Car Parts: A Guide to Buying Online
With the ever increasing availability of online car parts, consumers have enormous choice. This article has been prepared by Cyberspace Auto Parts and is a guide for consumers who are looking to make an online purchase. It identifies some of the pitfalls and gives advice on how to mitigate some of the risks associated with purchasing car parts online.
Identifying the Right Car Parts
- No matter how handy you may be, or how much you think you know about cars, don’t make a diagnosis without checking with a qualified mechanic first. If you have problems later, you may void your warranty or ability to exchange the purchased car parts once installed.
- Rather than rely only on the seller to recommend the right car parts, call your local dealer and get the part numbers you require. Some dealers may not give this information out over the telephone. In these cases, call another dealer.
- Contact the online seller and confirm the part numbers. Do this even if they have the car parts listed for your application (without the part numbers).
- If you receive car parts that look incorrect, do not install them. If you do, you may not be able to exchange them. Contact the seller immediately.
- Be aware that some car parts have multiple part numbers.
- Be aware that some car parts may have superseded part numbers or may have been revised and look different to the original car parts or photos provided online. In these circumstances, the car part is ok.
- If buying online car parts from a seller in another country, it is essential that you use part numbers to identify the required car parts. Overseas applications may vary even if the cars appear to be the same.
- Unless the seller is very reputable, make sure you only buy online car parts which have photos of the actual part on the advertisement. That way you know what to expect when you receive them.
- Although not always effective, checking the photos of online car parts may help differentiate them from other car parts that may also be applicable to your application.
Quality of Car Parts
- There are various levels of quality when buying car parts online.
- Ask the seller about brands of the car parts you are interested in.
- Please be aware that the vehicle's manufacturer does not always manufacture the car parts you are replacing. For example, many cars have Bosch fuel injectors installed in the vehicle by the manufacturer. In these cases, Bosch fuel injectors are the genuine replacement. If you buy your fuel injectors from Ford, they may come in Ford packaging even though they are Bosch injectors. If you buy your car parts online and receive them in packaging such as Bosch, that does not mean your car parts are not genuine.
- Ask the seller whether there is a warranty and for how long the warranty applies to your car parts. Also ask whether there are any conditions on the warranty. One such condition may be that the car parts be installed by a licensed mechanic.
- While there is a preference to replace your car parts with genuine parts, many aftermarket brands are built to OE quality standards and will suit your application just fine.
- In the EFI market, you can always rely on brands such as Bosch, Delphi, Hitachi, Denso,Walker, VDO, Valeo, Standard, General Electric, Walbro, Pierburg, Bremi, Bougicord etc. Cyberspace Auto Parts stocks these brands.
- Cheaper car parts manufactured in countries such as China are the ones where greater care needs to be taken. While some of these car parts are built well, others are not. Ask your seller about the reliability of these car parts as well as the warranty.
- Remember you get what you pay for. There are many online sellers listing car parts that appear to be a bargain, however it is important to note that these car parts may not last very long, or worse still, they may put you and your family in danger.
- Be aware of fake or counterfeit car parts and report someone trying to sell these. A Bosch 044 fuel pump for example may be listed as “Bosch 044 ‘style’ fuel pump” or “Bosch 044 ‘replacement’ fuel pump”. This may be misleading as the fuel pump is not a genuine Bosch and ’Bosch’ should not feature in the title. Others simply advertise fake car parts as genuine items and sell these with fake packaging. Buy from a reputable seller and purchase your car parts using paypal (see below) so that you’re covered.
- Don’t always go for the cheapest car parts. Remember that a reputable and trusted seller will provide you quality car parts, better service and further assistance after they have sold the car parts to you (if needed). Things can go wrong so ensure you are dealing with someone you trust.
- Look for sellers who are members of professional industry bodies. Cyberspace Auto Parts is a member of the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association.
- Read the terms and conditions of the transaction and ask questions before committing purchasing your car parts. Often the terms are displayed at checkout or on a separate page of the website. There may be disclaimers about the photos and/or information displayed on the website.
- It is highly recommended that you use a form of payment for your car parts that provides you with cover in case something goes wrong. Credit card companies or Paypal provide such a service. For example, you may be eligible for a refund if your item does not arrive, arrives damaged or is not what you were expecting. For more information refer to the Paypal website or your credit card company.
- Online sellers may not take responsibility for your car parts once they have despatched them.
- Check which courier company your seller is using.
- If your car parts are required urgently, ask how many days before they are despatched.
- There may be a processing period which is independent of the time taken to arrive once despatched. For example you may select and pay for express post, but your car parts may not be shipped for two days after your purchase is made.
- Express Post does not mean your car parts will arrive the next day. The processing period may need to be taken into consideration (see above) or you may be outside of the express post network.
- Will your car parts be despatched with tracking? This is particularly important if you are buying from another country.
- Ask for the tracking number.
- If buying from another country, your car parts may be held up in customs or your car parts may be incur tax. Please note, these circumstances are not the responsibility of the seller and are out of their control.
- When your car parts arrive, will they require a signature before they are released. Will you be at the address at the time?
Car Parts from Cyberspace Auto Parts
Cyberspace Auto Parts was one of the first online sellers of EFI and engine management car parts and has been involved in the industry for many years. Over this period, Cyberspace Auto Parts has become a trusted online seller by providing quality car parts and service exclusively for the online market. In that time, Cyberspace Auto Parts has developed a reputation for a fast and responsive service to help get your vehicle back on the road quickly. Our product range is extensive and continues to grow. It covers most Australian and International vehicles applications. We exclusively deal in well known, quality brands to ensure you get long lasting and efficient use of your vehicle. Best of all, our prices are amongst the most competitive of all online shops.