Here is what a winding cone looks like without the spring. The threads that grip the inside of the spring coils are ambidextrous, so you can use the same part on either right- or left-hand-wound springs. The cone size is specific for a certain inner diameter of springs, so if you have the wrong size, the cone will slip inside the spring (cone too small), or not fit (cone too big).
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Here are the new replacement springs I ordered from a distributor, which I found using a Google search for "garage door supply" (search that phrase now). You certainly won't find these at Home Depot or Lowe's (although last I checked Lowe's does carry the less daunting extension spring replacements). I also have a list of some suppliers at the end of this page.
As a first time homeowner, Home advisors is an invaluable tool! There is a steep learning curve that comes with buying a house!!!! Being able to have access to unbiased information is great! It really helps to have a basic idea of what costs are, and all the different things that go into each project. who knew that there was so much to consider when looking to replace garage doors!!!!
You might genuinely need some extra parts when you thought you simply needed a broken spring replaced, and a good serviceman will perform a simple inspection to identify such parts. Nor is it unreasonable for a business to charge separately for a service call versus repair work actually performed. But the best protection for you as a buyer, being somewhat at the mercy of whomever you decide to bring on site, is to understand what is being done, and ask intelligently for a clear explanation or demonstration of why extra parts are required.