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Supplier rant from down under

grimes6

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I recently ordered some parts from a large UK supplier. The parts would easily fit into a small padded envelope but my amazement the freight was 40 punds! I emailed if there was a cheaper option and received this reply - "This is the cheapest delivery option, we send all of our parcels via a
courier service, this service covers all parts up to 15kg so it makes it
more cost effective to order more items."
The order was placed on the 25th May and to this date have still not arrived and when I emailed to find out why the delay for a courier service I received the following reply "It takes as long as it takes, we give no delivery estimation. An express courier service is twice the price.

You are on the other side of the world. "
I have used other parts suppliers in the UK and they vary their postage with respect to the size of the package. I am currently restoring 4 Healeys and will not be using this supplier again!
 

Editor_Reid

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grimes6, sorry to read of your unsatisfactory experience. Thank you for trying to resolve the matter directly with the supplier and for sticking to the facts in your report.

It sounds as if using other suppliers is indeed your best option and it reminds us all to carefully investigate the terms and conditions of parts orders.

Good luck with your four ongoing Healey restorations.
 

Garrym

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I'm thinking that with 4 cars you must have heard of The Healey Factory in Victoria? I've just bought some bits from them and have been very pleasantly surprised on prices compared to the big US/British places. Plus the freight from overseas can be literally gobsmacking.
They had everything in stock - it wasn't a huge order, but a variety of restoration stuff. And the service from Stuart was excellent as well.
While I'm patting Aussie suppliers on the back ( not something I've been doing much of I have to say) I have also been very impressed with Kilmartins as well. Prices are good, quality and service excellent.
I am about 20 km from Tamworth and would be pleased to meet a local Healey fan.
Garry
 

steveg

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With overseas shipping costs the way they are, I try to make sure I only order something where there's no chance of needing a return.

I've found a couple of the main UK suppliers to be very helpful in the sales dept, but non-responsive when there are quality issues.

Also keep in mind you're paying two shipping charges each way: from supplier to port-of-entry and from there to you.
 

ozhealey

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Grimes6,

I feel your pain as a fellow Aussie with an Austin Healey. I have had my car here for over 20 years now and have run the gauntlet of OZ, US, and UK suppliers.

I have developed a habit of waiting (where I can) until I have enough volume of parts to make the overseas freight cost effective. I must say over the past five years the freight has more than doubled out of both the US and the UK. I most often use AHSPARES in the UK. I have found their parts department to be extremely responsive, polite and helpful. They use DHL exclusively and I have yet to find a courier/postal service that can match DHL. This week I received a shoe box sized package from them which cost 40 pounds freight. I placed the order on Thursday night last week and it arrived on Monday morning at my door in Australia. I have never waited any longer than a week for parts to arrive from AHSPARES.

Cape International, and AHSPARES are both companies where I personally have NEVER had to return anything. Others in the UK are very good as are Moss in the US (who were once upon at time my go to supplier). However quality, customer support and cost at this time means I use the first two more often than the others, based purely on my own experience and I am sure other have different stories.

While I would much prefer to use Australian companies, I find they are generally 2 to 3 times the price of overseas suppliers even when you consider freight. I know they need to remain viable as a business, and would happily pay even 50% more than overseas prices, they are simply not competitive most of the time at their current costs. Although I always call to see how cost effective they are, it is rare I the Aussie suppliers unless I get stuck and need an urgent part to keep me on the road (my car is a daily driver). Of course the best reason to use Aussie suppliers is the return costs if something goes wrong.

Best of Luck
Tony
 
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grimes6

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Hi Tony,
I have previously restored a Mark 2 Jag and a Etype . I have used SNG barratt, Moss, Xks , Cape Healey and AH spares . I have a fairly good run with these companies with freight and quality. There has only been one UK company that I have had mixed success with.

Regards,
Greg
 

Novamonte

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DHL apparently ships quicker from UK to Oz than to Sweden. I ordered some parts from AH spares recently. It took DHL eight days to deliver!
 
D

Deleted member 8987

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Ah.
I had radios...small transmitters and even smaller receivers (pack of cigs and a small match box) shipped from an Oz company out of their plant in Fiji.
Now, all this stuff would fit into a large shoe box..but no.
30" square box with Styrofoam packaging....UPS Express (because...we have trouble with mail theft here in Fiji) and it was $195 to ship. I gave up. Amortizing that costing onto the parts costing was getting ridiculous...and that was six years or so ago.
 
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grimes6

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My main point of all of this is why one company can post at a reasonable actual cost and another has a fixed high rate . Surely the low rates are more acceptable to the customer.
 

steveg

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I recently ordered something small but expensive from Moss. It fit in a small padded envelope and the shipping was $23. USPS for that weight was $6+.

Moss has a price-based shipping cost system - same as Victoria British.

The takeaway from this is, if one has time, to "launder" the order through a dealer who places larger orders. Tom's ships stuff for the cost of the postage or shipping.
 

Editor_Reid

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My main point of all of this is why one company can post at a reasonable actual cost and another has a fixed high rate . Surely the low rates are more acceptable to the customer.

We can only hope that eventually market forces will result in changes to policies that are disadvantageous to customers. Shop smart.
 

vette

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Greg, I have occasionally come across mention of this trade organization, "The British Car Motor Trade Association". It is my understanding that they have formed up to minimize experiences such as yours. Even though they have no direct authority maybe a complaint to them will help to develope more customer service awareness in the future. https://www.britcar.org/
 
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