An Interaction with Alfa Parts Exchange - Larry - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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An Interaction with Alfa Parts Exchange - Larry

In my first encounter with Larry today, to get a simple plastic A/C knob, he hung up on me, after telling me that he doesn't make any money on small parts, and it's not worth his time. Have to say I'm not super impressed. 2nd time I called back to give him one last shot, as he is in my backyard (15 miles south of Sacramento area), he tells me again that he's 72 years old and doesn't respond well to pressure, and only sells little parts as a public service. After basically hearing that he has no need for my business, I will be taking my thousands of dollars of purchases elsewhere, and you should too. If you get that irritated when a customer calls for a small part, and are willing to not earn the bigger ticket items, than it is time for you to hang it up and get out of the business.

Save yourself a ton of time and headache. Yes, there are only so many people out there with used Alfa parts, particularly in the proximity of Sacramento, but sadly, I wouldn't recommend this guy to my enemy. Look elsewhere.

Last edited by ghnl; 08-30-2017 at 05:22 PM. Reason: edit the thread title
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post #2 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 03:55 PM
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post #3 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 04:11 PM
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NorCal,

I think you dropped it in the dirt on this one. I see from your low post count that you're probably new on this BB.

The two Larry's are kinda special to us. Eccentric, yes, but generally held dear to our hearts.

I recommend you grab a case of beer, drive over there, and make amends. Make up a good story, and practice it so you can tell it well. Then go make up.

It'll be worth it.

Don P
Carson City, NV

Past Alfas...
59 102 Touring (first Alfa $500 running)
65 Sprint GT (2nd Alfa, $500 daily driver)
102 Sprint (never did anything with it, but wish I had)
74 Berlina (first new car - now certainly rusted into oblivion)
61 Giulietta Spider G-Prod Race Car (where is it now?)
84 Spider Veloce (rarely drove it, so sold it)
86 Quadrifoglio (Dull car - no more 115s for me)
1971 Montreal "The Full Monty". Fair winds and following seas

Current Alfas
59 102 Touring Roadster - restoration complete, enough Alfa for any rational man. Or irrational, for that matter
Oops. Add to the "present" list, 10204 01488, 2000 Touring Roadster project

And past...
Two 1946 Stampe SV4C (c/n 294 "Rocinante" - wife's favorite airplane. RIP), and c/n 235 "La Bon Temps Femme" (gone to a new home, but never forgotten)
Zlin 50LA (+9 -6 gees, titanium spar, 1200 lbs, 260HP rumored to now be in Brazil)
1946 Luscombe 8A
Starduster Too (recently spotted at the Nevada City, CA airport - over 20 years and an entire continent separating it from our stewardship in Binghamton, NY)
1955 Cessna 170B (wife taught me to fly tailwheel in this)

And present...
64 Mooney M20E ("Rambo". My faithful steed for over 40 years) Over 55 years old, and just returned from a trip to Argentina in him
Newest in the fleet
1967 Piper Super Cub on Wipline amphibious floats (a true "all terrain vehicle")
2010 Triumph Thunderbird


You can snap roll an Alfa only one time...
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post #4 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 04:17 PM
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Maybe you caught him on a bad day...er, or good day, I don't know. His traits are "features" not "bugs"...agree with the previous posters. I wish I lived close to him. Would be good to get on friendly terms.
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post #5 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 04:17 PM
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Wish I had APE 15 miles from home...Larry's been very helpful, even gave me few tips and usually things I order are not that expensive. Maybe he was having a bad day....I would if I had to deal with Alfisti on daily basis
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post #6 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 04:45 PM
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Sounds like you caught him on a bad day or you just rubbed him the wrong way. I have bought quite a few parts from him over time and he has been helpful to a fault as mentioned. He's pulled parts off of cars and even disassembled parts to save on shipping for me.

If your only 15 miles away there is just no good excuse for not dropping in to see him, say hello and get what you need.

You do realize he is pretty much the only supplier of used parts unless you find a car in a pick a part or someplace similar?

I would say take a deep breath and try again; third times the charm.

Ventura Alfa
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post #7 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 05:02 PM
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Sorry NorCal, but I side with the other posters; Larry did nothing wrong.

Larry and APE aren't getting rich selling used parts for orphan cars. I'm sure he was telling the truth when he said APE loses money on a transaction involving just one, small part.

Look at it this way: by ruthlessly insisting on making money, APE has remained in business since at least the 1980's, which has enabled countless Alfas to remain on the road. Consider your experience an example of tough love.

Jay Mackro
San Juan Capistrano, CA

'65 Guilia Sprint GT
'67 Duetto
'91 164L

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post #8 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not bashing anyone. I was just giving an objective view of my first and and only impression of this vendor. I appreciate the third party feedback here. I'll chalk this up as a bad day on someone's part, as it seems that he has been helpful to many. Hopefully I will have a better experience the next time I need something from him


1987 S3 Spider Quad 81k miles- California car- no rust - always garaged - everything works!, until it doesn't.......
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post #9 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 06:54 PM
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Perspective

I too am 72.
If you called me wanting me to spend time looking for a cheap part, I would tell you that my time wasn`t worth what you might think a fair price to be.

He just cut to the chase and hung up.

I don`t fault him at all!

You sound like a Millennial........whine whine

Richard Jemison
RJR Racing

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post #10 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 07:58 PM
I'm with the rest of the crowd - Without APE I'd be SOL. Don't poke the bear!!
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post #11 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Guys, first, I assume there is a moderator to this extremely helpful board. Perhaps he can tone down the name calling. The area said vendor review, which I assumed is a place that I could prevent others from having a similar situation. So, I posted an objective review. I don't care if he has every part in the world, he handled the situation very poorly. 2nd, I didn't call any alfa board members names or berate them, as one other has done. Seems like a moderator needs to address why that is necessary.

He was in the process of selling me the part. Taking my address actually. That's not the problem. It was his tone and comments which I objected to. Then he hung up. Very disrespectful. So, if I do need a part I will seek other avenues first. I don't work my *** off to spend money with people who don't appreciate my business. Good news is, that's my choice, and you have choices too. My intent when placing the review, is that other new members in the community would approach his business with caution. I said nothing about his monopoly on alfa parts. I addressed his customer service. Hence the review and it's purpose. If you don't agree, keep shopping. If you agree, don't go there. No name calling, no berating others, just make a choice.

Ok. Enough said.


1987 S3 Spider Quad 81k miles- California car- no rust - always garaged - everything works!, until it doesn't.......
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post #12 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 08:35 PM
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easily triggered it appears.ciao, chris

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post #13 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 08:44 PM
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I think I'd want to hear the other side to this story. You said initially that he hung up on you after saying that he doesn't make money on small parts. Then you said that he was in the process of taking down your information after agreeing to sell you the part when he hung up.

Clearly something happened in the course of that exchange to annoy him enough to do that. Did you complain about shipping costs or something to get him to the point where he decided that it wasn't worth the effort on his part to sell you a single small part?

I have also had many great experiences with both Larry and Larry Jr over the years, so I can't help but think there are missing nuances to this story...

1968 Euro-spec 1750 GTV (still under restoration)
1973 2000 Spider
1979 Alfetta Sprint Veloce
2017 Giulia ti Q4
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post #14 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 08:57 PM
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Norcal, the way I see it Larry should not have answered the phone when you called.

And being old is not an excuse for being an a-hole to a potential customer. It appears that Larry hasn't learned the art of pricing parts so that it is worthwhile to stock and sell any item.

BTW, I'll be 75 next month.

In the last year alone I have had no problem finding a good half dozen businesses selling the same parts that Larry does. With Google, it has never been easy to find used Alfa parts.

Last edited by nunki; 07-18-2017 at 09:08 PM.
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post #15 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 09:06 PM
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If you're going to own Alfas, you'd better learn how to interact with quirky weirdos.

Tom

1963 Giulia Spider (1750 engine)
1974 GTV
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Former: 1987 Milano Gold
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