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Dealer Requirements

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by DiGiTLawncare, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. DiGiTLawncare

    DiGiTLawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    I want to ask you guys opinions on what a dealership should be run like to best serve the commercial mowing guys.

    What qualities are important to you guys from your dealer?

    What would be the ultimate dealer?
    (Brands, etc...)

    What types of parts do other dealers normally not carry instock that would be a huge plus to you guys?

    Let me know what you want in your dealership.. I am interested.
  2. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    exmark&stihl for me but that is just because its what I use. Roundup is soemthing alot of dealers dont carry and they should. And if you cant get to it today dont lie, just say so.
  3. Dunn's

    Dunn's LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,534

    Get the machine in and out. don't take it apart to see what is wrong and then wait a week or two to get back around to it.

    don't tell the customer it is being worked on now or it is already done when it is not.

    get mechanics who actually know what they are doing. Not just someone who will guess what is wrong.
  4. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,632

    I'd like to see a loaner machine program for landscapers for when the mower is in the shop. I'd even pay a reasonable rental fee per hour on a loaner, maybe $10/hr on the meter. One place around here charges $150/day to rent a beat ZTR.

    Now at the dealer, I pay out the a$$ for the parts, out the a$$ for the shop labor, and out the a$$ for a rental when they fail to fix it quickly.

    I'd bring my machine in on a regular basis for routine stuff if it didn't put me out of business for a week. Four or five days for a small repair doesn't work for me...so I do it all myself.
  5. DiGiTLawncare

    DiGiTLawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    Thank you for the replys guys. Keep suggestions coming. The rental idea is an awesome one...
  6. laxative

    laxative LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 147

    To be willing to look up model numbers or show me a book with pictures, instead of sending me home to find the numbers on the side for a stupid air filter. To have a lot big enough to accommodate casually pulling in with a trailer. And not require my stuff to sit in a line with a tag on it for a week to get worked on when it's still marginally usable as is. Tag it and I'll bring it back in a week. Have the used junk reasonably priced instead of $50 less than brand new. Order the parts and call me in a timely manner when they come in instead of writing it all down on a post-it and sticking it to the phone book on the counter, then forgetting completely. The loaner/rental idea is good.

    I hate my dealers. I could continue for pages. They turned me into a mechanic, and I suck at it.
  7. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,478

    Ive all but given up on Dealers, it takes 3 weeks to get parts that I can find on Ebay and get in 3 days, most dealers seem to have a bad attitude. 2 week waiting list to get your stuff worked on.
  8. DiGiTLawncare

    DiGiTLawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    I understand fully what you guys are talking about. The reasons I am asking this is the fact that my family is throwing around the idea of opening up a dealership here in West TN. We have dealers that are impossible to get things done with and will not work with anyone unless its on their own agenda. The lack of service in these other dealers is where we look to make up and compete with the competition. I handle my lawn customers with the highest level of service that I can and I think that bringing that into a dealership would also be a great thing. Keep the ideas coming I am printing off these pages one by one..
  9. TomberLawn

    TomberLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,299

    Carry a few select brands that are known for quality. A dealer who has 3-4 different brands of the same thing may push the high-profit equipment, knowing it isn't as good as something else in the store. For instance, a trimmer that costs the dealer $150 and sells for $220 is better than one that costs $100 and sells for $200. The cheaper unit makes $30 more profit for the dealer, but the customer would be happier with the other unit for about the same price.

    Be a one-stop-shop. If I need a trimmer, I call you. If I need a mower, I call you. If I need a sprayer, I call you. Anything I need, I need to be able to get from you for a good price and in a timely manner. It may be impossible to stock everything everybody needs, but if you can get it in 1-2 days, I'll still get it from the same dealer. Last fall, I called half a dozen lawn equipment dealers looking for a grass catcher. Only one place had any in stock and the others said it could take anywhere from 2 days to 2 months to get me one. I bought one from the dealer who had a few in stock and the dealer owner himself helped me find the right one to fit my mower since he didn't carry Ferris-specific accessories.

    Offer packages of equipment to help new guys get started. Have a trailer, mower, trimmer, and blower priced together and save a couple hundred $ over buying everything separate.
  10. DiGiTLawncare

    DiGiTLawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    Great input.. Tomber. Like the idea about carrying sprayers/round-up. Package deal is awesome as well. Keep it coming guys..

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