Amazon and eBay’s general automotive sections have grown exponentially over the past couple of years. Right now we’re seeing the addition of high end performance parts being sold on Amazon and eBay also. And some of the prices. Wow! Super low!
Here’s the problem. A lot of those third party sellers give no technical support before, during and after the sale and if you have a problem, you usually have to go through Amazon’s or eBay’s messaging service which takes forever to resolve. These third party sellers are there to make a quick buck real quick and disappear. So is it worth saving $50? To some it is. For the manufacturer, no. This cheapens their product in their eyes and hurts their brand image as being “cheap”. Do you think a seller who made $20 off a $600 part is going to want to resolve any issues with your purchase? No. Most likely you’ll be ignored or brushed of with “contact the manufacturer, we’re just a reseller”. So a lot of manufacturers have implemented a MAP policy. MAP means MINIMUM ADVERTISED PRICING which states a reseller can only advertise the products sold at MAP the manufacturer dictates.
Some sellers do not follow this policy so manufacturers put these sellers on a DO NOT SELL/DO NOT BUY LIST. You still can buy from these sellers before they are caught but once they are, they close up shop and create a new seller accounts. To combat this manufacturers have what they call non-transferable warranty. This means if you have a problem with your product and it’s supposed to be under warranty, you get no warranty. You are basically fucked.
So again, was it worth the $50 you saved? Read on.
One company that is aggressive with their MAP is Holley. Their subrands include Holley itself, ACCEL, BRAWLER CARBURETORS, CATACLEAN, DEMON CARBURETION, DIABLOSPORT, EARL’S PERFORMANCE PLUMBING, EDGE, Flow Monster, FLOWTECH EXHAUST, Frostbite PERFORMANCE COOLING, Hays, Holley EFI, HOOKER, HOOKER BLACKHEART, LAKEWOOD INDUSTRIES, MR. GASKET, MSD Performance, NOS, prestolite PROConnect, Quick Fuel TECHNOLOGY, QuickTime, Racepak, Sniper, Superchips and WEIAND.
If you buy a Holley brand product from Amazon or eBay real “cheap” then beware. Most likely that company is on Holley’s DO NOT BUY/SELL LIST.
Here is an example of Edge Products part number 85450.
This is being sold under MAP. MAP as of this article is $599.95. This “dealer” is on the DO NOT BUY LIST from Holley. Note this dealer also sells kitchenware and trampolines.
Edge Products updated DO NOT BUY LIST can be found here … http://edgeproducts.com/dealer-locator/
Most of you think, “well shit what do I need warranty for. I know what I’m doing. This is a performance part. It won’t break”. Yah, right.
All things fail. The muffler welded to your exhaust can fail. The catalytic converters welded to your connection pipes can fail. The power while updating the bios on your handheld tuner can fail and brick it. Handheld tuners are the worse to get warranty on especially if they brick and you bought it from a blacklisted dealer.
You can also get fake product and not know it unless you know what you are looking for. AEROMOTIVE anyone?
Here is a tip. Most of time if you call an authorized dealer for any of Holley’s brand products or any other manufacturer’s products, an authorized dealer will match or come close to matching the price. You then have an authorized dealer that will support you after the sale and will help you with warranty issues down the road. Plus you’ll have peace of mind that your purchase from an authorized dealer will be available a phone call or e-mail away.
Most authorized resellers are racers themselves or come from a background of racing. And when you buy from an authorized reseller, you are not only helping yourself, you are helping legitimite businesses stay a float which in turn keeps the racing industry alive.
If you are unsure if a dealer is authorized to resell a product, call the manufacturer. Usually they will direct you to one of their resellers to make your purchase and to answer any presales questions you may have. You can’t do that on Amazon or eBay.