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Dealer Competition.

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by restorer, Sep 19, 2006.

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  1. restorer

    restorer New Member

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    Spent some time with a dealer yesterday discussing my situation with the Avalon Newport Bay. Went there to physically see the stove, freestanding and insert. Didn't have either on floor, but was helpful. We talked about the CZ enclosure. He was aware of it, but wouldn't recommend using it. PERIOD. I asked if he had a Newport freestander in stock that I could look at. Claimed he had one in the warehouse, but couldn't be bothered to show me. So,... I asked if there was any other dealer I could contact. Claimed he was the exclusive dealer and no one would have one.

    Today, I went to the stove distributor listed by Travis. Shock of all shocks, had both units in stock on display, and were using one as a demo. Owner said it was the stove she used two-times over in her home. I asked if there was anyway to check the noice level and she said, "SURE". Fired up the stove. 10 minutes and we were cooking. There stove was a little quieter than mine, but both are about as loud as a desk top fan. Push came to shove and I asked about the surround. She was pleased and almost got excited to talk about it. She was suprised that I knew about it, because it only came in last week. Although she hasn't seen it, she could not see why it wouldn't work with the Newport, even though it was made for the Astoria. According to her it was made as a Zero-Clearance enclosure, designed to stop the transfer of heat. Said once I buy it, I'm on my own. But by using the enclosure, following the installation specs, using the insert surround for the control panel she can't see that it would not be safe. She doesn't have one in stock yet, but is really excited about the potential.

    Now my observation. Why was dealer one, helpful to a point and then claimed they were the exclusive dealer? Dealertwo is both the distributor and the retailer of stoves. Is there that much competition between stove stores? Am I just experiencing something unique? On this forum dealers and manufacturers seem to get along. Which really is the industry norm?

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  2. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    Well i will take a guess. You asked more of number one then number two. You wanted number one to take you to his warehouse to look at a stove you didnt buy from him. Uncrate it, and let you mess around with it. When ever you try to sell a open box as new, customers get leary. not to mention time is money. Dealertwo had one on display, and whats the objection there, they didnt have to do anything to show it to you, it was already on the floor.
    Dealer number one didnt want to mess with the ZC box made for another stove, to use on your stove, dealer number two was willing to take the liability, and sell you a product that wasnt intended for your specific model. I think dealer number one was the wiser of the two.
  3. jabush

    jabush Feeling the Heat

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    Howard County, MD
    Dealer #1 lied right to your face. Obviously he is not the only shop that sells the stove you were looking at (and he knew it when he lied to you!!). After I did my own homework...I would finish my conversation with dealer #2.
    Then all dealer #1 would have to worry about is me coming back into his store and confronting him about being a liar in front of his customers.
  4. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    Normally only one shop in a area sells a brand. Its not normal in this industry for a distributor to compete with a retalier in the same territory. Our distributors have displays of stoves they sell, but they do not sell to the public (not supposed to any way) so, one of two things happened. He lied, or he doesnt know that his distributor is cutting him out of business.
  5. brian_in_idaho

    brian_in_idaho New Member

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    Jewel Lake (Sagle), Idaho
    I think one of the keys is your comment that the second dealer is the one listed by Travis. Gotta wonder if the first one is being cut out of some business, perhaps lost the distributorship and is selling old inventory. Maybe because of poor service....

    It's really frustrating to go into a dealership (for stoves or any other product) and run into someone that doesn't want to put forth any extra effort, either to serve the customer, or, all to often, to even know their product. With some of the dealers, it seems if you spend 15 minutes reading the catalog or the manufacturers web site (let alone hearth.com) you know more that most of the salespeople. I find myself getting more cynical about this all the time. However, its such a pleasure to run into someone at a dealership that does make the effort, knows the product and has some interest in your needs. I don't like to pay more than necessary, but to deal with a professional I'm more than happy to pay a premium.

    Bri
  6. smirnov3

    smirnov3 Feeling the Heat

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    Eastern Ma
    When I was shopping for a pellet stove, I visited a Harman dealerership & a Quadra-Fire store. The Harman store had a sales guy talk to for a good long while. He showed me what stoves they had, and (in his own inept fashion) answered my questions (he was knowledgable, just not real bright).

    The Quadra-Fire dealer could barely be bothered to point me to where they kept the stoves before he went back to talking to his buddy. Whenever I had a question, I had to interupt his conversation. He was knowledgeable, he believed in his product, but he made me feel like an intruder.

    Guess what I bought.
  7. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    As a dealer myself, Im not sure Id be thrilled with the distributor of my stoves also being a retailer. Imagine competing with the guys selling you the stoves?! Also, a ZC box from one manufacturer used with another stove? Im not sure that would follow well in the code application, since the unit wasnt tested with that ZC box, but I might be wrong. I guess if you got something in writing from the retailer (wont happen), and got the unit inspected and passed by the local code official, you MIGHT be ok. I tend to be somewhat leery of amalgamations of different parts all cobbed together, but thats not saying it wont work.

    As for going into the dealership and calling him a liar in front of all his customers, Im just not sure what that would serve. I think youd be better served not ever giving him your business ever again, rather than coming back and trying to press sour grapes into sweet wine at someone elses expense. If dealer #1 is a liar, I dont really think hes gonna worry about you coming back as well. maybe he isnt aliar and doesnt realize his vaunted distributor is eating into his sales area....maybe he should be at least notified of this. Quite possibly hes not a dealer of the unit as well, and thusly a liar......
  8. jabush

    jabush Feeling the Heat

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    Howard County, MD


    All good points Harry...I guess we'll never know if the guy lied intentionally or if he was out of the dealer loop somehow.
    I was fired up last night when I posted, so no...I probably wouldn't go back to harrass the guy in his own store. I would definitely tell all my friends about him though.
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