Car Parts New and Used
Say “aftermarket parts”, and many think you mean “black market parts”, but the terms have nothing to do with each other at all. Aftermarket parts are simply any car parts not sourced from the original automaker. In other words, an aftermarket Opel alternator could be used or new, but it wasn’t made by Opel! This touches on another big issue in the spares industry, and that is the perception that car parts are always expensive and sometimes ridiculously so. While it’s obviously going to be true that there will be outlets shamelessly charging top dollar, trading on their convenient location or some other factor that ensures they always have customers, in spite of their lousy approach.
That’s one small aspect of the car parts industry, but a far bigger reality lies beneath the perception of car parts being pricey. The truth is, sometimes, they are. Without discrediting what it costs to machine car components, the fact of the matter is there’s a darker dynamic at play in the auto industry. If you buy a car, and five years from now, the steering has gone because you liked to throw it around the track on some weekends, you’re going to buy a new steering rack. Automakers know this, they know that they have in you (and millions of others) a fairly captive audience. That’s not to say they shamelessly exploit people, just that it’s a lousy consumer dynamic, where both parties know you’re going to want your car to stay on the road, even if the price hurts.
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) is Great, but Used or Generic Can Be as Good
Cars themselves are a big purchase. Automakers know that unless it’s a corporate buy or otherwise part of some fleet management scheme, people are going to want to repair their cars when they break down to keep moving. In fact, this reality is what has spurred the aftermarket spares trade to greater heights time and again. There is room aplenty for auto spares makers and dealers to fit in behind the automakers themselves, precisely because OEM spares are not shy on price. Think about it. If automakers were out to reward you for buying their brand by giving you the level best deal on the cost of quality spares, there would be no aftermarket. It’s only because there is such a huge profit margin at times on OEM spares that the alternative new and used car parts trade can flourish.
That said, you might be wondering, what’s the diffs? What are the benefits if any of buying only OEM parts or alternatively used spares? Well, both have pros and cons, although a reputable dealer will guarantee whatever they sell, new or used. That already gives the understanding that, again, the used and alternative (non-OEM) parts market can only remain in existence if it provides value for money, just like any other industry. Aftermarket parts are less expensive than OEM spares. That’s their first benefit. Here a trusted outlet (you need one of those!) will give you a good idea of the average price of whatever car parts you’re looking for. You’ll know if something is far too cheap and you’ll know when you’re being quoted a price that’s too high, because you’ll have been given an idea of what the average is on new and used spares by your chosen supplier.
Quality, Quality, Quality
Did you know that the quality can actually improve with non-OEM new spares? Some auto spares makers engineer the issues out of OEM parts, and you end up with an aftermarket part that is equal in quality but somewhat superior in performance. That being said, of course there’s still junk out there, but your auto spares dealer will point you in the right direction so that you can make an informed decision. In the aftermarket arena, too, there are known brand names, and then the rest. The brand name aftermarket suppliers manufacture great quality spares, as a general rule. Alternative spares boost availability no end too. Imagine if everyone had to wait for automakers to first manufacture and then ship car parts from wherever in the world they are? You wouldn’t be able to waltz down to the local spares shop on a Saturday morning and be moving again by Monday!
Sticking with quality, here come the aftermarket cons. Quality does vary among suppliers, not only on new spares, but on the used spares that dealers strip too. Take that sound advice from your chosen car parts supplier or mechanic again, however, and you’ll be alright. Sometimes the sheer abundance and variety of aftermarket spares can be overwhelming, and although it provides great choice and price competition, it can lead to newbies buying junk. Lean on your regular supplier, and you’ll do fine. Lastly, for aftermarket cons, there’s another angle on their abundance that can hamper car parts shoppers. Not only is there a variety of suppliers to choose from when buying aftermarket parts, but there will be some tweaks and touches that, for anyone not in an overall and covered in grease most days, will make them seem like completely different parts. They’re not, but the manufacturer’s advertising has run away with them and the colour, claimed unique attributes or other factors will vary so widely between two makers of what is essentially the exact same component, that you’ll be stuck and unable to gauge price versus price and quality against quality.
A.S.A.P. Spares Only Sells Quality Spares, So Here You’re in Good Hands
Did we mention this before? Lean on your chosen spares’ supplier, insist on it, because any reputable supplier will be only too happy to tell you what’s what and why you should choose this and not that. Whatever you’re facing and whatever your inclination towards new, used, or strictly OEM parts, call on A.S.A.P. Spares first, because we’re a different kind of parts dealer.
We’re somewhat insistent that the often heavy prices for OEM parts should be offset by people like us stepping into the aftermarket trade and lowering prices without compromising quality for everyone. We’ve made a business out of honest car parts trading, selling only quality parts that we’re happy to guarantee. Call us first when next you’re shopping car parts and see what a difference having a friend on the inside makes!