Its an unfortunate and unavoidable fact of life that the cars we drive need to be serviced and maintained on a regular basis. Often repairs need to be done on them too. This requires for you to buy spares and parts.

Most, if not all the time, car owners are outraged at the prices of new parts from the manufacturer. In most cases buying parts directly from manufacturers could also mean that you would have to pay high shipping and courier costs and long delays waiting for parts to be ordered and delivered before being fitted into your car. This can cause great inconvenience as most South Africans need their vehicles for day to day functionality.

Buying parts online has become one of the best ways of “cutting out the middleman” when it comes to looking for parts that you need. As convenient and easy as it may seem to buy parts online, we all know how that could lead to unsatisfactory results. The internet is known for its con artists and unfortunately buying online puts you at risk of being conned out of your hard-earned money.

When shopping online, be clear as to what you are looking for. You need to know the exact name, definition and size variation of the parts that you are looking for. I could easily say I am looking for spark plugs for my VW Polo but this could be confusing and unclear to a supplier who has a variety of VW spark plugs in their product range. People often use different terminologies which is why you need to do your homework and make sure that you are as clear and factual as possible.

Do your research. Don’t just jump onto any website and start “adding to cart”. Look around a bit, look out for website/shop reviews. This could help in proving the authenticity of the online store you are planning on purchasing from. Take your time in finding a trusted supplier that offers good quality parts. Compare prices, this will ensure that you get the best deal.

As pricey as it may be opting for original parts and spares, it is always advisable to go for known brands. Buy parts from sights that offer a warranty of the product. It’s no use buying a cheap part for half the price of the original/good quality if the part will only last you two months before having to be replaced again.

I still prefer going into spares and parts shops, that way I can even take a sample of what I am looking for with me compared to shopping online. By doing so there is a much lower chance of me ending up with the wrong parts but not all South Africans have that option due to our busy schedules which is how one ends up opting for online purchases.

By Noni Nchwe