Only days after the October issue hit the streets, I got a call from “the inimitable” C.B. Fulbright of Jefferson City, Mo., who was profiled in the magazine so many years ago that “Chain Saw Age” was still on the cover. In the October issue, I had mentioned some memories of the first Expo I had attended, way back in 1991, and how C.B. would scour the show floor with a briefcase containing defective or poorly-performing parts that he was happy to share with other dealers, distributors and especially manufacturers. In our profile from the early ’90s, we detailed C.B.’s free saw chain sharpening cards, of which he had sold thousands. Here’s his latest venture: He’s been buying mowers at price from a mass merchant for $139, putting them in his showroom for $239, and offering free $40 mower checkups. When a mower comes in that doesn’t run or costs too much to fix, he offers customers a chance to apply the $40 towards the purchase of one of the new mowers. “I bet I’ve sold almost a thousand of them,” he says.
A natural-born promoter and marketer, C.B. says dealers can’t just “sit around and wait for the money to come in—you’ve got to have a gimmick.”