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So Ms. Liftoff decided last night she wanted to get some misc Christmas things for the house at the local big box store. As we are walking to the store, there are normally a dozen or so snowblowers cabled off to the columns of the building. Last night, there was only 2. We both chuckled and commented about the impending 8" -12" of snow we are "suppose" to get and that the word must be out.

As we walk in the store, there is a elderly couple looking at the snowblowers with a store employee. At a quick glance they appeared to be overwhelmed. I went with my wife to help her get what she needs, then she say's she wants to look at this, or that. (my clue to get lost). I tell her, "you know where I will be".

As I wonder over to the snowblower area, the elderly couple, (Jim and Liz) now on their own, appears to be at one of those cross roads of life. As I walk buy, I say "getting ready for the coming snow". Jim says, "you know anything about these". To which I say, "Yea, a little, I have 4 of them at home". At that point I think Liz let out a sigh of relief. So we struck up a conversation about what he should purchase. They where looking at a Husqvarna ST 230 P. 291 cc engine, 30" bucket, very comparable to my deluxe 30. He asked me if this is a good machine. I told him I was not very familiar with the Husky line up but I would be willing to help him learn.

By now the store employee comes back with another guy and states he is going home but Clyde knows everything there is to know about snowblowers and would be able to help with any question he has. Now there is the 4 of us standing around the Husky, and Clyde (not his real name) tosses out the ol "should we write it up so you can take it home?" line. Jim says, "well, I have my consultant here and I want his opinion". Clyde now looks at me, to which I ask, "how large is the impeller? and is the auger greaseable?" Ol Clyde's jaw about hit the floor. I asked Clyde if he know what I spoke of, and he admitted he knows zero point sh1t about snowblowers, that he is normally in hardware. I told Clyde that I thought you knew it all as per the guy that went home, and Clyde states, "not sure why he said that". By now I can see Jim and Liz are seeing that this could be a mistake but being he is running outta options he may have no choice. Before we know it there are 3 employee's standing with us (must have been a slow night) and I ask each one of them the same questions and no one could answer it. I had them stepp'n and fetch'n, Jim and Liz even getting a chuckle outta that, which I think at this point they needed a laugh. Keep in mind that the impeller appeared smaller than mine, so I was assuming it was a 12" and I could not see any grease zerks on the auger, but I want to drive hope the point these guys did not know the product they are selling.

By now I'm getting the look from my wife and I tell Jim and Liz, good luck with their decision, that for the situation they are in, with snow on the way, it was no Ariens, Toro, or Honda, but it would not bad a purchase. I gave him my cell number, and told him to call me that I would haul it home for him (based on all the talking we did, they do not live far from me, and have no way to get this thing home) I think Jim would have gone with an Ariens, but the box store that carries them was cleaned out and our local dealer is not open on Sunday.

I kinda wanted to see this thru for Jim and Liz, as they where both getting comfortable with me helping them. Will be interesting to see if he calls me, as I think Jim was going to take the night to think about dropping $1,100. Don't blame him for that. It was 8:30 and they had 4 of those still on the floor.

So, this got me thinking:
I wonder how many people are like Jim and Liz, knowing they want a snow blower, but not sure what they are buying. Big ticket impulse purchase
Big box stores are just trying to move inventory not knowing what they are "selling". Being in sales myself, and having a moral compass, this bothers me.

All in all, I think Jim will get a good blower if he pulls the trigger. Could he do better? yea I think so. Could he do better before the snow hits? not really sure.

Sorry this got drug out.
 

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What you should have done is lend him one of yours so he could get the feel and it would have given him time to find what he really needs. Since you were going to haul the new one to his house, why not haul one of yours, or do you use all 4 at a time.
 

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My neighbor (73 yrs old) just bought a new "big box".blower. I didn't have the heart to tell him it was pretty much a throw away blower. I asked him what made hime decide to go with that particular brand and it was all about the credit. He could make low, easy payments on it. He doesn't know a thing about it. I am going to offer to set it up for him. Get the skids and scraper bar etc set up properly. (My sig)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What you should have done is lend him one of yours so he could get the feel and it would have given him time to find what he really needs. Since you were going to haul the new one to his house, why not haul one of yours, or do you use all 4 at a time.
Good point, I don't use them all at the same time. I have been running thru a lot of "I should have done this, or said that" scenarios.

Mainly, I should have gotten his number so I could bounce other idea's off him.

Ended up being a pretty neat old couple, just trying to make life easier on them. Having aging parents myself, it all kinda struck a personal note to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Get the skids and scraper bar etc set up properly. (My sig)
If Jim ends up calling me, I figure I would bring my .125" aluminum shims and set the scraper bar for him, as I'm sure he has no idea how all that works.

I can see spending an hour or so with him teaching this or that on it. I did see the engine is LCT, same as my ariens, as I kinda suspected last night.
 

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jim was lucky that you were at the store same time as he was in several ways, I thank you for helping him. like jim when I got my first snowblower I didn't know anything about them except I needed one and I wanted a 5hp motor, my lawn mower had a 5hp motor so I figured my snowblower should have the same hp as the lawn mower. the only snowblower available was a powerlite
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Is it the Husky with tracks or just basic?
Wheeled machine. Has heated hand grips, remote chute, little triggers to engage both wheels. 6 forward and 1 reverse. AC electric start.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
jim was lucky that you were at the store same time as he was in several ways, I thank you for helping him. like jim when I got my first snowblower I didn't know anything about them except I needed one and I wanted a 5hp motor, my lawn mower had a 5hp motor so I figured my snowblower should have the same hp as the lawn mower. the only snowblower available was a powerlite
I had the discussion with Jim about driveway size, getting a blower with enough power to throw the snow once to clear the drive. Worked thru the difference between single and two stage. Told him to stay away from Troy Built, MTD, (all the usual suspects). We covered allot of ground, (pun intended)

Ms Liftoff said I should go into blower sales, LOL
 

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Great story Liftoff! That kinda of happened to me at my local Orange big box store. A woman was looking at snowblower like the one I bought. After the salsesman walked away for a minute I started a conversation with her about the unit. She asked me "do you know much about these" I said "yes, a little." I told her I purchased the same unit about a week ago and have been going thru mine. I told her about going thru all the hardware and make sure it was tight and etc.... After a few more minutes conversation, I could see that she was in the same boat that I was as far as cost and limited budget. She decided to buy it. I told her it comes on a pallet in a box and hopefully she has a truck to bring it home in. Which is when the sales guy came back and I stepped aside and let her do her dealings. The woman thanked me for my assistance with the unit. Then I was on my way about my business. Now, on to the plumbing department!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Which is when the sales guy came back and I stepped aside and let her do her dealings
Thanks DWBlue00. I could tell one of the three sales guys was getting a little mad, that I was stepping on some toes, so I backed off.

Again, I got to Monday morning quarter backing that, thinking I should have said screw them, and keep the pressure on. I had Jim convinced to go Ariens (just on dealer service alone, as that was a HUGE deal for him) but with the timing that was not gonna happen.

Oh well, life moves on.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ol Jim called

Jim called. He ended up pulling the trigger last night. Meeting him at the big blue box store to haul it home for him, and we will continue bonding.

Not to sound like a puss, but makes me feel good to help him out. I am a firm believer in Karma. Hopefully there will be someone to help my father being he is 80 miles away from me. Maybe there already was and I'm paying it back...
 

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Hey Liftoff....great, great story about lending a hand and knowledge to a neighbor. You should be commended for that! The world needs more people like you who are willing to help someone clearly in need of help rather thank walking by.
And I would have to respectfully disagree with coby, I would not lend him one of your machines for one reason...God forbid he hurts himself or his property using your machine, then what? You feel terrible and the nice elderly guy turns sour and sues you? Maybe not, but I live in a very litigious area and worked at a job where frivoulous lawsuits were the norm.
Again, great story, you're going above and beyond!
 

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And I would have to respectfully disagree with coby, I would not lend him one of your machines for one reason...God forbid he hurts himself or his property using your machine, then what? You feel terrible and the nice elderly guy turns sour and sues you? Maybe not, but I live in a very litigious area and worked at a job where frivoulous lawsuits were the norm.
That or he runs it straight into the curb or steps at his house and destroys the front end.
 

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I forgot you guys lived in the USA, my bad. I don't even lock my doors. Neighbors helping neighbors is a norm where I live.
 

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Good story, and yeah that's the way it used to be down here too.
 

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I forgot you guys lived in the USA, my bad. I don't even lock my doors. Neighbors helping neighbors is a norm where I live.
That's the way it should be Coby, I wish I lived in place like that. Maybe a good place to retire to someday! Unfortunately a lot of people move too fast around here and lose sight of those little things that can be very rewarding like helping a neighbor.
 

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Helping others is fun, I love to see a smile on somebody's face when you tell them; " Glad I could help, have a nice day"
 

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I hate seeing older people who don't have a clue about that stuff. getting steam rolled by those big box store IDIOT'S at the very last minute. you are all right in my book there liftoff. even if you do bleed orange.:D:D:D
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I hate seeing older people who don't have a clue about that stuff. getting steam rolled by those big box store IDIOT'S at the very last minute. you are all right in my book there liftoff. even if you do bleed orange.:D:D:D
Thanks powershift.

Got ol Jim set up. I brought some fuel to put in the tank so I could drive it up my ramps into the back of my pick up. Lashed it down, and off we went to Jim's house.

Got it unloaded and I brought my shim plates and some tools. Set the scraper bar gap down to .125", it was about double that. Showed Jim how this and that works on it. Had him take up and down his concrete drive way a couple times so he could get the hang of pulling the triggers in order to turn easier. That is a little cumbersome in my opinion, but this is Jim world, I'm just living in it.

Over all Jim was pretty excited. I gather he is a man of God, and he mentioned a few times that God has blessed him having me there (the whole time I kept thinking, crap, I hope I did not drop the F bomb, and trying really hard not to curse).

Of course he offered me some cash, and I told him I did not want anything, just trying to do my part to help out where I could.

Will I drive by his house on occasion to check up on him, dam straight I will, but in either my wife's or my son's truck. Don't wanna scare him, thinking I'm stalking him, haha.
 
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