Your heavy-duty 4×4 is your go-to vehicle for travel. No matter the terrain, heat, snow, sleet, or rain, this machine triumphs through all. Hills and rocks, mud and muck, sand and stream, none of these can’t stop its march.
That kind of workload takes its toll, though, and stock parts will not suffice for all circumstances. Buying genuine 4×4 accessories is crucial to keeping it good. It’s incredibly easy to get hoodwinked into buying spurious ones online. Fortunately, there are ways to cut through that clutter.
Direct From Source
Many manufacturers nowadays have their websites to sell their products directly to consumers. This includes car companies as well as third-party sellers. This is by far the safest way to get your desired accessories.
Check for the authenticity of the website, though. Some miscreants might create fake websites that would be hard to distinguish from the real one. Buying from such a site will not get you an original part. Furthermore, you might get duped of your cash altogether or have your card details stolen.
Use authenticity trackers to check for the authenticity of the website. Entering the right address is also important. Verifying where the internet ad or search result takes you matters as well.
Sighting the Real Sites
Genuine, high-quality 4×4 accessories and spare parts sellers online exist, but so do many pretenders. Some could be genuine but of poor quality too. Doing some research and taking precautions from your end will help you gain the right part from the best seller.
Some manufacturers don’t sell via their sites but through authorised channels. They could include online-only stores such as Amazon or Brick-and-Mortar stores, which have an online presence alongside their physical spaces. This is the next best way to purchase the part online, as there is a guarantee of the sellers and the manufacturer.
A few cautionary points are to be kept in mind, though. E-commerce players allow for anyone registered with them to sell on their marketplace. Sometimes, players selling duplicates also get into the mix, despite best efforts to stop them. To prevent them from affecting you, check for the seller’s name and their history. The company will have its brand name in the “Sold by” section.
Not all third-party sellers are scammers, though. Third-party players can also sell genuine parts on the same site alongside the company. Or the company might not sell directly, and these sellers will be carrying the product. In such cases, check the ratings, reviews, and history of the seller. Check the return policies of the site and seller as well.
Rating and reviews are the best way to separate the low-quality products from the higher-quality ones. That applies to genuine ones, too. Experienced users would have described the details of the product’s performance, sometimes with images and videos alongside.
Taking the Leap
This is the most risk scenario, and it involves buying from totally random sites and/or sellers. This particularly applies to accessories that are either not available in a particular market and have to be imported, or the model/make is rare/old, or the vehicle itself is old. The required accessories are hard to find.
Sites like eBay cater to this market. Anyone interested in selling any accessory can do so here. Fake products run rampant the most in these places. Sellers tend to be anonymous, might not even give their contact number to verify their authenticity.
The products they put up could be genuine but used or not genuine at all. Or they might put up images of genuine ones while trying to sell low-grade duplicates.
It’s best to contact the seller and ask them to show the product in real-time via images/videos. Meet any seller in a public place close to both, and verify the part by thoroughly examining it. Having an expert/experienced person alongside also helps.
Other Things to Note
Besides the above, there are things to look for to prove the authenticity of your purchased product. Genuine accessories tend to have holographic stickers with the brand name/logo present in them.
The packaging will be well put-together, frequently with tape at the openings, bearing the brand/company name/logo. Warranty stickers will be intact if present. Overall, fit-and-finish will be good without smudges and scratches.
Genuine, high-quality 4×4 accessories are an excellent asset for your vehicle. Navigating the virtual shopping terrain for it will help you navigate real terrains better.