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View Full Version : Another dealer bites the dust!


sheppard
12-14-2002, 09:42 AM
Got to blow off some steam! Walked into my primary dealer ysterday and they informed me they were closing by end of business that day.

"For the Holidays right?"

Nope, for good!

Nearly lost my breakfast. The short version is that Snapper was bought by Simplicity. This dealer was consistantly in the top 10 nationwide! But Home Depot, Walmart and Lowes began getting more complementary inventory. Home Depot would consistantly advertize "We'll beat any price by 10%!"

And they did...consistantly.

The other sticky point is that the distributors would not uncrate the deliveries to them but would do it for WalMart et.al. That's soft $ that cuts into profit.

Last blow to them was the 3 year draught in the south. Not enouph mowers sold.

These guys were good!. Never had an unpleasant experience when I walked into their place.

Damn All Corporations!

Cordially,
Sheppard

roscioli
12-14-2002, 11:09 AM
I dont mean to stir up the bees nest of anti-corporation sentiment here,, but the only reason these corporations survive is because we, as consumers, demand the best prices possible. They can provide them through measures such as bulk pricing, taking advantage, and efficiency. We as consumers do not pay for personable service like many would like, and thus these corporations (wal-mart, home depot, etc...) take over the smaller stores.

sheppard
12-14-2002, 11:27 AM
Dear roscioli,

Can't disagree with what you said. The problem I have is that I KNOW THESE GUYS!

Sure I like a good price on most things. When it came to lawn equipment I did NOT shop price. I've got a bit of the hypocrite in me I suspect. I can walk in Home Depot and find what I want most of the time.

When I know someone that is put out of business I get ticked.

We face the same problems with scrubs. Anyone can come behind me and drop their price. The customer rules in today's market place now more than ever.

I just don't like it when good men I know are put out of business and some faceless corporation reaps some profit.

Cordially,
S

65hoss
12-14-2002, 12:11 PM
That is why I don't do biz with Home Cheapo. As a business owner I know what it takes to stay in business. Lowering prices below cost because you know you have billions ticks me off. All of it is in hopes of putting mom and pop out of biz. I refuse to be apart of that. Just as I want my customers to pay fair, I do the same for Mom&Pop stores.

rkbrown
12-14-2002, 12:36 PM
We have an old family owned hardware/supply store still in town. You go in there and the folks know your name, ask how the kids are (by name) and give excellent service...they know their business. HD and Lowes are quite a bit further down the road...but only temporarily. It is good to see that a lot of contractors still use these folks. I always make that my 1st stop before going elsewhere.

rodfather
12-14-2002, 01:06 PM
Bummer...if that happened to me, I would be up the proverbial creek without sufficient means of locomotion.

Sorry to hear bout losing your dealer:cry: :cry: :cry:

Randy Scott
12-14-2002, 01:12 PM
Yes, we are definately victims of our own demise. I really try to keep my primary business to the mower shop around here. I will buy an occassional shovel or something like that from Home Depot, but that's it. I will never buy any fert or equipment from them. My dealer sells Simplicity and currently he is able to compete with their prices. He also gets all the people that buy from Home Depot calling him and saying that Home Depot told them to call him for warranty and service work and they expect him to drop what he's doing to service Home Depot's customers. He just laughs at them. I have been there more than once when he had the pleasure to tell the customer " sorry, you bought it from Home Depot and they have no service dept., therefore you will have to wait until I can take care of MY customers before servicing their customers, thank you". It's great, and that's about all you can do to make yourself feel better. F these people that think they can just order the little guy around. You wanted to save $50 on a mower, well see why you did now jerkoff. :eek:

McKeeLand
12-14-2002, 02:08 PM
Sheppard I don't get it, do the homedepot down ur way sell commercial mowers. they don't here, they only sell home owner mowers. which if u ask any mower dealer, they can have the home owenrs. they account for such a small part of their sales and a much larger part of their pain in their a**! Thats the only way the smaller guy can compete is to cater to the contractor.
I mean my irrigation supp. house is stuck right in the middle of lowes and HD here and they've been holding their own for years with them. its all about the service. price is one thing, but i'll pay a little more for knowledge and respect.

BigJim
12-14-2002, 02:28 PM
Thats how business works,the manufacturer supplies the dealer,expects him to carry all the inventory,promote the product,handle all the warranty stuff,but they supply the big chains all the big selling stuff at 30% less than they sell to you and then look you in the eye and say your all getting the same deal.Been there had that done to me.:mad:

eslawns
12-14-2002, 03:30 PM
A few points...

1. Do not feel too bad for businesses who lose out like this. They failed because they were unable to adapt to the market. My dealer sells the same Echo and Husqvarna products carried in Lowe's and Home Depot, and is cheaper on each.

2. I talked at length with him about the mass market approach. He said he would need to streamline his operation, and concentrate on service, but he wasn't worried. Why should he worry? Most of this equipment will be purchased by commercial users and high end homeowners. These clients are unlikely to put up with the long turnaround times on service at mass retailers.

3. These dealers attend trade shows and dealer oriented industry events, so this was no suprise. What the independent dealers need to do is combine their purchasing power. I worked in another industry (appliance parts) and this was done to keep Sears honest. Take a look at mom & pop hardware stores. Lowe's and HD hit them first, and True Value and Do it Center networks helped small companies compete with larger ones.

4. Times are changing. The bad economy we hear about was foreseeable, and businesses not prepared for it are to blame for its effect, just like the foreseeable encroachment of mass retailers on the commercial market. Somebody mentioned the same effect on our businesses from scrubs who compete based on price. There's a lesson here for us. Business is survival of the fittest, be fit enough to survive.

sheppard
12-14-2002, 03:41 PM
This dealerhsip sold alot of handheld stuff for the consumer. Their profit on a hand held blower was 12 dollars. They also sold 21" Snappers and Husqvarna stuff out the wazoo, along with small rec. motorcycles and go-carts.

The bigger picture here also is that there is a huge J.D. dealership and a huge Exmark dealership.

The guys at Proline had been in business for 10 years. That stinks!

Cordially,
S.

McKeeLand
12-14-2002, 04:58 PM
Well if that was what they where selling, it seems to me home depot is not to blame. i think their was more to it than that, maybe bad business men, i don't know just guessing. but i think home depot is just being used as an excuse for why they failed.
As the saying goes, when the wind comes and shakes the trees, the weak leaves will fall. same in business. when things are good even the drunks and scubs are busy, but when things slow down you see who really is a well established and can weather the storm. they may have been great people to deal with, but if they don't change and adapt with the times, they will be replaced. that is why u see alot of mom and pops going out of business. alot of them don't want to change and unfortunatly they close up.

Turfdude
12-14-2002, 09:36 PM
By reading your post & list of equipment - can't help but wonder if you're talking about Barton Supply (irrigation) & if you got some of your equipment from George & Lowther's & from Cherry Hill Lesco?

Bob

cantoo
12-14-2002, 10:22 PM
When handed lemons make lemonade.
If Home Depot, Lowes or whoever is mass selling this stuff then it would be stupid to try to compete with them instaed I would try to work off their success. Sheppard you yourself said that Home Depot customers were calling wanting their stuff serviced, I think he should hire more service guys and cut back on the sales staff. If Home Depot is selling that amount of stuff it sure as heck will need serviced which I would think is where the real money is.

McKeeLand
12-15-2002, 12:09 AM
Turf dude

actually i was talking about acu-therm in Egg Harbor Township, but yes i do deal with George Lowthers. been dealing with him for 10 years. George is an excellent example of someone not only surviving, but thriving with competition. all of my mowers have come from george, even the lesco. someone traded it in after one year and i bought it for $1500 bucks. been a great mower. plus george always give a one year warranty one his used mowers.

boohoo
12-16-2002, 03:39 AM
..

turfman59
12-16-2002, 08:09 AM
You go to Home Depot for variety, You go to the local supply house because of past relationships that were built when you needed help or needed a question answered. Its simple
Home Depot sells price and impulse items....
Your local guys sell service and solutions.....

It cracks me up when ever I go to the big box stores and the sales associates are trying to explain how to install a irrigation system in aisle 15 to a guy and his wife...The guy says Yep I am sure if you hooked up a dishwasher you could install your own sprinkler system, I watched my neighbor do his last summer.. Its EZ

One more scary thought.. if you look at modern day household conveinences most all of them started in the industrial or commercial market,... example Garage door openers, Garbage disposals, Even computers, those influences carry over to the home owner who thinks it would be cool to have that at home just like at work.....Wait tilll one of the major mower companys want to take a ZTR to the Home owner market Imagine a Z for 2499.00 at your local Home Depot, there goes all your service out the window...

yourlawnguy
12-16-2002, 09:43 AM
Originally posted by turfman59
.....Wait tilll one of the major mower companys want to take a ZTR to the Home owner market Imagine a Z for 2499.00 at your local Home Depot, there goes all your service out the window...
Actually there are quite a few consumer ZTR's out there already for close to that price...Dixon, Ariens, Snapper, Cub Cadet, and others. I work in one neighborhood where a lot of the homeowners have ZTR's some of them even have commercial grade. My brother-in-law told me he just bought a Scag Tiger Cub last year and now his neighbors are all following suit.

tailoredlook
12-16-2002, 01:06 PM
My problem with the Depots, Lowes etc. is where do you go when the machine breaks down. Most dealers in my area wont do warranty work if you didn't buy the machine there and the last time I was at a lowes or home depot I didn't see any mechanics bays.

DLCS
12-16-2002, 01:23 PM
Originally posted by turfman59
Wait tilll one of the major mower companys want to take a ZTR to the Home owner market Imagine a Z for 2499.00 at your local Home Depot, there goes all your service out the window...



I think most mower manufacturers do have a homeowner ztr. But, that doesn't bother me. I think that the people I mow for don't want to mow, period. I doubt a ztr would change their way of thinking very much, thats why they hire me.:)

Mike
DLCS

lawnkid
12-16-2002, 06:24 PM
Is the dealer who closed the only delaer of the mowers you have in the area or... That really sucks. If my Scag dealer closes, which also has BobCat, then my only 2 closest choices would be great Dane and Toro. Oh well, I'm praying that they stay open. Peace

LAWNGODFATHER
12-16-2002, 11:10 PM
You penny pinchers that try to save a few tax deductable dollars do this to your self.

Flex-Deck
12-16-2002, 11:57 PM
I believe Lawngodfather just explained the whole thing in one sentence.

I have a dealer that gives me very very good service, and I do not, Let me repeat, DO NOT shop other dealers for prices when buying equipment - I just ask for his cash price, No haggling, and pay it. I usually have a price in mind, and it usually is a price that allows him to make some money, and that is usually very close to what he offers.

Bingo, I buy, we are both happy, and He is STILL OPEN.

sheppard
12-17-2002, 07:08 AM
This dealership carried Snapper, Husqvarna & Wright Stander.

Other dealers in town carry the same lines. and they we the smallest dealership...and the friendliest.

After some more thinking I need to admit that they were not the most organized guys in town. They often could not find the parts they ordered a few days prior. So they often shot themselves in the foot in that.

Cordially,
S.

Gravely_Man
12-17-2002, 02:59 PM
Sheppard, thanks for the update. I did sound like there was more to the story then we were first told. At least you still have other options, true they aren't the friendliest options but at least they will have the parts you need.


Gravely_Man

greenman
12-19-2002, 12:09 AM
Originally posted by tailoredlook
My problem with the Depots, Lowes etc. is where do you go when the machine breaks down. Most dealers in my area wont do warranty work if you didn't buy the machine there and the last time I was at a lowes or home depot I didn't see any mechanics bays.


You go to Home Depot for variety, You go to the local supply house because of past relationships that were built when you needed help or needed a question answered. Its simple
Home Depot sells price and impulse items....
Your local guys sell service and solutions.....

Home Depot or any big stores, for that matter, would simply tell the consumer to take their machine to a local service......

The local dealers that I use always put me (and other commercial cutters) on the top of the list, because I buy from them. Thats great service. If a homeowner or another commercial cutter was to want service and the machine was bought elsewhere, it could be 3 weeks or more before their machine(s) would get serviced.