Parts guy

rat

Messages
361
Location
Michigan
How many of us either are currently, or have been parts people? I work in a Ford parts department in a fairly large dealer group in the Midwest. (We have 23 stores between Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and one in NY. I started in a autoparts discount chain store in 1992, got my first dealership parts job in 1996 at a GM/Mazda dealer. In my opinion, this business has gone downhill in the last 10 years. It used to be fun, now its just a mess. Am I alone?
 
Messages
15,022
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
Ford and Mazda for 11+ years. Things have become both easier and more difficult in my time. The back orders Ford has, especially on recalls, are out of control. Also I am not sure if it is everywhere or just where I am but customers have become extremely hostile.
 
Messages
1,104
Location
PA,US
Originally Posted By: bdcardinal
Ford and Mazda for 11+ years. Things have become both easier and more difficult in my time. The back orders Ford has, especially on recalls, are out of control. Also I am not sure if it is everywhere or just where I am but customers have become extremely hostile.
I've become a bit more... irritated with some service people. Its like they don't realize I can go online and see what the exact part they're quoting me costs. My local ford dealer just about doubles every part price. Then they act surprised when I say I'll order it online. I've said before I don't mind paying some one for good work, but don't try to rip me off on the parts price that I can easily find now. Do you know why the parts prices are inflated? Or is that not every dealer that does this?
 
Messages
2,694
Location
San Rafael, CA
Parts guy here. At a national retail chain, not the dealer. Customers are always gonna be customers but it seems like we get more hostile ones here than at the computer store inused to work at.
 
Messages
24,386
Location
Central Florida
Originally Posted By: rat
How many of us either are currently, or have been parts people? I work in a Ford parts department in a fairly large dealer group in the Midwest. (We have 23 stores between Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and one in NY. I started in a autoparts discount chain store in 1992, got my first dealership parts job in 1996 at a GM/Mazda dealer. In my opinion, this business has gone downhill in the last 10 years. It used to be fun, now its just a mess. Am I alone?
What exactly has gone done hill in the past decade ?
 

rat

Thread starter
Messages
361
Location
Michigan
Originally Posted By: HemiHawk
Originally Posted By: bdcardinal
Ford and Mazda for 11+ years. Things have become both easier and more difficult in my time. The back orders Ford has, especially on recalls, are out of control. Also I am not sure if it is everywhere or just where I am but customers have become extremely hostile.
I've become a bit more... irritated with some service people. Its like they don't realize I can go online and see what the exact part they're quoting me costs. My local ford dealer just about doubles every part price. Then they act surprised when I say I'll order it online. I've said before I don't mind paying some one for good work, but don't try to rip me off on the parts price that I can easily find now. Do you know why the parts prices are inflated? Or is that not every dealer that does this?
Simple. The dealer principles are greedy. We have a monthly goal to hit otherwise our pay suffers greatly.
 
Messages
35,459
Location
NY
I did it for a summer or two when I was in HS back in the 70's. This was long before computers, where parts had to be looked up in books, and bills written by hand. These stores were popular then, now they're pretty much extinct. They were real auto parts stores imo, where customers sat on stools while placing their orders, and the parts guys really knew the business. There are still a few good parts guys, but they're far and few in the parts store chains these days.
 
Messages
920
Location
D/FW Metroplex
Originally Posted By: HemiHawk
Originally Posted By: bdcardinal
Ford and Mazda for 11+ years. Things have become both easier and more difficult in my time. The back orders Ford has, especially on recalls, are out of control. Also I am not sure if it is everywhere or just where I am but customers have become extremely hostile.
I've become a bit more... irritated with some service people. Its like they don't realize I can go online and see what the exact part they're quoting me costs. My local ford dealer just about doubles every part price. Then they act surprised when I say I'll order it online. I've said before I don't mind paying some one for good work, but don't try to rip me off on the parts price that I can easily find now. Do you know why the parts prices are inflated? Or is that not every dealer that does this?
Some of that price difference may be due to the difference in quality. Yes, some parts can be had for less money, but they aren’t likely to be OE parts and thus not of the same quality. Nevertheless it sounds as though you believe the parts guy has some say about how much a part will be sold for. I would be stunned if that were the case. He probably doesn’t like trying to sell a part for 2x or 3x what it would cost elsewhere, but if that’s what the business says to charge, that’s what will be charged. Don’t take it personally.
 
Messages
12,829
Location
Indiana
I was for about a month 4 years ago before getting my last full time job. I really enjoyed it; the timing was just bad. I normally say I dislike people, but that just isn't the case. I really like people.. it's just the [censored] customers that made the job not so enjoyable. People are mad because they have to spend money. I only had a few good conversations with my customers during the time I was there. One was with a couple about my 'rents age. They didn't have any kids, but they were both restoring a Nova together. With me being a "car guy" though, I never really had a bad day. Always something and the employee discount was nice. 10% above store cost. Would have been worth keeping the job if they would have let me work 1 day weekly/ bi weekly w/ no holidays. The assistant manager, who is now the manager would have made the job interesting in a negative way. He'd always get too excited.
 
Messages
10,259
Location
MA
Originally Posted By: The_Nuke
Originally Posted By: HemiHawk
Originally Posted By: bdcardinal
Ford and Mazda for 11+ years. Things have become both easier and more difficult in my time. The back orders Ford has, especially on recalls, are out of control. Also I am not sure if it is everywhere or just where I am but customers have become extremely hostile.
I've become a bit more... irritated with some service people. Its like they don't realize I can go online and see what the exact part they're quoting me costs. My local ford dealer just about doubles every part price. Then they act surprised when I say I'll order it online. I've said before I don't mind paying some one for good work, but don't try to rip me off on the parts price that I can easily find now. Do you know why the parts prices are inflated? Or is that not every dealer that does this?
Some of that price difference may be due to the difference in quality. Yes, some parts can be had for less money, but they aren’t likely to be OE parts and thus not of the same quality. Nevertheless it sounds as though you believe the parts guy has some say about how much a part will be sold for. I would be stunned if that were the case. He probably doesn’t like trying to sell a part for 2x or 3x what it would cost elsewhere, but if that’s what the business says to charge, that’s what will be charged. Don’t take it personally.
I think he was referring to OEM online parts seller. I've noticed the same thing. I saw an MB part online which listed for $60, one MB dealer wanted $90 and the other wanted the $60, it was a radiator hose so I couldn't wait for the $35 online price and got it at the $60 guy. I also had to pick up a sensor, it was an $11 list price part online discounted to about $7. The dealer wanted $17 for it. Most OEM part sellers list the same list price and discount anywhere from 20-30%.
 
Messages
6,222
Location
KY
I blame the dealership management. I deal almost exclusively with BMWs, Minis, Mazdas, or Jeeps- and in each case there are more than a few dealers that have online parts stores. Fortunately my local BMW dealer offers a club discount so I usually buy from them. In contrast, I buy almost everything for the Clubman and Wrangler online- ditto for my MS3 when I had it. I don’t mind spending a couple of extra dollars to buy local, but when the price delta is 10% or more for an already pricey item, then going with the online dealer is a no- brainer.
 
Messages
46
Location
KY
Rat--- Explain this to me, as this happened at my local ford dealer the other day. I wondered if it was the dealership or the parts guy being greedy: My daughters car (focus) needed an engine mount. Found an OEM one online from a Ford dealer for $96 shipped to me. Aftermarket is $36 but didn’t want that. Fords list price is $130 at ford.com. Called the local dealer which is 30 miles away. They want $150 plus tax. Parts guy acts as if he is letting me have a great deal. I tell him it list for $130 and I expected to pay less than list as I would be paying cash. I also tell him all my vehicles came from that particular dealership. Parts guy tells me if I had a business account with them I could get a discount and it would be 20% off. Told the guy I wanted to keep my money local and would even drive to get the part but I was not paying that price. He tells me if I want it I will pay the $150 plus tax. I thank him for his time and hang up. I order the part online and 10 minutes later the parts guy calls me and ask if I want the part or not. I ask how much and he tells me $150. PI$$ED me off to no end. I tell him no as I just placed the online order and he hangs up on me. I still have not visited the dealership or bought anything from them. I figured if one dealership could sell it to me below Fords list price another could. I wasn’t asking for the $96 price just something below the $130 list price to make me feel good and keep my money local. It wasn’t like the $96 dealership was below any other stores price as it was an average price. I bought from them because they were close and had good ratings. I figured it was better to make a little money than none. So who was greedy here; The Dealership or the Parts Guy?
 
Messages
24,386
Location
Central Florida
Quote:
So who was greedy here; The Dealership or the Parts Guy?
Maybe the parts guy would get in trouble if he didn't follow the pricing listed on his computer for non account customers.. ?
 
Messages
36,257
Location
ME
Originally Posted By: aquariuscsm
It's called corporate greed.
That, and "do you need it today?" I lost a rocker arm pivot ball for my BIL's cavalier. It was $3.50 at Advance Auto tomorrow or $21 at the chevy dealer today. The chevy dealer would have made the sale, but they elected to not stock the part. So I got it from Advance. Chevy dealer claimed there were none in the state, "but I could order it for you". Yeah, pal, I can order it for me too.
 
Messages
10,259
Location
MA
I was at a Ford dealer once where a friend of mine needed a part that was in the $400 range but he didn't quite have it all and was moaning and groaning about the price and the parts guy knocked off 5% for him. He needed it right away so I didn't bother to look up the actual price online. So I guess it depends on the dealership and the parts guy.
 
Messages
801
Location
Under the hood
Originally Posted By: HemiHawk
I've become a bit more... irritated with some service people. Its like they don't realize I can go online and see what the exact part they're quoting me costs. My local ford dealer just about doubles every part price. Then they act surprised when I say I'll order it online. I've said before I don't mind paying some one for good work, but don't try to rip me off on the parts price that I can easily find now. Do you know why the parts prices are inflated? Or is that not every dealer that does this?
Gotta (not) love matrix pricing. Why do they do it? Because they can. Captive service customers have no choice. Most counter buyers have no clue. Service and parts contribute bigly to the dealership's bottom line. While it can be a hassle, there are plenty of dealers willing to sell parts online all day long at 15-25% off true factory MSRP, which provides some idea of what the margins are. But, that's tempered by not offering the same pricing to local customers. OEMs can pull out the "dealerships are independent businesses" line to brush off any complaints, but as franchisees, that's not completely true. However, they're not going to go there, rock the boat, and get into MAP, min or max, so it's business as usual. For many DIYers, that has rendered local dealer counters as last resorts or urgent-only options. Any planned, or routine items come from elsewhere. There is something to be said about supporting local businesses even if they many are owned by mega dealer groups now, and nobody is going to deny anyone trying to make a reasonable profit, but "reasonable" means different things to different people, and some of the markups are pretty outrageous and drive buyers elsewhere. The free market in play. All that said, a good parts guy can be invaluable. If they know their stuff, and how the system works, they can be big hassle, if not life savers. And, given the wiggle room in pricing, they can give you a break on that as well. So be nice to them, and hope that the ones who have been around for ages aren't replaced by green newbies who don't know their stuff, may not care, and won't stick around long just to collect a paycheck.
 
Messages
2,230
Location
Lyndhurst NJ
Also keep in mind these dealers have insane overhead, owning a small shop I know the costs and I can only imgine what they pay. That goes to pay the parts guy to dig that part number up for you, to pay for the computer hes typing on, for the internet hes connected to, the phone you called on, the electricity to keep the lights on. Not to mention insurance, workmans comp, the list goes on. These online parts places most times wont even touch that part theyre shipping to you, they pay the drop shipper to grab it, box it, and ship it. They run a website parts directory, mark it up maybe 5-10% over their cost (think of the deals at their volume) and are happy being the front to the parts supplier, whos loving this online catalog selling tons of parts all of a sudden. I dont agree at all with the inflated list prices, but again each dealer is allowed to set their pricing. A BMW dealer 3 miles from me is consistently 10% more than the BMW dealer 13 miles away, both in Bergen county NJ, yet the dealer in Manhattan is cheapest, even for a small shop like me that does a small volume of Genuine parts. However a smart consumer is an educated consumer, you do your HW and you get rewatded for your time. For most people its I need it order it.
 
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