“… I’ve acquired an old beater car that needs work. Specifically it needs a new ignition coil. I’m buying my own online because the auto shop’s price was more than I can justify for this vehicle.
The part they want is a Standard (SMP) UF355. If I buy that brand, the absolute lowest price I’ve found is $122 (including shipping cost). That’s lower than the shop’s price.
However, I see dozens of knock-offs that appear to be exactly the same thing for as little as $18 (and free shipping). Some are as high as $40. But between there and $122 — nothing.
I wouldn’t usually hesitate to buy Brand X. But in this case the cost difference between the “real” thing and the knockoffs is so enormous that the needle on my hink-o-meter has zoomed into the red. Either the SMP is grossly overpriced. Or the look-alikes have got to be total junk.
I don’t have the expertise to know which is which, and on this subject the ‘Net is being strangely mum.
So, automotive experts … Why the huge, huge price difference and am I safe trying a knockoff or had I better just bite the bullet and go with the name brand for (yikes) six times more? …”