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Amazon Auto Parts Scam You Need to Know About

The old saw of “You Get What You Paid For” is nowhere more true than when it comes to auto parts with name brands on them that eventually prove to be inferior quality parts. Here’s the latest on why you should avoid any significantly less expensive auto parts regardless of the name brand claim---even if the seller swears it came from a name brand parts manufacturer.

Why Some Auto Parts are Bad

In a previous article we’ve learned about why OEM parts are preferable to aftermarket parts when it comes to car repairs and upgrades.

Related article: Aftermarket Auto Parts Warning Says This Mechanic

While part of the problem is due to counterfeit look-alike auto parts that are sold as the real thing, sometimes the real thing is not so good and is the reason why some car owners wind up with a bad repair because of the part replacement choice a mechanic made.

The Practice of “Binning”

How you can wind up with a bad part aside from overseas counterfeiting has to do with quality control (QC) practices used by manufacturers.

Parts that fail a QC test are discarded (binned) and typically not passed onto the parts supplier contracted. However, those “binned” parts do not always go the way of the landfill or even recycling as we would like to believe. As it turns out, a mechanic with a lot of experience in parts ordering points out the likelihood that those rejected parts are sometimes rebranded and sold to another supplier of auto parts.

Here's an example and discussion of the problem by a popular mechanic on the 100PercentJake YouTube channel who attempted to track down where his failing part came from and how this happened to him.

Please note the pertinent info is viewed from timepoint 0:00 to 9:40 on the video.

Don't get SCAMMED on AMAZON!

And finally…

The message here is that while you MIGHT get some perfectly good auto parts through Amazon at prices significantly less than from a dealership or other local storefront source, it is only a matter of when---not if---in which you will eventually get burned by a bad part and even wind up with additional repairs that go well above the cost of going with the OEM to begin with.

However, even bad OEM parts can slip through QC and in your garage. The saving grace here, however, is that legitimate parts suppliers typically guarantee their parts and offer protection for their customers when repairs go bad due to a faulty part they sold.

For additional articles related to buying parts for your car repairs, here are three for your consideration:

Everything You Need to Know About Saving Money Buying Toyota and Lexus Parts

Toyota Maintenance Non-OEM Parts Warning

The One Toyota Part You Do Not Want Replaced Because There is an Easy Fix

COMING UP NEXT: Should you Buy a Toyota Camry Hybrid Advice from a Toyota Mechanic

Timothy Boyer is a Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily new and used vehicle news.

Image Source: Pexels


Dav_Daddy (not verified)    October 22, 2022 - 1:54PM

Wait a minute I haven't watched the video yet but what's presented in the text doesn't make sense.

Amazon has a very customer centric return policy. I have never had a hard time returning anything I wasn't 100% happy with for any reason. In fact they usually claw my back before I've even mailed the return.

EBay on the other hand can be major PITA with returns to certain merchants. Especially overseas ones who will do everything they can to slow play you and run out the clock on a return. Amazon will boot a merchant off their platform for that stuff quick.

Timothy Boyer    October 22, 2022 - 2:25PM

In reply to by Dav_Daddy (not verified)

Well, while Amazon is much better than other online markets when it comes to returns, I believe the host of the video is talking specifically about when it comes to auto parts of which in his case a part failed in his car months after receiving the item. It might be hard to get a refund by that point. I would not be surprised to find that booting a merchant off Amazon's platform is only a small business hiccup for these types of sellers as I suspect some out-of-US sellers go under multiple account names. The point, however, is that actual name-brand parts are being sold on Amazon, that should not be sold due to QC issues. Watch the video, I think he makes a good argument affirming buying on the cheap has its risks.

Steve Henry (not verified)    October 23, 2022 - 10:59AM

In reply to by Dav_Daddy (not verified)

Yeah , return policy. After you have had the part Installed you will have to remove that part and have your car down again
That's a lot of time and money to waste, and the "return policy" won't cover those losses

Dan (not verified)    January 8, 2023 - 5:52PM

Come on now, that's a Rock Auto shipping box you're holding not a n Amazon box. But either way I've never had a problem with returns to either company

Joe (not verified)    January 24, 2023 - 9:51PM

Research is important. Had a heater blower fan go in my Benz, dealer wanted $742, I found the Benz part# and crossed referenced and found that Bosch is the oem manufacturer, found the same fan thru a parts distributer for $386.

Frank (not verified)    June 17, 2023 - 3:16PM

Purchased a "genuine OEM part" from an Amazon seller but it was fake. Wrote a review showing the fake auto part but Amazon blocked the review saying its not up to their standard. Amazon are protecting their sellers over the customers being scammed. Was able to return it the next day and was refunded, Had reward money used, no idea what happened to it.