Anyone ever deal with Parts Plus?
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  1. #1
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    Default Anyone ever deal with Parts Plus?

    A couple of weeks ago I received an RFQ from this company for doing some military work. I talked to a rep. and he told me that they would take care of getting all the finishing (plating/painting), packaging, and government paperwork and misc. stuff done, and they would take care of getting us set up for doing government work. We would just have to pay them a fee. They've been kind of persistent, calling every couple of days to see if we decided whether or not to go with this. They sent over a "contract", but it is pretty vague. We're already up to our eyeballs in work, and I'm a little skeptical. I was wondering if anyone here had had any dealings with them?

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    Was the RFQ. from this "Parts Plus" company?
    Regardless, I would be very careful. For one thing, is the PO coming from them? If so, what assurances do you have that you will get paid?
    They are not doing anything that you cant go out & do yourself.


    Just my 2 cents.

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    The government charges no fees to do business with them, Parts Plus isn't offering anything you can't do yourself for free. Also I believe they also bid government jobs as a reseller on items government contractors bid direct, you won't get any work from them unless you bid very low rates. I get their solicitations all the time and then go bid the jobs direct myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by machinist man View Post
    We would just have to pay them a fee. They've been kind of persistent, calling every couple of days to see if we decided whether or not to go with this. They sent over a "contract", but it is pretty vague. ?
    Never heard of them - but?

    Any idea how much?


    Bet it's plenty?...... or they wouldn't be so persistent


    Vague contract? ....... now there's a surprise - NOT.

    Just another bunch of Bengal Lancers

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    Yeah, that's what I was thinking too. I Googled their website and came across another thread on here about them, the consensus seems to be that they're either a scam or a company like First Index or mfg.com that gives you the chance to bid on stuff. The more I talked to them the more skeptical I got. Sounds like a pass to me.

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    I don't know anything about Parts Plus, but I do know this method of sales. It's deceptive and scammy.

    I was contacted by a "TV show" about them filming a spot about our shop for the products we make/sell. After going through the whole pitch about how they would send a camera crew and spend a day or two filming, and after reassuring me this was all free and would be shown on Discovery channel in prime time, they said the only cost on my end was a "licensing fee" and how it was very standard in the industry, etc, etc.

    The licensing fee was $24,000.

    The scam was that they sell you as if they are a documentary program and they really want to portray your business on TV. Truth is they get 10 or whatever companies to commit to the money, get paid, THEN they film a show on a budget - maybe $50k. They pocket the rest (that's their profit) and THEN they go sell the show to a network.


    Any company that has to be deceptive to make a sale is not someone I will EVER do business with, period.

    I have never had someone ask me to quote work and then tell me I need to pay them to be able to bid. That's not a quote - that's called a sales job. I bet there is no quote... there is only a sales pitch. They are framing it as something it's not to coerce you into buying their product.

    If their product was any good, they would be able to sell it honestly without having to mislead people about what they are actually selling and coerce people into buying it with the promise of work.

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    Seems like every time I look on the web for an answer to a machine shop question, I see this forum pop up, so I joined! Thank you, wonderful people of PM!

    Okay, on to the reply : I, too, was contacted by James Corbett (Jim) about working with his company, Parts Plus, DBA Job Shops Plus. I was, and still am, pretty skeptical.

    Here's what I know so far: Per the BBB (bbb.org/~/Parts-Plus-in-Los-Alamitos-CA-13218976) there are no complaints filed with his business, a slightly promising sign. His business address (not the PO box found on the website, but the address found with the BBB and his CA business registry) puts his shop very near a joint forces training center in a small industrial park. Also per the BBB and CA state registry, he has 5 employees (not including himself), which fits with what Mr. Corbett has to say about his business (that it's small and family-owned). He claims to have a plating shop, but with only 5 employees and in a relatively small commercial building, I don't see how he has enough room for a plating shop. The possibility here is that maybe he owns another company that does his plating.

    Now I know that a shop could do all the DoD registry stuff themselves, and that it's a fairly straightforward process. I also know that a person can wade through open bids from the DoD until they're up to their necks looking for jobs that they want to bid on. I understand the value of (what he claims) a business like his does, especially for a small shop like mine (we have 3 employees, not including myself and my father). In that context, paying $1990 makes sense because there really is quite a bit of work involved in holding someone's hand through the process of ITAR cert. and DoD registry.

    Has anyone else heard of this guy? I have family in the LA area, and I'm honestly tempted to just fly down there and pay his shop a visit. He claims this wouldn't be a problem and he'd be happy to have me.

    Cheers!

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    Question Itar...

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew.E View Post
    Seems like every time I look on the web for an answer to a machine shop question, I see this forum pop up, so I joined! Thank you, wonderful people of PM!

    Okay, on to the reply : I, too, was contacted by James Corbett (Jim) about working with his company, Parts Plus, DBA Job Shops Plus. I was, and still am, pretty skeptical....

    .......In that context, paying $1990 makes sense because there really is quite a bit of work involved in holding someone's hand through the process of ITAR cert. and DoD registry.

    Has anyone else heard of this guy? I have family in the LA area, and I'm honestly tempted to just fly down there and pay his shop a visit. He claims this wouldn't be a problem and he'd be happy to have me.

    Cheers!
    ...registration is 2750 bucks (See my post http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb...e-work-198351/. I think there is some misinformation or confusion on who is to have the certification here.

    Not familar with this outfit... lots of references would be the next step I would think.
    He should be happy to give them if he is legit.

    We do overflow work at times for other shops...we quote it and they get 15% of the quote. This is a little different though as we have known each other for a number of years.

    Doing this with a unknown business could be tricky. With most government work, there is a very stringent paper trail. ALL vendors envolved in the process are liable in and to some degree.

    The rest of the Gov. work out there falls under Commodity Jurisdiction 120.4. It allows for providing work to a defense contractor that does not fall under the ITAR umbrella. So only a small fee it any.

    There are also material requirements and I'm not sure how CJ 120.4 falls under this DFAR requirement. See:

    DPAP | Defense Acquisition Regulations System | DFARS/PGI

    for more info.

    Keep us informed. It would be nice to have a in-between for that kind of work that is creditable. Most of us small guys do not have time to deal with the paperwork and still have time to make chips(money) out in the shop.

    Steve
    Last edited by scadvice; 12-24-2011 at 02:54 PM.

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    Its a scam. They just repackage government solicitations and act as a middle man.

    You would be wasting your time making lots of losing bids.

    If you are not set up for government work, don't attempt it. And if you are, you don't need a middle man to make your bid for you.

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    Default We paid Parts Plus

    Parts plus is a real and Jim is also, we paid the money and used his service , I myself flew down the coast to see him at his office .We have also pursued the government work with a vengeance for the last three years or so - to date we have won 6 jobs 5 of them losers..... Between DIBBS,ASSIST,WEBFLIS,DIBBS/C-FOLDERS all of which require user and pass that need to be changed every 90 days, source inspectors, two more 4 drawer file cabinets and a screwy payment process we decided to take a break from the Gov. "quoting opportunity " until we re-examine or find a lobbyists to grease. agreeing with jscpm - if you're not set up government work dont bother - Save yourself the grief, we have enough to go around for many of us here. As far as Parts -Plus is concerned if you are actively searching for government work they take a huge bite out of the time required to quote jobs. that's how we used them, they also have some connections outside the government work.
    Ltr

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    Quote Originally Posted by robodrill View Post
    Parts plus is a real and Jim is also, we paid the money and used his service , I myself flew down the coast to see him at his office .We have also pursued the government work with a vengeance for the last three years or so - to date we have won 6 jobs 5 of them losers..... Between DIBBS,ASSIST,WEBFLIS,DIBBS/C-FOLDERS all of which require user and pass that need to be changed every 90 days, source inspectors, two more 4 drawer file cabinets and a screwy payment process we decided to take a break from the Gov. "quoting opportunity " until we re-examine or find a lobbyists to grease. agreeing with jscpm - if you're not set up government work dont bother - Save yourself the grief, we have enough to go around for many of us here. As far as Parts -Plus is concerned if you are actively searching for government work they take a huge bite out of the time required to quote jobs. that's how we used them, they also have some connections outside the government work.
    Ltr
    You forgot all the ridiculous packaging and labeling requirements. Also to add they have very strict guidelines for passwords, my favorite was "no consecutive characters" meant consecutive on a keyboard also. I had "er" at the end of something and it kept rejecting it.
    One good thing, they paid on your terms, if you offered a discount they took it, they paid on time. Prices you get for the work fell drastically since 2005. I did 20 small jobs (I navigated all the paperwork myself) and then let everything expire. All the extra time spent with all their BS doubles the hours it took to get a job out compared to private sector, and you got the same money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    You forgot all the ridiculous packaging and labeling requirements. Also to add they have very strict guidelines for passwords, my favorite was "no consecutive characters" meant consecutive on a keyboard also. I had "er" at the end of something and it kept rejecting it.
    One good thing, they paid on your terms, if you offered a discount they took it, they paid on time. Prices you get for the work fell drastically since 2005. I did 20 small jobs (I navigated all the paperwork myself) and then let everything expire. All the extra time spent with all their BS doubles the hours it took to get a job out compared to private sector, and you got the same money.
    Dualkit:
    Yes the packaging/labeling is intereasting in some cases costing more than the product itself ! i.e. kind of like our first job - the parts went out the door packaged in 20 $ bills - Uhg...

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    Various companies call all the time wanting to sign me up for
    Govt work. They all want $$$ to sign you up...I don't answer the phone
    anymore when they call....caller ID has been the greatest time and
    aggravation saver for me!

    Co-incidentally,
    I found a guy down in Fla. last year that sent me a couple drawings
    for small mil. hardware items he sources as a middleman.
    One shaft, few hundred pcs quantity I quoted, didn't hear from him, emailed 3-4 times, them finally I called him. He was all attitude, like I was way high, told me the winning price.....it was less than my material cost. A LOT less.
    I can't believe anyone would actually bother for so low a price. That's not work....that's practice, and I don't need no practice at this juncture.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkmc View Post
    told me the winning price.....it was less than my material cost. A LOT less.
    I can't believe anyone would actually bother for so low a price. That's not work....that's practice, and I don't need no practice at this juncture.
    A lot of parts like that are often sourced from the surplus military sales. Makes a lot of sense doesn't it? Uncle Sam buys it at a high cost, then 10 years later obsoletes it and sells it in container loads for fractions of a cent on the dollar. Then in another year then they send out an RFQ/IFB looking for the same part again.

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    The guy made some remark that he thinks 'his guy' the one with the winning low quote, 'had the material laying around at his shop'......

    That still doesn't answer my question of WHY anyone with half a brain would spend the time
    with cutting off, facing and chamfering both ends and drilling a cross hole for like .39

    (As I recall it was 7/16CRS, 7 or 9" long, w/ .250 c'sinked cross hole).

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    We do see a fair amount of these crazy low prices for government jobs. Even if I had material laying around, I would not give it away to win a job. Sometimes it is surplus or existing stock and the owner's don't know the value of it. There was a company that we would see regularly winning jobs for really low prices in the same type of products we make. Recently, they were barred from doing business with the government.

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    Does anyone still deal with Jim? I need to contact him.

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    I sub contract its much easier and I get paid .

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    As others have alluded to the problem with services like this is the sheer number of bids required to get any work and how competitively your winning bids would need to be. If you have someone with nothing better to do than fire off a lot of bids and convert a low percentage of them to actual jobs then maybe this works. You are very unlikely to ever forge any long term relations with a meaningful customer this way.

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    Don't pay anyone to do something you can do very easily. It is not hard to set up your own business to work with the government. They even have a help line you can call if needed. It will take about a month to set it up.

    It doesn't take a lot of bids to get one contract, it takes reading the contract and bidding appropriately. There is a ton of paper work and time, you need to justify the cost in both of those for yourself.

    If you obtain a bid, make sure you follow up and obtain positive feedback, this is critical as this will assist you with more contracts.

    If your'e able to work with a specific office, establish a relationship the KO. They will assist you as needed in understanding the contract.

    Keep in mind the KO is there for government and to follow the FAR (Federal Acquisitions Regulation). If you decide to do business with the government, spend time reading the FAR. The FAR is similar to the machinist bible for the KO, except it is a legal document that can send people to jail, mainly the KO.


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