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Thread: Quick tips for shopping at parts stores

  1. #1
    Nothing but a Thing Strodinator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017

    Quick tips for shopping at parts stores

    Having worked in sales for Napa for two plus years I can tell you how Limited the catalogs by application are. O'Reilly's, AutoZone, Carquest, and Napa all list parts for the most part by vehicle application and struggle to use proper keywords to find parts that may actually fit your vehicle. The system that most parts houses use often are based on the TAMS operating system, or total automotive management system, and sucks for finding this obvious parts by application. If you are in a store and are getting frustrated because the counter person cannot find what you believe is a basic part see if he or she can find a Dorman part number to cross back into the system. A vast majority of Parts houses carry a Dorman line that, other than different part numbers, are exact Dorman parts repackaged and renumbered. Napa equivalent line is called Dorman Solutions and the only difference is the first few numbers of the part number. I can't tell you how many times I have found a part number for a customer in the past few months alone by completely ditching the vehicle application parameters and doing a quick Google search to find relevant Dorman parts for the specific vehicle. Any competent counterman should be able to do this and cross the number back into their system and more often than not they will find the part number is not only in the system, but also in stock. I know one issue I have with parts houses such as Napa (even though I work for them) is that a lot of the parts that break easily or need repair are not listed by application and instead reside in these discrete part lines such as Napa solution line. Always make sure your counterman does everything to cross back in part numbers especially FCA numbers as well as a Dorman because I have found Dorman part numbers to be fairly bulletproof when trying to find a part for a customer. And as an added bonus, any of you in the Portland / Hillsboro area who come into the Hillsboro on Napa, just ask for me and I'll see what I can do to get you a solid discount. I'll be glad to answer any questions for you guys as I have my own Napa Prolink account and I have no problem being a resource for you to find parts. I'm about 4 beers into the night now so cheers 🍺

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  2. #2
    Knows a Thing or Two Edwrds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Good to know thanks

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    2016 JKU

  3. #3
    Nothing but a Thing jdofmemi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Menifee CA
    Great info.


  4. #4
    Old Timer jesse3638's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Apple Valley, CA
    Yeah I had a counter person at Oreily do that when looking for spicer u-joints. The application search only yielded certain brands none of which were spicer.

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  5. #5
    Nothing but a Thing JeepinLife's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    My bro has been a commercial salesman for advance for like 7 years now.. he knows his stuff. Now does the job of 3 people and last year was first salesman to break 1 million in sales in his region. Its getting harder to find people like that at these types of stores. Not to long ago i went to autozone to rent a bigger torque wrench and the girl working the counter asked me to point to the picture of the tool i needed.... The turn over and job selection process for those positions are a joke.

    Thanks for working hard, caring and for the info.

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