For Canadians: Sending back parts and cores to Rock Auto

A lot of the Canadians on this board use Rock Auto for auto parts. I really like their prices, even with shipping to Canada. They have the border crossing thing figured out and even their website can be configured to quote prices in Canadian dollars. One question that arises is how expensive is it to return parts or cores.

Parts

Keep in mind everything is done on their website. You do not get to talk with anyone. If a part is not the proper one or you think its defective, you let them know on their user friendly website and if they actually want the part back (sometimes they don't want it back), they send you an Email with a pre-paid label for Fedex that you print out and attach to the original packing and send it back in. The address to send the part back is in Washington State for the power steering pump I was thinking of sending back. One time I was going to send back a defective shock but they told me to keep it and sent me another.

Cores

Cores are treated a bit differently. When you are ready to send the core back, you indicate it on the website and they send you a label for Fedex but they will deduct $25 from your core return. If that sounds good, you hit accept and then print the label and attach it to the core return box they provide when they shipped you the item such as a power steering pump. The core went back to Washington State. I took the box to my local Fedex counter at the Staples office supply store and they accepted the box without any weirdness and printed me a Drop-Off Confirmation. I'm not sure if the location varies. I live in BC so I'm wondering if that's how they chose the Washington State location which is next door across the border.

What if you change your mind

I was going to send back a PS pump because I thought it had a screwed up thread, but finally got the hose attached just fine. I already had the Fedex label. I was able to cancel it on their webite and then hit the button to return the core. They then send me the message with the core return Fedex label to print.

All this without speaking to anyone.

So basically if you want to send a core back to Rock Auto from Canada, you have to pay for the shipping but I found the savings were still worth it overall. Hope this helps my fellow Hosers.

Snag
 
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144
Location
Ontario, Canada
Just a heads up, Paypal Canada has a free return shipping program to encourage users to pay with Paypal.

It's the best thing ever.

https://www.paypal.com/ca/webapps/mpp/for-you/shop/refunded-returns/activated

You'll see in the middle of that page: "You have to join the Return Shipping on Us program before you can make a claim. Join for free."

It allows up to 12 claims a year, each claim up to $30CAD.

It would have covered this core refund since RockAuto accepts Paypal. If ever you're not provided with a prepaid label, you can create a shipping label yourself by buying discounted FedEx/UPS labels from eshipper.com or netparcel.com
 
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16,651
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Silicon Valley
I always wonder how the online "core return" works. Do you pay the shipping? Do they reject you if you send the wrong "core"? Do you send them a proof via tracking number only? What if you send an empty envelope with tracking?

Why don't they have a core exchange business so you can return your core locally to one of their affiliate or recycle center? I'm sure they all end up on the same bin to Mexico or China for A1 Cardone.
 
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3,682
Location
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
I don't know how close to the border you are (not that it matters much at this point in time) but it might be worth a few minutes drive to get to the U.S. with your core returns and ship from there. It would also save you a **bundle** if you could find a FedEx customer counter in the U.S. you could get to and just have your RA shipments sent there... Once the border is open again, of course.
 

Snagglefoot

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8,317
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SE British Columbia, Canada
I don't know how close to the border you are (not that it matters much at this point in time) but it might be worth a few minutes drive to get to the U.S. with your core returns and ship from there. It would also save you a **bundle** if you could find a FedEx customer counter in the U.S. you could get to and just have your RA shipments sent there... Once the border is open again, of course.
Good point. I sometimes use the Fedex in Eureka, Montana. About a two hr drive from here in Cranbrook. However, I’d have to find out how I can change that because the return shipping label was provided to me with an automatic price deduction in the core refund. In this case the core refund was supposed to be $75 and they are going to deduct $25.

The Eureka thing works for me because it is a 1 hr detour on my normal trip to Calgary from Cranbrook. If I make sure I am low on gas when I coast into Eureka ( downhill) I can buy up to 36 gallons ( if my tank was empty) of gas and pick up a cheap six pack of that watery beer. ;)
 

Snagglefoot

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SE British Columbia, Canada
I would definitely like to hear from anyone who has used the Pay Pal thing to return a core. Keep in mind everything with Rock Auto seems to be done without pesky humans in the information flow. ;)
 
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Snagglefoot

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Messages
8,317
Location
SE British Columbia, Canada
I always wonder how the online "core return" works. Do you pay the shipping? Do they reject you if you send the wrong "core"? Do you send them a proof via tracking number only? What if you send an empty envelope with tracking?

Why don't they have a core exchange business so you can return your core locally to one of their affiliate or recycle center? I'm sure they all end up on the same bin to Mexico or China for A1 Cardone.
Not I sure how the USA customers do it. My shipping cost was deducted directly from the core refund amount. They had a “ core box “ which was a box within a box that the new one was shipped in. The core box had a label of the exact description of the PS pump I was supposed to return. I suppose someone at the other end could hit the “problem” button if someone tried to be dishonest.
 
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144
Location
Ontario, Canada
I would definitely like to hear from anyone who has used the Pay Pal thing to return a core. Keep in mind everything with Rock Auto seems to be done without pesky humans in the information flow. ;)

no human interaction required if making a paypal shipping claim.

you sign in, go to the transaction, and there will be an option that says "file a return shipping claim"

then you either upload a receipt that shows you paid for shipping or you upload proof that RockAuto deducted $25USD from your return because they provided you with the label

after a few days, paypal sends a payment into your account
 
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Snagglefoot

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SE British Columbia, Canada
One more thing. Rock Auto also sends an image of a “Commercial Shipping Label” which you print and place in a clear openable plastic envelope on the outside of the box. That way if the customs folks check the box they know it’s a core return and duty is not applicable. I’ve said before that Rock Auto has totally figured out the border crossing issues and made shipping across the border totally transparent to Canadian customers. :)
 

Snagglefoot

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8,317
Location
SE British Columbia, Canada
Quick update. My PS core made it back to the depot in Washington State. I received the $75 core price minus the pre-agreed upon $25 deduction described in an Email. I had chosen it to be applied as a store credit as I buy a lot and just felt it was easier. All good. The PS pump has quieted down after going lock to lock a few times each day. Overall a good experience. :)
 
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