Pitfalls of Sourcing Auto Parts Online

auto parts and tools

Shopping for Automotive parts online is one of the modern conveniences life has to offer, if the right stuff shows up. My name is Mark and this is a low resolution cell phone picture of my toolbox with a replacement starter motor on the left. Where did it come from and why?

You don’t have to leave home to search places to buy car parts. Everything is only a click away and can be delivered right to your doorstep. It doesn’t get any better then that, if the right parts arrive on time. When the wrong stuff comes your screwed. I have purchased car accessories and parts online many times with mixed results.

I eventually returned to my local store because if they give me the wrong parts I can resolve it in the same day. This was until I became friendly with a parts driver and we had a conversation about where his parts are coming from. It turns out that when items are not in stock the brick and mortar store would order online and then mark up each individual part a standard cost plus 30%.

Sourcing Online Auto Parts

After bribing the parts driver with a free oil change he revealed the location and website to me. The answer was “APW”. After reading some user reviews that were not all positive I performed some research on the top rated auto parts companies. I decided to give it a try for myself.

This online mega supplier is a division of US auto parts. One of the most respected and largest in the industry. They are actually a result of the merger between Auto Part Warehouse and the Parts Train companies. Both brands are now controlled by US auto parts.

US auto parts

This is the same company that provides stock for some of the largest chain stores in the United States. These are the main categories they have to choose from: Direct Replacement Parts, High Performance, Body Kits, Car Accessories, Car Care Items, Regular Maintenance, Gift Catalog.

Since I’m paranoid about getting the right items on the first attempt I usually go for the live chat option to confirm that 1) That everything is coming in one order at the same time and 2) That a representative verifies part numbers for my application. After a bunch of times with no problems I now trust them and just use the streamline ordering.

Their website has many unique features I have not seen before. They have nearly perfected buying automobile supplies online. The site search is user-friendly with many options. One allows you to save current make model and year of the vehicle for quicker searching on your next visits.

The online store also has weekly, daily, and holiday promotions to help keep the price down. Unlike some suppliers they don’t use shipping charges as a profit center and they deliver anywhere in the world. They make plenty of money just as wall mart does by purchasing in bulk. A recent purchase for my own truck was a cold air induction kit. They beat the best price I could find.

APW Offers a Unique Feature

Another valuable feature of this online auto parts store is the available live chat feature I use to use this on every order as I stated above. I should probably provide more details about it just in-case you want to try it for yourself.

Live Chat connects you instantly with a professional parts counter person to help you with any parts questions before the final order is placed. This can reduce the need for returning ordered items. The live chat feature might be better than the counter person at your local store.

The local store wants to give you car parts they have in stock whether they’re what you need or not. The counter person at the live chat feature wants to make sure you get the right parts the first time. If they get wrong they get returns and added shipping costs that come out of their pocket.

Some say the local guy will scan my car for free and tell me whats wrong with it. Not exactly the case. He is not allowed to clear codes, so even after the car is fixed you still need your own scan tool. Even if the counter person tells you what code is set in memory this will still need diagnosis.

Example, If you set a code for rich exhaust the cause needs to be pinpointed. The Web lets you search the ends of the earth for the things you need from the comfort of your own home and have it delivered right to your door within 24-48 hours depending on the availability of your request.

Share this online auto parts page with friends or bookmark for yourself.

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If you don’t want to try APW then the other place I use is Amazon. Here is a link to some Popular replacement parts at their automotive store.

Learn more about do it yourself auto repair and how to overcome the challenges you may face fixing your own car in the driveway. This next link takes you to the section of this website about At Home Auto Repair If your installing these car parts in the driveway at home you might have better results following the step by step instructions from an OEM manual.

Why did I build this website and who am I? You can learn a lot on the homepage and find more answers to automotive repair questions.