Automotive

Why our local car parts are so expensive vs RockAuto?

  • Last Updated:
  • May 18th, 2019 9:55 am
[OP]
Member
Mar 5, 2018
350 posts
155 upvotes

Why our local car parts are so expensive vs RockAuto?

Last weekend, I went to a local car parts (Laval/Montréal) asking the price for a rear brake kit on my CRV 2014, they quoted me 200$ all-ins. The brand name is something very strange I never hear :-).
I just make an order on RockAuto website:
Premium: RAYBESTOS EHT1086H Element3; Hybrid Technology, https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.ph ... 895&jsn=43 25.63$ CAD
and 2 coated rotors: https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.ph ... 895&jsn=30 for 46.46$ CAD, with the shipping fee 64.37$ to my door. With the 5% coupon code, I get every thing in next 2 days for 136.50$ CAD all-ins.

I'm wondering how much profit Canadian car parts store are making on us?

I just change my front brake pad yesterday, I think a normal mechanic will charge only about 100$ for replacing rotors and brake pad (it's easier to replace the whole kit as you don't have to clean and reuse the hardware).
I have had my rear pad changed with Akebono ProACT but it does not last very long time. My car is about 60,000 km but the rear side already needs the 3rd pair pad change, will change the rotors as well this time as it wears more than the front side.
I want to see if RAYBESTOS EHT1086H Element3 is better Akebono ProACT or not.
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  • BarkePrice.png
Last edited by TomShopper on May 13th, 2019 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
31 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 15, 2014
1041 posts
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Toronto, ON
Different brands, not comparing apples to apples. Stores will be more expensive, overheads are a bitch.
Please respond
Deal Addict
Nov 14, 2006
3051 posts
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GTA
CardinalComb wrote: Different brands, not comparing apples to apples. Stores will be more expensive, overheads are a bitch.
RockAuto is also a drop shipper so they just send order to supplier, that will ship parts to customer direct.
Deal Guru
Jun 24, 2006
12603 posts
6669 upvotes
I would say they are not. I have yet to find a part at Rock auto that my mechanic wouldn't match or beat with something equivalent when asked up front.
Deal Addict
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May 8, 2007
1204 posts
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BC
Parts prices are expensive from a repair shop because they make a big profit on them and on estimates they can reduce their shop labour rate so it looks better to the customer.

I need a muffler replaced on my older Honda Accord. I went to the same repair shop that did the same job 10 years ago for less than $100. Now the same place wants $321. I suspect the shop changed ownership and the new owner just wants to charge a lot more. I jacked up my car and had a look, the job looks fairly easy for an experienced person, should require unfastening 2 bolts, removing the welded-on feeder pipe from the old muffler, welding the feeder pipe to the new muffler, and remounting the new muffler and feeder pipe.

They want to use a Walker muffler they say lists at $261 but they will charge me $237 for it. The same muffler is C$112 at RockAuto. 10 years ago they used an economy Walker muffler - charged me only $50 but it lasted 10 years. I asked them about using a cheaper muffler (for the latest job) and the cheapest they found was $180.

RockAuto has econo Walker mufflers that fit my Honda for as low as C$40.
Sr. Member
Oct 24, 2004
818 posts
190 upvotes
It's finding a mechanic that will install on-line parts that's the hardest. It took me days to find one.

I saved at least 35% from this method.
Deal Addict
Jul 30, 2015
3830 posts
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Toronto, ON
lilmikey wrote: RockAuto is also a drop shipper so they just send order to supplier, that will ship parts to customer direct.
They aren't. Not for all items at least. I have used Rock Auto and all the parts were shipped from them and not drop-shipped. This was in 2010 so things might have changed.
Deal Addict
Apr 6, 2008
1807 posts
1167 upvotes
Volume. Rockauto sells thousands of parts a day where your local part store would be less then a few dozen on a good day.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
17911 posts
8805 upvotes
Did you check PartsAvatar?

Because they offer free shipping over $99 it looks like their prices actually compete in your case:
Pads: $51.30 https://partsavatar.ca/product/raybesto ... 83zx5vzkwe
Rotors: $94 ($47 x 2) https://partsavatar.ca/product/raybesto ... 3j2gy4j59e

About $145 shipped to your door.

I recently ordered some parts for my car and they all came in cheaper than RockAuto, even before shipping considered. I have spot checked others and some are definitely more, especially when you don't care about the brand (Parts Avatar has much less selection).
Deal Addict
Oct 6, 2015
2463 posts
1391 upvotes
I priced out a bunch of parts for my car in both Canada, and at one of the major chains in the US in Florida.

Prices were basically identical, adjusted for exchange.

You pay for the 'retail' experience on either side of the border.
Temp. Banned
Jun 18, 2008
5095 posts
4652 upvotes
Montreal
adams7 wrote: Parts prices are expensive from a repair shop because they make a big profit on them and on estimates they can reduce their shop labour rate so it looks better to the customer.

I need a muffler replaced on my older Honda Accord. I went to the same repair shop that did the same job 10 years ago for less than $100. Now the same place wants $321. I suspect the shop changed ownership and the new owner just wants to charge a lot more. I jacked up my car and had a look, the job looks fairly easy for an experienced person, should require unfastening 2 bolts, removing the welded-on feeder pipe from the old muffler, welding the feeder pipe to the new muffler, and remounting the new muffler and feeder pipe.

They want to use a Walker muffler they say lists at $261 but they will charge me $237 for it. The same muffler is C$112 at RockAuto. 10 years ago they used an economy Walker muffler - charged me only $50 but it lasted 10 years. I asked them about using a cheaper muffler (for the latest job) and the cheapest they found was $180.

RockAuto has econo Walker mufflers that fit my Honda for as low as C$40.

This exactly right here. ^^

It's become a free for all not only for mechanics, bodyshops and auto parts but any technical type repair, electrical, plumbing, renos etc. Inflation for these services has gone through the roof. It's become beyond absurd, charging $300 to unclog a toilet that took less than 25 minutes. The reason for this, blame easily available credit and general money printing. I'm older than most here and can remember in the early 80's very few possessed a credit card and if you did limits were usually under $1000.

You'd need a car repair, brake job, muffler and the prices were reasonable because if the quotes were in the $4-500 range 9/10 customers would walk out. There was simply no way to pay for expensive repairs so everything was priced accordingly. Speedy Muffler would routinely advertise pads for $99 and that included turning the disks, also this was before Chinese parts. I know this going way back but this is how it was, you wanted business you better watch what you quote, the money just wasn't freely available by tapping a piece of plastic. Now you walk in for a quote and a dealer tells you with a straight face $600+ for front pads/disks and labour because they know the average degenerate is carrying $50,000 in his back pocket. Ridiculous.
Sr. Member
Apr 5, 2008
691 posts
97 upvotes
Vancouver
Stores have overhead and the parts go through various middlemen/distributors before getting on the shelf. Unless you are buying a premium tier part, alot of times the store brand part is the same as the economy level part from RockAuto.
Deal Guru
Jun 11, 2005
13392 posts
2650 upvotes
Toronto
I bought two Bilstein struts on rockauto for $448.00 including shipping, duties and HST

Canadian Autopartsway which is also on online shop charges $477 EACH strut. Total would be $1,078.00

So yes auto parts in Canada is crazy overpriced.

The only thing I could find cheaper was on germanparts.ca which had the strut mount for $50 and strut bearings for $25 manufactured by Febi (german). But this is because they are on sale and heavily discounted. If it wasn't on sale, it would cost 4x what it would cost on rockauto
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 31, 2008
12762 posts
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Toronto
US autoparts used market is 20+ time bigger. So way more efficiencies and history of gear heads fixing their own cars. More competitive too.

Plus 25% higher GDP per capita and 33% higher dollar.
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
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ottofly wrote: This exactly right here. ^^

It's become a free for all not only for mechanics, bodyshops and auto parts but any technical type repair, electrical, plumbing, renos etc. Inflation for these services has gone through the roof. It's become beyond absurd, charging $300 to unclog a toilet that took less than 25 minutes. The reason for this, blame easily available credit and general money printing. I'm older than most here and can remember in the early 80's very few possessed a credit card and if you did limits were usually under $1000.

You'd need a car repair, brake job, muffler and the prices were reasonable because if the quotes were in the $4-500 range 9/10 customers would walk out. There was simply no way to pay for expensive repairs so everything was priced accordingly. Speedy Muffler would routinely advertise pads for $99 and that included turning the disks, also this was before Chinese parts. I know this going way back but this is how it was, you wanted business you better watch what you quote, the money just wasn't freely available by tapping a piece of plastic. Now you walk in for a quote and a dealer tells you with a straight face $600+ for front pads/disks and labour because they know the average degenerate is carrying $50,000 in his back pocket. Ridiculous.
Nobody does anything for themselves anymore, so mechanics and dealers charge whatever they want for the service. What people gonna do? Learn basic maintenance and get their hands dirty, like some pleb? /s
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
Deal Guru
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Mar 31, 2008
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Toronto
Cameraguy23 wrote: It's finding a mechanic that will install on-line parts that's the hardest. It took me days to find one.

I saved at least 35% from this method.
Many Chinese or South Asian mechanics, cash job for labour will gladly do it.
Sr. Member
Mar 17, 2006
647 posts
347 upvotes
I agree with OP. The price of car parts in stores around the Montreal/Laval area is nuts. Probably some type of cartel thing going on. I understand stores have more overhead than online. It doesn't make sense that ordering brake rotors online with their prohibitive shipping costs (since they are so f**king heavy) is quite a bit cheaper than any store.
There's some collusion thing going on between garages (who charge a pretty penny for car parts) and the local parts stores discouraging people from doing their own work.

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