Aftermarket appliance parts versus OEM factory appliance parts.
Is there a difference?
The simple answer is not an EASY YES or no. Both provide you with the same amount of timely repairs as the other. However society tells us different in saying quality is flawed if you purchase a different brand other than the factory OEM part. We are most definitely suckered into believing this on most instances. Well the real question is, if the appliance we are purchasing all of a sudden falls apart and requires a repair then was the original OEM version really that good of quality in the first place? We sit today in this world and we wonder everyday if what we are purchasing is really what the manufacturer states what it is. This question is a hard one and honestly not an easy one to answer depending upon the type of product (electronic or cosmetic) that is being purchased. Most OEM product is not U.S.A. made and is imported in from China, Mexica, India, Korea, or other countries. What is astonishing is that this product is then packaged in a U.S.A. factory OEM bag and labeled as an OEM product. I'd say that's aftermarket in my eyes and in fact re-packaging it is just a way to cover up where it's made. If you purchase an aftermarket product then honestly you are purchasing the same item that the Genuine OEM manufacturer sells in most cases. There are some software control boards that have seen some issues, but otherwise 97% of the other product has the same quality if not better. One example that made this relevant was a recent purchase from an aftermarket company and the item came in OEM packaging. We called up the company and they stated that they get these items from the same manufacturer and in fact the manufacturer just bags them separately down the line. It just happened to be in this instance that the packaging got mixed up and the aftermarket company received the OEM packaged items accidentally. Well we ordered over and over only to get the same result. Finally we received the items in aftermarket packaging only to remove the packaging and compare to find the exact same item. Was it a mistake? Or did they both come from the same manufacturer?
That's pretty amazing to me. Imagine paying 200% to 400% more for a product when the only difference is the packaging. I think we'd all be pretty upset about that.
What's even more alarming in todays society is that OEM manufacturers in most cases only give you a 30 day to 90 day warranty at most when more than half of aftermarket companies we deal with provide a full year or exchange for the item if it fails during that time period.
To put in perspective a customer pays 200% to 400% more and gets 200% to 400% less warranty. Yeah, I'll say it again pay more and get less.
Does that mean less quality? We've honestly taken more than 339 cosmetic parts and have put them side by side to compare against each other. When we compared these the plastic was the same girth, the dimensions were the same size, and the color was spot on.
When it came to electronics we installed many only to find the same results and the same happy operations without any electrical and/or quality issues. Some items did not last as long electronically as the OEM did provide a better result due to the controlled software that matched with the appliance. However this only happened with a handful off items out of over a 143 tests.
Today Aftermarket brands are sold with identifiable packaging and also have easy customer service access for customers to call to verify the item.
For example : Click here to check out an ERP item
All these companies are located in the United States and all have insurance, business locations, and U.S.A. citizens working for them. I guess it comes down to what makes you as a consumer feel safe. That is completely understandable and peace off mind is the best form of therapy that there is. But honestly at the end of the day you have to wonder what is really being sold to you? Is it the same product as the Aftermarket one, but just in different packaging? Are you paying twice or even three times as much for the same product to a company that out sources most of its jobs?
Another question to keep in mind is where are you purchasing the product? Any OEM provider will tell you to only buy OEM product. Only the truth comes from the distributor that offers both and in many cases most of those companies don't exist due to controlled alliances and fears of threats coming true from the OEM providers that they'll pull product and bankrupt the distributor.
It also comes down to how much you can afford and how much you are willing to spend to fix an issue. Honestly the OEM factory provider doesn't want you to repair the appliance as they'd rather you spend 10 to 100 times more and go buy a new appliance. However if you are going to purchase a repair part they'll be more than happy to sell it to you for a certain price. Aftermarket brands could save you $100's if rebuilding a machine and/or repairing it. In fact you could save even more if it keeps you from purchasing a new appliance.
Most Aftermarket brands are 100% tested, verified, and insured just as the OEM are. So if that's the case then it depends upon the consumer just as everything else does. Do you trust the product?
Here @ Pandora's OEM we make sure that all product we carry and sell is up to highest of industry standards. If we offer it then we back it and at the end of the day we support any consumers decision on why they chose one over the other. Only a fraction of Aftermarket parts are available and many items are only made through OEM providers. However we want to assure customers around the world that Aftermarket is not a bad thing and in fact it helps many save $. We love OEM and we love Aftermarket. It just depends on what it is and how much you want to spend.
So next time you reach into your pocket to pay for a part don't be afraid of asking for the Aftermarket and the OEM if it's available. And then compare them yourself as it's always worth that extra time to save the extra money. In most cases you'll be good either way with either result, but if you want to save money you may be happy to know that the Aftermarket will work just fine. Don't be afraid to use it as in most cases it's the same.