must have been the last one on the shelf. They looked in the computer and said no more parts would be available in the foreseeable future. Did I want it? I told them I wanted a can of spray paint so I could prime and paint the piece, at which point the older lady went and pulled a can of paint from the sales stock. I paid for the product, reluctantly, and waited for my receipt. At this point, the guy that manages the parts counter (Mr. Personality) picks up the full can of paint and puts it back on the sales shelf, then disappears. He comes back from the service department with a 1/3 full can of paint and says here! I did not even comment!

All I can say is that the $1.00, or $2.00 he gained through his selfishness has absolutely guaranteed that I will never purchase another part from his dealership, and since I do not want to drive to other dealerships, it will prevent me from purchasing anything green in the future.

This is just icing on the cake of the fact that I should stick with my small town dealer as previously noted in the thread. If it works....Don't fix it, or change it!

Littleriver1
02-01-2006, 05:58 PM
For some reason my dealer has changed his attitude towards me. I'm not sure why, but I feel much better about spending my money there. I am not married to him and he is not one of my children. I suppport his business because I need him to support me. It is a business transaction and nothing else. I buy quality parts from him, but if I see quality parts at a better price I may try them, but I'm not going to dump him. I may save a couple of bucks just to make myself feel good now and then. I see no need to tell him about it. If your dealer or his employees treat you badly as a person then deal with it the way you would want your customers to deal with you. If you don't care what your customers think of you then you shouldn't expect any better from the world you revolve in. Every problem in life is resolved in one of three ways. You can live with it. You can change it. You can eliminate it.