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Price gauging on parts???


bigcountry

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I went to the closest Simplicity dealer today, and I needed a deck drive belt for my 4211. I go in expecting it to be around $10 or $15 and it turns out to be $30! Now, I know that some things are more expensive than others, but are those kinds of prices typical of OEM parts?
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You think thats bad.A friend of mine needed a muffler for his bobcat,$280 at the dealer.He did some checking around and got one for $50 direct from the muffler manufacture through a guy that worked there.Now I know this is probably just over cost to make it,so who's pocketing the rest?
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Each dealer sets their own prices on parts... some charge list price, some mark them higher, some discount them. But, I'm not sure belts are a good comparison. As far as I can tell, the Simplicity belts seem to have a much higher "cloth content" than the "generic ones" like Gates "Power-Rated" belts... They're designed for the specific application, and seem to hold up much better in any application that requires twisting or back-side idler pulleys. For example, I was going through a couple of Gates belts a year on the snowblower -- I'm now on my third year with the same Simplicity belt.
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Well the dealer prices are alot higher than a hardware store or whatever,but the quality of the belts are much different.I have a 4211 also,and last year I kept putting on belts that was only $12.52 from the industrial supply store.I thought I was having a pulley problem or something as the belt would last maybe long enough to mow the yard once if I was lucky.I finally bought one of the blue/green belts for $17.** from the farm supply store that made it about 2 months and probably would still be going but a linkage bracket to hold up the left side of the deck broke and chewed the belt before I could get it shut down.I looked up the part number and a www.jackssmallengines.com and the OEM belt was I think $22.**.If I remember right I priced one from the dealer last year and it was 21-23 range.
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I have been running green Gates commercial belts for 15 years. Just broke my first one about a month ago, while plowing snow. It was the main drive belt on the tractor which had also been through five years of tractor pulling. Don't get me wrong, I have ruined these belts because of misaligned pulleys and idlers, and have burned them up because of improper freeplay in the clutch adjustment. When they are adjusted correctly, they will last for years. I buy them because of convenience (at least six places in the area carry Gates-only one Simplicity/AC dealer who runs bankers hours), and they have been very durable in my usage.
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Don't get me wrong -- I've used Gates belts successfully on the tranny drive belts. But I've not had nearly as good a luck on either the mower drive or especially the snowblower drive belts. IMO, they get so floppy on the snowblower that they cause a lot of problems, and eventually will turn over and quickly self-destruct... Note that this is on old B-series with the belt having to turn 90 degrees right near the drive pulley that's spinning 3600 RPM, and uses both a back-side and a front-side idler to do so...
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Go to the article on belts I posted in the shop talk forum. It tells and explains why Simplicity belts cost more. [url]http://www.simpletractors.com/club2/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=11659[/url] On reason is there BUILT TO LAST
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You want to talk about expensive OEM parts, I was at a Simplicity dealer the other day looking for a Landlord/Soveriegn style seat and they sell the used ones with cracks for $40+ and they said a new one would be over $100! And I thought $80 was bad for a new John Deere seat for my JD110, at least I think the deere seat has has nice drain holes and seems to be real high quality, Guess I'm just going to get a $35 cheapie universal replacement seat for my Landlord rather than $100+ for OEM. -Chris
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Guys, when was the last time you tried to buy parts for a 1964 Chevy or a 1967 Ford at the dealer? Even if they had them, what do you think they'd cost for orignal replacement parts? Just compare what a Ford or Chevy dealer wants for their OEM parts for newer cars in comparison to NAPA, for example... Though the Simplicity parts are expensive, I'm just thankful that I can go get them, and most of them are there in stock, when I need them... and they're high quality, made is USA parts, not made in Brazil, Mexico, or China.... If that replacement part lasts another 30-35 years, like it did originally, it'll likely outlast me.
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Why is the dealer described as "gouging"? That's his price. Take it or leave it. I can go to the liquor store and buy a case of beer for .50 per can. That same beer will cost $2.00 in a bar, $4.00 in a restaurant, and $8.00 at a sporting event. That's not gouging. That's business.
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Kent,I can't agree more with you,it is nice to be able to get parts for these at a reasonable price.I was trying to be cheap and get the cheap belts and in the long run it cost me way more than double. Dutch,You are right,that is business.Thats why when I need a part I shop around on the phone and the internet before I buy.I have several dealers to choose from in my area and have seen big price defferences on the same parts.When I pay too much for a part,they did'nt gouge me,I gouged myself. I look at my parts book for the numbers as well.Been alot of times the school boy behind the counter could'nt look the part up right.Now if I get the wrong part I can blame myself.
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Guys, Don't get me wrong in my comment about belts. I said I bought the Gates because of convenience. The local Simplicity dealer closes at 5 during weekdays, and is not open weekends. Makes it hard to get there. I can't take a day off work every time I have a belt problem. The other thing is, "Who makes the Simplicity belts?" No one seems to know. Belts are like tires, there are only a few manufacturers, but their products are sold under many different product names. Someone makes them for Simplicity, and that someone probably sells the same belt under their brand also. Kent, You are correct about the applications where the belt has to make sharp turns around several pulleys. The "green" Gates belts are Kevlar reinforced and are very stiff. Belts for applications such as you described must be very flexible. The green belts have a tendency to flip over in these applications. I'm not so sure that it is belt quality as much as having a belt specifically designed for the application. That is what you get when you buy Simplicity, by specific part number. There is, however, one problem of buying from Simplicity, "can't buy without a part number". When nothing you own is completely stock, and when you walk into a store and tell them the length, width, and type of belt, they look at you like you are stupid. Has Simplicity ever issued a cross reference that lists their part numbers related to belt width, length, and type? This would be helpful in matching a part number to your needs. Belts have been a sore subject to me for years, because of other manufacturers. Sears, for example, made some of their tractors with belts having half inch increment lengths so that a commercial belt could not be used. Back in the 70s the sears belt would be nearly $40 when you could buy a commercial belt for $10. Sears never had them in stock and it would take 1 to 2 weeks to order. I modified several setups on these type tractors to take readily available commercial belts. I found no difference in the quality, just the price. This is my 2 cents worth. Thanks for letting me blow off a little steam, on a subject that has aggrivated me for the past 30 years.
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I would have to concur, You price around if the price doesn't meet your 'liking'. I understand what Dutch is saying as well, Dealers have to make those 'boat payments' too. Not everyone can be a Walmart! On the belt issue, Some of my friends with Simplicity's seem to whine every 5 or 6 years when they buy belts, the others whine monthly when their 'Gates' replacement belt goes flyin' across the front yard. Both pay about the same amount, the 'Gates' guy spends a LOT of time putting new belts on. I'd rather do it on an annual basis, Not on demand! JP
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Rod. There is a Simplicity document on the website with this info. [url]http://www.simpletractors.com/parts/belts/belts.htm[/url] You will find pages 16 through 19 of this document have much useful information.
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Another reason the dealers jack up the prices is because some of the parts are not money makers for them. In order to keep an inventory they feel the profit needs to be greater that the suggested retail price. Shopping around is definately the way to go. Like Kent said it is nice, actually impressive to be able to get parts for these antique machines. Al
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Rod
Read Read Read Read
Read my post above then go to the articals on belts I posted in the Shop talk forum. All the info you talked about is there. [url="http://www.simpletractors.com/club2/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=11659"]V Belts[/url] [url="http://www.simpletractors.com/club2/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=11663"]Belt Info by LENGTH [/url] [url="http://www.simpletractors.com/club2/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=11662"]Belt Info by PART NUMBER[/url] [url="http://www.simpletractors.com/club2/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=11660"]Belt Cross Section Chart[/url] Simplicity Belts are made Exclusively for Simplicity
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Guys, I'm lucky to have 3 Simplicity dealers within 20 miles of my front door, they have excellent inventories, good service, and are knowledgeable about the products they sell and service. I get most of my parts from these dealers, I get some of the belts and bearings I use from one of the Industrial suppliers in my area. I'm just thankful that the parts for these tractors are so readally available:)
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Maynard, Thanks for the info. I had already read the article on belts, but I guess I had overlooked the cross reference material. JP, If you look at my first post, I said last "Gates" belt that Ibroke was while plowing snow after being used for 5 years in tractor pulling. Not exactly monthly. Everyone, - I don't have a belt problem with any of my tractors. The belts last for years when properly adjusted with everything in alignment. - Simplicity/AC belts are great, as with all of their replacement parts. - I do not think that Simplicity makes their own belts and would like to find out who they buy the belts from. - I do have a problem with dealers who operate 9 to 5 and no weekends, especially when they are servicing and selling parts for machines that are used primarily in the evening and on weekends. We used to have another Simplicity dealer in the area and they were open till 6 weekdays and all day Saturday, but they closed a few years back. - I also know that belt failure is not just directly related to brand name. In addition to length and cross-sectional dimensions the number of plies of reinforcement fabric, whether cloth, aramid or steel, also the location of these plies within the cross-section play a major part in longevity. Belt construction is very specific to the application it is used on. When you don't know how to determine what belt is right for the application, there is only one way to purchase a replacement part - buy it from the factory by part number. This will assure that it is right for the application. I hope this clears up any misconceptions from my previous posts.
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Rod, I wouldn't get too hung up on "who makes them" because they're made to Simplicity's specifications, regardless of who it it. That would determine rubber compound, cord size, number of cords, tensile strength, etc. Examples: 1. MTD makes Cub Cadets -- does the 3000 Series Cub Cadet "interchange" with the $899 box-store brand name made also made my MTD... 2. Michelin used to make the "compact car" tires for Sears -- dunno who does now. They even used the same molds for the 5.60 X 15s for VWs, so the tread pattern even matched. But, they used a different rubber compound. You could get 40-50,000 miles out of a set of Sears tires on a VW (they're very easy on tires) or 70,000 miles plus on a set of Michelins....
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Kent, My point exactly! Most items, like belts are not individually designed, they are selected from reference specs supplied by belt manufacturers, even though they are to be sold under the purchasing company's name. It costs too much to have special tooling and manufacturing processes developed for each and every individual belt used on all of the different machines. Plus the higher volume being produced, the lower the cost. They are perfectly matched, but I really don't believe they are specially made.
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Max, Here in western NC we have a very good Simplicity dealer. One of the largest in the SE. I have found them to be very helpful and parts pricing is good, You get what you pay for! The dealer is Killians Hardware in Hickory 828-256-2147. If you feel the local dealer is taking you for a ride, spend the price of a phone call and shop. You may find that he is in line for a high quality OEM part.;)
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Your local Ford dealer buys for 45% off list.A belt with a $30.00 list costs the local repair shop $13.50 with the stocking discounts.I don't know what simplicity's discount structure is but as a businessman if you can't make double your money on a stocking parts inventory I'd rather not sell it.I can tell you this...EVERTHING and I mean EVERYTHING Home Depot sells they make a killing.There is never a time on an identical item that Walmart isn't almost half the price of Home Depot but the perception is they are cheaper.So give the little dealer selling 15 belts a week in season a break!
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