An online breaker's yard combines all the value of your local breaker's yard with all the convenience of online shopping. Online breakers save you the hassle of having to find a breaker with exactly the part you need when you need it. A quick search on van parts will bring up a wide range of options and many online breakers are now adapting their sites for smartphone use and creating smartphone apps so you can check out van spares without having to leave your van. Here are a few tips about making the most of online van breakers.
Check the shop's reputation
A shop's Google ranking is a good place to start. If a site has generated a lot of negative publicity, this is likely to be reflected in a lower ranking. Do a quick search on the shop's name and see if other people have made comments about it. Have a quick look around the site itself. Does it appear to have been designed with the customer in mind? Is it easy to navigate. Look for sites with a clear commitment to customer service. Their contact details should be obvious as should their policy on returns and any guarantees or warranties they offer.
Check shipping costs both for sales and returns
A good site will make these clear, but it's up to each customer to check for them. Ideally a site should offer a "no questions asked" return for a certain period after purchase and then a reasonable warranty period. It may well be, however, that you will need to pay return shipping costs if you decide you simply want to exercise your right of return and the seller may not refund you the original postage. Some sellers will only accept "no faults" returns in exchange for a credit note rather than a cash refund.
Check shipping methods
How quickly can you get the part if you need it in a hurry? How cheaply can you get it if you're not. Do they use a dedicated courier service or a service such as Yodel or Hermes, where the drivers are amateurs who fit deliveries into their spare time?
Check payment methods
The mainstream payment companies i.e. Visa, MasterCard and PayPal all have buyer protection policies in place, which means that even if you do have a bad experience with the seller, you still have a decent chance of getting your money back. If, however, the seller only uses more minor companies or even if they just recommend you to them, then it's worth being a bit more cautious. Please be aware that even if you use a Visa or MasterCard to fund another payment method, their protection policies only cover you for that transaction. For the actual transaction with the seller, you would need to depend on the policies of the company which transferred your money to them. You may still have the option of recovering your money through legal action but since most people would probably prefer to avoid this, it is best to look for sellers who accept the major payment methods in the first place.