Friday, March 20th, 2015 by Danny Peterson
You’ve decided to buy a generator for your home or office building. But wait! Are you making the correct decision on where to buy your generator? There are plenty of options between big box stores like Home Depot and local certified generator dealers like Georgia Generator. The decision on where to buy your generator not only affects the type of generator you receive, but also the services that come along with the generator. Additionally, the quality of customer service and availability of experts when you need them will be affected.
Where should you buy?
There are pros and cons of buying at either a big box store or a local certified dealer, and it all depends on your expectations, needs and wants. First thing is first, what are the major differences between a big box store and a certified generator dealer?
- Big box stores: large retailers like Home Depot or Lowe’s. They offer a wide products and services.
- Certified generator dealers: smaller independently owned business that specialize in generators. Typically the sell, install and service your generator.
They key difference that you, the consumer, need to decide when choosing your generator retailer is what are your needs for buying a generator. This will determine whom you should contact and where you should buy. For example, if you are an individual looking to have a portable generator for tailgating or camping, short-term electricity solution or daily work-site electricity supply, then a big box store could be the choice for your quick solution. On the other hand, if you are a business looking to have power supply your building in the case a power outage then a more permanent and expert solution is needed and you should look for a certified generator dealer.
The Pros and Cons:
Big box stores:
- Loyalty cards: most big box stores offer loyalty cards, where you can receive discounts and benefits from the purchases you make.
- In-store displays: they have a large space to display products and show key product information in person.
- Lower price: typically large companies like Home Depot and Lowes are able to offer items as lower prices due to bulk quantities.
- Variety: also a perk of the big box stores is that they are able to carry a variety of brands and styles.
- Quick solutions: lastly, you are typically able to go into a big box store, talk to an employee about what you need, buy the item that day and sometimes have same day delivery or you can walk out with the item same day.
- Lack of expert help: big box stores are usually staffed by part-time staff members, who may or may not know much about the product you are looking for.
- Limited services: because big box stores have a large customer base and variety of products their services per product may be limited and not as extensive.
- Inconsistency: employee’s various hours and high turnover can cause a lack of constancy when customers deal with big box stores.
- Out of stock: when big box stores try to stay ahead of trends and industry updates they often switch out products for new ones. Therefore, if you have any problems with your current product they may no longer carry parts, etc. to help you with your solution.
Certified Generator Dealer:
- Experts: certified generator dealers specialize in generators. If you are unsure about what your exact needs are they can assist you through that process. Additionally, they can make the right recommendations.
- Customer Service: typically, it is the staff members’ full-time career and they will be at the dealer for years to come. When you make the investment in a generator you are also getting consistent help and loyalty service.
- Post purchase care: certified generator dealers understand that your generator is an investment and something that should last you years to come. Therefore, they offer post-purchase services to make sure your generator is always running properly and ready to provide you the power you need.
- Emergency situations: most dealers who also install and service your generator are available for emergency services. Similar to calling your plumber after hours, a generator dealer can assist you with your generator issues.
- Higher prices: with the cost of running a smaller scale business vs. the big box stores, a certified generator dealer can cost more for the generator and services.
- Longer wait times: most local businesses are ran by a handful of employees therefore they can’t always compete with the hours a big box store.
- Planned process: if you are looking for a quick solution to your power problem that day, a certified generator dealer might not be able to have the stock or the staff members available to service your needs right away.
- Lack of variety available: since they specialize in generators only you will only be able to find generator solutions. Whereas at a big box store you can take care of your other home and office projects.
Clayton Preble is the owner and operator of GenSpring Power, serving the Jasper and North Atlanta, GA region. Clayton is one of the top 25 home generator dealers in the United States.