Online vs Brick-n-Mortar Parts Stores

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cgrey8
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Online vs Brick-n-Mortar Parts Stores

Post by cgrey8 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:55 am

Here's an interesting opinion piece I ran across and just thought I'd share.
Why The Auto Parts Retailers Will Slowly Go Extinct

I initially read that title and immediately formed an opinion of what I thought the article was going to be about. Then I read the piece with my preconceived expectation of what I thought I was going to read and was taken completely by surprise by how spot-on the author actually could be.

I have to admit, I buy from Amazon and would consider RockAuto for future parts needs..particularly if I don't need them "right now." In fact just a few months ago, I bought an Optima Redtop battery from Amazon for about $50 less (including shipping) than what I would've paid at AutoZone or Advance. And I'll continue to do this more and more particularly if the online service gets better, easier, faster, and more reliable.

My only reservation about buying NEW car parts online is warranty. The one thing I've had no problems at Autozone with has been getting LT warranty replacements of parts that I eventually just wore out. My daily driver is an 89 Ranger so being that old, there's a number parts on it that have been replaced multiple times (Ujoints, brakes, brake master cylinder, etc etc), of which I've only paid for them once because they had a LT warranty. So the moment I have to pay to mail back something heavy like an alternator, starter, or AC compressor in order to get it swapped for the right part, warranty replaced, or just plain returned, all my savings for using the online retailer are lost. And none, to my knowledge, offer FREE return shipping. So we'll have to see if these online retailers start offering FREE return shipping or some kind of pick-up service in lieu of traditional shipping for returns in order to get people to try them.

What are your thoughts?
...Always Somethin'

89 Ranger Supercab, 331 w/GT40p heads, ported Explorer lower, Crane Powermax 2020 cam, 1.6RRs, FMS Explorer (GT40p) headers, Slot Style MAF, aftermarket T5 'Z-Spec', 8.8" rear w/3.27s, Powertrax Locker, Innovate LC-1, GUFB, Moates QuarterHorse tuned using BE&EA

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sailorbob
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Re: Online vs Brick-n-Mortar Parts Stores

Post by sailorbob » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:50 am

I think that article misses one of the big reasons why Amazon is overtaking other vendors - its tax avoidance. In the UK it only paid £11.9 million in tax on £5.3 billion worth of sales. I try to shop ethically and won't use Amazon on principal.

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Re: Online vs Brick-n-Mortar Parts Stores

Post by cgrey8 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:39 am

Interesting. I hadn't considered the tax exemption aspect. But since you bring it up, I'll share my thoughts. Although I have to admit, I'm far more fiscally minded than civic minded when it comes to costs of things. When I buy stuff on eBay from companies (not individuals), I'll purposely look for sellers that are NOT in my state so I can avoid paying state sales tax. And any sellers that collect sales tax for their state anyway, I do take the time to look for a different vendor and purchase from them instead...assuming the final sale would be cheaper from the alternative vendor.

Interestingly, I agree with the sentiment that having a tax code that allows some people/businesses the unfair advantage of the waived sales tax obligation makes no sense and the out-of-state sales tax waiver provision in our tax code probably should be closed (I realize laws are different in the UK than here and I'm ignoring that for the time being). However until legislation to change the tax code occurs, I'll continue to find the cheapest price even if what makes the price cheaper is avoiding sales tax by buying from an out-of-state vendor. To me, it's no different than when I file my income taxes. I find every way I can to (legally) reduce my federal and state income tax burden. So if I do this in my own finances, I think it's in each and every company's best interest to do the same and use the tax code however they can, in whatever way they can to reduce their tax burden (again within the realm of what's legal) in order to make themselves as competitive as possible. I would even go so far as to say it's fiscally irresponsible for a company, particularly a publicly traded company with shareholders, to NOT do so.

Now from the ethical/moral/fairness standpoint, I tend to agree, there are often tax code exemptions (aka loopholes) that create unfair advantages and conditions or create consequences (often unintended) that were done on purpose, weren't foreseen, or just didn't exist at the time lawmakers initially put the provisions in place. And this is where political activism comes in. And your level of activism might just simply be who you vote for. However if you feel strongly enough against certain things, then lobby for the change(s) you want with your representative(s). Or maybe you prefer protesting by waiving signs, organizing marches, contributing/volunteering for a Political Action Group(PAC), scream in the streets with a bull-horn like a crazy person, or possibly start a riot-or-two...or whatever it is the kids are doing these days.

But in the meantime as long as it's legal and I can take advantage, it makes no sense to me not to. But that's just my opinion and how I see things. Feel free to disagree with me, I won't be offended...just extend me the same courtesy.
...Always Somethin'

89 Ranger Supercab, 331 w/GT40p heads, ported Explorer lower, Crane Powermax 2020 cam, 1.6RRs, FMS Explorer (GT40p) headers, Slot Style MAF, aftermarket T5 'Z-Spec', 8.8" rear w/3.27s, Powertrax Locker, Innovate LC-1, GUFB, Moates QuarterHorse tuned using BE&EA

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Re: Online vs Brick-n-Mortar Parts Stores

Post by jsa » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:29 pm

In Oz we are ripped a new one on retail parts at local oulets.

Recent example, a starter motor for my work ute ranged from $267 to over 500 at b&m. Online was around 180 at tax paying online suppliers.

A particular USA sourced gearbox oil was in hand for less than any suitable equivalent locally, by a greater margin than any tax difference. Should not be possible due to small vs large quantity logistic costs.

Serpentine belts a lot less delivered from the UK than going to pick up at a local parts store.

People often say it must be expensive maintaining the Cossie in Oz, but international parts for it are cheaper than shopping trolley parts locally.
Cheers

John

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Re: Online vs Brick-n-Mortar Parts Stores

Post by cgrey8 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:48 am

BTW, I wasn't trying to turn this into a social or political thing...and I'm probably partly to blame for that since I tend to elaborate more than most people want to read.

But my original intent was to get a feel for whether others still buy new/reman automotive repair parts exclusively from local parts retailers or if online automotive parts sales are actually becoming more norm.
...Always Somethin'

89 Ranger Supercab, 331 w/GT40p heads, ported Explorer lower, Crane Powermax 2020 cam, 1.6RRs, FMS Explorer (GT40p) headers, Slot Style MAF, aftermarket T5 'Z-Spec', 8.8" rear w/3.27s, Powertrax Locker, Innovate LC-1, GUFB, Moates QuarterHorse tuned using BE&EA

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Re: Online vs Brick-n-Mortar Parts Stores

Post by EDS50 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:25 pm

cgrey8 wrote:
Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:48 am
BTW, I wasn't trying to turn this into a social or political thing...and I'm probably partly to blame for that since I tend to elaborate more than most people want to read.

But my original intent was to get a feel for whether others still buy new/reman automotive repair parts exclusively from local parts retailers or if online automotive parts sales are actually becoming more norm.
For me, it mostly depends on my immediate need. If I am stuck with my daily driver and it requires immediate repairs, I use local auto parts houses to get back up and running quickly. If its for my secondary vehicle or race car then I can take advantage of the online vendors and pricing since I don't need those items right away. I guess what it comes down to is if I am in immediate need of a part saving a few bucks vs my time goes out the window since my time is more valuable. If I can wait then Ill wait and save a few bucks.
1992 LX - 25.1c Chassis, Vortech Blown Dart 332, Lentech Trans, TRZ Backhalf, A9L, Moates QH/SL v1.9, BE, EA, TunerView

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Re: Online vs Brick-n-Mortar Parts Stores

Post by bamaFoxJuan » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:01 am

I did mechanic work for a shop in a small town for about 4 years. The only way he would not need a part store, is if he went out of business.

There are just too many times when something could be one seal or the other. Or this brake pad or that one. They also delivered the parts and picked up whichever part we didn't use. shoot, at one time, I could look at the vin on your car and have a key made for it. Didn't matter what kind of car it was. Chevy, Ford, VW, Merecedes, I could get it with just a vin. Granted it wasn't an Eleanor or something classic.

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Re: Online vs Brick-n-Mortar Parts Stores

Post by Gaeth » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:54 am

That's an interesting article indeed. Just like you, I've formed my opinion prior to reading. It was much more favorable to online stores after, I have to admit.

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