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Watch out for auto parts pricing


hukre's Avatar
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11-23-04, 06:07 PM   #1  
Watch out for auto parts pricing

A large national chain of auto parts stores has a handy website where you can check availability of a part and its price. It also tells you where the nearest stores are. It turns out that the prices listed on the website are a lot lower than the retail price in the store for walk-in customers.
To take advantage of this, order the part over the website, then pick it up at the store you specified when you ordered it. If the part is in stock, you can pick it up at the parts counter one hour after you placed the order.
As an example: I called the store if they had a starter for my car. They said it was in stock and cost $ 87.99. The price on the website was $ 59.99. Together with a sales tax of 8.25%, I saved myself over $ 30, e.g. what you pay as a walk-in customer would have been roughly 47% more.

 
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11-23-04, 06:35 PM   #2  
I do enjoy sharing a little pricing strategy with DIY'ers. While there are several interesting points to share, I will my stick to this 'low price' topic. If you phone a parts store for a price, they will quote you the price of the product that 9 of 10 people end up buying. However, after they quote that price, if you ask them for their lowest price on the phone or at the counter, they will then also quote that lowest price, if indeed they carry it in a lower priced brand. In summary, ask for a price, then ask a second time for their lowest price.

This is not an endorsement of which is the better value. I merely state this for those that want the lowest price regardless of the product quality issues.

 
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11-23-04, 07:07 PM   #3  
I believe this qualifies as "Watch out for auto parts pricing"

Find out what else is included with the part
For Example:

Store A sells brake shoes for $20
You should always repace the springs and dap some grease on the points that touch the backing plate
These are included in the box w/the shoes

Store B sells brake shoes for $16
They don't even ask you if you want springs or grease
If you know enough to ask they are $6

Over the phone store B sounds better
So you're already there
So you over pay $2
Which wouldn't be so bad if you hadn't driven an extra 20min. to save $4

 
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11-24-04, 12:42 AM   #4  
I bought a serpentine belt yesterday. I just went to the website of the big chain store I got it from and noticed there were 3 different prices. Guess what, I was sold the most expensive one. The salesman was on the phone and handling another customer at the time so I didn't bother asking about prices. I haven't put the belt on yet....think I'll take it back. I'm not going to keep the car for much longer so I'll get the cheapest one. Thanks for the info everyone!

 
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11-24-04, 03:47 PM   #5  
Posted By: slickshift I
Store A sells brake shoes for $20
You should always repace the springs and dap some grease on the points that touch the backing plate
These are included in the box w/the shoes
Brake shoes NEVER have any type of springs or grease packaged with them. Spring hardware is pretty rarely changed, usually when there was some type of heat failure. The price difference is all in the brand name. Most major manufacturers have multiple levels of quality to choose from. You basically get what you pay for.

 
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11-24-04, 07:22 PM   #6  
Posted By: Desi501 Brake shoes NEVER have any type of springs or grease packaged with them. Spring hardware is pretty rarely changed, usually when there was some type of heat failure. The price difference is all in the brand name. Most major manufacturers have multiple levels of quality to choose from. You basically get what you pay for.
Yes, the brake shoes/pads I get from my favorite NAPA store come with a spring kit and a little package of grease or no-squeal when appropriate
I always replace the springs with the shoes

 
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11-24-04, 08:43 PM   #7  
I've been aware of this disparity in auto parts prices for years, mostly betyween suppliers and brands, but just recently I found one that really boggled my mind. - I needed a starter bendix for my 89 Aerostar and was looking for it in our biggest local parts store. The young guy at the counter told me it cost 18.95 but they couldn't get it till tomorrow. - So I asked him for the same part for Ford Ranger v6 and he had it - for 14.95 ! When I got the box , I noted the same part is used in a number of Fords , Mercurys and Jeeps . Just out of curiosity I asked him to look up a few other prices - they ranged from 13.95 to 24.95 for the SAME part. (highest was for a Jeep Wagoneer) Figure that out ??

 
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11-25-04, 09:09 AM   #8  
Posted By: slickshift Yes, the brake shoes/pads I get from my favorite NAPA store come with a spring kit and a little package of grease or no-squeal when appropriate
I always replace the springs with the shoes
You didn't say pads the first time, you said shoes. Shoes do not come with any spring hardware or grease. A quality set of pads on the other hand will come with shims and a silicone grease for the back. Some "top of the line", mosly ceramic, sets will come with the anti-rattle hardware also.

 
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11-25-04, 08:49 PM   #9  
wtfdissux
there are a few parts stores in my area that hate me walking in the door as they uphold the online price as long as i bring the print of the web page they told me that the online price does dot account for local availability or regonal price brakes from manufacturer

also to the guy that needed the bendix and found it was avail for many other makes models i have had that to it is really strange but it does happen now when i go parts shopping i ask for the one for my truck as well as the other ones i know are the same every now and then i find one cheaper

 
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11-26-04, 10:08 PM   #10  
I was looking for an alternator on xxxxxxx.com and found one store in my area had the part for 168.88 and other stores just a few miles away has the exact same part number for 149.99. One store has it for 152.99. (EDITED:Please don't mention names when comparing prices on companies.They could end up being a sponsor of the forum and helping us have this site.Davo)


Last edited by davo; 11-27-04 at 04:21 AM.
 
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11-27-04, 04:11 AM   #11  
This is called retail sales people.A store manager decides what to stock and how to price it depending on market area,customer satisfaction and expenses at the store location.One parts store may test modules,starters,alternators,read codes for you while another may not.That leads to expenses that have to be paid somehow.Maybe the store charges more because the employees have health coverage and another doesn't.Low cost China parts are readily available as can be seen by the United States decline drop in production of goods=unemployment of manufacturing jobs.It will get much worse though because China has the go ahead to dump cheap cars here so the parts should fit better on those. It will also feed the domino effect of our economy even more which by the way affects everyone eventually.

 
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11-27-04, 04:25 AM   #12  
Also the quality of parts
The remanufactured parts are (IMO) getting worse
I'm assuming they are shipped out in bulk for the cheap labor elswhere
It's to the point I'll only go to the dealer for alternators and starters
It's a lot more money but they are too important and can leave you stranded
The remans seem to have too high a failure rate
Lifetime warrantee wears thin after being stranded or changing the part 3 or 4 times

 
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