What is a box store?

A Box-store usually sells you an item in the box. You take the box home.
You are responsible for proper assembly and service.
If you want them to do it, there is typically an extra charge (if they offer that service).
If you want them to deliver it, there is an extra charge.

What is the main difference between a dealer and a box store?

The difference becomes more apparent once there is a problem or question about the equipment you purchased.

    • Dealers tend to sell better quality goods than Box Stores.
    • A Dealer has a vested interest in taking care of a customer who buys their goods.
      • Has trained staff on hand to support what they sell.
      • Goes through training to have a better understanding of what they are selling.
      • Assembles and services the equipment they sell.
      • Will check for and fix problems with new equipment, prior to or upon the sale.
      • Will give you a quick education on use and care.
      • The equipment is ready to use when you get it home.
    • If a problem comes up after you get it home, a Dealer will jump right onto a solution.
    • Dealers offer priority service to customers who buy from them.
    • A dealer will have a good stock of support parts on hand.
    • If a part is not in stock, a Dealer will order it in a timely manner.
    • A Dealer has a mechanic to provide faster turn-around on equipment they’ve sold.

If I buy from a dealer, aren’t I going to pay more?

Not necessarily; however, you should consider more than the price tag for the value of buying from a dealer.

Support after the sale is very valuable. Dealers:

    • Educate consumers on how to operate the equipment they sell.
    • Are there for you if your have questions regarding your purchase.
    • Troubleshoot issues remotely, if possible.
    • Have parts on hand for those who want to do repairs for themselves.
    • Match customers to the type of equipment they need.
    • Offer faster turn-around on repairs on equipment they sell.
    • In general, make you a priority.

Can’t I buy the same thing from the Box Store for less money?

You may think that items are identical to what you find at a dealer’s store; however, in many cases, what looks to be the same really isn’t. Whenever possible, “box stores” dictate to it’s vendors what it wants to sell an item for. The vendor must then find a way to make it happen. While it may not always be visible to the naked eye, manufacturers cheapen products to make them less expensive. Keep in mind – everyone has a profit margin to maintain if they want to stay in business.

Why doesn’t my local dealer want to perform a warranty repair for something I bought elsewhere?

Dealers prefer not to perform warranty work on equipment that they didn’t sell for many reasons.

  • Because your local dealer didn’t service the unit when it was purchased, they’re not able to judge who’s at fault when a repair is not a warrantable issue. This puts that local dealer in a tough spot when they have to explain why a repair isn’t free to the customer. Non-warranty issues include:
    • Non-starting due to fuel issues.
    • Problems due to lack of proper maintenance.
    • Seller didn’t review proper operation of the equipment with the Customer.
    • Damage or non-working issues caused by improper assembly.
    • Abuse or neglect (Some sellers leave new equipment out in the weather, which can cause issues).
  • Because dealers may not have enough resources to take care of warranty work for equipment bought elsewhere; and still be able to offer fast quality service for their loyal customers.
  • Because dealers lose money when performing a warranty repair. Manufacturers only cover the bare minimum and don’t take into consideration the time taken besides the mechanic for work performed outside of the actual repair time. For example:
    • The service writer who takes in your equipment.
    • The parts department that looks up and orders the repair parts.
    • The clerk who may spend time educating you on how to care for and use the equipment.
    • The data entry clerk that processes the claim.

Tip: A reputable dealer who sells you a product is more likely to offer superior service before and after the sale. They know their product and want their customers to stay satisfied with their purchase.