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  1. #1
    Member Eightpoint's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Kubota BX2230

    Default Internet Dealer vs. Local Dealer

    I recently stumbled across the thread below related to how two dealerships (Corriher and Tarheel Tractor) pursued an expansion of their business by virtue of selling their wares on the internet only to have a manufacturer purportedly discourage the practice to appease other dealers. This thread was back in the fall of 2007 and it caused me to ponder whether the various stakeholders in this debate (manufacturers, dealers and consumers) have changed their view over the last 16 months on how business via the internet should or should not be conducted in the tractor equipment industry given all that is going on in the economy and the continued build-out/acceptance of the internet as a place to shop.

    My own point of view - I hope to be in the market for a new tractor in the coming months. I have a couple of ok dealers nearby but price is certainly a consideration and if a dealer I find on the internet can save me a couple thousand dollars then things would get interesting. I understand the argument to help the local guy not only from a the viewpoint of having someone local to service my tractor but also to help the local economy. On the flip side if the local guy is either not willing or unable to adapt to the ever changing world and is therefore no longer competitive in the larger marketplace then why should I subsidize their endeavor by paying a premium and taking away resources (in the form of $$) from my family?

    I understand that there is no right answer for everyone but was curious on where others (manufacturers, dealers and consumers) were on this dilemma. So - anyone have any thoughts they wish to share on the subject?

    Corriher/Tarheel Thread
    Kubota BX2230; Box Blade; Rear Blade; Bush Hog; Boom Pole;

  2. #2
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Kioti DK 35

    Default Re: Internet Dealer vs. Local Dealer

    I have bought alot of stuff out of town versus buying it local. You could say that I was hurting the local business, but let me tell you that I am not the only one to go out of town to get something. Alot and I mean alot of our business folks are trying to make a killing off of selling one item instead of trying to sell more volume. It is down right terrible how much difference in price things are in my town versus 35 miles away. The service after the sell is also nothing to be desired. My town has a bad rap for being overpriced and poor overall service so if does not bother me to mossey down the road and get what I need somewhere else. There is some places that treat you right, but the number that try to do you right are few and far between.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member chh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Eastern OK
    MF 596 , MF 4243, MF 1433V, D4H, D3C

    Default Re: Internet Dealer vs. Local Dealer

    Personally I have found equipment online, but I am very hesitant to make large purchases sight unseen, so the pieces I have purchased have all been in a reasonable driving distance. Before tha internet I shopped in farm magazines and over the phone. Many times I have taken those prices with me to local dealers, sometimes they get with it and deal and sometimes they don't. The local Chevy/Dodge dealer is the worst. He also now has Montana, McCormick, Case-IH, and Vermeer at a adjacent lot. You can literally save $2000+ by going anywhere else, but a lot of people buy from him because he is the local guy.
    Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
    Will Rogers

    The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale and pays the freight both ways.
    John F. Kennedy

  4. #4
    Platinum Member medicshawn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Central VA
    Kubota L3940 FEL HST

    Default Re: Internet Dealer vs. Local Dealer

    I'm not sure where you are in Virginia but when I was pricing dealers in the fall my local buy was 4500 dollars more than Barlow equipment so I bought from Barlows which was 400 miles away. I would have preferred to deal with the local guy but it wasn't worth that much to me. I know warranty stuf is a concern buy Barlows has handled some small stuff for me by mail.

    I have driven down and purchased from Tarheal. The salesman and owener were both easy to deal with. I would buy from them again.
    BX1860 Mowing Machine
    L3940 FEL Sold
    B7800 TLB Sold
    IAFF Local 1568

  5. #5
    Veteran Member JoelD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Windham, NH and York, ME
    Kioti LK3054xs TLB, 2004

    Default Re: Internet Dealer vs. Local Dealer

    This is a tough subject.

    I am personally in search of the best deal, trying to take care of me and mine.

    However, customer support is particularly critical when it comes to pieces of complex equipment, such as my tractor.

    If it is a consumable type of purchase, welding sticks, oil, etc, I got for least expensive option possible.

    When it comes to large purchases like a tractor, I'll pass up the absolute best price for improved customer support, this, in the end, can save you thousands.

    2004 Kioti LK3054XS TLB
    Woods Box Blade
    King Cutter Tiller
    Three Point Snow Blower
    York rake
    60 inch king kutter tiller
    2000 Dodge Durango 5.9

  6. #6
    Veteran Member canoetrpr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Ontario, Canada
    Kubota M7040 cab/hyd shuttle - current, Kubota L3400 - traded

    Default Re: Internet Dealer vs. Local Dealer

    The problem with customer support is that you don't know what it will be like until you hit a real issue that needs a dealer to back you up on.

    Just cause a dealer is local, does not mean his customer support will be any good.

    I like to give money to the local guy as well but I have found that *in general* warranty service stinks pretty much everywhere for almost everything I buy. Maybe my expectations are too high. I don't really know.

    I would do my best to buy from a dealer who I knew through personal experience or through others experiences that I deemed appropriate to be able to judge a good dealer, was great at customer service. I would pay up to an additionall $500 or so on a $20k tractor deal to keep the business with such a dealer. However that is the far end of what I would pay over and above the cheapest price for the luxury of buying from a dealer with a good customer service background.

    You see, I think that the reality is that a dealer that is good at customer service will be happy to have you do business with them, even if it is the warranty kind initially, regardless of whether or not you bought from them. Many of those who say 'buy here or no warranty support' are the grumps that I'd rather not do business with anyway.

    I never thought I would say this but the kubota dealer I frequent now for parts and such has impressed me recently and if I were to buy a new one, he would get the first shot at my business. The parts guys are great. They have opened up the parts section after closing it down for the night to get me a little bolt. The sales situatoin seems to have improved substantially. I was standing around getting some parts ordered and the sales guy who sold me a 3 pt stabalizer kit ($200 or so), saw me so he came in to say hi and to see if there was anything he coud do.

    Long story short - I never found a dealer of anything that I knew was good until AFTER I had already dealt with them.
    Current: Kubota M7040 cab, hydraulic shuttle, Kubota M20 loader (made by ALO), LandPride RCR1872 rotary cutter, Horst bale spears & forks, Woods HB72 box blade, Kodiak 7' rake, Walco cultivator, chain harrow, Meteor 74" pull style blower

    Traded: Kubota L3400, LA473 HST (300 hrs), and various attachments

  7. #7
    Elite Member
    Parts Supplier
    MessickFarmEqu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Lancaster County, PA

    Default Re: Internet Dealer vs. Local Dealer

    "Internet Dealers" like Barlows, ourselves, and the few others that are out there don't see oursevles as stealing customers from good dealerships. Most of our customers are typically comming from underserved areas where there is no substantial dealership who can offer competitive pricing. I'd absolutly recomend checking out the waters locally and doing some limited shopping around to to make sure everyone is being honest.

  8. #8
    Gold Member shane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Woodbury, TN
    John Deere 3120

    Default Re: Internet Dealer vs. Local Dealer

    And another thing, any good reputable dealer can go to pot at any time. I've seen it too many times. Could be caused by burn-out, divorce, death of a love one, son taking the reigns, you name it. IF, there is a rather large savings to be had after comparing apples to apples, I'd take my chances and go with the savings cause in the end it's all a gamble anyway.

    As far as warranty and service, Canoe spelled it out.
    Just thinking about seat time makes me happy.

  9. #9
    Super Member buckeyefarmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Kubota L3940 L5030 MF205-4

    Default Re: Internet Dealer vs. Local Dealer

    Almost everything I do is on the Internet today, so if they are on the net, they are local to me
    I once considered going to NC to buy a truck, because I could get it $4000 less than local. I ended up not getting it at all, but distance isn't a big factor, economics is. I think most consumers want things at a "fair" price, with "fair" being like what everyone else can get it for. Nobody wants to find out they paid a whole lot more than their neighbor for the same thing, only because they weren't aware of what they could have got it for. When I was shopping for my first tractor, I called a local dealer who quoted me a price over the phone. I went in to their dealership, ready to buy, and the sales guy gave me a higher price, said he didn't know anything about the phone price. Maybe I talked to someone different, but the guy didn't try to find out who had given me the other price, and could have cared less if i bought or not. Obviously I didn't, not going to buy from someone who doesn't seem to give a darn. My local NH dealer is the same way. I don't know how they stay in business.
    I really appreciate guys like Messicks and others that are on TBN, that offer advice and try to give the customer what they want.
    Someone on a Kioti thread talked about how the local dealer (near me) had went out of business, and they had just got their tractor that had mismatched tires, and they couldn't take it back to get the mistake fixed. Another dealer, maybe 100+ miles away saw their posts and offered and took care of the problem. Now that is service, and someone you want to deal with.
    2010 - L3940HSTC, QA FEL, BH92
    2010 - Husqvarna YTH24V48LS (the other orange)
    2005 - L5030HST,QA,FEL
    198x - MF 205-4
    1990 - Wheelhorse 212H
    2017-ratchet rake, 2008-KK Tiller, 2006-Pallet forks, 2002-Carryall, 2000-PHD, 1999 - Trailer, 1999-6' rotary mower, 1999-cultivator, 1998-KK Finish Mower, 1998-Blade,1992 - Troybilt tiller, 2 wheel barrows, assorted gardening tools,

  10. #10
    Epic Contributor IslandTractor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Prudence Island, RI
    2007 Kioti DK40se HST, Woods BH

    Default Re: Internet Dealer vs. Local Dealer

    I started local and then moved "internet". I bought my first Kioti tractor from the nearest dealer who actually was helpful and gave me an excellent price on a slightly used tractor. However, I was underwhelmed by service support and found myself relying more on TBN and some experienced dealers on line for most practical issues. When time came to upgrade I did not really consider going back to the original dealer as by then I realized they had a limited shop and limited commitment to the tractor line. So, I called a "TBN" dealer 300 miles away who I had learned to trust and within a few phone calls we had a deal. I bought a new model sight unseen based on review of specs, photos and mostly the trusted dealers advice. He gave me a fair trade on my first tractor sight unseen based on a few photos and answering a few questions. I got a used diverter valve kit off ebay which I sent to him for installation. Charged very reasonable fee for time and materials. Same with a new flail mower I bought over the internet and had delivered to his dealership as considerable savings in dollars and hassle to me rather than having the mower delivered directly. His crew prepped the mower at the same time that they assembled the new tractor and BH. The new tractor was delivered a week or two later with full review of functions etc (more detailed than the original dealer) as well as hints, tips and clear encouragement to call for advice anytime. He took the old tractor when he left along with an implement that I had bartered for a set of forks he had on his trailer. I've needed to call for a variety of questions and always found either the dealer or a patient mechanic who was happy to spend time explaining/diagnosing issues. Needed one warranty item (seat belt retractor) which was UPS'd. Needed one significant troubleshooting (brush had disconnected a wire critical to 4wd solenoid and I had to lie under the tractor with cellphone in one hand and multimeter in the other while we tracked it down). No problem that the internet dealer hasn't been able to handle via phone yet.

    I wouldn't mind paying a little extra for a local excellent dealer but based on my own experience I'd focus on the excellent first and then give bonus points for local rather than the other way around.

    Oh yea, the original local dealer dropped the line a few months after I bought the second tractor.

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