I’ve spent a whole lot of money on car parts and supplies over the years, and I’ve learned (the hard way) how to control costs. While the game was built to extract profit from the unwitting, the Internet leveled the playing field. A little knowledge goes a long way. If you do just a little bit of homework before you head out to the store, you’ll get a better deal and keep more cash in your pocket.
Here’s a quick list of tips that can help you save a buck on every purchase you make at the auto parts store:
- Never walk into a parts store without doing your research. Ignorance may be bliss, but it’s also costly. You should know how much to shell out for each and every part.
- Join the parts store rewards programs. Loyalty programs accrue benefits with most (but not all) purchases. The numbers aren’t huge, but they’ll add up over time.
- Watch the flyers. No one likes to receive junk mail, unless they can save a buck. When you sign up for the loyalty program, you’ll land on the mailing list.
- Stock up on your favorite brand of oil and filters when they’re on sale. Keep two or three oil changes on the shelf, if you can. This will avoid the need to run to the store at the last minute (when you may end up paying full price).
- Use discount codes & coupons. The big retailers run promotions constantly with discounts ranging from 15% to 30% off. You need to know the codes.
- Hit the discount point. If a retailer is giving you $15 off a $50 purchase or $30 off a $100 purchase, that’s a 30% discount … if you stick to your guns. Keep your invoice total to as close to the discount point as possible.
- Don’t buy junk. Inexpensive poorly made parts will not save you money in the long run. When the part breaks, your wallet will open again.
- Keep your options open. Don’t buy from one single source. Consider all of the options.
- Buy online, pickup in the store. Big retailers like Pep Boys and Advance Auto allow you to buy your parts online and pick them up at a local store within thirty minutes. Not only does this save you time (they should have the parts waiting for you), but it will also save a good chunk of change. Online discounts often exceed the discounts offered to walkup customers.
- If you buy a lot from Amazon, get Prime. With Amazon Prime, you pay one amount each year for unlimited two-day shipping. This can be a great deal if you buy a lot of stuff from them. If you don’t, it’s not such a good deal (although they do have a nice selection of Amazon Prime free music, movies and TV shows.
– by Daniel Gray