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post #16 of 40 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 19, 8:38 PM
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Keith
 
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Re: Good Vendor / Bad Vendor

bottom line is there is only one or maybe two manufactures of each reproduction part. so all the vendors sell the same stuff. look for customer service, shipping and return policy, and location that suites you the best. most if not all the vendors I bought from come to a huge semi local swap meet. if they treat me right there I will continue to use them

1966 Chevelle SS 396/360 M21 3:73 posi. silver/blue buckets

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post #17 of 40 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 19, 8:47 PM
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Re: Good Vendor / Bad Vendor

Jegs and Summit, excellent vendors, I like UMI, Ausleys, Coan, and Moser, all very good experience with them.
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post #18 of 40 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 19, 11:18 PM
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Re: Good Vendor / Bad Vendor

As said earlier, opinions will vary. I have had issues with Summit on my last 2 orders, and they WILL be my last 2 orders. Screw Diamond Pistons too... And UPS...
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post #19 of 40 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 19, 11:42 PM
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Re: Good Vendor / Bad Vendor

I've had good luck with Summit for performance parts, The Right Stuff for brakes, and Ausley's for sheet metal, trim parts, and interior. Bought a few items from NPD, never a problem.

Randy
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post #20 of 40 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 19, 12:39 AM
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Re: Good Vendor / Bad Vendor

The shipping and customer service from Summit has been fantastic for a decade. A while back I bought two Procar seats at several hundreds each. The head rest on one was damaged during shipping. Summit started an immediate return and shipped out a replacement before UPS even had the chance to pick up the damaged one. For about a week I had three Procar seats sitting in my living room before UPS finally showed up.

Also, it seems that Summit has great discounts on Mondays. I was pricing things all weekend, almost bought a bunch of stuff, but at the last minute held off. The next day on Monday, Summit ran a $100 off $1000 or more promo. I've noticed that a lot of vendors across industries do similar things to boost the start of the week.

Also know that while it's fantastic to be able to get almost any part you need brand new -- something that didn't exist 20 years ago -- that about 50% of the time these repop parts need some kind fiddling to make them work. The last thing I bought was a dome light. The outside looked good, but the bracket was molded too tall and I had to file a lot of it down. The plastic was noticeably thinner, too. Overall though, it works fine.
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post #21 of 40 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 19, 6:26 AM
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Re: Good Vendor / Bad Vendor

Back in the day when I was building my 67 SS I used mostly https://www.ss396.com/ and NPD. Great prices and excellent customer service. I loved https://www.ss396.com/ because I lived on Long Island and they used to be located there so I could actually pickup parts same day. For performance parts I used a lot of people but Summit was my go too vender. Fastest shipping and great customer service. Even if I ordered the wrong part they would make things right.


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post #22 of 40 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 19, 8:36 AM
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Re: Good Vendor / Bad Vendor

Mark,
I certainly dont do restorations for a living but my only advice would be before you buy anything see if you can find an NOS piece on ebay or elsewhere. Between my Chevelle and my Wife's Riviera when I need a part that is the first thing I try. Yes its more expensive but it is well worth it when the part fits and works properly the first time. And it is pretty amazing how many NOS part are still out there


Thats my 2 cents.
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post #23 of 40 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 19, 10:29 AM
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Jegs seems good and Classic muscle
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post #24 of 40 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 19, 12:17 PM
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Re: Good Vendor / Bad Vendor

I'm going to run the risk, and the certain eventuality, of seeming horrendously biased and self-motivated here. But I'm honestly going to put my "100% objective hat" on, and make some points that I either know to be true, or at least have (in general) experienced over the decades of my involvement in the parts industry..

* The notion of "everyone is basically selling the same stuff" will only serve to sabotage/compromise the finished quality and detail of your restoration. It is an urban myth that just won't go away, and probably never will. The complexity of these parts catalogs, the breadth and depth, of ours and all of our competitors, cannot be overstated. There are SO MANY categories and sections and instances and examples where at least two, and maybe three or four reproductions of a specific part, from huge stuff like sheet metal, to small stuff like lens gaskets or fastener kits, have competing toolings at competing manufacturers, and/or various multiple sources... Manufacturers/suppliers that you've likely never heard the names of, because "brand-marketing" has so-horrendously convoluted and confused this industry and hobby, especially since the racing parts suppliers have dived-into re-selling the product-lines of other branded retailers, who are actually just re-packaging, branding, and re-selling merchandise from a vast array of suppliers. Bottom-line, the differences between restoration parts supplier A and B and C and D are massive, sweeping and scattered all throughout the catalogs and websites. We feed from over 1,000 different manufacturers/suppliers alone. What we have been doing for over 40 years, is REFINING OUR SOURCING, which is the exercise of learning where the "best" of a specific item is being made, and sourcing as-directly as possible to that "best" piece or kit or bag of screws. It has been a decades-long evolution and effort. And I do not state that to brag on NPD, because I would have to imagine that all my competitors have evolved to a degree. But it's that degree that would really separate one company from another to another, as in how much priority they've truly dedicated towards quality-sourcing, and how much success they've achieved in the effort. Man, I'm getting wordy here, I apologize, but this is a heavy subject for me. And if you're quality-minded with your Chevelle, hopefully it's a heavy subject for you.

* This is where I have a hard time walking the fine line. But suffice it to say, one should consider who they're buying from, and whether or not they are as restoration-dedicated as it takes to truly and aggressively practice "best-quality sourcing". If they are simply a massive clearing-house, re-selling other suppliers' ENTIRE product-lines lock, stock and barrel, then that's a big indicator. The answer is "no", they're not. They're just data-dumping entire files into their system, the equivalent of shoveling coal into a furnace to make the fire (revenues) hotter. No thought is placed towards "let's not carry these bezels from ABCD, because WXYZ supplies a far-better bezel".

* That's not to say that there aren't instances where you know precisely what you're buying, the source and manufacturer is known, and it's known that no better-alternative exists, and you can save money. I'm certain those instances exist all over the place. But it's not easy being sure.

* Sheet metal is a good example of how you can get sideways. Most hobbyists only know U.S.-based importer brand-names. But the reality is, that there is a huge network of factories in Taiwan making the stuff, and a large amount of instances where there are two or three competing toolings for a specific part. No single manufacturer is the default "best" on every part. So sourcing for "best available quality" is complicated. We do our best to sort it out. Others just play the brand name game with the U.S. importers. The former approach is far better than the latter.

I did the exercise for about a half-hour, comparing one supplier's website pricing to what their same merchandise was being sold for on another larger supplier's website. And I found pricing to be all over the place, less expensive, more expensive, BOTH way too expensive. A total hodgepodge.

OK, I'll shut up.. I just felt compelled to chime in, and assure you that "it's not all the same stuff". No, not even close. From tie-rods, to fenders, to weatherstripping to lenses and emblems, there are multiple levels of quality out there... Some of it at similar prices such that you'd never know the diamonds from the coal. It's quite vast and complex.

Your dedicated restoration parts specialists are where the rubber hits the road with best-quality sourcing practices, and some have been much better than others. Caveat Emptor.

Thanks for letting me participate.
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post #25 of 40 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 19, 4:15 PM
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Re: Good Vendor / Bad Vendor

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I'm going to run the risk, and the certain eventuality, of seeming horrendously biased and self-motivated here. But I'm honestly going to put my "100% objective hat" on, and make some points that I either know to be true, or at least have (in general) experienced over the decades of my involvement in the parts industry..

* The notion of "everyone is basically selling the same stuff" will only serve to sabotage/compromise the finished quality and detail of your restoration. It is an urban myth that just won't go away, and probably never will. The complexity of these parts catalogs, the breadth and depth, of ours and all of our competitors, cannot be overstated. There are SO MANY categories and sections and instances and examples where at least two, and maybe three or four reproductions of a specific part, from huge stuff like sheet metal, to small stuff like lens gaskets or fastener kits, have competing toolings at competing manufacturers, and/or various multiple sources... Manufacturers/suppliers that you've likely never heard the names of, because "brand-marketing" has so-horrendously convoluted and confused this industry and hobby, especially since the racing parts suppliers have dived-into re-selling the product-lines of other branded retailers, who are actually just re-packaging, branding, and re-selling merchandise from a vast array of suppliers. Bottom-line, the differences between restoration parts supplier A and B and C and D are massive, sweeping and scattered all throughout the catalogs and websites. We feed from over 1,000 different manufacturers/suppliers alone. What we have been doing for over 40 years, is REFINING OUR SOURCING, which is the exercise of learning where the "best" of a specific item is being made, and sourcing as-directly as possible to that "best" piece or kit or bag of screws. It has been a decades-long evolution and effort. And I do not state that to brag on NPD, because I would have to imagine that all my competitors have evolved to a degree. But it's that degree that would really separate one company from another to another, as in how much priority they've truly dedicated towards quality-sourcing, and how much success they've achieved in the effort. Man, I'm getting wordy here, I apologize, but this is a heavy subject for me. And if you're quality-minded with your Chevelle, hopefully it's a heavy subject for you.

* This is where I have a hard time walking the fine line. But suffice it to say, one should consider who they're buying from, and whether or not they are as restoration-dedicated as it takes to truly and aggressively practice "best-quality sourcing". If they are simply a massive clearing-house, re-selling other suppliers' ENTIRE product-lines lock, stock and barrel, then that's a big indicator. The answer is "no", they're not. They're just data-dumping entire files into their system, the equivalent of shoveling coal into a furnace to make the fire (revenues) hotter. No thought is placed towards "let's not carry these bezels from ABCD, because WXYZ supplies a far-better bezel".

* That's not to say that there aren't instances where you know precisely what you're buying, the source and manufacturer is known, and it's known that no better-alternative exists, and you can save money. I'm certain those instances exist all over the place. But it's not easy being sure.

* Sheet metal is a good example of how you can get sideways. Most hobbyists only know U.S.-based importer brand-names. But the reality is, that there is a huge network of factories in Taiwan making the stuff, and a large amount of instances where there are two or three competing toolings for a specific part. No single manufacturer is the default "best" on every part. So sourcing for "best available quality" is complicated. We do our best to sort it out. Others just play the brand name game with the U.S. importers. The former approach is far better than the latter.

I did the exercise for about a half-hour, comparing one supplier's website pricing to what their same merchandise was being sold for on another larger supplier's website. And I found pricing to be all over the place, less expensive, more expensive, BOTH way too expensive. A total hodgepodge.

OK, I'll shut up.. I just felt compelled to chime in, and assure you that "it's not all the same stuff". No, not even close. From tie-rods, to fenders, to weatherstripping to lenses and emblems, there are multiple levels of quality out there... Some of it at similar prices such that you'd never know the diamonds from the coal. It's quite vast and complex.

Your dedicated restoration parts specialists are where the rubber hits the road with best-quality sourcing practices, and some have been much better than others. Caveat Emptor.

Thanks for letting me participate.

I was a loyal NPD customer well before Rick joined here, but I really appreciate how active & transparent he always is on the forum. I've always had great service from NPD & I assume their sales reps follow the lead of the man in charge.
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post #26 of 40 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 19, 9:54 PM
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Re: Good Vendor / Bad Vendor

On the other hand, I feel like its a great thing that someone does reproduce most of the parts for my Chevelle. Early Mustangs are almost as good, early Camaros are probably the most reproduced. It makes owning one lots easier and more fun. Contrast the amazing support and parts for a Chevelle, to that for say, a 59 Oldsmobile. That was one of the reasons I bought a Chevelle in the first place.

No complaints here. I have had good experience with Ground Up, Summit and American Muscle. Autozone, Carquest, etc, stock a lot of basic parts for Chevelles also. For whatever amazing reason, I can order stuff from Summit at 8pm and it will arrive by 6pm the next day!

Its magic!

66 Malibu Coupe, home rebuilt 350. Took me 39 years to get her!
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post #27 of 40 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 19, 10:11 PM
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Re: Good Vendor / Bad Vendor

Congrats on new ride, my .02 is the same. Rockauto, Summit, and jegs , some NPD they ship fast as does Rock for me. I also ask for help with good vendors because these guys are great and know it all.


Good luck and enjoy.


Best,

Z
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post #28 of 40 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 19, 11:57 PM
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Re: Good Vendor / Bad Vendor

I have bought from AMD, Summit, Ted Williams, Inlinetube, Ebay and many more. All have been very good. HOWEVER, I bought a roller OER tach from JEG's and the first 3 just wouldn't work regardless of what I did with filters etc. Taking apart a 68 Chevelle dash with gauges and AC is a bitch and that statement is an understatement. Well after working with OER, Pertronix and JEGs only Jegs stepped up to the plate, reimbursed me for my purchase, ordered a new one under their dime ($279) sent it to Redline Gauge Works and had it modified to digital for $325 and authorized 2 day shipping at another $34 bucks all on their dime. Because they knew about all the pain I went through and no other manufacturer stood up they paid over $650 to give me a working tach on their dime. Now that is customer support taken to a level I have never experienced in 50 years.
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post #29 of 40 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 19, 12:35 AM
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Re: Good Vendor / Bad Vendor

As a person that's recently been buying and installing a full array of parts, I can/would appreciate more transparency from suppliers where possible. I LIKE that OPGI lists 3 different makers of interior replacements, a sort of good, better, best. Trying to find the best, or at least a quality heater core, for a recent example was a lot of work. As Rick noted above, prices can be all over the place for what at least appears to be the identical article.

I will say that I've dealt with a bunch of the names mentioned above including the local O'Reilly's to the boutique stores and everyone has been great about returns and customer service in general.
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post #30 of 40 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 19, 12:46 AM
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Re: Good Vendor / Bad Vendor

One look at my car, you can see I have bought a lot of stuff through the years.

One good thing about the Internet is just about every vendor has reviews. I study these before making a big purchase.

I also am a fan of total kits. My BeCool Radiator Assy came as a complete kit. So did the Wilwood Disc Brakes, Torque Tech X Pipe Exaust, Hydratech Hydraboost Brake Booster, the Holley Fuel Injection, etc.

I have found that the reputable manufacturers and dealers cover all of the bases and have worked out the problems.
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