People who do their own tune-ups or auto repairs usually have their favorite auto parts store. When you need some auto parts, you just zip down to your regular auto parts store and pick up what you need, right? What you may not know is that, as with supermarkets and many other retailers, prices may differ on certain products. Store managers set a percentage profit goal for their entire inventory, not per product. That’s why it pays to shop your auto parts prices at a number of stores before you buy. The savings can be substantial.
For example, that’s why one grocery store may sell shampoo at a premium price, while selling another product at a reduced price, or running specials on popular items in order to draw customers in to shop. Chances are good that you’ll complete all of your shopping at that store. You may stock up on that special on chicken and maybe pick up some of the inflated price shampoo or other products at the same time. The retailer meets his overall profit goal by using this pricing strategy. This is why you won’t find much of a difference in the total bill by shopping at any one store. However, if you shop all the sales at each store, your total can be up to 30% less.
It’s the same with auto parts prices. One auto parts supply may sell spark plugs and oil at a higher price than a competitor, while selling some accessories or bigger ticket items, such as a battery charger, at a lower price. For the auto parts store, it all works out in the end. They simply want to meet their profit goal.
One easy way to shop auto parts prices is to pick up a catalog from each store. Get on their mailing list, so that you always have the latest auto parts prices at hand. When you’re on their mailing list, you’ll also receive notices of monthly or seasonal sales items.
Another strategy is shopping online. If you regularly do your own tuneups, it’s likely you’ll save on these standard auto parts. Air filters, spark plugs and distributor caps don’t weigh much, so shipping costs are minimal. When a tuneup is coming due, order ahead and save on these reduced auto parts prices. The online auto parts vendor has less overhead and can pass these savings on to you. Here again, see if you can get a print catalog for auto parts price comparisons with other brick and mortar retailers in your town.
Let’s say you’ve decided you need some new car seat covers. Breeze through your catalogs and see who has the best price on what you want. You can easily save several dollars on your purchase. On something like a portable battery charger, you may realize a $20 savings, between one retailer and another.
Use the same strategy for finding the best prices on tires and batteries. Stores which sell nothing but these items almost always offer a better price than an auto parts department in your local ‘superstore’.
Shopping your auto parts prices doesn’t take much time, but will surely save you money. Over time, your savings can pay for that new set of tires!