Mfr Direct vs. Discount Retailer. What's your preference?

Question.... If you click on a website advertisement from the product's manufacturer, learn about the product on the manufacturer's website and make a buying decision, are you more likely to buy it from the manufacturer at MSRP (you're already on their website) or seek out a lower price from an reputable retailer and buy it elsewhere?



When you answer the question, assume that the product is readily available regardless of who you buy it from.

It depends on what the product is. Certain hard to find or oddball parts I order direct. Tires, brakes, etc. I go with a discount seller.

I almost always do a search for where else I can get a product.  I also search for "coupon code", "discount code", etc for the vendor.  About half the time I can find either a discount on the subtotal or shipping. 


Also, what's in it for me?  Why should I buy through Vendor-A over Vendor-B? (Or even the mfgr?)  Free/discounted shipping, good customer service, return/replacement policy?  Supporting a sport?


Sometimes it's worth going through the mfgr, especially if it's one expensive part I need.

If I've got a list of parts from different manufacturers (more so if it's an order for more than one vehicle), it's often significantly easier to minimize the number of vendors i'm dealing with.  One website, one shipment, one invoice, done. 


Even here at work I add multiple vendors for almost every part I spec in my designs, and when I build my BOMs I add the item to every vendor's shopping cart... at the end I may still need to put in orders through several vendors, but I can see right next to each other which one's cheapest for the item and total.


(Click for original size)


I search for the best price possible at a reputable retailer...but the part must be "in-stock" or I shop elsewhere.

I usually buy from my favorite supplier, such as RMATV, but I will venture to other resellers, like The TT Store. If I can't find it from one of my preferred resellers, but I can get it from a manufacturer, that is usually the only time I will buy from them. I regularly buy more than one item at a time, so getting everything in one shipment/box is more than convenient. The biggest issues that I have is time to pack and ship an order, and distance it's traveling to get here (time and time). New Egg and RMATV have proven, to me, over and over again to be the best at what they do, so they get most of my money.

I shop for the best price (incuding shipping and taxes) from a reputable seller. As far as being in stock, I find most websites always claim it is in stock when what they mean is the distributor claims it is in stock. So I figure a few days until it actually is in the delivery system and then shipping time. Only in 'an emergency' will I throw price out and look at actual speed of acquisition.

Yea, "In Stock" better mean you actually have the part.


Went to buy some truck parts from a place across town.  Called them, confirmed part numbers, "Yup that item is in stock", then confirmed their address.

Showed up a few hours later, "uhh, yeah, it's in stock but we don't have it.  We can get it here next week though."  :shocked:   Do you people know the definition of "in stock"??? To them, it meant they had it in their distribution network; the part was actually in a warehouse in kansas. :bonk:

its my day job to buy shit cheap.....always shop around

For certain products, they are developed by a manufacturer but have been modified by the retailer for that area or riding discipline, these are the products I will buy no matter what the price. For other things, I just buy them from my local shop.....

More commodity type items, bolt ons, etc, buy from retailer, and usually cheaper. More specialized stuff, especially from smaller manufacturers, buy from who I think will have the best support system. Usually the manufacturer, but not always. If I buy something with difficulties, I want support NOW.


Manufacturers usually prefer you to buy through a retailer and you will usually get a better price over buying direct.  I used to work for a pump manufacturing company.  We rarely dealt with customers and maintained a sales department of 3 persons (enough to satisfy our retailer network).  You could however call direct and we would call the order a VIP order (very important pump) and charge an additional 20% for not going through one of our many vendors who kept the stuff on the shelf (we did not store inventory of assembled units so it had to be assembled on sight).  But this is very standard business practice for many companies.  MSRP basically exists as a promise by the manufacturers that they will not undersell their retailers.

Edited by 1987CR250R

Normally I will look the part up on RMATVMC. Their price is sometimes lower and when I buy it from them I'm getting points towards my next 50$ credit. I've gotten about 500$ in free parts that way this year.

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