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View Full Version : Dealers and demoing


AAXteriors
04-05-2007, 01:54 PM
what is your dealers policy on demoing equipment? I'm not going to mention any names but my local dealer only lets you demo mowers etc. in the parking lot. To me it seems you need a little more real life experience with a machine like a ZTR before committing $9,000 to it. Am i the only person who has a dealer like this?

procut
04-05-2007, 02:03 PM
Nope, one of the dealers here won't even let you drive them. You can sit on it on the showroom floor, but that is it. I have mentioned it several times that they should do demos, but they refuse.

Another dealer that I have delt with will bring a machine to your jobsite, and stand there and watch you use it.

I have always thought, that dealers should have a dedicated demo machine each year. They could charge like $40 to demo it for a day. (to discourage joyrides and people just looking for a free machine for a day) and then, if you decide to buy the $40 would get credited back.

Runner
04-05-2007, 02:13 PM
Most dealers around us (the serious commercial dealers) will set up a demo and bring a machine out. many of times, if you contact a factory rep., they can arrange for one as well. Now, if you have bought from the dealer before, they are even more willing to let you take a machine for a day. I can see in this day and age how they would be a bit more hesitant of it, though. There are 50 tire kickers to every half serious shopper out there. If they catered to every Tom, Dick, and Mary that was "going in to the lawn business", then they would be wearing out demos all season.

BobcatBoy06
04-05-2007, 02:19 PM
Our dealer here which we have bought many pieces of equipment from will let us demo anything we want for 10hrs or so with no questions asked. I mean you want to demo a bobcat go for it, you want to try that new z come on down, no questions asked. If one of our mowers goes down and they fix it, they will give us a new one to use until ours is fixed. We will never do business with any other dealers in the area.

AAXteriors
04-05-2007, 02:27 PM
I agree that if they let everyone take the demo no questions asked the machine wouldn't last very long.

DJL50
04-05-2007, 07:59 PM
When I was looking a few would let you drive one around but not mow with it. The dealer would have to be very large to recoup the cost of demos. Once a ZTR cuts a blade of grass it is used and no one wants it at full price. I work in retail And anyone who does knows NEVER BUY THE DISPLAY. People will take parts, turn knobs etc. If you do the math a dealer would have to sell a lot of ZTR's just to recoup the loss on the demo.
I don't blame the dealers. I do so much research before buying something I would have test mowed with 10 or so different brands but of course just buy one.

abuckeye
04-05-2007, 09:21 PM
I have a great relationship with my dealer apparently. They will let me demo anything I am interested in. They just took on Wright Standers and I asked when I can demo one. He told me put it on the trailer and see what you think.

ed2hess
04-05-2007, 09:26 PM
Dealer not going to let a unit off the parking lot in our area. You can arrange a demo on most units but it will take awhile and the engine size/width isn't always like you may want. Too much equipment being torn up according to sales reps from factory. Plenty of people to talk to in our area about how units are doing.....every solo guy now has at least two ztr machines on their trailers and most of them look new. And the rest of us ifull time guys ncluding the big companies like Brinkman, TG, all have junkers.

grandview (2006)
04-05-2007, 09:28 PM
Same thing around a dealer charged 10.00 for the day for insurance and you took it for the day.

pjslawncare/landscap
04-05-2007, 09:32 PM
U have to be kidding! We get approched several times each season while out mowing by reps that stop and ask us to try out their stuff on the spot. Ive tried a Scag turf tiger on some of my slopes and their trailer full of Echo equipment. Now we just got a new Lesco dealer that has been bugging us to death. I got a little erped at him late last year because he stopped two of my workers and was letting them demo stuff when we were tring to hurry and finish for the day. Maybe dealers around here have more competition or something so they push harder, I dont know.

Mr. Vern
04-05-2007, 09:33 PM
I had a salesman show up to my yard the other day and he saw my operations manager running a loader. He asked him if he wanted to demo a Mustang track skidsteer. He told him "sure, drop it off and we'll grade the lot with it and see how it runs." The guy said "ok". He then mentioned that I was thinking about buying a mini excavator, and the guy left and came back an hour later with a new Yanmar mini-ex. He called me and chased me down to see if I wanted to try it out. I had him drop it off on a job for us and we used it for 3 days - did the whole job with it. I finally had to call the guy and tell him to come and pick it up so I could close the job out. I think the Mustang is still at the yard waiting for him to pick it up.

I didn't buy either of them (nor did I lead the guy to believe I was going to), but you can bet that he will be the first one I call when I do decide to buy one! Very smart salesman!

chipk1
04-05-2007, 09:39 PM
I think manufactures should supply demo units to the dealer. Asking a dealer to demo one of thier machines is like a potential mowing customer asking for a free demo mow. How many of them would you do?

chipk1
04-05-2007, 09:41 PM
I think manufactures should supply demo units to the dealer. Asking a dealer to demo one of thier machines is like a potential mowing customer asking for a free demo mow. How many of them would you do?

Illini_Fan
04-05-2007, 09:53 PM
The Bad Boy dealer in Dimondale, Michigan (by Lansing) will come out and let you demo one. That is the way it should be.

Palmer'sLS
04-05-2007, 09:56 PM
I think manufactures should supply demo units to the dealer. Asking a dealer to demo one of thier machines is like a potential mowing customer asking for a free demo mow. How many of them would you do?

that's pretty much how my dealers think...which is understandible

KS_Grasscutter
04-05-2007, 10:16 PM
In the past my dealer had been the "drive it around the lot" type with new stuff, with used stuff you could take it in the yard behind the shop and mow some weeds with it if you wanted. Noticed recently that now they got a couple units wiht demo tags on them. Was gonna demo one, but traded for a used unit instead.

LwnmwrMan22
04-05-2007, 11:55 PM
I think manufactures should supply demo units to the dealer. Asking a dealer to demo one of thier machines is like a potential mowing customer asking for a free demo mow. How many of them would you do?

This is the situation at most of the dealers around here, unless they have a dedicated demo machine.

The Kubota / Ferris dealer will have a couple of demos, like a Ferris IS3000 and compare it to the new Kubota ZD326 / 60. Other than that, if you want to demo a different model, they'll line you up with the factory rep, and he'll get you one in a week or so, and can have it for 2-3 days.

I don't blame a dealer for not letting out a demo unit. They're the ones paying the money for it, I wouldn't let someone use a mower off of my trailer because they were trying to figure out what they wanted to buy to mow their own yard.

I DO know that Ferris has given dealers a better break on mowers, to have more demos on hand. I think that's the most important thing.

AAXteriors
04-06-2007, 01:13 AM
I think the manufacturers really should supply the dealers with a dedicated demo unit. It would be like going to a car dealership and only being able to drive the demo around the parking lot.

supercuts
04-06-2007, 07:34 AM
In the past my dealer had been the "drive it around the lot" type with new stuff, with used stuff you could take it in the yard behind the shop and mow some weeds with it if you wanted. Noticed recently that now they got a couple units wiht demo tags on them. Was gonna demo one, but traded for a used unit instead.

i cant say i blame dealers, looking at your equiptment, a 30 and 44" ZTR pulled by a 1984 truck, all id be thinking is, yeah this guy is gonna buy something! you proved it, you went used.

can you blame them, alot of these guys are small and work their butts off. to have a machine like that they will have to sell it at big "loss" over the price of a new one. but worse than giving $1000 or more off is the fact that the guy they just sold too now doesnt need a full price new machine which is going to hurt a dealer. my dealer is small and spends his extra money on a very large inventory rather than handing out demos all day. when my stuff breaks its fixed right away and im fine with the way he runs his business.

they have good seasons and bad seasons too, like us. take this past winter in CT, we had 2 plowable storms on the shoreline. now landscapers didnt make the money they thought they would over the winter and arent going to hvae the money they would have liked going into the spring for new equiptment. dealers here are going to have a tough spring. hes also sitting on a showroom of snowblowers he didnt sell out.

MSS Mow
04-06-2007, 08:39 AM
I've got one dealer that will (and has) deliver the demo, drop it off, and come back several days later to pick it up. For free. Did I mention I live more than 2 hours away, one way. Fortunately for them, I bought the machine (massey) so they didn't have to come back and get it. They just sent the paperwork in the mail. Did I pay for it? Not directly, but I'm sure the cost was built into the price of the equipment. I'm not completely stupid.

trackmaster
04-06-2007, 08:43 AM
I guess from the sounds if it I am very lucky to have my local TORO dealer be so cool, I can demo anything he has on the floor, and when equip is down, and it is in his shop to be fixed ,the minute mine comes off the trailer, a loaner goes back on till mine is done. That is the way it should be, this is my business and i will only buy from a dealer that backs you after the sale also not just while you are looking. Kudos to D&R toro in maumee ohio for still doing business the way you should!!!!!thanks guys!!

LwnmwrMan22
04-06-2007, 09:03 AM
I guess from the sounds if it I am very lucky to have my local TORO dealer be so cool, I can demo anything he has on the floor, and when equip is down, and it is in his shop to be fixed ,the minute mine comes off the trailer, a loaner goes back on till mine is done. That is the way it should be, this is my business and i will only buy from a dealer that backs you after the sale also not just while you are looking. Kudos to D&R toro in maumee ohio for still doing business the way you should!!!!!thanks guys!!

I agree to this point, somewhat.

HOPEFULLY, not everyone's machine drops at the same time. The Toro dealer here, WILL give out a loaner, but they only have 3. They have about 50 companies that operate out of that shop, so any given day, they may not have the loaner available.

The Kubota dealer that I deal with, USUALLY has a demo sitting around, whether a Kubota demo or Ferris, but it usually isn't what I'm running.

It'll be a smaller engine with a smaller deck, something like a 25 hp on a 52" deck, whereas I run 28 hp diesels on a 60" deck.

However the dealer pays to have parts shipped in overnight, and I get bumped to the top of the service list when I drop a machine off, so it doesn't usually take too long.

tallimeca
04-06-2007, 11:00 AM
The Demo situation sucks as much for you guys as it does for dealers. TRUST ME. I wish i had one of everything to let guys try, but I don't and can't.

Here are the issues. Mainly, most guys , and I say most from MY EXPERIENCE, want to demo stuff so they don't have to pay to rent it and can do a job. That's why I am trying to put stuff like saw, and other equipment that I sell into my rental fleet. If they want to demo it, they can pay to rent it. If they come back and want one, i'll credit the rental to them.

1) If the equipment is on floor plan, once it leaves the property and touches grass, the dealer has to pay for it. Start adding that up and basically the dealer is sitting on THOUSANDS of dollars of USED equipment he has to try and sell. BUT, he has to pay for it out of his pocket first. Most dealers don't have 10-20k sitting in the bank if they are using floor plan.

Then there is definetely no room for that dealer to start playing with prices on potential sales because he needs every cent he can get!!!!

2) Most salesman who sell from the factory/distributor have demo units alloted to them. What they usually have is the best sellers in the area, but as said before, that might not have the exact engine or deck size you want, so you have to demo something that is close. They usually ask the dealers to try to set up a week of demos and they will drop the unit off. I am lucky enough that my saleman usually leaves demos at my shop so he don't have to trailor them around. If he needs them, he picks them up. I just so happened to be on the way to everywhere he has to go, haha. Lucky, that's all. The salesman are then responsible to sell these off at the end of the year to a dealer. If it's a dog, then the saleman is stuck trying to get rid of it.

3) Some manufacturers have demo programs where they will let you take a piece in and use it as a demo and basically don't charge you or floor plan it to your bill for x amount of months. You then have to sell it off at a discounted price and document that and fill out a form and send it back to the factory. I know exmark does this, at least in my area.

Like the other guys said, usually there is enough of something around that you can go watch another guy use it and ask him how it works.

When I first had the Exmark Navigators going out, my customers told me they had guys stopping them and asking them about it and asking them to make a couple passes!!! He had no problem with it.

The only problems i have with demos is, ok, i can see you wanting to demo a mower. No problem. And if you want to demo a back pack blower, i will gladly gas it up and start it for you in the parking lot and you can go blow the leaves around if you want. Do you really need to take it for the day to see if you like it? You know how heavy and how powerfull it it compared to what you have now right off the bat, what else is there to know?

JKOOPERS
04-06-2007, 11:42 AM
the dealer i go through let us demo a lazer z for a whole week to show how much time would be saved each week. then again i have bought everything that has an engine from them.

LwnmwrMan22
04-06-2007, 11:53 AM
The Demo situation sucks as much for you guys as it does for dealers. TRUST ME. I wish i had one of everything to let guys try, but I don't and can't.

Here are the issues. Mainly, most guys , and I say most from MY EXPERIENCE, want to demo stuff so they don't have to pay to rent it and can do a job. That's why I am trying to put stuff like saw, and other equipment that I sell into my rental fleet. If they want to demo it, they can pay to rent it. If they come back and want one, i'll credit the rental to them.

1) If the equipment is on floor plan, once it leaves the property and touches grass, the dealer has to pay for it. Start adding that up and basically the dealer is sitting on THOUSANDS of dollars of USED equipment he has to try and sell. BUT, he has to pay for it out of his pocket first. Most dealers don't have 10-20k sitting in the bank if they are using floor plan.

Then there is definetely no room for that dealer to start playing with prices on potential sales because he needs every cent he can get!!!!

2) Most salesman who sell from the factory/distributor have demo units alloted to them. What they usually have is the best sellers in the area, but as said before, that might not have the exact engine or deck size you want, so you have to demo something that is close. They usually ask the dealers to try to set up a week of demos and they will drop the unit off. I am lucky enough that my saleman usually leaves demos at my shop so he don't have to trailor them around. If he needs them, he picks them up. I just so happened to be on the way to everywhere he has to go, haha. Lucky, that's all. The salesman are then responsible to sell these off at the end of the year to a dealer. If it's a dog, then the saleman is stuck trying to get rid of it.

3) Some manufacturers have demo programs where they will let you take a piece in and use it as a demo and basically don't charge you or floor plan it to your bill for x amount of months. You then have to sell it off at a discounted price and document that and fill out a form and send it back to the factory. I know exmark does this, at least in my area.

Like the other guys said, usually there is enough of something around that you can go watch another guy use it and ask him how it works.

When I first had the Exmark Navigators going out, my customers told me they had guys stopping them and asking them about it and asking them to make a couple passes!!! He had no problem with it.

The only problems i have with demos is, ok, i can see you wanting to demo a mower. No problem. And if you want to demo a back pack blower, i will gladly gas it up and start it for you in the parking lot and you can go blow the leaves around if you want. Do you really need to take it for the day to see if you like it? You know how heavy and how powerfull it it compared to what you have now right off the bat, what else is there to know?

My Kubota dealer is on the floor plan with Kubota. I bought a new ZD331, but didn't want to run the papers until the end of April, since I won't be using it until then. They wanted me to leave it, because a guy from Kubota comes around once / quarter, checking on stock, to make sure it's being used the way it's supposed to be.

Ferris has them set up on a VERY good demo program, basically giving them one of each mower on a high percentage (according to the dealer) towards a demo price, so they'll have 4-5 of those, pretty much one of each model, unless it gets sold.

F.O.S.
04-06-2007, 12:16 PM
My dealer was second to none in this area when I decided I wanted to demo my grasshopper 322D. I told him I was interested and he said take it for as long as you want. All he did was scan my drivers license. After four days with the machine it sold itself. The other dealer in this area is really finicky about letting you demo a mower, sign this wait here kind of thing and then maybe in a week you'll get a mower similar to what you were looking for... Dealer support, ease to work with, and an excellent machine sealed the deal in the end.

jlahr
04-06-2007, 12:32 PM
I am a dealer, and I feel demos are the only way to sell.

DuraCutter
04-06-2007, 09:51 PM
what is your dealers policy on demoing equipment? I'm not going to mention any names but my local dealer only lets you demo mowers etc. in the parking lot. To me it seems you need a little more real life experience with a machine like a ZTR before committing $9,000 to it. Am i the only person who has a dealer like this?

If the dealer has any kind of relationship with the manufacturers, he'll be able to get a dedicated demo machine to help him sell the machines...

:)

TSEDAVE
04-06-2007, 11:50 PM
I am a dealer and we have demos and usually we let them be demoed for 1-2 days, but if we have a customers mover in for repair we let them have the demo until their machine is repaired so there is as little down time as possible. i find that is the best policy (customer cant spend any money unless they are out there making it)

ProStreetCamaro
04-07-2007, 12:05 AM
There is not 1 single dealer here that will let you engage the blades. You can drive the machine around but thats it. I tried every single one of them and no dice. Thats probably why pretty much everybody here runs the same machine because everybody knows that Exmark cuts good and lasts a long time so thats what they stick with instead of going out on a limb and getting a machine nobody has experiance with around here. 95% of the trailers you see here have Lazers on them.

corey4671
04-07-2007, 12:20 AM
my dealer works on just about anything. last fall, when my woods m2560 was in for some work, he sent me out with his Everride demo....smart guy. My woods was a 60" his demo was a 54". I saw the time savings even with a smaller deck. made the move to Everride. anytime the warrior is in for service, the demo goes on the trailer. dealer has gone so far as to meet me out in the field to swap mowers and pick the demo up. like has been said before here, service is what counts.

4curbappeal
04-07-2007, 12:46 AM
Would you buy a $500 golf club without hitting it first? Why buy a $10K mower without mowing with it? If your dealer won't let you cut with it, then find one that will! The dealers in my area are very good about demos. Good luck!!!

Sammy
04-07-2007, 03:30 AM
My dealer will let me demo for 3-4 days if I want too.