When your car breaks down, and you’re on a tight budget, buying a used car part can get your car running smoothly again. There are many resources online for getting the best deal on a used car part, but I am going to outline the top resources I normally search.
This site connects allows you to search all the auto recyclers in the US and Canada. Most junk yards use the same inventory software and it uploads their entire inventory to this site on a daily basis. There are over 120 million parts in their database – you can use the search or multi-part search if you know what you need, and if you’re not sure, you can use the image search to easily click on the correct part. They have a Live Chat button which allows you to instantly connect to the recycler and ask questions or arrange a purchase.
Everyone knows Craiglist. It’s free to post and search for items other people want to trade or sell. They have a category specifically for Auto Parts and after selecting your city, just enter the part you’re looking for in their search form. You can find a lot of great deals this way, either from individuals or recyclers. Ideally, you would want to meet with the person, inspect the part and pay cash. If you are not able to meet up, and want to ship the parts, I suggest you pay using a secure method like PayPal so you have some sort of protection if someone decides to screw you. The downside of this option is you probably won’t get a parts warranty if you decide to buy from another individual.
There a tons of online communities (forums) for car enthusiasts. They usually have a forum specifically for trading and selling parts. Simply create an account and create a post with the parts you are looking to buy or browse the existing posts. This is a great resource to find great deals, as most of the people posting parts for sale are other individuals and most of the time you will find what you are looking for. However, I strongly recommend you pay cash or with PayPal if you are shipping parts. To find these forums simply search Google with the following search term [your car make]+forums. So if I was searching for Honda related forums I would enter honda+forums in Google.
Not exactly a surprise here, most people now you can find car parts on Ebay. There are a lot of auto recyclers and individuals selling parts on Ebay and you will most always find the part you are looking for. Ebay has a great feedback system so you can see how many feedback a specific seller has received before you decide to buy. You can either bid in an auction or Buy Now. However, I find auctions are where you get the best deals. Many sellers use the Buy Now system to get a higher price for their parts. Ebay recommends people use PayPal when checking out, which offers you an added level of security.
Oodle Marketplace (Facebook Marketplace)
This is a less known resource. I have not personally used it but I know people who have. There is a Facebook app called Marketplace by Oodle. It allows you to trade/sell/buy items with other Facebook users. They have a category specifically for Car Parts and Accessories. Each item has pictures and a description and you can ask the seller questions and see questions other users asked the seller about the same item. Just like Craiglist and Forums, you are dealing with other individuals, so you probably won’t get a parts warranty.
So there you have it, 5 resources to help you find a great deal on used car parts.
However, before I leave you here are a couple more points to keep in mind,
- If buying online from someone unknown, do your research. Find out if anybody else has dealt with them to make sure you are not going to regret it.
- If buying from a business or auto recycler, make sure the part has a warranty and make sure you get it in writing.
- If shipping parts, always use a secure system of payment like PayPal. If for some reason you don’t receive your parts, or they are not the condition the seller advertised, you can file a dispute and maybe get your money back.
- Always inspect the part, ideally before or if you are shipping parts, upon receiving them. If you receive a part via UPS/USPS/DHL and it’s damaged or not what you ordered you can refuse to receive it and they will return to the seller. Do not sign for it, until you have inspected it!