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chain auto parts stores vs internet sellers

General engine tech -- Drag Racing to Circle Track

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BOOT
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Re: chain auto parts stores vs internet sellers

Post by BOOT »

Oh yah ebay and amazon are bad for counterfeit parts but I just return them, IF I decide to take a chance and find they are counterfeit. Around here even auto parts stores were getting caught, so unless you get factory direct. Just gotta inspect and make sure it's not something you need right now, in case you do gotta return it and get another.

They usually pick main brand common maintenance stuff and the price isn't better than trusted places, so I normally don't order that type of stuff from ebay or amazon.

Still there is always some who are looking to make a quick buck with BS claims https://youtu.be/3sp3RzqBtJo

I almost never have a problem with returns from ebay or amazon.
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Re: chain auto parts stores vs internet sellers

Post by BillK »

I just want to mention that 99.9% of the parts that I purchase are for an engine I am working on for a customer. Probably 90% of those I buy from one warehouse (PBM Performance) If I am working on something for a customer I am more concerned with getting the correct part the first time and really do not care that much about price. I dont want to have to wait for the mail to deliver it and then take a chance it isnt right etc etc etc. 99% of my customers just want their parts fixed and dont really say much about price either.

For my own vehicles (all GM) I pretty much buy everything from the local Chevy dealer or the AC Delco distributor that I can walk to from my shop. The Chevy dealer pretty much matches the online prices without even having to ask but I have been doing machine work for them for 30 years so we have a pretty good relationship.

Don't get me wrong, I order plenty of things online but nothing that is really important or that I need in a hurry. Auto parts very very rarely.

And I really do prefer to buy from local businesses.
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Re: chain auto parts stores vs internet sellers

Post by Lizardracing »

Local NAPA, I get the good ole boy discount so I'll shop there sometimes. However they are expensive and inventory is small. The parts guys are great though. Really great.
The other parts stores are generally pathetic and the workers are warm blooded zombies. I hate going there for even simple stuff cause the interactions are usually terrible.

I love amazon, been a prime member a long long time and never been a problem I couldn't get fixed quickly. Lots of times I get refunded and they don't even want the items back.
I buy lots of Rock Auto, I don't give adamn where it comes from. It's cheap, selection is good, customer service is good, it's at my door step quickly, If it's wrong I've never had issues returning anything at all.
I buy nearly everything I can online.....It not about supporting small businesses or not for me, it's about the crappy customer service, inventory, pricing, and in that order. I'd buy whatever local if they had what I want, when I want it, and I got a smile to boot.
Instead it's expensive, order its in a couple days deal , annoying Aholes for customer service.
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Re: chain auto parts stores vs internet sellers

Post by BlitzA64 »

For the most part the local parts places around me do not stock the old antiquated SBC type stuff I work on, I was looking for a timing cover gasket for an SBC a few months ago. No we don't have it here, can get it for you tomorrow for $17 and change with no seal. That's ok, I'm not interested in waiting until tomorrow to pay 4 times the price. I got 4 Mahle gaskets for $20 and change shipped. I would have paid it if they had what I needed but they didn't and usually don't. Another thing that burns me up is trying to buy something off the shelf that cost more then having to wait 15-20 minutes to give them my money..... Old Grumpy Sumbitch that I am
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Re: chain auto parts stores vs internet sellers

Post by Schurkey »

Lizardracing wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 12:40 pm I buy nearly everything I can online.....It not about supporting small businesses or not for me, it's about the crappy customer service, inventory, pricing, and in that order. I'd buy whatever local if they had what I want, when I want it, and I got a smile to boot.
Instead it's expensive, order its in a couple days deal , annoying Aholes for customer service.
I like the concept of buying locally...but generally I have to accept the same Communist Crap as shopping at Amazon, eBay, or other "mail order" supplier, AND pay +30% or even more, and there's a good chance what I want has to be ordered-in from their supplier. Maybe I get it "next day" instead of 3-4-5 days from Amazon, but there's still "wait time".

If I could buy local and get BETTER PRODUCT, I would.

I've been burned twice in a thousand "internet" purchases, and both times I got an appropriate refund (it just took awhile to process.)
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Re: chain auto parts stores vs internet sellers

Post by piston guy »

Rock Auto "can" have some great deals. I bought 6 HP1 Fram filters for $1 ea! What you have to be careful of is "shipping" . IF I bought ONE filter for ONE dollar and it cost $8 to ship it , it's better to buy at Autozone for $3 + tax! Other internet sellers offer FREE shipping. I have also had locasl stores say they will match ant advertised price and I have shown internet prices and had it matched. Paying attention ( if you care to) can save you $$$$s I do agree there are some sellers out to rip you off on the internet so you must use caution there too.
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Re: chain auto parts stores vs internet sellers

Post by bentvalves »

rock auto disappeared a return credit on me last year.

if you ever return something, make sure you spend your credit right away, otherwise it will vanish.

or, opt for an actual return to your CC, rather than a credit if that is even an option.
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Re: chain auto parts stores vs internet sellers

Post by Lizardracing »

Just today
Working on a Rav4...Broke a caliper pin...No big deal. Called a couple local chain stores. 1 of 5 had it. I asked them to pull it for me and I'd come get it. 30 minutes later I showed up. It went like this.
Me: Hi, Im Eric, I called about a part and it supposed to be on the pulled shelf for me. Here is my part Number"
Parts guy: Well I ummm...lets see. What are you working on?"
Me: "A Toyota"
Parts guy: Whats the make and model?
Me: I just gave you a part number
Parts guy: Oh yeah, hang on
Disappears a minute and returns with a box.
Me: Ok cool.
Now I'm checking the box for the PN and the right part inside and notice it's only half the caliper brake kit.
Me: Sir, this isn't complete.
Parts guy: What?
Me: This is a kit and it's missing parts. Like, most of em actaully.
Parts guy: Oh, how do you know?
Me: Well, I know because it's a kit and its missing the brackets and caliper pins and a a few other things.
Parts guy: Well, ummm, the box says the right part number.
Me: I know, but its not COMPLETE. like, its missing things, things should be in the box but it's not.
Manager walks over.....
Manager: What going on?
Me: This is missing parts.
Manager: Oh, yeah, I see, that happens all the time. we can order one and it'll be here a couple days.
Me: Do you have any at any other stores locally?
Manager: Oh i don't know that.
Me: can you look?
Manager: Yeah hang on.....What are working on?
Me: The part number is on the box
Manager: Okay.....Yeah, we have one about an hour away and I can order it for you. be here today.
Me: Okay, What time?
Manager: About an hour.
Me: Awesome, lets do that
Manager: What are workign on, Make?
Me: You have the part number and it's already pulled up,
Walks around counter and points
Manager: Oh yeah ok....So that's done.
Me: Thanks
Manger closes the box and puts it back on the shelf.

face palm moment.........I assume that the part was returned for a refund and got put back on the shelf without anyone noticing the missing parts.

I left and went next door to another store and the parts guy pulls the wrong number, he goes back and pull the wrong side, then he gets confused about RF and passenger side. I called him out on it and he seems kinda dazed about it.
I left without any parts

Just saying...Rock Auto had the correct parts I needed to me in a two days via Fedex and I didn't even have to get up off the couch.
Now if I could buy locally I might, but locally doesn't offer what I need and when I need it. Even for a common car nor do I have to babysit the parts guy.
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Re: chain auto parts stores vs internet sellers

Post by rustbucket79 »

As long as we’re discussing local suppliers, a few years back our shop ordered a pair of edelbrock heads. When they showed up, they had clearly been run on an engine. How hard is it for the shipper/receiver to open a box when something is returned, and what kind of asshat uses new parts then returns them?
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Re: chain auto parts stores vs internet sellers

Post by FC-Pilot »

Okay, I have bashed our local parts store guys a number of times, but I would be amiss if I did not share this one. On a trip to Lake Powell just as we were rolling into page AZ we lost a wheel bearing on our boat trailer. We pulled what was left out and scrounged up some part numbers. We hit the Checker auto in town and they did not have bearings and seal for us. They pointed us to a few service places in town that did not have anything either. We then went to the Napa which everyone said would have it, and they said they did not either. For what ever reason we went back to the checker auto. The guy behind the counter was upset as he was sure Napa would have what we needed. He then grabbed some old parts books and figured out some part number cross references to what we had. He then called Napa and asked if they had certain part numbers and again they said no. He then told them to stop using their computer and look for these different part numbers and he was confident they would have them on the shelf. Well they did, and we got to pick up our parts from that same guy at Napa that has said he did not have.

Not only that, but as we were waiting in that Checker auto that guy was helping to clean up the contacts in a starter solenoid to help a customer. He told them that it would get them a few more months so they could save up for a starter. That was what many of us remember about guys at parts stores. They were there to serve us, and they did. I want to believe there are still guys like that out there.

Paul
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Re: chain auto parts stores vs internet sellers

Post by Krooser »

I buy local as much as I can.

The Bug I just bought needed specific VW parts not available locally so I ordered from CA. Then I remembered MOFOCO VW, who is 100 miles away, stocks most of the parts I needed without an 11 day wait while FedEx lost my order. $152.00 worth.

I bought plugs from my local Federated Parts store... $2.09 vs. Rock Auto's $1.88-ish plus shipping. Oil filter screen/gaskets were $12.00. 15w40 oil was $2.49/qt. Valve cover gaskets were expensive...$5.29 vs .99 online.
Federated's filters are usually under $4.00... used to be made in Nebraska (now Chinese). O'Reilly's are $5-$8.00.

I got wheel cylinders and a master rebuild kit online...the stuff is Brazilian and ChiCom... looks OK. We will see. Floor pans (a future need) are $295.00 online and $159.00 locally.

Stock US engine rebuild parts I buy from Northern Auto Parts in IA. Fast shipping and I get the right parts.

I get jobber prices at my NAPA and Federated stores. Those folks are my friends. My buddy just left Federated after 20 years. I even worked there for two weeks until I found my 72 year old back can't deliver 60lb. batteries in large quantities! The NAPA store is second generation. The owner is a crew chief on a local pavement late model.

I buy from the Leprechauns on Saturday afternoons and Sundays when my other guys are home. And I rent the occasional special tool there.

Of course my race stuff is usually online... RacTec pistons, Jones Cam's, Howard's cams, Superformance gaskets, Cometic gaskets, ... you know the drill.
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Re: chain auto parts stores vs internet sellers

Post by Lizardracing »

Let me update my story on the brake job, not engine related but here we are.

Parts guy says the part will be there the same day, I arrive 30 minutes after the expected time of arrival, parts not there yet so I wait 30 more minutes,
Parts show up, all parts are in the box as they should be except they are the wrong.
Call them back, had to wait two more days for the correct part and more expensive by $100. Rock Auto was less and could have had it at my door in the same amount of time.
I'm not against buying local at all, supporting small or local business and all that but I can't afford to not have a operating vehicle for 5 days an 4 trips to the parts store, on a standard brake job that took less than an hour to swap parts. I demand better and I'll go where I need to get good service.
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Re: chain auto parts stores vs internet sellers

Post by BillK »

Lizardracing wrote: Fri Jul 23, 2021 12:21 pm I'm not against buying local at all, supporting small or local business and all that but I can't afford to not have a operating vehicle for 5 days an 4 trips to the parts store, on a standard brake job that took less than an hour to swap parts. I demand better and I'll go where I need to get good service.
Just curious . . . . . did you even try the dealer ? I bet they probably would have had them or at least been able to get them for you pretty quick and more than likely the correct parts.
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Re: chain auto parts stores vs internet sellers

Post by dynoflo »

Heres my take on buying from dealers. Had 7.3 ford dlesel blow a O ring on HPOP. It was a rush job. Called 3 suppliers-didnt know what i was talking about. Went to my favorite Ford thief and paid $66.00 for 3 O rings. Later that day i looked on internet and they were all over the place for 10 to 15 dollars. If that isnt stealing jesse james wasnt a bad guy.
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Re: chain auto parts stores vs internet sellers

Post by sjre »

Been selling parts in an independent store for 40+ years .I can tell you machine shops are not our core business.In fact we have a machine shop, most of the stuff comes from liberty.
We all struggled to make ends meet with expenses,payroll ,good help. Years ago lots of customers said they could get it cheaper somewhere else, but we tried to keep quality parts on the shelf.I hear alot say that they could but it cheaper off the net but what if you need it now? Yes our prices are higher , but so is our overhead . People today dont work for nothing,Neither do you .When you come in for that odd gasket or plug that you need now! call the internet ,maybe get in 3-4-5 days,good luck. The chain stores kind of showed us that we could charge more for parts because they were doing it with no complaints from customers and growing so after many years of low profit ,great! You think its cheap to maintain cars and have help to deliver? While the internet sits at a computer punches a button ships it to you has very little overhead and employs very few.Good luck returning it when its wrong because you picked the wrong part or your info was wrong.
Sorry for the rant , good luck!
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