If you have experience buying and searching for parts online you would say that is the best thing since sliced bread. No need to drive around or call around to the local auto parts stores, unless of course you need a part immediately. The internet has made it easier than ever for consumers to shop and compare prices when buying auto parts online. Not only can the shop prices they can read customer reviews from satisfied or dissatisfied customers who have purchased the same product and henceforth make more educated buying decisions. However, if you’ve never taken the dive into the inter webs in search of a specific part, you may find it a bit intimidating. Fear not, follow these tips and you’ll be ordering and receiving your part by the end of the work week.
Know Your Vehicle’s VIN
I’m not saying to memorize it but having it handy can absolutely expedite the part search process. Typically a parts site will make you choose your vehicle’s year, make, model, engine and trim package. Entering your VIN will auto populate all of those fields, quickly taking you to pages with parts for your vehicle only. Many people didn’t know that their vehicle VIN is actually on their proof of insurance so look there first. VINs are also located on the inside of the driver side door near the door latch and on the driver side of the windshield visible from outside the vehicle.
Read Some Reviews
As mentioned in the intro, consumer reviews are one of the biggest advantages to online shopping. The reviews you’ll be looking for aren’t about the part itself, though. Read reviews that talk about customer service and speed of delivery, those will be a good indicator of how to expect your transaction to go in case, God forbid, the wrong part(s) are sent to your door. Spending money is always a more pleasant experience with friendly and willing customer service. Read at least 10 reviews to get a solid sample and make your decision based off of that.
Shop Around, Open Multiple Tabs
Be sure and look at where parts dealers are located, though many will ship internationally you might pay more for shipping. If you were in Canada a good search would be “auto parts Canada”. Your web browser likely has the capability of opening multiple pages simultaneously by using new tabs. This is a great way to price shop. Locate your part, add it to your cart and then go open a new tab and to the same thing at a competing website. By looking at the cart totals you can see who has the best product and shipping prices.