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Cheaper Parts versus buying from our Studebaker Vendors

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  • Cheaper Parts versus buying from our Studebaker Vendors

    I see comments in various threads about buying parts from various online stores instead of our vendors. As I am a CASO at heart I truly understand this. But there is something else we should all think about when we buy online from a non vendor. I am not talking about going to the corner FLAPS (if you can find one) and getting the part off their shelf. When you buy from a Studebaker Vendor 95% of the time you will get the part you need and not a generic part someone said should fit. Yes, our vendors are human and sometimes make mistakes!

    The thing we need to think about is all the parts our vendor have had reproduced that are not available online elsewhere. We are very fortunate to have such a high availability of good quality parts. I remember back when V8 wheel cylinders were so hard to find. One of our parts vendors went to Wagner and laid out a considerable amount of money out of their own pockets to have a run make. Parts manufacturers will generally not make say 10 wheel cylinders, but they will run say a 1000 of them. Not many of us can lay out the cash required to run 1000 of an item and let them sit on a shelf in warehouse space that also is costly until they are all sold. If the vendor did not have money for this, it would not get done. How do you think they do this?? That part you pay them $50 for and they make $25 on it, that $25 of profit is how they do it. From what I hear now, profit margins have lessened over what they use to be so my example is probably high but you get the point I hope.

    I have personally seen a master cylinder from an online vendor and compared it to one our vendors sell. I could personally see the difference in quality. I for one, do not want to risk anyone's life with an inferior product.

    If you ever get the chance to tour the facilities of one of our larger vendors, you may see a 20 foot set of shelves loaded down with say, piston sets. Ask yourself, how much money that vendor has tied up in the parts waiting for a customer and how much that footprint costs the vendor in floor space and taxes.

    If we all buy from online vendors, how is this going to affect our Studebaker vendors and their ability to reproduce other parts in the future?? Do you think a Rockauto is going to reproduce a piston for a champion engine??? I think not.

    My experience has been that our vendors do not buy parts from an online store and mark them up. They only buy quality products.

    The online world has affected even the major parts manufacturers like Standard and Napa etc. Most of them will carry two lines of parts like starting solenoids. They will have one that sells for say $15 to compete in the online world and another that sells for say $25 that is of better quality and which is sold to repair shops that want to provide quality repairs on customers cars. If I am buying a part from a Flaps I always try to buy the better quality part. I think most of our vendors will opt for the higher quality part also when ordering from their suppliers.

    Thanks for listening

    1947 Champion (owned since 1967)
    1961 Hawk 4-speed
    1967 Avanti
    1961 Lark 2 door
    1988 Avanti Convertible

    Member of SDC since 1973

  • #2
    Well said!!!
    1957 Studebaker Champion 2 door. Staten Island, New York.

    "Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think." -Albert Einstein


    • #3
      When we had our performance tire/wheel automotive repair business, we ALWAYS tried to get the best quality versus the cheapest. It was becoming more difficult as China became more dominant in the automotive aftermarket parts business. For example, we used to get rebuilt Chevy small block water pumps (cast iron) from a local re-manufacture and had virtually no problems or comebacks. They closed shop due to offshore competition. Once our main supplier shifted to offshore aluminum water pumps, the comebacks became rampant (they looked good initially out of the box) with massive corrosion, probably due to being made from recycled aluminum containing impurities and hence the porosity and leaks. I heartily agree with Milt on supporting our own vendors at every chance we encounter in our efforts to keep these 50+ year old Studebakers active and on the road.


      • #4
        I agree, besides, our vendors prices are not really out of line. I ordered an intake gasket for my 51 from Advance Auto Parts and ashamedly found it was cheaper from SI.


        • #5
          I try my best to buy as many parts as possible from our vendors. I appreciate having them available with quality parts AND knowledgeable about the part I actually need when sometimes I'm not real sure if it is this or that. I want to save a $$ just like everyone else but I also realize that by spending with our vendors I'm helping to insure we all continue to have this valuable resource.
          Thanks for posting!


          • #6
            In 5 years will a few bucks really matter. Support the vendors.


            • #7
              Water pumps for 289 are cheaper through SI. What I like are the kits and discounts. When I start I know I have the correct parts to finish.


              • #8
                Ditto Joe. I recently purchased one for my '57 Clipper from Chuck & Chris-Terrific service & price.
                Cheers, Bill


                • #9
                  I agree "WELL SAID" ! I have no desire to do the order/buy on line thingy,likely never will. I generally use Two Vendors when I need Studebaker Parts "that need to be what they need to be". though I do use local Parts Stores for little things in general.
                  Joseph R. Zeiger


                  • #10
                    I buy everything from vendors,mostly Myers.They can answer any questions I have unlike flaps or online.


                    • #11
                      There will always be people who buy on price alone. The idea of a quality product lasting longer and costing less in the long run is something they cannot grok.
                      RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                      17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
                      10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                      10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
                      4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                      5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
                      56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
                      60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RadioRoy View Post
                        .... grok.
                        It's been quite a while ago since hearing that term...
                        64 GT Hawk (K7)
                        1970 Avanti (R3)


                        • #13
                          I must agree with the premise of the thread. I recently got a nice new Carter fuel pump from Rich Gahlbeck, and it worked - unlike the crappy Airtex that failed out of the box

                          Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" |


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by showbizkid View Post
                            I must agree with the premise of the thread. I recently got a nice new Carter fuel pump from Rich Gahlbeck, and it worked - unlike the crappy Airtex that failed out of the box
                            I'll let you in on a little secret....Carter no longer manufactures these fuel pumps. For quite a while they were re-boxed - I think Blackstone? - but for the last couple of years they are re-boxed Airtex. The good news is that the more recently produced Airtex pumps seem to be much better. Once I recognized I was paying more for a Airtex pump in a Carter box, I just bought Airtex in an Airtex box.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RadioRoy View Post
                              ... is something they cannot grok.
                              Roy, you are showing your age. Are you a Heinlein fan?
                              If so, the Studebaker world is enhanced by your presence! I mean, our world is obviously enhanced by your presence but, even more so if you are a Heinlein fan!

                              Those not in the know MUST read "Stranger in a Strange Land" by Robert Heinlein. And grok it fully!
                              "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                              Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                              Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                              '33 Rockne 10,
                              '51 Commander Starlight,
                              '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
                              '56 Sky Hawk