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Is buying from a Dealer better?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by j05h22, Apr 12, 2008.

  1. j05h22

    j05h22 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 70

    I know it's better to build a relationship with a dealer and all but my question is if you buy a mower from Home Depot is it not the same quality as the same mower at your local dealer? Ive heard something about the blade speed is lower and stuff and I wanna know if anyone knows anything about it. Thanks in advance.:walking:
  2. bill8379

    bill8379 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 778

    I've never seen a commercial mower at a Home Depot, My Home Depot anyway.
  3. j05h22

    j05h22 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 70

    Well they have a Cub Cadet 33" walk behind there I might be interested in
  4. ffemt1271

    ffemt1271 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,285

    but it's not a true commercial grade unit, i think you might have trouble getting parts from the depot, and i doubt they will loan you one if your is down like your dealer would.
  5. bruno_rs

    bruno_rs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    hey jo, the "big box stores" definately DO NOT sell commercial grade lawn equipment. as a matter of FACT, their "equipment" is lesser grade and/or quality than that offered by legitimate dealers. what home depot, lowes, sams club, costco, etc. sells, is what sears is offering... mass produced disposable s#!t. you may get a couple years out of it but it is definitely NOT built to be used daily. WHEN their "equipment" fails, look out... they do not stand behind their "wares" the way a legitimate dealer does. moreover, if there is a problem with new equipment, they hire the CHEAPEST "local yocal" to "patch up" this mass produced s#!t. the saying you get what you pay for applies here.

    if you can't afford NEW commercial grade equipment, you'd be better served buying it used. c.g.e. is designed to be used every day and SHOULD it need repairs, there will be no problem getting parts and/or fixing it. with basic maintenance (and care), these machines will last 20x"s longer than the lesser grade s#!t... don't be penny wise and dollar foolish. also a little "education" goes along way! always ask questions and do a little research before buying anything.

    many lco's purchase new equipment every couple of years and good used equipment CAN be found... just need to know where to look and/or what you're looking at. if you do buy used, be careful buying from a large lco... they tend to have MANY different people using and/or ABUSING their equipment. most of my (larger) machines have been purchased used from small lco's who properly maintained and/or handled their machines. good luck. have a good one.
  6. griffinz

    griffinz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    They have a Cub Cadet Z unit with the Kawasaki engine. 50" cut. Not really commercial grade, but close. I was told by the manager at Home Depot that you can pay an extra $300 for an extended warranty. A 7 year warranty where they will come pick it up and fix it and bring it back. No hrs limit. He said he sold 47 units compared to 4 JD ones being sold there.
  7. bruno_rs

    bruno_rs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    hey griffn, the 7 year/no hour limit only applies to residential, NOT commercial use. if they find the machine is being used commercially... is it not true, the warranty is null and void?

    a buddy of mine had a small engine repair shop and after seeing the crap he dealt with trying to fix these (inferior) machines and/or the number of brand new damaged units, he was asked to "just patch up", i'd NEVER buy (lawn equipment) from these big box stores. with the VOLUME they sell, it is not a concern if you are unhappy and/or never shop there again... there's always someone right behind you in their long "check out" lines.

    it's always best to deal with the (business) owner when something is wrong with a product you bought at his/her facility. good luck finding anyone, other than an hourly worker at the big box stores, who cares about the stores' reputation and/or your satisfaction... most of their employees are there for a paycheck at the end of the week AND do not have the "authority" to assure your complete satisfaction.
  8. ffemt1271

    ffemt1271 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,285

    they will come pick it up and fix it but it might take 2 weeks. what about your customers? a dealer should have you going in 24 hours or less. at my dealer they have 1 guy that does 45 minute jobs, it your repair will take 45 mins. or less you go to the front of the line
  9. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    My question is this: I know Home Cheapo sells inferior homeowner models, compared to the dealer residential models. But compared to the dealer commercial units, how bad would it be to buy a dealer residential for part-time use? I'm looking at RZT-50s, but can't find any info on blade speed. Not real worried about service as I use an independent shop that I trust, and it's only me riding it about 4-5 acres a week. Mostly I'm concerned about cut quality if the blade speed is in fact much slower. But if it's cutting homeowner lawns good enough, it should be good enough for me. I'm not mowing in Beverly Hills by any stretch of the imagination.
    Also, the Cub Cadet RZT 50 looks a heck of a lot better than most of the other dealer-offered residential options.
  10. bruno_rs

    bruno_rs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    hey detriot, gotta do what ya gotta do. personally i would take a used commercial grade unit over a new residential model any day of the week... especially since you have a independent repair shop you trust. in my opinion, it looks unprofessional to be on a (new) residential model as apposed to a (somewhat "weathered") commercial one. moreover, it really gives the property owner the impression just anybody can do your job... might just be putting yourself at a disadvantage and/or out of work.

    keep in mind, commercial units are designed to run "all out" EVERY DAY whereas the residentials are not even close. personally, i would look at anything less than commercial grade machine as a major repair just waiting to happen! your call and COIN... it's you who needs to be satisfied with it, not me or anyone else. moreover, it will be you paying the bills and/or for YOUR decision. i'd definitely put a lot of thought and research into it before you decide either way. good luck. have a good one.

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