How To Shop For And Find Any Auto Parts You May Need For Your Vehicle

Inevitably, if you own a vehicle you will eventually need parts for it. It doesn’t matter if your car is 30 years old or 5 years old, sometimes you have to get additional replacement parts even if it is something as simple as a light bulb. Whatever the case may be, there are numerous places you can look into to find the parts but you want to try to find them at the best price as well.

Many people feel compelled to pay the price for brand new parts if they have a newer vehicle and if they shop at their dealer or at a local auto parts store they will probably pay the highest price possible. The thing to remember however is that there are probably tons of cars just like yours with the same parts that will work perfectly on your car lying around in wrecking yards or even on the internet. The best thing about this is that these parts can be found at a fraction of the cost of a new part and in most cases will work just as good and last just as long.

For vehicles that are only ten years old or so you will be able to find all kinds of parts for them at a local auto wrecker. They usually have a plethora of parts like windshields, mirrors, radiators, wheels, and even motors! You can save a ton of money this way. I remember having to buy a shift assembly for a Dodge Neon for my son, the dealer wanted nearly $200, I got it at a local salvage yard for $20 and they removed it for me! Some of the better ones will even have the parts they have available listed on a computer so all you have to do is ask if they have the part or not.

If you have an older vehicle it is sometimes difficult to find the part at a reasonable price due to supply and demand and the fact that they just don’t keep that many parts around for vintage vehicles. If this is your situation the best place may be the internet. There are numerous online parts stores that will have access to parts like these and if all else fails you can also try eBay. I have had great success finding parts for rare vehicles there.

If you own a vehicle that was made in the early sixties or before you will probably have a tough time finding parts that are inexpensive. In most cases the parts will be rare and difficult to find and the rarer they are the more they are going to cost. It may be best to check all of the salvage yards in your area first, and then check out used car locaters online who may be able to help you find what you are looking for. Many of these sources have networks of parts houses that may have what you need.

Sell Junkyard Auto Parts and Make Money From Home

A lot of people make some serious money from home selling junkyard auto parts. My husband’s been doing this for a while now and just loves it! I’m still amazed at how untapped this market is. Maybe because when you sell junkyard auto parts you’re not sitting at a computer all the time?

But working from home doesn’t always mean making money online or just from your computer, especially if you’re doing any type of arbitrage deals.

And there are thousands of people looking for cheap auto parts online. Why not get in the game and be one of their salvage auto parts suppliers?

This is business that you really don’t have be a mechanic or detail specialist to make some real money, especially if you’re just dealing with interior or exterior restoration parts or basic engine parts.

For example, a head rest is a head rest. Unscrew some parts and pull it out. Door panels are door panels. Unbolt them from the hinges and take it off. Engine components may be a bit trickier but you can always go on YouTube and find out what the parts are, what they do and even how to remove them.

But even in this type of a business, you may want to specialize in a niche. What do I mean by a niche when it comes to used auto body parts? Pretty easy. Here are some ways to drill down a niche just by specializing…

  1. … in a particular make and model of vehicle
  2. … in sports cars
  3. … in truck parts
  4. … in engine parts
  5. … in exterior body parts
  6. … in interior restoration parts

Just think about all of the parts that go into building a vehicle, whether it’s a truck or car. Some parts are even interchangeable between makes and models. For example, I needed a new front fender for my 2001 Mercury Villager. Did you know that the 2001 Nissan Quest has an identical body to the same year Mercury Villager?

They do! So my husband took the parts off of a junked Quest and replaced the fender and front light assembly on my Villager.

The cup holder assembly in my Villager cracked too. But instead of replacing that unit, he found a narrow console with built-in cup holders from a Dodge SUV that fit perfectly between the front bucket seats of our Villager. Same color and texture as the interior of our car; that console looks like it came with our van!

So now we have three “new” cup holders in the front, and two additional cup holders for the rear seat, from one $10 used Dodge console.

You will have to do some research on eBay before going out and spending money. You can’t just go out and buy any junkyard auto parts and expect them to sell. There are some steps involved to making this a profitable at-home business.

  1. First, get a price list from your local salvage yard. Look for the least expensive parts on the list.
  2. Look up the parts on eBay and filter by Sold listings. Take an average of what those parts are selling for and see what your profit margin is. For example, if it’s going to cost you $10 to buy the part and it’s selling on average of $85 or more, and there are a lot of them being sold, you’ve got a winner.
  3. Take into consideration how much time and effort you want to put into pulling the parts off the vehicles. Some parts are pretty easy and you’ll only need a couple of screw drivers on hand. Other parts can be rather tricky, depending on whether you’re dealing with interior, exterior or under-the-hood parts.
  4. Another thing to think about is the weather! Here on the east coast it gets really blustery during the winter. And in the spring, it can get pretty muddy out in the yard. So you need to make sure you’re dressing for the weather – be prepared for anything.

Aftermarket Auto Parts: Boon or Bane?

There’s no questioning the popularity of aftermarket auto parts in the US automotive industry. Basically alternate car parts most of which are not made by car manufacturers themselves, aftermarket auto parts compete with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. When an original auto part fails (for instance, your hood strut) and is irreparable, the car owner has the choice – or dilemma – of whether to buy a new part from his car’s manufacturer or purchase an aftermarket part. Thus, inevitably, issues of which are more advantageous to car owners, which benefits the industry more, and other related questions and comparisons between OEM and aftermarket parts arise.

With the rise in production of aftermarket auto parts in the past two decades, a non-profit organization called the Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA) was established in 1987 to test and certify parts used for auto body repairs. Setting rigid standards for aftermarket parts, CAPA’s testing process includes an industry-recognized 500-hour salt spray test to indicate rust resistance. Tests on metal composition, screws, chipping and scratching resistance are also conducted. While the founding of CAPA initially boosted the trust in the quality of aftermarket auto parts, many automotive consumers still describe CAPA parts as generally not as good as OEM parts. Furthermore, questions on the credibility of the CAPA certification, despite its supposedly strict standards, still exist.

More often than not, aftermarket auto parts are compared in unfavorable ways to OEM parts. Negative comments/rumors include that these parts never fit, result in increased cycle time due to the extra effort it takes to make them fit, and other quality issues. But the benefits of aftermarket auto parts actually abound. First off, crash tests performed over the years by the critics of aftermarket auto parts have shown that these parts perform no differently than OEM parts. On the issue of hazardousness, it has been found that crash parts, whether aftermarket or OEM, do not affect the safety of a vehicle. Thus, there are no federal safety standards for crash/collision parts, except headlamps and the hinges on the hoods to prevent the hood from going through the windshield in the event of a crash.

When it comes to savings, the consumer wins when it comes to aftermarket auto parts, as such are categorically less expensive than OEM parts. This benefits not only the consumer but the insurance company (which pays for car repairs) and the collision/aftermarket shop owner as well, who is provided with more opportunities to repair when the lower cost of parts keep vehicles from totaling. But the savings work better for older cars. Some aftermarket auto parts can be non-usable for newer car models but are often very useful to older cars. Low cost repairs for older cars with the use of aftermarket parts can be crucial in keeping the vehicle from being totaled. These parts also cause less diminished value concerns for older vehicles.

Fears of warranty mishaps when it comes to aftermarket auto parts can also be thrown in the bin. Warranties on aftermarket auto parts are as good as OEM warranties. When a crash part has to be replaced, any original warranty on that part lapses but the warranty on the rest of the vehicle is unaffected. After a replacement part is installed, a new warranty takes over. Federal law prohibits manufacturer from basing warranties upon the exclusive use of OEM parts.

While both the OEM and aftermarket parts industries continue to develop and smooth out their negativities to gain the favor of the consumers, the competition can only benefit both the purchasers and the industry. As critics have remarked, when there is no competition, the OEM part seller price a part as it would like. But when a product competes with an aftermarket part, it would be priced cheaper than it originally would. It’s a two-way process though. If OEM parts were becoming more cost-competitive with aftermarket auto parts, aftermarket parts would have to strive harder to become more quality-competitive with OEM parts. If that believed distance of quality between the two is actually being bridged at present, aftermarket auto parts should still work on gaining the full trust of the public in the fact that they are indeed as good or even better than the original parts.