I apologise for this post but i just had to share it with you all.
My spare time has been totally consumed this past while helping my youngest son get his car back on the road after his older brother had the car and it was taken away from him.
Well long story short we have incrementally completed a complete replacement of the braking system and the fuel line system. Yeah never knew i was a mechanic.
Well this week i get to do some final parts buying with trying to purchase as many as possible on the after market and only going to the dealer for specific propriety parts.
So heres the straw that broke the camels back.
This part shown is a 7 inch rubber filler hose that connects the filler steel pipe to the gas tank. I find via the web a Honda Dealer in Lisle, IL with an amazing Honda parts site and to his credit I will list it here http://www.hondapartssales.com/lisle/jsp/home.jsp why the other dealers here could not do this just beats me.
Anyhow look up the diagram and the part number and sure enough the list price is even listed and so too is the price at which they sell it.
So for this item they list it at $24.57 and their price for the item is $17.20.
Well i try all the hoops and jumps but they dont ship outside the USA and they dont do split transactions where one can pay and have it shipped within the US.
Ok time is the essence here its getting colder and that white stuff is gonna fly any day now up here and i want the vehicle out of the garage and i would like to get back to woodworking.
SO I go to our local Honda dealer after trying the various aftermarket parts stores around us and the dealer wants $36.92 for the same part excluding our sales tax of an additional 13%.
Now look closely at the part and you see it has a concertina type crease moulded into it and its bent to suite. So i think well even though the gun is to my head i will spring for this part to be able to get going.
Well today i go to pick up $187.18 worth of parts and if i showed you what the lot consisted of you would really think me a fool but as said no choice these are honda parts.
The filler hose is there and its just a piece thats been cut from bulk stock that i am sure i could get from an aftermarket guy.
Well i just about blew a gasket but without showing it or saying anything. I politely told the spares guy i was not paying that price for this part since it was nothing like the "moulded" item that is the original and got a refund since i had to pay before they would order the parts.
The quirk in the story is i may have to eat humble pie and go back and buy it but i cannot bring myself to do this. I can no longer support extortion. Yeah i am a business man and know all too well the cost of manufacture and the issue of overheads and cost of carrying inventory etc. But how can a guy a few hundred miles south of me do all this for less than half the cost taxes excluded on both sides and there aint no duties involved this is auto industry and Nafta and the part was most likely manufactured in Ontario given its a Honda that was made in Alliston, Ontario.
Of course this was just the tip of the iceberg. When i had originally gone in earlier in the week to order the parts I had also enquired about new gas tank straps. This is no fancy part by the way just to straps of steel with a couple of holes either end. Well the US honda dealer wanted $12.12 each making a pair $24.24. You will not believe my dealer wanted wait for it....$90 each. I asked the guy to check the system again and make sure he had the right part etc. He did and said he knew this part and this is the price. Well at that point i showed him the print out i had in my pocket from the Honda Dealer site. Just shook his head. So i naturally said NO. Then went back to my aftermarket dealer and he refered me to a radiator and gas tank repair joint who happily ordered a pair for me for the sum total of .....drumroll please.....$34.00 for the two before tax.
Now when i declined acceptance of the filler hose and got my money back, going through the back of my mind was to approach the rad and gas tank guy again thinking if they do that kind of work and Honda deems it fine to use bulk hose i can get me a piece from them and have some change for coffee. In fact at that point i would rather have paid them the $36 because they a small business and local to me.
This is where my humble pie comes in since i went there to pick up my straps and they never had anymore hose. They have lost their supplier and are in the process of making up a new bulk order for a guy in Nova Scotia that supplies this kind of hose. my bad.
If time were not an issue i would have requested some help from the family to procure the goods in the USA and tranship them to me. But i gotta get it tomorrow and i dont have all day to spend to find a hose.
Its not about being frugal or tight I am prepared to pay a competitive rate whatever it is thats the free market way. But i just hate extortion created by this kind of dealing.
We are getting totally ripped off for parts in the auto industry in Canada and its even worse when you consider that most likely given our huge part manufacturer base in Ontario that many of the parts are actually made right on our doorstep.
This is how they kill their business. I now buy from J.C. Whitney and get a direct to my door delivery of superior grade parts for half the price including shipping.
The good side is i aint the one actually footing the bill. The youngest son is because i told him he aint getting it easy like the older one did this way he will take good care of it. He is also learning to get his hands dirty and be able to solve his own repairs.
Apologies for the long winded story, just had to get it out it has me stark raving mad.