Choosing a car stacker can be a challenging process. When you are working with an agent, there are several factors at play – from system specifications, installation, commissioning, warranty, maintenance and parts availability to the agent’s relationship with the manufacturer, you need to be confident that you are getting a fair deal.

The agent’s access to the manufacturer is an important factor in the buying process. There have been cases recently of agents trying to sell products from manufacturers they don’t have access to or partnership with, making profit off clients and promising guarantees they don't have. This can potentially leave the customer with a product that will cost them heavily in the long term.

Not having direct access to the manufacturer: What can happen?

Higher purchase cost

When the agent doesn’t have direct access to the manufacturer, you end up paying more for the system because you pay for the agent’s inflated margin over and above the manufacturer’s price. Agents with access or partners offer a well-rounded price that’s acceptable to all.

Delayed/ unfinished installation

If you are working with an agent who has no access to the manufacturer, you run the risk of an unfinished or delayed installation that will prove costly to your project.

Access to parts during/ after installation

Builders are required to provide warranty for a year after completion of work. In the event of a problem during the warranty period, the agent may not have access to parts, should there be a requirement. The builder may end up paying out of their own pocket. Also, if parts are required even during installation, this lack of access to the manufacturer may result in project delays because they are waiting for a part that may take a long time to be delivered, or worse – never arrive.

Avoid future stress – ask the right questions

If you want to avoid any unnecessary stress, ask the person who is selling you the car stacking system if they have access or partnership with the manufacturer of the product.

Some other questions to ask:

  • How many products have you installed successfully?
  • How long would it take to have a part delivered, if required additionally during installation?
  • How easy is the manufacturer to work with?
  • Do you offer maintenance of the product and what does this include?

Very importantly, choose an agent who is happy to work with you right at the design stage. You need someone who can contribute ideas to the project, and tell you exactly what value the product will bring to your project.

Poor communication from agents

The inability of the agent to effectively communicate with you can be a massive challenge. When the agent takes a long time to respond to specific questions from the client, it is because the agent does not have enough understanding of the product they are trying to sell; or they don’t have direct access to the manufacturer, which means their query may not go to the right person or be considered as a priority matter, resulting in delays.

Agents promising the sky during the selling process and being unable to deliver on those promises can impact your project significantly. There have been numerous instances of clients having to pay extra to fix an option, which they were earlier told could be done as part of the sale package. For example, data sheets on a parking system are approved showing you will get a 2.4m wide platform when in reality this is just an overall measurement. The clear platform width you get will be considerably less, which means the apartment associated with these measurements will only be able to accommodate a smaller car.

Such situations will only cause project delays, cost more money for the customer and create frustration. As the builder, you will end up paying for costly mistakes. You will end up paying for delays. Worse, you may end up with an installed product that you didn’t actually want.

Top considerations for a stress-free car stacker installation:

Agent with direct access or partnership with the manufacturer

When you work with an agent who has direct access or partnership with the manufacturer, you can confidently proceed with the purchase of the system, knowing that the installation will be as per the approved specifications, and you have the assurance of support during and after installation.

Ask for the manufacturer’s information

Those who are locked into this kind of a situation can ask for the manufacturer’s information directly. An agent who is experienced and has direct access to the manufacturer will not hesitate to provide you this information.

Do your research

Before you invest money in a car stacker, invest a little time in researching the agent and their company. Ask for references of previous jobs and clients. Ask to visit commissioned job sites and study the installations – look at what kind of cars are parked and ask for platform measurements.

Just remember, you are investing in a product for your project where you are responsible for its long-term performance; you, therefore, have every right to ensure that the agent you will eventually work with will help you deliver on your commitments.