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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07-24-2008, 08:35 AM
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buy on web or local

Price versus value. This is a personal issue with me, take the time you bought what you thought would work on your car and found that it ended up making it do exactly what you didn’t want it to do. A local speed shop has the collective experience of all their customers set in a convenient place; near your house. This is typically why bench racing is the corner stone of our sport/hobby. Every shop has people who build, people who accessorize, and people who buy presents for their significant other. With this vast collection of experts to tap into it is easy to answer the question.

Local speed shops give you local knowledge of what works. A lot of the people who have tried things that worked and didn’t work come to bench race at the counter and not on the internet Wallmart. Experts of all types pass their knowledge on in a comprehensive rave of how good or bad, wonderful or useless, even indifference. Where else do you get that but at the counter.

The big internet places have their realm too; I like them for finding stuff, narrowing things down, and getting an idea of what things are going to cost. They have large warehouses and always have someone to answer the phone. Bob, the phone guy, seems like a good guy, but I think he’s a ford guy cause when I said 340 he asked what stroker kit I used and you know what, I think he called to sell me some insurance the other night, sounded like the same guy anyway.

Ok, maybe I’m bias, I like what summit gave to the hobby same as Boyd, but respect and loathing are not that distant cousins. The speed shop has always been a special place for me. My first carburetor was bought from a no longer existent speed shop. The magic knowing questions they asked, as if they were in my head. “Size motor”, “standard or automatic”, “headers”, “cam”, it was like a mind reading show. Then the glory came with “650 won’t do it, it’ll starve”, wow, he guessed the card I picked.

Here’s the point, the guys in your neighborhood know how to get to the 7-11, the guys on the internet know that there are 7-11s in your neighborhood. If you are trying to get to the 7-11 which one would you ask?

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Old 07-24-2008, 10:59 PM
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I buy everything on the web. Even wheels and tires. The local guys can't compete with the prices and it's way more convent.
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Old 07-25-2008, 08:42 AM
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I buy a lot from the web. The locals don't stock anything, take weeks to get what is ordered in, and charge too much.
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Old 07-25-2008, 09:37 AM
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two months ago I needed a set of boggers and ordered them from the internet....after 6 weeks of backorder I found a place in state that had 3 in stock......the local place got me the 4th one overnight ......I cancelled the internet order and plus they were about $15 a piece cheaper...... plus they were near my parents and the drove them down (they were coming anyways!) Buy local
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Old 07-26-2008, 07:58 AM
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I try to buy local.
Our local speed shop is way Ford Mustang 5.0 biased. ( hey ... that is what is running around mostly on the streets NOW ) but has some Chevrolet stuff and can get most anything in 1 to 2 days. That's quicker than the internet buys. He usually gets fairly competitive on the price. I do not mind paying a few dollars more to support a local business.

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Old 07-26-2008, 01:44 PM

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buy local or on line?

I buy mostly local to help keep them in business. If they go out of business, what you going to do if you need it yesterday with gas at $.20 a min. or mile!
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Old 07-26-2008, 08:47 PM
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I went to R&B Obsolete on Friday to buy some things and it looks like they are out of business after 25 years. Bummer. I like to buy local but the price and convenience of the web is hard to beat.
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Old 07-26-2008, 09:58 PM
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The local shops around here dont seem to take me seriously. I go in and ask them about a part, or what it'll cost, and all I get is a half assed answer, that I already knew.

There is one local shop, but I believe they are a chain, where the guys are super good. But on the internet, I dont have to deal with the 40 year old guy giving me looks because I ask him if I should up my jets with the carb he suggested.
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Old 07-27-2008, 08:08 AM
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He probably looked at you funny because there's no way of knowing what jet size your engine will need, if a change is needed at all, until you get the carburetor on it and run the engine.

I wish that I could afford to run a dedicated speed shop but the fact is that Summit and Jegs can sell go-fast parts at the same price I buy parts. I can't afford to work for free so hot rod parts are just a convenience for customers of mine that need them. I make almost nothing when I match the prices that those two advertise.

I get a raw arse every time a regular customer of mine shows up with a pile of parts he got from Summit and he can't make it run right. The 305H magnum cam, Victor JR intake, 3500rpm converter and 750 Street HP all sound good until you stick it on a stock 350 with smog heads in 3700lb car with a 3.08 peg leg axle. Nevermind that the kid at Summit didn't bother to ask any questions before he sold the parts, nor could he even offer reasonable advice if he did bother to ask, Summit's got it cheap.

Your local speed shop is more likely to have a guy there that knows you and your car and won't hesitate to tell you what will or won't make your car run better. Summit has kids making $7.50 an hour that don't know squat outside what the manufacturers, or magazine articles, tell them.

Soo, the next time you go to your speed shop, if you're lucky enough to still have one, to get a recommendation on a cam kit for a particular application and then balk at the price because Summit sells it $20 cheaper, think about how you just ripped off the guy for his experience and don't cry when the place closes up shop for good.

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Old 07-27-2008, 08:41 AM
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I buy from the web a lot. A lot easier to find what you are looking for, and compare prices, as well as read several reviews.
I just ordered a set of new tires for the daily driver. I was planning on getting them from sears, because I wanted for that weekend, was planning on taking a trip to a car show, and didn't trust the tires I had. Half their tires they had to order from there warehouse anyways. Other places were already closed for the weekend. Ended up ordering exactly the tires I wanted, and they were here in two days. Even with shipping, after a rebate, the price was probably better then I could get here. Its hard to usually find what you are looking for in this town, and if you do, you normally pay more for it. It so much easier to find exactly what you are looking for on the web, place your order, and just wait a little while for it to arrive, then running around town, burning gas and stopping into several places, and you never know what kind of person you will get trying to help you. Doesn't go for all things. I may be looking to buy some 4x8 sheets of sheetmetal soon, I would probably order from the place in town and just go down and throw it in the back of the truck and bring them home. I've ordered from twice before, and have had a good experience with them.
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Old 07-27-2008, 10:21 AM
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I do patronize the local shops whenever I can - - however, when you live in BFB, then online shopping is usually your only salvation (especially with gas prices as they are) - - besides that - - - "they are much cheaper" even with the shipping - - IMHO
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:21 PM
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Local or on line?

I usually try to shop local - but lately it seems that the local shops are having a competition to see who can charge more for something.

The other trend I have noticed is that the local speed shops here in the Vancouver, BC area seem to be experiencing a "dumbing down" of the staff - even one guy I have dealt with for over 15 years seems to have a progressively lower IQ every time I go in, and is also turning into a jerk as well.

If I have done all my homework, have researched everything to death (on the web) and know EXACTLY what I want, he'll sell it to me - but advice? Fuhgedaboudit. (and his prices are WAY higher than I can find on the web)

So, I find myself doing and more biz on the web - after all, if I have to gotta go to the net for advice and for tech help, why not buy from there, too!

Just my take.....
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:59 PM
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the local Napa ( owned locally by an old lady ) still can get speed parts, they do not stock anything anymore, but they can get anything, and they actully know what there talking about, well except the new kid they have there who said there was no such thing as a '65 Rambler he won't last too long tho... Last thing I bought from them was a couple boxes of Holley jets.. $12 each, better price than Summit...
When I was building my 200 I6 turbo engine, I was having a tough time finding valve retainers that would work with the 302 springs, they let me borrow a used factory 2 peice 302 intake retainer which I figured out that using the 200 I6 5/16" centers in the 302 retainer worked perfect.. I went back to buy what they had, when the machinist who takes care of that kind of stuff, told me there was no charge.

For regular auto parts, I normally ither hit up the Napa or local carquest ( very small store, but has been open 60 years this month, just prooves size means nothing ) .. I go in there, I ask for parts for " My Rambler " or " My Chevy ".. they know what they are.. not the cheapest prices ( not the worst ither ), but I'll pay extra for good service... unfortunatly tho, with my Rambler, Carquest books are all screwey when it comes to AMC's of that era..for instance, a '65 Rambler American with bendix or Wagner brakes, both use Wagner type rear wheel cylinders, carquest lists a diffrent P/N for ither 1.. and it's even screwier with the rebuild kits, there is 8 diffrent kit P/N's available for the '65 American, for left, right, frt, back wagner or bendix... the internal packages reveal only 2 P/N's for left and right... So I'v been using Rock auto online auto parts, but even that is a faimily run buisnues.
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Old 07-31-2008, 01:04 PM
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Buy on web vs local

I guess I find that "auto parts" stores are all about the same in terms of service and knowledge in many places.

We have a bunch of NAPA stores around here and a huge local chain that deals in pretty much same sorta stuff, as well as a couple of National chains of auto parts stores.

I guess when I go into a dedicated speed shop that caters to hotrodders and sponsors cars in the NHRA etc, I expect to find staff with more knowledge than I would get at a typical NAPA type- store - and since I don't seem to find that, I wind up on-line a lot of times - maybe my expectations are too high?
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Old 07-31-2008, 02:56 PM
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Local when i can. I'd rather support my own backyard.

online, i'll take Yogi's over the rest.
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