Honda Parts Unlimited
Phoenix, Arizona 85023
Phone: 1 (866) 493-1265
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Why Amazon might not be the best choice for car parts
Today, Amazon is synonymous with online shopping. When someone wants to buy something online for the cheapest price, they often tend to search Amazon first – a habit that they believe saves them hundreds or thousands a year as opposed to going to a brick-and-mortar or an online store. Even so, is it really the best option for you if saving money is your primary goal? The answer unfortunately in a lot of cases, is no. Today we’d like to expose some truths about shopping on Amazon, and why it is not always the best when it comes to your Honda parts search.
FICTION: Amazon has numerous sellers in one place, so it should be easy to find the lowest price
While this may be logical to a degree, the reality is pricing on Amazon may not be the cheapest by design. Products listed on Amazon are typically at a competitive price compared to the Amazon marketplace, meaning that if a product is being sold at above the MSRP (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price) at first (which is very common), other sellers will only try to be competitive in comparison to that price, in order to garner your attention over another seller on Amazon, not the internet as a whole. This could result in you paying more than others online.
In fact, Savings.com ran a report in 2014 that on average, shoppers spent $47.50 more for the top 100 products on Amazon over the same product at a brick and mortar or online store.
Here you can see a product sold on Amazon with no MSRP. While it may seem like this part is listed fine, the actual MSRP is $7.30, meaning you’re paying more than MSRP for this part (even with free shipping). It might be a better option to buy this filter locally, as it would cheaper than buying from Amazon..
One of the other supposed benefits of shopping on Amazon is getting free shipping over certain shopping cart subtotals, or even getting free shipping without the need for an Amazon Prime account. This clever marketing ploy has been popular for many years online, and only means one thing. The shipping price is added to the cost of the part itself.
Now here is the same oil filter we showed you before, but this screen shows you all of the other sellers who also sell this item. Many of them are listed with free shipping on Amazon, including even Amazon themselves with free Prime Shipping however a closer look shows you that the price of that part is still much more than even the MSRP. Why? Because the shipping cost is built into the price.
OUR ADVICE: Always know what the actual MSRP is for an item, and take that into account when searching Amazon. If the product is listed at a higher “MSRP”, or there isn’t an MSRP listed, chances are it can be found much cheaper somewhere else. Also, while it may take a bit more searching, contacting online stores about shipping costs, and even trying to have sellers price match a total shipped price, could save you much more over Amazon, even with free shipping offers.As you can clearly see, we at Honda Parts unlimited sell the same part for $8.28 shipped. This part is cheaper on our site even though we list shipping, because we aren't the business of trying to fool you with buzzwords like "FREE SHIPPING!"
FICTION: Shopping with Amazon Prime means I get perks to buying parts from Amazon
Speaking of Amazon Prime, when you sign up for Amazon Prime, you get access to free same day and 2 day shipping on a lot of products, however it doesn’t mean you get that benefit on all products listed on Amazon. This is because most of the products listed are by individual sellers, and when it comes to car parts, the margins are far too low to be able to sell parts, ship same-day or even 2 day, and stay in business.
This means that while you pay for Prime, you still might be able to get a better price somewhere else after shipping is calculated.
EXAMPLELet's say you live in California, and are looking for that same oil filter as before. Since you live in California, and the list of sellers do not show you where they are shipping from, you feel like Amazon can get you the item quicker using Prime and 2-day shipping. The issue? If you only need the filter, you can't use Prime unless you spend over $39, so now that $9 filter, is costing you almost $40 just to get it in 2 days - along with whatever you else you might not have needed, but purchased. The reality is, if you simply searched the internet, you might have found us here at Honda Parts Unlimited. As you can see that same filter is only $8.69 shipped, and since we are in AZ, the part will only take 2 days using the cheapest shipping option.
OUR ADVICE: Simple internet searches for prices can actually save you in the long run. Amazon hopes your purchase falls under that $39 threshold, so you feel obligated to purchase more, which isn't cost effective to you, when you only need something simple and under $39.