Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Jed asks: I had a little accident and cracked up one of the outside mirrors on my 2015 Lexus RX350. The full Lexus price for the mirror is $825 (it has blind spot warning), but some online sellers offer it for about $580-600 for supposedly genuine Lexus parts which is a hefty discount. Have you had any experience buying genuine parts from other than a dealer? Two of the sites I found are AcuraPartsClub.com and LexusPartsNow.com.
Thanks in advice for any advice!
My reply: As is true of most things in life, due diligence is the thing. It is possible to find “genuine” Lexus parts online for less than a dealer might charge for them because a dealer might mark them up more. But be sure they are in fact “genuine” and not “equivalent replacement” parts – not that there’s anything necessarily wrong with those, either. One can find replacement parts with OEM levels of fit and finish, etc. online that are much less expensive than the factory parts but you are always taking a gamble they might not be exactly the same.
Whereas if you bought the factory replacement part over the counter you know you’ll have a factory-replacement part that will fit exactly and look exactly right.
So, check the reputation of the seller and establish whether he (or the company) offers a guaranteed return policy if the part you order turns out to be not-quite-right.
I’d also consider calling around to local wrecking yards. They have parts locators and my bet is you will be able to find a good-as-new factory mirror for your Lexus for much less than either over-the-counter or online.
Keep us posted!
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