What to Know When Buying Auto Parts Online


Buying auto parts online is the simplest way to save money on repairs, the best way to be self-sufficient, and the most reliable method to avoid getting scammed by the mechanic. How many stories are there out there, where the mechanic refuses to show the customer a part that they’ve “replaced”? How many stories are out there where they refuse to show them the receipt for the “newly purchased” part and instead ask that they are trusted unconditionally? When buying parts, you can avoid all of this, and here are several tips to help you make this much more efficient.

Look for the original manufacturer number (OEM)

The first thing you need to do is figure out the exact type of part that you need. Sure, there are alternative parts that may look better on paper or be a lot cheaper than what you have in mind. The thing is that if you want the exact replacement, a part that the manufacturer originally intended to use in that vehicle, you need to find the OEM. Needless to say, this is the single best way of determining the compatibility of the part that you intend to use in the vehicle.

Research the reputation of the store

Some stores, both online and offline, use all sorts of tricks to get the customer or close a sale. One local parts store didn’t have a part that the buyer was looking for, so he deliberately sold them a different part. By the time they’ve returned to the store with the incompatible part, the owner already acquired the part that they were looking for and claimed that it was an honest mistake. While in this case, the trick didn’t have serious consequences, this won’t always be the case. Also, it’s even easier for this to happen online.

Shop around

Shopping around is definitely the best course of action when it comes to checking for better prices. Never before did you have so many options and so many tools to help you look around and shop around. Now, you can just identify the part that you need and look it up online with several different retailers. From this point on, you can make the comparison of prices. In order to make things fair, make sure that you compare the same or similar parts. For instance, when looking to repair your Ford, make sure to check retailers of Ford parts instead of just looking for car parts in general.

Look for sales

This may be quite inefficient, but sometimes it’s a good idea to buy a part during a sale or a limited-time offer. Sure, this is not something that happens all the time, but there are some parts that you may not have to replace right away. Imagine a scenario where you scheduled a particular part replacement somewhere within the next four months; yet, the part is on a sizable discount next week. Just because you’re not making a purchase right away, this doesn’t mean that you should avoid looking for offers.

Consult the community

Online stores often have their review and rating systems but may get brand mentions on Reddit or in various forums. Why not visit these places and see what the community really thinks about the retailer or the part in question? Unlike in their own comment section or rating section, here, they have no power of moderation, which means that you’re getting people’s uncensored opinions instead of reading what they want you to read. The more information you gather, the better, just try to remember that not everything you read online is necessarily true.

Customer service is a huge factor

Lastly, you need to understand that buying a part might be something that you’ll do on a regular basis. So, why not choose where you buy from based on how much the mechanic actually respects you? Being treated nicely or even feeling like you’re getting preferential treatment is not necessarily a matter of vanity. It also shows their level of professionalism. It also allows you to build trust with the agency in question, which would further help you work things out on your own.


Overall, there are so many great offers that you need to keep in mind, as well as so many outstanding deals that you should focus on. Keep in mind that buying auto parts online might not be a major investment, but it’s not a minor expense either. As such, it deserves your full and undivided attention, and no amount of research that you invest in it will ever be wasted.

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Claire Hastings
Claire Hastings is a design student, wanderer, and a writer. She writes as long as she can remember, and she is very passionate about fashion, running, other cultures, and her cat.
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