Lawn and Garden Q&A: The Advantages of Going to an Independent Dealer

by | Apr 14, 2021

Homeowners and professional landscapers alike know of the joy of mowing, but what are the advantages to doing business with an independent dealer? We asked the owners of five local dealerships. 

They highlight their experts who know the quality products they’re selling. When you need a service or part, you’ll get your power equipment back quicker. And from start to finish you’ll get personalized customer service that a big box or online retailer can’t match. 

“When you walk into an independent dealer, you are going to talk to a guy who is knowledgeable,” said Frank James, of Carswell Distributing Company and former store manager at Southern Mower in Greensboro, N.C. “He knows his business like the back of his hand. He won’t have to pull up a book to know what the specs are. He’ll help you make the right purchase.” 

Our five independent dealers also bust a myth about pricing and explain how your community’s economy is impacted when you choose a local independent dealer. 

Here is what they have to say: 


JE Womble Mower Repair“You can come into my store and we have experts. If you have a question or a problem, we can help you with it.”

—Ray Womble, owner of J.E. Womble & Sons, Lillington, N.C. 

“A guy’ll come in, needing a new chain for his chainsaw. When he tells me the model, I know exactly what kind of chain he needs because when you sell that product, you know everything about it. Same with tractors. Need an engine rebuilt or a part replacement? Hydraulic oil? We know exactly what you need.” 

—Gale Moore, owner of Joe’s Tractor Sales in Thomasville, N.C. 

“An advantage for the customer is that they will become educated on getting the right part and product. You are dealing with a person who is knowledgeable about everything we sell.” 

—Corey Ingle, owner of Forsyth Mower Works, Winston-Salem, N.C. 


“You don’t get the personal touch when you buy from the big box stores. When the customer comes in here, we go over that product with them. We spend more time with the customer. We don’t just sell it to them in a box and send them down the road. We assemble the product, put fuel in it, make sure they know the safety features, so they know what they purchased and how to operate it.” 

—Gale Moore 

“We are not just here to sell you a product…we have a genuine concern for our customers’ needs…You know that when you come in this door, you are going to get the best service.”

—Chris Messer, owner of ASC Lawn Equipment, Bowdon, Ga. 

When you’re dealing with a customer, you concentrate on that customer, listen to his needs, try to satisfy his needs. That’s what we do…that’s the way we’ve always done business and that’s the way we’re always going to do it because that’s our competitive advantage.” 

—Ray Womble 


“I don’t care if you buy from me or from somewhere else…look for somebody who is an independent dealer that has mechanics that are going to help you because it’s mechanical. Eventually, you are going to need help.” 

—Anthony Allen, owner of Lost Mountain Outdoor Power Equipment, Dallas, Ga. 

“We service everything we sell. When you buy from us and you have a problem, I have five mechanics in our own small engine shop to look after everything and do our own fixing. 

“Customer service is most important. We have the product that you need, at a competitive price, and we show you how to use it. If you have a problem with it and something breaks down, come back and get it fixed or get it replaced. We are going to jump on a problem.” 

—Ray Womble 

“When you buy a brand that is local to you, if you have a breakdown you can get going a lot quicker instead of having to wait or try to find the part when you can go to the dealer and get whatever you need right then Plus, you are going to get better service from the local person. We have the expertise.” 

—Gale Moore 

ASC mower repair“Hands-on service is what’s most important. That’s the service that we sell. [Big box competitors] don’t have on-site technicians that can get you going like we do. They sell what they sell, but when you’ve got a problem, you’ve got to go somewhere else…I have people that, in just about any situation that our customer comes by, I’ve got someone that can give them advice. So why would you go there, when you can just do everything here if something goes wrong.” 

—Chris Messer 


“I’ll have people come in say, ‘I would have come to you and bought from you but you were so much higher,’ which always cracks me up because we are either the same price or cheaper. 

“I’ll see someone who is looking at outdoor power equipment and I’ll say, ‘I’m five minutes from here. The big box store is going to send you to me anyway because I’m going to be your warranty center, so why not just buy from me? And I’m $20 cheaper.” 

—Anthony Allen 

“People think if they go to an independent dealer they will have to pay more, which is not the case. You are going to get more, but you’re not going to pay more.” 

—Gale Moore 


“Our industry pumps millions of dollars into the area. We work with local municipalities, schools, and other small businesses directly. They spend that money here. Our guys spend their paychecks at the local grocery store. It all stays here.” 

—Corey Ingle 

“We are trying to bring people in and give them a reason to stay here, give them a reason to stay in our community…and by doing what we’re doing we’re hoping to attract other businesses to our downtown.” —Chris Messer 

“I think that’s important to support the local economy…It’s about the heart that you really want to be a part of the community. And we do. It’s important to us.” 

—Ray Womble