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The only place for a coil spring is up Zebedee's arse
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I'm fed up with eBay. It cost me more then I saved last year and I want to close my account. But it seems to be a good source for obscure parts which can no longer be bought new. Sunroof motor for example.

What are the best alternatives (if any)?

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I have used Ebay a lot over the years. My count is up to nearly 1700.
There has been the occasional problem, mainly with with used auto parts. I have had a few items where the part does not match the description.
Sellers describing a part as "good condition" where it is down to interpretation. Private sellers are usually OK. I think it is mainly breakers.
Some electronic parts as well, particularly for computers. If it says "untested" it means it has been tested and it is f**ked.

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I get my parts from Roverviews --- most recent was new covered roof panel-£70 ---- cost me that for kit

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I take any auto breaker that says 'item is tested and fully working' as BS until it turns up and I've seen it - because:

a) they aren't going to spend the time properly testing anything and everything, let alone more complicated or bespoke parts
b) they generally always offer at least 30 days warranty - on the basis it hopefully works and everyone is happy, if not they refund you or send out another one

For the price most parts are offered at, its kind of hard to complain really even if the odd thing does turn up and not work - and I've had that more than once.

I bought a replacement Webasto diesel heater for my BMW a few years ago. Fully tested the add said. Now... for one, without diagnostics and an understanding of when and how said diesel heater with BMW firmware on it works, you cannot test it at all on demand. And then considering it turned up and the whole coolant passage was full of black oily coolant gunge, the car it came from had clearly suffered a catastrophic failure and had this heater been lit up, it would have very quickly gone into overheat and noped itself into faulting out.

Alas - it was cheap, and I actually only needed the controller PCB from it, so it worked out for me in that case. But you can't really expect breakers selling stuff so cheap to sit and test every component they take off a car - it doesn't make economic sense.

Frustrating when stuff turns up and doesn't work? Yes - but that's the risk. If it turns up and is clearly not as described though, that's a dick move on the sellers part.

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I've only ever had a couple of problems, one was sorted out straight away but I lost out on the other. Both came from breakers that regularly advertise stuff so there's one I will use again and recommend and one I won't touch with a bargepole. I bought a starter motor and tested it before fitting it only to find it didn't work. Contacted the seller (EoC) and they immediately sent me another, didn't even ask for the first one back. Second time a breaker was advertising a pair of front seats and the photos showed the exact same cloth seats as mine. The grey cloth seats up to 97 were a sort of velour material, similar to what is often called the Teddy Bear seats when fitted into a Classic, but mine, being a 98 has a darker, courser, more hardwearing cloth. The photos clearly showed the later ones and all I really wanted was the seat bases to swap into mine as my drivers seat had suffered from having someone sitting on it for hundreds of thousand miles. They were asking a ridiculous amount of money for carriage so I said I didn't mind paying full price for them but only needed the bases and as they would be smaller and lighter, that should reduce the carriage. They agreed and sent them only for me to open them up and find they were the earlier ones. I sent them photos of what they'd sent to compare with the photos on the listing and their attitude was, "you wanted the bases from a pair of cloth seats and that's what we sent so tough". They even admitted they'd got more than one set and had used the same photo in each listing but still refused to supply me with the ones they'd taken a photo of rather than ones that didn't match mine. I gave up in the end and just won't use them again

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There used to be a scrapyard called Doncaster Motor Spares, I went there quite a lot with my dad as a kid and went there by myself as a teenager. Back then they had a muddy yard with cars rocking on top of each other and if you wanted an obscure part the owner/staff would let you have a walk around the yard yourself to find the part you wanted and remove it yourself. 20 Years later they moved to a bigger site, renamed the firm Motorhog.co.uk and advertised heavily on TV and radio. Now if you want a part and you phone them you speak to a girl who knows nothing about cars, tell her what part you want and wait 4 hours for them to txt you to say 'Sorry no parts' even though you know full well they have the part in stock. But years ago having been made redundant I applied for a job there and was offered it but turned it down to do something that paid a bit better.. The manager still seems to know my face today, not sure if that's because of how often I visited in the past or because he once interviewed me for a job, but if I visit he'll usually let me sit alongside one of his workers in a golf cart to go on the hunt for cars/parts in their large concrete storage yard where cars are kept on racking instead of stacked on top of each other on a mud base. Wish it were still like the old days though, and I think they could make far more money if they had better staff who didn't tell customers they had no parts when they do. Just like the Ebay sellers, they always seem to have a que of irate customers bringing parts back that were incorrectly supplied.