on 06-11-2012 01:41 PM
So Supercheap auto recently opened up in my town and I went for a wander, not really wanting aything in particular, just having a browse and a stickybeak to see how 'cheap' they really were.
As some of you know, I've worked in spares for about 20 years now and although not currently working due to an injury, I keep up to date with the industry with the hopes of returning one day.
Now first off, in my town there are 4 established auto part stores which have been in town at least 20 years each. Excluding Repco, the 3 other privately owned stores have staff who own modified cars, have all raced at one point or another and all live locally. Repco is the typical Repco who caters more for trade and is too expensive. However, Repco is right next door to Supercheap.
So, anyway, I have a look around and immediately notice things are not cheap! shock horror. Sure, their own brand stuff may be cheap, but its also crap. (I bought a jump starter for my ride on, so far its been returned 4 times in 6 months and it was $179 so not a 'cheap' one)
Example, I needed a battery for my 4wd. I noticed they had a Century N70ZZ and looked at the price. $229. I bought one from the local spares shop for $175 fitted. Supercheap quoted another $15 to fit it. My fanbelt for a Territory was $79.95. I picked up the same brand, same belt for $34.95.
They also didn't carry a common filter (Z115) for my Nissan and wouldn't supply one without me paying freight on it. Great, local spares have a Wesfil on the shelf for $8.95 which was less than the freight SC wanted to charge. Even in a Ryco SC was $49.95 and the local guys were about $22-$29.
They do have a good returns system, which is basically no questions asked, however, if you go to a shop that has knowledgable staff and you're supplied the correct item the first time, you don't need to return an item. I returned a drill to SC as it was faulty and basically I walked in said 'Hi, This doesn't work, its only about 6 weeks old' and I was told to go grab another one! I wonder how many people abuse the returns process!
Anyway, my point is if you do live in a town that has a Supercheap, don't believe the hype, or the name. Fact is, on a LOT of parts, they AREN'T cheaper and most of the staff don't know one end of a car from another. I was pointed in the direction of the catalogue when I asked for filters, and even when I asked if they had a Z115 they didn't know what it actually was.
on 06-11-2012 02:40 PM
haha, agreed. most of the staff aren`t old enough to even have a license! I don`t even bother to ask them for help, unless I just can`t find the location of what I want to look at. Though on most items they are cheaper than Autobarn. And as far as there fitting goes, jeez! watching some kid fit wipers to a car and having less idea than the person buying them is cringeful! think they trained at the same school as Bunnings staff, :^O
on 06-12-2012 06:15 PM
Complete waste of time if you're looking for "parts" as such. Almost everything I've tried to buy there could be "ordered in", and that's for EL Falcon, MJ Triton and Zook Vitara. If it's not for a Commondore, they don't carry it.
Plenty of toys (they call them tools) and pretty stuff on the shelves though.
on 06-13-2012 01:38 PM
The worst thing is the sheep in town think they're the greatest thing ever! Speaking with the shop owners, they've noticed a 20-30% drop in sales since SC opened. It beats me why our local council even allowed it, they claim they're all for small business and looking after locals, yet they let a mulit million dollar company open without a town forum or even asking for local opinion.
The local SC charges $15 freight on all parts that need to be ordered in and as you said, if its not a Commodore, its not on the shelf. They only had 1 x Z9 filter when I was in there and it was $19.95 but they're super cheap? huh? My ryco Z9's cost me $12.95!
Yeah most of their tools are total crap. Anything there that isn't a brand name is garbage.
on 06-13-2012 08:17 PM
They bought out what was Rocca Bros here in Sadelaide, which in between became part of the Marlows group. So in order, Marlows bought them, then SC bought Marlows out.
When it was Rocca's, the stores were a great place to shop. Best prices anywhere, like a true parts supermarket with fast moving handyman stuff in aisles, with the more intricate stuff, engine internals etc (yes they carried the lot) behind the counter. Had experienced staff on hand, who most, usually just went and grabbed what you needed without having to look it up.
Never once had anything "ordered in" for Falcon, Valiant, Holden, Hunter, Mazda Bongo even!
Far cry from what it's become.
on 06-14-2012 07:06 AM
trained at the same school as Bunnings staff :-)
I've just been through the Bunnings recruitment process and can say that Bunnings specifically don't want staff with any experience. Applicants who were former tradies and those with hardware retail experience were discarded straight away. It's all about personality apparrently. Let's see personality tint your paint to the correct colour :-)
on 06-15-2012 06:38 PM
Bit scared about the young pimple faced kids fitting
batteries and wipers in the "pits"-the car park outside
SCs and the--Barn.
I have worked in that trade since 1965.
Managed 4 large -big R stores.
Now working for an independant store the past 15 years.
No one from the store -fits anything.
Leave that to the local mechanics...................Richo.
on 06-17-2012 10:47 AM
Yeah agreed Richo.
I have done the odd day in a local store and we'll fit wiper blades, but thats the limit. Maybe a batttery if its just won't start and the person is stranded.
In the old days before side airbag seats etc, we used to fit seatcovers, I can even remember doing alarms and stereos in the back of our shop, even a cat converter and a few exhaust tail pipes.
Not now, too many insurances, liabilities etc. If we fit seat covers and the don't line up properly for the airbags to deploy, guess who'd be sued if the car was crashed and insurance denied a claim.
I've seen SC staff fitting tool boxes to the back of utes etc, they'll be great when the piddly little bolts snap and it falls off on the highway. I think they also charge a fitting fee. Had a bloke saying one Sat while I was waiting for some paint that they were going to charge $15 to fit some wiper blades to his Honda or something, the kid got out there and couldn't figure out how to take the blades out of the 'thingies' so he said he couldn't do it. My mate went out and replaced both the heads as it was quicker, easier and cheaper to do that, for nothing.
on 06-17-2012 12:39 PM
Hi Beagles-even scarier-the fitting toolboxes in utes!
Im Lucky-the store i work for has slowly moved
away from -seat covers-headlight protectors--
baubles and trinkets.
Hard parts are the go!
My problem is the younger blokes working there-
put discs on the puta and throw out the catalogues
from under the counter:_|.......................Richo.
on 06-18-2012 11:16 AM
Know how you feel. I'm as computer savvy as the next guy, but the computer systems for spare parts suck donkey balls.
My mate has slowly, reluctantly, kicking and screaming gone into OSCAR (waste of money) and Peach. There is a young guy who's been in the game 12 months and already knows more than me (yawn) who refuses to look in catalogues for anything, straight onto the computer into Oscar to find the part.
I might use it for some things like a tail light globe for a current model vehicle or something, but for gaskets, forget it. Gasket book, or knowledge stored in the grey thing upstairs.
I remember a few issues where they were chasing a tie rod end for a 90's non power steer Festiva. Went to the computer, and it gave part numbers but no dimensons. Ordered one, wrong, ordered another one, wrong. Ford couldn't supply it, the bloke was ready to burn the car.
I got out those funny things called verniers and drew up a diagram with measurements and then went to the catalogue and started comparing. First I went to Mazda as I knew the 121 and Festy shared some components, Guess what! The 121 tie rod has the same size, dimensions and threads! ordred 2, fitted up no problems.
He stood there stunned and shocked when the guy bought me in a 6 pack because they cost him $15 each when Ford told him $159 each if the could find them.
on 06-18-2012 11:47 AM
I find that with a lot of store sin general who advertise guaranteed price matching and easy returns are much they same. yest they can be cheaper IF YOU ask, but if you dont they are not and most dont, they just assume they are. easy returns are also offered in stores where they have high margins in the first place.
definately hate that " no worries thats the right one mate" response when they clearly are just guessing. Having to go back to exchange can turn an hours job into a couple of days if you are not right next door to the store
on 06-18-2012 11:50 AM
TBH dealers can be the worst, if they cant find it on the comp it doesnt exist.
on 06-18-2012 08:27 PM
Because of this thread -have been listening at the counter.
Bloke mention he was in the store --OP.
Someone asked about welsh plugs-the young fella
serving found bosch ones made in germany and others made in china ---none made in Wales-lol.
Yep Beagles--Oscar is as handy as a rubber shovel...........Richo.
on 06-18-2012 10:02 PM
Gave one a bit of confusion a few weeks ago, when I asked for a sump gasket for a Holden Tri-matic.
Of course, he had to ask what model vehicle (not knowing a traumatic is a traumatic from '69 to '85 - and beyond for some applications). Became even more confused when I told him. "Zooki Vitara SE416"
Yes, they run a Holden Traumatic, imperial bolts 'n all ;-)
on 06-18-2012 10:41 PM
another tranny swap that you might not expect is a volvo 120/140 series manual box bolts up no mods to a bristol 6 in a Frazer Nash le mans rep. most of the original cars have this mod.
i think a maserati 3200 uses a holden box too.
on 06-19-2012 04:04 AM
The wayne carr manager at my local repco .......since he frigged up my ex staff discount card X-( .............. now cops me at odd times( if I am in town and see heaps of cars at ripco and it looks busy ..then that's the time) screaming down the phone that
"it's bloody Ronny from the industrial estate. (5 mechanics named Ron in the industrial estate) ................. "Debbie (AKA Debbie does parts deliveries ) said those parts would be here first thing` FFS pull your finger out and ring me back with an eta"........ then slam goes the phone...
Sometimes I go for the "12 variant interp" I like the holden gemini diesel/mazda 323 "marriage"... to get his eyeballs a spinning ... he finally gets to the "eureka I have it" stage... I wait for the price and them I tell him he is too dear.... it's cheaper at Bursons
caught him that many times it ain't funny..... well not for him anyways.... most of the interpreters know my voice and flick me straight onto him... He definitely has an R carved in the soles of both shoes
ole mates Henry and Pete Raymond I did tafe with and worked with for a while are managers at Bursons at Coffs and they give me the top discount and it still works out streets cheaper even with extra local freight added.
all sheila helpers at coffs supacheap.... I make a lot of enquiries about the items on the top and bottom shelves... but don't buy too much
on 06-19-2012 06:08 AM
LOL-Viewmont re the top and bottom shelves-
didnt go through to the keeper!
Back to my store---the young blokes will ask me -
what uni joint suits a 9 in diff in -whatever.
Tell them it was all written in the front of the
catalogue under the counter---you threw out.
-look it up on Oscar------but its not on Oscar.
Rest my case.
Like fanbelts---Oscar lists the part no -but not
that 2 are need on some 4x4s....................Richo.
on 06-19-2012 08:05 PM
Back to your post re delivery persons.-Viewmont.
The big R in a nearby town had a new delivery chick.
As the deliveries hit the despatch bench-she would make a list.
When about 8 needed to go---------she would deliver
in the order she had written down-lol.
Down the industrial estate with one -back to just around the
corner from the shop-one a bit out of town --back to the industrial estate.----some workshops waiting -watched her drive past 5 times in an hour-LOL..........Richo.