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Shopping Smart? Spending Less?

NissanHow many times have you jumped at the chance to purchase a part at some crazy low price, only to be disappointed when the merchant did not ship promptly, or did not communicate via e-mail during the order processing? You search the website trying to find contact information only to wind up at a dead end, frustrated. Where in the heck is my order? Then days or weeks later the item finally arrives and it is not a genuine part. It is some after market knock off of the real thing and lacks the quality of your original part, a part that most likely served you well for several years and many, many miles.

What happens next? Can you return the item? Will the merchant pay return shipping? Where is their phone number? How much time are you willing to spend playing these silly games?

This scenario can go on and on and have many variables depending on the company you chose to do business with.

There is a simple solution. Purchase from a business that is reputable, has great reviews and/or feedback, and has e-mail and phone contact information displayed on their home page. Call or e-mail them first to see if there is an actual human working and answering customer's questions.

Point #1 in this article deals with quality of a part.
You bought a Nissan, Ford, Chevy or whatever. Purchase the parts that were designed for your vehicle by the manufacturer. In 25+ years as a Nissan parts representative and parts manager, I have seen a lot. It is sad to see a nice vehicle turned in to a less than reliable piece of transportation that is loaded down with after market "fake" parts. More than once a customer has complained about an issue with their car and after further inspection the car is full of these imitation parts. The quality and reliability is not the same as the original genuine part. In the long run and many times the short run, a customer will wind up unhappy with their decision to possibly save a few dollars now. The old saying "You get what you pay for" applies here. A great example is brake pads.

Aftermarket pads are predisposed to squeaking. No joke. They simply squeak and irritate you at every stop. Also the so called "lifetime warranty" is misleading. Can you really keep track of your receipt for the rest of your life so when these aftermarket "lifetime" pads do wear out you can get a replacement? Do you really expect a wearable part to last for the rest of your life? That warranty is usually for a manufacturer defect such as cracking of the pad material. What they fail to tell you is that these aftermarket, tough as diamonds brake pads will wear down your brake rotor at a phenomenal rate. Why are these pads so "hard'? It is because the harder material is less expensive to manufacture than the advanced materials used in higher priced quality brake pads that are designed to wear properly, not kill your brake rotors and most importantly, perform with the original safe stopping power the way the vehicle was designed. Do you really want to risk safety with a lesser quality part that does not stop your vehicle the way it did when it was new? There are NO FMVSS standards for aftermarket replacement pads or linings. FMVSS135 is a minimum braking performance standard set by the National Highway Traffic & Safety Admin (NHTSA).

More examples are sensitive electronic components that fail and leave you stranded on the side of the road. I can go on and on with scenarios of things I have experienced in my career.

Would you really buy your next car from Joe's Auto Parts or Bob's Auto Parts Emporium? They do not manufacture the vehicle. They do not produce parts designed by engineers with technical scientific college degrees. Their parts are simply copies of the real thing made with lower quality components and materials.
Join me for Part 2 next month. I will address key areas that will help make your buying decision a well educated one. You can follow our Blog at http://www.NissanPartsNow.com
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