Jeff Geftos wants to turn the city into Mow-town.
The owner and president of William F. Sell Equipment, a business specializing in residential and commercial equipment, relocated recently to 19185 Allen Road in the Woodhaven Commons shopping center.
Geftos, a Grosse Ile resident, purchased the business 13 years ago.
He said he was looking for a company to buy when the business became available. At the time, he was a manufacturer’s representative.
Geftos said the Sell family of Taylor started the business in 1923 — it formerly was on Telegraph Road in Taylor — selling anything from small lawnmowers to heavy excavators.
“William F. Sell was the founder, and the business was at the Telegraph location for 50 years,” Geftos said. “It was a family-owned and -operated business that first started out at the corner of Eureka and Telegraph.”
The store’s new 25,000-square-foot building has a wide variety of snow-removal and lawn equipment.
Store hours are 8 to 6 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.
Customers can make their purchases by cash or credit.
“We offer sales and service, and we have an extensive, state-of-the-art computerized parts department,” Geftos said. “We repair everything that we sell, along with equipment that hasn’t been purchased at our store.”
Appointments are suggested when having equipment serviced.
When dealing with snow equipment, Geftos said snowblowers are top sellers.
“We sell both single and two-stage snowblowers,” Geftos said. “Two-stage is a larger machine used by municipalities on large lots.”
In warmer weather, many of Sell’s customers are out searching for the perfect mower, and most customers shop online before entering the store.
“We’ve been very busy since we moved here,” Geftos said. “Commercial and resident lawn equipment is our specialty. About 75 percent of our sales are in lawn equipment and accessories. We’re a New Holland and John Deere dealer.”
Sell features a 10,000-square-foot showroom and also carries products made by Toro, Honda, Scag, Exmark, Husqvarna and Stihl. The store sells parts for most of the manufacturers they carry.
“Our showroom is unlike any other outdoor power equipment showroom in the area,” Geftos said. “It’s truly a superstore.”
He estimated that about 50 percent of his customer base is residential; the remaining 50 percent caters to commercial and municipal accounts.
“When it comes to commercial customers and lawn equipment, we have the top two brands in the country — Scag and Exmark,” Geftos said. “With residential, Toro, Honda and John Deere are top brands in the country.
“Toro is the most popular with customers wanting a push mower. Customers with a little more property, the newest technology are zero-turn machines.”
Mowers featuring zero-turn radius make mowing easy around landscaping and help get the job done faster.
The mower’s deck size refers to the size of the lawnmower blade — the larger the deck, the wider the cutting swath and the quicker the job gets done.
Sell carries mowers with decks up to 72 inches, but machines with a 42-inch deck are the most popular mowers purchased Downriver, Geftos said.
For Geftos, making the move from a career in sales to owning his own business has been a good one.
In March, he and his staff hosted an open house. Close to 10,000 existing customers were notified of the store’s new location.
“It was very well received,” Geftos said. “We had a lot of new customers and lots of great feedback. This was a good move for the company. We made the decision to move because we needed to be near more homes. We moved closer to our customers to make it easier on our customers.
“Our customers have been gracious and the city has been wonderful to work with. I can’t say enough about the good things that are going on in this city.
“We have a very loyal following, and most of our customers have followed us. We’re getting to meet a lot of new customers, too. Our business is going to flourish.”
William F. Sell Equipment
Location: 19185 Allen Road, Woodhaven, in the Woodhaven Commons shopping center; 1-734-692-5100.
Owner: Grosse Ile resident Jeff Geftos since 1997.
Specialties: Sales and service of snow-removal and lawn equipment.
Hours: 8 to 6 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.