Auto part store policies. Who makes these stupid decisions?

Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
520
Location
Oklahoma
I've been to countless part stores due to a busy deal week. During this week of store visits, I've seen two policies that I just cannot wrap my head around.

Policy #1 - O'Reilly. Whenever a product (in my scenario, a 2.5 gallon jug of 15W-40) has even the *tiniest* leak (was leaking through the foil seal at the top, barely a few drops), it must be immediately removed from the floor and disposed of (poured into the used oil container). It cannot be cleaned up and sold, cannot be sold at a discount, cannot be given to a commercial account/customer, cannot be even be donated to a good cause. Just disposed. This is what I was told from a manager who I know for sure bends rules and hates waste.

Policy #2 - Advance. Whenever a product goes on clearance and doesn't move (seen oil before, but this time it was oil filters), it is disposed of and/or destroyed. Same as above, cannot be sold, cannot be given to a commercial account, cannot even be donated to a non-profit. Advance takes it a step further and makes it well known that anyone who does not needlessly and wastefully destroy the items will be terminated on the spot. There have been several times I've offered to pay a very fair price (several dollars when an item is marked for their infamous 5 cents), offered to pay retail, even offered to take them to a known legit non-profit auto repair place for them with proof. Nope. So I got to watch an employee destroy about 75 oil filters with a hammer... It was actually somewhat rage-inducing knowing that someone in real need could have used one. A simple thing like a free oil filter so they could get to work to better themselves could have made their entire week brighter. Or when AAP recently got rid of all of their Carquest brand oils. Instead of destroying both, you could have donated both the oil and filters that didn't sell to a willing local garage and done free oil changes. Could have been to seniors, college students, people in tough places...pick a demographic. Not only would it not be wasteful, but the publicity could have been amazing for business.

Instead, it's destroy it or you're fired. Nice. Am I the only one who gets extremely irritated with stupid policies like these?
 
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N. Georgia Mtns
I just saw a news video of the disposal of brand new, unopened ventilators that were produced at the beginning of the Covid 19 scare last year. Dumped in a landfill waiting to be covered over. Link below.

 
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
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Litchfield, Ohio
When I worked at Oreally we disposed of leaking oil containers into our vehicles. Our manger was a sensible individual though.

My local HVAC supply house is probably worse. They get a ton of scratch and dent stock built up after awhile. They have one day where they put it out in the parking lot for sale at a slightly cheaper price than what it normally goes for. If the equipment doesn't sell it goes straight into the scrap dumpster. Thousands of dollars of equipment just going to waste. Its sad.
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2018
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Great Lakes
O’reilly’s policy makes more sense than Advance’s. Yes, I’m sure someone out there would happily take that leaky jug at a discount or free, but that’s a huge potential liability problem for them. People would happily sue of there was something wrong with that oil and it wrecked an engine or whatever, and they’d likely win or O’reilly would settle with them to avoid a full blown court battle. A very unlikely scenario, but it’s probably happened before thus the ridiculous rule they have in place.

Advance destroying good filters though… just wasteful.
 
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Sep 30, 2013
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Indiana
When I worked at Oreally we disposed of leaking oil containers into our vehicles. Our manger was a sensible individual though.

My local HVAC supply house is probably worse. They get a ton of scratch and dent stock built up after awhile. They have one day where they put it out in the parking lot for sale at a slightly cheaper price than what it normally goes for. If the equipment doesn't sell it goes straight into the scrap dumpster. Thousands of dollars of equipment just going to waste. Its sad.
I used to work at an Oreilly as well. I could see both managers allowing the same, but they also trusted us enough to not damage stuff just to be able to take it home either. Maybe they don’t want to sell a leaking jug to a customer for liability purposes?


I’ve heard of AAP not selling the clearance oil to people and just dumping it. Takes more effort to dump it than to sell it to a costumer. That one I don’t get. Our “local” AAP is no longer btw. They left 6 months to a year ago. I don’t get up that way too often anymore.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
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Company policies are a way to expose the whiners and complainers in society.

The stores don't have to space to keep non moving product around on shelves till they are sold. I don't blame them.

There will always be someone to blame the store for their engine blowing from using a leaky, possibly contaminated jug of oil or an old oil filter. Sounds silly but there are people out there that would try and pull such a stunt.

I am sure these discarded products are recycled in some way.
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2003
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ME
Maybe it’s to prevent shoppers from only looking for cheap clearance oil.
Yup, this!

Back in the Great Depression they dumped potatoes into the river that wouldn't sell and posted armed guards. They wanted to maintain demand and prevent a race to the bottom where stuff wouldn't sell for the price it took to make it, let alone at a profit.

This also keeps customers from coming in and "sabotaging" oil containers then whining to the clerk "look it's leaking-- give me half off."

It may also be on the oil bottler to provide stock that doesn't leak, so if there is a problem with the container before sale, it's actually Shell who writes off the loss, not the store.
 
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Back in the Great Depression they dumped potatoes into the river that wouldn't sell and posted armed guards. They wanted to maintain demand and prevent a race to the bottom where stuff wouldn't sell for the price it took to make it, let alone at a profit.

This also keeps customers from coming in and "sabotaging" oil containers then whining to the clerk "look it's leaking-- give me half off."

It may also be on the oil bottler to provide stock that doesn't leak, so if there is a problem with the container before sale, it's actually Shell who writes off the loss, not the store.

Like the scene from All in the Family when Archie Bunker was at the grocery store, learned dented food cans sell for less and decided to dent one.
 

AutoMechanic

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When my dad worked at the scrapyard hauling scrap he got a bunch of the Autocraft tools from Advance Auto because they were replacing them with the TEQ Pro and the Autocraft didn’t sell in the time they needed it to so they brought everyone of them to the scrapyard. My dad grabbed up a bunch of them outside the gate before the truck loaded with them got inside and came in because they weren’t allowed to grab stuff from the pile. I think it’s ridiculous.
 
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Ha-ha. In Costco I spotted coffee bean bags which had been cut. They had not begun to spill.
I flagged over an employee (who was on a cleaning machine) and showed him, again, before the beans spilled out and made a mess.
When the employee got close enough to see I said solicitously, "Hey, you get to take these bags home now"

"Yeah, right", was his response.
 
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Many businesses operate this way. A big Silicon Valley company bought a smaller company and commenced the merge. The guy in charge just threw away so much perfectly good stuff, including notebooks, servers, network equipment and software. Hundreds of thousands of dollars, I imagine. But he got the job done quickly. Flat out stupid and wastefull.

Of course later when some of this stuff was needed, especially the software, it was gone.
 
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Oct 17, 2014
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SW Ontario Canada
Remember when you'd see a warning in a book or paperback that if the cover was missing, it was a illegitimate book that should have been returned to the publishing house as unsold stock.

Manufacturers build into their pricing an allowance for either defective or un-saleable product, but it does get stupid at times.
 
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I knew someone who worked in a auto parts warehouse a long time ago. The warehouse decided to replace their shelving as part of a earthquake upgrade. They dismantled the old shelving and stacked it out back.

Many of the employees came back to get some of the old shelving as it was in great shape. Nice thick steel. When management discovered that they had the employees bend the shelving to render it useless.

My old garage had a ten foot long three height shelving made from that old stuff. It’s likely still there.
 
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It is all about the possibility of liability, when I worked at restaurant we threw so much food to the dusmpster that it was a shame.
 
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Ohio
Liability, shady customers, accounting practices, etc...

1) Customer buys this marked-down oil knowing full well the situation. Customer uses the oil, has engine problems, and sues O'Reilly claiming something was wrong with it. Buying it at markdown does not waive the customer's rights either.

2) At the corporate level, those items were written off their books. They have to be disposed of and can't be used in any shape or form because if the company benefits (a perk for employees, giving them to a commercial account in return for 'more' business, and so on), that can be construed as fraud. Will they get caught ? Very unlikely but in that rare instance when they do, it will cost them MUCH more than $50 worth of oil filters.
 
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Aug 11, 2016
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new jersey
I used to work at an Oreilly as well. I could see both managers allowing the same, but they also trusted us enough to not damage stuff just to be able to take it home either. Maybe they don’t want to sell a leaking jug to a customer for liability purposes?


I’ve heard of AAP not selling the clearance oil to people and just dumping it. Takes more effort to dump it than to sell it to a costumer. That one I don’t get. Our “local” AAP is no longer btw. They left 6 months to a year ago. I don’t get up that way too often anymore.
i had a AAP induced incident yesterday, on thier web page it shows a Special offer(clearance) offers, so i wanted to buy 2 clearance items nothing special it was a HVAC vent cleaner deodorizer, called the store who had stock and said they could order 2 more for me makes 3 i said order all you can get i'll take them, next day i called they only had 2 for me, fine i'l take them. went out of my way to drive farther to this store to get them, the counter guy rings them up and they arent clearance priced? i said run the part # youll see that they are clearanced, he says that online prices, and store prices are different?? but before i had them ordered the same store told me they were on clearance, i said yes i'll take whatever you got and can order. so the moral of the story is that they dont always honor prices listed on thier site which is total horsescrap
 
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