A Complete Guide For Auto Parts Online Shopping
When adults have the ability to finally get their own car, it can be one of the most exciting moments in their life. The comfort of having a way to transport from home to work or school is a luxury that is often overlooked due to the expenses that come with owning a vehicle.
If your car happens to break or needs something fixed, even if it’s a minor fix, it can be extremely expensive. For example, if your window wipers stopped working or starting to leave strikes on your window, it is time to get it replaced and that could cost you over fifty dollars at your local auto shop or with your mechanic.
Lately, car owners have discovered that it is a lot more affordable to fix or replace parts in your car by shopping online. Auto shop stores have extra expenses that they need to cover such as property taxes, maintenance, and payroll, which adds more to the price of the auto part.
Here’s a guide for beginners to shop online for auto parts:
First step: Learn about what auto part you need, acronyms, and quality.
Before searching for online shops to place an order, you need to understand the language of automotive parts.
You need to properly diagnose where the problem is coming from for your vehicle. You can have it done by a mechanic to accurately understand the issue.
Next is doing research to learn about your vehicle and what the auto part number is. There are catalogs available online for OEM and ETK that allow you to search for specific parts using your car’s model and the production date. This step is important to ensure that you are not buying the wrong item.
After you managed to find the auto parts number, you will need to learn the automotive acronyms. Genuine and OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) should be what you are looking for when purchasing an auto part, as they are the most trusted by the vehicle’s manufacturer. You may see auto parts that are categorized as Aftermarket, which is made by companies that are not in contract with the vehicle’s manufacturer. Although the Aftermarket parts perform well and fit great, it shouldn’t be a choice for certain categories that can be found in the quality guidelines.
Quality guidelines are also split into three categories that are based on safety and risk:
- Category A - High Risk: If certain auto parts fail such as brakes, steering, and suspension, it could result in fatal accidents or severe damage to the body. For this category, you must purchase auto parts that are labeled as Genuine or OEM.
- Category B - Medium Risk: If the auto part stops working it will cause damage to the vehicle, but not the life of driver or passengers. For category B it includes engines, gaskets, timing parts, and more. Genuine and OEM are preferred to be installed in your vehicle, but you have a choice to look into aftermarket parts if it’s better for your budget and how much you use your car.
- Category C - Low Risk: Parts such as lights, rubber pieces, relays, etc are considered a low risk due the fact that if the part fails to work it would lead to minor damage to the vehicle, if any. OEM and Genuine are recommended for all categories but you can purchase auto parts that are an aftermarket replacement parts with little to no risk for category C.
Next step: Follow the guide to find the best online auto shop
When shopping online for anything from clothes to auto parts, you have to ensure that you are purchasing from a trustworthy site. There are ways to find out if the online shop is reliable or not.
Check reviews and comments
Online reviews are often not dependable due to sites deleting the bad ones, but that shouldn’t mean that the good should be overlooked.
Spend some time reading reviews on third party sites such as Yelp, Google, and Trustpilot, as well as reading comments that are left under the products’ page.
Good customer service and support
Since online stores can be tricky to purchase from due to the lack of a physical store to go to and not being able to see the product in front of you before placing an order, it is crucial to order from a site that has great customer service.
If you happen to receive the wrong item or you need to return it, you need to be able to contact a representative to help you with the process. It’s also important to ensure that you have someone who can answer your questions.
Clear product description
As stated above, online shopping can be hard since customers aren’t able to see the product in person, therefore a clear description of the item, along with pictures, auto parts reference number, and the brand or quality matters.
Avoid websites that don’t list if the auto part is OEM, Genuine, or Aftermarket.
Best online sites for auto parts
Online shops are very competitive, especially in the automotive industry, but these sites have made their way to the top for their affordable prices, great customer service, and amazing products.
Partsgeek is known as the #1 site to shop from for automotive purposes. It is especially a favorite among BMW, Porsche, and vintage cars owners, as it is the perfect place to find what you need.
The site is well organized for beginners and they offer a 30 day return policy for any item that happens to not fit your car.
Everyone loves Amazon for its endless items available to purchase online, so it is no surprise that they created an automotive section as well.
It’s a great option due to the transparency and reviews posted by verified buyers.
Available both online and in-store, Pep Boys makes your shopping easier by looking at what’s available at the store online and finalizing your purchase after you see it in person.