I formed the idea for this thread reading the Trouble at NAM thread. THIS WAS MY experience, others may disbelieve or disagree, as human beings are known to do, however: As someone who has opened and (temporarily? permanently?) closed a MINI service business I have some direct experience with the issues caused by the explosive MINI industry growth in a soaring economy followed by the current economic crash. While I was operating Central Coast Coopers out of my auto collision repair shop, I got some rude, hard lessons in how business is conducted in the internet era, and especially the MINI parts business. I could cite plenty of instances where I was completely â€œthrown under the busâ€ by different MINI specialist parts companies, to my personal and companies detriment. There are some more flagrant than this, burned into my memory, so when I see a thread bashing a vendor, I do not participate in it, but I smile at how they have likely earned the bashing. In all cases, in 2005 at least, the parts manufacturers made you sign a price confidentiality agreement that states you WILL NOT advertise their parts for sale for less than 10% off THEIR advertised list price. In one of my cases, the part manufacturer was really really adamant about this-then loaded me up with a truckload of their product at 25% off their list prices. AND THEN proceeded to hold their own widely publicized sales selling the exact same parts at 30% off their msrp, undercutting not only my cost on the truckload of stuff I ordered from them, PLUS FREE SHIPPING! But when Shipping is added to each part ORDERED BY YOU, itâ€™s another 3% or so you are expected to eat. As if that were not enough, they then started selling their product through another company at up to 50% off list. This secondary company posted huge sale ads on NAM at the exact time ALL this particular manufacturing companies owners and representatives were at SEMA and not available for comment. After liquidating their product however I could, I stopped selling or recommending their products and did whatever I could to convince a customer to use a different product. THEN they had the gall to send someone around to see me and ask why we had stopped ordering their products. I had already had several phone conversations with this VERY PERSON about the pricing B.S. and when he came around to see me face to face, reminded him of them. He looked me in the eye and denied their secondary company had in fact sold the products at far under my cost on NAM in widely publicized sales and went on record saying he could not understand why downstream sellers were upset. After a prolonged conversation, he changed his story to he did not know WHERE the seller was getting the product, so he had no way to enforce the msrp contract, which I immediately called B.S. on. I assured him I would not endorse or install another of that companies products, period. Manufacturer greed, pure and simple, causes a great deal of these issues. It appears to continue today, and, while my lifeâ€™s path forced me to take a step back from MINI repair for some time and re evaluate my desire to work in the car business and focus on what made me the most money, I truly enjoyed working on the MINIs and sharing the ownership experience with all the great people I came in contact with. I still have a list of folks who continue to come to me for maintenance and mod work. Some of the vendors I did business with were great and treated their downstream sellers extremely well. Some of them did not. I am certain the present economy hasnâ€™t improved this situation.