02 May 2019
If you are looking to replace a part in your vehicle that has stopped working, then you will find that you have two options.
One option is to buy the part from the same manufacturer as the original part (This is called an OEM part). Such OEM parts are usually expensive though.
The other option is to buy the same part from another manufacturer apart from the OEM manufacturer, who would be selling it at a much cheaper price. Such parts are called aftermarket parts.
In this article you will learn:
> When and why to go for aftermarket parts?
> Are Aftermarket parts safe?
> Pros & Cons of Aftermarket parts
> OEM vs Aftermarket parts
> How to buy a good aftermarket part?
What we know: Aftermarket parts cost a lot less but can be inferior in quality to an OEM option.
Case I: If your vehicle is brand new & somehow the original part failed (due to an accident or any mishap) then going for OEM part may make sense, if you want only the best of the best for your new vehicle & don’t mind spending extra on it.
Case II: However, if your vehicle is relatively old and the original part failed, then going for an aftermarket part makes the most sense, as there will be other parts that will need to be replaced sooner or later and buying OEM for each part may put a strain on your pocket.
If you find yourself in Case I, then go for an OEM part.
If it is Case II, then go for an aftermarket part BUT ONLY AFTER READING How to buy a good aftermarket part section given below in the article.
The reliability of aftermarket parts is an understandable concern, however, safety issues surrounding aftermarket parts are almost as rare as OEM parts because even though they are not OEMs they are still manufacturers of automobile parts that must pass the International quality standards.
Thus, you can forget about fearing safety issues if you buy from the right seller just follow our guide further below. Some aftermarket or non-OEM manufacturers use high-quality materials in their products & sometimes they even beat OEM manufacturers in terms of product quality.
"According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), aftermarket parts don’t harm your vehicle until & unless they have any loopholes".
Less expensive: Aftermarket parts are clearly way cheaper than OEMs.
"As per the report shared by the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), Non - OEM saves up to 1.5 billion dollars of consumers. The OEM parts are approximately 60% more expensive than Non - OEM ones."
Get more for less: There is a lot of competition in the aftermarket & more competition is always good for the consumer!
Aftermarket sellers try to beat off the competition by offering more services like Fast & Free-delivery, Warranty & Technical support at the least possible prices to win your trust.
Easily Available: Aftermarket parts are easily available at both online & also offline stores. So no need to wander in search of the perfect replacement for your vehicle. Simply order a new replacement online & get it delivered at your doorstep!
Quality May Vary: There are some manufacturers who use the cheapest possible materials, unsurprisingly leading to poor quality parts.
Too many options may be confusing: It is easy to get confused with so many options to choose from, with each one claiming to be the best.
As of now, you have read about the virtues & inequity of aftermarket parts. It’s time to compare OEM & aftermarket parts.
OEM parts are a lot more expensive than the aftermarket parts. Sometimes you have to just pay for the brand name.
|Dozens of aftermarket parts are available in just half the price of OEM ones.|
The availability is poor. Many times you may have to go to their “exclusive” retail dealer to find them. Many are not available online.
|Easily available online. You can order them online, get the product on your doorstep.|
|Quality||The quality of the OEM is assured.||The quality of some aftermarket parts can be too similar with an OEM part.|
Most of the OEM makers provide the warranty of one year. Since the quality of the product is high, they usually don’t wear out soon.
|May or may not have a warranty. For selling it on too low price, many sellers put the warranty on stake.|
Buying an aftermarket part for your vehicle makes a lot of sense as apart from being easily available online, they are way cheaper than an OEM part.
But it can also be a tricky business as aftermarket options are many & the quality varies from seller to seller. So it becomes crucial to know how to find your way to a good aftermarket seller/part & how to avoid the bad ones trying to lure you. Follow the steps below:
Well, when it comes to the online purchasing of aftermarket parts, one has various options like Amazon, Seller Website both have their own significance.
Amazon: Amazon is a great market where you find products from different sellers in one place. Check reviews & ratings that help in deciding the right part from the right seller.
Seller Website: The second option is the seller website. Here you can find the same parts but cheaper than Amazon. Amazon charges fees for selling on their portal, so prices are higher on Amazon than a sellers website.
1. Ensure their website is secure and they are not trying to dupe you. Look for a Verisign or sign on their payment portal.
2. Choose a seller whose customer support is active so that you do not end up with a failed product and no one to pick your call for a replacement of Aftermarket parts.
i) Match all specifications with your original part requirements for proper fitment.
ii) Match OEM numbers or Manufacturer part nos. You can usually find them engraved on the original part that you want to replace.
iii) Read reviews. Many reviews tell you that their item did not fit or fit really well.
iv) Input/ match correct model, make and manufactured year of the vehicle.
If you have checked the fitment, you will usually find that you still have 2 or more sellers to choose from who are providing parts that match your fitment requirements and are within your budget too. Use the parameters below to select the right one to buy from:
Price and shipment cost
i) Affordable price along with right fitment should be your priority.
ii) Free shipment is like the cherry on top of the cake. Look for sellers who give free shipping & avoid those whose price goes up as soon as you enter your address.
Warranty and Replacement
i) Choose the one with at least a 1-year warranty because aftermarket parts tend to have higher failure rates, so a warranty cover is a must!
ii) Active customer support is the most overlooked factor while making a smart aftermarket purchase. Try contacting the seller before buying from them to see if they respond to your call or mail. Chances are that they won’t be responding when you need a replacement under warranty.
Reviews, Rating & Product Description
i) Judge the quality of a product by reading the reviews.
ii) Negative reviews can save you from buying a product which may not work for you.
iii) Reviews give invaluable advice on product fitment, installation, and overall usage.
iv) Do not get fooled by lofty claims by sellers on their listings. For e.g. many aftermarket products claim to be better than OEM, which is mostly not the case.
Choosing to buy aftermarket parts instead of OEM parts can be a smart decision, but you need to be smart while buying them. If you follow the suggestions above, you should be able to find yourself saving a good amount of money! (up to even $300-400 in some cases!).
Remember: “A penny saved is a penny earned.” Happy replacements!