Tim Berman owns Big Red’s Equipment of Granbury, Texas.
“We have definitely been affected by Big Box competition. They are carrying more and more high-end equipment. Home Depot stocks high-end Echo equipment, not just entry level pieces. They’re giving away TruFuel and batteries. They throw in $200 dump carts and $300 grass catchers with low margin lawn tractors.
Where possible, we price our stuff to compete, but there are certain kinds of products best left to the box store. The ultra low-end consumer stuff is becoming more and more that way. Cub Cadet’s 10% margin on the super low-end stuff makes it impossible to be profitable, especially when that customer wants free delivery and 0% for 12 months.
Here are our competitive advantages we leverage:
- Long store hours. Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (Arguably, they have longer hours, but this has helped us!)
- Carry better value products. (The Hustler Raptor family is a box store killer!)
- Multiple long-term flexible financing options beyond OEM specific programs. (Our 0% terms are more than twice as long as the box stores.)
- Package deals with handheld equipment and trailers. (Buy together and save.)
- We take trades.
- Those trade-ins offset sales tax.
- Since we’re outside of city limits (and many dealers are), we are 1% cheaper on everything, thanks to no city tax in the county.
- We have a demo zone where customers can test drive anything. We even have some mowers that can be used for test mowing.
- We have a MUCH better selection of equipment and stock deeper than the box stores.
- We push OPTI oil with every mower we sell, giving the customer the ability to double his engine warranty very cheaply.
- We sell “fail safe” extended warranties to compete with new.
- We set up and assemble everything we sell.
- We stock far more accessories.
- We offer in-depth demonstrations and orientation on safety and maintenance with every piece of equipment.
Dealers that offer these kinds of competitive advantages can and do win over the box stores."
— Tim Berman, Big Red’s Equipment, Granbury, Texas