ORLANDO, Fla. – As a young sales professional, Crystal Perez does a lot of traveling, but she admits she didn’t know what to do when her car broke down, leaving her stranded in the middle of the road.
“It died on me on the road as I was going up a hill, so that’s how I found out there was a problem with my fuel pump,” Perez said.
As any of us would do, Perez took her car to a local mechanic. The amount she was told it would cost to repair her car was higher than she expected.
“The guy told me it was a fuel pump and it was a dealer part only, which to me would mean they’re going to jack up the price. He told me the price was going to be about $400 dollars,” Perez said.
Instead of paying what she thought was an outrageous amount of money right away, Perez although she knows very little about cars -- decided to do some research and purchase that fuel pump herself online.
Wanting a better deal, she went straight to eBay and typed in the year, make and model of her car and the part she was looking for. Perez didn’t even enter an official part number, but up popped a list of new parts at lower prices than the one she had been told at the dealership.
“The one I went with was online for $249 dollars,” Perez said.
After only about five minutes of looking online, Perez was able to save $150 and didn’t even have to pay for shipping!
“The part was delivered to me in four to five days, to my home, and I just took it to the repair shop and they installed it,” said Perez.
Junior Bekdely owns Redline Auto Sports with his father, Ali, and he says they have no problem installing parts purchased and brought in by customers. He agrees that they can save quite a bit of cash by shopping online.
“We’re here to serve the customer, so if they bring their own steak, then we’ll cook it for them,” said Bekdely.
“Going online, finding the part yourself, you’ll save 30 to 50 percent. Even more!”
Steve Alfieri, with Russel Automotive in Apopka, says customers should be careful when shopping online for car parts.
“Yeah, you’re paying for what you get,” said Alfieri. “Typically, it’s not a quality piece. It can come straight off the shelf not working.”
We found several websites selling auto parts as prices that allow customers to save money,including RockAuto.com, CarParts.com, PartsGeek.com, eBay and even Amazon.
Experts we’ve talked to say if you’re going to buy your parts online, they should be new and come with a warranty.
Also, make sure your mechanic will install them for you, or you may have to go somewhere else.