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Another good supplier bites the dust - USA Parts


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It’s getting harder and more expensive. It constantly astounds me as far as cost, lead time, and lack of available parts anymore. That’s why I “buy them done” for my garage. It’s enough to just get a car sorted today.

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As a business owner I see an operation like that and wonder how much material they have to move just to cover overhead?  Especially in a specialty market like Cadillac and Olds. 

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5 hours ago, Restorer32 said:

Anyone who works on old Cadillacs will mourn the bankruptcy of USA Parts.  I swear, restoring cars gets harder every year.

 

Preview of coming attractions................Bob

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The business-real estate and inventory is for sale by the Chapter 7 Trustee. 3 acres and 20000 SF warehouse with fenced yard, There is information on this site under the 'Cadillac' forum and 'parts for sale'. Place was in business 30 plus years. Probably bad management. Real Estate alone is  assessed at $803K Minimum offer is $640K. Whole place was run by 2 full time employees and one par time. Look up on line real estate ad in Hemmings on line. 500 sections of shelving jammed with NOS and NORS parts. Offers have to be made by July 19th. You can also find info on auctionzip.com and look up Auctioneer 6995. Hell of an opportunity for the right guy

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5 hours ago, Restorer32 said:

Buy USA Parts and Pete Sander's Cadillac repro biz and you will have the Cadillac parts supply pretty much wrapped up.

 

 

Only problem is selling off the inventory to get your investment back, and being able to get replacement NOS and new reproduction parts manufactured at prices that still make them sell. Having made hundreds of different reproduction parts runs over the years.......I can tell you it isn't easy. Then add in time, building, travel, ect, ect, ect. We still make about 175 items and stock them for sale, but sales are slow, and 99 percent of it is for helping out the Pierce Arrow market.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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13 hours ago, Restorer32 said:

Buy USA Parts and Pete Sander's Cadillac repro biz and you will have the Cadillac parts supply pretty much wrapped up.

With all due respect, but if you truly believe this is a good business opportunity, why not do it yourself or offer financial backing to someone else ? 

 

On the more serious note, I've seen and heard of quite a number of colleagues(?) failing and folding up during past 12+ months, including many who took some of those government handouts and worst offenders ended up spending all or good portions of it on personal luxuries, including boats, cars, etc.

 

Above comment is not intended to spark "political" debates, just stating simple facts based on personal observations, so hopefully everyone can refrain from engaging or responding to it.

 

 

 

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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Majority of their sales are dropped shipped items from companies   they represent. They never touch that stuff. Mostly 'soft" items-books/interiors etc. I understand the old stuff was icing on the cake.

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They "outsourced" 99 % of everything... The "stock" in there is the worthless left overs of deals...

 

The lawyers want a MINIMUM BID of $ 640,000 ?!?! They won't  get one bid for half of that, and won't  settle for half of that....

 

A great business  opportunity,  you say... only if you want to LOSE

$ 640,000..... Gooooooood Luck.....

 

The next step is ......

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We have spent tens of thousands of $ with USA Parts over the last 20 years or so and always found them very helpful in supplying new and used parts as well as advice.  They will be missed.

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6 minutes ago, hidden_hunter said:

Surprising, I thought car places had done reasonably well out of the covid restrictions (outside of sourcing parts) as lots of people were at home restoring stuff

 

The filings seem to indicate that their troubles pre-dated COVID.

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6 hours ago, mobileparts said:

 The "stock" in there is the worthless left overs of deals...

 

 

I had piles of stuff like that I finely had to just dispose of. Eventually you run out of room because it is taken up from the leftovers that is either worthless or really hard to sell. 

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About two years ago we noticed that something was not quite "right" with them.  Slower delivery, more parts back ordered, that sort of thing.  We figured Lebaron- Bonney was on their way out when they could no longer supply us with door cardboard.  When you deal with these suppliers on a weekly and sometimes almost daily basis you develop relationships with the sales people and get a sense of whether things are going well or not.  If McMaster-Carr disappears I might be tempted to toss myself into the river.

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10 minutes ago, Restorer32 said:

About two years ago we noticed that something was not quite "right" with them.  Slower delivery, more parts back ordered, that sort of thing.  We figured Lebaron- Bonney was on their way out when they could no longer supply us with door cardboard.  When you deal with these suppliers on a weekly and sometimes almost daily basis you develop relationships with the sales people and get a sense of whether things are going well or not.  If McMaster-Carr disappears I might be tempted to toss myself into the river.

 

"Good Supplier" is relative. A supplier that is "not quite right" for years, slow delivery, back orders, etc is not a good supplier.

Businesses come and go. I'm not nostalgic over vendors. I'm loyal as long as they are good suppliers (and all that means).  If they are not, there are others to replace them.

 

 

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  • Peter Gariepy changed the title to Another good supplier bites the dust - USA Parts
2 hours ago, hidden_hunter said:

Surprising, I thought car places had done reasonably well out of the covid restrictions (outside of sourcing parts) as lots of people were at home restoring stuff

Well, the sad reality is that at least 9-out-of-10 of those do-it-yourself “at home” hobbyist-restorers usually purchase most of their parts and supplies from the cheapest places, including (here in the U.S.) CrockAuto, Horrid Fright, etc, even if the parts aren’t authentic/correct for their car and unless independent suppliers are able to provide everything for less than aforementioned outfits or offer something very unique (and desirable or necessary enough to enough people), most will continue to perish at accelerating pace.

 

Same with countless wannabe “professional”(?) shops that come-and-go due to catering to such clientele, applying similar (i.e. cheap) approach/mentality and cutting each others (and eventually their own) throats. 

 

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Restorer32 said:

If McMaster-Carr disappears I might be tempted to toss myself into the river.

 

Right behind you, Brother. McM-Carr. Source of all what be's............Bob

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2 hours ago, Restorer32 said:

If McMaster-Carr disappears I might be tempted to toss myself into the river.

 

Auto restorers are not a drop in the bucket to those people. They are a "Mill Supply" company. Every industry seems to order something from them. Now why anyone would order 10' lengths of pipe from them instead of the local pluming supply house and save hundreds in cost of product AND shipping, I don't know, but McM is ready and willing to ship anything they have!😆 Ever see the freight bill on one piece of 2" pipe the engineer thought should be bought there? 😲 And buying local keeps the local tax base local.... But I digress...

 

What car parts are sold by Harbor Freight? All items I see there are tool related.

 

I buy from Rock Auto all the time, as I can get the brands I want, and there is NO good local parts house anymore in my area, much less anyone who stocks what I need. I will gladly support local business (see comment above).

 

 

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2 hours ago, TTR said:

Well, the sad reality is that at least 9-out-of-10 of those do-it-yourself “at home” hobbyist-restorers usually purchase most of their parts and supplies from the cheapest places, including (here in the U.S.) CrockAuto, Horrid Fright, etc, even if the parts aren’t authentic/correct for their car and unless independent suppliers are able to provide everything for less than aforementioned outfits or offer something very unique (and desirable or necessary enough to enough people), most will continue to perish at accelerating pace.

 

Same with countless wannabe “professional”(?) shops that come-and-go due to catering to such clientele, applying similar (i.e. cheap) approach/mentality and cutting each others (and eventually their own) throats. 

 

 

You do realize that many of these "beloved" repro vendors are reselling the same parts you can buy at RockAuto, at a markup, right. My classic example is one "brand name" repro vendor who sells motor mounts for $30 each. These are Chinesium Anchor brand mounts that you can get from RockAuto for $4 each. They even come in the original Anchor box, with only the repro vendor's part number sticker on the outside. And how, exactly does a Moog or Delco part that I buy at RockAuto or even Amazon differ from the one I pay extra for from a "brand name" vendor? Sorry, but your point is not valid.

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18 minutes ago, joe_padavano said:

 

You do realize that many of these "beloved" repro vendors are reselling the same parts you can buy at RockAuto, at a markup, right. My classic example is one "brand name" repro vendor who sells motor mounts for $30 each. These are Chinesium Anchor brand mounts that you can get from RockAuto for $4 each. They even come in the original Anchor box, with only the repro vendor's part number sticker on the outside. And how, exactly does a Moog or Delco part that I buy at RockAuto or even Amazon differ from the one I pay extra for from a "brand name" vendor? Sorry, but your point is not valid.

Regarding the validity of my point, I do respectfully disagree, especially if/when one considers the "big picture".

The problem, if you will (and as I've stated before), goes back several decades, when members of MY generation ("Boomers") started to insist(?) on getting everything cheaper, cheaper, cheaper, eventually forcing all brand name (& quality) producers to lower their standards to remain competitive in the onslaught of "Chinesium", which few decades ago started with "Japanesium" and then became "Mexicosium"...

It's all about supply and demand, i.e. if the buying public demands cheaply made junk, that's what they'll be supplied with.

 

P.S. I don't have many "beloved" repro vendors as I rather spend my (and my clients) time and money to look for and buy NOS items, if and whenever available, but if I'm forced to buy/use reproduction items, I'll do my utmost to research and buy ones with best quality.

Also, as I've mentioned before, I do reproduce variety of components and parts for vintage cars, but everything I do, meets or exceeds OEM quality.

And if can't do or have them made to such standards, I won't bother reproducing them.

 

42 minutes ago, Frank DuVal said:

What car parts are sold by Harbor Freight? All items I see there are tool related.

Well, in case you missed it in my earlier comment, I wrote "supplies", which, at least in my view, includes tools(?) and whatever other cheap crap H.F. peddles.

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And of course you all do realize that Rock Auto is just another reshipper?  After having problems with customer supplied.parts we.now have a rule.   We source all engine and suspension parts and always try for NOS when we can.  We went thru 3 "cheap" brake boosters supplied by our customer.  Yes, the one we finally sourced was a.bit more expensive but it was correct and has worked flawlessly for several years now.

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1 hour ago, Restorer32 said:

I don't believe Rock Auto carries stainless trim pieces for say a 1958 Cadillac Biarritz.

 

In which case the prior comment about restorers using RA instead of "brand name" suppliers is kind of meaningless, isn't it?

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26 minutes ago, Restorer32 said:

And of course you all do realize that Rock Auto is just another reshipper?

 

So is NAPA. What's your point? If I can buy Moog from RA for the lowest price delivered to my doorstep, why is that a bad thing? Frankly, I'll take a recently-manufactured rubber part over a half-century old NOS part for a car that I plan to actually drive. Same goes for fuel system parts - NOS won't be ethanol-tolerant rubber. Yeah, I'd LOVE to use non-ethanol fuel if the nearest seller wasn't an hour each way. Frankly, your money, your choice as to where you get parts. My point is don't badmouth people who are making value-based decisions. You can get crap parts from the OEMs (ask me about the heater control valve that I got from a dealership that lasted all of one month).  RA and other discount vendors certainly sell low-grade parts. They also sell the same quality parts that you can buy elsewhere for more money. An informed shopper can get the best value.

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23 minutes ago, Restorer32 said:

And of course you all do realize that Rock Auto is just another reshipper?  After having problems with customer supplied.parts we.now have a rule.   We source all engine and suspension parts and always try for NOS when we can.  We went thru 3 "cheap" brake boosters supplied by our customer.  Yes, the one we finally sourced was a.bit more expensive but it was correct and has worked flawlessly for several years now.

I’ve always had “that” rule (and several others). Regardless who buys it, any component or part I install in my shop has to meet my standards.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, TTR said:

I’ve always had “that” rule (and several others). Regardless who buys it, any component or part I install in my shop has to meet my standards.

 

 

 

I've always used that rule when it comes to female friends and parts. If the available ones don't meet my standards................ I just lower my standards. 😛...................Bob

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It's a substantial setback for Olds and Cadillac owners because USA did at least handle parts for those carlines. Most places just give you a dumb look. We certainly don't enjoy the luxury of reproduction parts Chevrolet folks do.

 

That's why I bought my own parts books years ago. I know exactly what will work for my stuff along with what interchanges year to year and between GM Divisions. Who'd-a thunk wheel cylinders for a 69 Toronado also fit 68-74 Novas?😜

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16 minutes ago, rocketraider said:

IWho'd-a thunk wheel cylinders for a 69 Toronado also fit 68-74 Novas?😜

… let alone that ‘70 Mustang wheel cylinders also fit ‘55 Packards ? 🤪

(One of my earliest unexpected lessons into car restoration over 40 years ago and had no involvement of parts books or manuals, just a quick experienced eyeballing by a parts guy +/-4000 miles and across the ocean away from where either make/model was originally manufactured)

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I just want to interject what we are hearing from some of the parts suppliers.  We have been told this directly.  At the beginning of the pandemic there was a massive fear that their businesses would suffer a huge hit.  However, the opposite happened to those we talked to...business was up as much as 25% for them indicating maybe that folks staying at home and not allowed to freely venture out ended up working on their cars.  These suppliers are well established and have always run a quality business as far as this office knows so that is good news but naturally we do not wish to see harm come to any business that supports the hobby.  Just apparently was not all doom and gloom last year.  

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21 hours ago, TTR said:

Well, in case you missed it in my earlier comment, I wrote "supplies", which, at least in my view, includes tools(?) and whatever other cheap crap H.F. peddles.

 I see you have not shopped at Harbor Freight in a looong time! Sure, they still have the low budget tools, but their higher lines are quite impressive. I will put their tool boxes up against Snap-On any day. I own BOTH! I own both Snap-On and HF hand tools. Each have their purpose. Only cheap flare nut wrenches should be avoided, they have no known use to me!😲

 

Go by and look at their ICON line of tools. Feel them, work them. But, they are not CHEAP, just cheaper than the alternative brand. And therein lies the biggest difference. You pay Snap-On and others to come by your place of business and keep you in tools without having to take time off and go across town or further to shop for tools. This means a lot to productivity and the bottom line. Home restorers do not have these constraints. 😉

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