Author Topic: High parts prices  (Read 12531 times)

Benz Dr.

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High parts prices
« on: December 19, 2004, 23:30:16 »
You know......
Some of you guys would be better off driving old an old Ford or something. Lots of cheap new and used parts for old cheap cars.
  All these posts about the price of parts drives me crazy. Didn't I tell all of you a while back that certain parts were going up in price and wasn't I just as quickly dismissed as someone who shouldn't be listened to? Now we have all this pissing and moaning about expensive parts when I could have told you so if you'd only listened.
 
  You own a VERY exspensive car. It was exspensive when it was new and it's still exspensive - or at least most of the parts are. It IS a MB after all. Polls show most of you spend at least $2,000.00 per year on your car and some spend a lot more than that. If you bought any like quality new car you'd take a bigger hit than that just driving it off the dealers lot.
 
I'm not picking on anyone at all but there's more to price than just - well... the price. If you really can't aford to maintain your car due to the cost of parts then it might well be an unsafe vehical and I for one wouldn't want to met you on any road.
 I drive old beaters because frankly, I can't afford much else and all my money is tied up in things like the Red Rocket, farm machinery and a hundred other things. If you want to learn about exspensive parts, try something for a tractor or combine - there's an education for you. My beaters are safe and funtional but they're not pretty. I don't want or need a pretty car for every day work.

  So, quit complaining, get a life, or sell your car and buy a Mustang ~)

 Oh yeah, Happy Holidays.

Daniel G Caron
1966 230SL 5 speed, LSD, header pipes, 300SE distributor, ported, polished and balanced, AKA  ''The Red Rocket ''
Dan Caron's SL Barn

Ben C.

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High parts prices
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2004, 04:40:12 »
Everybody has the right to moan about the price of parts if they want to, especially when a $500 new part is faulty.

Regards,
Ben in Ireland.
'64 230SL 4sp.

hands_aus

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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2004, 06:34:01 »
Ben is correct, expensive faulty parts is not acceptable, MB or not.

Bob Smith (Brisbane,Australia)
RHD,1967 early 250 SL, auto
Bob Smith (Brisbane,Australia)
RHD,1967 early 250 SL #114, auto, ps , 717,717
best of the best

jeffc280sl

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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2004, 08:39:23 »
Hi Peter,

The part may or may not be defective.  Mine is removed while I clean the gages and recover the dash board. As you turn the blinker arm left or right a small plastic tab protrudes from the assembly directly opposite the arm.  There are several springs involved in the process.  As you turn the steering wheel a raised piece of metal on the steering shaft strikes the plastic tab.  This action releases the plastic tab and causes the springs to return the blinker arm to the middle.  There is a single tab and a single raised section on the steering shaft used by the blinker arm (both the left and right).  If it releases in one direction and not the other I would think the steering shaft is ok.  I would remove the blinker arm and try to activate the release action by hand.  You may find something binding one side or a broken spring.  Let me know if you need a picture.

Jeff C.
1970 280SL 4-speed
Jeff C
1970 280SL 4 speed

Benz Dr.

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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2004, 12:44:10 »
Listen up everyone.

  What you have here is an exclusive car - one of about 50,000 made. That's not a lot of cars and even less of them around after 40 years. YOU bought this car, bragging rights and all that goes with it. The Classic Centers control all the parts that are old timer and special order in most cases. They also control the pricing and discounts.

 There's only two signal wands used in these cars and only for these cars. You either fix what you have, get a used one or bite the bullet and buy a new one. There's no such thing as a cheap one unless someone is blowing out some unwanted parts on ebay and you happen to get lucky.

 You should try 6.3 engine parts or 300SL anything. Of course the gullwing crowd is in a different class but $1,500.00 - $2,000.00 for one fuel injector would really cause some moaning around here. If you want to dance you have to pay the band or listen to the radio.

 YOU bought this car,YOU own it, it's yours and you can do what you want with it. The traffic act states that you must have functioning signal lights. Not half assed, sometimes working ones, not hold the wand down while you turn the corner and not only on one side. Given the value of the car ( your life and others on the road around you ) you'd think that everyone would be pleased that this new part is still available without much wait. It IS exspensive but so are pistons, chrome, engine rebuilding, interiors, paint/body work, injection pumps, soft top frames and a hundred other things.

These are second or even as much as fourth or fifth cars for some people. Very few owners have one as their primary vehical so lets call then our
''toys. ''

Quit complaining about prices. MB is responsible for that - complain to them. And you know what they'll tell you?
'' Well sir, our customers can afford to take care of their cars. That's the price sir.''

 If the part is defective send it back. It's under waranty.

Daniel G Caron
1966 230SL 5 speed, LSD, header pipes, 300SE distributor, ported, polished and balanced, AKA  ''The Red Rocket ''
Dan Caron's SL Barn

rwmastel

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High parts prices
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2004, 13:08:44 »
Dan,

Who pissed in your breakfast cereal this morning?  You know parts are expensive, we know it, everyone knows it, but sometimes it just feels good to complain about it.  It doesn't hurt anyone and there's no need to get in anyone's face about it.  We're all here just having fun with our expensive toys.

Rodd
Powell, Ohio, USA
1966 230SL, Euro, Auto, Leather, both  tops
1994 E420
Rodd
Pagoda Technical Manual, please contribute: http://www.sl113.org/wiki/pmwiki.php
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1980 450SL  (for sale)
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Benz Dr.

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« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2004, 01:12:07 »
No it doesn't feel good to hear you guys complain any more than it must be to hear my complaints. I have to hear about someones problem almost every damn day. You guys don't.

  Most of you like to work on your own cars and this site and others like it provide a lot of free advice and all kinds of links to places that can provide almost anything you need or want. NONE of this stuff was available to me over the last 25 years and I had to figure it out on my own.

 You want to know who pissed in my cerial this morning? You did. ( Well, not really ) Want to know what's bothering me? Why don't you just ask?

 I get really tired of the internet crowd and how lazy some of you are. I've already stoped posting on the 107 site because I couldn't stand it anymore. Maybe I need a vacation......

 Why do I even bother, No one listens anyway...

Daniel G Caron
1966 230SL 5 speed, LSD, header pipes, 300SE distributor, ported, polished and balanced, AKA  ''The Red Rocket ''
Dan Caron's SL Barn

pagode.info

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High parts prices
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2004, 02:22:27 »
"The Classic Centers control all the parts that are old timer and special order in most cases. They also control the pricing and discounts."

When Daimler-Chrysler Classic (formerly known as Oldtimer
Center)started in the beginning of the 90`s, three indepen-
dend parts suppliers came and persuaded them to accept those
three as official suppliers of Mercedes-Benz. That means: They
give and get (each others) gigantic rebates on each part. At the
same time they were looking for a way to reduce the rebates for
all other independent parts suppliers (competitors) to kick them
out of business. Because they could not reduce their discounts they
invented the rebate group "8", which lead to a maximum rebate of
5% on oldtimer parts for everybody.

Because of this few are getting more than 30%, while all others
get nothing. If there`s someone to blame, blame it to the right
people, who had the idea.  

Tom    


 


Ben C.

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« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2004, 03:42:35 »
quote:
Quit complaining about prices. MB is responsible for that - complain to them. And you know what they'll tell you?
'' Well sir, our customers can afford to take care of their cars. That's the price sir.''

If the part is defective send it back. It's under waranty.



........I think you'll find that Bob, the original poster, din't complain about price OR delivery. He simply asked if WE thought his switch was faulty or if something else could cause his problems. We are ALL aware that certain parts are pricey, we ALL appreciate the fact that MB still make parts for our cars, we ALL appreciate the like of yourself Dan giving your valuable knowledge and time but we ALL still reserve the right to moan and YOU reserve the right NOT to listen !!

Thats all I was trying to say. If I have a problem with P&D I talk to my supplier.........end of story !  We are not in a particularly strong position here though as if we choose to moan about all prices and MB choose not to make anything available, as is their right.............we're stuffed !!   :?

Regards,
Ben in Ireland.
'64 230SL 4sp.

Benz Dr.

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« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2004, 10:21:00 »
I can't believe this. Tom has it right, very right. This very small discounts make it very hard for re sellers to stay afloat. ( see, I can complain too )

 Where did I go after the original poster? I didn't, and I hate being quoted where what I say is taken out of context.
I said, '' I'm not picking on anyone. Listen up everyone. ''
For those of you who have trouble reading things and understanding what the message is, what I'm saying is that in general everyone complains too much where they they have little to complain about. I didn't point you out or your friend down the road.

 Is there someone here who actually believes me to be that stupid????????

Daniel G Caron
1966 230SL 5 speed, LSD, header pipes, 300SE distributor, ported, polished and balanced, AKA  ''The Red Rocket ''
Dan Caron's SL Barn

TheEngineer

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High parts prices
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2004, 12:04:48 »
Dear Daniel:
I have been listening to you; and smiling. You are so right when you try to set people straight about the cost to maintain a Pagoda and the cost of parts. It is very expensive to manufacture a complex part like a blinker switch. Manufacturing costs drop dramatically when the quantity is large. This is the reason why a starter - or most other parts - for an American car is so inexpensive. I have designed parts for vehicular use and we have produced quality parts for under one Dollar, but the quantity was over 100,000 parts. We should appreciate that MB still supplies parts for the Pagodas. In contrast, a rear bumper for a 300SL costs $2000. It is custom made by a company in Indiana and you have to supply a template of the relevant area of the car. Parts like headlight doors or the glass jar for the window washer fluid are only produced because members of the club have gotten together and placed volume orders with manufacturers. The glass jar costs $100! So - guys - count your blessings! When you can't get any parts any more, you car quits running! And IMHO the pagoda looks - even today, after 40 years - better than any other car I have ever laid my eyes on. That includes the Rolls-Royce Corniche, where only since 2001, they have come up with hiding the top-down in a manner similar to our cars. Oh - and Daniel - Merry Christmas! and I, for one, read and enjoy your posts and stand behind you all the way. (I wouldn't dare to stand in front of the red rocket)

'69 280SL,Signal Red,007537,tired engineer, West-Seattle, WA[
« Last Edit: December 22, 2004, 18:51:04 by theengineer »
'69 280SL,Signal Red, 09 cam, License BB-59U
'67 230SL, 113042-10-017463 (sld)
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tired engineer, West-Seattle,WA

pagode.info

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High parts prices
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2004, 12:20:54 »
The question behind the question is:
Why do we all get those very small
discounts on oldtimer parts ? I tried
to point at it. This did not happen
accidental. Friendly fellows of my
native country aimed at making the
deal alone without troublesome compe-
tition. So here we are.

The absurd thing is, that those com-
panies, who did everthing to reduce
the discounts for all the others in
Germany and all around the world,
even be supported by those, who have
the damage (by ordering from them.)

So it is a "selfmade" problem.  

Sorry for beeing "off topic" :-)

Tom

Cees Klumper

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High parts prices
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2004, 21:17:52 »
It seems to me that the couple of companies that have joined together with DC to 'fix' maximum discounts on parts at 5% to resellers, have done so from the assumption that, collectively, they control enough of the parts supply to make it stick: sort of like OPEC or De Beers. By offering minimal discounts, they make it difficult for resellers to survive, provided they also sell parts to the ultimate consumer directly. I don't know who they are, aside from DC itself. And, here in the Netherlands, buying Pagoda parts from DC is very much discouraged by DC itself: they send owners like me to: resellers.
So in a market, like here, where resellers are the only game in town, the low discounts serve at least one purpose: create a level playing field for all resellers, and guarantee relatively high prices for the original manufacturer on the parts. That last bit can then result in two things: either the manufacturer becomes lazy and inefficient, OR he generates an above-market level profit. If it is the latter, I would not feel so bad, since I agree with those here who appreciate the fact that almost all parts are still available to beging with, albeit at seemingly high prices - but then again it's all about what you compare these prices to: higher-volume marques will always be cheaper than low-volume marques/models: we can see that from the quoted 300 SL prices. I guess our Pagoda parts prices fit right in the middle somewhere between VW Beetles, Minis and Volvo Amazones on the one hand, and 300 SL's and Ferraris on the other. Not to mention Bugatti's. And to me, that's about the right position: the Pagoda was always somewhere in between: unaffordable to most, but not in the 'top dog' bracket either.
Only when a new manufacturer would step in (who would never be sanctioned by DC BTW) would there be a possibility that prices would drop, and this will never happen due to the very high barriers of entry: a new manufacturer would find it very hard to reach profitable volumes.
So that leaves only one hope: that DC c.s. are not or do not become lazy in the spare parts production area, because then we pay too much!
I teach macro-economics for fun at university here, I hope I got my analysis right!

Cees Klumper in Amsterdam
'69 white 280 SL automatic
Cees Klumper
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pagode.info

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High parts prices
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2004, 00:05:56 »
This is, what I wanted to point at.

DC justifies giving some maximum dis-
counts because they believe, that those
are the most significant suppliers of
reproductions.

I guess, DC did not know that only
one of them truely produces parts,
while both of the others jumped on
the train, just dealing and importing
parts.

So DC gets delieverd by parts (floor
pans etc.) that are truely made in
the USA. The producers himself get`s
fooled twice. By getting no discount
at DC himself he`s forced to buy the
genuine parts from his customer for
a better discount.    

It`s a kind of circulation. Just based
on what others do believe. As long as
they all do - it works. Because of this
it`s a selfmade problem. Dealers cannot
start beeing independent while supporting
those at the same time, who`s interests
are to control the others.

Tom    





 





Benz Dr.

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« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2004, 01:00:35 »
Well, I think we all know who the manufacturer of repro floor pans is. They sell to all your main parts places around the States and to me - the only dealer they have in Canada. They also send a lot of floor pans to Europe and they all go to one place instead of several different dealers ( from what I'm told ) I believe this is a mater of simplicity and not a ploy to control the market. This is only on these parts and doesn't include all the other parts that usually come to NA.

Many parts are now being made in Poland and other counties near there. I've seen some of these pieces and they're really good. You see, there really is an attempt to bring you qualty parts at lower prices. This costs someone a lot of time and money so I don't feel bad if they sell the repro part for less than an original and make a proffit by doing it.

 You're right about one thing though. The discounts to resellers are small, really small. On hard parts that are common with other models the prices are good but on other things that are stricly MB dealer only there's not much room.

It may interest you to know that most vendors discount the price from MB list before you even see it happen. This has the long shadow effect of sqeezing everyone in the parts trade. I never did study economics but I know that a 10% discount from list on a 25% general discount leaves you with a 15% discount. Often times the shipping costs more than what the part will net out.

Daniel G Caron
1966 230SL 5 speed, LSD, header pipes, 300SE distributor, ported, polished and balanced, AKA  ''The Red Rocket ''
Dan Caron's SL Barn

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High parts prices
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2004, 02:16:22 »
The reseller discount on Merc parts depends on
how much You are buying. As long as a reseller
buys his genuine Merc parts not at Merc, but from
another reseller, he never will get good discounts
himself. Will say: He will never be independent.

That`s what I wanted to explain regarding new Merc
parts. One has to sell large numbers of parts with-
out any profit for years, until he`s getting more
and more discount. At the end he is independent.

There is also a way out on the Repro-Problem. In-
stead of suffering by not getting delivered with
this repros for years, one should join with others
to finance their own reproductions. Another way of
beeing independent.

I guess independence will be the most important
thing in future.

Tom



« Last Edit: December 22, 2004, 02:19:31 by pagode.info »

Ben C.

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« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2004, 05:40:40 »
Is everyone making the same point here ??

Regards,
Ben in Ireland.
'64 230SL 4sp.

Cees Klumper

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« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2004, 12:34:43 »
I'm kind of lost Ben! But I think Benz Dr. and Pagoda.info at least are on the same page!

Cees Klumper in Amsterdam
'69 white 280 SL automatic
Cees Klumper
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1972 Lancia Fulvia Coupe 1.3 rosso corsa
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114015

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« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2004, 16:41:22 »
Hello all,

 :) It's Chrismas, or almost. ;)  Please be kind to each other. :)  All of you are right to some extend.
The real problem is only that: the cars and parts are too expensive when we buy them but far too cheap when we sell ...
Anyway, I want to stop that (= my) fuzz here ...
 :oops:

The column stalk can be repared to some minor extend. However, when the black plastic part (which you touch with your hands) deteriorates, there is only one way: replace it. There are no parts available for the wiper switch.
However, you can buy/get/organize another used one and make a good one out of two.
I did some minor tinkering on the wiper switchs in the past but nothing serious. Hopefully I can/will report something more useful down the line next year.

Happy wiping/turn signalling

Achim
(Magdeburg, Germany)
Achim
(Germany)

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High parts prices
« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2004, 02:01:38 »
I just wanted to calm down a derailed discussion
by pointing at some backrounds of pricing poli-
tics. We´re all sitting in the same boat.

Clees explained it best.

I agree defective indicator switches cannot be
repared. In any case not if You go for a lasting
result. New switches can show symptoms in incor-
rect release action at the beginning.

I like to wish all the best for everyone.

Tom