The following is pointlessly long, and doesn't have a lot of value. But if you're bored, read through it and please post your stealership stories for the rest of us
So here's some background to my story. Having recently purchased a 2004 E-350 Chateau passenger van with a questionable maintenance history, I'm playing catch-up on various updates and maintenance issues. I've purchased a number of parts online, including my Edge gauges and coolant bypass kit from Dieselsite, as well as all my filters from dieselfiltersonline. Because I'm in Canada, I've been getting hosed by taxes and duties across the border each time; I've probably cumulatively spent an extra $150-200 on duties over the past couple of weeks.
I still needed a few Ford-specific parts, including a turbo reconditioning kit, EGR o-rings, blue spring update, improved HFCM drain plug, an updated turbo drain tube, etc etc. I live in a moderately large city with a population (including the surrounding areas) approaching a million, and there is a very large Ford dealer group that has multiple locations and a very large parts depot, which states right up front that they specialize in Powerstroke parts. I'd researched the parts I needed on this forum and read from NYC F-350 that Tousley Ford in Minnesota had the best prices for parts, so I got the MSRP and Tousley price on all of my part numbers and made a shopping list to go to the local dealership. Being a large dealership in a populous area, I expected that they'd probably be around the MSRP price.
Boy was I in for a surprise. I gave the parts guy my shopping list and he started going through it. He had the EGR valve o-rings (3C3Z9P455AB) and Turbo drain tube (6C3Z9T515A), but he didn't have the blue spring kit (6E7Z9C165B), turbo reconditioning kit (4C4Z9V424AA), or even the HFCM drain plug (6E7Z9C082A) in stock. Not only that, when he looked through his database he told me that this automotive group had never even sold an updated blue spring kit nor a turbo reconditioning kit before, and he was asking me what those kits actually did!
The funniest thing was when he was halfway through the shopping list he stopped, looked up at me, and said "Where in the world are you getting these prices? I can't do anything even close to that!" When he finally ran numbers, all of his prices were at least two-three times those being charged by Tousley. For example, for the turbo reconditioning kit, which Tousley was selling for $58, my dealership quoted me $109. The only thing I bought, because I wanted it for tomorrow, were the EGR valve o-rings, which Tousley are selling for $5.59 and what I ended up paying the dealership almost $16 for. The only thing they were even close on price to was the bottle of cetane booster for $9, which is still pretty high but not as ridiculous.
So to answer my rhetorical question, yes, I'm submitting an order tomorrow morning for all of my parts through Tousley, duties be damned. Even if I get charged 25% in duties, it's still a steal compared to my local dealer.