So a while back I posted about the dangers of private labels in auto parts stores and how it’s bad for the consumer. Here’s another issue that I recently learned about… Let’s just say the stakes are even higher. A little background; auto parts stores buy from part manufacturers (or importers which are just middle-men vultures… Yes you Dorman) and sell to you and I. They (should) buy quality parts and support manufacturers by not putting known junk on the shelf. Does that happen?
No, it does not.
Retailers push for the cheapest prices junk that will just barely pass minimum to maximize profits. But now there is an even worse evil out there. Direct importing. Direct importing is where retailers (such as Advance for example) buy parts directly from an overseas vendor.
I cannot express how bad this is. Number 1: the retailers don’t qualify the parts at all. They are relying on someone thousands of miles away to do the right thing and build quality parts. Number 2: warranty returns do nothing to improve or fix the line. Calling overseas to ask them to make a change probably never happens meaning you get the same problems over and over again. Number 3: retailers set a bad example and show profits by doing so. The cheaper price allows for lower retail prices forcing others to move to this strategy thus forcing lower quality parts into the market as the norm.
Take this with a grain of salt; plenty of products from China and other countries overseas are of good quality. It’s just time consuming to weed out the few bad apples that ruin the pie. Retailers need to remain in the retail game and let manufacturers that actually build stuff do the testing and quality analysis.