Aftermarket or OEM?



Aftermarket or OEM?

This million dollar question has invited answers from experts from varying fields and their answers had mixed reaction.  Here is an attempt by MFAME to debunk some popular myth when it comes to Aftermarket products.

AFM – Aftermarket

OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer

AFM parts are a great alternative to the OEM parts.  Over the years there has been a misconception that the OEM is superior to the aftermarket.  It used to be a fundamental truth; the facts no longer support the marketplaces’ misconception and have significantly changed in the last few years.  Recent tests performed in the marketplace have shown aftermarket products perform no differently that the original and in some cases outperform the OEM.

So what is an aftermarket part?

It is any manufactured component that is not sourced from the original manufacturer.  There are a number of companies fabricating aftermarket components that are designed to function exactly the same as the OEM.  Some AFM manufacturers actually take the original part and reverse engineer it.  During this process the AFM manufacturer might find and remove defects which may possibly result in an improved version.  For this reason many AFM fabricators have become world class brands, they simply perform as well as or better than the OEM.

So now that you know what aftermarket is, what is the buyer’s misconception about AFM products?

The market misconception begins with the age old adage, “you get what you pay for.”  so this begs the question, is there anything wrong with the AFM and does the less expensive AFM part mean poorer quality?

A group of business professors who have studied the question have concluded that “…you can;t determine quality by price alone.”  When choosing a replacement part an informed decision can eliminate any risk and help your bottom line.  In this way, a balance can be struck between price and quality.


  1. When buying aftermarket you will be faced with a greater selection of manufacturers. Some manufacturers specialize in specific parts, and others make almost any component you can think of.  A higher quality engineered part will usually be the end result from a more specialized fabricator.  A greater selection of manufacturers ushers in a high level of competition resulting in aggressive pricing.
  2. Speed of delivery is very important to the consumer.  OEM parts usually are not as readily available; this may result in your equipment remaining offline for a longer time than necessary and time is money.  Because AFM suppliers are usually highly specialized they may either have your component in stock or they can usually have it manufactured within a very short period of time.  AFM products usually have shorter lead times than the OEM.
  3. An aftermarket manufacturer that produces high quality components will usually back their product with a guarantee or warranty.  In the past it seemed that most AFM fabricators didn’t care about customer satisfaction.  With the evolution of the marketplace many AFM manufacturers realized the only way to please the customer was to not only give them quality but also to stand behind their product.  This resulted in the branding of many AFM fabricators.
  4. Here is the best quality about AFM, generally AFM parts are considerably less expensive than the OEM, and how much you save varies by brand.  It is usual that the OEM parts are at least 60% higher or twice the cost of AFM parts.

Here is a little secret fact that most consumers do not know.  In many cases the aftermarket is the original manufacturer’s suppliers behind the scenes.  Many OEM’s have realized the AFM makes quality products and it is more beneficial for them to outsource an AFM fabricator than produce the part themselves.  The aftermarket manufacture which is outsourced by the OEM indirectly becomes the OEM!

We are sure that you would be using both OEM and AFM parts.  We request you to please feel free to share your thoughts on OEM and AFM parts – which one do you prefer?

Share your experience in using OEM and AFM parts.

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