New dealership rip-off

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Aug 2, 2002
Norwich CT
I bought an 06 Civic from Manchester Honda in CT in January.
One of the "perks" for buying there was 3 free oil changes. While waiting for the service dept to do its thing yesterday I went to the parts department ro get an air filter element as none are yet available in the aftermarket. I checked the dealership's website prior to my visit and the element was listed at $13 and change. Fair enough I thought. At the dealership the parts guy told me the price at the dealership was $19.60 (or so). When I informed him of the price on the internet, he would not honor it saying that was the internet only price and I would have to pay $8.95 shipping to get the lower price-he went on to say they have many customers from other states as well as Puerto Rico and the price is attractive to them. I asked him if this was my reward for patronizing the dealership and being a loyal customer. He simply shrugged his shoulders. I left without the filter. Additionally, they charge 30 cents a piece for the drainplug washers. While not a huge expense, I was figuring on about a dime a piece. Does anyone know a valid reason why they would charge so much more for the filter when you are there in person?
Went to the Kawasaki Stealership to get drain plug washers for my 1993 ZX-11D (which they produced for 9 or so years) and found the alloy crush washers were $0.30 each, in beautiful plastic bags, PN# so-and-so, marked as "Made in Japan", etc. Thought this was pretty stiff but I bought all 3 they had (takes 2 per oil change)...

Went to NAPA (Just to check?)and the same size crush washers were $1.09 each!

What bites even worse than that, is you can go to 3 different dealer parts counters and get 3 different prices!

I just checked on the Internet for your filter and found a price of 17.38 from Foreign Car Parts on Line. Rock Auto has it for 18.84. So your dealer isn't that bad to be buying your air filters from. Remember the above prices don't include shipping.
thanks for the reasearch ALS. my point is how can they sell the same filter for $6 less to "strangers" while charging a premium to their "loyal" customer?
WOOCHO, I do not know how Toyota's parts system is orginized and priced. I do know from 5 years of working for GMSPO how their system is set up. You see when a dealership orders a part from GM the price for shipping is already built into the price of the part. GM does not charge a seperate shipping fee in addition to the price of the part. So when the dealer orders parts he can use his address on file or he can specify an "Alternate Ship To" address.

Now if a dealership has a web site like "GMPARTSDIRECT" he can sell to you at his cost wich is usualy 1/2 the price you are charged at the dealership. But how is he going to make any money on the sale if he does that?????He charges you shipping that is already paid for. They actualy make up a false shipping charge in lew of marking the part up. This does not bother anyone becasue they think it is a legitamate charge. They think the part is shipping from the dealership. What they do not know is that the parts were simply blind shipped from the GMSPO wharehouse's and that the shipping was already built into the price of the part.

I am almost sure that this is also what that Toyota Dealership is doing. The are useing either trade price "price that is 30% less then list for local mechanics" or their own cost to get the sale. Then they are tacking on a make belive shipping charge to make up the difference between the cost of the part and the profit margin they want to see on it! To someone in Hawaii for example $6-$8 for shipping would sound reasonable. So in order to make this type of system work for you volume is needed. You need to order 3-4 filters and maybe 3-4 oil filter at the same time. This way you only get the fake shipping charge once not on each item!
Ever buy parts from JC Whitney??
Prices are pretty good, but the S/H is a killer.
What the don't make on the price, they clip you on shipping and handling.
Remeber PT Barnum?
Johnbrowning, I could see that shipping thing working for special order stuff but maintenance items and regularly stocked replacmement parts should come on a weekly pallet on the slow boat like walmart gets. Or is zero-inventory the new buzzword?
I guess I'll stop complaining about the washers! Thanks for the insight into the fake shipping charges. I guess I'll wait for fleetfilter to stock the part and buy a bunch from him.
Everyone complains about shipping but its more that the actual shipping of the product that cost money. It cost money for packaging materials, scales, software, UPS labels printers and fees, personal and the overall operation of a Shipping dept.

I have bought parts from GM parts direct and the parts never came from a GM parts warehouse other than GM parts direct. I know that from the shipping label.
walmart does this too, you find something for $10 to $20 less on their site and they tell you it's an "online only" price even though it is an item that does not have the "online only" icon next to it... needless to say I now pay $10 to $20 more and shop at target where they understand english. Hopefully you get all 3 changes out of the deal.

How would we like it if everybody had uniform pricing (i.e. monopoly)? Not I.


Does anyone know a valid reason why they would charge so much more for the filter when you are there in person?

I didn't answer your question correctly above:
Because of capitalism, the dealship online price must compete with the others on;ine that are working out of their mom's garage with zero overhead, thus their online price is lower.

Because of supply and demand, the in-store price is higher. They have the supply, you have the demand. The next closest supply might be 5 miles away, is it worth it to you to drive 5 miles to save $7? Perhaps, the clerk should have offered the filter to you at $2 or so over the online price...I personally would have gone for that price.
My 05 Civic air filter is about $25.00 at the dealership. It seems like a quality product. I think $25.00 is a fair price. They even put it on for free and let me watch so I would know how to do it the next time if I choose to do so. Changing an air filter isn't as simple as unscrewing a wingnut as in the past.

thanks for the reasearch ALS. my point is how can they sell the same filter for $6 less to "strangers" while charging a premium to their "loyal" customer?

Because they recoup the difference in charging an $8.95 S&H fee for a part that probably costs $2-3 to ship.


Because they recoup the difference in charging an $8.95 S&H fee for a part that probably costs $2-3 to ship.


You haven't checked actual shipping prices lately, have you. A 10# package going from central Iowa to Colorado is over $10 via UPS.

Granted, many commercial businesses get a discounted rate. However your "$2-3" price range hasn't been realistic for quite some time.

That $10 price does not include packaging or insurance if the value is greater than $100.
Here's one for ya....Apparently there is a specific type (size) of automotive fuse that is fairly new to the market, and hard to find (in Dallas, anyway). Unfortunately, my 2006 Nissan Frontier is loaded with them. It's called a 'low profile mini', even smaller than the 'mini' fuse you find in modern cars. I needed to buy a dozen or so and couldn't find them in stock at ANY electronic store in the Dallas area except one, which would be about a 45 minute drive. So, I bit the bullet and went to Courtesy Nissan. The electronic store wants $0.34 each, plus $7 to ship them to me via UPS (ripoff...they could send them via USPS for $2 - $3 in a tiny envelope). Get this...Courtesy Nissan charged me $11.41 for three fuses. That's over $3.50 per fuse plus tax!!! More than 1000% markup from retail prices at an electronics store! So, I either drive 90 miles round trip to pick them up in Mansfield, (around $10 in gas) pay UPS shipping from Mansfield, or pay Courtesy's outrageous markup. Talk about being bent over from every angle. If dealerships wonder why I don't come to them for parts or's their answer.
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