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MG MGA - Cost of parts in the UK

Iím sure most people here in the UK get a Moss Europe catalogue and have noticed that when a new one comes out it is invariably accompanied by a price hike of several per cent. Parts donít seem to be reasonably priced any more and if you look to Brown & Gammons or other suppliers over here their prices seem to keep up with Mossís. I wouldnít mind so much about Moss,etc. prices if the quality of the parts was always good but this is far from being the case.
Well, I was looking at the Moss US website some time ago and noticed that the price of their parts, like for like, was considerably less than for Moss Europe; itís a job doing the comparison because the catalogue numbers are different, US & Europe. At the same time I received a catalogue from Scarborough Faire and saw that their prices were even less than Moss in general.
I needed some bits so I got an order together for SF ; total part cost was around $100. Shipping and handling was $23 and the Customs charge here (VAT, etc.) was £16.
Just for curiosity I worked out the cost of the order for Moss Europe parts and it worked out to be £1-2 more, yes more, and I didnít include postage because I only live about six miles from a Moss branch.
Why is it then that Moss Europe prices are significantly higher than Moss USA? Is it because their parts are priced into the US and they have then to be shipped to Europe or is it because they think we will pay the higher prices? Whichever it is I sense we are being ripped off a bit.
I would strongly recommend any UK people wanting parts just to give SF a try. My parts took about a week which is not that much more than inland UK. Also SF seem very knowledgeable and corrected a mistake in my order which I doubt would have been picked up here.
Mike


m.j. moore

Mike, try the MG owners club (MGOC), they are usually cheaper than Moss and will send out small value orders at very reasonable postage prices; Moss insist on a minimum £10 order excluding VAT and postage. Incidently, I am in the MGCC not the MGOC. Another good trick is to do an internet search on the part number, there are lots of little firms out there doing cheaper parts than Moss, watch the quality though, but as you say, sometimes Moss aren't up to the mark! As for body parts, Sportscar Metalworks take some beating for quality and at about half the price of Moss.
Lindsay Sampford

Mike - I had noticed this too but never considered using a US supplier - might be a good idea to try them - cheers Cam
Lindsay - I am in both MGCC and MGOC so might try pricing MGOC but their MGA parts although listed are not always available - cheers Cam
Cam Cunningham

The third source for MGA parts that I often use is: http://www.victoriabritish.com/ They carry items for As and Bs, but not for T-types.
David werblow

The parts here in Japan from one of the few Moss suppliers is roughly 4 times that of the US list prices. Not picking on Moss, but they have the largest footprint here. Made me consider becoming a part time distributor. Ordering from the US, shipping, applicable duties etc. is still less by about half. This is always a good option if the parts are not in stock (or you can wait) and must be ordered anyway.
Tom Baker

Tom, Moss have a "large footprint" here in UK too - I must admit that I boycotted them for a while about 10 years ago . They bought out and overnight closed down my favourite supplier - M & G International who had branches in Manchester and Birkenhead (Merseyside). Bearing in mind Mike's obervation of ever escalating prices and "iffy" quality perhaps I should try other suppliers like Brown & Gammons and Bob West.
Cam Cunningham

Tom - when you compare MG parts to $50 melons in Tokyo, it can't be so bad!
What with the pound at only $1.67 Canadian, B&G should be looking good!
Art Pearse

Mike, I had a chat about this with a Moss rep. at the MG day at Silverstone. He was very frank about the price differental between USA and UK. It seems that a lot of parts for the UK are sourced in the USA and vica- versa. So if you buy a part from USA that originated in the UK you are keeping Fed. Ex in business. There is also the question of quality, a local parts importer told me he only sources his trim parts from the UK or USA I can't remember which, as one source is poor very quality. Also Governments and port authorities always have their hand out. The price of any article is what the market will bear and as the Yanks have taught me "negotiate from a position of strength "
much as you have done. A couple of factual examples from down under for my A. Local long branch ex. manifold A$197, front sway bar A$213. Any overseas source ,twice as much plus the freight and duties Cheers Sean
S Sherry

Maybe thereís a clue from Tom & Seanís observations that the cheaper prices in the US are because there are more than ten times the number of MGAs over there compared with the UK and likewise there are probably ten times more in the UK than in Japan & Australia. So the parts prices might be just reflecting the turnover in each country. I suppose thereís no reason at all why Moss-Europe should be 'subsidized' by the parent company.
The trouble with Moss Ė over here at least Ė is that prices are high and quality low. I was more than pleased with my first order from SF and it wonít be the last. Iím following your example Cam and Iím boycotting Moss.
Mike
m.j. moore

shop around and get your parts on the net ..I often find engine parts are less expensive in UK even with the added expensive shipping to USA..same with brake cylinders etc.. (save almost $100 on a MGA dual M/cyl)then there is the quality issue ..the uk made seat kits are far closer to orig spec than US made ones sold by Moss.. Vic british sell UK made ones.. the advantage with Moss is they have the best catalogues and most of the parts in stock ..the downside is around 30% more in price than almost everyone else if you shop around..so often just not viable. for quality NOTHING beats NOS factory parts..
TJ Trevithick

TJ, The trouble with shopping around is that you can only do this for price and not quality. You only get to know about quality either just after you've bought the part or a year or so later when it's packed up. I think the only way to gauge quality is from a name e.g if it's sold by someone who cares like a Todd Clarke or a Mike Lempert or, perhaps, a Bob West then you can be 90% confident that you will be satisfied. By ordering from SF I suppose I'm hoping that Cecilia will prove to be another name associated with quality.
Talking about names I guess with your illustrious surname you or your forbears must hail from Cornwall
and must be aware of Richard T.....? I bet he would have liked the MGA but maybe would have preferred it with a steam engine in it! Mike
m.j. moore

This thread was discussed between 18/12/2009 and 05/01/2010

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