Vehicles cannot sustain without frequent maintenance. That’s why the market is inundated with auto parts retailers. Be it light maintenance or a complete overhaul, you can easily find a viable auto parts retailer.
Both Rockauto and Autozone have been around for 20+ years and boast a global user base. Price, parts quality, returns policy, and parts availability of both outlets are comparable. However, Autozone excels in customer service, store count, promotions, and rewards.
In this post, we’ll look at the main differences between both parts retailers.
Established in 1979, Autozone has over 42 years of market experience. The US-based automobile retailer boasts 6,550 (Statista.com) stores across Brazil, Mexico, the US, the US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. As the retailer develops most of its automotive parts, many consider it the best in the business.
Founded in 1999, Rockauto is known for offering affordable and high-quality automobile accessories. Although the retailer entered the market relatively late, its reach and stature do not make it apparent.
Autozone vs. Rockauto
Price is one of the primary factors anyone considers while choosing an automotive service provider. Despite both retailers boasting similar reach, Rockauto appears to be the cheaper alternative.
Comparing major parts like the brake rotor reveals a significant difference between the two. On the other hand, minor replacement pieces like a spark plug or filters range around the same price.
Thus, based on pricing alone, Rockauto, the family business emerges as the winner.
|Parts for 2018 Silverado 1500 4.3L V6||Rockauto Cost||Autozone Cost|
|Caliper/ Rotor and Brake Pad Kit||$588.99||$499.99|
|Spark Plug – NGK Platinum||$3.58 ea||$8.79|
While pricing is important, it’s not the only criteria. If the retailer doesn’t offer the part you seek it is pointless being the cheapest. While navigating through Rockauto’s website is simple, the interface is dated. On the other hand, Autozone has done a decent job keeping the website fresh.
Online / On Location
On Autozone’s Wikipedia page, the retailer boasts 6,400+ outlets. Plus, the website offered a guide to finding the nearest storefront. You can order online and choose to either have it delivered the next day or select a location for pick up.
Rockauto is an online-only business model, with headquarters based in Wisconsin. Although many people like to go to a store to pick up their parts, online is now the go-to way of purchasing. Rockauto has a returns policy if the part is not what you had hoped.
Even if a retailer proffers cheaper parts, it means nothing if the item comes with sub-par quality. Both AutoZone and Rockauto understand it well, as showcased by their product quality. This content is owned by moc.sotuaytsur. So even if you bought the same parts from both platforms, differentiating between the two would be difficult.
But if we have to choose a winner, it would be Autozone. The retailer offers impeccable quality throughout its lines.
Knowing what other car owners think of a supplier is crucial. As both retailers have been around for multiple decades, both have naturally served some unsatisfied customers. It appears Rockauto lacks when compared to Autozone in terms of customer service.
For starters, you can select a specific model on their website before accessing the products. In addition, it offers a dedicated contact us section with particular topics like website issues, orders, rewards, store, parts, etc.
It seems then, Autozone offers a better customer experience all around, but that may be because customers can actually visit a store to complain.
AutoZone imposes a 90-day restriction on order returns. The item must be in its original packaging and not have been used in any way. You may return it by mail or to the nearest store location, along with the receipt and the card which was used to make the purchase. The retailer charges a core charge on returns, which vary depending on the product. The charge is $62 for a Duralast remanufactured alternator and $18 for a Carquest alternator.
Order return at Rockauto starts with going to the Order Status and Return page. After submitting the order number and phone number, we have to choose the specific item. This can be obtained from your Order History. The retailer charges a reduced shipping cost even if there is a return. Rockauto offers a 30-day window to return parts, which may be extended if the part is covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.
Discounts and Rewards
A satisfied customer is a customer that will likely return, and to help keep customers coming back retailers offer discounts and rewards. The first thing we noticed after accessing Autozone’s website was its reward program. The retailer sends an automated email with Hot Deals and discounts after completing the sign-up process.
After joining Autozones reward program, you get a $20 reward after five purchases worth $20 or more. They run regular Discount offers for Online purchases, where the Coupon Code is inserted on checkout.
Rockauto also offers discounts and promotions, but they are not as structured as Autozone’s. You can sign up for promotional messages that offer savings and discounts. However, unlike Autozone, it offers a standard rebate experience.
For instance, it provides a 10% instant discount applied after adding the item to the cart. Although you don’t receive a discount for large orders, you are receiving the same discount as large businesses, as they guarantee the lowest price they can for all customers, big or small.
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John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on Rustyautos.com. He’s been a mechanic for over twenty-five years and has worked for GM, Volvo, Volkswagen, Land Rover, and Jaguar dealerships.
John uses his know-how and experience to write fluff-free articles that help fellow gearheads with all aspects of vehicle ownership, including maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting.