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Really Nobody open on Sunday carries

2013-04-21 21:56:19.486758+00 by Dan Lyke 7 comments

Really? Nobody open on Sunday carries replacement dryer belts any more? Retailers: Amazon is kickin yer asses 'cause y'all just don't care...

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2013-04-22 11:37:16.790105+00 by: meuon

Just got home from a week plus in the Philippines. Cebu City and Manila. The middle class and up seems to be spending a lot of time retail shopping. the malls are incredible and are a center of social activity, events, park spaces and a lot of shopping. Every store I walked into, a clerk formally greeted me, and in several cases when we looked interested in buying something, a team converged. They knew their product, what was in storage... it was incredible. I bought a bunch of nice shirts for work.

The hotel I stayed in was attached to a mall, with other hotels, office buildings and 2 large nice grocery stores, they were open until 10pm, so I often "walked the mall" for 2 hours before going to bed. It was awesome. The utilities main customer service offices were at SM Mall, which is huge and 1st class. Lots of social activity, retail buying, and business offices of customer service centered companies. There are even well stocked hardware stores in the malls. There are open spaces for activities, or just playing in the parks. In Cebu City, more than 50% of the utility bills are paid, in person, at the mall.

USA malls and retail spaces are dying and empty. They failed to stay relevant. They kicked out the kids, moved the movie theatres and resturaunts elsewhere, stopped stocking inventory, staffing helpful people...

Yeah, Amazon and it's affiliates have become my first choice in shopping for almost anything, including car parts.

#Comment Re: made: 2013-04-22 16:42:26.672407+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, I remember back in the late '90s when I was still in my hardcore Libertarian phase, ragging on various downtowns because they were letting malls own the sense of public space: I thought, at the time, that the mall developers "got it", understood that they weren't just building a place to get goods, but a place to be a social center.

And as I've watched the evolution of downtowns since then, I'm realizing that the distinction between mall and downtown shopping district can be pretty fluid, and that the best run cities are like a good property management company that understands that being a welcoming space with activities that draw people together is what draws potential shoppers.

And, meanwhile, property management companies are seeing socializing as something that keeps people from mindless consumption, and trying to eke out that extra bit of profit, killing the goose.

#Comment Re: made: 2013-04-22 21:53:57.044662+00 by: petronius

So amazon can deliver dryer belts on Sunday?

#Comment Re: made: 2013-04-22 22:01:28.662989+00 by: Dan Lyke

No, but neither can anyone else when I'm wanting to make the purchase. And if I can't do it on Sunday then it may as well wait 'til Wednesday. Once the week kicks in, a day or three doesn't matter.

And, it turns out, for half the price I paid for my dryer belt from a place 18.5 miles away, Amazon will ship me a kit that includes all the idler and drive pulleys. The price for the belt itself is less than a fifth of what I paid, but shipping on a single item pushes the price up to where I should just buy the kit with the pulleys.

The real culprit here is probably just that nobody bothers to repair their own dryer any more...

#Comment Re: made: 2013-04-22 23:44:18.695136+00 by: topspin

The real culprit here is probably just that nobody bothers to repair their own dryer any more...

That's one portion of the issue, for sure, but another is the specialization of parts. The model just prior to yours may have a slightly different belt, pulley assembly, etc and stocking all those parts for all those brands/models is simply not economically feasible and never will be.

The larger question is whether the 3D printing era will usher in a generation of folks who can again GET the parts to repair their appliances themselves. Perhaps the new hardware store is a guy with a really good 3D printer and materials?

#Comment Re: made: 2013-04-23 04:47:32.475553+00 by: meuon

"Perhaps the new hardware store is a guy with a really good 3D printer and materials?"

That's my thought, exactly. And why I was attempting to weld some aluminum last night to make a part for an umbrella holder on the deck. It's nice to be able to make what you want/need. It's also a curse.

Although a belt would not be such a part, universal v-belts might work, but I'll bet his dryer needs a "ribbed band belt" not a v-belt.

The funny part is, I'll bet there is not a lot of variability in most dryer parts. There is a lot of "one part fits many" in that industry as many brands roll off the same assembly line, and the designs are fairly optimized. A good hardware or appliance parts store would only need to stock a few common sizes/types.

#Comment Re: made: 2013-04-23 15:39:28.403292+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yep. 100" ribbed band belt. $6.95+ shipping from Amazon, $19.95 in a kit with replacement idler pulleys and Amazon Prime shipping, $31.50 from Appliance Parts Equipment 18.5 miles from home.

I bought it from the latter and installed it last night, but next time I'll probably wait the two extra days and get the pulleys too.

To be fair it was nice to have the "yeah, there's only one belt close to 100 inches, this is your belt" reassurance rather than have to figure it out from the Amazon third party descriptions. I'm just not sure it's the extra fifteen or twenty bucks and the drive out of the way nice.

The thing about 3d printing saving the world is materials choices. It's gonna be kickass for anything that can be made from ABS, and maybe even some stuff that can be made from sintered bronze or aluminum, but there's a lot that'd need milling after that, or that needs to be from another material, and I don't think that we're going to have the neighborhood hardware store turning out those materials.

Or that before we have that we're going to have the regional Amazon center doing the same thing and delivering it to your door. Because the other part of this is logistics and shipping: When we were in Santa Fe, we discovered a pottery place that was making great mugs in a shape we liked at a price that was quite reasonable (especially given that the potter was giving us an awesome tour of the facilities while he was waiting for glaze to dry), and we got two because we could wrap 'em in our clothing and do a carry-on bag, but more would have racked up prohibitive shipping charges. And yet Amazon is managing to do the fulfillment for shipping charges that would have worked for us...