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Buying parts in advance

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Buying parts in advance

Postby Christ Kacoyannakis » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:11 pm

Looking for advice on what you folks do about buying parts and supplies in advance. I often see parts (tuning machines, bridges, stop tails, etc.) that I see at a good sale price, and just hang onto them for future projects. So, what happens if a year or two or more, you go to use that part, and you find out it is defective. I totally understand the supplier's point of view that the part is now x number of years old, and they don't know if you have been using it all that time, or just installed it on your new guitar. However, I can't be the only luthier who stockpiles wood, parts, supplies, etc. Should I not expect them to warranty their part after their normal return period (whatever that is)?
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Re: Buying parts in advance

Postby Bob Gramann » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:51 pm

I generally inspect things when they’re delivered. If I discover a problem a couple of years later with something I bought from a small supplier that I don’t normally deal with, I would guess it’s a cost of doing business. But, my two major suppliers, LMI and StewMac, totally stand behind their stuff. StewMac has replaced stuff for me several years out. It’s a pleasure doing business with both of them. So, I guess the short answer is “It depends.” That said, I try hard not to buy stuff that I might never use.
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Re: Buying parts in advance

Postby Christ Kacoyannakis » Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:32 am

Bob, that seems to be the way to go - a "best practices" approach. I have heard from several luthiers that StewMac and LMII totally stand behind their stuff, which is fantastic. I usually don't just buy stuff on a whim, but because I know I will need it and use it for a project I have in mind. In this instance, the parts were purchased from a smaller supplier, but at the start of a specific build, knowing I would be using those parts on the instruments I was about to build. It just took me a while to finish those instruments, and that is when I discovered the problem. I should have examined them more carefully.
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Re: Buying parts in advance

Postby David King » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:34 pm

I don't see the point in stockpiling especially come tax time when you have to deal with it as inventory. I try to order for three months at a time. Granted wood is something we all stockpile. I expense my wood since it's raw lumber and inventorying it all would be too much hassle or so said the IRS agent I asked about it.

If you are building lots of identical instruments and use Gotoh hardware then it does make sense to order from one of their Japanese distributors but the minimums are around $2k however you pay about 1/4 of retail + shipping and customs.
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