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Rockauto and the shipping "Shell" Game.


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Hi Bill,

Thanks for your email. We are not able to stock all of the parts we have available in one location so we are doing our best to give customers the tools they need to get the lowest shipping costs possible. The "Choose for Me to Minimize Cost" is our newest tool to help customers reduce shipping costs. Another tool to help reduce the number of shipping locations:

To minimize shipping costs:

Use the truck icons in the shopping cart and in the catalog to help you minimize the number of locations your order will ship from. As you add parts to the shopping cart, the truck icons with letters represent the location where your part will be shipping from (location A, B, C, etc.). A blank truck icon in the catalog is showing you that the particular part is available from the same location as a part in your shopping cart.

I hope this helps.

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I have ordered literally hundreds of times, and I can't remember a single issue (i'm sure there was 1 or 2). Most issues come from ordering their bargain basement crap... which is really poor quali

They are great for single items, I much prefer using them as a parts lookup/interchange

We've pretty much stopped dealing with RockAuto for the SHO. Too many wrong parts making it a headache when you only have 3/4 weeks turnaround between races. Just easier and ultimately cheaper to deal

This has me scared to use RockAuto and I was just about to order some steering parts from them to be delivered to Buffalo. They are by far the cheapest place to buy from it seems and if anyone has another source for parts I'd be glad of the information. I compared prices to Autozone and Advance and RockAuto is significantly cheaper for the same name brand parts. Right now I'm looking for Inner and Outer Tie Rods and a new Steering Rack. Any help?

We have access to cheap OEM replacements (1st line and seconds) and we're in the GTA.

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  • 5 years later...
On ‎11‎/‎7‎/‎2012 at 10:44 AM, Bill Strong said:

Hi Bill,

 

Thanks for your email. We are not able to stock all of the parts we have available in one location so we are doing our best to give customers the tools they need to get the lowest shipping costs possible.

Sort of - Rock Auto stocks NO parts, they are a catalog company that uses traditional warehouse distributors to fulfill their orders. 

 

Rock sets the pricing, gets a deep discount and makes their profit at a narrow margin handling the billing.  Depending on the warehouse that fulfills your order, you may get an order puller who knows their stuff, or then again maybe not.  Since that warehouse also sells to other customers, if they do not check their returns well, you MAY get a used part in the box.

 

One of my customers was a fulfillment house for Rock, they had a special corner of the warehouse set up with a Rock Auto printer, Rock Auto boxes and tape and they ran it as a small stand alone operation.

 

All that said, Rock does have some great pricing on name brand stuff (most of my local retail stores always seem to only stock their cheap house brands), but if you get the wrong parts, it is a hassle and the delays can be a killer.

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  • 1 year later...
On 11/7/2012 at 9:44 AM, Bill Strong said:

To minimize shipping costs:

Use the truck icons in the shopping cart and in the catalog to help you minimize the number of locations your order will ship from. As you add parts to the shopping cart, the truck icons with letters represent the location where your part will be shipping from (location A, B, C, etc.). A blank truck icon in the catalog is showing you that the particular part is available from the same location as a part in your shopping cart.

I hope this helps.

 

The thing is, when I tried to add a .75 seal to an order with a water pump and something else more costly, the seal says its being shipped from B while the larger parts ship from A. I happened upon this because, initially I had 2 seals in the cart (on purpose, I have 2 of the exact same car). When I changed from 2 to 1 in the cart, the shipping warehouses swapped, now seals from A and larger parts from B. This tacks 2.99 on to my expenses because the system wont ship the seal from the same location as the larger parts.

 

rockauto.pdf

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  • 1 year later...
On 10/23/2012 at 6:13 PM, 85-308 said:

Well just ran an interesting little experiment; easy to repeat, too, so does that make it scientific?

I didn't know about Rockauto until seeing it in a post a few days ago.

 

I started going thru the site and picking bits and pieces that had appealing prices. Then,since I need shipping to Canada (which they do, and promote the fact) I checked the shipping charges.

As soon as I went beyond two items they suddenly had to ship from not one, but two locations. Shipping charges doubled. I deselected and reselected several times using different products/manufacturers etc. I would get two items from shipping location A, then the next was location B (and yes, the cost doubled).

 

I then went thru my cart and deleted the items that came from location B, leaving only A. Bingo. One of the previously "A" items moved to the B team! Gotta get those shipping fees...

 

Spark plugs, for example. This was neat. I picked some plugs I would like. Yup, they of course couldn't be shipped from location A - they HAD to come from location B. So I left them in my cart and selected some more of a different type. These now came from location A. Great! I can delete the ones from location B and eliminate $25 of charges! So I did. And yes... the plugs that I left in the cart now moved to location B. HUH?

 

I picked different belt tensioners and other things where there were multiple offerings and watched to see where they would need to be shipped from. A third location, 'C' now entered the picture at yet another additional $25. So I did the same; removed the C items from my cart only (to my amazement) watch other items now JUMP to fill the gap! The same part would 'toggle' back and forth between locations...

 

And to eliminate any chance that it is a system that updates by the millisecond, I went back and started over. Same thing... same order... same shipping charge "shell game". Must be a glitch..

Just saying.... that's what I found when I went there.

 

So I doubt I'll be ordering anything from Rockauto anytime soon.

 

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On 10/23/2012 at 9:55 PM, 85-308 said:

Wellll

I want to be fair. I did experience that bizarre thing with the shipping sources and prices jumping back and forth earlier today. I was so puzzled/surprised that I went back and it seemed a lot more normal the second time. So maybe a glitch? Regardless; at one point I did have as much in shipping charges as I did in parts; receiving things from 3 different sources...

So something at least for people to watch for if/when on that website.

 

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On 10/23/2012 at 6:13 PM, 85-308 said:

Well just ran an interesting little experiment; easy to repeat, too, so does that make it scientific?

I didn't know about Rockauto until seeing it in a post a few days ago.

 

I started going thru the site and picking bits and pieces that had appealing prices. Then,since I need shipping to Canada (which they do, and promote the fact) I checked the shipping charges.

As soon as I went beyond two items they suddenly had to ship from not one, but two locations. Shipping charges doubled. I deselected and reselected several times using different products/manufacturers etc. I would get two items from shipping location A, then the next was location B (and yes, the cost doubled).

 

I then went thru my cart and deleted the items that came from location B, leaving only A. Bingo. One of the previously "A" items moved to the B team! Gotta get those shipping fees...

 

Spark plugs, for example. This was neat. I picked some plugs I would like. Yup, they of course couldn't be shipped from location A - they HAD to come from location B. So I left them in my cart and selected some more of a different type. These now came from location A. Great! I can delete the ones from location B and eliminate $25 of charges! So I did. And yes... the plugs that I left in the cart now moved to location B. HUH?

 

I picked different belt tensioners and other things where there were multiple offerings and watched to see where they would need to be shipped from. A third location, 'C' now entered the picture at yet another additional $25. So I did the same; removed the C items from my cart only (to my amazement) watch other items now JUMP to fill the gap! The same part would 'toggle' back and forth between locations...

 

And to eliminate any chance that it is a system that updates by the millisecond, I went back and started over. Same thing... same order... same shipping charge "shell game". Must be a glitch..

Just saying.... that's what I found when I went there.

 

So I doubt I'll be ordering anything from Rockauto anytime soon.

You're not alone there, 85-308. I'm from The Netherlands and ordered over US$ 5,000 in parts over the years. Always the same, multiple depots, sometimes even more than six amounting to hundreds of dollars in shipping fees. Also very annoying: parts that were ordered but aren't there all of a sudden. You can look for another similar part instead but guess what? It comes from a different location so you have to pay extra. Ah, you say, leave that part for now and cancel it. I've had that with a heater core recently, which is pretty heavy, thus pretty expensive to send to Europe. Guess what? No compensation for freight charges and when ordering an alternative about $ 22 extra. This happened to me 3 times in a row with the same heater core, so that's no coincidence but done on purpose to gain more profit. Can't see it any other way. What also pisses me off is the truck symbol behind  products that supposedly indicates that an item ships from a same location already in your shopping card. Not always, though. It happened more than once that I didn't notice it but another location was added instead. System failure? Think not ... it happened to me plenty of times. Parts also do not always fit. I ordered a heater core but got one that was about 2 inches too big for my Fiero. No way you could get that one in. Guess what? it's still listed as a heater core that fits the Fiero. I could have returned it but it would have cost me more than I paid for it, so I skipped that path. The heater core ended up in the dustbin ... wasted money. Looking for another supplier right now but most US based firms do not ship outside the USA. Any suggestions would be welcome . TNX.

 

Edited by ericN
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On 11/4/2012 at 5:30 PM, Richard said:

This has me scared to use RockAuto and I was just about to order some steering parts from them to be delivered to Buffalo. They are by far the cheapest place to buy from it seems and if anyone has another source for parts I'd be glad of the information. I compared prices to Autozone and Advance and RockAuto is significantly cheaper for the same name brand parts. Right now I'm looking for Inner and Outer Tie Rods and a new Steering Rack. Any help?

I would go for MOOG, Richard. We've experienced problems with Tie Rods on Fieros from aftermarket brands and no problems with either Raybestos or MOOG, just prefer the latter.

Edited by ericN
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4 minutes ago, enginerd said:

I can’t remember a single thread discussing rockauto where the verdict wasn’t “don’t order from rockauto”. I’m shocked that people still order from them.

They are great for single items, I much prefer using them as a parts lookup/interchange

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8 hours ago, Team Infiniti said:

They are great for single items, I much prefer using them as a parts lookup/interchange


Exactly. You can shop them and sometimes they still work out less expensive than amazon and others. And the closeouts sometimes are still a deal. I never order anything from them that has a core or a possible return, no way i put myself thru that. 

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On 7/28/2020 at 1:15 PM, enginerd said:

I can’t remember a single thread discussing rockauto where the verdict wasn’t “don’t order from rockauto”. I’m shocked that people still order from them.


I have ordered literally hundreds of times, and I can't remember a single issue (i'm sure there was 1 or 2).

Most issues come from ordering their bargain basement crap... which is really poor quality stuff. I don't blame them for that, if people will buy it then they are justified in selling it.

I think every single brake rotor i've run on my car came from rock auto. I don't order items with core charges either (that I want back, anyway) as you eat the cost in shipping them the core (which are often heavy) if I remember correctly.

Edited by Slugworks Paul
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I must agree with Paul, I have the inside of my overhead door filled with the magnets. Just look for name brand stuff and buy that as most of the time it is in the original

boxes.  Yes it is a bite of a sore subject when they send from multiple  locations but as someone else said there cross referencing is a good service by itself.

 

They have deals with all the parts jobbers and buy slow moving inventory with the power of their website, can't beat that deal, so yes many times parts are from all over the US.

Since some of my stuff is off the wall needs I have parts come thru them from all around the world.

 

I will continue to buy from them as needed.

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I'm not sure if this was mentioned, but they either had in the past, or still have a symbol that shows what parts will ship from the same source as you are browsing.

 

Watch out though, sometimes when you order more than 1 (brake rotors for example) they will ship from somewhere else due to stock on hand.

 

In other words, pay attention to the little shipping truck symbol when ordering, but check when ordering multiples.

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For me in Canada, they are by far the fastest shipper, most times delivered two days after placing the order, even in the smaller town that I live in. Pretty impressive for cross border shipping when typical packages from other sources can get tied up in customs for twice that long. After paying through the nose for shipping and brokerage costs, it's great to only pay $10 to get something shipped by air across the border. 

 

The only time I've had any issues is when my shipment disappeared when it got to the Memphis transfer point. Suspect that it fell off the back of the truck. Fortunately I wasn't needing those parts in a hurry as it took about three weeks to get the replacements re-sent at no additional charge. 

 

I buy from Rockauto or from Amazon according to prices but prefer Rockauto for their fast shipping and low part cost. A lot of times they can get parts to me cheaper and quicker than the local parts store can get stuff from their warehouses.

 

 

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I have used Rock Auto, but I check around. lately I have found that Autozone or Advance might have a slightly higher price but if you use a promo code and spend more than $50 it ships free and they are usually shipped from local warehouses and arrive quickly... 

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My issue with Rock auto is how they hide their shipping. For example, I'll look up wipers for one car, add, and when I look it up for another car, even though same brand, they won't have it shipping out of the same location. 

 

I can not imagine that they seriously need to go to two different warehouses for different wiper blades of the same brand. 

 

 

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I'm lucky to live 20 minutes from the Orielly's East Coast distribution center. I can call any local Oriellys in the morning and the part I want is usually there by 4pm.

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