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Technical Gas Tank for sale online - BS?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Fender1325, Sep 23, 2014.

  1. Fender1325
    Joined: Aug 31, 2014
    Posts: 730

    Fender1325

    Looking at replacement costs for my 1950 series 61 cadillac gas tank.

    http://www.carparts.com/details/Replacement/Fuel_Tank/ARBP670103.html

    They claim thats a direct replacement and is only $143. Everyone on ebay wants $350-$400. Their picture looks nothing like the original. Why would they have an item
    For sale claiming exact replacement for my year make and model if it wasnt?
     
  2. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,819

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Last edited: Sep 23, 2014
  3. Fender1325
    Joined: Aug 31, 2014
    Posts: 730

    Fender1325

    Just did an online chat with a representative. He claimed it wont fit my vehicle, even though the website claims it does. (Suprise). Oh well, I knew it was too good to be true!
     
  4. Fender1325
    Joined: Aug 31, 2014
    Posts: 730

    Fender1325

    Whats really annoying about buying caddy parts - certain parts all have the exact same image no matter what vendor you buy through. This means to me theyre all using the same supplier and charging an upcharge to make a profit. Theyre all just middle men! One example is the repro gas tank but Ive seen it with other items as well.
     

  5. ownster
    Joined: Apr 6, 2008
    Posts: 99

    ownster
    Member

    You'd be surprised how few manufacturers there are. Ur right, most online sites are middlemen or they sell the same exact product, except that it has been "labeled" as if it were their own brand. Happens in many, many industries.
     
  6. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,819

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That holds true on all parts. Almost every parts manufacture has several sheets with different price schedules on them and sell according to their buying power or the customer's buying power. The vendor's buying power and retail price often depends on it's volume with the manufacture.
    The problem with Google or other searches is that even though you put 1961 Cadillac fuel tank in the search they show tanks that fit a whole lot of different years because the search picks up Cadillac gas tank and the tank you showed no doubr fits 92/95 Devilles.
     
  7. Fender1325
    Joined: Aug 31, 2014
    Posts: 730

    Fender1325

    Any time i really want to kick myself I just look at parts for 57 chevy bel air's. Their parts cost 1/4 of what it costs for my 1950 cad, and theyre worth 4 times as much when done.

    Its actually a real shame. The old cadillacs and parts are rare and theres nothing technically more advanced about them. I might've seen 2 cadillacs at the charlotte autofair and the rest were chevy/ford with a sea of every chevy part and panel anyone could need.

    Everywhere I look online wants atleast $350 for my tank. I suppose I could por-15 my original, its not that bad, but for $82 and the chance of it coming back is a pain.

    Not only that but my generation (im 28) has little interest in them. Damn things are gonna go extinct with all this price gouging.
     
  8. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,312

    squirrel
    Member

    another thing about online vendors: many of them just put a catalog online, and they act as middlemen, and have the parts drop shipped to you from a warehouse. They don't actually stock anything.

    buyer beware, more than ever
     
  9. the Chevy may end up worth more but you have a Cadillac. I know your pain, I have a '37 model 7019.
     
  10. Fender1325
    Joined: Aug 31, 2014
    Posts: 730

    Fender1325

    I can tell you guys several stories of getting fucked over by a vendor in the 5 months of owning this car. Happy to be vendor specific unless thats not cool with HAMB people. I will say about 7 out of 10 times Ive found myself overcharged or hoodwinked in some way. And thats by about 3 or 4 separate vendors. Not too many straight shooters out there. Its like theyre taking advantage of this dying last few
     
  11. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,312

    squirrel
    Member

    maybe you could list the vendors who treated you right
     
  12. Fender1325
    Joined: Aug 31, 2014
    Posts: 730

    Fender1325

    Summit. End of sentence
     
  13. Fender1325
    Joined: Aug 31, 2014
    Posts: 730

    Fender1325

    I'll just say this. Several instances (from vendor A we'll call them) I was price gouged a near 50% markup. Only to find the same part (same picture!) on ebay for way, way less. I was also sold a universal part being told it was specific for my year make and model (i couldve bought that same universal part at any auto parts chain for much less). I then went to vendor B to avoid dealing with A. Well vendor B upcharged me a small bit only to ship me the product direct from vendor A!!
    I ordered a part from vendor C, never heard from them for a week, and after inquiring was told "their parts on the shelf looked damaged so they ordered more from their supplier and would let me know"... Its been almost 2 weeks. And these places you pay a slight premium for quality products and fast shipping?

    A lot of bullshitters in caddyland
     
  14. Fender1325
    Joined: Aug 31, 2014
    Posts: 730

    Fender1325

    Summit and Rock Auto have been excellent. Ship what they say it is, the prices are fair and they ship quickly. (Rock auto did send me a rotor and cap that didnt fit right but they refunded me quickly)
     
  15. Supply and DEMAND..
    The more popular the car, the more popular the requests for the parts.
    More requests for parts generate more vendors.
    More vendors create better pricing .... if there is such a thing in this old car hobby.
    Being that the Cadillac is less popular than say the tri five Chevys, Cadillac part manufacturers have you by the short ones. You pay their price or don't get the part. Your $300 plus gas tank is a good example.
    I would add NAPA to your "good list" of Summitt and Rock Auto.
     
    Fender1325 likes this.
  16. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,962

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    None of this is any different than what you would be doing were you in their place. Manufacturing is often a dedicated effort and distribution is left to others who cover the vast territory required. And then there is competition among sellers...as you have found out..not all sell the same part at the same price. If they did, you would then accuse them of "price fixing" even if it was the lowest possible price, 'cause you wouldn't know that.

    A seller has no obligation to price anything at the lowest possible price.....and why should he? As a buyer, would you being willing to volunteer the highest possible price you are willing to pay....for anything? Same coin, different side.

    The motive for a seller to offer a lower price is to capture more market share .....the old cliche'...."I sell for less and make it up in the volume" is often actually true.

    As for your Caddy parts costing more than Chevy......that's due to volume, plain and simple.
    Let's say a gas tank costs $5,000 dollars just to do the tooling to stamp the pieces. (It doesn't matter if that is low or high, it's only for illustration). Then it has to be assembled, packaged, warehoused and advertised. Imagine how much each tank has to sell for in order to cover just the investment to make it available. And then a bit more for a legitimate profit for the effort of doing all the foregoing. So, say for every a Caddy tank, the market buys 200 Chevy tanks. Big difference in per tank amortization of costs.

    The fact is, people with low volume cars are fortunate that ANYBODY is willing to do any of this at all, much less expect them to do it for "nothing". When is the last time you put a great deal of effort and money in anything with the goal of doing it SOLELY (no profit motive) to accommodate somebody somewhere who MAY want the product of your efforts?

    Reminds me of the lady who went to the butcher shop......"how much are your pork chops" she asks the butcher. "$4.00 a pound" he replies. She says..."well, the meat market across the street has them for $2.00 a pound"...... The butcher asks "why didn't you buy them there?"

    "They don't have any on hand right now" she answers. The butcher says"when I don't have any, mine are $2.00 a pound too!"

    The free market system works amazingly well to provide goods and services. But it requires some effort on the part of both sellers and buyers to make it work. If either side has too much advantage over the other, the system does not serve either interest for long.

    Ray
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2014
    Andy, stimpy and Saxman like this.

  17. This is a simple explanation of the basics of free markets. Excellent post.
     
  18. Fender1325
    Joined: Aug 31, 2014
    Posts: 730

    Fender1325

    I wouldnt care if it was plastic or a welded box, as long as it fits. You dont see a gas tank unless its on a lift or youre doing some ultra restoration and will be placing mirrors under the car.

    Everyone knows what supply and demand is. Unfortunately not all know what ethics are. A 50% upcharge over other vendors is robbery. Many of these things are so low tech, and made from cheap materials. Hell, i dont even think the repro tanks are galvanized, just painted silver.

    Now I see why guys just go full on custom.
     
  19. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,962

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    That being the case, why don't you go to a sheet metal fab shop and have them make you a tank. They are not particularly high tech......just a box with some different sized tubes to get the gas in and out.

    BTW, someone asking a high price for something is not "robbery" unless you are being FORCED against your will to surrender what is being "asked" for. I am not condoning any particular markup....just pointing out it's all voluntary whether you accept or decline.........not the case in a robbery.

    Ray
     
  20. Fender1325
    Joined: Aug 31, 2014
    Posts: 730

    Fender1325

    I paid I think it was $150 for a fuel sending unit. On the 1950 cad its essentially a little metal float, on a coat hanger and a wire connects to that. These guys didnt even include hardware. I had to go to lowes to find 5 screws to put it in (old ones got a little rusted out). I dealt with them because they were fair with me when I bought a new water pump from them earlier. Only come to see them on ebay for about $80. This was the same vendor who told me they had spark plug wires specific to my car only to find it was a universal set for about a 40% markup. Then I had to buy a crimping tool from napa - which was quite pricey actually - I think I paid $50-$60 for that tool alone and its not anything special. Its just those kinds of things. Its misleading to the customer and if they know they charge a premium they should go the extra mile to be worth that.

    Anyhow I learned my lesson. You cant be loyal to any vendor it seems.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2014
  21. DC43
    Joined: Sep 20, 2014
    Posts: 17

    DC43

    Ok, I understand your pain, as I am currently working on a 34 Plymouth 2 door sedan, and ANY original style parts are scarce at best. I knew this when I started, but also knew that they are a GREAT looking body to begin with, came stock with suicide doors, have a very unique and great looking grille and shell and look absolutely bitchin' when done right, so off I went...............
    And I research the living CRAP out of anything I cannot make/ modify/ fab myself!
    You are a member of a forum that caters to old cars, and is a wealth of info, but only if you use it! I am quite sure there are folks here, whom could help you find what you seek, and at a reasonable (taking into account for the laws of supply and demand) cost.
    Try publications and other websites/ forums that cater to restoration of your particular brand. I have found scores of Caddy parts in Hemmings, and made connections with Cadillac clubs, when I worked on customer's Caddys in my old shop. Broaden your search, and stay away from places like fleabay until you have done ALL the homework, have spoken with fellow Caddy owners/ restorers/ collectors, and their own experiences, trials, and tribulations............

    You may be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.
     
  22. Fender1325
    Joined: Aug 31, 2014
    Posts: 730

    Fender1325

    Perhaps so. All of these bad situations were months ago when I just got it, and was not a member of any forum or club.

    I know I sound bitter, but I have a low tolerance for misleading vendors.

    I just called a vendor whos been pretty uncommunicative unless Im proactive about it. Guy answers and says the guy who was working on my order isnt there today and he doesnt have a password to his computer so he'll have to call me tomorrow. What a world. Woulve been easier to throw $70 out the window on the highway. These are for stabilizer bushings and link kit. The links are just a metal bar with threads on them! I digress
     
  23. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,524

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Pick & Pull lets you have full reign to their yards. Stabilizer bars and links are under all kinds of GM cars, as anti roll bars are on the rears of F150s. Take a tape measure.
    Some mid-'70-'80s cars have access doors in their trunks, so you can unscrew the fuel senders.
    Many Fords are simply adaptable (the top plate is the only difference) and the length/geometric swing of the wire & float.
    Imagine, if you will...the feeling of self accomplishment when solving an otherwise $70 problem with a $9 sender!
    There are 8 million stories about what might fit what on the HAMB...
     
  24. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy

    when I bought my pontiac I understood parts are going to be a point to find being it was a 5 year car , but I also learned to take my time and shop around and write the prices down and look at several suppliers for parts before making a decision and also coming here and seeing if people had problems with the supplier or googling to see if there is any complaints against them on the web ( and you would not believe what you find sometimes ) in several instances I learned to spend a little more from a known vendor and get the part than to get jerked around by one who takes your money and thinks you will take the loss , and in one instance I got screwed by a sale on e-bay , advertised one thing talked to the guy and was delivered something no where near the description of the part , and some stuff I thought wasn't available thru the autoparts store ( I am talking napa , carquest , not the 10 year MY box stores) sometimes is . and the older seasoned guys know what your talking about too and often will cross parts over as they still have the books , not the " I only know what the computer shows me crap "
    as for other stuff . some things I will make work . but a thing like a gas tank well thats a serious safety device and either I would have one professionally made , or buy it , not that I have not made fuel storage containers for vehicles , but I only have modified professionally ones by adding sumps and sending units and thats it .
    also spend the $20-30 bucks and find the crossover/interchange guide as that way you can find parts from other GMs and in a few strange cases Ford parts that might Fit the need . my guide has paid for itself in savings and blunders many times over . and who cars if the parts numbers do not match unless you have a pebble beach car . ( and also helps to keep a parts notebook for the car incase you have to replace the part too . )
     
  25. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy

    and hynstray is right to the point as being in business there is alot of hidden costs ( office staff not associated with sales , overhead , transportation , ect ) we have to pay for too .
     
    Fender1325 likes this.
  26. You should try buying parts from the other side of the planet..... Vendors who don,t answer emails or phone calls, send you the wrong bits, charge you the earth for freight, and then "dissapear' when it,s question time! At least you get very clever adapting parts from locally made older cars to fit.
     
    Fender1325 likes this.
  27. I drive Chevys. Your Cadillac is way more cool in my book!


    Dustin
     
    Fender1325 likes this.
  28. If you're looking to do this on the cheap, you either picked the wrong hobby or the wrong car. My guess is the wrong car. You can't price shop the parts on an older Caddy, there just not out there in big numbers so when you do find what you need you either have to pay the price or keep looking, and looking. I feel your pain also when it comes to venders, but again, you don't have the luxury of being able to pick from 20 or 30 sources. I think you have a great car and well worth the added cost to do it right, sometimes we have to bite a hole in our lip and pay the price, and move on to the next thing on the list.
    There, now that you feel sooooo much better, get out there and get that tank in the car.:D
     
    Fender1325 likes this.
  29. Fender1325
    Joined: Aug 31, 2014
    Posts: 730

    Fender1325

    Haha. I'll admit this is my first classic car. I just so happened to find a guy who'd trade me for my 98 mustang. When I saw the caddy it had a real presence about it. I certainly love it. It is funny though because a 4 door series 61 is worth about what you have in it when restored vs those bel airs. Its odd like that. But trust me I didnt get this car to flip, I got it because I love it. Maybe I'll just start a business making affordable repro stuff for the caddy crowd!
     
  30. Model T1
    Joined: May 11, 2012
    Posts: 3,309

    Model T1
    Member

    I'd rather have the Caddy any day than my 55 Chevy. My other only comment is remember when that Caddy was new parts still cost more than Chevy or Ford parts. So they ain't gonna get any cheaper.
     

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