Signing up with Stens

PTmowerMech

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I did the online sign up form online the other day. Yesterday I got a call from a Stens rep, who got me signed in and ready to start ordering parts. To the pro's, it's probably seems like no big deal. But since I've moved to this new location, parts from Amazon & Ebay were at best, 3 days. Mostly 4 or 5. When I was told that I'd be getting my orders in 1 to 2 days, I got excited.
I'm just now getting the chance to skim through their website. It seems pretty easy to navigate. I like how they list the list price and my price.

I suppose this would be considered my first real supplier. Stens being an aftermarket parts dealer, I suppose there are some things I should steer clear of. Are there any type of parts you pro's won't order from stens?
 

StarTech

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Congrats.

From now on it will easier to get other distributors online as you build a financial history with Stens. I have a dealer for Stens for several years and probably being buying from in the near future as my current main aftermarket has merge with A&I. Before that Sunbellt was my only aftermarket supplier other than TEW which closed. It took me nearly 9 yrs to get OEM parts distributor to accept me as a customer. Hopefully it doesn't take that long for you.

A&I change the freight policy to where I pay full UPS rates on any order under $200 with $200 being free shipment. I just placed an A&I order that was over $200 and was freight charges being posted that equal $45. I was getting worried until I got the invoice. Surely can't be placing orders under $200 with them when ship from multi warehouses.

I would be careful of the OEM spec'd belts as I have received a few the wrong length. Now what I got may have been one off problems as every company has problems from time to time.

Now once you get a distributor that provide OEM parts you might find Stens parts are in the same price range.on most of the parts.
 

PTmowerMech

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Congrats.

From now on it will easier to get other distributors online as you build a financial history with Stens. I have a dealer for Stens for several years and probably being buying from in the near future as my current main aftermarket has merge with A&I. Before that Sunbellt was my only aftermarket supplier other than TEW which closed. It took me nearly 9 yrs to get OEM parts distributor to accept me as a customer. Hopefully it doesn't take that long for you.

A&I change the freight policy to where I pay full UPS rates on any order under $200 with $200 being free shipment. I just placed an A&I order that was over $200 and was freight charges being posted that equal $45. I was getting worried until I got the invoice. Surely can't be placing orders under $200 with them when ship from multi warehouses.

I would be careful of the OEM spec'd belts as I have received a few the wrong length. Now what I got may have been one off problems as every company has problems from time to time.

Now once you get a distributor that provide OEM parts you might find Stens parts are in the same price range.on most of the parts.
If the price for OEM and aftermarket are within about $10, I'll stick with OEM. Depending on the time frame of delivery. And of course it depends on quality too. Things that don't get a lot of wear and tear, it'll probably aftermarket all the way. But things like belts and bearings, I'm learning quick from @Rivets, @bertsmobile1 and the other pro's, skimping on quality is just stupid. I was real lucky I suppose at my first location, I was buying the cheapest amazon & ebay bearings & belts as I could get. And never had to replace something i'd just replaced.

I just got some idlers in from Amazon, that when you hold the center and spin the pulley, it doesn't turn 1/2 around. They're tight. So I contacted the seller, sent him a video, and he's going to put two more in the mail Monday, but said he'd check them before he send them to make sure there's no more. Some of the sellers on Amazon are legit. I hope I get that kind of service from Stens.
 

StarTech

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Now you are thinking. Shipping times, shipping costs, actual parts cost and how quick you need it should all be figured in to your purchases.

Now as quality Stens does carry good products and have good customer service when you have a problem. I don't have any complaints about their service other than the belts I got that were the wrong but they made them good.

But as Amazon you really got watch those third party vendors and pay attention to the bad reviews. I have gotten strung a few times by Amazon third party vendors. I had that claim OEM parts but sent defective Rotary parts and then charged me 30% restocking fee when I return the item. An expensive lesson.

And as for eBay or as I called them RipBay I very seldom buy anything new but I buy used or NOS parts, even then I got to carefully which is why pay through PayPal with buyer protection. I just had a vendor that failed to delivery a tool that I paid $60 for and PayPal just refunded my money as the vendor failed to respond to PayPal requests.
 

bertsmobile1

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Welcome to the club.
FWIW I have had no problems with Stens products other than wrongly marked belts which were replaced .
I have seen the rep once in 6 years, as he said, I am a small customer with not retail presence so I get treated accordingly, which is fine with me .
I don't know if they do it there because our markets would be very different but down here they do monthly specials which are really cheap.
Originally I ignored them unless it was something like oil which I use a lot of.
This year they were selling the 4 litre SAE 30 mower oil cheaper than I can buy it bulk in 44 gallon drums so I bought 20 boxes ( 80 packs ) took some photos of the mower oil in the big box stores , printed them out then went to a couple of car boot sales and shifted the lot .
The person I bought the repair run from does a similar thing but he puts them on ebay at a slightly higher price than the normal wholesale and is doing very well , but he did say you have to be quick to list them the same day that Stens sends out the specials listing.
Down here they give discounts on top of the computer listed price he is on - 20% I am on -5% .
They also give free delivery on orders over $ 150 so I tend to hold on to Stens orders till they get above the free delivery threshold so most will be stock replacement rather than single job orders.
If they do a paper catalogue, get one then go through it when you have nothing better to do . This will get your head around what they have & what they don't and the key words they use to describe things.
When I do an idler pulley , unless it is one I commonly fit or for a model I have an IPL for I just measure it then go to the idlers by size section & find one that is near enough, saves a lot of time .
Individual price differences are not all that great on a lot of parts but when you add up a big job it does make a difference x 100 jobs or more a season that can be the difference between a health profit & just getting by .
Also remember that they can pull your account as well and for the first year HO will be watching your orders to decide if they are making money on your account or loosing it , so if I was you I would be ordering everything from them if they stock it & the price was not dearer.
Order things like spark plugs in full box qualtities ( 10 for NGK 4 for Champions ) . You will use them eventually and it is more profitable for them to pick a 10 pack than a single plug.
Also buy in trade packs where possible . The 12 packs of oil filters are very cheap on a per filter basis particularly if you charge out at full retail ( I charge out at $ 2 off ) .
Same goes for air filters . You will use a full 25 pack of Briggs panel filters in no time flat particularly as the same filter fits a lot of Hondas as well , ditto for the prefilter & fuel filters .
So at this stage you can toss a few packs into each order to get free delivery & bulk out the orders .
If you don't have one, haunt the trash & treasure, car boot & similar sales and see if you can pick up a spark plug merchandizer or two .
They look professional & put tags on mine with the applications & gaps which saves a lot of time and by the time you hae filled it with the plugs that you actually use you will have spent better than $ 400 with them so you account will look good . I have an old NGK & Bosh + a Champion which I bought on special from Stens, I regret the latter a bit because while the plugs ended up being $ 1.50 ( Aus ) each a lot of them was what was common useage 10 years ago so are a bit slow moving , but it looks good in the workshop, they sit on the end of the parts racks & hide the junk behind them.
 

PTmowerMech

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I made my first order with Stens, but every time I check on it, it's after they close. So maybe someone could fill me in on something.

The order was complete. The money has been taken out of my bank account. But it says "Pending Fulfillment" and there's no tracking number or anything about the order being shipped.

Is this normal?
 

StarTech

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Log into your account. Under Your account, Select Submit new case. There you can ask them for an update on your order. Currently what you post it is pending being filled for reason and haven't shipped yet.

Now your site may have different wording then the US site.
 

ILENGINE

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I made my first order with Stens, but every time I check on it, it's after they close. So maybe someone could fill me in on something.

The order was complete. The money has been taken out of my bank account. But it says "Pending Fulfillment" and there's no tracking number or anything about the order being shipped.

Is this normal?
Totally normal. The ticket has been printed for picking in the warehouse. Sometimes you don't get the tracking number until late at night.. I have seen orders ship as late as 9 pm EST. I suspect that you will receive a order has been shipped by morning.
 

PTmowerMech

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Thanks for the info. I made this order like Tuesday afternoon. And still didn't see anything about it until I did like Startech said. Shortly afterwards, (a couple of hours ago) I got an email back with the tracking number on it. It didn't get shipped until today..

Anyways, It was my fault for ordering it after 5pm. I'm satisfied that it's gonna be here on Friday. With Amazon, I can't get stuff here in less than 3 or 4 days. 4 days, mostly.

But not getting any tracking info for over 24hr was a bit concerning.
 

bertsmobile1

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Down here they only pick 7am to 3pm.
In before 11 and if it is in stock it will ship that day.
However they have 3 warehouses here so it might get partially filled by all 3 so till everything is picked & despatched the status is "order pending" .
When placed I get a confirmarion email then when invoiced ( after picking ) the invoice is sent and the goods should be sitting in the dock with your name on it waiting for uplift ( which might not always happen )
The freight agent sends the "on route" email when it gets scanned into their distribution center.
When Stens ran their own shop they lost a fortune trying to do next day delivery , which rarely ever happens even if you pay extra for same day delivery.
I tried to talk sense into them and have all picking done overnight leaving the day shift to receive stock & refresh the pick face which I what I did to the last warehouse I sort of ran.
We took that from loosing $ 2 M a year to a $ 1/2 M profit without sacking anybody and got picking errors down < 0.05% and finished well before end of shift with a 20% increase in throughput .
Doing this allowed us to use several different freight agents and because we were not trying to beat the clock, and get presorting discounts .
Downside it added a day to the delivery times but customers were fine with that as they got a single full delivery and we did offer next day/ same day for an extra charge almost no one wanted it.
Tried to get Peter's ear but I am just a back yard mechanic and not a suit wearing executive.
If you are out a lot it might be worthwhile considering changing your address by putting "Authority to Leave " as the first line then your regular address on the others.
 
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