It matters not what brand you choose, eventually you are going to need to locate replacement lawn mower parts. For some higher quality lawn mowers, this can be quite a challenge and something that can take a lot of time. While most of the time it is relatively easy to locate quality mower parts online, we decided that it would be beneficial if we provided to you a posting on how best to go about this very important task.
The tricky part is finding the right source for your replacement mower parts. Start by analyzing the terminology used by the online dealer. Some say they sell only “OEM” or “OES”, while others advertise “Aftermarket” parts. What are they talking about?
OEM and OES are virtually synonymous. The first is an acronym that stands for “Original Equipment Manufacturer” while the ‘S’ in OES stands for “supplier.” In both these cases, you will be buying mower parts that are authorized by the manufacturer and often they will be identical to the originals because most lawnmowers are made up of many parts actually manufactured by others, but carrying their label. You can safely purchase these because they are identical to the original equipment, hence the name.
Sometimes, you will run across websites that boast of selling “genuine aftermarket mower parts.” The only thing “genuine” about these is that they are “genuinely” NOT OEM. You will find that these will be cheaper than OEM, but that’s because they are inferior. You may save a few dollars today if you purchase these, but you will be replacing them frequently and they may not even work properly to begin with.
Finding OEM mower parts is just the beginning. After that, you need to look into the background of the company you are buying from. Some online sellers are merely affiliate dealers looking to make a quick buck. They may be located overseas in a country that has lax laws regarding copyrights and trademarks. You want to find a company that has a physical dealership in the United States and has an established reputation for quality, service and value.
Is the company you are dealing with a factory authorized dealer? Remember, an unscrupulous online company can say they sell “genuine OEM mower parts” and get away with it (for awhile, anyway) even if they don’t.
The next thing you need to do is try to site before you make your purchase. How easy is it for you to find the mower parts that you need? Do they have an easily navigable parts look up catalog? Does it include diagrams that show the exact parts you need and where they are located on the machine? If so, you will always be able to find what you need, even if you’re not quite sure of its name or number.
The last thing you need to do is find out who their customer representatives are and how your order is going to be processed. To save money, some online companies outsource their order processing and customer service to India and other distant countries. You want to deal directly with the company in the U.S., not with a semi-skilled representative who probably won’t be able to help you with your questions about mower parts. Dealing with a company directly online is as good as walking into their spare parts department and speaking with them in person.