Nearest dealer to me is 45 minute drive each way. Prices about 60 % higher than FastLane/PartShop and the few times I'd have been willing to spend extra to get it that day, they needed two days to get the part. I haven't found anything Phil couldn't get deliver in two days for less money, and I don't have a two hour round trip to pick it up.
Example--transmission dipstick showed "not available" from FastLane, called and Phil said list was 15.50, could get it, but I should buy local. Called dealer, they said 29.63 and two days to order. Called Phil back and had one shipped by Airborne delivered to my door the next morning, less than 24.00 (should have ordered some other stuff also). In spite of shipping cost, saved 6.00 on part, sales tax, 4 gallons fuel, and two hours of my time.
No vested interest other than a desire to support this site which has saved me a ton of money, time and effort.
'02 C230 Kompressor
'89 560 SEL "Frau BlueCar" (retired April 2004)