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ordering parts


mower17's Avatar
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05-20-03, 03:43 AM   #1  
ordering parts

Can someone please explain to me the secret ways that buissness owners can order parts from cities over an hours drive away and get them the very next day, no matter what the part is? Also, what place do ya'll order ya'll parts from? The nearest mower shop is down the road and he is a dealer for dixon, however, he stocks parts for murray mowers, and another shop in town claims you can no longer get mower deck spindle bearings for an old murray, yet the dixon dealer has them sitting on his shelf. How can you tell if you can still get these parts. Another thing, when I went to get a diaghragm for a pulsa-jet carburetor, the name brand was Oregon, (I thought they only made chainsaw accessories). I was expecting the parts to have the briggs name brand, so my question is, what companies make these replacement parts, how do you order them, and are they as good quality? I would prefer to just order the parts myself instead of having to get a dealer to order them. I hope someone can give me the ins and outs on places that sell parts and other tips that shop owners know. (Joe, I can't wait to read your reply!!!!!) Thanks for everyone's help.

 
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05-20-03, 06:00 AM   #2  
Joe_F
Mower:

I'm in the auto parts business on the manufacturer side. But, some of the same rules apply I'm sure.

You have to have an account with a distributor. For instance, WJ Connell services Tecumseh for this area. Atlantic Power services my area with B&S. Chances are the local guy that is in my area buys from these master distributors and just resells. You want to try to buy from a Master Distributor if you can as they buy direct from the manufacturer.

However, MD's likely have minimum order quantities and expect big business from an account. A stocking dealer is probably someone that can sell in smaller amounts, but orders second hand.

A way to go would be to establish a rapport with the local guy. I've kinda done that by showing my knowledge to the local guy, although he is high compared to online sources. I am going to try another local guy.

Like any trade, it's a relationship with the vendor (supplier) as well as having your own knowledge. No sense in buying Champion spark plugs from a small engine shop from me when I have a great rapport and discount with my local auto parts store who sells me the plugs at wholesale. Also, I can buy jobber on Gates belts who is likely supplying the mower shops their product as well as OEM .

My vote is if you are serious in getting into this business or to fix 'em on the side (or a serious DIY'er like me) that you develop a rapport with the guy. My local guy offered me a job and was pretty serious. LOL. I may take him up on it one day. LOL.

RCPW.com is great for online lookup and supersession. Their shipping is way too high, they won't get any of my dollars .

As to who says "No longer available" versus "I've got it sitting on the shelf, that's a couple of factors:

1) The OEM may have obsoleted the item, but someone has it sitting on the shelf.

2) The place is lazy and the parts are available. I had that with Magic Chef (Maytag) on my mother's old wall oven. Only after I got the parts book myself (and made a friend in that industry in the process) did I realize I was being bamboozled. All the parts I needed were still available with one phone call!

3) The parts have an aftermarket equivalent. Oregon Chain is a distributor of product. They buy from various sources, probably have stuff made for them as well as resell OEM at a discount. Mike Merritt is your man here, as he orders from them. LOL

4) The parts are obsolete, but someone knows that Snapper and Murray use the same parts (happens). In this case, the expertise of the small engine shop owner and experience rule. Also, a stockpile of used parts works.

5) The really crafty among us know who makes what for OEM and go to source . For instance, the Gates example I gave you. I'll bet if you call Sears for my # 61715 owner's manual for the 536-909400 (1979) that I was given (cast off as dead, funny I got it running ), they'll tell you NLA.

However, knowing that Murray made it for Sears (actually AMF and then NOMA, both owned by Murray), and a phone call to their technical department, will net you a manual (It did for me ...an original 1979 printing no less).

Hang in there, knock down doors and be persistent and do your homework. You'll make friends in this industry and lots of contacts.

Good luck.

Mike and I have become good friends through this forum and have helped each other out with our expertise in our various industries.

 
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05-20-03, 09:15 PM   #3  
mikejmerritt
Hey mower17, I get most of my parts from a small distributor 75 miles away who is an Oregon dealer and stock parts from the major players like Kohler, Tecumseh, Onan, Briggs, Wisconsin-Robin on the engine side and MTD, Murray and others as far as wheel, deck and body parts. Orders in by fax or phone by 2:00 PM come UPS the next day. Go over 100.00 and shipping is free. I try to set up my orders so I never pay shipping. You need a tax payer ID number to deal with out of state outfits but that lets you order from ANY company anywhere at a wholesale level but remember that there are levels of volume that have to be satisfied at some places and not at others. My SD has no volume quota to meet but offers me a 15% discount off of dealer cost if I spend 5000.00 a year with them. In my state there is at least one company that offers dealer prices and charges tax as they go to in state people. That would really be a good deal for you at least at this point.
Oregon is a major aftermarket parts supplier who handles most of the common parts for many makes of machine. Their parts are a fraction of OEM in most cases and I can't think of one part in their line that I would rather have an OEM part instead. Example: Tecumseh rod for an HH120=75.00- aftermarket price=25.00. I have used both and have had great service from both. There is the great debate over aftermarket versus OEM parts that will no doubt rage on but the anti aftermarket people are most often local dealers of OEM parts only. Fair enough but think of the poor guy who has a mower that needs repairs and the cost of the new OEM parts would really total the machine once the labor is added in. To me that is where aftermarket really kicks in as a viable way to go.
Do as Joe says, buddy up with someone who has a shop that will cut you some slack on the retail price on a small basis. You would be surprised how many people will help a young person like yourself. You could be an Oregon dealer the day after you decide to be one with a tax ID number and if you will pursue an in state dealer you may be able to get set up on a plan that lets you pay your tax as you go. This worked well for me when I was still a "hobby" mechanic.
Read Joes 4) and 5), that says it all. Information and knowledge will make you money, make things run and let you have the inside track. Example I have is a Mazda needed timing belt and idler bearings. Priced them at Mazda....get this....175.00 and that didn't even get both bearings. I read at a forum some time before this that Ford uses that same engine in some of their cars and a call to Ford dealer saved me 50.00 on the same parts. That little bit of knowledge was 50.00 to me.
I am very impressed with you young man and keep up the good work.....Mike

 
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05-21-03, 04:32 AM   #4  
Thanks for both of ya'll help. I really appreciate the advice. Thanks.

 
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05-21-03, 09:05 AM   #5  
Joe_F
Great advice from Mike Merritt (as usual).

Yes, OEMs cross over. Mike will tell you that. Oregon said they didn't have the shear bolts for my '65 Murray (Craftsman) snowblower, but they did---just under MTD. Same bolt, same dimensions, same thing.

You'll find that good aftermarket companies are on par or better than some OEMs for price, quality, and service/knowledge. You have to be one up on them as I often am. Experience will guide you here.

In Mike's example, the Ford folks maybe rebadging a Mazda product, or vice versa. I have samples in my office of a fuel injector from Mazda that just has a Mazda sticker stuck over a Ford label on the box. The box is even Ford. No secrets there.

Look at parts for just about anything and you'll go AHHH, that's who makes it for them. For example Eaton makes many washing machine controls. But, Eaton doesn't sell to the public, they would only make on the OEM level. In this case, they are selling thousands of these to the likes of Whirlpool and Maytag...but I digress.

My advice to you:

1) Do as Mike stated.
2) Repeat #1.
3) One more time for good measure.

You're probably where Mike was many years ago with getting started (Sorry Mike, I'm dating you here...lol), so I'd stick with his advice!

Mike: You should have told me about the bearings and belts. I have sources for those .

 
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05-22-03, 05:40 AM   #6  
mikejmerritt
I meant to mention something about aftermarket parts that I have noticed. There are options, say in the blade department, for a given mower that go beyond what the OEM parts offer. I can get 5 different blade sets for a Murray 38" rider. Stock OEM style, sand blade low lift, high lift, high lift heavy duty and Gator Mulcher. All of Oregons blades are 1/3 thicker and 20% harder than the OEM offering and I see the difference in the extra mowing you can get from from Oregon blades. The Gator Mulcher costs just slightly more than a Murray OEM set at Lowes. I have had regulars (pro yard services) going through a set of Murray blades every couple of months. After going to the Gator Mulcher I may only sell him one set of blades a season but he's back in for everything else. Anyone who mulches should try a Gator blade, they are awsome. Point of this blade diatribe is aftermarket parts are not cheap imitations. Oregon, Stens and Silver Streak (now swallowed up by Oregon) offer quality, competitive prices and extra options.

Joe, that Mazda deal was well before we started helping one another with projects. On that subject, I later found that I could get that 55.00 bearing from Mazda, 35.00 at Ford and the next step was 22.00 at industrial supply. Same bearing, same box, different prices. Its 22.00 if you use it on a wallpaper making machine and 55.00 if you use it on a Mazda. Pays to have friends like Joe and do your homework....Mike

 
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05-22-03, 06:40 AM   #7  
Joe_F
Lol. Thanks Mike. Same in return. That is what it's all about. We're here to try to help each other and learn something in the process and share our respective expertise.

 
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