Posts Tagged ‘franchise’

Buying in NAPA Auto Part Stores Doesn’t Pay Off

April 21, 2013

The NAPA auto chain has been trying to capture some market share from the Autozone variety by attempting to provide competing offerings – or have they?

Recently, I purchased some parts from NAPA online under the premise that it can be returned at any NAPA auto parts store – per their web page.  Unexpectedly, I had to return a part so I drove over to my local San Diego NAPA store.  The clerk informed me that all of the San Diego NAPA stores are independently owned and therefore do not and will not  accept parts purchased online from NAPA – seriously?  And how are customers supposed to know which stores are independently owned?

So then I attempted to return the parts at a NAPA store that is corporately owned.  To my surprise, they had no clue how to process the return and once again, refused it – that’s a second strike.

Third strike happened when I attempted to return a part purchased from the independent NAPA store at the corporate NAPA store and discovered that the independent store charged me 50% more than the corporate store.  Apparently, independently owned NAPA stores can charge whatever they want – so buyer beware.


Sewing Machines Sales Practices

February 18, 2012

In the market for a sewing machine?  Think that it’s a competitive consumer market? WRONG!

Low end sewing machines can be purchased at your local discount store (Walmart/Target/Sears/etc.), but if you are looking for anything better, you’ll have to go to a local sewing machine store where you will meet your local franchise owner of brands like Brother/Bernina/Elna/Singer.  If you call around sewing stores to price shop, you’ll discover that the dealers will make statements such as:

1) “We’re not allowed to provide prices over the phone”  and they will tell you they can lose their license if they provide the price over the phone.  The only thing they will provide over the phone is the list price which is absurd.

2) “We don’t service machines that weren’t purchased here”.

3) “We don’t service machines that weren’t purchased through an authorized dealer”.

When you come to the store, you’ll hear about the “great sale” they are having and they will make sure they point out the list price.  Well, their sales never end, and the list prices are unrealistic.  In reality, the machine manufacturers have established sales territories where dealers have exclusivity and the franchising agreements are set up to protect those territories.  When we purchased our first sewing machine we got bitten.

Recently, we purchases a serger.  Once again no one would provide prices over the phone.  Everyone wanted us to come in since “hands on the wheel are sure to close a deal”.  Since we realized that sewing machines are sold like cars, we decided to purchase it like if we were purchasing a car.

Outcome?  We walked out with a brand new ELNA-745 serger for $575 out the door, list price $1,799 – LOL to that!

So, if you are in the market for a sewing machine, find the machine you like, and then haggle haggle haggle!  The dealers are scum balls and use the same tactics as used car salesmen.  They will force you into their store for a price, they try to convince you that if you don’t buy from them you won’t be able to service your machine, they will dazzle you with a “sale” price and make sure they show you the sticker list price to try to convince you that you are getting a good deal.  So don’t forget that you can easily bring the price down another 15% if you haggle a bit.