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Brad Eden

Proof that box stores equipment is crap compared...

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Brad Eden

...to a dealers equipment.

 

I read all the time how the Home Depot or Lowes name brand mowers, chainsaws, trimmers etc., are lesser quality than a dealers even if the same model.

 

Is this a wives tail, an urban myth, or complete BS, or does it apply to some name brand equipment and not others. Where's the beef....I mean Proof?

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WMassGriff

Looking for a new Stihl chainsaw, a small dealer told me that most homeowner models are the same as he stocks. That said, the box stores don't service it and that's where I part ways with them for lawnmowers, saws and other small equipment.

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Samuel Hoggson

"Name" saw, tractor, power tool, eieio manufacturers have "homeowner" product lines made to compete at large retail boxes.  You can usually find the exact same models at a dealer.  You'll won't find middle ("farm") and top (professional) grade stuff at the boxes.  Usually, money on that higher level stuff is well spent.  I think that's the grain of truth.

 

Occurs to me the exact same model assembled at a dealership is more likely to work as it should at home.

 

Lately, am seeing "brand" equipment being sold/serviced at hardware store chains.  I think that's a better long-term plan.  Eg., the Bangor JD place carries Stihl, and just down the street the True-Value does likewise.  They carry complete lines.  

 

What I care about is service, and at this point still feel happier taking a Husky to Snow's Saw Shop in Atkinson.  Stihl service places in Dexter and Corinna closed years back - a retired service guy from the latter est. is a personal friend.  Have taken couple Stihls to the True Value service dept in D-F.  Nothing negative so far - but just minor issues/parts.  Definitely better than a box with a salesperson who normally stays in the bathroom fixtures section.   

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RDG

Few years ago, I bought a Franchi Insitnct L in 20G. At the time I was looking, Dicks had them on sale for like $900 which was a really good price. I went to take at look at it and realized right away there were a few small differences between the normal Instinct L and the Dicks Insinct I was holding in my hands.  

 

I asked the sales guy about it and he said gun manufactures make a “Dicks” version of popular firearms. The difference I could  notice were mostly cosmetic stuff but I wondered what internal changes they had made. I didn’t buy the  gun at Dicks. 

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Natty Bumpo

I am a big fan of HONDA engines, between my brother and I, we have 9-10 pieces of lawn/garden/snow removal equipment with Honda motors. I recently bot an new Honda lawn mower to a replace a 25 year old 215 with a failed transmission after 25 +/- years and  XXX miles of mowing on it. And that Honda engine is still running like a top. I went to our best local outdoor equipment dealer, Fergusons here in TC and bought a brand new HRR216VYA.

 

Now, the local Home Depot sells the very same mower, but they don't carry it in stock. So they ship it to you in a box. And then you will have to do all the critical "prep/setup work" yourself bc/ HD won't before you can mow. And sometimes that box is damaged in freight transit and something is broken/damaged or missing. Then what? Then Joe homeowner has to setup the handle and throttle and drive cables correctly , and add the correct oil and fuel to that engine. And then adjust the RPM's on that engine, which is not necessarily done right at the factory. And many people don't even know what's the right  kind of fuel to put in that engine. And then they demo that mower to explain everything about that new machine ie drive train controls etc while mowing.  And answer any questions that new owner might have. I am sure I haven't listed everything that a good dealer would do to prep, adjust and check out a new lawn mower, but I am sure Ferguson's does it.

 

So, here's the punch line. What do you think the price difference is between Ferguson's and HD for that very same machine?? Its TEN BUCKS,   a measly "Hamilton"!! Unbelievable, but true. Buy your lawn/garden/ snow removal, etc. equipment from a good dealer. Money well spent in my book.

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mccuha

According to the guy that works on my small engines. He says there is a difference. He showed me a JD from lowes. It had plastic gears in the trans. and the JD more compatable to it from a dealer had metal gears. He says that most name brand equip you can get from a dealer vs Lowes is different quality.  That's how they can sell them cheaper.

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oak stob

Wholesale junk at every non-dealer, I doubt and the need for pro equipment can actually vary with the buyer’s imagination.

 

That said, service may be, is, more a plus with the purchase point chosen than the product itself...to me.

 

 

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CC setter

Simple just check the SKU #. You get what you pay for.

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Up North

John Deere lawn mowers sold at box stores are nothing like the dealers model. It all depends how much use, and abuse you plan on/need your equipment to take. Also service-service-service.

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UplandHntr
20 minutes ago, Up North said:

John Deere lawn mowers sold at box stores are nothing like the dealers model. It all depends how much use, and abuse you plan on/need your equipment to take. Also service-service-service.

 

Ive heard this till Im blue in the face. I was told the exact opposite by my local JD dealer.

My JD 135 lawn tractor has had zero issues other than a fuel pump which was a few bucks to replace.

My dealer doesnt care where I bought it since he sets them up for the box stores and gets maintenance and service on them.

 

hard to believe JD would put plastic trans gears in a box store product and still have their reputation attached to it.

(Hear we go)

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DennisMcFeely

great topic

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Up North
32 minutes ago, UplandHntr said:

 

Ive heard this till Im blue in the face. I was told the exact opposite by my local JD dealer.

My JD 135 lawn tractor has had zero issues other than a fuel pump which was a few bucks to replace.

My dealer doesnt care where I bought it since he sets them up for the box stores and gets maintenance and service on them.

 

hard to believe JD would put plastic trans gears in a box store product and still have their reputation attached to it.

(Hear we go)

I guess our JD dealer didn’t have the same model in his store that they sell at home depot. I was more referring to the grade of equipment the dealer handled vs the box store. I sold our JD724 when moving West, and had a hard time getting $4700 for it. Mainly because most people think they can go to Home Depot, and get a new one for less. They don’t understand the difference between the two. They just see they both are green, and say John Deere.

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apachecadillac

To be persuasive in making a false sales claim, it helps to believe what you're saying.  I'm convinced that most guys selling against big box stores truly believe what they're saying when they claim/imply that what you get at the big box store may come in the same packaging, but it's not the same product.  It also helps if there's a grain of truth, whether it's as trivial as a different skew number on the box or as significant as parts specifications affecting performance and durability.

 

So, the urban legend.

 

Obviously if you buy in big enough volumes you can get any brand owner to tweak around the edges.  But there's a limit to what the brand owner (who's probably not making the product anymore, just overseeing manufacturing offshore) will do, since he wants to protect his brand equity (to a point).  And then there are a couple of other things going on currently with the big boxes that really complicate things.  For instance, Costco is very, very careful with its Kirkland brand, and you don't have to be very perceptive student of American business history to see that it's trying to replicate the Sears/Craftsman model with Costco/Kirkland.  Way down on the food chain, I think (but I'm not sure) that Harbor Freight is trying to edge upmarket with a series of propriety brands (Bauer, Predator, Hercules, etc.)--for HF it's an exercise in grabbing what you aspire to without letting go of what you've currently got (a stranglehold on the 'cheap cr ap' end of things).  I've always considered Harbor Freight a crapshoot, but I'm hearing good things about the Predator Generator, and just looking at a Hercules mitre saw (set up next to a Harbor Freight version costing half as much), I was impressed with the fit and finish, etc.

 

In the current upheaval in retail, I think all these rules of thumb are going out the window.

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stripersonfly

My belief is that, assuming the products are the same, there is no difference between buying a tractor or other appliance at a big box store, vs. buying it from a small dealer.  The key part of that statement is that you need to make sure you are getting the same product, as I am also aware that they probably are making similar, lower quality models that meet the price points that the big box stores are dictating. 

Interesting article that is attempting to address this exact issue as it relates to John Deere tractors.  A couple of points

1 – He has been told by John Deere that all the mowers sold at big box stores are inspected by a John Deere rep prior to being sold

2 – You need to make sure you are comparing apples to apples as John Deere makes models that are similar but of supposedly lower quality for big box stores.  

3 - The big box stores may carry some of the same models as dealers, but usually only entry level models. 

https://www.homeconstructionimprovement.com/should-you-buy-john-deere-mowers-at-box/

 

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Brad Eden

I'm talking the same Model, size etc piece of equipment sold at box store and dealer, not professional grade vs consumer grade.

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