Should You Buy Your Plumbing Fixtures or Furnace Parts on Amazon?
Do you shop online? Do you buy your clothes, books, fitness equipment from Amazon? So many of us do; it’s convenient, with tons of options and, usually, you can’t beat the price. While you can usually get a good deal with few issues when buying these types of products on Amazon, the same doesn’t hold true for hardware supply items like plumbing fixtures or furnace parts. One word to consider before you buy your plumbing or other furnace parts on Amazon: beware!
What many people do not know about purchasing through Amazon is that, although Amazon is fulfilling your order, they are usually reselling a 3rd party’s items. According to The Washington Post, “nearly 60 percent of all physical goods sold on Amazon’s e-commerce marketplace come from third-party merchants.” (Burning laptops and flooded homes: Courts hold Amazon liable for faulty products, August 29, 2020). Further, the 3rd party seller is typically not an authorized dealer, which means there is no warranty if something goes wrong, parts do not fit, or some are missing.
Don’t get us wrong, Amazon may offer you a replacement item or a refund. But that won’t help you out if your plumber is in the middle of an install and the part doesn’t fit or breaks. Now, it will cost you more money for additional plumber hours to fix the problem, and in the meantime, your sink or toilet (for instance) is out of commission while you wait for a refund or replacement item.
Bottom line: don’t buy home supplies, like plumbing fixtures or furnace parts, on Amazon. While it may cost a few extra dollars, for warranty purposes and peace-of-mind, buy those items through an authorized dealer or better yet, have your tradesperson (who gets parts from an authorized dealer) supply them as part of the job. That way, you can avoid wrong parts or parts that don’t fit.
If you choose to go the Amazon route, there is a good chance you could compromise the warranty, going from an extended period down to a year or none at all. The opposite is true if you buy from an authorized dealer or have a certified tradesperson buy the parts and do the install.
Also, plumbing and gas codes can change. If you buy a fixture or a part to repair a gas appliance and it is not compliant with the latest codes (CSA – Canadian Standards Association or CGA – Canadian Gas Association), certified technicians cannot legally install it and you may be stuck with items you cannot return.
Another consideration is the availability of parts. As certified tradespeople, we have a good level of knowledge in this area. Newly purchased or not, anything mechanical can fail. If parts are hard to find, your Amazon deal can quickly cost you much more than you had originally planned to spend.
We Got You Covered
On the other hand, certified technicians, like us at Sherwood Mechanical, will use warranted parts. That way, if a problem occurs while there is still warranty in place, we will take the responsibility and fix or replace parts. Not so if you purchase parts elsewhere, as we or another technician, cannot reasonably stand behind the parts or fixtures since they were not supplied by us.
Shop Local/Support Local: We’ve Got Your Back
Small business owners and local suppliers are the backbone of our communities. When you support local businesses, like Sherwood Mechanical, we will gladly support you when you need it most (think 2:30 a.m. when your furnace stops working in the middle of winter). This is because we buy our parts from local suppliers who will open their doors for us so we can take care of your emergencies, even in the middle of the night. Will Amazon (or other online supplier) handle your middle-of-the-night emergency? — not a chance!
Options Are Not Created Equal
While online shopping may give you a world of options, not all choices are created equal, so to speak. So, don’t be swayed into buying your plumbing or furnace parts through Amazon because of cheaper pricing or “look, free shipping!”. Although you may get a deal today, it will likely cost you more in the future.
Have questions about your plumbing and heating needs? Give us a call at 780-449-5322, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at sherwoodmech.com.