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Old 02-20-2010, 12:43 AM   #21
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: NYC
Posts: 266
My Ride: 325i sharked cai
I have those on my license plate, but i still don't get how people manage to cut fingers on license plate bolts maybe you should try another method to sell products
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:06 AM   #22
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: East of the Mississippi
Posts: 83
My Ride: 2001 330Ci
A couple thoughts...

I think the shipping charge issue could be argued several ways. On one hand, I can understand ECS wanting to ship exclusively by UPS and not fool around with sending things out via USPS as an alternate carrier, and I can understand ECS's interest in encouraging people to order additional parts besides the license plate bolts in order to make the shipping charge more palatable and to keep from having to fiddle around with orders for only a couple dollars worth of stuff. On the other hand, people who really want to get the bolts and nothing else are going to feel ripped off or ignored, and ECS will likely miss out on capturing data on some first-time customers who might want to give ECS a try with a very small initial purchase. And it shouldn't be THAT hard to send a couple bolts in a small padded envelope using "First Class Parcel" rates, which max out at just over $3 for a 13 ounce item (just ask Meritline.com -- they've built an entire business doing that!). If I were running ECS (or any business that ships stuff) I would offer the USPS First Class Parcel or Priority Mail option for lightweight items where USPS is a cheaper alternative to UPS (and believe me, I dislike the USPS as much as the next guy, but they do offer the best overall option for small item shipping).

Regarding the ECS bolts themselves, they do look nice, but they require a hex wrench; this might be a benefit to deter plate thieves or this might be a hassle if one doesn't have the appropriate tool handy when the plates need to go on or come off the car. I've had great luck using metric stainless steel pan head Phillips screws; my E46 takes 5mm x .8 x 10mm screws and they work well (see attached pic). The first dimension may be denoted "M5" in some cases and denotes the width of the shaft, the second number denotes the thread pitch in millimeters, and the third number denotes the length of the shaft in millimeters). They don't rust, they look good, and they don't snag car wash sponges and towels. They're also relatively easy to find and cheap at the local hardware store. Just make sure the slots in the screw heads are all pointing north-south-east-west to complete the look!

I've found it's helpful to place a stainless or plastic washer on the screw, as this keeps the screw head from chewing up the plate's reflective film layer. I also have put small rubber bumpers (from the hardware store) on the top screws of my front plate so that if another vehicle (like another family member's car) backs into mine in the driveway, the bumper on the other car doesn't get its paint scraped from rubbing against the screws on my front plate.

Another excellent source of bolts and hardware is http://www.boltdepot.com/. Their shipping is a bit more reasonable than ECS's shipping, especially if you elect to ship to a commercial address (i.e. have your order shipped to you at work instead of home). The appropriate license plate screws are in the section at http://www.boltdepot.com/product.asp...&cm=19&cd=1316.

Finally, if you're not sure about bolt length, you can always order bolts you know will be too long and then cut them down to size with a hack saw. This becomes relevant, for instance, in a case where your front plate holder threads are stripped and you need some extra length on the bolt to reach a nut behind the plate holder.

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Last edited by 2001BlackOnTan; 10-18-2010 at 07:11 PM.
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