If you haven't been in the market for used car parts before, you may have a false impression of what buying used car parts is like. Many people who are inexperienced with used part shopping picture ramshackle junk yards full of rusted out cars and unpleasant guard dogs. The truth is, shopping for used car parts today is a much more pleasant and streamlined experience. You may not realize it, but automotive recycling has grown into a $22 billion dollar a year business, and it's as organized as any other major industry. You can even do your used auto parts shopping online, if you prefer. Take a look at some tips for getting the used car parts you need online.
Check Local Sellers First
Just because you're shopping online doesn't mean you shouldn't start with the used auto parts sellers in your local area. There are a few reasons for this. It's usually more economical to find the part locally if you can. That way, instead of having it shipped to your door (and paying for shipping) you can just go picked it up – you'll save in shipping fees and you'll also get your part that much sooner. Save the shipping fees for rare or unusual parts that you have trouble finding locally – that's when shopping for parts through distant online sellers can be most beneficial.
It can also help you ensure that you bring home the correct part. While you should always make the effort to ensure that you have the right part before you complete your order online, picking it up in person gives you that last chance to look at it before the sale is final, and make sure that it's really the part you need. If you're inexperienced with buying car parts, this can come in handy. Your specific engine and transmission combination can affect which part model you need, and you'll learn that verifying the exact part number is a very important part of buying used car parts.
Know How to Negotiate
Even when you're buying online, you can negotiate for a better deal. You may need to call the dealership before placing your order to get a lower price, but some auto parts sellers can be negotiated with through email or their own websites.
Do your research before attempting to negotiate. The simplest way to get a better price is to ask the dealership to price match an offer from a different seller. Most of them will be willing to match the prices of a seller located in the same general area as a customer courtesy, so you may be able to choose the seller most convenient to you and have them match a lower price set by a seller located less conveniently.
However, you will need to be sure that you're asking them to match a comparable part. An engine that has 10,000 miles on it, for example, is very different from an engine that has 100,000 miles on it – even if they're the same make and model – and the price will reflect that. Don't expect the seller with the 10,000 mile engine to match the price of the 100,000 mile engine. The seller can look up the price you're asking to be matched as easily as you can, so make sure that your information is accurate.
Know Which Items Not To Buy Used
Most of the time, used car parts are a great money-saving solution. However, there are car parts that you should not buy used, even though you may see them for sale. Airbags and seatbelts are good examples – just like you shouldn't buy a used infant car seat, you shouldn't buy used safety parts for yourself and your passengers that are old enough to sit in the regular car seats. (Used seats are fine – just spring for new seatbelts!)
Brake components are also best purchased new. Brakes become unsafe with wear and tear, so it makes sense to start out with new, unworn parts – that way they last as long as possible. The extra use that you'll get out of new brake components instead of brake parts that are already worn make it worth the extra cost.
Used auto parts can make an expensive repair affordable, and knowing how to find them can aid you in learning how to upgrade or repair your own car for a reasonable price. Knowing how to shop for used parts online can make your auto parts buying experience much easier.