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Are we loyal to OUR vendors?

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by 2COR517, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Over the past few weeks there have been several threads with guys grumbling about customers switching to another vendor for a better price. Sometimes the price is significant, sometimes not so much. We all would like to think that the customer is making a huge mistake, the next guy won't to as good of a job, etc. Maybe this is true, maybe not. Usually we're just pissed off they are not loyal. After a little chat with my plow dealer yesterday, I got to thinking. Are we as loyal to OUR vendors as we think they should be?

    Or do we.....
    Order tires online to save 100 bucks, than take them to the local guy hanging on by a thread for a lousy $10 mount and balance on three grand worth of equipment?
    Order cutting edges from a discount dealer because they are 10 bucks cheaper than the guy down the street.
    When it's time for a new plow, do we just go to the local guy, or do we drive half way across creation to save a few hundred bucks? Then expect immediate warranty service from him when something goes wrong.
    For those of you that regularly purchase new trucks and equipment. Same thing.

    Before the torches come out -----
    I realize we have many online vendors that sponsor our website, and many, many thanks to them. I have already ordered some things from them. I never would have heard of Fluid Film if I hadn't come here. We have FF everywhere around the house. There is absolutely nothing wrong with purchasing online, especially if you are in a somewhat remote location, job/business hours prevent you from shopping locally, it's a tremendous savings on a maintenance item, etc. I do purchase things online occasionally myself.

    When I purchased my plow and spreader two years ago, I bought from the local guy, fifteen minutes away. I could have saved about $300 on a ten grand purchase by traveling an extra 30 minutes the other way to the O'my gosh we're huge (Maine guys will get that) dealership. Didn't even think about if for a second. Best move I ever made. I had some issues, but everytime I called on my way in, the bay was empty and they fixed me up. NOW. I have my dealer's personal cell phone number. I would only call him if I were in big trouble, but I would call him. I saved that $300 bucks many times over. I like to spread business around when I can, but I will always be loyal to my Fisher Dealer. I need him to be there for me, he needs me patronize his shop to be there.

    Just something to think about. Curious if anyone else has any thoughts.

  2. iceyman

    iceyman 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,925

    i try and use the local guy as much as i can because i am also a local guy in business...
    the big box stores sure are nice and big and have almost everything but when i can get something from the little guy i try to do that..... its tough out there for alot of retailers right now
  3. towpro570

    towpro570 Senior Member
    Messages: 241

    if you go to the local guy he's their any time you need them . i own my towing & auto repair business people help me i will help them 2 am or 2 pm local people pay my bills so i will do what i can for my customers ussmileyflag
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2009
  4. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,249

    Little fun fact. Many of the turf guys go to Russo's down in Chi-town (maybe not anymore since the town is virtually one big gang war thanks to our agitator in chief) to get mowers, handheld equipment etc.

    #1 They wouldn't have to pay sales tax.
    #2 It was cheaper price.

    Maybe the other way around.

    Anyways, when there was a warranty issue with Toro mowers, the Toro distributor pushed these mowers to the back of the line, when they were finished with all the mowers that HAD been purchased from them or their dealers.

    My father has always told equipment dealers that he wants the best price possible, but to make sure they are making a profit so they can still service us.

    I use this same philosophy with my vendors now.
  5. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    I try. Sometimes if I'm buying something and find it cheaper I'll ask if he can come close to the price. In the end you need to look out for yourself.
  6. theguynextdoor

    theguynextdoor Senior Member
    Messages: 308

    I try to help out the local guys too, unless its unreasonable. I have taken both of my trucks and all 3 of my girlfriends trucks to the same mechanic for the last 3 years. He got me started in the business by selling and installing my plow. They always get my truck in before everyone else and give me a good price. It's a little out of my way, but I wouldn't go anywhere else. I like the people where I bought my first trailer from, so instead of saving a hundred bucks on the next one I went back and they helped me out. I will go back again this spring for the next trailer, regardless of price.
  7. ABES

    ABES PlowSite.com Addict
    from MN
    Messages: 1,322

    There arent many mom and pop shops left around here so it really makes no point to stay loyal. However whenever I need any serious work done on my truck I will always take it to the same mechanic He may be a little more expensive then some of the other shops but he is a straight shooter and doesn't try and mess with the price. He charges a fair rate and does an excellent job and I try to send as much business his way as I can. The saying what goes around comes around is so true.
  8. Midwest BuildIt Inc

    Midwest BuildIt Inc PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,280

    the question is, are they loyal to you. Hell no. There will be a new guy there every month. doesn't know you and doesn't care. so why be loyal to them..........
  9. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,249

    Care to elaborate?

    Funny how there aren't more replies. Did Palmer hit a nerve?
  10. jomama45

    jomama45 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,190

    I definatly buy as local as possible when ever I can, with a few exceptions:

    - The vendor is unknowledgeable, or a *****.
    - The vendor can't/won't get exactly what I want.
    - The vender is WAY off their rocker on price for a big item, say 50% more than a competitor.

    Pretty tight knit, conservative area I live in, though. IMO, it would be hypocritical for me to build a business on "you get what you pay for" & not live that way myself.
  11. KingDuramax

    KingDuramax Senior Member
    Messages: 226

    I try to buy local. Usually I go where I know somebody. Another thing I do is, I enjoy dirt track raceing and I try to support the people that sponsor our local racers. I let them know I seen thier logo on the racecar.
  12. B.Bells

    B.Bells Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    I always use Local, Lucky there still here, and the big company's that are there in my town dont affect them any. and i have a good repore with them. i can walk in there and get anything i need at anytime. no question asked! So, I will always use local as long as they are there!
  13. BMWSTUD25

    BMWSTUD25 Senior Member
    Messages: 631

    I wish I used local more. I think sometimes if I looked harder I could find things more local. example, I buy almost everything I own from ebay. This year I found out the guy that does some of my equipment repairs also deals in a lot of great new/used equipment attachments. So I bought a bunch. He gave me a great deal and now has the ability to come borrow them back when needed because he sold them local. Unfortunately I probably wouldn't have done all this if his prices had been more. Its a lot like insurance or salt....I know many on here are always calling insurance agents to see if they can get another quote for less or buy salt somewhere else because its $10 cheaper a ton or as someone else said buy tires on line cuz you saved $100 on a set of 800-1000 tires. Many of us do it and I cant say as though there is a huge problem with it. I think the problem is when the guy that just ordered his plow offline from a dealer on the other side of the country and his tires are coming shipped from china cuz he saved a hundred bucks goes out and gets pissed off cuz one of his customers is dropping him for a better price. I just personally dont believe a person in this position has any ground to be upset. Yes we have to try and serve the sizzle not the steak when it comes to price shoppers but at the same time if you look at businesses that have flourished in our countries and even more so in this downed economy its the people and businesses that have found a way to be more efficient. Case in point, If I have been charging everyone $30 for a driveway for the last ten years I probably cant afford to lower my price much but on the other hand my costs have also gone up so what do I do raise prices and lose the work??? No we become more efficient. We run larger blades to increase the amount of driveways we can plow. Now even though we havnt raised our $30 cost for a driveway we may be able to go from doing ten and hour to doing 12 or 15. This means more money in our pocket in the same amount of time. Its the same thing for guys that run tighter routes. When all of your accounts are within 2 miles of each other you obviously have less drive time then a guy who has accounts spread all over his county. This in turn lowers your overhead and also increases your hourly rate. I just think many on this site need to look at how they too price shop themselves before flipping out on customers and having hissy fits. I see it now in my town. A new gas station opened up and is charger a whopping one penny less per gallon and people are lining up like its the bargain of the century. Wow sorry for the long rant, I guess I got carried away.
  14. B.Bells

    B.Bells Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    well all i can say is i always shop local. In the long run saves me alot of money and hassle. Might have to work a little harder to find it but i will. And 9/10 im happier with them and knowing that the people that help me get where i am today are still there. Hinch why our encomy is junk.. its just like usm and fm and all these national brokers. there shopping to save a buck when really it doesnt matter cause they are still getting the same bill in the end. we are just the one that are taking the hit and not them. Look at the bigger picture, if the people that you are working for all shopped out of there market why would they need you(the local guy)? look at it from both sides. i believe Americans have lost the true sight in the American dream. it went from a free country to chaos. basically over night, and we can only blame ourselves for the probelms that we create. So, next time you put in a bid to that commercal acct. that is the local guy think twice and put yourself in his shoes.
  15. grass happens

    grass happens Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    I'd love to shop local more. I do when I can, but when a set of gator blades for my mower is $80 at the dealer, vs. $40 onlin.... Or a salt spreader is 60% the cost at a "Big Guy" 50 miles away...
    I just don't have that kinda money, yet...
    I do most of my own work anyways, and around here, no one will come fix your flat at 3am. The plow shop may open at 6am, if your lucky...
  16. CMU07

    CMU07 Member
    Messages: 68

    I do most of my business in town, have stopped worrying about the couple dollars here and there. It's worked in my favor a couple of times, that is I got work from a business simply from going there a lot. Sometimes it doesn't, my favorite bar - I've been trying get work there for years (not plow work btw).
    However, this particular instance blew me away this summer. My '06 Ranger threw a rod 117 miles out of warranty. Knew it would be a toss up, but was leaning towards being F&^(ed. The local dealer went to bat for me and got me out of a $1600 bill. I told them they had my business back regardless of their idiot sales people. Jack@#$'s for sales guys too, that's why I stopped going there. Dumb jerks bother me!
  17. B.Bells

    B.Bells Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    well, idk the people here if you take care of them they take care of you. anytime day or night. its a must thing when you live in a somewhat smaller town! in the end its well worth it. you would be surprised what the local will do to some that pays a little more. I have spent over 20k the past 2 years im my local shop and in turn they take care of me. i walk in and everyone knows me by 1st name, i have the owner and all 5 of the mechanics that work there, home and cell number for anything i need day or night. and its hassle free. if i want something they give me the best numbers they can every time, win some lose some. but thats the way it goes. give and take.. not always taking helps!
  18. CMU07

    CMU07 Member
    Messages: 68

    Well I'm sure there's more detail to the "take care of me" then you went into, but for $10000 a year you can have my # and I'll darn near call you whatever you want! hahaha
  19. B.Bells

    B.Bells Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    :laughing: no i was updating all my equipment over the past 2 years. All new mowers, backpacks weed eaters etc.. not the first time ive spent that much in there. and wont be the last. but when i first started they personally helped me get what i needed to start. So, i believe its all good. btw thats 40 over 2 years not 10k a year!! lol had to fix that. not bragging but it was a huge set in bringing my company up to par.
  20. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    buying local is all fine and dandy, however sometimes local is gouging, i don't have access to all the fancy snow pushes that i see in the states, so i went to a recommended local shop to discuss a snow push, the quote for a 12ft, no trip, metal bladed, snow push (admitatedly well built) snow push, $6900 canadian (dollars almost at par), so i decide to build my own, so far, my materials ($650), about 20 hrs of labor, and the time i have takes to design (possibly a trip) and i have come to realize something, my local shop is ripping people off.