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This is simply a heads-up to those of you who buy from RockAuto and have never experienced their return process.

I recently had to return a part that was not as advertised (the image was of a different color part) and ended up recouping approximately 25% of what I paid. I spoke with a rep over the phone who was very rude and told me that "This is how the industry works". I asked to speak to a manager and was told that "He will call you back if he thinks this case justifies a call." Apparently it did, because I received a call from Shawn. In multiple ways and many times, I was told that this was my fault because prior to my purchase, I did not read through the FAQ section. In this section, apparently, RockAuto will not guarantee the parts are as described and pictured. Never was I offered an apology, never was there any effort to rectify the situation. I was only told that it was my fault and "If I were you, I would have read the FAQ section."

Regardless of nearly all mechanical parts for my cars coming from RockAuto for many years, RockAuto has lost my business.

$13 part + $10 shipping + $6 to ship it back to them (using their label). RockAuto refunded me $6.
 

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Yeah, their returns are a pain. They sent me a defective fuel pump but wouldn't send me a working replacement until they received my defective pump and deciphered the issues, which takes weeks... so my daily driver would have been down for that long. Instead I had to purchase a new pump, wait for it to ship to my house, then swap them and send the defective one back, hoping they'd refund it.

I can kind of understand how they don't want to have parts leaving inventory without payment but they're not very trusting or caring of their customers. I was in college at the time and letting them borrow $100 for collateral literally forced me to eat cheap pasta for like a week until I made a little more money (while I was waiting for this return process). I buy from Advanced Auto with 20-30% off codes now instead with no return issues.
 

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My Dad ordered a clutch kit from them and it came to him rusty, not surface rust, rusty. They paid shipping back, promptly sent him a new clutch, and my brother installed it. It didn't make it down the block before the throwout bearing failed. This is in a PT Cruiser, not the easiest clutch to do on the ground.

Second time around they sent him another kit, and said he could just throw away the old kit. I guess it depends on who you talk to at RockAuto.

I only order a few things from them, and only if it's a part that color or shape doesn't matter. I've been happy overall with them. And if there are core returns, I try to shop locally. To me it's worth it to not hassle with reboxing and mailing a core back, and waiting for the money to be credited, which can take weeks sometimes.
 

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You're buying parts from the cheapest source available, what are you expecting? That said, I've never had an issue with RA's parts, or returns the few times I have sent things back. Also, I've walked into NAPA (the supposed gold standard in parts stores and people) asked for a 40 amp Bosch relay, with a mounting tab, and was lead down an Isle and shown the flashers and was told to pick what I needed. 15 minutes of arguing with the three guys working group there, and I walked away empty handed because they couldnt get passed asking "what's it for." Theyn also didnot like my answer that I was building a robot.

OP seems pretty because his item didn't look like the picture. That's on him. A picture is a picture, what you get is what you get. With out asking, I wouldnt expect the picture to fully represent what I will get.
 

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My experience has been positive with returns. Sometimes they have refunded me and told me to keep the part. I have only had to contact them 2-3x maybe, but all the parts I got from them were solid.
Only oddity I care to mention is I ordered something in qty of 2 and each one of the parts was slightly diff part number made in different countries. Overall finish appeared the same though
 

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I had what I guess was a good experience with them.

Bought a engine/trans mount kit for my DD Camry. On the last mount, I pulled the stock and put in the replacement. Started wrenching down the nut (by feel - blind spot) and it wouldn't thread on. Tried a couple of times before pulling the mount back out. Come to find out, the replacement mount had a different thread pitch. You reuse the nuts from the original, so I didn't think anything about it initially. Well, of course that boogered up the threads real good on the new part. I sent it back with pictures of both the old and the new part and an explanation. They refunded that portion of the mount kit. I was afraid they wouldn't, but they did.
 
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