Internet is a great way to shop. From the comfort of your chair, you can go from
one online shop to the next, comparing product prices and features so you always
get the best deals. You can also read product reviews of shoppers who have previously
bought an item and learn from their experiences. You save yourself the hassle
of actually going out to these stores, lining up to pay, and carrying back the
goods to your house. With just a few clicks of the mouse you can shop and buy,
and wait for your purchase to arrive at your doorstep within 5 days or less. This
is shopping convenience at its best and what’s more, online shops are open 24
hours a day!
So the next time you need a replacement
for your car, say a
new headlight or a
better exhaust muffler, buy online. You would be surprised to know that
there are hundreds of websites offering
a wide range of auto parts and accessories. Many of these online shops carry
OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) replacements and aftermarket performance
parts for your vehicle. Their massive online catalogues can be sorted according
to auto part, type of car, and year of make so you can zero in to what you need
in no time. Unlike your brick and mortar auto parts retailer, online
auto parts merchants will inform you through email or by phone when an accessory
that is not in stock becomes available.
There is no question about the convenience
offered by online auto parts shopping to busy car owners but you may want to
take certain precautions to ensure a smooth and enjoyable shopping experience.
Know your online retailer. You want only the best replacements for
your car so make sure you are shopping in reputable
online stores. Check out their inventory of car accessories. Does the store
offer a wide selection for a particular replacement? Does it provide relevant
information about the product features and pricing? Click on the site’s About
link and see if the store has clearly disclosed who they are and how to reach
them. A good way to determine an online store’s reputation is through the quality
of its customer service.
2. Protect your privacy.
Shop only at secure websites. When
you’re at the checkout page, the address on your browser should begin with ‘https’
instead of just ‘http’. ‘https’ means the the online transaction is being secured
from malicious interception. It is very important to read the store’s Privacy
Policy so you know exactly what the store will do with the personal and financial
information you are giving to them. Look for eTrust, VeriSign, HackerSafe, BBBOnline
Reliability Program, and other privacy enforcement seals to guarantee your security
3. Keep a record of your
note of the shipping and handling fees and total charges before you click on
that Buy button. The total price you pay for a new car part is often higher
than the published one. Make sure to printout receipts, confirmation emails,
and other information related to your order so you have something to back you
up in case you have questions or problems with the shipment.
4. Read the fine print.
There are cases when what is delivered to you is different from what you ordered
and you have to return it. While rare, errors such as this do happen so read
the online merchant’s cancellation, return, and complaint-handling policies.
Does the store offer warranties for its auto parts and accessories, and who
honors that warranty? Do you get a refund to your credit card or get a store
credit? If these are not posted, it is wise to call or send an email to customer
service first before going ahead with your purchase.
So there you have it. These tips
seem too much a bother at first but as you get to know the best auto
parts retailers online and become comfortable with their system, you eventually
save yourself some headaches and disappointments. Happy online shopping!