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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Chris I hope you don't mind me posting these questions here but I know some the guys that frequent this section are professionals and business owners in the aftermarket. I thought the answers might be better thought out than posting this in TOBT.

I'm asking those of you with shops that buy from Wholesale Distributors. You don't need to mention specific companies.


What do you like/dislike about them?

Aside from parts what do they offer that's valuable to you?

Where could they stand to improve most?

Is there a niche or need that isn't being adequately filled?



I ask because I've worked in the performance parts industry off/on for about 15 years. I've toyed with the idea of a small WD start-up for a while. Obviously I can't compete in all areas with the big WD's and don't see a reason to simply offer what's already being offered. If there is a specialized need to be met I'd consider it. Maybe it's a slightly different service than just plain distribution, carrying small parts or brands that the big places don't offer or focusing on a particular engine platform or racing segment. Or maybe it's not engine parts at all but something else that really hasn't been addressed. Thanks in advance for the replies.
 

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pig hunter
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most w/d's don't have a clue as to the product we need.. you get some kid or some wanabe racer trying to push a product for there gain or because there brothers bracket car uses it...
 

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most w/d's don't have a clue as to the product we need.. you get some kid or some wanabe racer trying to push a product for there gain or because there brothers bracket car uses it...
Some do and actually try an help. ;)
 

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pig hunter
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scott, i'm not taling about guys like boggs, speiers, you, chris etc etc. they have been doing this for yrs and know wtf you will need to do what you looking to do... i'm talking about guys that use something and become a w/d for them and push the stuff like it the only thing around.
 

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scott, i'm not taling about guys like boggs, speiers, you, chris etc etc. they have been doing this for yrs and know wtf you will need to do what you looking to do... i'm talking about guys that use something and become a w/d for them and push the stuff like it the only thing around.
I hear ya and I agree. It also makes it tought when there are fairly well known companies who basically give stuff away at rediculously low prices making it really hard on the rest of us. And technical support? LOL...:smt102
 

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pig hunter
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the other issue is guys that been in the biz for yrs get the phone calls on the what, where and the how.. then they go to summit and buy so the small guys don't have a chances....
 

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Butch
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IMO service is #1, Quality is #1 too, but your customer service is only as good as the customer service you get. This is with ANY middle man deal, which involves the WD warehouse, the WD buyer and the retailer

All the retailer cares about is the buyer they bought from, and that WD buyer has to rely on good customer service from the WD warehouse to pass on to the retailer

If its gonna be 1 month, say so, or better yet buy it from someone esle, explain you can do this with a slightly higher price but your keeping the sale, and keeping the buyer happy so he can keep the retailer happy
 

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IMO service is #1, Quality is #1 too, but your customer service is only as good as the customer service you get. This is with ANY middle man deal, which involves the WD warehouse, the WD buyer and the retailer

All the retailer cares about is the buyer they bought from, and that WD buyer has to rely on good customer service from the WD warehouse to pass on to the retailer

If its gonna be 1 month, say so, or better yet buy it from someone esle, explain you can do this with a slightly higher price but your keeping the sale, and keeping the buyer happy so he can keep the retailer happy
I'm a stocking WD for just about everything.
I just got a call from a customer in Canada. Needs a set of rings like yesterday.
GM 305 crate/spec engine for a 5.0L hydro (boat)
Took about 20min to run down a part number. Rings are odd size...5/64 5/64 3/16, 3.736 +.03 bore, needed low tension oil ring, racing set.
It's 10:55 pm where he is in Canada. He knows he can call me any time.
I found them...we carry the part no. but not a stocking item. I will have to order them form Hastings in the AM and get them shipped to him red label asap.
I'll make 20.00... but to me, it was being able to help him in a jamb that was the point, not the (lack of) profit.
 

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Butch
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I'm a stocking WD for just about everything.
I just got a call from a customer in Canada. Needs a set of rings like yesterday.
GM 305 crate/spec engine for a 5.0L hydro (boat)
Took about 20min to run down a part number. Rings are odd size...5/64 5/64 3/16, 3.736 +.03 bore, needed low tension oil ring, racing set.
It's 10:55 pm where he is in Canada. He knows he can call me any time.
I found them...we carry the part no. but not a stocking item. I will have to order them form Hastings in the AM and get them shipped to him red label asap.
I'll make 20.00... but to me, it was being able to help him in a jamb that was the point, not the (lack of) profit.
Exactly,,,
 

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IMHO you'd be better off taking your start up cash to Vegas and putting it all on "RED". There is no product that someone else isn't already slutting out (Evilbay) at zero profit margin, no unique car part that has a consistant demand, no profit to be made in this industry on a small scale. ;)
 

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IMHO you'd be better off taking your start up cash to Vegas and putting it all on "RED". There is no product that someone else isn't already slutting out (Evilbay) at zero profit margin, no unique car part that has a consistant demand, no profit to be made in this industry on a small scale. ;)
No way to get to the top of a mountain other than by the first step. If all you see is the mountain, you might as well not climb.
The way to make $ in this business is to be someone that people want to do business with. That's where my effort lies. That's the first, most important step. I hope I am successful.
 

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Don't get me wrong, there's certainly money to be made, but you better have something everyone wants and nobody else has. If you're selling Chevy lifters, there's a hundred sellers out there ready to undercut you. I'd like to say there's customer loyalty out there, and to some extent there is, but you cannot rely on it. With fewer clients out there and an overpopulated marketplace, it get's pretty cutthroat. LOTS of price shoppers out there, and even more frustrating, lots of information hunters out there that will never spend a dollar with you but will happily call you on your 800 number and string you along for an hour or more.

IMHO if you're thinking of becoming a WD, have a toll free number for taking orders only, and have a 900 number for questions LOL. :D
 

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Butch
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Don't get me wrong, there's certainly money to be made, but you better have something everyone wants and nobody else has. If you're selling Chnot evy lifters, there's a hundred sellers out there ready to undercut you. I'd like to say there's customer loyalty out there, and to some extent there is, but you cannot rely on it. With fewer clients out there and an overpopulated marketplace, it get's pretty cutthroat. LOTS of price shoppers out there, and even more frustrating, lots of information hunters out there that will never spend a dollar with you but will happily call you on your 800 number and string you along for an hour or more.

IMHO if you're thinking of becoming a WD, have a toll free number for taking orders only, and have a 900 number for questions LOL. :D
Back when Federal Mogul supplied descent pistons (TRW), rings, bearings, oil pumps, cams, lifters etc they had a tech/sales line you could pay say $1.99/min to not be on hold. If you needed something that was not in your catalog, that was the way to go
 

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I'm a stocking WD for just about everything.
I just got a call from a customer in Canada. Needs a set of rings like yesterday.
GM 305 crate/spec engine for a 5.0L hydro (boat)
Took about 20min to run down a part number. Rings are odd size...5/64 5/64 3/16, 3.736 +.03 bore, needed low tension oil ring, racing set.
It's 10:55 pm where he is in Canada. He knows he can call me any time.
I found them...we carry the part no. but not a stocking item. I will have to order them form Hastings in the AM and get them shipped to him red label asap.
I'll make 20.00... but to me, it was being able to help him in a jamb that was the point, not the (lack of) profit.

Thats part of business. You have a happy customer who will now buy what he can from you. He will tell everyone that will listen how you took care of him. When he needs a new motor you will be on the list. That 20.00 will grow.
 

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IMHO you'd be better off taking your start up cash to Vegas and putting it all on "RED". There is no product that someone else isn't already slutting out (Evilbay) at zero profit margin, no unique car part that has a consistant demand, no profit to be made in this industry on a small scale. ;)
If you sell a Million bucks, at only 2% profit ..................:smt102
 
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