Buying a BBQ Grill That You Cannot Get Parts For

I have owned a Hearth & Patio store here in Georgia for a little over 15 years and it's another Saturday morning in August. Just like every weekend in the summer we have customers coming in buying spices and rubs getting ready for a cookout that afternoon or Sunday. It never fails that we have someone come in looking for parts for a BBQ grill that was purchased from a big box store because that big box does not carry any parts for what they sell.

A beautiful Saturday morning in August and me and the sales staff are getting all the BBQ grills out on the sidewalk for a little show and tell like every weekend. Our first customer comes in needing a new burner for a grill we sold them over 10 years ago and of course all we had to do is look up the model# and voila, we hand the customer the exact replacement and to beat it all it was still covered under warranty.

After that we have several customer in kicking tires and buying small items and then a man walks in with a one year old burner from a grill he purchased at a big box store that seemed to be made of a heavy material like cast iron and it was rusted and swollen up so bad that it had literally fallen out of the grill. The man said that he needed six of these burners to replace the old ones. Knowing the answer already off the top of my head I knew we would not be able to find this burner because I have looked for similar ones in the past for different customer. I still took the time to go through the parts book just to let me man know that I was not just blowing him off.

After spending about five minutes looking and taking to the man to no avail I could not find anything and I suggested him to return to the big box and see if they had the part or could at least order it for him. As soon as I said that the man told me that the big box referred him to us for parts.

At this point the man is telling me that the grill is only one year old and he paid $600.00. His tone of voice now has changed and he is no longer being nice. He turns around and walks out saying in a load tone of voice "I cannot believe that a grill shop does to carry burner for grills" and we have several customers looking at grills in the showroom and I know that they were thinking, if I buy a grill here I will not be able to get parts for it.

The bottom line is if you want to buy a cheap grill from a big box go ahead but do not expect it to last longer that a year and do not think you can get parts for it.

By John Fine

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