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Parts Suppliers - Chicago BMW


SWB

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Needed a couple of parts to complete my front-wheel bearing R&R. Checked four local West Coast BMW Dealers (approx 0.5 to 1.5 hours from my home in each direction). The front wheel bearing is pricey, i.e. $42.00 list if I recall. The local dealers wanted anywhere from $46 to $50 for that bearing, which sort of ticked me off. (I had purchased an after market bearing for $20, but I buggered the OEM sleeve that needs to be pressed out and installed into that bearing, so I'm back to OEM.)

 

The upshot is, with my ankle still broken, I can't use the bike anyway, so I thought that I might as well check with Chicago BMW. I ordered my clutch and about $600 in other parts there last winter, and it took 5 weeks to get them. I saved money, but I thought the delivery time was a bit extreme. Still, I was pissed at the local dealers wanting 25% over retail list for this part. Chicago wanted $33.60 for the part, plus similar discounts on 2 others, so the cost shipped from Chicago BMW was less for all three parts than for the single bearing alone at the CA dealers. So, I ordered from Chicago BMW.

 

Chicago BMW states in the invoice that shipping is "7 to 10 business days". Well, that means that for the discount mail order business, they don't hold an inventory; ok, that sounds reasonable.

 

However, in the four Southern California BMW dealers I polled, they quoted a 2-3 day order time from BMW (one part was special order). I spoke with Chicago BMW parts today, to get an update. The upshot from that discussion is:

 

1) I ordered on 8/7/07.

2) He processed my order on 8/10/07.

3) He states that BMW's ship time requires "a week to ten days" for delivery, at which time he processes the order and ships to the customer.

 

So, lets see:

4 days to process an order

10 days to get the parts from BMW.

Yep, that's about 14 days minimum until they ship my parts.

 

Knowing that the WEST COAST dealers can get parts in 2-3 days, I just had to ask, why does it take Chicago BMW 10 days to get the same part. He replied "they're right next to the warehouse. We're in the middle of the country ..". Hmmm.. guess they're using "Conestoga Wagon Delivery Services" as their carrier??

 

I didn't ask them why it takes 3-4 days to process a parts order, when it takes 10 minutes to do the same thing at any other BMW dealer in the world.

 

All of which goes a long, long way towards explaining why my last parts order took 5 weeks from order to delivery, i.e. Chicago BMW's attitude towards customer service.

 

So, right now, I have two choices for OEM BMW parts: Local dealers who mark their parts prices 25% over list, or a discount Harley (and BMW) dealer in the Mid-West which has an 19th century attitude (e.g. covered wagon days) towards customer service and order delivery.

 

This may sound like a complaint, but it's more humorous than anything else. I mean, yeah, my bikes still sitting like a hanger queen in the middle of my garage floor now for months, and I'm not quite sure when my broken left ankle will be rehabbed to the point where I can leg press 500 lbs (i.e. to keep the bike from tipping over on the left side. It doesn't matter all that much to me.

 

But I have to think, it just can't be that tough to run a competitive business. Then again, I've run a business, and there are one heck of a lot of regulatory and payroll costs involved. eek.gif

 

Oh well.. open for comment.

 

ps: maybe this belongs in "Motorcycle Talk", but then again, it is about Oilhead parts. grin.gif

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You can't really blame Chicago BMW. They are the Walmart of BMW dealers. If we as a society valued customer service and expediency more than the couple of dollars we can save, Chicago would change their business practice or go under. As long as so many continue to think it's acceptable to wait 5 weeks for a part to save a bit, Chicago is simply meeting the demand the market provides.

 

Now having said that, You might try Hammersley . They probably don't have anymore stock than other dealers, but they also get stuff from BMW in 2-3 days if it doesn't have to come from Germany. Most things aren't discounted quite as much as Chicago (although a few things have been discounted more than Chicago), but they get stuff on my doorstep the day after I call if it's in stock and I've never waited more than a week for anything. Assuming the bearing was part#36 31 2 310 972, it's $37.28 at Hammersley.

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Yep, your options are your local dealer who is (often) fastest and the highest priced, Chicago BMW which has a lower price and slower service, or Hammersley which is usually somewhere in-between. Simply make your choice and live with it.

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Scott, let me explain a few things about how the ordering process works at a BMW dealer.

 

We get to order twice per week. These days are set in stone. So, if our days are Tue. and Fri., and you place an order immediately after I've placed my Tue. order(usually by 3PM), it won't get processed and placed with BMW until Friday. And vice versa. However, if you place your order with us just before we place our regular orders, then it gets sent in that very same day.

 

We are also allowed to place daily "emergency" orders, that are delivered to us, overnight, via FedEx. For this, we are charged a modest premium, and that premium gets passed along to the customer. Usually it's about a 10% surcharge over the retail price. That's just to get the part(s) to us, the dealer. BMW does not drop ship to retail customers.

 

Regular BMW orders, once placed, take 2-4 working days to arrive at the dealership. These generally are shipped from two warehouses, one on each coast. The warehouse that serves SoCal is about half the distance from us as the eastern warehouse that serves Chicago is from that dealer.

 

Hopefully this will help explain some of the questions you had.

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I've never had any problems dealing/receiving parts from Chicago BMW and I'm several states away. I've never had any order take more than 14 days, most arrive in 7 to 10, and have ordered plenty of items no dealer would stock normally. I also have had things quickly by asking for express service. For this they give a 10% discount instead of 20%. Their discount isn't a few bucks for me when ordering big ticket items. I've saved hundreds of dollars on one order over the local dealer's prices. I still buy my regular maintenance items from my local dealer.

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+1 for Hammersley.

They have a good attitude in their parts department, competitive pricing and I find their service is excellent. Been using them for 4 years and not b.s.'d once thumbsup.gif.

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I've never had any problems dealing/receiving parts from Chicago BMW and I'm several states away. I've never had any order take more than 14 days, most arrive in 7 to 10, and have ordered plenty of items no dealer would stock normally. I also have had things quickly by asking for express service. For this they give a 10% discount instead of 20%. Their discount isn't a few bucks for me when ordering big ticket items. I've saved hundreds of dollars on one order over the local dealer's prices. I still buy my regular maintenance items from my local dealer.

 

 

Busted, I agree.. I will buy small priced items from my local BMW dealer but refuse to give them $40.00 more than Chicago BMW gets on a $200.00 item.. In my opinion they are not trying very hard to get my money.. I would probably buy from them at a 10% or 15% discount but NO they want it all so get nothing..

 

Even if they charged full price for in stock items & gave a decent discount on ordered items I could live with that.. Most things I can wait for.. Their choice

` MY money..

 

Twisty

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I was a bit miffed with Chicago BMW the last time I got parts from them: The guy takes my credit card info before taking the order, but does not tell me they don't actually have the parts and I'll have to wait weeks to get them. Then he sends the stuff in separate shipments, so I have to wait to complete the project. And, the prices had gone up.

 

Better to submit a parts list to Chicago, Hammersley, etc. and get confirmation of both in-stock parts availability and price with shipping, THEN make the order.

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Better to submit a parts list to Chicago, Hammersley, etc. and get confirmation of both in-stock parts availability and price with shipping, THEN make the order.
It's pretty common for any dealer to have to order a part, unless it's a common item, and it usually takes a few days to a week to get it in per the schedule that Fernando outlined (unless you make arrangements for expedited service.) Also, the reason for receiving some items later than others probably had to do more with a back order/delay situation on BMW's part rather than any fault of the dealer and would have occurred no matter who you ordered the parts from. And if a back order occurs on a complex order neither Chicago or Hammersley (or probably most dealers) will be very proactive in notifying you... they have too many customers and it would take too much time. They or most any dealer will be very happy to provide a status if you call them, but like it or not the customer usually has to be the one to initiate the contact.

 

If you are in a particular hurry for an order make sure they (Chicago or Hammersley) know it and they will make an effective effort to expedite.

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SWB, Call Tom High at www.rennsportmotorrad.com. I think he can help you. thumbsup.gif

 

Will keep him in mind.

 

I called Chicago BMW yesterday. The parts are in, and will ship DHL on Monday. thumbsup.gif

 

Should arrive by next weekend. That's 8 business days from order to ship, within their 7-10 day committed time frame. Should be 17 calendar days from order to receipt; we'll see come next friday. grin.gif

 

The parts guy on the phone was courteous and considerate; he dug into the just-arrived box of parts from BMW to find my order. +1

 

I LOVE to give credit where credit is due. However, I think Chicago BMW (or some other enterprising dealer) is missing the chance to own the market with better service AND competitive prices. I'll look at Hammersley and other alternatives next time (and with my Beemer's track record and my ham-handed mechanic's skills, there WILL be a next time).

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I am finding parts ordering to be a real eye-opening experience here in Canada. I've been waiting since Aug. 1 for pivot pin. There are three dealerships and a warehouse in the greater Vncouver area. But everything still takes at least a week to 10 days. Which may make ordering from the US not much different.

 

The other factor is cost. Thanks to the Hammersley online fiche, I can now compare OEM part prices between Canada and the US. The difference is that OEM BMW parts in Canada are generally double or more than what they are in the US. Here's a couple of examples:

 

R1100R right-front brake disk:

Hammersley: US $267.78 (C $284.18 - current exchange rate)

Canadian dealer (Wolfe BMW Toronto): C $519.00

 

Final drive pivot needle bearings:

Hammersley: US $27.33 (C $29.01)

Canadian dealer: C$41.00

 

Gearbox oil seal:

Hammersley: US $10.67 (C $11.32)

Canadian dealer: C $26.40

 

Safe to say that we Canadians are really getting screwed. The current exchange rates between US and C dollars leaves plenty of margin for shipping costs and possible duty.

 

I

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You might also want to consider places like Motobins or James Sherlock who deliver world-wide. I can typically order parts from either of them and get them the next day. I am told typical shipping time to the US is in the order of 3-5 days. They both also do used parts, I just bought a used front mudguard from Sherlocks for £25 ($50US) delivered. List price here was £148 including taxes.

 

I have of course, no affiliation to either organisation other than that of satisfied customer.

 

Andy

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I am coming to realize that if I undertake any major work on my ride in future, I need to be a lot more organized than I have been. I'm in the habit of going to get what I need as I get into it. This isn't going to work, given the delays in getting parts. Basically, I've blown the riding season this year. In the future, I will need to strip everything down right away, assess what I need and get an order off right up front for mail order delivery. Then I can spend the time waiting on cleaning and other small jobs.

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... let me explain a few things about how the ordering process works at a BMW dealer.

 

We get to order twice per week. These days are set in stone.

frown.gif

 

 

Is this unique to BMW or do others provide this poor 'after purchase' service?

 

-------

 

I too have experienced similar delays with Chicago. Some of the parts I wanted before an upcoming trip. After 15 days I told them don't bother sending them and I picked up the few 'need now' parts from a local dealer.

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The BMW parts distribution network seems to be a fairly big hierarchy, and there doesn't seem to be a through-to-the-source inventory system (at least not one that is available to the guys at the parts counter) so you don't know how long you're going to have to wait for a part when you order it.

 

In my case, the local dealer or shop bumps back to the local warehouse in greater Vancouver, which bumps back to Toronto, which bumps back to Germany (from what I understand). But it does get me thinking about starting a discount mailorder parts service in Canada...

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TheGreatGazoo

I’ve been in the automotive parts business for over twenty five years and can only talk of what I know that in most cases ordering and delivery of parts is getting better all the time. Normal General Motor’s parts ordered by 3:30pm arrive next day by 7:00 am from the nearest warehouse and two to three days later from other warehouse’s (it used to take a week or more). For an extra shipping fee many GM parts can be ordered overnight delivery from any warehouse that has it. I also work with VW and Mazda parts and VW uses the same type of a system as GM has. Mazda parts can only be ordered twice a week and then it takes two to three days to arrive, they also have an overnight ordering for smaller parts at a higher shipping fee. I feel the size of the company making the item and the number of said item’s sold, the reliably of the item and what it is used for has a lot to do with how fast you can get parts for it. Motorcycles are much smaller market than cars; motorcycles are used more for pleasure than as a work vehicle and BMW is a relativity reliable motorcycle with but a small share of that motorcycle market. Equals several day’s to get parts not in stock at your somewhat local dealer,

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(Snip) Motorcycles are much smaller market than cars; motorcycles are used more for pleasure than as a work vehicle and BMW is a relativity reliable motorcycle with but a small share of that motorcycle market. emphasis added

 

I'm not so sure of that. Of course, this board is skewed towards people who: 1. have no problem telling it like it is and, 2. aren't afraid to tackle their own repairs.

 

But there are plenty of examples of less than reliable BMW motorcycles here if one wishes to search for problems (splines, rear ends).

 

However, I still ride one so what do I know?

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Motorcycles are much smaller market than cars; motorcycles are used more for pleasure than as a work vehicle and BMW is a relativity reliable motorcycle with but a small share of that motorcycle market. Equals several day’s to get parts not in stock at your somewhat local dealer,
I'm not sure that I agree with your conclusions. From what I've seen, dealers and authorized service providers have no better luck getting parts than owners. You would think with a relatively high-end product that piggy-backs on the reputation of a relatively high-end automobile operation, there would be more provision for expediting and tracking part orders than there appears to be. Let's face it, for most of us, the riding season is fairly short. Just-in-time delivery only works when it is 'in time'.
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motorcycles are used more for pleasure than as a work vehicle

Since everybody else is quibbling with your statement, I will take exception to another part of it. While it is probably true that for most people, motorcycles are used mainly for pleasure, there are quite a number of us on this board for whom a motorcycle is our only form of transportation.

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