Cost of Van Parts

Submitted: Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 21:09
ThreadID: 70314 Views:1913 Replies:6 FollowUps:2
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Hi all

Went out today to buy a very small plastic clip that holds a retaining bar in place in our van fridge. Actually the bar clips across one of the shelves and prevents things falling out. Absolutely stunned at the price of $16.50.
I know that these wopuld only be a small run to produce which forces up the cost - but crikey. Anyone else struck similar which would appear to be gross overcharging.

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Reply By: touringoz - Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 21:57

Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 21:57
Welcome to the world of Caravans, EVERYTHING you purchase is way overpriced, just the way it is.
A little plastic screw lug that holds your outside vents in place $3.50 would cost 3c to make, bloody ridiculous.

AnswerID: 372711

Reply By: Member - shane (SA) - Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 22:03

Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 22:03
Hi John, I have just come back from a trip to Hong Kong and China, had a good look around and come to the conclusion that we here in Oz are getting ripped off big time.
Even if you times the things by 300% we still pay to much. I am talking every day things as household items electrical goods. Same as the things we buy here.
It certainly changed my attitude towards these people.

cheers shane.
AnswerID: 372713

Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 22:25

Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 22:25
Don't buy the clip!!
Buy a length of 20mm. aluminium angle and zip tie it to the shelf and it is better than the original.
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AnswerID: 372716

Reply By: Member - Terry W (ACT) - Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 08:13

Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 08:13
Hi all, I don't want to defend the actual prices of caravan parts, but let's be fair about it.

The actual manufacturing cost of an item is almost immaterial to the sale price. For the manufacturer, he has to recoup the costs of setting up and running his/her business and make a profit. So a part costing 3 cents will need a wholesale price which, when multiplied by the number sold, will cover all of those costs.

The same goes for retail outlets. The costs of a facility to hold the items, the cost of the parts, the cost of the stock control system, the cost of staff, the fixed costs of running a business and the normal operating costs (freight, insurance etc), plus the cost of the money to finance the business, quickly add up and have to be apportioned across the board to each part. So if you are not selling many parts, the margin has to be very much higher just to cover the actual cost of being able to stock the part.

When we purchase the more expensive parts on-line, where they are almost invariably cheaper, that just makes it harder for walk-in shops to stock and supply the low cost items at a reasonable cost, because the higher the cost of the item, the greater the earning potential. But we tend to do it because we also have to make ends meet.

On-line outlets are cheaper primarily because they have access to a much larger customer base (national or even global) than a shop front, so their costs can be apportioned across a much larger turnover, and the individual margins can be proportionately lower.

Does this mean that the days of the walk in shop are close to an end? It depends on how much we are prepared to pay for the convenience of being able to walk in and buy on the spot, instead of ordering on line and waiting for the part.

Hope this helps understand why a 3 cent part costs so much at the shop.
AnswerID: 372734

Follow Up By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 08:47

Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 08:47
Hello Terry
I sincerely appreciate where your coming from.
I was a pastrycook with a shop and a staff of six when the supermarket chains started making packet cake mixes and the Lions Clubs made fruit cakes.
This was the beginning of the end for us.
However the clip that is being discussed is surely from a Dometic fridge.
With absolutely no rough handling my fridge has broken clips, the freezer door return spring mechanism as all been replaced, cost over sixty dollars. Built in obsolescence ??? yet the Engel is much older and gets lifted in and out car to car and not a cent spent.
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FollowupID: 639980

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 10:58

Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 10:58
Well put Terry, most people don't see the hidden costs.

We mark up cheaper parts by more and dearer parts less.

If we have a customer come in and want a $1.00 part we loose money, our guys might spend 5 to 15 minutes or more serving a customer and our guys get payed mid $20.00 per hour so when we sell this $1.00 part it might costs us $5.00+ the price of the part and we sell it for $1.00.

And don't forget our overheads, admin, warehousing and stock on shelf costs.
FollowupID: 639997

Reply By: Member - Terry W (ACT) - Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 09:24

Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 09:24
Hi Stan,

I had the very same problem with my Dometic fridge. One of the clips broke the very first time I used it. I agree that the quality of the clips is not good.
AnswerID: 372741

Reply By: Kiwi100 - Friday, Jul 03, 2009 at 16:12

Friday, Jul 03, 2009 at 16:12
Our van has a three-year-old Fiamma Turbovent and it's definitely fitted with one of those 3c plastic parts. The 3-bladed plastic fan disintegrated in a shower of bits last week. Each bit has the tensile strength of a potato crisp - obviously totally unsuited to the intermittent sunlight that can be expected to hit it when the hatch is open.

Rather than seek an equally inadequate and no-doubt-expensive genuine Italian replacement, I found a good nylon alternative and adapted it.


AnswerID: 372933

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