Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Spain + Germany
My Motorhome: Four Winds RV
Thanked 732 Times in 680 Posts
Most dealers stock only those parts for which there is a regular demand. If a customer who is unknown to them wants to order a non-stock item then many will ask for some cash up front, sometimes the full cost and sometimes whatever the cost to them would be if they had to return it.
You have an established track record with this dealer. He is not trusting you but expects you to trust him. If he goes out of business between the time you pay for a part and when you take delivery you may loose your money, he will not be out of pocket as he will still have the part.
This dealer may have cash flow problems and be surviving on customers cash, all the more likely then that their business could fail leaving you the looser, Alan.
Edit: If your part is on special order it may be shipped seperately from his normal stock order, in that case there wil be an additional cost for carriage, it may be fair to ask you to pay that up front.