Jump to content

Shopping in Bob's Automobilia store - surprising experience


Przemek M
 Share

Recommended Posts

Sorry for bothering you with my surprising shopping experience in the Bob's Automobilia store. Maybe someone can help me to understand this situation:
 

I bought a fuel pump kit from Bob's store (described on Bob's website and invoiced as 1932-39 S.60-80-90 + 34-35 S.50 FK-117) The kit was supposed to fit my 1932 Buick. (Series 60).
I received a set 36-39 60-80-90 + 34-35 50, that does not fit my car.
It turned out that there was an error in the description of the FK-117 set on Bob's website. Instead of 1932–39, it should be 1936–39.
I sent polite complaint to Bob and received an email saying I can exchange the kit. At the same time, Bob on his website corrected the description of the set, which is now correctly described as 1936-39 instead of 1932-39.
I told Bob that he should cover the shipping costs in this situation and I received the following response:


"You may return for a exchange or refund (like ALL customers)"


So I sent another email to explain this situation, which in my opinion is obvious: the store made a mistake in the description of the item, the store covers the costs of exchange.
In response to my message, I received the following reply:


'Good Bye
 Shop elsewhere"

 

All my emails I sent to Bob were very polite. This is not a big deal and I am still not entirely clear what is the reason for such Bob's behavior.
Maybe I just don't understand the rules of the seller and customer relations in the US? However, this is quite a surprising experience.
I would be grateful if anyone could explain it to me.

Greetings and stay healthy,

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nothing misunderstood if all you say is true.  I won't be shopping there, with service like that.  I guess they don't like selling much.

 

I've had some mild rudeness at other places, but in the end it was satisfactory and never once was I told to shop elsewhere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have shopped at Bob's mostly with good success, not always though. I ordered wiper blades for my '56 Roadmaster a while sgo, and I couldn't get them to fit. Their ad simply said 54-56. Turns out they were only for a small series. I called, and the guy plainly said they don;'t fit the large series. That was it! So I tried them on my son's '55 Special, they didn't fit there either!

 Then retainers for connecting rods for my '41. The ones they sold me were for a small series engine, not the large one. Trouble was I'd had them some time and couldn't complain.

 So, though I have bought good stuff from them, there seems to be errors in their catalogues.

 Keith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ben P.

"Bombarded with orders" you say !!!!! No one in the old car world is bombarded with orders (I wish !!!!!!!) -- while so many are home now,

Very few are spending money, because they are scared they may not have some shortly !!!!!!

I have some awesome Buick Parts (and G M, Mopar, Ford, and a whoooooooole lot more).  If anyone wants to bombard me with orders, I will be more than Happy to serve.....

   516 - 485 - 1935... Long Island, New York..... Yours, Craig.....

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, mobileparts said:

Ben P.

"Bombarded with orders" you say !!!!! No one in the old car world is bombarded with orders (I wish !!!!!!!) -- while so many are home now,

Very few are spending money, because they are scared they may not have some shortly !!!!!!

I have some awesome Buick Parts (and G M, Mopar, Ford, and a whoooooooole lot more).  If anyone wants to bombard me with orders, I will be more than Happy to serve.....

   516 - 485 - 1935... Long Island, New York..... Yours, Craig.....

 

I just received my Cadillac parts from Craig at Mobilparts -

hard to find items at very fair prices

Craig has the right business attitude, and I will be dong more business with him

 

He responded immediately to my request, and seems very knowledgeable-

also vends at Hershey

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ben P.,

   1918 is going to be rugged..... I basically do the 1930s - to - the 1970s.

Certainly, Amazon is not the answer.... They are just a Chineseum linked reselling institution....

    And, it is not like they grew up in a family run shrine for old parts -- and have been doing this for 49 years, like I have !!!! 

Marty,

     Take care of your wife, today.  I will research presently, and call you later this afternoon.

Everyone else,

    Marty's order was so big and with instantaneous payment -- that I gave him Front Wheel Seals, that sell for $19.00 - $30.00 each for FREE, and that was for a pair of N.O.S. nice soft supple felt seals, no repro rubber lipped garbage !!!!!!! And I charged him $ 70.00 for shipping --- It wound up being

$ 121.86 -- and I said, don't worry about it --- in this time of very few sales!!!!

           Yours, Craig ..... Stay safe, everyone, we are an older crowd....

Edited by mobileparts
Typo (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, mobileparts said:

Ben P.,

   1918 is going to be rugged..... I basically do the 1930s - to - the 1970s.

Certainly, Amazon is not the answer.... They are just a Chineseum linked reselling institution....

    And, it is not like they grew up in a family run shrine for old parts -- and have been doing this for 49 years, like I have !!!! 

Marty,

     Take care of your wife, today.  I will research presently, and call you later this afternoon.

Everyone else,

    Marty's order was so big and with instantaneous payment -- that I gave him Front Wheel Seals, that sell for $19.00 - $30.00 each for FREE, and that was for a pair of N.O.S. nice soft supple felt seals, no repro rubber lipped garbage !!!!!!! And I charged him $ 70.00 for shipping --- It wound up being

$ 121.86 -- and I said, don't worry about it --- in this time of very few sales!!!!

           Yours, Craig ..... Stay safe, everyone, we are an older crowd....

^^^^^^ And THAT folks is how you treat a customer!!  Bravo!!!

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello,
Thank you all for confirming that in the US and Europe the same rules apply in the relations between the seller and the customer.
I usually believe in people and I still believe that Bob is just having a difficult time, which may partially explain his behavior.
Regards,

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Brad Conley said:

Simple answer:  Bob is wrong.  He should, at his expense, send you the proper part and, if he wants his part back, pay for return shipping.

With Przemek M being in Poland and Bob's in California shipping will be very expensive.  But they should supply the part you ordered at no extra costs.  If paid by credit card charge back may be a option.  If the shipping docket shows the "old" description and the revised web site the new description that would be good proof

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Przemek M,

   You're being in Poland (I am of Polish and Russian descent) -- do not spend the money to make a phone call....

   You can mail me here, through the AACA Forum, or you can email me at

mobileparts@yahoo.com

   Whatever is easiest for you is fine by me..... Yours, Craig.....

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I started to deal with Bob's Automobilia ten years ago and I always thought their shipping was high and their prices were a bit high. I now deal with CARS (old Buick parts). Very similar parts and the prices and shipping is good. I had a couple of conversations that could have been handled with more grace and charm on their end and I don't need the grief. 

 

 

Edited by kingrudy
clarity (see edit history)
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am pretty sure it was Bob that used to set up in the corner of the Hershey White Field in the 1990's. I bought some things, talked cars, and have good vibrations. He seemed pretty old to me at that time, 30 years older now. You know how those old guys get cranky. I have seen a few. Or, a second generation is in there. I would print the message out and mail it back, USPS. And politely ask for a clarification. Might have been a bad day.

 

I spent some time around the Reservation when I was in my early 20's. I heard someone there say "Treat a man as a brother until he proves himself unworthy, then ignore him". I wouldn't remember that 50 years later if it hadn't worked.

Bernie

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/2/2020 at 4:51 PM, Przemek M said:

'Good Bye
 Shop elsewhere"

Not good that someone put that comment in an email.  Maybe the though was that one person out of the country would not affect his business.  Send another email with a link to this forum discussion and ask that the owner review the situation again.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, 1939_Buick said:

With Przemek M being in Poland and Bob's in California shipping will be very expensive.  But they should supply the part you ordered at no extra costs.  If paid by credit card charge back may be a option.  If the shipping docket shows the "old" description and the revised web site the new description that would be good proof

 

In my second message to Bob I offered him exchange on his cost or discount for the next order due to high costs of shipping from/to Europe. The answer was no for both options.

I will not fight with Bob despite evident prooves on invoice and current description of the kit but thanks for advice.

Regards,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, mobileparts said:

Przemek M,

   You're being in Poland (I am of Polish and Russian descent) -- do not spend the money to make a phone call....

   You can mail me here, through the AACA Forum, or you can email me at

mobileparts@yahoo.com

   Whatever is easiest for you is fine by me..... Yours, Craig.....

Hello Craig,

I have already found your contact data together with good references:

https://classicoldsmobile.com/forums/parts-sale-11/nos-parts-sale-craig-studnick-mobileparts-his-flyers-104223/

I will contact you when make the final list of parts I need.

Thanks,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, kingrudy said:

I started to deal with Bob's Automobilia ten years ago and I always thought their shipping was high and their prices were a bit high. I now deal with CARS (old Buick parts). Very similar parts and the prices and shipping is good. I had a couple of conversations that could have been handled with more grace and charm on their end and I don't need the grief. 

 

 

Thanks for the information. It's good to know that there are other online stores with Buick parts.

Regards,

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

I am pretty sure it was Bob that used to set up in the corner of the Hershey White Field in the 1990's. I bought some things, talked cars, and have good vibrations. He seemed pretty old to me at that time, 30 years older now. You know how those old guys get cranky. I have seen a few. Or, a second generation is in there. I would print the message out and mail it back, USPS. And politely ask for a clarification. Might have been a bad day.

 

I spent some time around the Reservation when I was in my early 20's. I heard someone there say "Treat a man as a brother until he proves himself unworthy, then ignore him". I wouldn't remember that 50 years later if it hadn't worked.

Bernie

 

 

Very goo comment. I think I'm somewhere between the "brother" and "ignore" stages:)

Regards,

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, old-tank said:

Not good that someone put that comment in an email.  Maybe the though was that one person out of the country would not affect his business.  Send another email with a link to this forum discussion and ask that the owner review the situation again.

I have already sent such a message with another attempt to convince Bob that with such small thing it makes no sense to react like this. No answer yet.

Regards,

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Przemek M said:

Very goo comment. I think I'm somewhere between the "brother" and "ignore" stages:)

Regards,

 

That was probably Bob thirty years ago.  Now you're dealing with Bob, Jr.  I have had very good service from them over many years. One time I bought a 1941 Series 60-70-90 clutch and pressure plate from them.  The restoration shop said it wouldn't work. I called them and they said send it back and they would exchange it.  I did that and the next clutch assembly was fine.  However, Bob Jr. called me after receiving the first clutch back and was a little hot, saying they checked it out and nothing was wrong with it.  I just bailed, telling them all I knew was what the restoration shop told me.  After all, the mechanic there had worked in a Chevrolet shop all of his working life.  That said, I think there was a misunderstanding one way or the other.  I can't say anything bad about Bob (who I knew) or Bob Jr., or the other guys who answer the phone.  Virtually nobody will give you back postage if you send something back.  That's just a fact of life here.  On this subject, ever since the lock-down and for a period before that, nobody seems to be putting anything much up for sale on eBay for pre-War Buicks.  I can't talk, because I have a bunch of 1941 parts, some 39 and some 64 and I'm not putting anything on eBay either.  But that is mostly because I'm too lazy to deal with all of the massive number of rules  you have to put  up with anymore to use eBay.  It used to be a great place to sell.

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I ran into a similar issue with Bob's Automobilia.  I ordered a spark plug cover -valve clearance tag.  When I finally got around to installing it about a year later I noticed that it had a straight 8 firing order on it.   The tag on the package was for the 6 cylinder car which I had ordered it for.  I only have 1 Buick.  I had not opened the package.  I called Bob's and asked for an exchange.  The person on the other end of the line told me that since it was more than 30 days since the purchase that they would not give me a refund or exchange.  I felt that for their mistake I was entitled to one or the other.  It's funny too because I know Bob's does not make the tag.  To me they should just pass the issue along to the supplier and make the customer happy.  For a $10 tag I thought they lost a lot of good will for the hundreds of dollars I had spent at their store.  

 

At Walmart they take back a 1/2 empty bottle of laundry soap and give a full refund.  (I have never done that, but I have seen the piles of returns at Walmart).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Hubert_25-25 said:

... they would not give me a refund or exchange.  I felt that for their mistake I was entitled to one or the other. 

 

I'm quite sure that Bob's advertises in Hemmings

Motor News.  If you (or anyone else with a problem)

is a subscriber to Hemmings, they will moderate the

dispute for you.  If an advertiser has a record of bad

service, they will ban him.  Please consider going that route.

 

I go out of my way to help good people, but bad service

needs to be exposed and expunged.  We're doing a 

good service on this thread!

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Hubert_25-25 said:

I ran into a similar issue with Bob's Automobilia.  I ordered a spark plug cover -valve clearance tag.  When I finally got around to installing it about a year later I noticed that it had a straight 8 firing order on it.   The tag on the package was for the 6 cylinder car which I had ordered it for.  I only have 1 Buick.  I had not opened the package.  I called Bob's and asked for an exchange.  The person on the other end of the line told me that since it was more than 30 days since the purchase that they would not give me a refund or exchange.  I felt that for their mistake I was entitled to one or the other.  It's funny too because I know Bob's does not make the tag.  To me they should just pass the issue along to the supplier and make the customer happy.  For a $10 tag I thought they lost a lot of good will for the hundreds of dollars I had spent at their store.  

 

At Walmart they take back a 1/2 empty bottle of laundry soap and give a full refund.  (I have never done that, but I have seen the piles of returns at Walmart).

 

Hugh, that's Walmart not a small specialty shop like Bob's.  Pretty soon - meaning in the next few years - Bob's and other parts options will be out of business due to decreased demand for their parts.  I understand the disappointment some feel from these select experiences, but Bob's margins are paper thin and he does not sell the volume of a Walmart to be able to take back parts. 

 

One Walmart, in one week or less - anywhere in the country - sells more goods than Bob's Automobilia does all year.

 

It is wholly unrealistic for Bob's to keep dealing with a European buyer on shipping back and forth until the order is correct.  Now, in the OP's defense, Bob's needs to update their policies and simply be honest.  State something like "occasionally we get a part incorrect, in those cases, we give the option of sending the part back at your expense, or a credit on your next purchase. However, due to the huge increases in shipping and postage costs over the past 10 years, we are not able to cover postage to return the part to us." 

 

Something like that. 

 

The 2nd generation owners and employees are not going to care as much about customer satisfaction - generally, I am sure there are exceptions - as the original folks. That's true in most businesses.    Hampton Coach and many other firms which catered to the hobby in the glory years - are gone.  Fewer and fewer people are restoring and maintaining cars from Bob's era. 

 

This is just a counterpoint.  These threads are going to be focused on a negative experience, so it's important to see big picture.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My experience with Bob's has been great overall.  I will say, in my opinion based on a couple of past orders, he gets frustrated like we do when a product doesn't fit or isn't good quality, and isn't good at hiding it.  I think he lists them based on what he is told by the suppliers and doesn't like being the middle man (much less the direct contact from his customers) when something is not what it should be.  I can see that, but, it's his company we are paying, so he is the point of contact for the issue.

 

I will certainly still shop there and recommend him because nobody's perfect and 99% of my transactions have been great.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, B Jake Moran said:

This is just a counterpoint.  These threads are going to be focused on a negative experience, so it's important to see big picture.

Absolutely.  The question was brought up - Did you have a negative experience with Bob's return policy.  I did.  I also continue to shop at Bob's Automobilia.  I am grateful that he is still hanging in with us as we are limited numbers and he is doing a great service.   What do I do differently?  I check every order from Bob's when it arrives with no expectation of getting a refund after 30 days.  I want Bob's Automobilia to succeed.  Hugh    

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bob's was a slow ship for me.  I mean...really slow.  Anyway, I purchase from the Bob's site because the part is available.  I accept it may be a while before I see it.  As others have said, I'm just glad Bob's is a place to look for parts as well as others.   Nice to have a choice! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Purchased two times from Bob's. Both times just excellent experience and super fast shipping from California to Germany. The first time I thought, wow, Impossible, it cannot be already here, 5 or 6 days only for international shipping, customs clearance and final delivery and the parts were exactly what I had ordered. 😊👍🙏

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I started dealing with Bob (sr)  in 2014 when I bought my first Buick.   Good service and had the parts in stock.    Shipping from CA.  sucks but it was is.   The last few years the contacts began to get rougher.   A few of the sales guys know details but some other are just p/n and price.   Just like going to your local auto parts store.   All they can do is - ' year and model'  to find the part.   Almost all the counter guys are 'kid's' and have no history back in their head.    I specifically look for an 'ole guy' to help me.   I know what I want but when I say its for a 1938 Buick,  all I get is a  ? ? look and go to another store.    I've been a customer of  'Cars'  up in New Jersey for over three years.   I now have a '35-58' and they have what I need.   Bob's is last on the list for parts.    I think Car's have only two phone sales guys but I deal with only Kevin.  (Other guy is  Gary ?).   I try to deal with the same sales guy so they know who I'm dealing with if there is a problem.   I get parts quickly from them vs california.    BTW, there are fewer of us guys doing the fixing / restoring of old cars so stock becomes important.    Plus,  California has not become a business friendly state to work in.   Moving would be work but there are many other places to work from.   Taxes and cost of living would make me move.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...

I have bought a fair number of parts from Bobs for my 1928 Buick Standard.  It has been my experience with Bobs that it all depends on who you get for a sales person.  If it's the older gentleman he has always gone out of his way to be very helpful.  If you get one of the younger sales people it's a crap shoot and sometimes they act as they are doing you a favor by answering the telephone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bob’s maxes out their profit at every opportunity- minimum purchase amounts, higher than actual shipping costs, bundling parts so you buy stuff you don’t need (carb rebuild kits for example). In my view the minuscule profit they make from these bad business decisions is not worth the negative impact on customer relations. They have a reputation for having good parts but also being arrogant and not caring at all about ultimately pleasing the customer. There comment (goodbye, shop elsewhere) proves my point. Cars, inc, Dave Tacheny and others are better alternatives. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

when i worked at the dealership we would send the correct part to the customer and enclose a ups return slip in the box to return the wrong part.....if the part was about the shipping return cost we advised the customer to keep it and put it in his tool box for the future......this is the correct way to win customer loyalty 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also had bad experiences with Bob's.  My first order was for "part A" and that was fine.  A second order was placed for "part B" which I received plus an unwanted "part A". It didn't cost much so let it go. A third order for "part C" was received but also included third "part A" and a second 'part B", Everything I ever ordered just got added onto all subsequent orders. I spoke to Bob (five yrs. ago), explained it to him,  and h shouted back that he doesn't write the ordering software and can't do anything to resolve the problem. No refunds either. Eventually I shipped back all of the unwanted parts and heard nothing back.  On a subsequent order a  year later I found that I had a credit that I didn't know anything about. These days I'm very cautious about ordering from Bob.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bob did wrong by me years ago.

At his stand in Hershey, I bought a rubber GM floor mat, which he told me would fit my 1930 Buick Roadster 64c.

I laid out about $500 cash for it.

When i got it home, it did not fit the car. When i called, politely asking if I could please return it for a refund, the answer was a rudely delivered "no".

Guess I am not the first with this experience, and sad for our community. Hate to knock a small business owner, but it really stuck with me, and i will never patronize him again.

I still have the mat.

Edited by studebrooklyn (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my most recent delivery, about 20 items, from Bob's I had one item less than I had ordered, but I had paid for it. Around 70 USD. I send Bob's an email, got a reply in due course and we settled the issue without any problem. In the orders before I had no problem at all. My experience with them is just excellent. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...