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Two oil filters. One OEM and the other aftermarket. Two oil filters. One OEM and the other aftermarket.
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August 23, 2021

OEM vs AFTERMARKET PARTS

What’s the difference between OEM and aftermarket parts, you ask? Sometimes everything, and yet, sometimes nothing at all. Before we begin, let’s define what it means when a part is called “OEM” or “aftermarket”. OEM stands for “Original Equipment Manufacturer”. OEM products come straight from the original manufacturer who created your equipment. For example, if you purchased a Toro mower, the OEM components would originate from Toro. Aftermarket components are often produced by a number of manufacturers, but could all be sold by the same supplier.

Because of this, some companies (such as The ROP Shop) sell both OEM and aftermarket items. Doing so provides us with an advantage over others in the market. Not only can we provide you with our own quality product at great prices, but we can also provide other aftermarket brands. Add that to our OEM parts from companies like Grasshopper, Toro, Scag, Ariens, Gravely, Simplicity, Echo, SnowEx, Kohler, Briggs & Stratton, Kubota, Kawasaki, and Tecumseh, and we are second to none! Some of the OEM parts we carry on hand (such as Grasshopper brand items) aren’t even listed on our website, so feel free to give us a call to see how we can help you: 1-844-697-6774

Now that we’ve defined OEM and aftermarket, here are a few things to consider when purchasing parts:

DESIGN & QUALITY

OEM components are custom-made for your machine as part of its original design and are typically an identical replacement. The quality of an OEM product will be comparable to or identical to that of the product originally installed on your system. Conversely, aftermarket parts are frequently re-engineered components. This could be good or bad if you’re not sure what to look for. The ROP Shop tackles this with a quality control program that tracks and monitors faulty products for items with a pattern of problems.

The other positive to redesign is that aftermarket parts sometimes fix bugs or defects that were not caught when the product was first produced. This can benefit the longevity of your machine. One little-known fact is that certain aftermarket components originate from the same plants that make parts for OEMs, implying that the aftermarket part is similar or the same as the OEM.

"Received in good condition, installed new part received and it fit perfectly. Thank you." - Michael P.
Two carburetors. One OEM and the other aftermarket. Two carburetors. One OEM and the other aftermarket.

PRICE & AVAILABILITY

Using aftermarket goods is more affordable for a reason. Consider the supply chain of an OEM part: the part manufacturer sells the part to an equipment manufacturer. The equipment manufacturer either sells it to a dealer or a distributor. The distributor sells it to a dealer, who in turn sells it to you. Because everyone needs to earn a profit on their part, each step in the chain causes a delay in product availability and an increase in price. Consider the aftermarket part supply chain: the part manufacturer sells it to the aftermarket provider. It’s sold by the provider to a dealer, who then sells it to you. Or, as with many of the parts you can buy from The ROP Shop, it goes straight from us to you. Fewer middlemen equal lower costs, increased availability, and faster delivery, which means you save money!

"Product arrived quickly and was good quality. Good price helped with the purchase." - Nan M.

WARRANTY

Replacing a faulty product is never a pleasant experience, yet it occurs to all of us at some point. The clock starts ticking the moment you purchase an OEM product. OEMs generally have a limited warranty duration ranging from 30 to 90 days. Varying items have different warranty terms; however, most aftermarket vendors provide extensive warranty periods. The ROP Shop offers a one-year warranty against manufacturer defects, regardless of the brand!

Here is a summary of OEM and aftermarket pros and cons:

OEM PROS:

Assumed Quality: The OEM part is a direct replacement for what was originally installed in the engine. The fit is guaranteed to be right.

Simple Parts Selection Process: There is no guesswork involved in determining which component matches the one required.

OEM CONS:

OEM Costs More: OEM parts are typically 65% more expensive than aftermarket parts.

Question of Superior Quality: The only reason to buy OEM parts is the perceived peace of mind you get from receiving a part that is from the original manufacturer and is supposed to fit perfectly. However, studies have determined that the quality of the OEM vs. aftermarket parts is minimal (if it’s different at all). Many aftermarket suppliers have also improved upon original OEM designs to produce a higher quality product. Not to mention, if the aftermarket part comes from the same manufacturer as the OEM part, there’s no difference at all beyond the brand sticker and marked-up price.

"Fits exactly as described. Instruction manual included. Customer service flyer with direct USA phone number also included. Item shipped 2nd day 24hrs after my purchase." - Nancy T.
Two bolts. One OEM and the other aftermarket. Two bolts. One OEM and the other aftermarket.

AFTERMARKET PROS:

Savings: The amount saved by the consumer varies depending on the brand, but it is considerable overall.

Quality that is equal to or better than OEM: The quality of aftermarket components has improved substantially in the last ten years. There are many aftermarket component manufacturers. Often, these businesses will design the aftermarket product to be more efficient, stronger, or to fit even better.

Convenience: One disadvantage of dealing with OEM components is that you’re on the dealer’s schedule. Most of the time, the dealer will have to order the part from a central warehouse. Unlike The ROP Shop who stocks thousands of components in a single location.

AFTERMARKET CONS:

Levels of Quality: There will always be low-quality producers and retailers of aftermarket parts. However, some aftermarket vendors (like The ROP Shop) consistently provide high-quality items. There’s a reason our reviews are reliably excellent. Our quality control process, which includes monitoring customer reports and checking our products, eliminates problematic parts. Our Rugged U program also educates buyers on how to get the most usage out of their parts and equipment.

Warranties: Depending on the aftermarket manufacturer, certain products may not come with a warranty for economic sake. Others only provide limited short-term warranties. The ROP Shop changes all of that by offering a one-year warranty against manufacturer defects.

Selection: With so many aftermarket parts to select from, it might be difficult to decide which is the ideal component for your specific requirement. The good news is, our knowledgeable customer service staff can find exactly what you are looking for, whether OEM or aftermarket. When you contact us, you know you can buy without worry.

"Great company to do business with. I made an online order and two days later I received the item. They sell high-quality parts for my lawnmower so I will continue to use them on future maintenance repairs." - Timothy H.

TO SUM IT ALL UP

What makes The ROP Shop your best choice? Well, we offer both OEM as well as our own aftermarket parts. Even if you’re unable to find it on our website, we may have on-hand or have access to many OEM parts from manufacturers like Stihl, Echo, Grasshopper, Simplicity, and so on. The next time you’re looking for the part you need to get your power equipment moving again, start with the company that puts their customer first every time.


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