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Anyone web order parts regularly?

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Due to lack of local parts inventory, price matching games, and b.s. clerical errors from vendors I'm tempted to just order all my parts from Amazon or another online wholesaler. The prices are the lowest, there's no denying that. Most PRIME parts arrive the next morning, quicker than waiting for a parts store order. The only issue is with warranty problems but I'm so frustrated with warranty labor claims I won't even go there. If you are in a major population area I'm sure you don't have this problem but in rural areas I'm sure I'm not the only one with a problem. I can't even get brake pads the same day unless I want to use store brand garbage. Today's example is a window switch for a Colorado. $275 from the national chains, 1-2 days away. $125.00 from Amazon, next day shipping (free). Same exact Door-Man part. That's $150 cheaper. I compared fuel pumps, wheel bearings, electrical parts. All are at least 50% less than the locals, apples to apples comparison (same part #) My feelings are if the customer can wait I can make exactly the same money and at the same time save my customer money, in some cases it's hundreds. What are your thoughts?

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air filtration

When I have a job quoted and scheduled and can buy considerable cheaper online, I will buy online and send the savings to the bottom line. I don't worry about getting it warrantied, I just deal with it if necessary. When the GP % is up there, you tend not to be concerned with eating a part every now and then.

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I buy a ton of parts, shop supplies and such on Amazon. Prime shipping is great, and most times, especially on a hard to find part, is faster than the stealership. As far as returns go, I've really only had to return a couple of parts, but the process was easy, quick and painless both times. They shipped out a replacement part, packed with an RMP and I shipped the wrong/defective part back in the same box! I once returned a hard to find a/c compressor because the customer bailed on the job. They accepted the return, no questions asked and I got a full refund. So far, I can't report a negative experience with Amazon. As far as profit goes, I tend to pass the savings down the line to my customers. I meet my margins just fine and everybody wins.

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Along with what has been said already(I also agree with!):


Can't beat the quality for the buck online - USUALLY.


I'd go for it every chance I have - specially when you are dealing with the best stuff - DELPHI / DENSO / NGK / MOOG / MOPAR etc etc (varies with every situation of course - sometimes after market beats OEM and vice versa)


Labor claims are BS hassle anyways - none of us has time for that if your time is worth anything with daily activities slamming you - just build your warranties into it - especially if you are a shop like most that charge DOUBLE over the counter rate. I don't feel right doing that, which is why I've created my system for how and where and when I get parts.


If you are using good quality gear - warranties should be rare. You build that into the cost up front so you are always ready to provide maximum CUSTOMER SERVICE.


If you have the time to blow versus what's on the shelf, can't be beat.


Some exceptions - such as if you are doing labor claims with local part store, or warranty is worth the extra money having ZERO online versus LIFETIME locally in many cases. Lifetime warranty at Autozone - with them being available usually the most hours is who I go with.


Time is main factor for me - I can't risk ordering parts online unless I'm sure the rig is getting done with us, so I may require parts payment up front if customer wants to save a few bucks - I make a few more bucks - win win versus local parts.


Some parts you can guesstimate chance of failure. Such as getting a MOOG wheel bearing on amazon/rockauto/ebay verse local to save 50%+.


My strategy - being a Small time - 2-man show. - 1st - Autozone, Oreilly, NAPA if in a hurry(depending on part of course, case by case) then eBay/Amazon/RockAuto, etc.


Any shop not doing this is being wasteful and inefficient - but again most are charging DOUBLE over the counter rates - so they don't care - unless work is slow then they have time to burn waiting.


Good luck whatever you choose!

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Buying online can be risky. Each year billions of $ worth of counterfeit parts are sold. Remember Amazon, Ebay etc. allow any business to sell on their website. There is no way to know if the Moog, Denso, or even Dorman parts you order are real. Companies overseas are copying parts, boxes etc to match the original and then they end up on the internet. I buy parts online but usually its one supplier who I feel confident is using original parts suppliers. Buying from the cheapest supplier or using a website that allows anonymous suppliers is just asking for trouble. As far as labor reimbursement from local parts suppliers its a sad story today. Just a couple years ago 1 year warranty was the standard. Today its 90 days. I do understand their reluctance to warranty parts because as you know ost parts today are junk!

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Well fellows, here at our shop, it's not all about the profit for us. It is about the type of service we provide to the person paying our wages and providing our income. We only buy online in extreme emergency. Most of our customers would try and go elsewhere if we constantly told them that the part would not be here till tomorrow or so. Furthermore, we here want service after the sale. That is one principle we consistently operate by. When I need labor for a warranty part, I can get it because I have a good relationship with our vendors. Will Amazon or Ebay give us labor? Probably not. If our customers want online parts - let them get the parts and pay us a much higher labor rate for installation without any warranty.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm in a shopping center and Napa is 2 doors down from me.... Advance Auto Parts is 5min away, Autozone is across the street, Oreilly's is also right across the street. I'm used to getting all my parts within 15min or less. But yes, parts on Amazon are so much cheaper. I've ordered parts on Amazon for bigger jobs where the car has to stay at the shop for a week. It's a pain though when the parts are wrong or parts are defective.

I've thought about pre-ordering parts for future appointments but the thought of a no-show keeps me from doing so

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