Online shopping has exploded in recent years. Name a product or service, and there’s a good bet it’s available online. Car parts & components are no exception; the variety of OEM and 3rd-party manufactured parts has grown from just a few thousand select products in the late 1990s to literally millions of components today.
With greater variety, it should be easy to find what you’re looking for…right? Well, not exactly.
Endless Products, Almost as Many Questions
The sheer volume of car parts can be daunting for anyone looking to purchase parts online. Just some of the questions that surface when shopping for car parts online include:
•What parts will fit my vehicle?
•What about quality & performance? How do I know that an OEM replacement part will perform like the OEM component?
•Will the part fit my car, just like the original factory installed component?
•How does the price stack up against other similar parts, either online or from a wholesale supplier?
•If my part doesn’t fit correctly, or I’m dissatisfied with the overall quality, what sort of return policy is in place?
•How fast will my car part(s) arrive, and are there any shipping specials to take advantage of?
•Why should I trust an online supplier, when I can usually get all the parts I need at a brick and mortar establishment right down the street?
As you can see, there seem to be as many questions about purchasing car parts online as there are answers. But BuyAutoParts.com, one of the most trusted and reputable online car part sources, can help you find the exact parts you need at prices that are hard to beat.
How to Optimize Your Online Car Parts Shopping
Because we’re all about helping out the customer (you), our team has assembled this “how to” guide. BuyAutoParts.com has an extensive library of online “how to” resources, including videos and articles about all sorts of parts and components, from fuel systems to fan assemblies, from starters to suspension parts. With the holiday shopping season in full swing, we thought it would be a great time to offer yet another tutorial of sorts, so we created this “How to Shop for Car Parts Online” guide. Part manual and part online instructional guide, this article will explain specific things to look for when buying parts online, whether it’s your first or five thousandth purchase – regardless of your cyber shopping experience, there’s always something new to learn.
The Step-by-Step Online Shopping Guide
Virtual car part shopping is surprisingly similar to traditional car part shopping. The end goal is the same: to acquire the best possible part(s) for your car without breaking the bank. In years past, you went to your local car parts store. And if they didn’t have your part in stock, you’d either to go a competitor or wait for the product to be shipped from the nearest warehouse.
That’s the big advantage about online car part shopping: you’ll rarely (if ever) not find the part you need, simply because of the huge selection. Still, there are certain things to look for. Ready to get started? Grab your electronic shopping cart, get your mouse ready and let’s go!
#1 – Know what you Want
When you go to the grocery store, you take a list. Same goes for online car part shopping. Take a solid assessment of your needs, and stick to the list. Impulse buying – grabbing those things you want and not necessarily need – is tempting enough at the store, and it is super-easy when shopping online.
#2 – Research the Online Store
A simple Google search for a radiator will bring up an enormous assortment of slick-looking accessories. But there’s an old saying about making shrewd purchases, and it holds true today: caveat emptor, which is Latin for “buyer beware.” To ensure you’re getting the best possible quality, do your homework. Does this online outlet have a good return policy? Are there certain shipping specials that can save you money?
#3 – Get the OEM Part Number
Let’s take your alternator as an example. If you’re looking for an online replacement, you shouldn’t use any other reference than the OEM part number. This is what every online distributor (including BuyAutoParts.com) uses to determine replacement compatibility.
#4 – Before Clicking “Buy,” Double Check Customer Service Capability
One little click of the mouse can result in a huge headache. For instance, let’s say you’ve just bought a new set of brake pads & rotors, then realize you’ve bought the wrong set. Who are you going to call? Is there a solid customer service structure in place? Are they located in the United States? You should consider service just as important as selection when determining which parts store to buy from.
#5 – Let’s Make a Deal
Better yet, find an online parts store that offers money-saving sales all the time. We know of a certain store that always has specials in place, including holiday shopping specials right now!
#6 – Choose Honesty, Integrity, Reputation and Knowledge
Selecting the correct car part is important, and so is choosing an online parts store with a solid reputation, friendly and knowledgeable staff, impressive customer reviews and the passion & purpose for helping customers with their online car part orders.
BuyAutoParts.com takes the guesswork out of purchasing vehicle parts online. Our site is designed for ease of use, optimal information and a hassle-free shopping experience. To speak with one of our representatives, give us a call at (888) 907-7225. Thanks for reading our how to shopping guide. As always, your feedback is appreciated!
Written By Dara Greaney