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What to Know When Buying Auto Parts Online- 4 Tips to Get it Right

These days you can literally purchase anything online. Everything from home and kitchen items, to anything you can park in your driveway – including cars and their parts. Buying auto parts online isn’t a new concept, but it’s one which sometimes brings more questions than answers.

If you have a car, then sooner or later you’re going to have to replace a part. It’s part of the joys of car ownership. Buying auto parts online has become increasingly popular, making it easier for you to save on your next purchase.

Whether you’re buying an auto part online because you need it quickly or are restoring a project car, there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re not wasting your time or your money.

Tip #1 – Do Your Research, Then Research Even More

When buying auto parts online, you have to put in extra time for research. Even if you know the exact part number you need to purchase, you still have to compare multiple websites for cost.

You can check out sites such as Car-part.com or auction sites to help narrow down your options. Plus, you can do research directly on the auto manufacturer’s websites. 

You may have to get a little creative with your research too. Don’t be afraid to call your local car dealership and verify the part number or talk through the issue you’re having. You can also get in with online auto parts forums and bounce ideas off other people.

By doing your research ahead of time, you’ll be more likely to purchase the correct part at a competitive price – saving you from a headache later on. 

Tip #2 – Verify the Details

Not only do you need to buy the correct auto part for the right price, but make sure you verify the return policy and warranty. If the part’s defective for some reason, then you need to have a chance for recourse. 

If you accidentally purchase the wrong part, you need to be able to return it or exchange it. Verify if you have to pay shipping costs out of pocket for the returns.

When you buy auto parts online, you want to read the fine print. One website may offer a better price, but it might not have a great return policy. Verify all the details up front and it’ll keep you from getting disappointed later. 

Tip #3 – Only Purchase from a Secure Marketplace

You can find lots of places to purchase car parts from – the hard part is knowing who you can trust. Shop from retailers who offer secure checkout and are up front about their return policy. 

If you’re purchasing from a site which offers installment plans such as splitit.com, then you can rest assured knowing you’re setting up monthly payments on a secured platform. 

Another way to verify the security is to shop from sites which prominently display their contact information and a trust symbol. 

Tip #4 – Know the Difference With Car Parts

You might not realize when it comes to car parts, there’s more than one choice. The most popular choices are genuine, OEM, aftermarket, and used. It’s helpful if you understand the basic difference between them as you’re researching.

Genuine – or OE (Original Equipment) – is the exact part that was installed on your vehicle when it was first manufactured.

OEM is short for Original Equipment Manufacturer. This means the parts were built by the company which originally made the parts for the auto manufacturer. It’s the same part which came with your car, but it doesn’t carry the manufacturer’s logo. OEM parts are very reliable and usually cost less than genuine parts. 

Aftermarket is a part which is made to fit and function in your car, but has been made by another company. This can also offer you a savings advantage. 

Used car parts are exactly how it sounds – it’s likely come from a scrap vehicle or one which has been wrecked. Although you might be saving money, there is a risk to quality with purchasing a used part.

Knowing the difference in car parts can help you narrow down your choices as you’re buying auto parts online. 

Whether you’re a car enthusiast or only drive because you’re forced to, buying auto parts online can be a big time (and money) saver. If you’re worried your auto part purchase will put a strain on your monthly budget, then purchase from a retailer who uses splitit.com to make the purchase as smooth as possible. If you’re a seller, be sure the checkout this piece to ensure you are maximizing sales. 

 

Sara Coleman (Content Contributor), March 15, 2020 Share this article

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