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Timing my purchase

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by flakebortch, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. flakebortch

    flakebortch LawnSite Member
    Messages: 86

    My big purchase: a zero-turn mower. I think I've found a good one a great price, but I've only started looking since three months ago, figuring that I could rape a dealer who's trying like hell to unload an old model. So my question is this: do the spring sales beat the fall sales?
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    What you want to do is find out first how many dealers you have that are convenient to you, then if you have at least 8 or 10 right around you pick the one you like the least, because you and that dealer won't be going far. Also might want to do some detective work, if everyone likes this dealer then you've picked the wrong guy, anyhow once you've raped your guy you will want to immediately familiarize yourself with the machine, write down serial and model numbers and make sure nothing went wrong during assembly, also you want to start downloading schematics and parts manuals to make sure you can fix it when it breaks.

    I further assume you plan on walking in the door with cash money, teh whole amount.

    The easier choice, of course, would be to take an entirely different approach from the start :)
  3. C&K

    C&K LawnSite Senior Member
    from East TN
    Messages: 295

    Get the best deal you can...dealers will NOT lose money on a sale and all dealers are obligated to warranty brands that they represent. If they want to continue to sell that specific brand they will take care of that brands customer. They may not like it but that comes with the territory...If they are a good dealer they now this and do enough business to compensate for the close out sales and they will be respectful of the customers who do seek out good deals.
  4. flakebortch

    flakebortch LawnSite Member
    Messages: 86

    Generally speaking, I get crap for customer service, whether it’s at a restaurant or getting tech support for my computer. Call me jaded, but I don’t expect things to magically change when I plop down $3K+ that I’ve borrowed from my 401K. Do you guys keep regular contact with your mower dealer to have things fixed, replaced, serviced, etc? If so, maybe I shouldn’t be buying a machine from a dealer who is thirty miles away.

    Topsites, you sound like you and your dealer go out drinking together on Friday nights.
  5. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,806

    i think your going about it the wroing way, you want be building a relationship with your dealer, not making him mad. if the thing breaks and its a month old, he will remember how much you tried to "rape" him. your mower will be the last thing he works on. how about find a good dealer, explain you number one concern is when it breaks it gets fixed quickly because your a "commerical" customer it its your money maker. or you can go your route and save $200 and have a crappy relationship with him
  6. Rcgm

    Rcgm LawnSite Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 326

    I agree don't RAPE anyone. You will not rape the dealer I promise you that.You might get a good deal in the winter winter sales are far better than spring. I have purchased many mowers in my time and I tried to beat the dealers up on price.But what I have learned is I would gladly pay the price the have posted on that mower than deal with some jerk when it comes time for warranty work. A mower broke down sitting on your trailer is making you how much money a day? Because that dealer you tryed to raped rembered you and said haha that guy needs a spindle its on order be here in 5 days and its really sitting on his back shelf.

  7. Breezmeister

    Breezmeister LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from South Jersey
    Messages: 1,739

    Depends on what you buy ;) But remember that your warranty starts on the day you buy it.
    ericg likes this.
  8. Tom c.

    Tom c. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 218

    I would buy in the spring. Why buy a mower and have it sitting around all winter. Spring sales are good and they offer low financing. Then put the mower to work immediately. And like the guy said get to know the dealer cause you will be going back!! Ive had machines fixed right on the trailer and been right back to work. :weightlifter:
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said it like that but I do think that if you don't want to love your dealer fine, but don't rape him, I suppose you could be indifferent but... All I ask is you listen to what I have to say, what you make of it is your choice, of course. But until I had a pretty steady parts supply and I became familiar with the machine to where I could replace an engine or a transmission, I needed that dealer like he was my brother.

    Some dealers are buttholes, others are not bad at all, even in my 6th year I need my dealer for some things. Case in point, my fs-100rx has been running like crap all year, but I say you don't fix what isn't broke, until about last week when it finally refused to start. Me, I'm thinking it was either the coil or a valve adjustment. Anyhow what can I do, the machine won't run and I've already tried all the usual crap. Drop it off, yes, at the dealer. It was fixed the next day, $75, carb rebuild... See, not the coil, not the valves. In all honesty it was probably just a gasket or a diaphragm, but the gist of it was I would've never nailed it, not in a day anyhow, now my trimmer is fixed and the problem is over.

    It's the same thing with parts, and while you're new you will likely need that dealer a lot more than later, ordering parts through the mail is a cross-referencing venture every time, it gets easier later on but it's still having to access all the notes you've made. Yes, your notes, nobody here has charts of cross-referenced crap that will fit your stuff, this is what separates our businesses, this is what makes each of us our own, so to speak... You can find out here what oil filter to buy at Advance Auto Parts that will fit your Kohler 15hp, for $3 instead of $15, same with certain belts and spark plugs, but what about a carb gasket for a Briggs 27hp? Now it's always higher at the dealer BUT the dealer KNOWS the part AND the dealer usually has what you need, in stock, or can order it next day air if need be.

    So anyhow, just don't rape the guy, all I'm saying.
  10. dwlah

    dwlah LawnSite Senior Member
    from Argo Al
    Messages: 558

    Not trying to be a sales rep but I was at the grasshopper dealer the other day and he was telling me about a deal where you put $500 down now you get $500 in extra stuff and in March when you pick it up is when the warranty and the payments start

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