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Is this the norm?

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by keeping going, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. keeping going

    keeping going LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Today I went to my usual store where I have always bought my equipment - held an account there for seven years, account is always paid on time ( or within a day or two of the due date)

    In the past seven years I have bought at least $50,000 of equipment and services (edgers, weed eaters, blowers chainsaws, hedge trimmers, backpack sprayers 1 push mower and 3 ride ons, equipment service and repairs etc)
    I had a great working relationship with the old owner.

    Well earlier this year the company was bought by a new owner ( no experience in lawn equipment or 2 stroke equipment ) but a nice enough guy.
    Today I went to get a new edger which I asked him to put on my account

    " sorry cant do that all equipment needs paying for at time of purchase"

    Am I naive or perhaps just dealt with an impressively generous previous owner or is this the industry norm?

    I was a little taken aback so left it and went 4 miles up the road to buy from his competitor.
    Was I unfair?
  2. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,762

    This spring we walked out with a new bp blower and about 1k worth of kombi attachments and our salesmen just said " I'll mail you the bill." The owner has a lot to learn about being a good equipment dealer and you were not in the wrong going to a competitor.
  3. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,187

    The new owner can run the business any way he wants. Technically he doesn't know you. Its pretty rare that a dealer let's anybody just walk off with equipment and say just bill me. In store credit is solely at the owners discretion. Maybe there were a bunch of uncollected accounts on the old owners books and the new owner didn't want to fall into that trap.
  4. keeping going

    keeping going LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Patriot services - you are off course correct - but what took me a little aback was our account is still open, the original owner is still within the company and now an employee - I don't know I just felt a little put out having fulfilled all our obligations of being an account holder with them.

    Not a doubt the landscape business appears to have a constant cash flow issue - I bill my customers at the end of the month and the money doesn't start flowing in until the start of the following month so these lines of credit are sometimes essential.

    Apparently this policy will extend to all his customers - I just feel it is likely to be detrimental to business - real shame it was a great little mom and pop business with loyal longstanding customers - but then again maybe I don't know the reasons why the previous owner had to sell.
  5. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,209

    Mabey the new feller cant afford to be your banker.

    Its just as easy to swipe your credit card and be don with it,
  6. keeping going

    keeping going LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    My fertilizer supplier we have an account with.
    My landscape supply supplier we have an account with.
    My squirt guy we have an account with.
    My tree guy we have an account with

    All subject to correct credit checks and approval ,all on 30 day terms.

    I have been offered an account with his competitor before this issue arose.
    ( subject to approval off course after credit checks)

    I know he's entitled to do as he chooses but .......

    I suppose technically I am asking him to be my banker - but maybe I assumed incorrectly business credit from suppliers was the norm
  7. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,209

    Its no crime to switch vendors if someone provides better or the kind of service you want.
  8. keeping going

    keeping going LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Larry I think you are right , a much more pragmatic approach.

    Having thought about this a little more I think I have pinned my feelings down to - feeling disappointed that another great little independent mom and pop business is at risk of failing due to financial pressures and decisions being made that are counterproductive to small business principals as a result of these decisions,and we are just going to be left with the big box stores.
  9. keeping going

    keeping going LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Kind of like when Lesco was bought out by John Deere - the whole buying process changed - same staff, same buildings , different owner and things changed not necessarily for the better IMHO
  10. zturncutter

    zturncutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    In large part the value of buying an existing business is it's existing customer base. The new owner can do what he want's but by making a major policy change on his Net 30 customers and not communicating it to them until they walk in the door to spend several hundred dollars is business suicide.

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