$AZO, $AAP and $ORLY – auto zone, advance auto part, and oreilly have been feeling the heat from Amazon (but mostly online sellers like eBay and other junkyard part dealers gone ONLINE. These stocks are off 33-50%.
Before I start talking about the Auto Part Retailers. Let me tell you about my car inspection experience.
So, my car didn’t pass inspection. It needed three things, according to them the whole thing would have cost me $2398.77
– flog light glass cracked and the lightbulb didn’t work on both side – so, 2 light bulbs and a light assembly , part and labor $180.99
– mufflers got 2 cracks , they don’t work on muffler, only replace it, parts and labor $1746.14
– motor mounts got cracked, 2 that needed to be replaced. Parts and labor $347.19
Well and a $16 inspection fee. I said, no, I’ll take my car somewhere else. They wouldn’t give me my old inspection stickef back. So I set out to get a few more estimates. My regular muffler guy I couldn’t get a hold of, so I went to pay $181 to fix the muffler. He was going to, charge me $169/place. I said no.. I normally pay $65 at my Muffler guy.
This is the dealership estimates
As light and the motor mounts, I went online and got the parts for 1/5-1/3 of the mark-up price from Firestone and from other mechanic shop including Acura. Light $55, mounts all five of them $80.
Got my mechanics to work $330. Bam! $2398.77 bill got cut to $510 . That is a wooping saving of $1888.77 (not to mention the extra 3 engine mounts that they haven’t quoted me on)
If you ask about the quality of service let me list a few things about my experience.
If I get it fixed at the dealership or major mechanic shop:
- My car is 2003 Acura TL, so the parts shop has to order the parts so that’d take a few days.
- Cost 4x more and since they only quoted 2 mounts, and all 5 of my mounts were broken, it would have been seven hundreds more
- I still have to leave my car for a couple of days after they got the parts.
- I will hate the fact that I don’t get to talk to the mechanics. They just want my car to sit in the lot for a week when the part haven’t even come in yet. When I’m on the phone or even coming in person, I have to deal with frustrating front desk people who know nothing about mechanics and the state of my cars. The mechanics are just pure labor, they know nothing about when the parts coming. The frustration can be HUGE.
I got it fixed at a muffler shop and at my mechanics
- No need to wait for mufflers. Two hours between travel and wait time.
- Order light and mount online, came in two days because I changed the recommended two mounts. Then got my car took it to work, came back when I have the day off. My husband and I went in a thirty mikes bike while the car being fixed.
- Got done within a week. Time is comparable. A lot more convenience.
- Got the tittle of being Ms Frugal, but honestly, my car is so old, that I don’t want to put $2000.
What does it mean though?
That means Advance Auto Part, Auto Zone, and o Reilly or other auto parts are completing with online stores. They have little or no overhead cost. The junk yard doesn’t have to register in a highly controlled States. Yep! As the result, you see these stocks are down up to thirty of fifty percent year to date or over fifty two weeks. Yikes.
This is why I think the best buying opportunities have yet to come. There will be more blood shed. But I’d like to have these on my watchlist.
This is a DYI generation, companies can’t win over millennial business then they need to come up with a different model. Because eventually, people like my husband, just bring his car to the shop and let them charge whatever, will aged out and turn their cars in.
Sure, car-makers have made it harder for mom and pop’s mechanic shop. By computerizing their car, but ultimately people just want a working car, luxurious fancy is the thing in the past.
For that, I expects these companies will continue to decline. I don’t know what’s a good entry point but I’m favoring companies that pays dividend.
What do you think of these retail auto parts companies. Are you choosing Amazon over brick and mortar?
Do you shop around or go to a mechanic shop for car fixing?