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OT: Inflation really is getting crazy: here's a $30 sheet metal screw!

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  • OT: Inflation really is getting crazy: here's a $30 sheet metal screw!

    Ok, it's really a ripoff replacement part story. But it's for real! Plus shipping is $11! And I thought the $120 igniters were a huge ripoff. You'd think someone somewhere would have shame. I just ordered a pair of fridge handles off Amazon for $15. The parts store wanted $80 each.

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    Location: Jersey City NJ USA

  • #2
    I went to Chevy dealer for a couple of screws and a sheet metal nut that clips onto the taillight on my pickup and the screw alone was over $5.00. It's probably about a #8 in size. They didn't have then nut and only one screw so they gave me the part # for the nut and I stopped at another dealer. They didn't have either one of them in stock but said they cold have them the next day. For nearly $25 for both parts, or about double of what the first dealer showed as retail on my invoice. Shipping is probably several times what the part costs.
    OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

    THINK HARDER

    BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

    MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

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    • #3
      It's not inflation. They simply don't want to be bothered with small orders.

      -js
      There are no stupid questions. But there are lots of stupid answers. This is the internet.

      Location: SF Bay Area

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Jim Stewart View Post
        It's not inflation. They simply don't want to be bothered with small orders.

        -js
        Perhaps. But I know people anal enough to insist on OEM parts no matter what. Even if it's just a sheet metal screw you could get at any hardware store.
        Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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        • #5
          Sheesh. Something like that I'd just be making my own stuff, even if I had to drill and tap a hole. Or weld in a new piece of steel to drill and tap a hole! On the igniter I went and bit the bullet because I was afraid the generic China one might be worse!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by gellfex View Post
            Ok, it's really a ripoff replacement part story. But it's for real! Plus shipping is $11!
            You shouldn't have dropped and lost the original. It's a tax on inattention and a lesson all rolled into one not to lose stuff.

            lol



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            • #7
              Originally posted by RancherBill View Post

              You shouldn't have dropped and lost the original. It's a tax on inattention and a lesson all rolled into one not to lose stuff.

              lol
              Haha, I didn't lose it, just spotted that price looking at a control board. Though I did drop a screw today while fruitlessly changing the igniter. Couldn't see it, so I used my 'space age pocket tool'. I stuck my phone into the back of the oven and took a picture! Located it on the 2nd snap.
              Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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              • #8
                If you had ever worked in a parts supply system you would know it is not as simple as that. They really do not care about small orders vs. large ones. It is a question of the expenses involved.

                Yes, one of the costs of a part is it's intrinsic value. That is the cost of the raw materials plus the labor and overhead that goes into manufacturing it. If you add a percentage for profit to that intrinsic cost you have the wholesale price. Throw in a few more factors and you get the hardware store price. Those additional factors associated with the hardware store price are kept low in dollar value because, in relation to an OEM parts operation, the hardware store is optimized for higher sales volume and therefore lower prices.

                An OEM parts operation is an entirely different proposition. Sure, they buy the common, commodity items for the wholesale price. But then they must stock them in a manner where they can be found as a specific part of a particular product weather it be paper records or computers doing this. They must be stocked for long periods of time and that takes things like warehouse space, shelving, packaging, power and utilities, etc. When needed, there is paperwork or computer work to process the order, they must be found in that warehouse, matched with the paperwork of an order, packaged, and delivered. All of this costs money.

                And almost none of this money is needed in a hardware store where the customer reaches in a bin or plucks a package off a hook and takes it to the checkout where payment is made. Notice that in the hardware store it is the customer who finds the item and moves it from the shelf to his/her own transportation. All of this is "paid for" by the customer, not the hardware store. They just take their small percentage and make money.

                So, there is an entire host of things that MUST be included in an OEM part for a particular product that are simply not present when that exact same item/part is purchased in a hardware store. The smart companies keep track of these expenses and will have some system for billing the customer for them. It may be in what looks like an inflated price for the item or in a minimum purchase amount (to cover the cost of processing the order) or some other way for recovering all of those expenses.

                And things can get more expensive if the part is not a commonly available or generic item. Then they need to also add the procurement costs to all of the above.

                If the costs for supplying a sheet metal screw as an OEM part were itemized you could see all of the separate costs that went into that cost. The actual cost of the screw would be so small that they could ignore it and just charge for all the rest. That $30.00 for a sheet metal screw may represent all of those costs incurred by that company for having it available and sending it to the customer, except the final shipping cost which can vary a lot.

                In some large companies who make a large number of products they get a little bit smart and have a separate stocking system for common, generic hardware. So all sheet metal screws are listed by diameter and length and material. They are permanently in their parts system and are used, with the same stock number, on any of the company's products where they are needed. This can lower the cost for the individual items but it still will not be at the hardware store level. I have seen this at work both in places where I worked and ones that I purchased parts from. It can bring a $20 or $30 minimum cost for a single item down to just $1 or $5. Unfortunately not all OEMs do this.

                What they really do not want to be bothered with is customer complaints about the high price they must charge for these inexpensive items.



                Originally posted by Jim Stewart View Post
                It's not inflation. They simply don't want to be bothered with small orders.

                -js
                Paul A.
                SE Texas

                And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                You will find that it has discrete steps.

                Comment


                • #9
                  All of the discussion of how and why a sheet metal screw can cost 30 bucks aside, I have to wonder if anyone actually ever orders one.

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                  • #10
                    Thats going to be one of the gotchas with the right to repair movement, which I mostly agree with, there are things which will never fly for manufacturers which has actually led to Kia and Subaru removing features from certain states.

                    Anyway, sorting individual parts and the logistics behind it and people are going to get sticker shock on some of these parts, especially anything not considered a standard service part. On small parts every time a human has to touch it the price multiplies the cost of the part.

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                    • #11
                      it is always worth it to shop around, even if you think your time is too valuable. A lady that I know had a stackable electric clothes dryer that would not heat. Local repair place wanted a couple of hundred dollars just to show up and another hundred for the element, (not including time spent troubleshooting) Local appliance parts supplier wanted 80 bucks for the element and it was a week out. 15 minutes on the net found an OEM heating element for 25, free shipping, It took me longer to find a youtube video showing how to get the dryer apart than it took to replace the burnt out element...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jmm03 View Post
                        it is always worth it to shop around, even if you think your time is too valuable. A lady that I know had a stackable electric clothes dryer that would not heat. Local repair place wanted a couple of hundred dollars just to show up and another hundred for the element, (not including time spent troubleshooting) Local appliance parts supplier wanted 80 bucks for the element and it was a week out. 15 minutes on the net found an OEM heating element for 25, free shipping, It took me longer to find a youtube video showing how to get the dryer apart than it took to replace the burnt out element...
                        This is the dirty secret. So many of these parts are standard and interchangeable like the oven igniters, but they still try and scam you into paying $120 for OEM instead of $15-20 from Amazon or Ebay. For the screw, all the mfr has to do is say "5mm x 15mm sheet metal screw" rather than 'screw around' with even putting a $30 screw on the parts list.
                        Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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                        • #13
                          I was lucky when the turntable motor of my combi oven failed. When I took the old one out, it had a paper label on it with the part number. I googled the number and got about 20 hits with prices down to £3 including delivery. Most probably 90% of the turntable motors are from the same source.

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                          • #14
                            If and when they get around to "right to repair" legislation, they do need to include some kind of proper description of ALL generic parts. Gelifex gave an example of this for a sheet metal screw but he omitted some details that may be important: type of steel, head style, etc. And the name of the manufacturer and stock number for some parts would also be important, like for the motor and sensor mentioned above. The owner of an appliance or other product should have the right to know these details so they can find the parts at a reasonable price. The OEM should have made their profit on the original sale and is not entitled to further profits from the customer's ignorance which they are responsible for. All of that information DOES EXIST in the OEM's databases. It should be made available to the buyers.

                            Anyway, that's my opinion and I am sticking to it.



                            Originally posted by macona View Post
                            Thats going to be one of the gotchas with the right to repair movement, which I mostly agree with, there are things which will never fly for manufacturers which has actually led to Kia and Subaru removing features from certain states.

                            Anyway, sorting individual parts and the logistics behind it and people are going to get sticker shock on some of these parts, especially anything not considered a standard service part. On small parts every time a human has to touch it the price multiplies the cost of the part.
                            Paul A.
                            SE Texas

                            And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                            You will find that it has discrete steps.

                            Comment

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