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Your VIN Number and Ordering Vehicle Parts Online

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posted on Jul, 3 2012 @ 07:07 PM
Hello ATS!

I decided to make this simple thread in order to help fellow vehicle owners effectively shop for parts online.

I work for an online business and we sell parts for all the major European brands such as BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Porsche just to name a few. We pride ourselves on making sure our clients receive the correct parts for their model in a timely manner, but this is never easy as customers rarely think about providing crucial information about their vehicles and vehicle options or any other relevant information for their order. This often causes delays in the shipping since we have to contact the clients and if the client is unreachable for a few days, his shipment may be delayed.

Shipping out incorrect parts and dealing with returns is never a good deal for anyone as it costs both the client and the seller.

Most of these online companies have a comment section on your order where you can leave important information for your order processor.

1) VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)

This is the most crucial information you can provide to the company to make sure they will verify the parts you are ordering so it matches the part number in your VIN Schematics. Most people seem to think that a VIN number is like a Credit Card number, which it is not. No sensitive information can be pulled on the owner of the car with a VIN, just technical information about the vehicle itself. Always include this with your order. All makes have a VIN decoder which as mentioned will provide lots (not all) of tech info on your vehicle.

2) Additional Vehicle Information

Always mention if you have some extra options on your car, sometimes the VIN decoders leave out important things such as Sport or Luxury packages, Sport Suspensions and things of that nature. If you are ordering Grilles, always mention if you have the chrome ones or regular ones. Always mention if you have Xenon or Halogen when ordering bulbs, i see many people ordering the wrong kinds (not all people are car enthusiasts, we get old grannies ordering parts and messing up sometimes). Include these things, it may save you some trouble.

3) Be aware of your Production Date and your Model Year

They sound the same but are different. Vehicles are normally manufactured before their actual public release date. Example: A 2001 BMW 330i could of been produced as early as April 2000, so in this case the Model Year is 2001 but could of been produced as early as 04/2000. This also means that your model could of been produced anywhere between 04/2000 and 12/2001, definitely more than the 12 months of your Model Year. Often, vehicles go through minor changes in the middle of a production year and some part numbers may change since the part is slightly different. Often people will order parts for the earlier production dates when they actually need the other version that came out later in the year.

4) Be aware of parts sold Individually or as a Set

There are many things that are sold individually and may things sold as sets. Brake Discs for example are most often sold individually. Many people seem to order one disc and expect two for some reason. Always read the part's description to check what is included and always verify the quantities you require before placing your order.

5) Left-Driver Side / Right-Passenger Side

This is something people often have a hard time with also. The Left/Right is determined from when you are sitting in the driver's position. Thus Left is the Driver Side and Right is the Passenger Side. I cannot stress enough how much this little trick is useful. You do not want to order your Left Side Grille, wait for shipping only to receive the passenger side and have to deal with a return and waiting for a second shipment. Most companies don't hold their clients hands like we do... I feel sad questioning if the person knows his Right or Left every time i see an order for 1 headlight :lol

I'm sure I am forgetting many many things... also i just finished a long day at work can you tell

Besides that all I can say is always enter the billing information linked to the credit card, always mention the Business Name if you are shipping to one. Companies LOVE to send packages to the address linked to the credit card... makes us feel all safe and cuddly, so ship to that address or include relevant shipping information if the shipping address is different than the billing address.

Also remember that you are ordering online and Email plays a big factor in your purchase. Don't disappear off the map, check your email and phone messages often after placing an order, the company may be trying to contact you to say "HEY! You ordered TWO LEFT HEADLIGHTS!"

edit on 3-7-2012 by Jeedawg because: (no reason given)

edit on 3-7-2012 by Jeedawg because: (no reason given)

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