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  1. #1
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    What are "Core Charges" all about?

    Alright,

    Will someone please explain CORE charges to me (specifically, as they pertain to vehicle parts)? I basically have 2 questions:

    1) What does it stand for?

    I've heard folks say it stands for nothing. It simply means the "core" of the item you're returning.

    I've also heard people say it stands for "Cash On REturn"



    2) Why is it charged?

    I understand folks wanting to encourage recycling or whatever, but forcing you to pay for something that expensive is rather, well, prohibitive. It's not like buying soda on deposit, because once you're done with them you can simply return the bottles and get your "deposit" back. With vehicle parts, correct me if I'm wrong, but I know of no way to recoup your costs unless you 1) sell to a junkyard or 2) trade it in on a new one. But with #2 you never get your money back out of it; you're sort of trapped in a purchasing cycle.


    Obviously there's some info I lack because the lack of change/discussion makes me think that everyone but me is alright with the system. Any input/insight would certainly be appreciated.


    Regards
    I reserve the right to contradict myself. . .

  2. #2
    Anime Otaku RobRich's Avatar
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    Core charges are typically done for parts capable of being refurbished then sold again. The charge encourages the return of a defective part, which can then hopefully be rebuilt, then sold again. The refurbisher figures its parts prices based upon the exchange of core parts. If you opt out of the core return process, then you are paying the core charge as a padded difference on the lost revenue incurred by not being able to hopefully refurb and sell your defective part.

    There are also core charges incurred for some recycling efforts. Lead acid batteries for vehicles are good a example. The charge is there to persuade consumers into exchanging a defective battery, which can then recycled. The recycled materials can then be sold. If you opt out of the core charge process for such a battery, then you are essentially paying the core charge as not only a padded margin value based upon recycling revenue, but also as a type of environmental impact penalty IMO. Lead acid batteries should not be dumped into landfills.

    As for whatever "core" means, I would think it simply means the "core" fundamental aspect of the part. You are returning a defective "core" potentially capable of being rebuilt into a working "part."
    Robert Richmond | Infinite perceptions. One reality.
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  3. #3
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    Understood. I can certainly appreciate the need to be environmentally conscious. But what about being caught in the purchase cycle? What if I decide to acquire a vehicle that no longer uses said part(s)? I could be into a battery "core", an alternator "core", control arm "core", wheel bearing "core", etc. before all is said and done, and never be able to recoup that if I move to a horse, moped, hydrogen powered vehicle, spaceship, etc. . . I suppose *that's* my main issue with it. Not to mention, if your old parts aren't up to snuff, you don't get the "core charge" back anyway.

    I'm not sure if there's a better way (perhaps community service for failure to acquiese), but something's gotta give. . . In case you're wondering, yes, I'm about to make several major purchases all involving these "core charges"
    I reserve the right to contradict myself. . .

  4. #4
    Anime Otaku RobRich's Avatar
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    It sounds like you are buying parts, then would like to return them to the store for return of the core charge if/when the new parts become defective. If so, that is not really the premise for the core charge process.

    The core charge process is not really a lock in, but more of a parts source. Since you are going to an aftermarket parts source, it is generally assumed you have an already defective part than can be exchanged upon installing the new part.

    If you don't have a defective core to return when buying the new part, then you are paying the core charge to make up for the lost revenue for the parts refurbisher not being able to sell a refurbished core.
    Robert Richmond | Infinite perceptions. One reality.
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  5. #5
    IRONyMan RedFury's Avatar
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    What Rob said. It's a way to keep the cycle going by putting a little of your money on the line to ensure you'll bring them something to rebuild.
    this post contains small bits of intelligence culminating to the appearance of wisdom.

    http://www.shareaproject.com/pages/p...,p,346,00.html

  6. #6
    Ultimate Member nunyadam's Avatar
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    another way to look at it is like the deposit on a keg of beer.

  7. #7
    Ultimate Member mrniceguy's Avatar
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    another way to look at it is that if the program didn't exist you'd pay the core charge as part of the part charge, so you're not losing money, you're saving it cause what you had was probably remanufactured from someone else's core.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by nunyadam View Post
    another way to look at it is like the deposit on a keg of beer.
    Right, except you can return the keg for your deposit and never have to buy another keg again.
    I reserve the right to contradict myself. . .

  9. #9
    Anime Otaku RobRich's Avatar
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    Why do you assume you need to buy the same exact part in the future? You seem to be alluding to some type of consumer lock in process that does not exist.

    Let's break the process down to its basics. For example, let's say you have a part that fails. You go to a store to get a replacement part. The store charges you for the part plus a core charge. You go home, remove the defective part, and install the new part. You then take the defective part back to the store to receive a refund on the core charge for turning in a core. You just completed the core charge process.

    If you do not have a defective part to return, then you pay the core charge to offset the lost revenue from the supplier not being able to refurbish and sell a defective part. In such a scenario, you simply need to figure the core cost into the purchase price since you have no part to exchange.

    Core charges are not about buying a part, it failing in the future, then you returning it to collect the core charge. It more about being a parts exchange process than being like a soda can deposit.
    Robert Richmond | Infinite perceptions. One reality.
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  10. #10
    zen
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    Ultimate Member zen's Avatar
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    Its so they can rebuild the part with cheap, crappy internals and sell it back to you again, and again. Rebuilt parts generally suck and fail at alarming rates.

  11. #11
    Ultimate Member Toadman's Avatar
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    Many auto dealer parts depts are core-charged up-front when they purchase from the OEM manufacturer. Who, where or how it gets "re-manned" is not their concern. They can and will pass the charge onto the consumer if no core is available for them to return for THEIR reimbursement. It's mostly out of their hands. Try buying a new battery or alternator(diode trio replacement), at an auto parts store without an exchange. Radiators, CV joints-boots/half-shafts, alternators, starters, ECU's, engines, transmissions, final drives, etc. The list goes on, but ultimately cheaper for the consumer than buying new if a vehicle is out of warranty.

  12. #12
    Ultimate Member nunyadam's Avatar
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    Zen that all depends on the re-builder. some are better than others, find one with a lifetime warranty and you should get a better product. Brake pads are a perfect example. how long do you think the ones with a one year warranty last?

  13. #13
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    Ms. Cherry

    Quote Originally Posted by RobRich View Post
    Why do you assume you need to buy the same exact part in the future? You seem to be alluding to some type of consumer lock in process that does not exist.

    Let's break the process down to its basics. For example, let's say you have a part that fails. You go to a store to get a replacement part. The store charges you for the part plus a core charge. You go home, remove the defective part, and install the new part. You then take the defective part back to the store to receive a refund on the core charge for turning in a core. You just completed the core charge process.

    If you do not have a defective part to return, then you pay the core charge to offset the lost revenue from the supplier not being able to refurbish and sell a defective part. In such a scenario, you simply need to figure the core cost into the purchase price since you have no part to exchange.

    Core charges are not about buying a part, it failing in the future, then you returning it to collect the core charge. It more about being a parts exchange process than being like a soda can deposit.
    ok, but what if you are living in another country - and it is very expensive to send back this old part? shipping is much higher than this core charge...and nevertheless - we are not eager to pay this charge?

  14. #14
    Ride 'em Cowboy Steve R Jones's Avatar
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    Then don't send it
    "Life is unpredictable, eat dessert first."

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by zen View Post
    Its so they can rebuild the part with cheap, crappy internals and sell it back to you again, and again. Rebuilt parts generally suck and fail at alarming rates.
    Parts stores do carry some crap. They carry it for a reason. People come in and say "give me the cheapest (alternator - starter - brake pad or ??? ) you have". And if it isn't cheap enough they walk out and try it again at that stores competitor.
    There are rebuilt water pumps, alternators, starters ... that are crap. They did go in and only fix the broken part(s), clean up the case and reassemble it. That's why the customer was able to pay so little. You can usually tell by the short or 1yr warranty compared to a part that is actually remanufactured and carries a lifetime warranty. If there rebuilt or remanufactured parts failed that often they would all be out of business. They all, NAPA, O'Reilly, Carquest, ... sell mostly rebuilt parts of the items that have core charges and get rebuilt.

    As for Beer, it's the very same thing with the "core" charge. Number one, if the core charge is that much of a hardship just go in with the bad parts at the time of the sale. You pay for your brand new or newly rebuilt part and there is NO core charge. Done.

    Or exactly like the beer keg, you buy the alternator (beer), pay the core (keg), install the alternator (drink the beer), and return the old alternator to the store and receive the core refund (keg refund). You are never locked into anything. You never are "out" the core money unless the part you're replacing is damaged or not the same as the part you bought. The core needs to be a rebuildable exchange for the part you purchased. I'm assuming you'll do both anyway but please do the beer one step later in the process, ie don't start drinking the beer until the part is installed.
    Core charges are GOOD, otherwise it would be like buying a new car without a trade in. You'd just pay the full amount. This way you get a break.

    If you want to ask a question, ask: Why isn't there a core charge on a new part? You still have a part in your hands after the install that could be rebuilt. Why don't they want that one back ? ? ?

  16. #16
    Ride 'em Cowboy Steve R Jones's Avatar
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    After three YEARS since this thread started - I'm glad we got this sorted.
    "Life is unpredictable, eat dessert first."

  17. #17
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    One thing I'm missing out on is that the core charge process assumes that the part manufacturer has some sort of right to your old parts. We are either forced to agree to sell them the old part for return of our highjacked money, at a rate that we can not negotiate, or forfeit said highjacked money. Bottom line is the core belongs to me, and I can do whatever I want with it... I'm not inflicting any loss on the part manufacturer by not giving up my core because...IT BELONGS TO ME TO BEGIN WITH!!! What right do they have to my busted parts? In the end of course I have the choice to either buy or not buy aftermarket parts, and I will continue to do so, but the whole core charge process is B.S. in my opinion...nothing short of coercion.

  18. #18
    Ride 'em Cowboy Steve R Jones's Avatar
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    You're looking at it all wrong

    Part Costs X number of dollars....
    You can get a DISCOUNT/Partial Refund if you bring back the old part.
    "Life is unpredictable, eat dessert first."

  19. #19
    Onii-san Bizkitkid2001's Avatar
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    What Steve says makes sense, however I will say that I did not know about core charges until recently.

    I've bought parts before but never noticed a core charge being added, unless its something they don't really disclose because it is something that is expect.

    Although, the last time I replaced a battery was in my RX8. I went to Autozone and bought the replacement battery and replaced it right there in the parking lot. The guy that sold me the battery asked me if I wanted him to take my old battery so that Autozone could properly dispose the old battery. He never mentioned anything about giving my core charge back.
    Last edited by Bizkitkid2001; May 18th, 2012 at 11:47 AM.
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  20. #20
    MR Meek and Mild Epidemic's Avatar
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    Core charge is a bit of a scam as well. I just replaced a CV joint on my suzuki esteem. The core charge was 90 dollars which happened to be about equal to the part price. There is no way that they core was worth as much as the good axleshaft. Now extend that thinking out. If I was so unlucky as to not have the CV axle any longer as in a car I bought they would reap two times the price.

    Batteries are worth about 7 bucks at the old recycle yard and the core is like 20. They probably reap a tidy profit on that core charge for those unlucky enough to buy a golf cart with out batteries.

    I don't have a huge problem with the core charge but it is obviously generating a windfall to the parts manufactureres. probably a product of congress kickbacks to lobbiests.

    Although I am not sure if there is an alternative.

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