Review: Cripe Distributing

I recently made a wrench set purchase through a company called Cripe Distributing, which is an online tool vendor and Ebay store that sells overstocked tools and equipment for great prices. I thought I'd writeup a review of my experience for others

I read about Cripe on GarageJournal, which is a great online forum for garage junkies, gearheads, and craftsman of all types. I had been looking to get a set of Gearwrench X-Beam Ratcheting Wrenches or similar set for awhile. I saw that Cripe had a great deal on an 8-piece set for $35, which was a mighty good deal. I used a coupon code (RDKBS) for an additional 5% off with PayPayl orders. That brought down the price to $33.25, which was an even better deal. Including UPS ground shipping, which was $11.54, the order total came out to $44.79. I felt shipping was a little pricey, but still worth the cost.

I emailed Cripe to ask if there was anything that could be done about the shipping costs, such as mailing them in a USPS Flat-Rate box. I got a response in 1 day, which was very surprising since this was on the weekend. However, I didn't use the customer service email I used the email the PayPal payment was sent to. I think that probably had something to do with it. Here was the email response.

we try to make our shipping costs as actual as we can…… we don't use the shipping as a profit center like most people do
when someone overpays shipping by more then a few dollars…. we do our best to refund them…..
or
we could build the shipping into each item…. but we feel that that is unfair to the person who buys multiple items
we really do try to be as fair as possible…
you can always try our website where it figures your shipping based on your zip code…. and gives you different shipping options to choose from

I thought this was a reasonable response and is understandable.  It is annoying when ordering items through Amazon Prime I realize the shipping price is built into the price of the item.

I ordered the wrench set on February 9th and received it February 22th. The package was delivered when expected by UPS and was packaged decently. Check the pictures below.

My complaints with Cripe Distributing would be they're ordering system and website. I setup an account on they're website, and several days after my order was placed… there was no record of any orders. I found this strange. Also they're website is somewhat difficult to navigate and doesn't have the best layout and navigation, which can be annoying. On some items I've noticed there are key pieces of information missing. For example, I noticed on sockets sets sometimes they do not list the drive size the sockets are for. I guess it's understandable that they don't have the best website and software since they most likely keep costs down in order to maintain good pricing. They should provide the correct and accurate information on they're website for products though. On a lot of items you also won't find much of savings when you calculate shipping costs.

There are 2 ways to order through Cripe Distributing, you can order directly on they're website or on the Ebay store. I might consider ordering from the Ebay storefront. Actually if you check Ebay, they offer different items on there and sometimes different items through they're website. I find this equally strange and confusing.  However, Cripe does have great prices on a lot of tools so I will most likely be using them again.

PROS

  • Good customer service
  • Great pricing on tools
  • Good pacakging

CONS

  • Difficult to navigate website
  • Different products offered on website vs. Ebay
  • Shipping Costs

Overall I'm happy with Cripe and will order from them again most likely. if the price is right and shipping isn't ridiculous.

 

An Interesting Tool… Matco/Craftsman Ratchet

The Snap-On truck stopped by at work today. I noticed something interesting on the truck. This Matco stubby ratchet that the Snap-On man had.


He told me, “This was a ratchet that one of my customers sent back to Matco for warranty replacement. They sent him back this one! It was a manufacturing mistake. This Matco ratchet is $75 on the Matco truck, while at Sears it's $20. I keep it to show people if you are going to pay premium prices for a tool, you should get a premium quality tool!”

The first thing that crossed my mind…  maybe the Snap-On dealer bought the Matco and Craftsman ratchets, then put the Matco head on the Craftsman handle. Obviously he wants you to feel like spending big money on his tools is worth it.  As Snap-On tools are quite expensive.

Of course you do need to consider Craftsman and Matco hand tools are both made by Danaher. It's totally possible this is manufacturing defect that they overlooked. Maybe both the Matco and Craftsman ratchets are made in the same factory and on the same line.

If you have an on opinion on this, please post a comment below. I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Mac Tools Student Tech Program

Yesterday I received this nice folder and catalog from Mac Tools. Mac has what's know as the Student Tech Program (STP). You can get 50% off for being student in a technical program on most tools and toolboxes they sell. Students in Automotive Technology, Collision Repair and Refinishing, Diesel Maintenance, and Motorcycle Repair programs are all eligible for the program and discounts. I thought the folder was nice, and it was sent via UPS. I might just order some tools through them soon.

Sears Student Discounts

Sears has a brand new program offering 20% Off Automotive Tools and Tool Sets for students in Vocational and Technical school.  All you have to do is show a valid student ID and they will give you the discount.  The 20% off discount can even be used on specialty tools, such as multimeters, OBD scanners, brake tools, etc.  However I spoke with a Craftsman Representative about the program and 20% off will vary by store and location.  Also the discount will only apply to regularly priced merchandise.  It would be best to call and ask your local Sears store what tools they will give you under the program.  Under the program you can also get 5% off sockets, wrenches, or auto specialty tools that are on sale.  You can also get 10% any Craftsman branded tools and items that are regularly priced, including shelves, tool chests, power tools, air tools, etc.  I'm sure students will find these discounts helpful.  I called the Sears store I usually visit (Hunt Valley) and confirmed they are running the discount.  It's also right on the Sears website. Be aware the discounts are only good until March 31st, 2011.