Sears is not the only one. I wont buy Ryobi either for the same reason
(they make a lot of Craftsman tools too) No matter what the brand, spare
parts are a big markup. If you can find the same pat through industrial
supply houses, they are going to be far cheaper than the same item with the
"genuine XXX brand" sticker on them.
I needed a hydraulic pump for a machine at work. I called the manufacturer
and they wanted $5400, but would give us a 10% discount. Found the same
pump from a hydraulics supply house for $1200. Very common practice.
I have no argument that distributor parts are less expensive in general
than OEM, nor do I have any lack of experience in using same. The point
is, Ryobi/Craftsman/whoever aren't making these bearings, etc.,
themsleves, they're buying from the same manufacturers as are
JD/Case-IH/Delta. Whether a particular bearing is available open stock
has more to do w/ sheer volume than any planned obsolescence or attempt
at controlling spare patrs availability.
I had a heck of a time getting a replacement rear wheel bearing for the
old '59 38-series Chevy truck a few years ago when needed replacement
owing to some water having collected in rear end and pitted them
severely. The OEM were Timken, but the particular style is no longer
used in new vehicles and numbers aren't there to continue to produce
it. Finally found some "new old stock", but it took a couple of months
Small bearings, for example, of the type in many hand tools just are not
"common enough" to make for good markets for replacement--
We have a Sears concrete mixer. A while back the electrical switch
failed on it. Having a factory Sears repair center not more than a
mile from our house, I went up there to see if they could replace it.
The switch was in a rubber housing (water resistant). They could find
the part, and if it had still been available (listed as NLA) it would
have been about $150.00. So I cut open the rubber housing to see what
the actual switch looked like. I took it out, went to the local mom &
pop hardware store (yes, we a fortunate enough to have a few of those
still around) and found an exact replacement switch for under $5.00.
Just had to fit it back into the rubber housing and seal it back up
with a urethane sealer (NP-1 in this case.)
I spent far less than $145.00 worth of time fixing the problem. Sears
will hold you up on some repairs. Local hardware stores can be your
friend if you know what to look for!:~)
(Remove the Primes before e-mailing me)
Many years ago I had snow blower that used an internal toothed gear as a
speed reducer. When I went to B-S for the replacement I was bent out of
shape over the price. I bitched about it to my neighbor who worked for an
appliance manufacturer. He told to figure repair parts sold for about ten
times the cost of manufacture. The high cost is related (at least in part)
to the mfgr having to hold the part in inventory, tying up the money in the
hope that someday someone would want it. And eventually it got sold or
discarded and then became NLA.
Of course if you are looking for an industry standard part such as a
bearing, switch, belt etc. you have better choices.
Amongst my tools there's a pair of diagonal cutting pliers with a notch
like that in the jaws, "EDM"d into them by my cutting a lamp cord that
had somehow plugged itself back in ..... I know I'd unplugged it first.
It's good for stripping wire. <G>
I just know I'm not alone....
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