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Buying parts on E-bay

so, I need to replace brakes and rotors all around. Looked at national auto parts stores websites. Prices vary widely but I could find only litte write-up about each part.

Looked on e-bay and it seems I can save a little money buying, for example, 4 rotors (zinc plated) and ceramic pads for about $375. I am tempted to go for it.

But, what am I really looking for when purchasing rotors. How do I know what is a good or excellent quality?

I think you would be better served by buying parts locally and that way if a problem exists, or develops, you can handle it quickly in one day rather than go through a mail order process that may leave you stranded.

EBay has a large number of importers or drop shippers palming a lot of Chinese junk off and not just in the EBay Motors category.
I’ve been an eBay buyer/seller for about 11 years and have gone in and bought a few parts against my better judgment. In every single case there have been problems.

The key is to look for people that have 100% feedback (or really close to it) and LOTS of satisfied customers. There are folks on there trying to pass off crappy parts, but there are as many (if not more) people running legitimate parts businesses via eBay, and the last thing they want to do is screw people because EVERYONE will be able to read about it.

I purchased a set of fuel injectors for my S-10 off of eBay; they were exact OEM replacements and work perfectly. This particular seller (“thepartsladi”) has something like 99.8% positive feedback, and somewhere over 40,000 total feedback postings. They are the real deal, and they’re not alone. Just look carefully.

Even with a lot of satisfied customers, the parts don’t necessarily last a long time. Satisfaction has more to do with the transaction than part life. I never got a request from eBay to rate the parts a year after I bought them. I bought power window regulator/motor combos from 3 different places on eBay. The first 2 failed before a year elapsed. The last one is coming up on a year and still running.

Well, then I suppose it’s on me if the injectors I installed blow up a couple years from now.

They were new in-the-box Delphi injectors, same ones I could get at Advance or Autozone…unless they went to the trouble of purposely mislabeling, falsely rebranding, and cleaning up garbage parts to look like new. Not everyone on eBay is out to scam people, despite the stories.

Zinc plated??? Zinc plated=Galvanized. not what you want with rotors…

Bought a used man. trans. for my Contour on the 'Bay. So far, it’s gone 2500 mi w/o incident.

I’m guessing the “zinc plated” bit is to prevent rusting in shipping…imagine it’d wear off entirely within 200mi or so.

Zinc is a very hard coating used for rust prevention and a quick look at eBay shows the claim is that zinc will prevent rotor rusting.
Wonder how long they think that zinc will remain in place.

Maybe they’re Chinese rotors that went through a zinc bath (a cheap process) to prevent their rusting away on a container ship on the way to the U.S.

Back in the 70s/80s Hondas manufactured in Japan and shipped to the U.S. used to arrive with plastic shields over the brake rotors to prevent rusting. The shields were supposed to be removed during the pre-delivery inspection and in some cases they were forgotten. This would lead to a horrible burning plastic smell, and a gooey mess, after the first few stops.

Zinc is toxic. I cannot imagine that they’d allow it on the wear surafces. I imagine they’d have to put a “resist” on the wear surfaces prior to plating.

Or am I being naieve?

I didn’t say that everyone is out to scam the buyer. I spent $75 for the regulator/motor instead of $350 at the dealer. Sometimes you do get what you pay for. I had another experience where the seller didn’t have the part in stock. They kept me abreast of the difficulty finding it. It turned out that it was the same price as at the dealer. They were honest during our email discussions, and promptly returned my money when I canceled the order. I would buy from them again.

Coating could be zinc dichromate or zinc phosphate.

Either would act as a lubricant. I doubt that they would use them.

Brakes, mufflers, and tires are nothing EVER to cheap out on with unknown quantities. Failure of any of those can KILL you.

I would not cheap out here.