What To Expect When You Buy Appliances From A Small, Local Business Instead Of A Big Box Store.
- Knowledgeable Staff.
- Higher Quality Product.
- Sometimes Smaller Selection.
- In House Delivery & Service.
- You May See The Owner Coaching Your Sons Baseball Team.
- Down To Earth Conversations.
- Straight To The Point Sales Techniques.
- Better Quality, Hard to Find Brands.
- A Neighbor Or Friend.
Have you been searching for an appliance, found what you wanted but are having a hard time deciding what company to buy it from? With some product or another, we have all been there. This article will dive into what small, local businesses have to offer and how that differs from an experience at a large box retailer.
When was the last time you were in a box store and were underwhelmed by the selection they had? Yeah, me either. I find myself either having to make my selection from too many options, or they didn’t have what I wanted at all. This problem holds true in their appliance selection. It seems nice to have your choice from 5 or more brands with several options in each brand, but in reality, if the employee helping you doesn’t know the features and talking points on 20+ models, odds are you aren’t going to get what you want. This either leads you on an online journey, sifting through several conflicting arguments on why one brand or product is either great or terrible, or the inevitable “guess” purchase.
If you find yourself in a small business, you might realize there are less items to choose from and that the entry level price may be higher. In the case of our company, Sargents Maytag, this holds true. We hand pick and procure certain products instead of offering the entire product lines of the brands we cover. We do this strategically because not all products from the same manufacturer are built equally. When it comes to what we sell vs what’s available in the product lineup, we take many factors into consideration. We service what we sell both in and out of warranty. Due to this, we are very careful on the quality of what we offer. As a small company that’s been in business almost 50 years, reputation is everything. We’ve managed to keep our good reputation by shrinking the amount and brands of product we sell, but keeping the quality high and the service calls low. We take our warranty claims for each year into consideration when we reconsider what models we are going to sell. If we find one model is having a higher than normal service call rate, odds are, we are going to pull that model. We personally answer the phone and deal with our customers, so having disgruntled customers is not in our best interest. With box stores, you will have a hard time getting a hold of someone, and once you do, you will most likely be referred to a 1800 # to deal with your problems or have your answers completely blown off because they simply don’t know the answer. Small companies pride themselves on teaching their employees in house, and making sure they are as knowledgeable as possible. Our delivery and service staff is hand selected and trained in house to ensure they are knowledgeable and able to do your job. Our office staff is well trained and versed in the product we sell and are ready to answer questions.
With many big box stores, they are simply a middle man. They collect the money, but do not hold their inventory, deliver or service their product. These crucial, after purchase services are usually bid out to a sub contractor by either the store or the manufacturer of the product. Because of this, the box stores can get away with selling cheaper brands, lower models and in some cases, models that were made specifically for that store, with less features or downgraded materials. When you shop at a small business, quality matters because reputation is everything. You know the phrase, you get what you pay for. We try to keep you from making the wrong decision by not even having some product available for purchase. Although it may hurt us financially to not sell some higher end products that we know are faulty, it allows us to sleep at night and engage in our community because we know deep down, we did our best to sell you a good product.
Have you purchased something before that has broken down quickly and you were stuck feeling down about your purchase and it seems like no one cares? We’ve all been there and it’s pretty frustrating. Small businesses are staffed and owned by people that are in your community and have to make similar purchases to the ones you do. Due to this, owners of small businesses and their employees have more empathy when something does fail because we’ve probably been there. When things happen, we traditionally try and jump on it and get it rectified as efficient as possible. Throughout the pandemic and subsequent years, we’ve been faced with horrible back logs on parts needed to finish a repair job. It has not been abnormal for us to take a brand new unit, rob a part off of it and use that to fix our customers machine while we wait for the backordered part to come in so we can sell our unit. Even though we can’t sell that unit until it’s 100% again, we need to do what we can to ensure our customers have an operating product. It’s what needs to be done to keep things fair for all parties involved. Good luck with that kind of service if you’re dealing with someone from a 1800 #.
When deciding where to buy a product, it comes down to a few key takeaways. Is access to service important to you? Is product education something you need to know before buying something or do you like to wing it and figure it out as you go along? Are you ok buying the same product every few years as long as you’re getting a good deal? How important is it to keep the money you spent in your local community?
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