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Saturday, August 24, 2019

Repair or Chuck it



For the last couple of weeks I’ve been going through my “needs repair” stuff. If it can’t be repaired it goes right in the trash. That clears up a lot of clutter.

I happened to be in North Conway New Hampshire where there a lot of shopping outlets. A couple of my old camping stoves needed parts to go back in service. There are a number of outdoor stores in town. In the past it was no problem to get what I needed. Not this time. Nobody stocked any repair parts. I guess there’s more money to be made in selling new things.

A couple of quick repair jobs have turned into scavenger hunts. I’m pretty sure those parts are available on-line from somebody. It would be one thing if the stoves were something exotic. That’s not the case. One’s a Coleman stove and the other is a MSR, very common brands.

While I was there I wanted a couple of Ferro rods (Ferrocerium) for starting fires. It took a while to get across exactly what I wanted. The second clerk got it, but only because he once bought a knife that came with one in the package. Nobody had those in stock either.

It’s said that retail is dying. I’m trying to do business with these people, but when they no longer stock what I want, on-line is the next best option.

-Sixbears

18 comments:

  1. I hate to say it but I have been experiencing the
    same phenomena for the last several YEARS!
    Things that I literally took for granted to be in stock?
    Like you said, you now have to try and explain to someone forty years younger what this thing is that everyone used to carry and what it was for.
    I also hate to say it but I have tired of this exercise and now do quite a bit of on line shopping. Free shipping is nice when I can find it. Not having to see the dumbfounded look of utter confusion on some pimple faced kid?
    Priceless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems it wasn't all that long ago any of those stores would have had at least most of what I was looking for.

      Delete
  2. Yeah , JIT inventory has pretty much ended all repairs.
    The one place where it's really needed is at Harbor Freight lol. You'd think that a place which sells stuff that is notorious for switches, brushes and whatnot failing...would stock them. Nope...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People don't even know those things can be replaced. Sigh. . .

      Delete
  3. I can't find a lot of "fix-it" stuff even at the mom and pop hardware store that used to be so good.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Fact. We have killed ourselves with the false notion the brick&mortar store must stock items(thousands of them) that MIGHT sell and have them in inventory that could be a lengthy time just to accomadate you. Items WE have to purchase (and take a loss on ) That costs a lot of money and when every one now goes online, you lose money eventually when we close and your tax base goes lower. Online sellers do not have NEAR the costs B&M retailer stores do -like all kinds of taxes, higher utility rates (because you own a store and MUST be rich) much higher insurance etc etc. For you to criticize retailers NOW, because you need a part that hasn't sold in years, that I had to buy with my money possibly months/years ago is ignorant of the real situation retailers face. Its larger than a small stove part. It's indicative of the culture who doesn't support their local people so the local store either makes money of folds. Don't dicker with the store owner that you can get that item so much cheaper online. Not a equal or same comparison in the least. SO Shop online guys and suffer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I try and shop B&M first and I'm not overly concerned about saving a few bucks. Being able to have it right now is of value to me. It's also useful to be able to talk to a person who knows a thing or two. Heck, I've even had them order it for me to give them the business. Not my fault that I have to go on-line.

      Of course, living in the middle of nowhere, on-line shopping has been necessary.

      Delete
  5. Planned Obsolescence...nothing is manufactured today to be rebuilt. Consumers are forced to "toss it" and buy another cheap, Chinese made temporary usage item.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One thing that drives me nuts is devices that are built in such a way that they cannot be disassembled.

      Delete
    2. I have a nice squirrel cage floor fan that we've been using a few years to circulate air. I can barely hear a vibration in the bearings, but cannot figure out how to open it to get access to oil the bearings. Frustrating!

      Delete
  6. We are now living in the disastrous wake of the big box store phenomenon, all of them, be it Walmart, home improvement or so called sporting goods stores. It costs too much to stock repair parts. So now we are left to deal with the manufacturer short and meaningless warranties. The only option left is buying a new product again. Everybody wins except we the Consumer!
    I don’t mind buying things I need online because there is a great selection to choose from. What I do mind is all my favorite Mom & Pop stores are gone forever!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's all going to end badly for the consumer. There's no rule that states the big box stores can't go under too.

      Delete
  7. You all have brought on the demise of local retailers. Your mom and pop stores are gone forever BECAUSE of you. Don't complain now. You don't get the local owners expertise and advisement and years of knowledge, or to actually touch and feel the product. So enjoy when the computers go down...their all glitching out even now...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This rant of mine started because I tried to shop B & M and they failed me. I drove fifty miles one way to shop in person.

      One of the reasons I'm fixing my stuff now is because I expect everything to go down -at least for a while.

      Delete
    2. Anon 10:04, you've missed the point. 'We don't have a choice'!

      Delete
  8. Have you seen the Firesteel.com web site yet ? They may have a product that you like.

    ReplyDelete