I just ordered some parts. They will come from a dealer seven states away from me, and based on past experience they will be here in two days. Why didn't I buy them (for a lower price) from a dealer only two states away, and possibly have them tomorrow? Because I didn't want to spend a minimum shipping charge that would have almost doubled the cost of my order. If you're using only a commercial shipping service and not USPS, or using a guesstimate formula to determine shipping cost, you're sending me and others to the outfit that charges only the actual cost of shipping and provides the least expensive option.
No website? Why not? If you're a computer challenged elderly person like me, you can hire some high school kid to set it up for you and teach you how to run it. Or you can struggle through the chore of setting it up yourself, as I did fifteen years ago. If I did it, you probably can too. I can just about guarantee that having a functioning website will help your sales.
My pet peeve is "Hello and thank you for calling &*&^$%$ auto parts. Please listen to the following options"
I don't listen to the rest of the message, I call a supplier that is courteous enough to actually have a human being answer the phone. If your business is mainly by phone then pay a HUMAN to answer the phone!
If you insist on an automated answering system, then call in using the customer line and make sure it is working correctly. One chebby parts supplier had an issue with their phone system that would switch you to voice mail and then the machine would say "goodbye" with no chance to leave a message. When they called my place of employment to ask where the parts THEY ordered were I told them exactly why we had not shipped to them. The sad thing was that they didn't seem to care that we could not contact them.
I was just about to order a spare tube from Lucas for $16, but the fedex charge was $17. I will just stop by their store 13 miles away next time I go by on the 405.
Worried about the fedex charge of $17.00? If you drive only the 13 miles X 2 for round trip X IRS mileage of 55.5 cents per mile that will only add $14.43 to the cost of the tube. You have a savings of $2.57.
The sad part of your example is that if you add the value of your time it becomes a loss.
We are using usps more than ups on small items and we are charging 2.00 over actual cost to cover the cost of materials and labor, so if you buy 500.00 you don't pay 10% postage, we have been doing this for the last few months, some people do not understand ups is so far out there that a 1 pound package going 3 states away is sometimes more exspensive that 9 states away
George, you missed a key part of Ralph's post: "...next time I go by on the 405."
I don't really know much about it, but what happened to the "If it fits it ships" USPS boxes for a flat rate regardless of weight? Are they a viable choice for small stuff or no longer available and at what comparative cost?
USPS still offers Priority flat rate boxes and envelopes, they are good for heavy, dense items (up to 70 lbs.) that would cost more to ship by other means due to their weight.
I have no connection to the postal service other than as a satisfied customer.
I am not bugged by a machine answering at a small shop. It pulls less people from their work if the call goes directly to the right person. Home Depot on the other hand I mash 0 until I get a real person. However I do like chatting with the Bergstadts who is my local shop. They have yet to mutter "not you again" when I space on the parts I need.
Do any of you realize what you are doing? If you are just trying to save on shipping or other charges, you might have some money left for your heirs! All of us know what heirs do with their inheritance. They blow it in a short time! So why not spend it on our Model T's? They will appreciate it more!
As for the parts dealers, I have had good service from most of them and Lucas tire especially. I ordered a set of tires from them expecting to get them in a week or two, and they were here next day! I sure can't complain about that.
Henry, seeing your question I just went to the website where I ordered my parts this morning. I entered some random small carburetor parts, and these are the options that came up:
Priority Mail Express 2-Day : $28.22
Priority Mail 2-Day Estimated : $7.75
First-Class Mail Parcel : $3.07 (Most Economical)
Ground : $15.40
3-Day Select : $22.86
2nd Day Air : $23.36
Next Day Air : $42.93
Obviously, shipping First-Class at under $4 is the best deal by far, especially when I'm likely to receive the shipment in a couple of days, which I usually do. Dealers who don't offer that option are driving me to the ones who do. I like $3.07 a lot more than $23.36.
USPS flat rate boxes are great, I use pea gravel for packing peanuts in them.
I shipped about 5 pounds of rugged plastic and paper parts in the large P box. All Gus's pea gravel must have been in several boxes on top of it, as almost all the plastic parts were broken.
If you ship something fragile flat rate, you better beef up that flimsy box.
I like USPS mail delivery. But we as Americans do not like traditions. Looking at the history of modern road construction and the Model T, the United States Postal (office) service go hand in hand.
In 1916, the federal government weighed in on the issue of funding road construction with the first federal aid road bill. These funds were apportioned to the states to improve rural roads used for postal delivery. This bill also required each state to have a highway agency with engineers to oversee the distribution of the federal funds. And the vehicle most often used besides a horse and carriage was the Model T.
So the post office for delivery of parts and stuff would be my choice.
If I ship something really heavy in a flat rate box I cut a similar one up and fit it inside the outer box, plus I over pack a heap of crumpled newspaper in the box to stop it from being crushed in. I just sent a medium flat rate box of 22 pounds of rocks to Florida and it arrived in prefect shape using the method above.
My last order from the US, some weeks ago . As I was not in a hurry and i like to do it cheap ,so I did it by USPS.USPS did not send it to Europa, but send it to Australia.Now I hope that one tim I got it !!
Shipping's up there. Especially if you're in a hurry. I too use the flat rate boxes whenever possible. Their free and that saves a bit of cost. As to a business without a website: I know of only one in town that doesn't have a site and was surprised as hell to find that out. Every Tom, Dick & Harry Mom and Pop has one. Like T's with distributor's it's so common it's normal.
If anyone needs to send something to New Mexico, you need to either use the NM abbreviation, or add USA to the address or it will be sent to Mexico. If you insure it, the post office will tell you that domestic insurance does not work for international shipments. I knew a fellow in New Mexico, who maintained a post box in Arizona for receiving important USPS shipments. I have not been a fan of the USPS since they made 1st class deliveries low priority and junk mail high priority.
Pay attention to Ricks' warning on packaging.
I am doing brakes on the only Peugeot 404 convertible I have ever seen, They made 17,000 of them. The cars were never imported into the U.S.
The brakes are totally different than the sedan.
I was never able to find new front cylinders.
A brake company in San Jose sent them out to have new sleeves put in them, all 6 brake cylinders. One was lost in shipping. It went through a small hole in the package.
I am totally screwed.
After having the cylinders sleeved and shoes relined, near $1,000, I must stop work on this car as it will never drive with one front cylinder missing.
I recently ordered a gasket kit for a Model B carb. online from Snyders. I placed the order late on a Saturday afternoon, so there was no chance for any human interaction.
The kit was $1.50, minimum order was $10.00 and minimum freight was $6.00. Since this was a rush job for the customer I just sucked up and ordered the kit anyway, resigning myself to doing another net zero repair.
Much to my surprise, I received the kit in an ordinary envelope on Tuesday via Snail... The total invoice, including postage, was for two bucks and change!
The really interesting thing here is that there was a rational, ethical human being behind Snyders electronic face, who provided me with outstanding customer service... all without one single word being spoken.
So I guess, sometimes good people do do the right thing after all. Thank you Snyders!
A couple of years ago I called to one suppler and needed some rear end and drive line gaskets and ask to send them by USPS in an envelop, her answer was we use UPS only, I had her check with the boss and came back with the same answer. Closed out the order and called another Co. and had them in a couple days for just a postage stamp. I've never used them again. I try not to be cheap but frugal.
I use priority mail envs. when sending out packets of Snowmobile Info. that has been requested.
You only have to look at Tbay to see what inflated shipping charges look like. More often than not, you will see items for sale at good prices but, the quoted shipping charges are three or four times the price of the item. You just know they are gouging you big time. When I sell things there, I mention exact shipping rates to the penny with the post office receipt included. You can imagine the good comments that accompany my perfect feedback rating.
Snyders provides a shipping cost when placing an order which always is high but they note that it is only an estimate........the actual shipping is always lower and shown on an invoice after the order has shipped.
Most Priority Mail is now transported by Fed Ex on contract to the USPS. Delivery is seldom late. I ship nearly everything Priority Mail. It does not have to be in a Priority Mail flat rate box. If you are set up to print your postage and shipping, which takes about a minute and saves about 10%, you can choose your own box and the cost will be nearly the same as a flat rate box for light things up to a few pounds.
The USPS still handles their own Express Mail. A recent emergency shipment to Arizona by the supposedly faster and far more expensive Priority Express Mail - as requested by the customer - took four days, Tuesday to Saturday, to get from Great Falls, Montana to Phoenix, Arizona, then another two days to get to the town in Arizona where it was delivered in late afternoon. A total of six days. Priority would have been there in two. A recent shipment to a small town in Norway via International Priority Mail arrived in six business days for a little over $45. I can't complain about USPS Priority Mail service and can't understand why a company would not offer that service. Part of the reason I buy from Langs is that they DO use Priority and I get parts from them in two days for cheap shipping.
I once sent some T coils to a rebuilder in a flat rate box. You can get a bunch of them in a medium box. He returned the rebuilt coils via UPS which cost 2 or 3 times what the flat rate box cost. Unfortunately, I paid freight both ways.
Here's a little USPS Flat Rate secret for you - you don't have to use their boxes. If you use a box that's near the size or even a little bigger than one of the actual flat rate boxes, you can buy your flat rate postage online and print it, tape it to your box and they'll take it, no questions asked. I do this all the time. They'll even come to your door to pick it up if you want.
It's not for the purpose of trying to steal a few pennies from the post office - I just find it handy not having to go to the PO every time I need a flat rate box.
As for the original topic of this thread - I was scared away from one particular vendor early on for the reason Steve mentioned. The shipping and handling was more than what I was trying to buy.
I have dealt with Langs almost exclusivly because they are the closest. More recently I have dealt with Bob's also. It certianly is nice to have someone from either place that picks up the phone AND returns calls when needed. I have dealt with Mac's a handful of times and while friendly, I don't get that "family/neighbour" feeling from them.
Having a useful website is helpful while I am surfing late at night. I think Langs and Mac's are probably the best there.
I love the fact that Bobs and Lang's charge near actual shipping---usually actual plus a couple bucks for materials. I am ok with that and never received anything that I thought was outrageously priced for shipping. Shipping is expensive now adays, and I do believe that FedEx and UPS are like the oil companies gouging use. Gas prices have been more or less steady since 2008, but yet shipping goes up up up. I still would rather support the USPS.
Lang's has been outstanding for me. If you want to learn bulletproof packaging, call Gery at Berg's Radiator. My new radiator arrived in perfect condition, and took me about as long to remove from the packaging as to install
When I ship something that can go by USPS Priority Mail. I do so. If I ship something bulky or extra heavy, I ship FedEx. I will not use UPS unless a buyer insists on it.
If I buy something and have it shipped to me, Most shippers/vendors will use USPS for small things without asking me. If it is something bigger or heavier than USPS Priority Mail allows, I request the shipper/vendor to use FedEx. Why? FedEx will allow you to change the delivery address from the original address to one of their FedEx shipping centers where it can be held for pickup at your convenience for up to seven days at no charge. UPS charges for this service or at least makes you register with them to use that service.
One reason you often see inflated shipping prices on ebay is because ebay does not take a percentage of the shipping costs, only the purchase price. It is important to always read the shipping bit of the auction, I do not see a problem in this, because the high bid usually reflects the higher shipping cost.
I just received a box of bits from Snyders, some 10 days after ordering on line. Excellent service as usual. However, there was no postage charge shown on the box, and only a debit for handling charges on the invoice. So I have no idea of the postage costs or Snyder's handling/packing charge. That said, I was happy enough with the total as a percentage of the value of the contents.
Allan from down under.
Well for all you that LOVE USPS I can give you a 100 horror stories on the Postal Service!!
We ordered a electronic card for the business and it was packed in bubble wrap and in peanuts in a box twice as big as it needed. When it came to be delivered it was thrown out of the truck into the drive and the USPS truck drover off in the rain.
When it was found it was soaked, I took it to my local post office and the supervisor took one look at it and said ""improper packing"". Well what about my neighbor seeing it thrown off the truck into the driveway in the rain? Well you did not expect our driver to get out and put inbetween the doors did you, it was raining heavy!
This is why I would rather see UPS or Fed X with a real tracking number on my packages....
Warren, and I can give you a few on UPS; like when Little Dearborn, shipped me a good rebuildable late 27 bare block; somehow, dropped it from high enough to break the block at the pan rail in several pieces; or the time a seller in Bangor, Maine shipped me a pair of rare 427 Ford cast iron exhaust manifolds that only fit "R" code Mustangs and Fairlanes and that I had paid $500.00 for the pair (and that was back in the 80's when you could get that kind of deal). Nowadays, you'd be lucky to even find a set and if you did, they'd cost you three times as much. They were lost for over three months. The seller had UPS trace them and the package was found, just setting (not moving anywhere) in a UPS terminal in Pennsylvania. The only thing USPS has lost for me was two 12 X 18 black and white photos of Model T's and the photos were replaceable reproductions.
I try to buy all parts out of state to save the 9.5% California sales tax.
I get model A parts from Bert's in Denver but lately they make too many mistakes and it takes too long to get the stuff.
I am Aaron Griffey in CA, there is an Aaron Griffith in Washington state. They send it to him all too often.
I bought a couple items from a lady in SoCal on eBay a few years back. That night the guys on this forum mentioned her outrages "handling charges".
I went back and looked at the eBay sites, sure enough, double what the parts cost.
I emailed her and told her she could just charge me for the parts, keep them and I'd give her good feedback. She agreed.
That was before PayPal.
I'm going to start buying T parts from Langs' again. Their reputation deserves my business.
I like cheap shipping and good service. And good parts.
Just as a note: E-bay since July of 2011 DOES charge a commission on shipping fees. Its one of the ways they use to coerce the seller into offering "free" shipping.
Unless Ebay changed something very recently they are takeing a percentage out of shipping. May want to check on that. Very crooked I think as we cant help what it cost to ship something that much.
Cost of shipping directly affects my shopping on ebay or dealing with the vendors of any parts. I have done some appliance repairs lately and I had to shop for shipping rates.
I sent 2 wheel weights for a Planet Jr garden tractor from here to washington state one time by priority flat rate box.They were 35 pound round chunks of cast iron.
I actually cut wood paneling and used it to reinforce the box. They both made it intact.
Dhl ruined a radiator for me 1 time and would not do a dang thing about it.
Fedex lost 1 of 2 front cross memeber pieces that a gentleman sent me that post here regular.And would not even take the time to look for it or anything.Someone else on here chipped in and helped me out.
I have never understood the lack of accountability of any of the shippers. They get paid well to do a simple job. Get a package from point a to b intact.
At least for me and my store, eBay only charges a premium on shipping if I am charging a flat rate (they don't like those) or if they think I am charging too much of a handling fee (which I do on on overseas shipments). I have never seen a fee assessed for listings that have actual, by weight and zip-code shipping included in it.
Some tbay sellers (including a former Forumite) used to price stuff way below cost and make it up with high ship charges. They were doing that to cheat tbay out of its full percentage of the value of the item. It was obvious when a $20 item was priced at $1, with $20 shipping. That's where tbay commission on ship charges came from.
Often, buyers would not "get it" and would complain about the high ship charges, making more headaches for tbay.
To recoup the commission on eBay shipping, just divide the actual shipping cost by .9 and charge the buyer that amount.
USPS postage is discounted and includes free tracking if you purchase it online - whether it's directly from the USPS website or if you purchase it via eBay's Pitney Bowes meter.
If you slightly inflate the shipping as described above, the discounted postage basically creates a wash.
Ralph, the tactic you describe was a popular one among the sellers of sports cards. You'd see a Pete Rose rookie for a buck with $400 shipping and handling on it.
Couple years ago I shipped about $10,000 worth of carbs to Hutchinson, Kansas for the seminar in January via UPS. We made all arrangements and paid for the return shipping before we shipped them. I got notice that they had been picked up at the motel but they never came. After several calls to the Motel I finally got somebody that could speak English and knew something. She said UPS had never picked them up so she put them in storage in a back room. UPS insisted they had been picked up. After hours of phone calls I got a guy who told me what had happened. He said they were so short of drivers they were hiring a lot of recent immigrant Oriental women as fill in drivers. They didn't know or care much about the job and several times had a pickup like this one -- a heavy awkward box to load so they just scanned it so it would look like they had picked it up and then either didn't take it at all or just left it setting some where before they had to load it on the truck. He checked who was on the route the day it showed having been picked up and the driver was Wing Dun Wong or something like that. She was no longer employed at UPS but he figured that was what had happened. They finally got the box back to me. I could only insure it for $1000 since they were "Antique" carburetors. Lesson learned. Next time I will drive and haul them myself. If I had not kept after them I would have never got my carbs back.
To Aaron Griffey, If the only thing between you and a functioning restored car is a wheel cylinder - have one made. Any good machine shop should be able to make one for you out of either steel or aluminum if you have a similar cylinder for them to copy - even if it has to be a mirror image. If it costs a few hundred dollars it's painful, but if the alternative is to have a dead car rotting into the ground it wouldn't be a difficult choice for me. Talk to Rob Geroux at Precision Billet Design in Westfield, MA.
"...and the driver was Wing Dun Wong..."
Funny, Stan, Harry Reid just mentioned her the other day. Maybe he had a shipping problem as well.
Aaron, there were several suggestions where to find parts in your earlier thread about your search for Peugeot brake parts:
about 25 years ago I got an order for an NH carburetor. I mailed by USPS a real nice NH that looked like it had just came out of the factory.
I could not read the writing on the buyers address and sent the carb to Ohio rather than Oregon. I could make out the correct Zip Code so it was correct on the box. Of coarse the Carb was lost and never returned or sent to the correct address. I think that there was three wrongs. The buyer had writing like a kindergarden kid, Mine for not figuring out the correct address, but mostly the USPs for not sending it to the correct zip code. What good is zip codes if the USPS don't use them?
Side Bar: I really like it when buyers have a printed address on the checks or envelopes.
Shipping complaints occur both for the shipper and receiver.
As a buyer of Model T parts for my own use AND as a seller of rebuilt Model T parts I have my own shipping horror stories.
I cannot control what/how is shipped to me and some people do strange things; like placing a Model T generator in a USPS medium flat rate box with no packing material; the box arrived with a hole in its side and no generator or jamming 16 coils tightly in a box and expecting the shipper to NOT play football with the box; the coils were removed from the box with the coil parts attached hanging from the internal wiring.
I have learned a few things about my outgoing shipping procedures.
The US Postal Service is a huge bureaucracy so don't expect them to perform well every time. Additionally, in my view do not waste your money on USPS shipping insurance. Regardless how it was packed they will usually always refuse a claim or drive you to distraction trying to collect on a claim, so save your money.
My rebuilt coils are shipped USPS Priority mail using flat rate boxes which are delivered FREE to my doorstep by USPS. I have a USPS shipping account and can prepare the shipping label on-line and schedule a FREE shipment pickup. Maximum six coils can be sent in a medium flat rate box and eight coils in a large flat rate box with appropriate packing material to prevent damage. These are sent "Signature Required" and I self insure adding a small amount to each shipment to cover the cost of a complete loss which I must replace. Because of this procedure the billed shipping cost is a bit more than the USPS box shipping label. Since using this procedure I have had only a miniscule amount of complete losses.
My generators and starters are packed in custom made double wall and stapled boxes which are paid for at cost by the customer, sent UPS with UPS insurance at replacement cost and "Signature required" I have never had a UPS claim using this procedure. The custom box works great because the receiver can reuse it to return his core part.
One funny story; I shipped a rebuilt starter to a fellow in Texas who died soon after he ordered it a few months before. I never heard from him and finally contacted his son who was a local attorney. The son denied ever receiving the starter (UPS claimed deliver) but was intent upon knowing which one of his Fathers Model T's, which he had inherited, the starter needed to be installed upon.
A $350 loss. That experience prompted my "Signature Required" policy.
Ron the Coilman
I followed up on all the suggestions about getting parts for the Peugeot. Nothing.
I can get a rear cylinder but no fronts.
There just are not many of those cars still being driven to make a demand for parts that can't be rebuilt.
I will have to work at getting one made some place. Maybe in Westfield, Mass.
I agree that requiring a signature probably makes at least a few UPS workers treat the box with a little more respect.
If you receive a box from UPS with signature required and you want to open the box to inspect the contents before you sign, be aware that UPS policy (at least according to my local UPS driver) is that once you open the box, they consider it signed for and delivered, no return allowed.
Many years ago I bought a radiator for a Model A Ford. It was shipped and had a hole punched in the box and in the radiator. I had already waited a week or two without my "daily driver". Meantime I found a radiator shop who re-cored my radiator. I sent the radiator back and asked for a refund. I think the dealer was J.C. Whitney. (more than 45 years ago!).
Here's a interesting thought about UPS. If they loose your package they will not search for it. If the package is ever found by UPS they send it to Atlanta and sell it at an outlet store, they make no attempt to forward it to you. They make no attempt to find or retrieve your package.
A local manager who we know quite well has shared this information with us. Due to the sheer volume they have determined it is less expensive to pay a claim than have staff search for a shipment.
He shared another interesting fact with us, the most profitable segment of UPS is their insurance services. They pay few claims claiming your damaged shipment is not packed to their standards and guess what they don't offer a printed description of what meets their requirements.
Our friend suggested that you have a UPS company or franchised store pack and ship directly any thing you want shipped then insure it for the value you want. If there is damage they are then bound to pay you the insured amount. They can't hide behind the "not packaged to our standards" excuse.
Several years ago I shipped 2 restored very rare and very large brass bail handled Solar magnifier headlamps. I took them to a franchised UPS store and they packed the lamps separately. When they arrived in Ohio one box looked like it was used as a wheel chock, and of course the lamp was crushed. We applied for our insurance and the 1st thing was it was not packed etc etc. When I showed them the receipt the story changed and after 60 some days we got a check for exactly 1/2 of the total inured amount $6000.00 for the pair so $3000.00 pay off.
What I did find out was after we were paid for the claim , UPS back charged the franchisee the full amount of the claim. In other words, yes UPS paid the claim but in reality it was the franchisee who was charged. Not sure what would happen if I had used a company store.
That may be true for the UPS people your friend uses (packing insurance) but is certainly not true here. I have been shipping amd receiving daily by UPS for 25 years and the question of packing is never a consideration when filing a claim. If we or our customers have paid the insurance, we or they get a check AND the damaged product back.
Every region has a UPS rep that responds to concerns. Perhaps your friend should contact that person. We have a lady that always calls back within a couple days. We never mess with the UPS 800 number. The reps respond to commercial and non-commercial queries.
We get upwards of 20 packages per day times 5 days a week. More often than not they do come through with little or no damage.
My suggestion was for a valuable unreplaceable items. You eliminate the possibility of having a claim refused if you have the item packed by one of their company stores or a franchisee. I believe you completely missed my point and of the actual claim that we filed by our company.
Even as a very large customer of UPS our rep is more than worthless if we do have an issue all you get is voice mail voice mail voice mail. You can not call the terminal as the phone is unlisted. You can call an 800 number but it will more often than not go to a dead end. It pure and simple economics as the UPS manager told us. In their defense I will say they UPS is 100% better than Fed Ex with their owner operated routes.
I can only assume that due to your smaller and lighter volume district your service may be somewhat better than larger big volume metropolitan areas such as ours in Seattle.
Yeah we do about the same. If your rep really is "worthless" then you need to go over their head.
Even though their terms say they can, at their option inspect the packaging, we have never had that happen.
We submit a claim and in 30 days or less have a check in hand.
I sent the left axle housing to Chaffins' in a wooden box.
They sent the Ruckstel housing and a Ruckstel kit back in a cardboard box.
When I got it UPS said they repackaged it after it broke open, but the Ruckstel center section and gears were missing.
With no argument they eventually paid Chaffins' for the missing parts.
I never take things to UPS anymore, I can't stand to listen to all that arguing and fighting in the shipping office.
I usually end up there after they send me a card telling me they can't find my house.
I have to explain to them that they are so stupid that they were trying to deliver the box in the wrong town with the same street address.
I go to FEDEX where everyone is pleasant, when USPS can't handle it.