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wannacruise
wannacruise New Reader
5/3/19 9:59 a.m.

Here's the end problem as I see it.  How can the average hobbyist who enjoys collector cars know wether or not he is getting a knock off until he has it in hand and even then maybe can't tell.  If I buy from a car specific, specialty supply co that list the part I need in catalog or on the net,  they may be sourcing that part from anywhere.  I can I protect myself?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
5/3/19 10:10 a.m.

Buy from reputable suppliers instead of the cheapest option on a third-party site like Amazon or Ebay. Don't even think about Alibaba frown Best option of all is to buy from the company whose name is on the part - you're not going to get counterfeit Autometer gauges from Autometer. 

If you're looking for collector car parts like trim parts, etc, deal with established specialists like Year One, Rovers North, etc. People who have been around, who answer the phone and who want a long-term relationship with their customers. Sure, you'll pay a bit more but you'll get better parts and better support and keep the industry alive.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
5/3/19 10:37 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Buy from reputable suppliers instead of the cheapest option on a third-party site like Amazon or Ebay. Don't even think about Alibaba frown Best option of all is to buy from the company whose name is on the part - you're not going to get counterfeit Autometer gauges from Autometer. 

If you're looking for collector car parts like trim parts, etc, deal with established specialists like Year One, Rovers North, etc. People who have been around, who answer the phone and who want a long-term relationship with their customers. Sure, you'll pay a bit more but you'll get better parts and better support and keep the industry alive.

Ding ding ding! Winner winner chicken dinner. 

When I had Miata's, parts came from the Mazda dealer, Flyin' Miata, or 949. 

With my BMWs, it was Blunttech or GutenParts or my local dealer. Or with the current BMW, my Indy guy only uses OEM parts, but doesn't charge BMW labor rates. 

 

People complain about the lack of mom and pop businesses as they shop at Lowe's and Walmart and wonder why it's happening. 

snailmont5oh
snailmont5oh Dork
5/3/19 11:35 a.m.
grover said:
snailmont5oh said:

Sometimes, a knockoff is something that another company copied and manufactured from existing parts or stolen drawings. Other times, as noted above, a knockoff is made by simply over-producing an item that one was contracted to build.  It may have started with organized crime in Italy, but the Far-East manufacturers do this as a normal operating practice.  I know that companies do what they can to maximize profits, but if you send your manufacturing offshore because of the allure of cheap labor, you asked for it.  Especially if you didn't lower your price to reflect the savings, which you didn't do.  Pretty much every product that shifted their manufacturing to China has felt the sting of this, from Vise Grip to Sharpie to Brembo. Is it wrong? Sure.  But, if corporate leadership cared for the long-term health of the economy they operate in more than a short-term blip in profits or stock price, this wouldn't be an issue, because American manufacturing would still be done in America.  Not to be all "soapbox" about this, but if the farmers in this country managed their land like the investment firms and others in control of the money in this country run the economy, they would be without a livelihood in six years, and the country would starve.

[/rant]

Let’s not lump all financial companies together- mine has been around for 174 years, refused tarp money and grew our surplus by 11 billion in the last 10 years. 

Quick question: Is your firm more likely to invest in a large company when you find out about impending layoffs?  The company I work for has laid workers off several times over the years, and every time we do, our stock jumps. Our last contract saw us getting a raise that almost kept up with inflation, while adding a couple thousand dollars a year to our out-of-pocket healthcare costs, all while the corporate officers received record salaries and bonuses (most 10-20 million dollars). When the contract got approved, you guessed it, stock went up. If your firm doesn't take advantage of situations like that, I applaud you. I also don't understand how you're so successful, since it seems that every investment firm in the country plays the same game. I firmly believe that, if a person wants a bigger piece of pie, they should endeavor to make a bigger pie. Most large investors insist on having a larger slice, while also insisting that the pie be kept small (for efficiency's sake).  

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
5/3/19 1:07 p.m.
z31maniac said:

People complain about the lack of mom and pop businesses as they shop at Lowe's and Walmart and wonder why it's happening. 

I've noticed how many people these days go directly online to find the cheapest price for something that has to be shipped from somewhere, when they probably could go down the street and get it right now from the mom and pop store.

dculberson
dculberson UltimaDork
5/3/19 1:30 p.m.
stuart in mn said:

I've noticed how many people these days go directly online to find the cheapest price for something that has to be shipped from somewhere, when they probably could go down the street and get it right now from the mom and pop store.

I don't need most things right now. If I can save a half hour trip, I'll totally pay the same price for something online vs in a store.

RevRico
RevRico PowerDork
5/3/19 1:34 p.m.

In reply to stuart in mn :

What mom and pop stores? Unless you're into antiques or veganism, you won't find any around here. They all died off a generation ago when we got 4 Wal-Mart's within 15 miles of highway and the owners kids realized they couldn't compete. Even the family run commercial plumbing supplier I stopped at yesterday is getting ready to fold up because they can't compete with the 2 Lowe's and home depot in town. 

Sure there are some "independently run" ace hardware left, but their prices are twice the box stores and 3 times online. They also have some of the most ducked up parking lots I've ever had the misfortune of driving through.

ShawnG
ShawnG PowerDork
5/3/19 1:58 p.m.

Amazon.ca is messed up.

Most of the time, stuff is cheaper at my local store than on Amazon.

 

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess MegaDork
5/3/19 2:40 p.m.

I was at the big gun show in Tulsa.  Two of the ~2K vendors had a box of maybe a gross of butterfly knives for ten bucks each.  Decent quality for a cheap one.  The box the knives came in was a blurry print job that said "Benchmade."  A Benchmade Balisong that looks darn near identical is a $4-500 knife.  Turns out the Chinese are making Benchmade clones of many, if not all of their line.  Ebay is full of them being sold as the real thing.  Sometimes the only way to tell, according to teh interwebz, is by the stain on the wood.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
5/3/19 2:45 p.m.

I suspect the steel may not quite be the same.

logdog
logdog UltraDork
5/3/19 3:04 p.m.

I have suspicions my May issue of GRM might be counterfeit.   The inside just doesn't seem quite right.... laugh

Spoolpigeon
Spoolpigeon PowerDork
5/3/19 3:18 p.m.

Just picked up a set of big brakes for the Wu-Tang Clan Financial sponsored Ford Probe. I hope they’re not fakes. 

 

wannacruise
wannacruise New Reader
5/6/19 7:37 a.m.

Dealing with the “Right” company isn’t necessarily the right answer.  But yes if you can find the “RIGHT” company that goes a long way.   But what I referred to in my last post was, as an ex,  I buy parts for an older Corvette,  even some of the Corvette specialty houses are selling questionable stuff.  Where do you think they are sourcing their products from? Who knows?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
5/6/19 8:18 a.m.

They know. Ask them.

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
5/6/19 8:34 a.m.

When Jeg’s is selling “speedmaster” ebay brand parts, it’s all over.  Nothing is sacred.  

te72
te72 Reader
5/6/19 9:18 p.m.

For what it's worth, all the legit parts I've bought for my oiling and fuel systems (A.R.E. / Aviad, Aeromotive, Earls, etc) all seem to be REALLY nice parts. I rest assured that I won't have any quality issues with any of those parts, which is good, since failures of those systems tend to end in tears...

 

Now, the less critical parts such as my intercooler and piping setup, and exhaust piping? I have no idea where any of it (save the HKS catback) came from. I do know that it welds nicely and it quite difficult for me to hacksaw through...

 

I wish there were more quality sources for electrical components though, that is likely the aspect of my build that has given me the most headaches over the past few years. Found some relays at work (Caterpillar dealership) that were made in Japan, of all places. Didn't realize they still made parts like that in Japan! I was pretty excited, to say the least. You'll pay for that quality though, I think they were something like $13 each for a sealed 30A relay.

GCrites80s
GCrites80s Reader
3/6/20 1:53 p.m.

See it used to be easy to spot a fake because they said something like Tolex on them, or in the case of this article, MeowMix-ASA

Rufledt
Rufledt UberDork
3/6/20 10:20 p.m.

It's unfortunate for sure.  One cheapo part could ruin a very expensive car.  I avoid knock offs and counterfeits entirely, mostly because I'm perfectly capable of making my own poorly fitting garbage, no need for buying it from china. If I'm spending money I'd rather the part be good, even if it costs a bit more.

Agreed on even some OEM parts not living up to quality standards, however.  The slave cylinder on my 323 gtx was leaking when I got it.  I went to the dealership and shockingly they could still get one.  It came in and side by side the new one looked like a poorer casting.  It didnt leak, however.

We have this problem at my work, too (appliance repair).  Ebay/amazon parts can look like oem ones, down to the logo and part number and everything.  Hold them side by side, however, and the drastically cheaper amazon part is revealed as a fake. They dont last either.  People call looking for parts, we say "yeah I have them in the truck right now, $15" and they say "amazon has them for $5" so we say "then get it on amazon, but call us back when the generic breaks next week and we'll sell you a good one for $15"

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
3/7/20 6:48 a.m.

While I agree with the "buy reputable parts from a reputable supplier" approach, am I the only one who's concerned that the amount of fakes out there pretty much kills the resale value of any high quality used parts? At least for the more frequently faked stuff?

Case in point - unless you can inspect them in person, I don't think it's that safe a bet to buy certain used seats that rhyme with "Groom" on eBay or on forums.

Heck, apparently fake NGK Platinum spark plugs are a thing.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
3/7/20 8:51 a.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim :

I would think that resale value is not something to think of when it comes to used speed parts.   I wouldn't want to pay very much for used parts in the first place out of damage concerns, and the items that aren't strictly "consumables" tend to not be made very durable anyway, even the fairly high end stuff.

ChrisLS8
ChrisLS8 New Reader
3/7/20 11:07 a.m.

Thanks for writing this. My stance is if the company announces that it's not authentic then it's whatever cause it's going to happen regardless. 

The real issues stem from the blatent copies including logos, there are a lot of parts that need a safety factor such as steering wheel hubs, harnesses, etc that I will absolutely refuse to buy knock-offs.

Same goes for performance, I just bought a G25-660 turbo and spent a pretty penny and the fact that this new turbo design already has knock-offs being pumped out is sad. The amount of RnD that Garrett put into making a 660hp t2 based turbo is staggering and these vajajays literally just stole it. I'd rather spend the 1k extra on a genuine turbo that I have confidence with than some slave shop Chinese choocher that may break at any point

other times I can't see a difference. I have a 300 dollar Koyo radiator made in Indonesia that is needing to be repaired or replaced due to wear so instead of spending 150 or so to polish a turd I spent 105 on an eBay one that is also made in Indonesia and the specs, welds and even fin count are basically identical. 

 

ChrisLS8
ChrisLS8 New Reader
3/7/20 11:17 a.m.

In reply to Knurled. :

Sometimes it is for me, I have alot of small run parts from various companies for my niche car, I had an offer to buy my front strut bar for twice what I paid for it about 7 years ago cause it's no longer available. 

I spent way too much on a broken carbon front lip that only had a run of 3 pieces cause I want to be the only one with one. 

 

Stampie
Stampie UltimaDork
3/7/20 11:32 a.m.

In reply to ChrisLS8 :

But if they made three how would you be the only one with one?

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
3/7/20 12:03 p.m.

In reply to Knurled. :

I think it depends on what parts you're looking at. There are certain speed parts that I wouldn't buy used - like anything to do with the brake or cooling system - but other mod parts like interior, intakes, body parts, wheels and (in the non-rusty parts of the country) even stuff like aftermarket exhausts in good condition should be OK to buy used IMHO. I've bought my share of rare-ish used parts, especially JDM stuff that you can't get new anymore and that was never sold new in the UK or US.

The problem I'm seeing with a lot of the interior and body parts is that while some sellers go to great lengths to try and demonstrate they have the Real Thing (tm), there are plenty that are asking genuine money for stuff that may or may not be a replica. Like a Mugen front bumper cover for an S2k that looked genuine but "the bodyshop lost the Mugen plaque". Let's not even get into the "genuine mail order Bride from Taiwan or Canada" bullE36 M3.

I'm not sure it's because everybody wants everything for cheap, or we can't see the real stuff amongst all the cheap knockoff from China anymore.

 

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
3/7/20 12:53 p.m.

Fwiw my $140 speedmaster electric fuel pump lasted about 40 minutes of run time over 2 years. 

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