Online purchasing continues to soar, especially during COVID times when all non-essential retailers have been closed. Most garden machinery dealers remained open throughout, but with all shops now open, should you buy your new ride-on mower online or take a trip to your local dealer?
We caught up with Adam Robinson, general manager of Jim Robinson Garden Machinery in Devon, who has remained open throughout the COVID pandemic, as he gives his insight into why you should buy a ride-on mower from a dealer rather than online.
Understanding our customers’ needs: Buying from a dealership like mine gives you access to experienced and knowledgeable staff. We know our machines inside out and based on what your requirements are, we can recommend a suitable mower. When you purchase online, you are often faced with a lot of information, which can make choosing the right machine a complicated choice, especially if you aren’t familiar with what some of the features do and how they could benefit you and your garden. For example, you may be looking for a ride-on mower that can create the perfect striped lawn or you want a machine that can do more than just cut grass. We listen to your requirements and then source the machine that we feel meets your requirements and your budget.
We often get calls from people who have bought a garden tractor online, usually because they got what they thought was a great deal and it’s not been fit for purpose. The most common reasons include buying a machine that wasn’t powerful enough to cut the grass they need cutting or the machine was the wrong size, and they have access/egress issues with it. They are then stuck with a mower that they can’t use and are desperate to get rid of it.
Try before you buy: Many dealers offer a demonstration service, which can really help you to make the right choice when purchasing. There could be several machines you have short listed and a demonstration, either on the grounds of the dealership or at your premises, could decide on the favourite. It is only when you are sitting on the machine and start to use it that you know whether the machine is a good fit. You need to make sure that the controls are in easy reach, you have enough leg room, and the seat is comfortable for when you’re using it for long periods of time. Demonstrating it on your property will also ensure that the machine is suitable to be used on the types of terrain in your garden.
Getting you started: Unlike when you order it online and it arrives in a box, your mower is built, given a PDI (Pre-Delivery Inspection) and tested, using our resources, to ensure it’s good to start cutting! We will hand over your machine and talk you through the controls and essential maintenance tips, so you have complete confidence in your new ride-on mower.
Aftersales care is equally important: A key difference between buying from a dealer over online is building up that relationship with your dealer, so you get a personalised one-to-one service from a member of staff that knows the product you bought inside and out and understands your requirements. This is really beneficial when it comes to any warranty or servicing work
As part of the service to our customers we remind them of when they need to have their mower serviced and advise them of when new products such as garden tractor accessories are available for them to purchase. Although we service machines that weren’t sold by us, we do prioritise servicing and repair work from those that have bought their mower through ourselves.
My father, Jim Robinson started the company in 2003 and has over 30 years’ experience with servicing and repairing garden tractors. Jim is still in the workshop today, carrying out all the PDIs, servicing and repair work. Knowledge and experience are everything, something you simply don’t get when you buy online.