do you value a dealer

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JDSUZUKI, Jun 17, 2009.


    JDSUZUKI LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    I am at wits end with most contractors out there. I work for a dealer in the panhandle of Florida, I cant understand why you guys, run so many different brands of product. Almost all of your upper echelon mower makers make incredible products. so why buy a scag from 1 a hustler from another and a toro from yet another. why not buy from the dealer you like doing business with? I manage the parts department and you can bet I reward the guys that are loyal, that goes for service as well. I take pride in pricing to keep you off the internet but I guess its a losing battle!
  2. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 2,517

    For me personally, I see no reason to buy parts form the dealers when they stock nothing, overprice the parts, and take longer to get them than myself if I order them online.

    Pay less and receive faster = internet parts.

    I hope my new dealer is better.
  3. marcuslawnguy

    marcuslawnguy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 117

    my dealer is usually next day if not in stock with a fat discount.

    JDSUZUKI LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    gravely guy. you must have some crappy dealers in your area. as do we, when I took over my position my main objective was to get back the commercial business. We already had an excellent service department but only oem parts. so I went aftermarket on everything I could get my hands on. So far it has seemed to work. My only gripe is when someone finds some closeout deal online that is well below my cost and wont come back. Contrary to most cutters out there a dealer stays in business with parts and service, mower margins suck.
  5. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 2,517

    Nothing serious this time, but I ordered a part for my Mantis tiller on June 3rd from one of my dealers and I just called them yesterday and they have not received it. It's the year 2009, you can have anything from anywhere in days not weeks. WTF is the holdup with everything.
  6. kaferhaus

    kaferhaus LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,444

    My value in a dealer is the same a customer has in a LCO. "what have you done for me lately?".

    You're correct in that most of the comemrcial mowers are a coin toss regarding quality and cut, but they're not in price or productivity. I once ran only Exmarks but now we're slowly switching to Bobcats. Why? Price. exmark has had two rediculous price increases two years in a row. I can buy more mower for less money with the Bobcat.

    I buy almost nothing else from that dealer (and the mowers actually come out of Bobcat's "fleet" program. The dealer gets a set up fee and whatever else Bobcat pays him to handle the sale. We also are switching to Stihl hand helds which is almost complete... only a few Echo's left. Same dealer sells Echo, Stihl and Bobcat. BUT there are 4 Stihl dealers here in Mobile. I buy them from whoever gives me the best price.

    All consumables are bought in bulk from either distributors or online. Oil is bought from a local oil wholesaler in bulk.

    The dealer has to make a buck just like I do, he negotiates the best deal he can get from his suppliers but doesn't want me too???? What's wrong with that picture?

    I buy oil filters by the case and even with shipping I'm paying about half of what he sells a inferior filter for. I'm using Purolator's and he's selling "rotary". I buy fully synthetic 2 cycle oil for 18 bucks a gallon he gets close to $40. I buy gator blades for under 20 bucks a set and he gets nearly $45..... same with everything else.

    I buy 60 sets of ZTR blades a year... the price difference ends up being $1500 just on ZTR blades... over the course of a year I save over 20K by NOT buying consumables from the dealer. Now the folks I buy from are certainly making a profit or they couldn't stay in business. What will the dealer do for me over the course of a year that's worth 20K??? enquiring minds want to know.

    I like the dealer by the way. he's a good guy, runs a good business, has knowledgable staff working there, beautiful showroom... been in business since the 50s.

    But nothing he can do for me is worth me tossing him a extra 20K for it.

    I buy from the dealer when there's no other choice.
  7. ToroLandscaper

    ToroLandscaper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,177

    I will use different brand mowers because I do not exactly like to put all of my eggs in one basket. I do not want to get "stuck" with a machine if I do not like it, much less 2 or 3 of them!

    Also, I think different brands make better products than others.

    I really like Exmark walk behinds, but am not a huge fan of there ZTRS.
    I really like Toro ZTRs, but am not a huge fan of there walk behinds.
    I really like Stihl back pack blowers, but am not a huge fan of their weed

    And a lot of times I will order parts off of the internet because the pricing is so much better! Every time I walk into a dealer to get parts or accessories I just feel like my wallet is getting raped.
  8. SfTD_service_CENTER

    SfTD_service_CENTER LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 868

    you need to point out to customers that you service! and internet dealer is ther to sell liquidate and move on. i buy tons online! ebay etc. i find i am getting a great deal 50% of the time the other times i am getting the wrong stuff bad defective parts and shipping them back for a refund is pointless! you should make a poster and put check marks next to the things i said and hang it on your wall.

    gravely guy just finds it more convenient to buy online as do i in the situation i am in, which i cant talk about. online you can find what you need yourself instead of having a 2 bit highschool kid look up your parts or its some old surly bastard that wants to argue with you about what you need. interent is nice for certain people but for your customers you should point out the bad things about buing online and why your parts are more money. value, service and reputation all mix into this somthing a internet cant provide is somoen with knowledge you can talk with face to face, so in which use that advantage you have to inform customers. just my 26 cents lol
  9. lyube

    lyube LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,598

    Because only one dealer sells toro, only one sells scag, and another one only sells hustler.

    Sell Scag, Hustler, and Toro and I'll buy from you.

    Perhaps we feel that certain brands make better mowers in certain sizes?

    JDSUZUKI LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    kaferhaus. the rotary filters are now made by wix. I guess the point i'm trying to make is that. this green industry we are in is by far the most immature market I have been associated with, when I came out of the hvac world I thought this parts biz would be easy and is has turned out to be the most frustrating and backstabbing class of business owners both lco's and dealers that I have ever witnessed. No body seems to believe in building relationships in business anymore. I cant seem to earn trust even with pricing

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