Buying Auto Parts Online

Purchasing auto parts online can be economical, and you can even choose from among a wide selection of used and reconditioned parts that are practically as good as new to save even more money. Whether you need to replace larger items like transmissions or differentials, or small details such as taillights or hood ornaments, you can find virtually any auto parts you may need online.

When it comes to buying a car, there are really only two strategies to choose from. First, you can buy or lease a new car and then trade it in every two or three years for the latest year model. Alternatively, you can purchase a car and drive it for 7 to 10 years to “get your money’s worth from it.”

Obviously, the most economical of these choices for most people will be to keep your car for a number of years, instead of constantly trading in for the latest model — and losing money in the process. But keeping your car for an extended length of time means that you will have to be vigilant about its upkeep, and from time to time you will likely have to replace some parts and have other maintenance and repairs performed.

But when it comes to replacing auto-parts, anyone who has visited a mechanic lately can tell you that costs have skyrocketed. Auto parts, and especially original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, auto-parts can be prohibitively expensive for many makes and models. As a general rule, the more exotic or expensive your car is to begin with, the more expensive the replacement parts will be.

This is especially true if you purchase auto parts from the original manufacturer. But there are several solutions to the high cost of replacing auto-parts. For example, you can choose to purchase so-called third-party parts online. These are auto-parts made by other companies, not the automaker; and they are normally quite a bit less expensive than buying OEM parts.

Third party parts are readily available for nearly any model of car or truck, and often the price difference will be substantial. For example, replacing a radiator for a standard American-made sedan can cost as much as $800 if you purchase original equipment manufacturer parts. But when you buy a replacement radiator for the same car from a third-party manufacturer, it is possible to pay as little as $250. Obviously, that’s a huge savings, and something you will definitely want to consider the next time you need to replace auto-parts for your vehicle.

But there is another option as well: used auto-parts are available to fit most American and foreign made cars. Used or “reconditioned” parts are often sold for a fraction of the price of new, and in most cases they are just as reliable to use.

Although you can find used auto-parts at specialty dealers, auto shops and parts stores, by far the best prices are to be found online. There are several big-name auto-parts stores online that specialize in used or reconditioned parts. Most of these sites have an easy to use search function that will allow you to see if they have the part you need in only a second.

This will save you an enormous amount of time over the “old way” of doing things: driving all over town and asking if the part is available at each different location you hit. For this reason, buying auto parts online is much more convenient and can also save you a great deal of money.

Do You Want to Outsource Your Auto Detailing?

All organizations must evaluate their core competencies. As an Auto Dealership, selling, servicing, and repairing cars are definitely at your core.  What about washing and detailing cars?

Conversations with General Managers, Sales Managers, and Service Managers indicate that managing the detail department is frustrating:

  • Fixed cost for a variable service
  • High turnover, less professional worker
  • Artistic personality – visual thinkers do not mesh with the technical workforce of a dealership
  • Control of chemicals and equipment is time consuming and distracting
  • Performance is critical to the overall CSI score

Outsourcing to a professional company with standards, processes, and ethics can be a great way to simplify a basic process and if done correctly turn it into a strategic partnership – an auto detailing service that works.

Variable cost structure.  By negotiating a per car price for each type of service, you take a fixed cost and make it variable.   In addition, by pricing the make ready and sales delivery services into one price, you know exactly what investment you will have in a vehicle.

No more staffing issues.   Find an outsource company that provides onsite management, as well as area and marketing management support.  You end up with a depth of expertise and support for no extra cost.  The cost of hiring including ads, interviewing, background checks, and motor vehicles reports is moved to the outsource partner.

Lower the cost of damages.   Part of the business of detailing and washing cars is that accidents will happen.  By using an outsource company the cost of damages associated with detailing is the responsibility of the organization causing the damage.  This should reduce out of pocket deductible costs and lower insurance premiums.

Invest in a Partnership rather than Purchase a Commodity.  The real opportunity in outsourcing the detail process is in selecting a “professional company” as a partner – more than just a car wash company.

Our sources indicate that with focus and clear performance goals and outsource company can help improve CSI scores by providing new and pre-owned cars for customer delivery that meet customer expectations.  The most common reason for a low score on a survey is the car was not clean and presentable – from a car owner’s perspective.

A partner realizes that they are working in the “dealership’s house.”  Although they recognize they are a guest on your property, (using your bays, water and electricity), they understand that they need to understand your business as a member of the dealership team.

A partner will offer services which the dealership can mark up and gain additional revenues:  touch up paint, odor removal, pin striping, tin removal, headlight restoration, etc.

Overall, by outsourcing the auto detail function at a dealership and selecting the right strategic partner, an auto dealership should be able to get the best from and auto detailing service:

  • Move a fixed cost to a variable one
  • Simplify staffing headaches
  • Add services to expand customer offerings and profit dollars
  • Improve consistency of the detail quality

Budget Auto Repair: Should I Buy Used OEM or Aftermarket Parts?

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts are factory installed parts. They are the original parts that came with your automobile when it was sent to the dealership to be placed in their new car inventory. One would think you would consider OEM parts to make repairs because they are new, but they are extremely expensive to purchase and depending on the age of your vehicle or the impact of the repair cost on your budget these parts may not be easy to come by or the most efficient choice. As your vehicle ages, automobile manufacturers are introducing new automobile models to the marketplace and may discontinue this option leaving you no choice but to find an alternative. Locating that alternative is easier than you think. Let’s take a look at an outstanding, favorable budget solution to fix your car or truck with a used part.

Used OEM parts can be an excellent choice in locating the best part selection for your automobile repair while securing the ideal budget friendly option. Used OEM auto parts are parts that are pulled from autos in which circumstances led for them to be submitted for salvage or recycling. Many salvage car parts have an extremely viable and productive life left and are readily available to be installed in your car. In general, because the part is a manufactured clone, the guarantee that it will be an exact match and the ideal fit leaves little room for error making for a smooth transition when making your repair. Used OEM auto parts are easily located for purchase online and many retailers have extensive inventory management systems like those incorporated by AutoPartSearch.com, an online recycled part marketplace. These retailers are able to will find your exact parts quickly and ship them promptly to your door. The cost associated with repairing or replacing non-functioning parts with a high-quality used OEM part can be 50% to 70% less than the purchase of new OEM parts. Used OEM parts are the right choice if you are looking for substantial savings on the cost of your repair and keeping manufacturer specifications intact in your automobile. Many salvage yards extend 30 to 90-day warranties on used OEM parts so the consumer is easily able to return or exchange a part if it does not meet their expectations. Concerns about the efficiency of the used OEM part is alleviated so that the customer can feel confident in what they are buying.

Purchasing used OEM parts for reuse is also an important way to contribute to environmental conservation and rehabilitation. The predominant goal of the Auto Salvage Industry is to recognize, treat and dispose of automotive waste and byproducts by encouraging the reuse of operable automotive parts, maintaining proper disposal of toxic fluids and eliminating waste piling up in landfills and decreasing air and water contaminants. According to the online article “Why Use Recycled Parts”, Automotive Recyclers Association, “Approximately 86 percent of a vehicle’s material content is recycled, reused or used for energy recovery.” The scrapping of steel reduces the need to acquire new iron ore and largely decreases the associated air and water pollutants born from the refinement of it in the automotive manufacturing industry. The consumer plays an extremely valuable part in this conservation effort when selecting and installing used OEM parts. Keeping the planet green for future generations to enjoy is a collaborative effort and both the automotive industry and the consumer can work together to take beneficial steps to accomplish this goal. Recycled OEM auto parts are a fine alternative for making factory specific repairs, however, when making custom or creative modifications on an automobile many customers may turn to Aftermarket Parts to fill the void.

Aftermarket Parts are made by outside manufacturers to be similar to the original part. This type of part seems to be the “middle of the road” option for most consumers and can be obtained easily for both new and used vehicles. They are fresh out of the box, but careful research may be needed when considering buying from an unfamiliar or unproven brand. In some cases, the Aftermarket part can be less expensive or will be sold at top dollar prices. They may feature specific refinements that may be put into place to allow it to perform better than the original, making them an attractive buy. Aftermarket choices can provide extremely positive results or a depressingly negative outcome for the consumer. The difference between the two seems to be in the quality of the part sold and paying particularly close attention to the quality evaluation and fit specifications of these parts. Aftermarket Parts are generally more expensive than used OEM but less expensive than new OEM parts. There are plenty of choices of manufacturers in the Aftermarket parts industry but not all are reliable sources and offer less or no warranty protection, unlike their counterparts. This can leave the customer holding onto a part that will not fit with no prospect of getting their money back. Aftermarket parts are popular when doing modifications that were not a part of the original manufacturer design, so if creative or advanced performance options are desired they may be the only option to perform these changes.

The automotive parts industry is diverse and the options for parts with which to make your repair seem to lie solely on what factors are important to you or are necessary to achieve the desired outcome. If budget repair is your top priority you would be well urged to buy high quality used OEM parts and take advantage of the associated warranties which make them an extremely attractive buy and contributes to the health of the environment. If this option fails to secure your desired result, the pursuit of Aftermarket parts may be the next best avenue for making repairs or replacements.