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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-08-2020, 03:30 AM Thread Starter
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Who do you get your parts from?

I usually get my parts from Amazon. I'll look up the part on somebody else's parts diagram and check prices. If it's lower at Amazon, that's where I buy from. Since I'm an Amazon Prime customer, getting the shipping free, total cost is usually cheaper with Amazon. And they opened a distribution center a couple of miles from me, so they are usually next day.

Sometimes I will buy from the guy with the parts diagram as they've gone through the trouble of helping me find the right part. Amazon doesn't have diagrams. eReplacemenParts.com is a good example. Sometimes I'll just buy from other vendors to spite Amazon and help the little guy. JacksSmallEngines.com is another favorite of mine.

I have purchased from Sears, but prefer not to any more as their diagrams are screwed up to the point that you can't even click on the part number and have the part come up. It's like they're trying to get you to talk to their rep. I end up having to scroll through the big list to the right until I see the part. Sheesh. And Sears used to have a smaller parts store at the mall near me, but they've closed now. Local people now have to go somewhere else to get their machines fixed.

I've never done much with manufacturers as their prices are usually the highest. Only when I can't find the part anywhere else, will I buy from them.

Menard's and O'Reilly's are local stores with decent mower parts sections. Also Farm and Fleet has a good small engine section. I go to these guys if I don't want to wait for shipping.

Who do you get your parts from and what are some tricks and tips you've used?

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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-08-2020, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
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Oh, and I love buying my carb parts from Walbro. I emailed them once and got such good help, I buy from them when I can in order to return the favor. Those guys are great. Here's one of their helpful videos:


rmccue at walbro.com is the support guy's email I'm referring to. His name is Robert McCue. He calls me Mr. Kuhn. Heh. Bob is the best. I don't care what it costs me from Walbro. Bob gets my business.

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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-09-2020, 01:20 AM
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I never buy anything from anywhere that does not have a physical presence, an office or a shop or a warehouse.
I am a tech so most of my parts come through one of my wholesale suppliers, Stens, Rotary, Prime Line, Oregon or RGS .
If i can not find an aftermarket part then they come from one of my local dealers.
For me the cheapest possible price on the planet is not an option.
I know where it leads to and it is not pretty .
As Joni Mitchel sang decades ago " don't it always seem to go - that you don't know what you got till it's gone "
In a former life I ran a warehouse .
We got linked up with a space broker so whenever we had empty pallet spaces, he would find products to fill them with.
We picked & posted these products in may cases the same goods were shipped under several different company names at different prices.
Look up their web address and you see photos of massive factories and big warehouses where as in fact the "company" was nothing more than a home computer hooked up to the web .
Even worse with a lot of them when the pallets were getting near empty they stopped paying their bills so we had to go to a firm "pay before despatch regeime "
A lot of them had ebay "shops" or an Amazon retail presence .
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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-09-2020, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
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@bertsmobile , Very interesting perspective based on your experience. Thanks for posting. Help me understand your point from my context. So you're saying you wouldn't buy from Amazon sub-contractors because they might just be a computer hooked up to the web and you might never get your parts?
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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-11-2020, 01:44 AM
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Yes.
You look like a fool when a repair that had a $200 labour cost comes back because the part you saved 50 on by getting from Amazon fails because it came from a defective batch thet the vendor bought for scrap metal value because they were defective .
There is a peverse sort of sickness that equates your success by your ability to get what you want cheaper than the man next door regardless of the real cost of doing so .
Why can't my kids get a job ? because cheapskates forced companies to export 5,000,000 jobs to Mexico, China, Brazil, etc .
Why is Briggs filing a Chapter 11 ?
because cheapskates will rather buy the mower with a $ 50 cheaper engine in it.
At least once week a job come in that the owner can not fix despite replacing 1/2 the engine.
Nearly all of the time I trace it to a defective part bought on line.
We had a run of really cheap kawasaki air filters , cheap because kawasaki rejected them because they were not sealed properly at the end thus let dust right through, but they were only $ 6.50 against the $ 19 for guaranteed after market ones or $ 32 for genuine kawasaki ones.
So they saved $12.50 and stuffed their rings & bores resulting in a $ 600 repair bill for replaced rings.

You have to read the adds very carefully there is a big difference between OEM part or FIT's and certified good part.
How do you sue an Amazon or Ebay vendor for secondary damages ?
They don't exist as a legal entity . All they are is an account number that has bulk items shipped to a warehouse and recieves money from the sales .
Where are you going to go for those hard to find bits when nearly all of the dealers have closed down because they can no longer sell bread & butter parts each season ?
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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-11-2020, 04:21 AM Thread Starter
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I guess I come from the other end of the spectrum in terms of costs and charging customers. Actually I don't charge for labor as I'm a hobby repairman and don't want to have to file income taxes on my hobby each year. I also want to save my 'customers' money in terms of parts cost. That's all I usually 'charge' for as there's no mark up with me and sometimes not even parts at cost depending on who they are as in the case of relatives and friends. My goal is to break even and that's what I do. Most of the time I tell them the actual parts cost and leave it up to them what they pay me. Some will give me an extra $20 but that's a gift I'll turn right back into my hobby. Some don't give me any extra and that's fine. So cheaper parts helps in my case. People are very happy to get a repair these days and many are left with just putting the thing on the curb and buying new.

Poor quality parts are something to be aware of, that's for sure. Air cleaners I'll pick up locally because I can and I don't have to wait to have them shipped. I have had trouble getting the right carb from Amazon, but that's my fault - I didn't look closely enough to be sure of a match. In that case, Amazon takes things back no questions asked. Well, they do ask if there's something wrong with the part, but they don't care how you answer. They'll take anything back.

I believe there's something to be said about healthy competition and a thriving economic system which is certainly world wide now. You can blame cheapskates all you want, but I do believe the fittest suppliers will win overall. Best value per $ says something to me that I will support. I don't know about Briggs or your kids, but to blame others for their plight is not going to help. They have to figure something else out. I sense a lot of frustration on your part. I certainly don't take your criticisms personally. I'm going to keep doing what I do because it helps people. That's my primary concern. Amazon wins my business because they are more heavily customer based than many of their competitors. Sears paid the price. They're out of business now, mostly. They couldn't adjust to the field.

I'll relay this story - I went to my local Sears repair shop for parts one day and saw a guy coming out of the store with his mower and a disgusted look on his face. I asked him what was up and he said he brought his mower in for repairs and they didn't do anything to help, but changed the oil and put in a new spark plug & air cleaner and charged him handsomely. His mower still wouldn't start. On the sidewalk in front of the store I took his air cleaner off and showed him how to hard choke the system by covering the air intake. His mower started. I had to laugh as we did this right in front of Sears. We had a talk about SeaFoam as an option that might help and fuel stabilizer in the long term. He thanked me and off he went. That shop is closed now, but Amazon is hiring drivers at their nearby distribution facility. Parts come even faster now that they've opened up 3 miles down the road. This is the actual warehouse in Aurora, IL.
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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-11-2020, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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I'd also like to clarify with an example of parts price diffs - it's not 50 cents. There's a thread on here right now about replacing a carb 790120 for $50. I looked for it and found it on EBay for $10 w free shipping. Here's the link:

https://www.ebay.com/i/174377131582?...RoCt-QQAvD_BwE

If other people screw up their machines, doesn't that mean more business for you?

What specific parts have you had problems getting from OEMs and FITs? Sorry, I'm just not getting your point, or perhaps it's your frustration I don't understand.

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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-11-2020, 10:22 PM
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Bert's frustration is shared by a lot of us that have spent our lives repairing things to earn a living. I've been in a different area, worked for the TV and appliance sales service business for 34 years and about done with it thankfully. All we hear daily from customers is how they could have bought the part cheaper on the net. Some even want to buy the part themselves and expect us to install and warranty the repair. Parts sell retail on the net cheaper then we can buy them wholesale through manufacture authorized distributors. Also if your warranty authorized for a manufacture they dictate in some cases where you buy parts for the warranty work and you are expected to use the same parts for out of warranty work for the manufactures products. You risk loosing your authorization if you don't abide by the contract signed to get authorization. What people never seem to relize that have not been in business is that you have a certain amount of profit you have to make from the repairs to survive. If you try to make it all on labor they think your over billing your time. If you add to the markup of the part to keep the labor lower then they think your robbing them on parts. You tell them it is an installed price for the part which means part of your labor is in the price of the part and they don't think that is right either. Many people seem to think their service guy is some form of a charitable organization.


Don't get me wrong, writing out bills of repair to people is the one part of my job I have always disliked the most. I wish I could do it for free but when your living off the income, depending on it to feed, provide shelter, buy healthcare insurance and pay all the other bills that need paid to stay out of the government welfare system you have to charge and you have to if at all possible do it right the first time. Callbacks or yo-yo repairs especially if travel to a customers home is required will bury you in a hurry. We have a hard enough time getting quality working replacement parts from the manufactures OE parts let alone take a chance on some product from a sweat shop paying slave labor wages overseas. But the heck of it is the manufactures are also starting to use those same sweat shops in part as an effort to avoid ending up like Briggs.

Mark - 2002 John Deere LT150H


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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-11-2020, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Mark, Thanks so much for your note. I can't imagine making a living fixing mowers and other small engines. I do this as charity work quite literally because I grew up on a farm and have a knack for fixing things myself. When I hit 60 years of age I decided to do my own version of volunteer work out of my garage as a shop. I do find it very rewarding.

Your perspective and that of Bert's merits a great deal of respect. I wonder where it will end up. Actually, I think I know where it's headed. My wife wants to replace our washer and dryer without even giving me and my son a chance to fix it, which I've done several times before. She wants new. Reminds me of a <cough> spoiled child. I offered her the set you see below, but she didn't think it was funny.
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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-12-2020, 12:45 AM
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I have one of those and also the all in one made of wood but the ringer and agitator part is long gone from the top. The all in one made of wood was my great grandparents washer. Dad and I salvaged it from the barn where it was used to hold feed for livestock when they sold the farm. I still remember both my grandparents using electric wringer washers. They had newer machines but kept the old wringers to wash their throw rugs. Even at 80 years of age my grandmother all but refused to use the dryer we installed for her and instead hung her clothes in the basement during winter and outside all summer.



I do work for my family and friends and seldom ask any money of them. They help me when I need an extra hand doing something and that is how I repay them. Also if it is a hobby and something you enjoy doing that is all that matters. I have to give people credit that still have a go at fixing things for themselves. Mechanical ability is becoming a lost ability with the younger people. If it doesn't have a keyboard and a screen they are not sure what to do with it. The old way of fixing things until they no longer could possibly be fixed has mostly went to toss and replace. Course manufactures have not been helpful in that regard with so many things not made to be repaired and no parts available.


The nice thing though about old mechanical things was if you stared at it a bit it was kind of common sense how it worked. But now with computers controlling everything, even the new small engines with variable timing and fuel injection, not so much. Lot of it I think is how you were brought up as a kid. I was with my grandfathers and dad whenever they were working on things and that is how I learned. Now kids are with friends, watching videos, playing games to spend the time when we were kids we spent with family learning how to do something or helping with chores that needed done.
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