I'm sure crazy parts pricing at MB dealerships has probably been discussed before, so this is more of a mildly amusing story of what happened today. I buy most parts online, but hey if you need a part fast, like today or tomorrow, you bite the bullet and go to the dealer, right? Me too.
I needed an expansion tank for our 2003 SLK320. First I looked it up online, to be prepared. Here's what I found on one of the sites I go to:
So, with the MSRP of $82 in mind, I figure it'd be good to find the part at a local dealer at some price close to that. On the phone, I was able to reach 3 local dealers (on the SF peninsula in California), and here's what they told me after I gave them the part number (1705000349):
: $82, 2 units in stock
: $100, none in stock (first asked me if I owned the vehicle or was a service pro, hmm)
: $130, none in stock
So, no brainer, right? I headed over to Dealer #1
. I walked up to the Parts desk and asked for the part by number. The fellow at the counter pulls it up on his computer and says "That will be $129." I was pretty surprised but managed to say "I was quoted $82 on the phone, can you do that?" And then, I was really
surprised when he said "sure, I can do that." Oh, my emotions ran wild...I was shocked, angry, confused, amused, and gleeful all at the same time. But...I played it cool. Oh, yes. Smoothly, I said, "Great." And he got the part and I paid $82 plus tax. The receipt he gave me looks like this:
Ah, so it's $129.39 List, and $82 Net, if
you tell them you got the lower price quoted on the phone! Had I not received the earlier quote on the phone, I would have paid nearly $50 more for the part, not knowing that they were perfectly happy to accept $50 less. And $82 is shown as MSRP online...interesting.
It's kind of a racket, isn't it? Just another reminder that we're really better off buying online whenever we can...the prices are better and frankly there's much more transparency.