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It's simple, you offer a kit, and you offer the individual parts. They aren't mutually exclusive. No trap. But it makes it more frictionless for your customers.
?? No, if you re-read what I said, it's not that simple. There is no avoiding the "friction", if you really want to assemble the best stuff in your cart, or if you want the freedom to pick/choose to potentially save yourself a bit of coin. You might care a lot about top-line seat foam (which would be ACI foam), but you might not care about top-line fasteners (AMK). If you're too obsessed with kits and convenience and speed, then you are most certainly going to either pay more for stuff you didn't care about, or pay less for junk you're going to curse us about. We truly prefer that you take the time to make a better educated purchase, because no two kits are alike, vendor-to-vendor.



Which is all the better reason to provide you customers with the best information possible. Sure it would be nice to call NPD and talk to someone for hours but not everyone has that luxury. When I do have time it's after hours and the internet is my best source for research.
Absolutely, we need much more information online. Working on it daily. But.. Our biggest problem isn't adding more content, our biggest content is getting people to read the content that is already there. You have just provided a perfect example below..



, here's an example that is confusing, at least to me. Two items, same price, one has apparently more parts included? Looking at these which would you pick? Certainly the description isn't much help. https://www.npdlink.com/1965-1973-mustang/body-exterior/body-parts-and-sheet-metal/floor-pans-extensions



Here's where a simple Good and Best would work.
The key and primary difference between the two full pans is right there on the website, in the Applications window/section.. Both pans essentially "will fit and work" for 1965-1970. But it tells you in the applications that the -1AR is technically correct for 67-68, and the -2B is correct for 65. That's the primary difference, ribbing and detail. Both pans are nice quality and fit great, so any further elaboration would just be a "puff piece".



Sounds like job security for someone!
No kidding!! LOL.. We joke that our photographer (who has to keep all photos up to date, and photo all new products) has the best job security in the building..

Don't get me wrong, I essentially agree with most of your points, I'm just politely assuring you that it seems more straight-forward from the sidelines than it is in the game. And the more information that you commit to text, then the more information you have online that can potentially go STALE unless you're constantly chasing behind it. It can engulf a company, where you've loaded so much content into the site, that it's impossible to manage and keep current without employing such an army, that payroll sinks your ship...

We're doing the best we can, all we can, while also running a healthy organization... Which is what's required to provide all that good customer service after the sale. You'll find that the organizations that are not smart with their payroll and economic health, are the ones that are more likely to say "no" when you need to return or exchange something. They can't afford the parts to land back in their lap.

Sorry for rambling, and I've very much enjoyed the exchange!!

Rick
NPD
 

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You would laugh at the pile of parts I have from you guys that for one reason or another I ordered incorrectly or too many of! My better half is not impressed but who knows maybe one day I'll buy a car so I can use the parts...

Really great to know you guys put thought into what parts you carry, thank you.

Perhaps not the best place to ask and I'll try to give you guys ring but, would you be able to confirm if any of the seat belt bolts on your site are grade 8 or higher steel? Examples:


I'm not looking for concours correct necessarily, it's more for safety than anything.
All of those are AMK fasteners/kits, which means they are indeed concours-correct and they are US-made. I am pretty certain you're looking at Grade-8 on those bolts, but I'm awaiting absolute confirmation.

Rick
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All of those are AMK fasteners/kits, which means they are indeed concours-correct and they are US-made. I am pretty certain you're looking at Grade-8 on those bolts, but I'm awaiting absolute confirmation.

Rick
NPD
OK, glad I confirmed.. Grade 5 is the answer, which was what the factory bolts were originally.
 

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All of those are AMK fasteners/kits, which means they are indeed concours-correct and they are US-made. I am pretty certain you're looking at Grade-8 on those bolts, but I'm awaiting absolute confirmation.

Rick
NPD
I get annoyed when people think that every bolt needs to be grade 8. Just because a bolt is say a grade 5 doesn't make it a bad bolt. Bolts with different grades have different properties. Replacing a grade 5 bolt with an 8 in an application that needs a 5 is not the right thing to do. Bolts need to have the proper ductility for the application.

There was an accident on a mobile carnival ride many years ago caused by the replacement of a grade 5 bolt with a grade 8. The grade 8 bolt fatigued and broke because it is harder than a 5. The application required the bolt to flex in use and a harder bolt is brittle, forms cracks and breaks.


As for info on the site you mentioned yeah no one reads the descriptions. I like sites with data in their descriptions not just word barf they put in to add to the word count and pull the salesman you have to have this part...

I have stuff on craigslist and they look at the picture and ask if it's available... I have all the info in the ad and it states if the ad is up it is available and I will not respond to those asking if it is available.
 

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OK, glad I confirmed.. Grade 5 is the answer, which was what the factory bolts were originally.
FWIW, I doubt that the bolts are the limiting factor... I'd imagine it's the floor mounting point. But I'm just speculating.
Thanks!! I guess I am just used to using Grade 8 stuff when it comes to seat belts and whatnot.

I get annoyed when people think that every bolt needs to be grade 8. Just because a bolt is say a grade 5 doesn't make it a bad bolt. Bolts with different grades have different properties. Replacing a grade 5 bolt with an 8 in an application that needs a 5 is not the right thing to do. Bolts need to have the proper ductility for the application.

There was an accident on a mobile carnival ride many years ago caused by the replacement of a grade 5 bolt with a grade 8. The grade 8 bolt fatigued and broke because it is harder than a 5. The application required the bolt to flex in use and a harder bolt is brittle, forms cracks and breaks.


As for info on the site you mentioned yeah no one reads the descriptions. I like sites with data in their descriptions not just word barf they put in to add to the word count and pull the salesman you have to have this part...

I have stuff on craigslist and they look at the picture and ask if it's available... I have all the info in the ad and it states if the ad is up it is available and I will not respond to those asking if it is available.
Totally with you on that...though I did try to search and could not find info on the AMK bolts. I do think that seatbelt bolts should be grade 8, they don't need to flex or move at all--do you think there's any reason not to go with Grade 8s on our vintage mustangs (other than cost)?
 

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I have stuff on craigslist and they look at the picture and ask if it's available... I have all the info in the ad and it states if the ad is up it is available and I will not respond to those asking if it is available.
Haha you would be surprised how many people leave Craigslist posts up after the item is sold. It’s annoying but people ask that because it happens often.
 

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Thanks!! I guess I am just used to using Grade 8 stuff when it comes to seat belts and whatnot.



Totally with you on that...though I did try to search and could not find info on the AMK bolts. I do think that seatbelt bolts should be grade 8, they don't need to flex or move at all--do you think there's any reason not to go with Grade 8s on our vintage mustangs (other than cost)?

I don't see any reason in what we do here but I was speaking to point out that bolt grades all have a purpose. I'll have to ask my cousin if he knows what they would most likely be. He worked for MNP in Detroit before going to Ford Motorsports then out to another part of Ford that didn't require him to be on call 24/7/365 by the race teams. I assume MNP makes the AMK hardware but could be totally wrong as they might only do current production hardware. Will let you know if he comes up with anything. Unfortunately I didn't meet up with him when he got to drive whatever Mustang home he wanted to that day...
 

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Haha you would be surprised how many people leave Craigslist posts up after the item is sold. It’s annoying but people ask that because it happens often.
True. But when I reply it is available I never hear back from them so I don't answer that anymore. I will say though that it's really slow selling stuff on Craigslist here these days. Disposable cash flow seems to have really throttled down in the last 8 months.
 

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Thanks!! I guess I am just used to using Grade 8 stuff when it comes to seat belts and whatnot.



Totally with you on that...though I did try to search and could not find info on the AMK bolts. I do think that seatbelt bolts should be grade 8, they don't need to flex or move at all--do you think there's any reason not to go with Grade 8s on our vintage mustangs (other than cost)?
A grade 8 bolt has a higher tensile strength while a grade 5 has more ductility which would allow it to flex rather than break as its pulled from the side like a seatbelt would do. Since its not about clamping force, my vote goes to grade 5 for a seat belt bolt
 

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I don't see any reason in what we do here but I was speaking to point out that bolt grades all have a purpose. I'll have to ask my cousin if he knows what they would most likely be. He worked for MNP in Detroit before going to Ford Motorsports then out to another part of Ford that didn't require him to be on call 24/7/365 by the race teams. I assume MNP makes the AMK hardware but could be totally wrong as they might only do current production hardware. Will let you know if he comes up with anything. Unfortunately I didn't meet up with him when he got to drive whatever Mustang home he wanted to that day...
Thank you, it would be really cool to know your cousin's opinion on this.

A grade 8 bolt has a higher tensile strength while a grade 5 has more ductility which would allow it to flex rather than break as its pulled from the side like a seatbelt would do. Since its not about clamping force, my vote goes to grade 5 for a seat belt bolt
I'm no expert but I had thought that a grade 5 breaks at right around the amount of force applied where a grade 8 begins with elongate? In other words, if that's true, then there shouldn't be any reason not to go with a grade 5?

Unless the thinking is that somehow the elongation of the bolt is desirable over a bolt that just doesn't budge at the same applied force?
 

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I was out in the shop when he called (metal building aka faraday cage)but he left a message. He said that the vast majority is most likely 5.8 and bolts that need it would be 8.8 or whatever grade the manufacturer deems necessary and whatever coatings. He said 10.8 and 12.9 are common on subframe bolts and bed bolts. He said the coatings are pretty interesting for some of the current parts. He also said that often bolts for automotive are graded in metric even though some are standard thread... Kind of like the 80s with standard thread bolts with metric heads when they tried to go all metric.

To add to the bolt grade thing... Ever have header gasket leaks? If you don't want them to leak use a grade 5 bolt and put washers or better yet spacers on the bolts you can and use longer bolts. The grade 5 bolt has a little more stretch and the spacers allow for more area for bolt stretch so you can get actual clamping tension in the bolt.
 

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Another happy NPD customer here too. While I don’t know Rick and his team, I’ve gotten to know most of the counter guys out here in California at the Ventura store.

It’s incredible to hop in my car on a Sunday and go to the store and pick up parts. The counter guys are all car guys and can almost mentally recite part #s and help make good and honest recommendations.

I’ve certainly bought the wrong parts and even changed my mind after I bought other parts. They take them back (unused of course) with no questions.

The only parts I’m buying for my ‘65 that are NOT from NPD are simply the R Model very specific ones that they don’t carry.

Great job NPD!
 

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A few days ago, I ordered a complete TMI upholstery set for Diane and when it arrived today it was the wrong color. I immediately called the Ocala office and was basically brushed off (rudely) by the counter person. I emailed them and in less than a half hour I got a reply from Rick. He assured me that they would be correcting their error at once. I've never had service like that before from any other company. To say I'm amazed and impressed is the understatement of the year. Thanks, Rick! I'm a NPD customer for life! 👍👍
shouldnt take contacting the owner to get decent service
 

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shouldnt take contacting the owner to get decent service
To be clear, the customer/OP did not seek me out. I simply was the first one to read his email stating his concerns. Had I not acted on it, someone else surely would have.

We regret the lapse in our sales person's service, but this would have been addressed quickly and properly regardless of my involvement.

Rick
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I would also like to echo all of the positive feedback for Rick, but from the perspective of a (small) vendor.

On a whim, a few years ago, I started a small business producing affordable battery-powered clocks for classic cars, starting with my own 68 Mustang and then expanding into other Mustang years and models. I started selling online, but in the back of my mind I thought that it would be so flipping cool to have my clocks stocked by NPD. After all, when it comes to classic car parts, I quickly realized that NPD is the biggest and the best.

I live in CA, but by sheer coincidence my parents live in Hudson, FL, about two hours south of Ocala. So during Christmas season 2017, I showed up at the Ocala front desk and left a single clock sample, hopeful but not really confident it would get to the right person. I think within a week or two a buyer at NPD got back to me and later placed an order. Woohoo! It was only for a few units but who cared?! I would be in the NPD catalog!

Flash forward one year to December 2018 and this time I get to meet Rick in person at Ocala. He sets up a meeting with me and their GM buyer (e.g., Chevelles, Camaros, GTOs, etc.). They make the brilliant suggestion of offering a remote battery harness (which is now one of my biggest sellers!) A few months later, I received my biggest order to date from NPD.

The point of all of this is to say that Rick and his team absolutely didn't have to offer me the time of day... but they did. I am the perfect example of a "mom and pop" shop (even though my mom and pop live 3,000 miles away.) But Rick and his team were always professional and responsive, even when my track record as a vendor was pretty limited. Now, every time I receive an order from NPD, it's a very good day that brings a smile to my face. Rick made that possible.

Rick, thanks for your support. You personify what makes owning a classic car so awesome -- a shared love for cars and doing things the right way for both customers and vendors. Keep up the great work running your business in exactly the right way!

Jim
 
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