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What to look for from an online parts seller

Feb. 22, 2022
The continued supply chain disruptions have made it difficult for fleets to find reliable online parts vendors. While buying parts online can be faster, fleets need to make sure they are vetting them with the same care as brick-and-mortar sellers.

A combination of changing buying patterns in people’s personal lives, supply chain disruptions, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made it increasingly difficult for fleets to find the parts they need to keep their trucks on the road. Fleets that have traditionally purchased parts from local dealers and distributors have had to turn to other sources. Many of them have turned to online sellers, hoping to get the parts they need quickly.

And while buying online is a good alternative source, all online parts sellers are not created equal.

When choosing an ecommerce site, fleets should consider the following characteristics.

  • Expertise of the parts seller: Is the online seller’s background and that of its managers in trucking or technology? In the case of buying parts online, trucking knowledge is more important than the technology. You want to conduct business with someone who understands the challenges of the trucking industry and recognizes that every minute the truck is down you are losing money.
  • What’s in inventory: You want to select a seller that carries parts from well-known name-brand manufacturers so that you can have some assurance of the quality of the parts you are buying. Depending on your needs, look at the breadth and depth of the inventory from each ecommerce site to make sure they carry the type of parts you use regularly.
  • What are the shipping options: There are times when a truck is down and you will need parts as quickly as possible. But for more routine or stock order parts you may be willing to wait longer for delivery to keep shipping costs down. Understand shipping options and their costs.
  • What you order is what you get: You have brands you know, like, and trust. Make sure the online seller has a no-substitution policy to ensure you get the part you order from the manufacturer you prefer.
  • What happens if you need assistance or there is a problem? Ask about the available customer support. Can they assist you in finding the exact part you need? Can they recommend others you need to successfully complete the repair? No one is perfect, so ask what happens if the wrong part gets delivered or a shipping deadline is missed.

Buying online can help ensure that you have the replacement parts you need when you need them, but be sure to spend some time vetting your online supplier with the same care you used to choose your brick-and-mortar vendors.

David Seewack is the founder and CEO of FinditParts. Seewack is focused on transforming how heavy-duty truck and trailer parts are bought and sold. Founded in 2010, FinditParts is the No. 1 supplier of these parts online, with more than 10 million available from more than 1,800 manufacturers and customers in over 210 countries.

About the Author

David Seewack

David Seewack is an entrepreneur and longtime commercial vehicle parts industry executive, whose leadership has consistently delivered innovative distribution and digital solutions to the truck parts aftermarket.

As the founder and CEO of FinditParts, Seewack is currently focused on transforming how heavy-duty truck and trailer parts are bought and sold. Founded in 2010, FinditParts is the No. 1 supplier of heavy-duty truck and trailer parts online, with more than 10 million individual SKUs available from more than 1,800 manufacturers and customers in over 210 countries.

Prior to starting FinditParts, Seewack’s leadership propelled Associated Truck Parts to its position as the largest supplier of heavy-duty truck parts in the western United States. Under his direction, ATP was sold to a Los Angeles private equity firm and became one of the first three companies to form 

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