If you live that close, you might want to give them a try--regular
shipping is particularly slow to the West coast where I am, but it
might be more timely for you...This topic is a regular "Can o'
Sterno" on the list, so put on the Nomex...
My experiences have shown me the following:
Most of the parts are sourced from the same manufacturers or NOS
sourcing market. Hard to make generalizations about quality.
VB is sometimes cheaper than Moss (it varies by item, so it pays to
shop!), but the trend has been upward on VB prices. Some things are
now more expensive than identical items at Moss. For Californians
like me, sales tax can be a cost factor, so it's sometimes good to do
the math. It may be true of both outfits-it galls me more about
VB--that most of the small-but-expensive things I buy incur a heavy
value-based shipping cost. Without seeing a company's books, I
couldn't confirm it, but I'm beginning to think that as prices go up,
shipping charges are becoming a "profit center". I recently returned
a part for $4 that had cost me $16 in S&H.
Buying from a local shop that doesn't add shipping is a good thing.
A lot of shops are "Moss Distributors" who will pass along Moss sale
prices, or reduce their prices on items to below Moss published
catalog prices. Also, a small shop may ship to you at actual cost of
shipping, rather than a order total-based shipping rate.
Moss frequently has some good sales, so if you can wait for one, Moss
might be a better deal.
VB carries a few parts that Moss does not--Factory hardtop parts,
obscure 3-main crank pulleys, oil cooler thermostats with hose barb
connections, vacuum advance Mallory distributors, etc. Moss may have
a few things that VB doesn't carry, too. Moss, as a general rule,
does not carry rebuilt parts--VB does (trannys, generators, reground
SERVICE is a real issue. VB has no one who can answer a technical
question, or even look it up and get back to you. It's very "Take it
or leave it." I would bet that no one you get on the phone there has
ever actually seen the part you are ordering. I would score one (or
more) for Moss on this.
In this age of online commerce, VB has particularly rigid return
policies--read the fine print. Despite all the professions of
Customer Service in the front of the catalog, there are only a couple
of acceptable reasons for returning a part without penalty
(restocking charges and/or return for credit only.) If you don't
like the quality of something, but it's not actually defective, or it
isn't what you thought you were ordering, this may be a problem.
Good luck, Caveat Emptor, no financial interest, your milage may vary...
'84 Alfa Romeo GTV-6