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tl;dr: Make sure you understand the part sellers' return policy.

Most repair parts vendors will claim that their parts are OEM. But, buying quality parts is a notorious difficulty for repair businesses. So, what gives?

Understanding Repair Parts

You’ll likely buy your repair parts from a distributor. But it’s important to know where the distributor is getting the parts.

Repair parts come from six sources:

Some people use different terminology than we do. Click the terms to see our definition.

  1. OE parts taken directly from a new, used, or broken device.
  2. OEM parts rejected by the OEM reseller.
  3. The third shift at an OEM factory.
  4. Third party manufacturers using OEM specifications.
  5. Third party manufacturers using their own specifications.
  6. Counterfeit parts with the same markings as the OE parts.

More complicating are the facts that:

  1. No one of those six sources is necessarily better than another.
  2. It's nearly impossible to tell which of these sources the part came from.
  3. Calling parts OEM that are not is illegal. But some sellers do it anyway.
  4. Tracing a part though though the various distributors all the way back to its original source is practically impossible.

Be Honest

Marketing repair parts as OEM that are not OEM is fraud. Certain companies have taken '''legal action''' against repair shops that claim they use OEM parts.

Don't Trust the Seller

When buying parts, you can only trust yourself and the experiences that you have with the vendor. As Obi-Wan says, "trust your feelings."

Before buying:

  • Research the seller thoroughly. Pay close attention to feedback concerning the item that you want to buy.
    • Consider eBay: Do you care that a vendor is an "A+++ Seller" or that "iPhone 4 CDMA display assembly didn't work, trying to get refund."
  • Know your risk.
    • Don't spend much with an untested vendor.
  • Know your backup.
    • "If I don't have the part by this date, I can rely on this vendor."
  • Know the seller's return policy.
    • How long is the part returnable?
    • Under what conditions can the part be returned?
    • What do you get for a return? Money back? Replacement part? Store credit?
    • Is there a restocking or other return-related fee?
  • Know the sellers' guarantee/warranty policy.
    • How long is the part guaranteed?
    • What do you get for a broken part guarantee? Money back? Replacement part? Store credit?
  • Test the seller.
    • Ask the seller a few questions about the product, even if you already know the answer. Judge the seller based on response time, knowledgeability, and language skills.

Once you do buy from a vendor, pay close attention to the entire process:

  • Based upon your interactions, is the vendor trustworthy?
  • Would you recommend this vendor to others?
  • How communicative is the vendor? Do they keep you informed of order status?
  • How willing is the vendor to handle returns or refunds?
  • Which parts are satisfactory, which are not?
    • Remember, always test parts as soon as you receive them.
  • Which vendors' parts are failing after the repair is completed?

And, most importantly, when you find a reliable vendor that provides the quality you want at the price you need, stick with them!

8条评论

We have always wanted to test parts when we first receive them. However we have been unable to test everything as it would take too much time. Often we will just test each individual part before fully installing it right before we perform a repair. This saves times from accidentally fully installing a defective part onto a device. It also cuts down on the risk of further damaging a defective part.

Kyle - 回复

You are right about all that you said kyle...we are not able to test the parts when we first receive them, testing them takes or needs more time.

JOEY MCLACHLAN - 回复

make it three. its hard to test a part straight out of the bag/box when you get it, and you have to use pot luck and hope that you have a backup when you are doing the repair

Samuel Wyatt - 回复

This is a good read, have had a few bad experience with buying parts but I have found a good parts supplier so I stick with them

nev tevi - 回复

Hi, I am just starting out in the phone repair and refurbishing business.

Would you be able to help with good supplier?

Rickey Parks -

I've been operating my repair shop for just a little over two years. I've had to close and reopen once which was just in december of 2018. Any help from someone on a reliable part supplier? I'm scared to try anyone out, I just really like the dependability of iFixit. I'm in the panhandle of Texas in a small city just in case someone is worried about competition!

Felix Robinson - 回复

I am very happy with iFixit products. Since I was a wee always say mm

Suzanne Anderson - 回复

“If it's not broken, don't fix it!” lol but true. And stick with vendors and parts, even a system or methodology that you KNOW works for you.”

For us, it's iFixit parts. Of course, we compare with other suppliers occasionally, but iFixit takes good care of us. So, loyalty, integrity - %#*@ important and a rare find these days.

Suzanne Anderson - 回复

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