Buying new ZTR from dealer - surprised to find out it's been stored outside

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Herty Field, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. Herty Field

    Herty Field LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    I'm finally taking the plunge and buying a new residential grade mower from my local dealer. After making the purchase, I went outside and viewed several of the mowers of they had on display, including three of the same brand/model I'm purchasing. All three had about an hour on the meter (anywhere from .5 to 1.2 hours) and were quite weathered. For example, the seats were dirty/moldy and the controls looked faded from sitting in the sun. There also were scratches on the deck near the foot rest area with some mud built up as well from other potential buyers. Finally, I noticed some rust on several of the bolts that attach the arms to the mower itself.

    When I got home, I called the dealer to inquire about which mower I was receiving and to confirm the one they will be delivering tomorrow is not one of the three they had sitting outside. To my surprise, they confirmed they would be delivering one of those three, and they also admitted they've been sitting out front of their dealership for the past few months. I'm now at a point where I'm strongly considering canceling my purchase and buying online elsewhere, but perhaps I'm being too picky about this as, after all, I am buying a mower that will get dirty quickly...not a car, t.v., etc.

    I'm I asking too much for desiring a mower that truly looks brand new and is not weathered with an hour or so of use, or is the dealer being unreasonable here? Finally, as for price, their price is about $150 less than what the online retailers charge, though IMO the 4-5% savings overall doesn't seem worth it to me.

    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  2. Wye Oak Tree

    Wye Oak Tree LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,565

    Herty, no your not being to picky at all.
    Unfortunately my John Deere dealer does the same here. They have equipment laying out in the rain week after week.
    If someone drops off a mower to be fixed it sits out for weeks in the weather.
    I'm a stickler for keeping equipment indoors, so this is a pet peeve of mine.
    Heavy rain will cause blade switch problems as well as the premature rust on any exposed parts.
    Doc8406, Cam15 and sjessen like this.
  3. Mac-s Lawn & Snow

    Mac-s Lawn & Snow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 534

    I don't think you are being to unreasonable. I'd think about calling the dealer in the morning and stating your concerns. Maybe to keep the sale going he can find one that looks new. I don't know what your online options are but I buy my equipment from places that have great service departments. The dealers with the green mowers sure like to store them outside stacked about 6 tall
    MowDaddy, Doc8406 and Cam15 like this.
  4. OP
    Herty Field

    Herty Field LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Thanks guys for the quick reply, and I'm glad to hear I'm not being unreasonable here. I treat everything I own with great care, thus it bothers me that I'm about to fork over 4K for a supposed 'new' mower that has been demo'd, has rust and scratches, and with seats/controls that look quite weathered. Not to mention I just purchased a new shed for the mower to keep it from looking like it has been stored outside in the elements.

    And just FYI, I almost bought online a few days ago but decided it would be better to support my local dealer, but if this is going to be what they are going to deliver to me, then unfortunately I might need to look elsewhere...or demand they deliver a truly new model. Lastly, FWIW this is not a John Deere dealer but one who sells Gravely, Cub Cadet, etc.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  5. TomH&H

    TomH&H LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Coopersburg, PA
    Messages: 336

    Not unreasonable, but in addition to the cost difference, is purchasing from the dealer going to make a difference with warranty work or other potential service? Are you handy with repairs, or does everything go to the shop? I agree it's rediculous to purchase something new that already has rust, but are you giving up anything on the service and warranty side by purchasing online instead if from this dealer?
    Mumblingboutmowers likes this.
  6. OP
    Herty Field

    Herty Field LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    No difference at all in the warranty work, as the brand offers a full warranty whether buying online, from a local dealer, etc. Along with wanting to support local businesses, I was hoping that perhaps I might get better warranty service as well if I purchase from them instead of online (and utilizing them for warranty service if needed). Otherwise, there is no difference whatsoever (aside from the small discount).
    TomH&H and hort101 like this.
  7. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,353

    It is easy for dealer put you at the back of the line for warranty service......a little rust on the unit isn't going to matter.
  8. OP
    Herty Field

    Herty Field LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Agree (on service), which is why I'm struggling with this. But again there are other issues as mentioned as well, and I guess I feel that if I'm going to buy something new, it should look new and not essentially be a demo.
    Cam15 and TomH&H like this.
  9. Caledwen

    Caledwen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 168

    I don't think it's unreasonable at all. My opinion is that a clean and professional looking company catches more worms so to speak. Having good looking clean equipment that does a good job is paramount to being successful in my opinion.
  10. Mowing monkey.

    Mowing monkey. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,076

    I’ve never seen a dealer that keeps everything inside. The seat will clean up. As long as there’s no significant sun fade I wouldn’t worry about it.

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