Be a smarter parts shopper.
Tractor owners who call direct to dealerships are often shocked when they learn the cost of replacement parts.
A part that costs maybe $5 to make could carry a 5000% premium at the retail counter. Some parts are priced to the moon simply because many consumers don't know any better. If only they took the time to shop around.
Used parts tend to cost about 50% less than new parts and quality recyclers take used parts through thorough testing to ensure they are fully functioning prior to reselling.
So, let’s work together to learn how to approach this process like a pro to make sure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck.
1. DO YOUR RESEARCH
If you are still debating between new and used than by all means do call the OEM dealer first, find out just how much a new version of the part is. This is also a great time to find out the part number of what you are looking for.
After recovering from any initial shock over the retail price tag, cruise over to www.tractor-part.com and search by the part number or the model and description of the tractor and part. A wide list of suppliers who are carry that particular piece will appear. You can find the supplier closest to you or just go with the supplier with the lowest cost - contact them directly and have your used part shipped straight to you. Badda bing badda boom.
Pay special attention to the estimated delivery time. Parts shipped overseas can sometimes take over a month to get to you. Also, you can usually ask for expedited shipping if you need your part to arrive ASAP.
2. PURCHASE FROM TRUSTED SOURCES
In the world of buying parts, it can sometimes take a lot of time to find the right part at the right price. Some retailers will have the part (used or new) sold as is, while other sources will often have policies that will allow you to either exchange the part or receive a refund. For this reason, we recommend saving your time and money by asking the supplier what quality assurance measures they take prior to ordering. Also, take note of their return policy.
3. STILL CAN'T FIND IT? GET CREATIVE.
If an online search doesn't turn up the used part you need, it's time to search through a database of dismantled machines. Many used parts, if not most used parts, are not yet electronically inventoried. You can use search here for specific machines which dealers are currently dismantling. Just search for the make and model for the parts that you need, and contact those dealers.
4. ENLIST FORUM HELP FOR HARD TO FIND PARTS
Online forums for your make and model usually have members spread across the world. Make/model forums sometimes have dedicated parts-listing threads, as well. Posting on a forum can be equally as hit or miss as Craigslist can be but at least you are widening your net and there is a chance you will be pointed in the direction of your missing part.
5. THE DEALER IS YOUR LAST RESORT
If you haven't found the part at this point, then—and only then—pay the dealer. To be fair, dealers are at the mercy of manufacturers, so don't blame them entirely if you find their parts costs unreasonable.
By taking these extra few steps, you will be well on your way to being a smart parts shopper. Saving a few bucks and some extra time here or there really adds up and put you well on your way to that well deserved holiday vacation.