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What makes a quality dealer??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Chris W, Dec 29, 2003.

  1. Chris W

    Chris W LawnSite Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 26

    For months I have been debating starting an LCO or the idea of startinga small dealership specializing in servicing commercial operators like yourselves.

    I would like to tap into what you believe are the key components of what makes your dealer better than "the other guy" down the street.

    Equipment Pricing
    Equipment Lines
    Fast Turn around of repairs
    Reasonable repair rates


    Give me your thoughts... and if nothing else maybe some of your dealers monitor this sight and can pick up some good advice to help improve there services to you (if they care?).I know I would

    Thanks in advance

  2. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    Good Service, Fixing it the first time right, DEMOS, Having parts on hand, And a good sense of humor.
  3. pcnservices

    pcnservices LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 614

    Besides all the key components for a good dealer, my dealer have to have 3 qualifications:

    (1) an excellent knowledge of the product he sells,
    (2) an excellent knowledge of the manufacturer he represent and
    (3) an even more excellent knowledge and understanding of the lawn care industry.

    Viva the dealers!
  4. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,454

    A good dealer is first and foremost HONEST, especially about repairs. In addition:

    - parts on hand (doesn't have to order a friggin' oil filter for a common model)
    - knowledgable about the products they sell and stands behind them
    - reliable and honest repair shop that fixes it right the first time and guaranties their work!
    - competitive pricing on items for sale as well as repairs/labor and realizes that it is better to take a little less commission knowing that it will be made up in maintenance parts and repairs.
    - sells quality equipment and won't sell you.

    BTW, my local JD dealer fits all this criteria and so does the JD dealer where my brother-in-law lives in MO. There are other dealers in my area with which I have dealt, but I really feel that i am being taken care of when I go to JD.
  5. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    Having parts on hand, and a mechanic that knows more than the average lawnguy about how to fix something, and diagnose it.
  6. xcopterdoc

    xcopterdoc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 752

    Might better start with the LCO... less money to start up. A building, tools, factory schools, inventory, insurance, employees.. the list goes on....
  7. Chris W

    Chris W LawnSite Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 26

    I know... I have been running the #s and the pros and cons of dealership, definitely bigger investment,but would you say there is a better chance of a reasonable or better return than LCO?

    The biggest obsticle for me is employees...had them before not sure I want them again.

    Some good points so far, Thanks
  8. xcopterdoc

    xcopterdoc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 752

    Never been an LCO Chris... been a mechanic all my life so I'm more familiar with the maintenance side of the biz. But I'd say dollar for dollar you would do better as an LCO. You say you dont want employees, so maybe a one man LCO deal is the way to go. Low overhead ( truck, trailer, equipment, work outta the home) Also, if youre gonna be a dealer, how are you gonna pay for your equipment inventory? To get good prices and be able to pass that on to your customers, you need to be able to buy in volume. It would be much easier to start a dealership if you were already working in one, where you know the in's and out's and maybe some customers who would follow you when you open your own place.
  9. proenterprises

    proenterprises LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,296

    a good dealer always stocks all parts on what he sells

    wont bs you around about repairs and timing

    dosent mind working a little harder to earn 100% of your bussiness

    somone you can count on.
  10. Chris W

    Chris W LawnSite Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 26

    Solid Advice, xcopterdoc

    Truth be known, I am leaning LCO ... employees and a couple of the reasons you pointed to i.e. (no inside experience ).

    I have always loved tinkering but I am not deluded enough to think that would be all I would have to deal with.

    I did do a little LCO stuff when I was much younger and enjoyed it . Will likely start PT and see how I progress

    Thanks for the input



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