wellll..it's probably safe to say, you are wrong.although this will be my first snow blower so I could very well be wrong.
I'm the kind that never wants a machine set up by anyone other than myself, because I'm a bit more meticulous and I take more care in it that anyone else would. Besides, I love to do that kind of stuff and I have the tools and aptitude for it. I'm the guy who buys something and always makes improvements to it beyond how it arrived brand new from the factory. (Any major alterations are usually only done after warranty expiration!) But for the person who is not mechanically inclined, does not like doing their own maintenance, does not read the operators manual, or who is just not into working on their own OPE, I agree they should pay the extra money for equipment & service from their local dealer.
I'm the same way.
In my book, no one is going to take more time to assemble it and carefully prep it than I will. The issue then is do I have enough knowledge to do as good a job as a dealer? No doubt, they clearly know more than I do, but do I know enough? I assumed yes and ordered one online last week. It showed up yesterday and assembly wasn't exactly rocket science. I did need to adjust one cable from the default setup so the impeller and auger weren't spinning without the handle depressed, but again, not rocket science.
The other issue is what would I have done if it was defective and needed service right at the outset? That would suck a bit if you don't have access to a truck, because then you are paying a local dealer to come and pick it up and drop it back off (unless the warranty rocks). My local dealer charges $50 each way for such transport. I decided that was worth the roll of the dice since they wanted $200 more for the blower than HD, another $50 for assembly, and another $50 to deliver it. I don't mind paying a premium to support a local dealer, but not a $300 premium on a $999 purchase. I have hand tools and a funnel.
It's interesting that the dealer was charging $200 more, plus $50 setup, $50 delivery. I know in my area the local dealers charge the same exact price as HD for Ariens blowers. I've never paid a setup fee at a dealer either. Same for Honda power equipment. The local dealers charge the exact same as big box stores.
I actually bought 2 deluxe 27's at once from a local dealer a few years back and convinced them to comp the sales tax since I was paying cash for 2 units.
I don't think HD would have gone for that one! Lol!
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I got home about an hour ago with my new Toro 824qxe, that I bought at my local toro dealer, and they did an amazing job...it's not that I don't know how to do it, but why would I want to spend an hour or so doing it myself, and then Have to clean up the mess (card board, and stuff), if they can do it for me, and load it in my truck. Maybe I'm too lazy, lol. It was so much easier this was