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Promote your products or services Do you want to promote your products or services to our lawn care business forum? Tell us what you have to offer. Post some specials or promotional offers. There is no better way to sell to a forum community than to get a few happy customers and then word will spread.

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Promote your products or services

Do you want to promote your products or services to our lawn care business forum? Tell us what you have to offer. Post some specials or promotional offers. There is no better way to sell to a forum community than to get a few happy customers and then word will spread.
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  #11  
Old 02-20-2011, 03:02 PM
wandfsmall wandfsmall is offline
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Oh that is fascinating!

Are there things that you enjoy about being an equipment dealer versus not so much?
like any job you have good and bad.

The bad
As with mowing you have lowballers that do not pay taxes nor have insurance driving down the prices. And our expenses are a LOT higher then a lawn care operation. For example I have a few hundred thousand in parts and do not have everything in stock, I try to do the best I can but nobody has everything. New equipment for example is not that profitable, I carry it so that I get better discounts on parts, it seems that the better your shop looks the more you get calls when deals come up. We make our money on parts and service. We just bring people in the door with mowers. Most customers always think walmart, or homedepot are cheaper. I know of items I sell for $2.50 for over $15 at walmart and home depot by the way. So if you look into you will find otherwise.

The Good
when you get large enough you can take a vacation without your customers getting upset. Being on location you can keep a better eye on your employees and business. You always have a new mower as you can sell yours often And although most lawn shops will tell you a lot of commercial cutters are hard to deal with, you have those that make your life better, the ones that become your friends more then customers.
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  #12  
Old 02-20-2011, 03:10 PM
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an example of how we have lowballers I saw an ad in the paper this week.

$39 rider service that includes oil oil filter air filter sharpening the blades cleaning the carborator, new spark plugs, and cleaning the mower

now I am guessing that they do not grease but I would also bet they do not do all of that for every rider as I have many an air filter that cost more then that, and carb kits run up to $20.

They also did $29 chainsaws and weedeaters. I have a few stihl chainsaws I am thinking about taking them, the air filters for them are that high and they also all need new carb kits. Gotta love this great fuel....
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  #13  
Old 02-21-2011, 04:48 AM
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Default Doing Business

Hey Steve,

Things we found when trying to set-up shop and sell locally....

1. We found it hard to compete with big box stores on prices of new lawn and garden machines. Yes they carry specific models that we dealers can't get and they buy in enough volume to keep their prices low. We don't floor plan as not to tie up too much money that we could use elsewhere, but can and do order specific machines for customers @ 10% over our cost.

2. If you can't beat them....join them. The above stores rarely do any service or warranty work on those machines their selling. We approached them and now do that work...and now work together.

3."we have lowballers" Actually what we have is a lot of people out of work trying to get by, by doing whatever it takes to feed their families and pay the bills. Some get in over their heads quickly with not knowing that each machine requires different filters and some of these wholesale for over 40.00 and telling they can do a complete service for 39.00.

I try to help everyone and am more than willing and do give these guys discounts on parts. I watch for patterns and can pretty much pick them out by their orders and shoot them an email offering to give them discounts if they stick with us. We will see less of them once the economy turns around and they get back to work.

4. I love meeting with people and like the catch phrase of "A stranger is just a friend you have yet to meet". Not sure who said it, but it rings true. I think the biggest reason our business has been successful is the way we build trust. See...your not selling a riding mower...your selling yourself, business and letting the customer know you "are" going to be there to go above and beyond well after the sale.

Does your word mean anything and what kind of a reputation do you have in the community your selling in. Do you give back to the community? What comes around goes around three fold.

Same holds true for you lawn care guys....your not selling a yard care business...your selling yourself in that they can trust you to do what you say you will do. Do exactly that and a little more to boot. Sell low - deliver high! Don't ever tell someone you can do something and then not be able to deliver. As they say ...bad news travels fast.

Don't fake it as it never works. If you could care less about the customer & employees and all you care about is the sale...it will show. You either need to take acting lessons or find a new line of work.
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  #14  
Old 02-21-2011, 06:41 PM
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Does it ever drive you crazy the contracts you have to sign up with to become dealers of equipment? Or to sell parts? It seems like it is quite complicated.
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  #15  
Old 02-22-2011, 02:52 AM
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Default It can become complicated

Each company has their own set of hoops that you need to jump through to become a dealer for them. Common ones are a tax number and credit check. Next comes a minimum total of all orders for the year. For example if you want to be a Honda dealer....expect to buy upfront a minimum of 4 engines, their basic parts inventory, CD, Web access and more....it starts to add up when your paying out of pocket.

The hardest part for us was getting a system in place to make sure all parts get ordered and shipped on a daily bases. We order directly from 11 different companies just about every M-F...so keeping track can become a pain and then inventorying the stuff as it comes in is time consuming and then turning around and repackaging to ship out the same day to our customers is also very time consuming.

Most outfits will take orders all week and then make one big order and the end of the week to their distributor to save on shipping costs. We found that most of our customers need it now...not in two weeks. So we order daily and its not that uncommon to have over two orders in the same day to the same company.


So....Does it ever drive you crazy the contracts you have to sign up with to become dealers of equipment? All the time! Its not for the faint of heart or people that are not willing to work 7 days a week sometimes 16 to 18 hour days. That's what happens when you sign on the dotted line.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by nnyparts View Post
Each company has their own set of hoops that you need to jump through to become a dealer for them. Common ones are a tax number and credit check. Next comes a minimum total of all orders for the year. For example if you want to be a Honda dealer....expect to buy upfront a minimum of 4 engines, their basic parts inventory, CD, Web access and more....it starts to add up when your paying out of pocket.

The hardest part for us was getting a system in place to make sure all parts get ordered and shipped on a daily bases. We order directly from 11 different companies just about every M-F...so keeping track can become a pain and then inventorying the stuff as it comes in is time consuming and then turning around and repackaging to ship out the same day to our customers is also very time consuming.

Most outfits will take orders all week and then make one big order and the end of the week to their distributor to save on shipping costs. We found that most of our customers need it now...not in two weeks. So we order daily and its not that uncommon to have over two orders in the same day to the same company.


So....Does it ever drive you crazy the contracts you have to sign up with to become dealers of equipment? All the time! Its not for the faint of heart or people that are not willing to work 7 days a week sometimes 16 to 18 hour days. That's what happens when you sign on the dotted line.
I am surprised you do not have a set time to send in your orders. Most computer systems run reports for orders you can just type them in and send. At the freight costs we have you would save a fortune vs sending in 2 orders to the same company. Some of the overpriced systems will even do the orders for you for Briggs and Kohler distributors.

Honda and Kawasaki are the only ones we have on their own, every other brand has something else we might want to get on the order as well.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:08 AM
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Does it ever drive you crazy the contracts you have to sign up with to become dealers of equipment? Or to sell parts? It seems like it is quite complicated.
The bad thing is in most cases to sell parts for a piece of equipment you have to be a dealer for it. Echo and Snapper went threw a time where you could just sign up for service work and some dealers still have them. Also for Poulan, and MTD you can just do service work as for the most part they are not profitable to sell. You can get aftermarket parts for most of the equipment but to get an OEM part you do have to be a dealer.

You also find that carb kits, and primer bulbs from stens and oregon are higher then from Zama, and Walbro.
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:19 PM
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How good are the aftermarket parts compared with the OEM parts?

Are there any mower manufacturers that you can sell their products without having to be in a contract to buy X amount per year from them? Or is that just how they all do it? What about Better Mowers with their quick 36". They don't seem to have dealers so could you still sell their products and not need a contract? Would that work out better for the reseller?
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  #19  
Old 02-24-2011, 03:50 AM
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Default Aftermarker Verses OEM

Hey Steve,

We sell both and leave it up to our customer to decide which is best for them. What I can tell you is that one of the companies we deal with comes a full 1 year warranty against defects and quality workmanship whereas most of our OEM parts come with a 90 day.

A lot of the time we are actually seeing where the aftermarket parts exceed the OEM parts their replacing. Just depends on where the parts are coming from. Even many of the Aftermarkets say manufactured by the OEM companies coming from the same location and manufacturing plants.

Windfsmall... I am not sure what companies that you deal with and the programs you fall into, but we can order either on-line or by phone by any of the companies we deal with. One company for instance has 9 warehouses throughout the US. You get assigned to one and if their out, you get placed on back order. We do enough sales a year to have access to all of them at anytime with the same shipping rates and pull what we need at anytime.

There are no set rules that pertain to all dealers. The more you buy, the more services are available and the better the prices are. We do the same thing for our customers. If your buying a set of blades and belts for one mower you can get the discounted prices in our on-line store and if its over 100.00 you also get free S&H. If your looking to buy over a 1000.00 in parts at once...we offer discounts to those businesses. The next discount is at 5K and there are a couple of sets beyond that that are usually retailers.
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  #20  
Old 02-27-2011, 03:31 PM
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I have a different opinion of after-market products.

Blades I personally like Oregon blades, they seem to last longer then anything else out. You will also find most commercial units come with Oregon blades.

Air Filters it depends on the filters, for the most part Oregon and Stens have decent after-market filters but not in all cases, But I have seen some real junk with some of the others.

Oil filters both Stens and Oregon make oil filters with the correct stats but NOT all after-market oil filters even list the micron filtration and bypass PSI.

Belts I personally like Oregon, Stens and PIX but you have to make sure you get a lawn and garden belt, PIX and gates make fractional belts that will shred quickly. I have also found some of the MTD after-market belts are the wrong size.
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