David Eldred19 October 2022 at 09:29 #58542
I appreciate the work the club put into keeping us supplied with spare parts. However I note the club are contemplating putting the prices up in the new year, in line with inflation. So I suppose 10%? I find this a dubious policy for stuff you have on the shelf – has it cost you any more? No.
The main point of this post though is a moan at the postage. I accept you have to have a system for postage, or weigh everything, which is one option. Would weighing items be too hard? (you have that option in the plugin you use I believe). I put 2 rubber fuel cap gaskets and a dynamo box top in the basket. Already expensive, I was expected to pay £9.75 postage on this + VAT. I know, I know, you have to add VAT to the postage too, but come on, these 3 items weigh next to nothing.
I’m afraid I aborted the purchase. Another day perhaps when I feel less irritated.
DavidJ D Sword20 October 2022 at 00:07 #58579
I should explain some of the commercial considerations that drive the club’s spares policies, including pricing.
The financial set-up of the spares operation is aimed at covering its costs and giving a small surplus which is then used to expand the range of parts. Our pricing decisions are consistent with this. Whilst an argument can be made that ‘keeping the cars on the road’ benefits all club members, we feel that those who buy spares should cover the full cost of the spares operation, so there is generally no cross-subsidy from other areas.
The cost of running the spares operation, compared with a commercial business, is modest, for two reasons. Firstly, quite a lot work is done by volunteers, at no cost to the club, and secondly, we do not have to make a return on the c. £400k of assets (largely stocks) employed. Of course it should always be possible to improve our purchasing activity by seeking new suppliers (although I do think that we do a pretty good job today), but this requires volunteers to do the work, and we struggle to find these.
On the specific point of ‘selling old stock at new prices’, all I can say is that those of us who have run businesses in high-inflation environments (e.g. the UK in the 70s, much of Latin America, parts of Africa, etc.) quickly learned that if you do not price things on a replacement cost basis you soon go bust. The principle applies at any inflation level.
Regarding carriage costs, we monitor these carefully, and the aggregate charges slightly exceed aggregate costs, with the difference being used to pay for packing materials etc. Basing carriage charges on value does mean that light packages are subsidising heavy ones. But it would be administratively costly to weigh, price and invoice each package individually, and the total cost paid by members would then be higher. We have therefore stuck with the current approach, as have many similar mail-order operations. Likewise, nearly everyone operates with a minimum charge.
I can understand your unhappiness in the case of this small order of lightweight parts, but just think of the joy of the man in Inverness ordering a clutch conversion for his M45 !
Regards, John SwordNeal Hilton5 November 2022 at 16:54 #58706
I have only thanks and praise for the clubs spares department, without them it would be very difficult to buy simple things that people seem to take for granted. Like gaskets and other small consumable items. I would rather pay £9.75 post than bugger about for hours making gaskets that don’t fit to way they should. lets remember, if the club parts department can’t pay for itself then it won’t be here to help us. That’s my opinion for what its worth. The service I have received is second to none. So thank you Robin and the team keep it up.
NealRichard Branch6 November 2022 at 20:03 #58712
Totally agree Neil, I’ve not bought many parts from the club spares dept but the range of parts available puts most clubs to shame, it is truly excellent.C W Gurnsey16 November 2022 at 01:50 #58751
I have used Club Spares off and on for over 35 years and always found the team helpful . I just started my second Lagonda basket case restoration and am amazed at the type and amount of spares offered by the club. For those of us far away the club’s resources are a godsend. Sometimes the Clubs prices seem a bit more than one would like to pay then I compare such costs to my Bentley experiences and appreciate the Club even more. Yes, postage and or shipping costs seem high at times but often that is not a reflection of the club but rather ones location and the alternatives available.
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