Effectively Purchasing Online Auto Parts

The automotive parts industry is one of the many retailers that are moving transactions online, recognizing the Internet as one of their primary ways to market auto parts online to a national and international audience. This is a guide to finding and purchasing online auto parts and accessories safely and effectively.

Finding a Creditable Company

The online auto parts industry is competitive, and there are many online storefronts to choose from. The first step to finding the best online auto parts is determining the credibility and integrity of the company. Look for contact information on the Web site, and check if there are any reports about the company in the Better Business Bureau. Browse through the Web site to make sure that they have a wide range of auto parts and accessories. Run a WHOIS report on the domain name to see when the domain was created. More information is usually available for domains that have been around longer. Check and see what other people have said about the companies in online reviews. Search for the company name on search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN. Contact the company directly with any questions you have before you decide to make a purchase.

Protect your Privacy

Once you have found a Web site that you feel is credible, you need to make sure the checkout page is secure. If the checkout page is not encrypted with a SSL (Secure Socket Layer), do not enter your credit card or any confidential information. Look in the address bar and locate the protocol at the beginning of the URL. If the protocol reads (https://), that means it is a secure page. Also look for the SSL Certificate; it should be published on the checkout page. Click on the SSL Certificate for more information on the issuer of the SSL. Companies such as GoDaddy, VeriSign, SiteSafe, DigiCert and GeoTrust are some of the most popular. When you enter your credit card or bank account information into a Web page, that data is transferred from your Internet browser to the company’s Web server, and then usually stored into their database. Without SSL encryption, the data can be intercepted by another party during the transfer. So for your protection, it is worth taking the time to investigate a Web site before purchasing auto parts online or entering any important information.

Know Exactly What you are Getting

Make sure you know exactly how much the total amount of the transaction is before entering your payment information. Check to see if the merchant offers any warranties for its auto parts online; is the warranty a cash refund or store credit? If the warranties aren’t posted on the Web site, contact the company to find out before making a purchase. Once you have purchased the product, make sure that you save and print all receipts, so you have proof of purchase if the product is faulty or there is a shipping problem. It is rare, but sometimes the wrong product is packaged, or the shipment is sent to the wrong address. Keeping all receipts is a must when purchasing online auto parts.

Following these precautions will help you find and purchase online auto parts. Hopefully these insights will give you more confidence finding the right online auto parts Web site and protecting your privacy when purchasing online. The Internet is a very useful tool, and we are fortunate for the growth of e-commerce Web sites and improved security to make it easier for us to shop for online auto parts and accessories.