Genuine vs. OEM vs. Aftermarket
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Genuine vs. OEM vs. Aftermarket

"What is the difference between Genuine, OES, and OEM BMW parts?"
"Are OEM parts better than Genuine BMW parts?"
"What is the best brand for BMW parts?"
"Are aftermarket BMW parts worse quality than OEM?"

These are questions that come often when shopping for the best BMW parts. The whole concept of BMW parts brands has been cut up and rebuilt in recent years and up until now we saw no need to muddy the waters with our own take. However, it's a common-enough question that we finally decided to put our approach in print and offer a brief explanation of our brands, product types, and catalog structure.

We have a Good, Better, Best philosophy. If the factory part is Good, how can we make it Better and what is the Best part to offer? With increasing frequency that Best option is not going to come in a Genuine or OEM box.

Step Outside the OE Box

We seek out the brands and products that exceed the quality or performance of the original or fix a perceived design flaw. These are companies that reverse-engineer the original design to produce a part that performs better or lasts longer. These are brands like Meyle HD or Powerflex that engineer solutions to common problems and flaws and offer a superior product than the Genuine or OEM. These companies are proud to have stepped outside the OE box. There are other online shops where you can simply sort the catalog by price. That's not what we want our business to be. We want the brands that work the best and their status as an Original Manufacturer is irrelevant.

There's still room in our catalog for Genuine and OEM parts. A BMW is not a poorly-engineered machine by any measure. So we won't knock anyone that opts for standard parts that restore the original ride comfort, handling, or performance. Our Genuine parts are the same parts you would buy from the parts department at the dealer but at substantial savings. Buying a Genuine part will usually be more expensive than an OEM or aftermarket brand but you are assured that it meets BMW's standards for fitment, performance, and longevity. It will also be the very latest design, incorporating any updates or revisions that an Aftermarket or OEM brand may ignore.

An OEM provided parts to BMW directly, is familiar with the standards for quality and performance, and will often submit their products for independent TUV or ISO quality approvals. OEM parts are virtually identical to the Genuine without the inflated price tag. Side note: we don't split hairs between OE Manufacturer (OEM) and OE Supplier (OES) labels. To keep it simple and efficient we label them both as OEM.

There are many listings in our catalog labeled as Aftermarket. This is a Manufacturer that does not have a direct relationship with BMW (but may be an OEM to another manufacturer). The part follows the design of the original very closely, uses similar materials, and even has a similar warranty. Generally, these are budget-priced items from name brand manufacturers that fill the demand from cost-conscious shoppers. We're happy to offer lower-priced options with service and support on par with all of our other brands. But buyer beware - often times the low price includes low(er) quality. But a part with a high return rate or poor customer feedback will not survive in our catalog. It's also worth mentioning that some Aftermarket parts come from the same root supplier as an OEM but is sold with less of a markup than the big name brand.

"Racing Improves the Breed"

Of course we need to mention Performance and Racing brands and products. Our business started with a deep passion for Racing and Performance that continues today. The shortcomings in factory street parts is what drives Performance and Racing innovation. We develop and offer products that make a BMW go faster for longer. Performance parts are generally aimed at street use while Racing parts are intended for competition use on a race-track. We don't push Racing parts on a street car. There are many instances of where the Performance part is our Best option, offering no compromises in performance, comfort, or price.

An Inside Look at Warranties

A quick note about a warranty. Nearly every Genuine, OEM, and Aftermarket brand includes a two year warranty. However, many of our Better and Best products include a better warranty, and some are even guaranteed for a lifetime. However, there is a difference between a Manufacturer's warranty and a third-party / reseller warranty. The Manufacturer warranty is what counts. If a seller is adding their own warranty, above and beyond the Manufacturer's, ask yourself “How do they get away with that?”. It might just be a marketing gimmick intended to lure you in. In the fine print you will find many factors and loopholes that will void the warranty or allow the third-party to walk away.

Is your car still the Ultimate Driving Machine®? If you answered No, we want to hear from you!


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