When the remote for our 1996 Sears Craftsman garage door opener failed I naturally entered the remote part number into Google. This led me to a forest of aftermarket "universal" remotes; after a few hours of research and with some trepidation I placed my order. The remote I got was three times the size of the old one, but it works quite well.
Today I decided our keypad needed to be replaced. Once again I started digging through Google and Amazon, but this time I happened to notice a "call 800-... for parts" notice on the opener.
It seemed unlikely, but a search on Craftsman parts led to the Sears Parts Store. There a search on the opener part number led through two menu options to a list of compatible accessories. The sites not perfect, as the part numbers have only a vague one line description. I ended up going to sears.com, searching on the part numbers, and ordering two devices. Not cheap, but I'm reasonably sure they'll work.
As an experiment I tried constraining my search by "sears.com" and googling on the part number. This time the search worked.
There are two lessons I draw from this:
- There's still a "deep web" of database tables Google can't track -- that's why starting with the parts site worked.
- Sears.com is ranked relatively poorly by Google, so it didn't show up in my searches. I have to remember to scope by site more frequently.
- I might have done best of all to phone the Craftsman parts number on the side of the opener, but, really, that's unthinkable.
- Despite my usual practice of turning off all opt-in spam invitations, Sears still sent spam to my email address (of course I only gave them my spam account, but still!)
- Their stated returns policy requires a shipping statement as well as a receipt?