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Old 06-18-2008, 05:39 PM   #1
Unabomber
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OMGHi2U Purchasing parts on eBay, a guide for j00!

Please consider this a guide to all your Subaru eBay questions. Brand names, company names, part types used in this guide are FOR EXAMPLE only.

What is an eBay vendor and reseller?

eBay Vendor: A company whose sole job in life is to sell parts on eBay. These folks usually re-brand components with their name on them. By rebranding I mean they buy generic piping kits, have Subaru specific components welded on, then spot weld on their label plate. They may or may not have their own website aside from the eBay business. True life examples are SSAC, OBX, XO2 Racing, etc.

eBay Reseller: Can be private party or similar to a vendor. This can be in the form of Joe Smith selling his old Prodrive exhaust, or occasionally you'll see Subaru companies or manufacturers sell excess stock. As an example, Perrin Performance would sell leftover Version 1 fuel rails on eBay to make way for their new Version 2 fuel rails. Or another example is a major retailer like Oakos Automotive may have an eBay store to expand their visibility.

What do I need to look out for when dealing with a eBay Reseller? When dealing with private parties, the biggest concern is parts knowledge and the right amount of parts. Joe Smith does not know if his JDM length downpipe will work with your aftermarket turbo'd RS. He may purposely or ignorantly give you the wrong fitment advice. Joe Smith may also purposely or ignorantly say that all the parts are there. Imagine missing a hose in your APS inlet that is critical. Then you realize that getting a new one requires an order from Australia and since you broke your old inlet to remove it, your car will be sitting for weeks awaiting that part.

Most of the companies as discussed above have fewer shortcomings as they have the knowledge to ensure you are getting the right parts. Sometimes though the price point might not be the best though, so lets say you find a TurboXS intercooler on there for $700 from a recognized company. You might find the exact thing cheaper through say a NASIOC Vendor.

What do I need to look out for when dealing with eBay Vendors? The main complaints about these guys has to do with fitment, lack of instructions, poor quality, and poor service. I hate to generalize, but here it is: most eBay Vendors sell billions of parts to 16 year old kids for their $2000-$5000 Honda. Those customers care about price first with quality not even being on the radar. Their suppliers have started to expand to other manufacturers in order to sell more stock, so we have a plethora of cheap parts for Subarus now. Many times these Vendors know next to nothing about a Subaru and can give bad advice and are little help with fitment.

So how do I get a good deal from a eBay reseller? Do your own homework! Find out fitment for your car first. Research what is needed for the install. Most used items don't have gaskets and remember the cardinal rule of gaskets...when in doubt, replace it. So realize that the Prodrive midpipe you scored for $50 will set you back an additional $20 for gaskets. Go to the manufacturer of the part's website and see if what parts come new, match what is in the auction. ASK THE FOLLOWING before bidding:

1. Is there anything missing?
2. What is your return policy?*
3. Are the instructions included or where can I download them from?
4. Are the photos on your auction of the ACTUAL item?*

As an addendum to item 2 above, don't buy an intercooler with a two week return policy when you know damn well you aren't going to install it until a month later. Don't be THAT guy...

As an addendum to item 4 above, many use stock photos of old designs or even photos of parts for say Honda fitment. It never hurts to ask for photos of the actual item you are bidding on to ensure you are getting the right product.

Aside from that, comparison shop as you might find the same component from either your local for sale forum on NASIOC or the main for sale for here. Odds are a NASIOC user is less likely to screw you over than some random eBay entity.

What are the pros and cons of buying through an eBay Vendor?

Cons:
a. You are supporting the Chinese government. 99.99999999945% of the parts you see come from China. So if buying from foreign countries rubs you wrong this is a con, if you don't care...well, now you know where all these cheap parts come from.
b. Support can suck. Instructions, tips, advice....all pretty much non-existent.
c. Fitment can suck. Some parts are sometimes just a little off. It may take a whack with a "persuasion hammer" to put your downpipe on, or you may need to persuade your subframe a little for your headers, or you may need to dremel out a bolt hole. If you aren't skilled in the "get 'er done" arts, eBay is not a smart move for you.
d. Parts can be horrible. By this, you may receive broken parts, parts that only last a year, or parts that don't perform as stated.
e. You may be supporting a counterfeiter. Some eBay Vendors will buy a Kartboy shifter, send it to China, then due to zero R&D and slave wages, have a functional shifter that even with a 50% mark-up in profit is 50% less than the original.

Pros:
a. Cheap. Have you priced a Process West or Perrin front mount intercooler? Nose bleed city. A front mount from eBay can be less than $400!
b. You can buy today and have it tomorrow. Some traditional stores have to drop ship or take a week to get parts...with eBay you can often get items next day if you wish.

But where can I find out which eBay Vendors' parts are good? Often times you can't. This is because Jimmy buys an exhaust on eBay and posts a great review in the Car Parts Forum like this: OFMG the eBay exhaust I bought for $99 is m4d tyte y0!. Once again, eBay does NOT sell exhausts, and his dumb self didn't include the fact that what he bought was an OBX exhaust from eBay. Searching for OBX brings up relevant reviews, searching for eBay brings up garbage.

But seriously, where can I find out which eBay Vendors' parts are good? Shut up will ya? Here is my advice based on years of being on these forums and seeing others' results and doing many installs of these parts myself:

Exhausts: They are all loud as crap. All eBay exhausts regardless of brand are a cheap-o N1 style exhaust and they are loud as all get out. Fitment is usually pretty good though and the quality is not bad. As long as you/your significant other/your parents/your neighbors don't mind a loud as crap exhaust, you can save money and get one of these and probably get a good deal on something that will last the average life of car ownership.

Headers: Craptastic. All brands/flavors/varieties suck. They fit like hell. They break like crazy. You have to beat the crap out of your subframe to fit them in. Just don't buy them.

Turbos: Probably the most important and expensive purchase you can make and you want a Chinese made replica of a Korean knock-off of a Japanese turbo? You'd have to be out of your mind to buy one of these heaps.

TMICs and FMICs: Probably the BEST buy on eBay. Having done or seen done many intercoolers, I can honestly say that eBay pretty much ownz in the intercooler business. I've heard and seen some heroic battles with brand name intercoolers that end up looking haggard with miss-aligned pipes, offset intercooler cores, crappy fittings, missing hardware. Every eBay intercooler I've seen or heard of fits like crazy, is cheap as crap, and is 10 times better than the name brand units.

Strut bars and H braces: Also great buys. They are cheap as all get out and usually fit OK as long as you have a "massage hammer". Mind you most suspension minded people will chant that those items are pretty much worthless (except maybe for a rear strut bar in wagons), but they can look nice.

Differentials: Another eBay success though a rare item. Though few users have them, the eBay differentials really seem to do their job and are very cheap compared to brand name aftermarket units.

Intakes: Just say no. You'd be better off constructing your own from Home Depot parts. Ugh...

But my Cousin Jimmy has an eBay intake and says it's m4d tyte y0! Many people have had success with "known bad" eBay products. I'm sure there are good eBay headers or intakes, but those are widely known as exceptionally craptacular but your mileage may vary depending on the type/brand/style/vendor. On the same hand, you might get a craptastic intercooler when those are generally regarded as "known good". This is where the "What is your return policy?" question comes into play.

What are the big eBay no-nos?

a. Any auction that says something like +25HP in 10 minutes for $15. Those are generally electronic fixes to fool your car into running closed or open loop (I forget which) all the time. Yes, they "work", but it's just about the worst idea in the history of man.
b. Any auction that says something like +4MPG in 10 minutes for $15. Those run the gamut of pseudo science from pills in the gas tank to CO2 chillers for fuel lines to magnetic do-hickys to straighten out your fuel ions...whatever fuel ions are. If the auction quotes excessive amounts of "proof" or "reviews" or generally uses garish colors and fonts that give you Excedrin Headache #36, it's probably BS.

OK, but there are no reviews of the (made up name) "Boomby exhaust" from eBay in the car parts review forum, can't I ask for a review? That's what the ask a seller feature on eBay is for. Ask the seller your questions. If you buy it, post your own review to help others. Sadly, we do not have a "Please Review" forum here, nor will we ever as there are about 86,098 parts on eBay from 45,321 vendors. So if you have questions, ask the seller...this is an excellent way to both feel out the Vendor and get the information you need.

Should I use paypal on eBay? I'm not going into the whole "paypal is the devil" speech as that's played out. But, if you are spending over $100 on eBay on an item, it is WORTH your time to pay with a credit card through paypal than by using the eCheck or bank account feature. If you have a problem and file a dispute through paypal, even if you "win", paypal can only give you your money back if the seller has that money in their paypal account. It has occurred MANY TIMES where someone sends $2000 to a paypal person, a box of bricks show up to the buyer, they file a claim, paypal concurs, and the buyer receives a $0 refund. If you pay with a credit card, one call to Visa or Mastercard and your money is returned.
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Last edited by Unabomber; 08-25-2008 at 03:41 AM.
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Old 06-18-2008, 05:41 PM   #2
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Saved for expansion later today/tomorrow/this weekend. I've been dying to write this for some time and finally got off my ass today. I'm sure there's more to come and if anyone has comments for inclusion, please post and I'll do my best to add your thoughts unless your thoughts suck.
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Old 06-18-2008, 05:43 PM   #3
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it never ends!


Great job!
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Old 06-18-2008, 06:00 PM   #4
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Awesome job as usual! I fear ebay...Id rather support a vendor here on NASIOC, or hell. Buy from your local subaru guys! Your money 9 outa 10 times goes back to mods for the fellow scooby owner! It helps the economy...somehow?
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Old 06-18-2008, 06:02 PM   #5
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he does it A G A I N !!!! Ron is a cyborg!

wait, did I read that right???? eBay IC's are most excellent?! You would..... reccomend them......over (?) a name brand?

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Old 06-18-2008, 06:05 PM   #6
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Great job once again!
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Old 06-19-2008, 02:26 PM   #7
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UNABOMBER iz tha maaan
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:23 PM   #8
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"Should I use paypal on eBay?" --> very good and very important piece of advice in that section. I'm one of those who almost got burned buying a $1,200 "Honda turbo kit" on Ebay with PayPal. Luckily, I never felt comfortable using my checking account with PayPal, I always use a credit card :-)
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unabomber View Post
This is because Jimmy buys an exhaust on eBay and posts a great review in the Car Parts Forum like this: OFMG the eBay exhaust I bought for $99 is m4d tyte y0!. Once again, eBay does NOT sell exhausts...

Good write up.
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:08 PM   #10
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quit it, my bookmarks folder is running out of room for stickys
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:12 PM   #11
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I just creamed my paaaaaaants!
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:21 PM   #12
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expand on exhausts? not going to name any specific, but we've all heard of a couple ebay knock-offs that are actually good exhausts.
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:32 PM   #13
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I'm not getting into specifics on exhausts or any parts as there are 9,000 models. That's what the car parts review forum is for. eBay exhausts as stated are OK...I've installed several. Their main killer is they are loud as crap though. N1 mufflers = loud.
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:41 PM   #14
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I'm a little skeptical of your talk about eBay intercoolers. Do you or do you don't back them? It looks like you do, but much research everywhere else would lead me to believe that they are a bad idea. I HAVE an eBay type, I don't like the fitment (it's good now, but was a sonbitch the first few times) and after saving for a good one, you've got me wondering yet again.
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Old 06-19-2008, 09:31 PM   #15
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^^ There are several different ones. Some were made by X02 racing, others by SSAC. SSAC also made a few variants. I've had good luck with the X02's, but the SSAC seem to be hit or miss depending on the MY car you have. There is a huge thread about both the "ebay" TMIC and FMIC.
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Old 06-19-2008, 09:41 PM   #16
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great write-up. i have a lot of experience with ebay, all good actually. the few problems i have had the seller was more than willing to help out or refund the purchase (i.e. my wife bought vent visors for her Mazda3 hatch that said they were for an 08. they didnt fit at all. we took a picture e-mailed the seller, returned the product, and our money was given back). i am currently waiting on some taillight tint for the Outback Sport and some Hella supertones!!
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Old 06-19-2008, 09:44 PM   #17
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Once again we are talking about generalizations...which is where I always get hammered. eBay TMIC and FMIC are great for the most part. Heck, I currently have a "fits great" JDM Ver. 7 STI TMIC. Yes it does fit great, but I've had to move my AC line bracket several times, I rubbed a hole in my AC line, it's a tight fit against the firewall, etc. No more trouble than many have had with aftermarket units.

Mechie3 is correct though as brands can be tricky with different MY cars as can manufacturing tolerences. I remember when TurboXS first came out with their FMIC kit. My buddy was like the first person evAr to get and install one. It fit like butt and he lost his foglights. Immediately other people said we were n00bs and hack installers and had different results. Stuff happens. And this is from a brand name company. Our local "go-to" mechanic SWEARS by the SSAC FMIC...cheap as crap, fits like crazy, T-bar clamps, and goes one 90 times quicker than other brand name units.

My apologies for mentioning brand names...your mileage may vary...don't run with scissors...void in SCIC. As I recall though, you are saving for the Process West TMIC, which is THE most ballin' TMIC evAr. I'll be way jealous if you get it.
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Old 06-19-2008, 09:53 PM   #18
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This is a great write up for ebay. But I would still much rather stick with the local vendors rather than wasting time/money on ebay. Support you local region. Buy used parts from members on the forums. Usually I've noticed most of the parts coming from ebay are lower quality. My 2 cents - take it for what it's worth.
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Old 06-20-2008, 05:07 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smurfwrx View Post
he does it A G A I N !!!! Ron is a cyborg!

wait, did I read that right???? eBay IC's are most excellent?! You would..... reccomend them......over (?) a name brand?
Ron runs only the MOST high quality TMICs on the market
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Old 06-20-2008, 09:17 AM   #20
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Awesome thread. I to have had good and bad experiences with EBay parts. This is, and will be, a great resource!
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Old 06-20-2008, 12:42 PM   #21
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The "ebay" TMICs are GARRRRRRRRRBAGE. Not great for the most part, junk for the most part. Are there some exceptions? Sure. But if you go on ebay, type in WRX/STI TMIC, 99.9% of what comes up, is, in fact junk.

I have done testing with them, they produce less power than the OEM STI tmic. There is a HELL of a lot more to an intercoolers performance than pressure drop. Dont let marketing hype by sellers that either are lieing or dont know what they are talking about in the first place tell you otherwise.

There have been several people on nasioc tuned on the "ssac" style TMICs, then tuned on an STI tmic (at the recommendation of their tuner in 2 cases that I have seen, on the recommendation of nasioc members in the others) and GAINED power going back to the STI tmic.

A free flowing intercooler is useless if it does'nt cool the charge worth a damn.
What is the problem? Fin density. Or lack of it more specifically.

The "ebay" fmics work well, and outperform GOOD tmics. But again, they DO NOT, under any circumstances perform equally to a GOOD fmic.

And no, the SSAC FMIC does not use the same core as the TurboXS as some people think. Just because an intercooler looks the same on the outside, that does'nt mean its the same inside.

None of this is guessing, this is all info freely available on NASIOC as well as a couple other forums. There have been several people that have done back to back testing, or seen back to back testing (I have in the TMIC case) and held the parts in their own hands (as have I).
Are there a lot of people happy with their EBAY TMICs? Yup. Why? Because they don't know any better. Plain and simple. If they had a GOOD tmic, they would be making more power. If they did their own tuning, they would see how little the ebay style TMICs actually do compared to stock. Same thing with the FMIC. If they went from an ebay FMIC to a good FMIC, they would see how much further the engine can be pushed.
That said, a $300 FMIC is still going to outperform the a TMIC regardless of who made/sold it. (unless that TMIC is an Air/water setup)

No offense Ron, you know I like you and respect you, but I really feel you need to stop writing FAQs. You have been putting out a lot of really crap info as of the last few FAQs (not all of it obviously), and I have been really shocked by some of the answers you have given people. I guess that is pretty harsh, but i dont know how else to say it Basic stuff that I KNOW you know, and you say something completely different.

People need to also understand one thing, The ability to write an FAQ does not= any ability to put good info into them. He definately is no dummy and knows Subarus really well, but some of the stuff is just plain wrong. Also, old FAQs are just that, old. Which means a lot of information is outdated and needs to be changed due to changes in how things are working, product redesigns, new findings ETC. My own FAQ is not immune to this and is sorely in need of updating (which I am working on) Don't read one persons post and believe it as gospel. Do your own research. Ask questions, get feedback from multiple sources.

Please dont take this as a flame, that isnt how I intend it to be. More of an "intervention" of sorts I guess.

Last edited by Davenow; 06-20-2008 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:29 PM   #22
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amazing
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Old 06-20-2008, 07:17 PM   #23
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I know exactly who manufactures the TurboXS intercooler. I also know exactly who manufactures the SSAC intercooler. Remember when someone was going to sue someone, then we all forgot about it? There is a reason why and a few people know. I happen to know.

I appreciate your inputs and do not discredit them, but while you have experiences that I value, be humble enough to rely on other people once in awhile...I don't make things up.

As to my FAQs, they could use updating and I do when I have time, but nothing in my FAQs ever says I am the end all of Subaru information. Before me...there was no one. If you find me posting bad or incorrect information, be a man and call me on it with support. I can admit when I am wrong and APPRECIATE it when people show me I'm posting incorrectly. If any of my FAQs are dead wrong, let me know and I'll research and fix them. Whining about it in this thread only merits you my contempt...this is especially troubling since I support you and appreciate your input. Heck, I just ordered a Super16G from Deadbolt based on your writings a few weeks ago in this forum, and went so far as to tell Jerry that when I placed my order.

And before you go poking fingers, there is no one on this earth that can say that a FMIC will out perform a TMIC. If you think you can say this truly, then you sir are wrong. Unless one does testing back to back on a MAHA dyno which has never occurred, we will never know which one is more efficient and produces more power. Now please, if you want to spread hate, we can go there, but let's take it to PMs or OT or a new thread. I'm hoping you just had a bad day and there is no bad blood between us as I value you and your opinions.

Last edited by Unabomber; 06-20-2008 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 06-21-2008, 12:16 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unabomber View Post
As I recall though, you are saving for the Process West TMIC, which is THE most ballin' TMIC evAr. I'll be way jealous if you get it.

You have quite a memory my friend . Yes that's 'The One'. I wanted it until I saw the matching splitter, now I HAVE to have it. Small and efficient, simple yet elegant, but savemebabyjesus expensive!

I have read the TMIC/FMIC FAQ multiple times (not as much the FMIC, I think TMIC + meth is better than a FMIC any day), but since it was on topic I figured it couldn't hurt to get a little confirmation from the author himself. There are a few people here who's opinion I value more than others . Thanks.

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Old 06-21-2008, 12:53 AM   #25
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Great job Unabomber/Ron (Don't know which you preferred to be called) as usual. To Audiosavvy: Damn, that's one sexy intercooler ; hope you enjoy it!
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purchased ipod on ebay.. no software.. :( skimmilk68 Off-Topic 5 09-13-2005 03:11 PM
Some used JDM STi parts on eBay for $1 Jude DeMeis Private 'For Sale' Classifieds 3 11-22-2003 11:59 PM
Questions about newly purchased system on Ebay DrBoy01 Car Audio, Video & Security 27 07-14-2002 11:11 AM


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