View Full Version : Why I Support My Dealer

10-14-2008, 06:58 PM
I've mentioned on here numerous times that having been in retail businesses in the past, I try to purchase virtually everything from my mower dealer. I realize with large operations that this sometimes isn't practical, but with a solo operation like mine, I figure the additional cost to be minimal.

Anyway, the Kawasaki engine on my Gravely started leaking oil yesterday. Took it in, and left it at the dealer's just before closing last night. After work today, I called and was told the part was ordered but probably wouldn't be in until Friday. I told the lady that was going to put me in a bind, because I need to mow before Friday. She said they were busy right then, but she'd talk to Steve, the owner, and call me back.

She called back in about 10 minutes and said they were going to give me a loaner for the rest of the week, because he checked and the part might not come in until Monday.

This is why I support my local dealer.

AL Inc
10-14-2008, 07:53 PM
I agree 100%, I've said it here many times over the years. I wouldn't consider buying anything online or at a competing dealer. My dealer either fixes things while I wait, or give me a loaner. To me that's priceless.
I look at it the same way as with myself and a good client. They are good to me, and I'm good to them.

10-14-2008, 08:44 PM
My local dealer is an idiot. I took my eXmark in to have a ROPS put on. They broke the choke cable, air locked the hydro pumps, and broke the bottom of the seat off its mounts. I had to push it on the trailer and they refused to fix any of the parts they broke. This is after I had spent 7-9k this year with them. That's why I don't support my local dealer. Glad you have a great dealer near you, wish I did. Can we mention names on here?

10-14-2008, 09:02 PM
When I take my stander in for anything they will fix it right then or give me a loaner and say bring it back when I am ready to get my mower. I paid $6200 for the 36" stander. I tried to talk him down b.c I bought another $1500 in handhelds but he said that he will take care of me when I come in but I cant get it cheaper and expect him to go way out of the way when I need him. Glad I paid what I did b.c I blew a hydro line and it took 2 weeks to get all the parts but i got a demo for 2 weeks also.

10-14-2008, 09:03 PM
If you have found good dealer service great; however that is not the "norm" any longer. I no longer rule out, the out of state equipment purchases. I have tried to support our local dealers, all have a touch of manic behavior. A dealer will always get their money back some how, some where, and nothing is free anymore. I no longer argue, if I don't like the dealer service or price, I go elsewhere. In general Dealers are crooks

10-14-2008, 09:22 PM
In general Dealers are crooks

You can add ANY Business/Profession to that statement........

10-14-2008, 10:36 PM
I can buy parts cheaper, repair myself sooner and grab another mower out of my Garage if I have to wait on parts. . My mower gets fixed when I need it not when the dealer decides to get around to it because it "got busy". That said I buy my mowers and parts from the same two dealers who treat me better than the rest in the area, and they do get the warranty work.

George Mason
10-14-2008, 10:48 PM
I can't say the one dealer I bought my first mower from this year is a crook, but I can say that I don't like them very much. I recently purchased a stripe kit, they told me it was roller kit (or so I think I was told and openly admitted that I wasn't sure) but when I got it (2 months after ordering it, not having my phone calls returned nor receiving a phone call saying it was in) it was a rubber drag flap I emailed. I simply asked if I could return it, stating I was told it was a roller kit and not a $99 piece of rubber. My email was responded to, "sure you can return it but I know we didn't tell you that it was a roller kit." I responded, still cordially, that why say that if you were going to take the return, just take it and then mentioned the adage that the customer is always right. Boy it unwound quick from there. In three minutes I got an email that reeled off - "maybe I should start taking all of my tips from someone with as little experience as you," "if you know so much maybe you can come in an buy my business and run it," and the best of all, "you always seem to put people on edge whenever you come around!"

I have been to the dealer four times. Once to look at mowers (all went well), once to buy (all went well), once to see if they had a stripe kit (all went well), and once to stop in and see if it had arrived, this was a day before our email exchange (all went well AND THE BEST PART he spent about 30 minutes showing me some mowers he "had to move," a conversation in which I listened and learned and nothing even hinted at someone being on edge). Anyway, I take delivery of my new Z turn tomorrow, and needless to say I didn't even consider the "mowers he had to move" and went to the other dealer close by.

This guy was uptight about something, and really let me have it. I teach kids full time and am known as the most relaxed and fun teacher around. On edge, funny, maybe I'll change my member name to "The Edge!"

Had to vent... look for my pics coming soon of my new Gravely 260H XDZ.

10-14-2008, 11:02 PM
[QUOTE=Restrorob;2555654]You can add ANY Business/Profession to that statement........
Yeah, the guy that mows my lawn is a crook! $50 a weak to sit on his but for an hour. Unreal. I cant believe the guy is actually trying to make money off me. Who does he think he is? A business owner.

10-15-2008, 12:10 AM
[QUOTE=Restrorob;2555654]You can add ANY Business/Profession to that statement........
Yeah, the guy that mows my lawn is a crook! $50 a weak to sit on his but for an hour. Unreal. I cant believe the guy is actually trying to make money off me. Who does he think he is? A business owner.

Your missing the point we all are "crook" to an extend, I choose to use lubricant on my customers so the BF, is more "tolerable":laugh:. I remind some Ahole customers they can always do their own Lawn & Landscape work:hammerhead:. This industry is a luxury , so you better do some "foreplay" to get your customers to pay. You never bite the hand the hand that feeds you. So when a dealer is a MF'er that just really chaps my butt, i just want to be treated nice:cry:

10-15-2008, 07:30 AM
IF I had a dealer that would service my equipment like that, I would also be faithful. But I don't, so I'm not. I buy 90% of my stuff from 1 guy.

And I never haggle price on the small stuff. But regardless, he always takes 3 to 5 days to fix anything. So this year I bought a bunch of used backup equipment from eBay and Craigslist. I had no choice.

10-15-2008, 08:37 AM
most small to med size dealership owners are in the same boat as the lco owners. A good year is breaking even with maybe a little profit. Certainly not getting rich. With terrible profit margins on new equipment sales ( about the only one who makes good $ on new equipm is the mfg), about the only place they make decent margins is on repairs and parts sales. But even at that i would say the avg profit margin is 20-25%. So even if he does a million dollars in gross sales, it may only equate to $250,000 profit. Now lets take off a few employee salaries, tax mans cut, rent, insurance, power, vehicles, etc, etc it does not leave alot left for the owner to take home when all is said and done.

Unfort with the days of skyrocketing cost and depleting profit margins, the days of fixing something and not charging or spending a bunch of time with a customer who in turns is just a price shopper or doesnt spend anything, and maybe has trouble paying are gone. Time is money, specially in a dealers service depts, LCO's should know and understand that more than anybody.. LCO's certainly are not out there cutting lawns, doing clean ups, or giving seed advice for free. We are in business together, Dealers need landscapers and landscapers need dealer support, both parties need to understand that you both are in business to feed your families and make a little $ to stay open for years to come. you need to find the dealer that understands this and shares your same business ethics and dedication. Some dealers really maybe crooks, but I feel they are few and far between. Most owners are struggling just as you are. We just sometimes have to take a second and think of the issues if you were in his or her shoes, just as they should do for you when your broke down or in trouble.