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Old 04-11-2015, 09:34 AM   #1
InBloom94
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Default restocking fees

just curious how many of you utilize restocking fees and what your policies are, I am thinking about starting to use them more often, thanks.
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:21 AM   #2
XDCX
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Given the number of Parts Mangers who visit the forum on a regular basis I'm surprised there hasn't been a response to this thread.

In my experience most dealerships do not have a restocking fees and will accept returned parts for exchange/credit/refund as long as the part is not an electronic item.

My impression is a restocking fee would likely be more trouble than it's worth unless your store has some unique variable that increases the number of customers who want to return an item.

If I can ask, how many returns does your department see in an average week? Why are the parts being returned?
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:35 AM   #3
zep33
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I've threatened but rarely, if ever actually charge one. I do explain and brow beat a little bit that I'm now stuck with it because I can't deal with getting a 35% restocking fee from GM. As long as they at least realize I'm doing them a favor by taking it back at all, I've succeeded.

I have told a couple body shops over the years to get lost and get their parts somewhere else when warnings to stop ordering stuff you don't need weren't heeded (Some just do it to get the invoice and then repair the part) Had one shop return 36% of what they bought one year and started the next year by returning 2 complete doors they ordered. After that, they were all done here.
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Old 04-14-2015, 11:03 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zep33 View Post
I have told a couple body shops over the years to get lost and get their parts somewhere else when warnings to stop ordering stuff you don't need weren't heeded (Some just do it to get the invoice and then repair the part) Had one shop return 36% of what they bought one year and started the next year by returning 2 complete doors they ordered. After that, they were all done here.
You make a great distinction - is the problem with return parts one that exists with the retail counter customers or the wholesale customers?

For the retail counter customers, I'd stick to my earlier post and conclude that in most instances a restocking fee isn't going to be worth the effort and potential loss of goodwill.

For wholesale accounts, especially body shops, my thoughts regarding restocking fees would be totally different.

I've heard from a number of Parts Managers over the years that it's not uncommon for body shops to inflate their parts invoice so they can collect a larger payment from an insurance company and then return unused items to the dealership. The practice is obviously unethical but results in 100% pure profit for the body shop.

In some markets the practice is apparently so common that dealerships that refuse to take parts back simply don't get any business. If that were the case then it might make sense for a dealership to impose a restocking fee for their wholesale customers.
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:30 PM   #5
zep33
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Very little issues with retail customers. I've done some favors by taking parts back that I know I can sell again. Most of the wholesale shops we deal with are really good at keeping what they order but there are a few exceptions. Nothing to freak out about. It's the body shops that cause most problems but the current crop I deal with are great. We are not one of the big wholesale dealers any way though - just local stuff for the most part. And I honestly don't deal with many bodyshops for GM parts. The wholesale whores take care of all that.

I also do SAAB wholesale (20 years or so shipping all over) and they are the best customers. In fact I've had one customer in New York that has been a customer for 6 or 7 years now and still has not returned a single part. They spend between 10-20k a year and keep everything. Imagine if they were all like that.

The bad customers always end up filtering themselves out anyway
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:23 PM   #6
tnpartsguy
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We charge 35% when we charge at all. We do NOT accept returns on any electrical or special orders, wholesale or retail. It's on the invoice, it's explained to them when they order the part, and with all the returns my service department generates, I don't have time for anymore.
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Old 04-15-2015, 11:05 AM   #7
TORGY
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we explain to our customers about the 35 % restocking fee's up front and it is also on our invoices, so if they return an item they know it's coming.

If we charge anyone for the restocking fee we return the parts shortly after, but if it's a case where we can not get a customer back in to the service dept. to have the parts installed we put them parts in a "return" bin and hold for a few months before returning.

we also charge our own service department 35% for any parts that are incorrectly diagnosed.

It really amazes me how so many customers come in panicked by a "recall" on their vehicle, but if we are out of the parts to complete the repair and order the part for them, it takes an act of congress to get them back in to have the recall performed.

The same with parts for vehicles under warranty that don't effect the way the vehicle performs.

it's not like were not contacting the customer when the parts arrive.

We have an automated system that calls for special ordered parts, we have one designated SA that also calls, we send e-mails and occasionally post cards. and we still end up with 1000's of dollars worth of special ordered parts that do not get installed. A ton of it is warranty or recall parts. I just don't understand, or know what else we can do?

GRRRRRR......

sorry for my little rant, but just last week I returned $12,000 of return and special ordered parts and now pulled another $2000 from the special order bins today that are 30 days old, all of which are recall and warranty parts!
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Old 04-16-2015, 04:38 AM   #8
zep33
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I know in one of the many DFOAB complaints to GM about their 35% restocking fee, I made a comment that if Best Buy ever decided to charge me a 35% return fee, I'd never go to that store again.

I don't want anyone leaving here with that same attitude. But I always make sure they know I was doing them a favor and it's not "no big deal" if it's something I'll be most likely stuck with for a very long time.
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Old 04-16-2015, 10:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zep33 View Post
I know in one of the many DFOAB complaints to GM about their 35% restocking fee, I made a comment that if Best Buy ever decided to charge me a 35% return fee, I'd never go to that store again.

I don't want anyone leaving here with that same attitude. But I always make sure they know I was doing them a favor and it's not "no big deal" if it's something I'll be most likely stuck with for a very long time.
Your style matches mine - as long as I didn't think I was getting abused by certain customers I'd probably not implement a restocking fee.

Concerning the parts you take back, what's the ratio between retail counter customers and wholesale accounts?
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:21 PM   #10
zep33
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Retail customers - it's been a while since I've had any issues with anyone returning something.

I'd say the ratio is 90% wholesale vs 10% retail.

I took back a complete order today - about $400 from one of my better wholesale shops. Cooler pipes, oil pan and glow plugs. Some bolts were broken preventing him from doing the job without pulling the engine. He recommended the owner bring his truck to us cause his equipment couldn't lift a diesel engine. It was no big deal. I stock all of it and luckily, RIM hadn't reordered much of it yet. That suprised me since we had sold 5 of one of those pipes last year. Only thing RIM reordered was one of the glow plugs. That was great. Sold 8 and RIM reorders 1 LOL. So now I have 9.

At least it was all during the same month so I don't have to fight GM for insufficient purchases since the way they see credits is that I purchased those parts from someone other than GM - Ridiculousness for another thread...
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zep33 View Post
Retail customers - it's been a while since I've had any issues with anyone returning something.

I'd say the ratio is 90% wholesale vs 10% retail.
Thanks for the information - that's about what I would have guessed the ratio to be.
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:44 AM   #12
InBloom94
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a local shop brought back several items for return including one from September of last year...I mean cmon that is ridiculous, it ticked me off to be honest is why I started this thread...I am fed up with them to be honest.
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Old 04-21-2015, 02:31 PM   #13
TORGY
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you have the right to "fire" customers.
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Old 04-27-2015, 09:12 AM   #14
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you have the right to "fire" customers.
I totally agree with this concept.

With some customers they're just not worth all of the frustration and hassles they create. While it's hard to walk away from an account I firmly believe it can make good business sense. The time you save by not having to deal with a high maintenance client can be spent developing existing clients or finding new ones.
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