Buyer's remorse is a term coined a few years ago that we all have experienced in one form or the other. Buying something that we thought would buy us happiness turned out to be an item we didn't need and becomes a burden. There is a sermon in here that “things” do not buy happiness, but I am not a preacher like my mother-in-law.
We, in our businesses, have experienced a couple of years of unbelievable sales where we could sell anything that wasn't nailed down; anything that we could get. The onset of hyperinflation has now thrown a monkey wrench in household budgets. The free government money, in many cases, was used for downpayments and the resulting continuing payments are now difficult for some to make and restrict the purchase of the next toy.
We found that money in one’s pocket, being locked in the house with nothing left to do or anywhere to go led to a gaze out one's window and visions of Green Acre's Oliver Douglass riding his tractor “getting things done” and purchasing a first-time new tractor, tiller or whatever. They certainly didn't want his old Hoyt-Clagwell.
Our print boss recently allowed me to post a tribute on Veteran’s Day of my dad.
Dad’s older brother, Thomas, was also a career soldier. Uncle Thomas, in 1940, figured we would wind up in the ongoing world war and decided to get ahead of the curve and enlist after high school graduation. The MAIN reason was he, unlike my Dad, hated farm life. He hated predawn chores, horses, poop shoveling, hoof cleaning, currying, oat feeding and saddle-soaping the harnesses.
In Tennessee fashion, he volunteered. He got to choose his service branch — the Army. They ask him what he wanted to do and he said shoot the big guns — artillery. Where do you want to go? He replied, "As far from the farm in Tennessee one can get.”
He stepped off the train at Fort Ord in California. He was met by a drill sergeant who, after roll call, ask if there were any farm boys in the group. He and a dozen others raised his hand and were led off to a different barracks.
He marched for the first-time thinking wow, they picked us farm boys out because we can shoot, scout, improvise and overcome; “special forces here we come.” His dream bubble burst upon detecting a familiar smell. What he did not know was the artillery and supply caissons were still pulled by HORSES! He found himself at 4 a.m. saddle-soaping, currying, feeding and scooping poop from the equine he hated so much back on the farm.
Not only that, but he was also introduced to a new form of food called poop on a shingle — kindly translated. He was in misery, home sickly crying to himself daily. When he did get furlough and woke up in his old bed shared with his brother, he smelled coffee, fried eggs over easy, homemade biscuits, red eye gravy, a slice of tomato, real butter and some black strap molasses. He looked around and said with a quivering voice "Oh Mommie, what a feast!"
This was buyer's remorse personified. (Thomas went on to survive World War II, Korea, a tour in Vietnam in the Air Force, and then lived the rest of his life farming — without horses — with my dad.)
So, as we talk to those customers asking us to relieve themselves of whatever possessions that they now want to get rid of, let us be kind while explaining to them one cannot buy retail and sell wholesale at a profit.
Only real farmers can do that …
Til next time, wishing miles of smiles and profits.
Told from the perspective of an in-the-trenches owner/operator — Tim Brannon of B&G Equipment, Paris, Tenn. — Equipment Dealer Tips, Tales & Takeaways shares knowledge, experiences and tips/lessons with fellow rural equipment dealerships throughout North America. Covering all aspects required of an equipment dealership general manager, Brannon will inform, entertain and provide a teachable moment for current — and future — leaders within equipment dealerships.
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