In the last 14 years, we have seen many online companies come and go. Many of them offered too good to be true prices for products and shipping, which didn't keep them in business very long. Jacks has been there since the beginning of online commerce in 1997, and you can place confidence in our reputation that places us above the competition. It's been a long road to get where we are today, but I want to share the story with you.
The jackssmallengines.com story truly began back in the 1980’s when Jack Cumberland moved to a quieter Harford County, Maryland. The full-time IBM employee came to be known in the area as the “go-to” guy for generator repairs. His small, word of mouth business soon grew and by 1990 the first Jacks Small Engine brick and mortar store was born. The first retail location was a mobile trailer on a lot in Jarrettsville, which has undergone numerous changes in the last almost twenty years.
The year was 1997 and the central area of Maryland was experiencing the start of a severe drought. Sales on outdoor power equipment and parts began falling due to the lack of grass growing. Jack used the drought and his knowledge in computers to his advantage and knew even though it wasn’t raining in Jarrettsville, it MUST be raining somewhere. Jack launched the website www.jackssmallengines.com on June 24, 1997 and listed a few parts online for sale.
Not long thereafter, our first order came from across the country from Hawaii. The part was a very common Briggs & Stratton part that any local dealer would have in stock. We could not believe that someone would order a $3 part and have it shipped to Hawaii. At that moment, Jack knew he was on to something and looked to his son, John, for help.
John, who had graduated from college and was employed as a web developer at John Hopkins University, became the first official web designer for www.jackssmallengines.com. He and his wife, Adine, would come home from working their full-time jobs and each night add more parts and information onto the website. By 2000, John left his position at Hopkins to take on the role as President at Jacks Small Engine. Shortly thereafter in 2001, Adine joined him and became CFO of the business.
Starting in 2000, the family owned business, outgrew the small trailers and had a new 6000 square foot retail store built. The entire building housed the local business, the repair shop and the warehouse for the online division. It was over the next year as the business continued to grow that we found it necessary to do a massive upgrade and purchase a new computer system.
The website continued to evolve and become more user friendly by adding such features as equipment diagrams with parts look-up built right in. The website had come a long way in just 4 years from when it started with just 20 orders a day. The increase in sales paved the way for us to become the largest parts dealer for the lines we carry. Today we average over 18,000 internet visits per day.
We continue to offer the same superior customer service that we did over 10 years ago and treat each order with the same utmost care and respect as we did with the very first order. Our knowledgeable customer service department is second to none in offering the best service in the industry. Our team of web developers and designers are still continuing to find new and creative ways to make the site more user friendly while continually adding new products.
On February 2, 2009 we celebrated the opening of our new state of the art warehouse. It didn’t take long to outgrow our old warehouse space and we are now proud to have over 20,000 square feet to serve you better. The huge increase in warehouse space has allowed us to stock more parts to decrease the amount of wait time for our customers. The added space has allowed us to add new manufacturers and become distributors for many lines.
We strongly stand by our motto, “After the Sale, It’s the Service That Counts”. Besides offering great prices and product to the homeowner, such as our DIY section, we are also continuing to focus on the Small Business Owner. We continue to ship most orders within one business day and offer significant savings.