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Old 17-01-2015, 21:08   #16
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Re: Predatory Volvo Parts Pricing

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
You know, Ben, it's more like a con man than a thief. Convincing someone to pay those prices for a readily available item is a definite con. If they were thieves they would just lift your whole wallet and be done with it!

It's when the parts guy gazes into your eyes and tells you that there is something really special about that Volvo bolt that I get pissed
True Jim. At least in this case the dealer had the sense to turn green himself and suggest a cheaper alternative.. I suppose the problem comes if you are getting work done by a professional, they are much less likely to look for cheaper options, and may be required to use OEM parts. A good reason to do the work yourself I guess. Perhaps worth asking a mechanic if they can source non OEM parts cheaper. Some might be happy with this?



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Old 18-01-2015, 06:24   #17
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Re: Predatory Volvo Parts Pricing

Volvo OEM alternators are made by Valeo and can also be found cheaper elsewhere.

The exhaust elbow gaskets for many, many engines are all standardized and not even marine-engine specific (they are the same for dry exhausts). Buy them from any Kubota, Westerbeke, Perkins tractor supply, generator supply or anywhere else that sells them cheaply. I buy them for $3.

I know dissing Volvo is a blood sport for many, but before complaining about parts prices, one should check the prices of similar parts from others. They all charge arms and legs for stuff - some better, some worse. For example, go check the price on that Yanmar heat exchanger. Compare the prices of Yanmar vs Volvo for an injection pump. Do this, and you will be thinking Volvo is pretty cheap!

I think it is safe to say that for any part from any manufacturer of any marine item - common things like bolts, etc are going to be price gouging. For example, Tides Marine wants $70 for a rudder bearing lip seal. It is a standard Parker oil seal that I paid $4 for at an auto supply store.

Where they get away with this pricing is when people need a "set" of stuff where one part is a real manufacturer item and the rest are bolts and washers and orings and similar. They know that most people are just going to buy the "set" and not go off running down all the other items individually.

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Old 18-01-2015, 06:55   #18
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Re: Predatory Volvo Parts Pricing

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True Jim. At least in this case the dealer had the sense to turn green himself and suggest a cheaper alternative.. I suppose the problem comes if you are getting work done by a professional, they are much less likely to look for cheaper options, and may be required to use OEM parts. A good reason to do the work yourself I guess. Perhaps worth asking a mechanic if they can source non OEM parts cheaper. Some might be happy with this?
To their credit I have had a few, not many, Volvo distrubitors have the same reaction...guess they didn't drink all their corporate issue koolaid and so are still shocked at the outrageous gouging.

If you are paying to have the work done by a pro then the cost savings gained by searching for alternative parts evaporates pretty fast. Even here in Panama mechanics charge about $40 an hour. But knowing the alternatives means you are more likely to be able to source the part locally thus saving time, freight charges, customs duties, etc. If I FedExed in that $800 starter from Volvo then its total cost would be more like $1,200. Ten times what it will be if I can find it locally.

Lot to be said for doing your own work, especially for a cruiser. If you have the skillset and tools. By the time you add up the saved labor cost and the savings from searching for reasonable parts alternatives it is substantial. I've saved myself a few grand just over the past two years...money I can piss off on something else! ;-)

A big additional benefit is that you get to know your boat better too...important when you have a problem somewhere remote. Modern cruising boats are a surprisingly complex aggregate of stuff and there is a lot to learn. I've been sailing this boat, and doing most of my own work, for 14 years now...and I'm still learning new things about it.

Anyway, Monday I'm off to local autoparts stores to see if I can luck out and find this starter locally.
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Old 18-01-2015, 07:23   #19
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Re: Hitachi starter

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Can you provide the Hitachi PN?
I have 3jh3ce engines and the hitachi part number is S114-815 and that seems to be used on most Yanmar engines of that vintage. Yours may be different so be sure to check. I found the Hitachi part number when I removed the starter. The original Hitachi part number was still on the starter. Of course it was on the bottom and not visible until the starter was removed. I actually bought an aftermarket equivalent for $120 from a local auto electric shop that I trust. There were cheap Chinese equivalents for way less than $100. I could have gotten the actual Hitachi brand starter for $160 which included the solenoid. Just the solenoid from Yanmar was $168. Once the engine is out of warranty I don't see any reason to spend money for OEM bolt on parts.

The one place I haven't felt gouged by Yanmar is on water pump impellers. I have been able to buy Yanmar brand impellers for less than $30 within a dollar or two of aftermarket impellers. The Yanmar impellers have a screw thread in the hub that fits their puller tool which is very compact and doesn't require you remove the starter to pull the impeller. The aftermarket impellers don't have this thread.
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Old 18-01-2015, 07:30   #20
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Re: Predatory Volvo Parts Pricing

I have found many cross-references, including the one Eisberg quotes, by doing Google searches.

I describe, beginning here: Volvo Penta S120C Workshop Manual

how I have circumvented Volvo's exceptional price for spline and torsional dampener replacement ($3000 US minimum, they want to pull the boat to do it so add that too) by spending about $500 US on parts and machine shop time
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Old 18-01-2015, 08:13   #21
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Re: Predatory Volvo Parts Pricing

You guys every heard of eBay? amazon.com? Google search engine?

Put your part number in and you'll find many sources, often at much better prices.
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Old 18-01-2015, 08:38   #22
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Re: Predatory Volvo Parts Pricing

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You guys every heard of eBay? amazon.com? Google search engine?

Put your part number in and you'll find many sources, often at much better prices.
Trouble is that Volvo does not provide cross ref info so entering a Volvo part number is likely to only hit parts from Volvo Distributors at Volvo prices. Using the actual OEM info is much more productive.

Case in point. I just searched for a water pump">raw water pump seal (Volvo part #833996). All results, including eBay, wanted $12 or more for this small standard oil seal which can be had at any seal supply shop for less than $5.

http://www.google.com/m?&q=volvo+833996
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Old 18-01-2015, 09:04   #23
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Re: Predatory Volvo Parts Pricing

I had the same experience last summer. Volvo wanted $2,000.00 for a 12v starter for my Volvo 2002. I cross referenced the starter twice and found it locally for $86.00.

No more Volvo in my future, even though I'm loving the current Volvo Ocean Race.

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Old 18-01-2015, 09:35   #24
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Re: Predatory Volvo Parts Pricing

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I had the same experience last summer. Volvo wanted $2,000.00 for a 12v starter for my Volvo 2002. I cross referenced the starter twice and found it locally for $86.00.

No more Volvo in my future, even though I'm loving the current Volvo Ocean Race.

S/V Whalewind
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Those races cost a lot of money and need to be supported by Volvo customers....
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Old 18-01-2015, 10:25   #25
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Re: Predatory Volvo Parts Pricing

How dare Volvo charge such predatory high prices! Don't they know that corporations should provide parts to struggling sailors at little or no profit? Don't they realize that multi-billion dollar businesses should not seek evil profits but provide a social service to its customers? In a free market, consumers have the ability to exercise their buying power from a number of sources as others have demonstrated above. If you want once price shopping, go to Cuba where a $16,000 dollar car costs $45,000. and the average Cuban makes $23.00 per month. Otherwise, remember the Latin admonition: Caveat Emptor--Let the buyer beware.
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Old 18-01-2015, 10:32   #26
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Re: Predatory Volvo Parts Pricing

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Originally Posted by jep17 View Post
I had the same experience last summer. Volvo wanted $2,000.00 for a 12v starter for my Volvo 2002. I cross referenced the starter twice and found it locally for $86.00.

No more Volvo in my future, even though I'm loving the current Volvo Ocean Race.

S/V Whalewind
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I hope you don't think you got the very same $2000 part for $86!
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Old 18-01-2015, 10:36   #27
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Re: Predatory Volvo Parts Pricing

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Originally Posted by rognvald View Post
How dare Volvo charge such predatory high prices! Don't they know that corporations should provide parts to struggling sailors at little or no profit? Don't they realize that multi-billion dollar businesses should not seek evil profits but provide a social service to its customers? In a free market, consumers have the ability to exercise their buying power from a number of sources as others have demonstrated above. If you want once price shopping, go to Cuba where a $16,000 dollar car costs $45,000. and the average Cuban makes $23.00 per month. Otherwise, remember the Latin admonition: Caveat Emptor--Let the buyer beware.
Volvo can charge anything they want for their parts. And I have not seen a single post criticizing their right do so or their right to make a profit.

Not sure where you get the impression but I don't see anything on this thread that indicates anyone here expects a business to be a charity. All I read are complaints that, in the opinion of Volvo owners, the prices Volvo charges for many parts are unreasonable. Profit is one thing but to buy a part from an OEM, paint and rebrand it and charge 5-10 times the cost of that same identical part???

So, just like Volvo is free to charge as much as they like for anything they sell, the consumers are free to voice their opinion on the matter and take their business elsewhere.

Isn't capitalism just wonderful?
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Old 18-01-2015, 10:37   #28
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Re: Predatory Volvo Parts Pricing

I have been researching upgrading my alternator. It turns out there are Volvo parts, parts made for Volvo and parts that look and fit like Volvo parts but are of questionable quality.

If it's the same part, made by the same manufacturer for the same application, that's one thing and it may be a good choice. If it's a replacement made by some fly by night shop or in some third world country, it's probably not a good choice unless you're selling the boat and don't care about long term reliability.

Remember if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
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Old 18-01-2015, 10:39   #29
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Re: Predatory Volvo Parts Pricing

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Volvo can charge anything they want for their parts. And I have not seen a single post criticizing their right do so or their right to make a profit............
You have to look no further than the thread title "Predatory Volvo Parts Pricing"
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Old 18-01-2015, 10:54   #30
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Re: Predatory Volvo Parts Pricing

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I hope you don't think you got the very same $2000 part for $86!
Quite probably not the same. However for $86 he could buy ten of them and still be way ahead of the game.
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