Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Trip To The Junk Yard

John's Used Cars and Auto Wreckers, that is. Went there a couple days ago to find a used side mirror for Connie's Geo Metro. The old one finally broke all the way and fell off.

I figured it might be relatively expensive to buy a new one. A quick internet search showed it might might well be. I've saved considerable money buying used parts from John's before so figured I had to at least call them. I called and the gal told me they had two possible matches there so I drove down to Jacob's Avenue on the north end of Eureka to take a look.

This time might of been a first with me, although I'd been down there a handful of times over the years I've lived here. If memory serves me correct, usually I'd go in the front desk and they'd do a quick check for availability of what I was looking for. Then some guy would come in from their shop or the yard with my item.

This time they checked the computer again and confirmed they had 2 Geo Metros in the yard and gave me directions out the back door to where the cars sat on their lot. "What", thought I? "You mean I have to go out there and take it off the car myself?". I'd heard of other people rummaging through the lots for parts but this was the first time I had to. Oh well. Luckily, I keep some basic tools in my truck.

I go out in the yard and find the first one fairly quickly. No side mirrors on that one. I browse around for a few minutes trying to find the other one but don't see it. Turned out I didn't look far enough. I went back inside and asked again and they told me to go way back to the end of the first row of cars.

I go back out and find it. Just needed to have gone a few cars further back and I would of found it first time.

No mirrors on that one, either. That gave me the impression that Connie's car probably isn't the only one with broken side view mirrors. It's probably a common problem.

That was another first for me at John's. I believe they've always had what I've been looking for, up until this time. Having looked at their yard for the first time I wondered how they have so many parts on hand? There's probably a few hundred cars back there, but it didn't look like nearly enough or nearly the variety to keep parts on hand for everything.

Looking at their building, too, you'd think they'd need a much larger building to carry any kind of ready to sell inventory. How do they do it so well?

Oh, well. Back at home after work I check the net again. I had the first auto parts site I checked bookmarked. They had the mirror listed for $69.30. With tax and shipping I figured that might be upwards of $80.00. A bit much more than I really wanted to pay.

That's when I remembered the first search I did came up with E-Bay as a possible source for the mirror. Hadn't used E-Bay for years, except I finally called them up and managed to unlock my account after someone hacked my account and did something with it.

It was a little confusing getting started in finding the auto parts but, lo and behold, when I finally got to Geo Metro parts, there was the mirror I needed. Starting bid was $39.27. No one else had bid yet and bids closed in a bit over 5 hours. I placed my bid at $39.27, hoping the total would come to less than $50.00 after all was said and done.

It did! Bidding closed and I was still the only bidder. The total came to $42.51. Not bad.That's much better than paying close to $80.00. I just received the item's tracking number notice and it shows I should receive it today. Not bad, again, after ordering it on Monday afternoon.

I forgot to ask at John's how much the mirror might have cost if they had one in stock. I'll always check John's first in the future but I'm satisfied with the deal I got this time around.


At 2:34 PM, Blogger Rob Walker said...

I had the same experience with John's the last time I was there. I guess they have gone U-Pull-It which is fine and they had warned me, so I was prepared. Didn't find what I needed, but gave it the ol' college try.

Likewise, I have found EBAY to be about the best parts finder around. I purchased a water reservoir for my 2002 Taurus for under $30 with shipping. The guy at Fortuna Auto said it was a better price than he could get from his Distributor and thanked me for the lead.

Still, I prefer doing business with local folks whenever possible.

Keep up the great posts!

Fields Landing


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