Buying Auto Parts Online vs in-Store

When it comes to buying auto parts, you have two options: shop in-store at a parts retailer like AutoZone or Advance Auto Parts, or buy online. Each has its pros and cons, so consider your needs and priorities to determine the best choice for you.


Shopping for auto parts on the internet offers convenience and competitive prices. You can browse a huge selection from home and often find deals and coupons to save money. Many trusted sites like AutoPartsWarehouse, RockAuto and PartsGeek offer a wide range of makes and models.

However, buying sight unseen means you can’t inspect the part yourself. Returns and refunds may be difficult, and you’ll have to pay return shipping fees if the part doesn’t fit or isn’t right. You also have to wait for delivery, which could take days and delay any repairs.


Heading to your local auto parts store allows you to see and touch the parts to check quality and fit. You can get advice from the staff about installation or alternatives. If the part is wrong or doesn’t work, returning it for an exchange or refund is usually easy since there’s no shipping involved. However, in-store prices are often higher, the selection may be more limited, and the stores aren’t always conveniently located.

In the end, for complex or expensive parts, buying in-person is probably your best bet. But for common, inexpensive parts, shopping online can save you time and money. Either way, be sure to check reviews from other customers to get the most bang for your buck, so you can get back on the road again.

Getting the Best Deals on Auto Parts

To save big on auto parts, check out outlet stores and websites that sell discounted, overstocked, or remanufactured parts. You can often find components for 30-90% off retail prices.

Look for outlet retailers that specialize in your vehicle make, like Ford, Chevy or Toyota parts outlets. They will have a wide selection of parts for your specific model. General automotive parts outlets like AutoZone Outlet, Advance Auto Parts Outlet and O’Reilly Auto Parts Outlet also offer deep discounts on supplies for all vehicle types.

Buy overstocked or remanufactured parts. Overstock parts are excess inventory the retailer couldn’t sell. Remanufactured parts are used components that have been factory reconditioned to like-new quality at a fraction of the cost of new parts. Both provide the same performance and warranty as new parts at outlet prices.

  • Search for coupons and promo codes to save an extra 10-20% on your order. Many outlets frequently run sales and promotions with stackable coupon codes for maximum savings.

Check multiple outlets for the best deal. Prices can vary significantly between stores, so compare prices on the exact same part numbers. Some outlets also price match if you find a lower price somewhere else.

Buy in bulk when possible. If there are multiple parts you need to replace at once, you can often get package discounts for purchasing all the parts together. You can also ask if the outlet offers any additional bulk purchase incentives.

Consider remanufactured engines or transmissions. For major drivetrain repairs, remanufactured assemblies can save you thousands of dollars vs. buying new. Most come with warranties comparable to new components.

Shopping outlets and remanufactured parts is a smart way to save money on auto repairs without sacrificing quality or reliability. With some time and patience finding the best deals, you can get your vehicle back on the road for much less.

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