Wanted to make an announcement about a project I've been working on that many might find useful. Have been benefiting from the BMW community for a good number of years and am excited to be able to give something back. This originally started off to suit my own needs, but thought others could benefit from it, and it took off from there. Hopefully this answers many of the questions about finding reliable vendors, quality parts, and reasonable prices, and helps automate the process of parts shopping.
This comparison tool accepts any BMW part number and returns matching products from over forty vendors and forum classifieds. Results are returned in a single browser window, each site in its own tab. The "OE Price Check" feature displays Genuine BMW prices instantly from over twenty-five sites, and results can be exported to Excel for easy spreadsheet creation. Compare any part number from any program, save default selections, customize settings, and much more.
BMW PNPC runs on both Windows and Mac machines, works across multiple browsers, and is available for download on the main homepage. There is no install necessary. Simply download and use.
Shop sites by simply typing in a part number and selecting your preferred vendors. This can also be done instantly on any highlighted part number by holding either "Ctrl" or "Shift" and right-clicking. For those with Excel spreadsheets or parts lists, this feature is particularly useful. If you're reading through a DIY online that provides part numbers, or researching parts on RealOEM, this feature can be beneficial to quickly get an idea of availability, what everything might cost, and the best places to acquire parts. See graphic below and video under "Integrated Search" for a few examples.
Search results are returned in your default browser window (additional browsers may also be specified), each site conveniently in its own tab. Select from over thirty of the most popular and frequently shopped vendors and optionally choose to save those selections as your default for next time.
With this tool, you can even search forum classifieds for the part number you're looking for. And while not everyone includes the part number in their "for sale" listing, it's a useful feature to have. You can also search RealOEM and Penske Parts if you're interested in viewing a part diagram or the associated hardware.
Amazon and eBay are included, as well, since they're basic mainstays of shopping. When it comes to quality BMW parts, though, I think many would recommend looking elsewhere first, but if you would like to search Amazon or eBay, the ability is there.
For anyone looking to do a maintenance overhaul, you may have found that some pre-assembled kits include mediocre brands to help keep the cost down or don't include all the parts required to do a thorough job. By searching for each part individually, you can often buy better parts for a similar or cheaper price. Researching any number of parts across multiple vendors can be time consuming and this tool helps cut that time drastically.
Additionally, for those who like to make a list of parts and wait until they hit vendors' free shipping thresholds, this tool better enables you to quickly check prices and adjust orders with multiple vendors accordingly. Mix and match the best priced parts with the best shipping rates.
Special Note: The most recent update now includes an "OE Price" feature for Genuine BMW parts. For now, this feature is simply a convenience, partially as a proof of concept and still in "beta," but it may evolve to encompass other manufacturers over time. Again, this does not include other brands, only the OE Genuine BMW part. If you'd like to see all available parts from your selected vendors, and a true representation of all parts and price differences, please use the "Compare Sites" button. Speed is obviously dependent on your internet connection, number of vendors selected, and how quickly each website responds (I've been averaging around thirty seconds to run the entire list).
OE Price Export Feature: For easier handling of multiple part numbers and building pricing spreadsheets, OE prices can also optionally be copied to the clipboard (pre-formatted for Excel) after each search. For those looking to run multiple part numbers, the following Excel template calculates the cheapest total cost from a single vendor, as well as the price savings of buying everything individually. The Excel pricing matrix, as seen in the video below, was designed to be used in conjunction with the instant "OE Price" feature, but feel free to modify it to your liking.
You can download the template here: BMW PNPC v3.1.0 - OE Price Matrix Template.xlsx
BMW PNPC runs on both Windows and Mac machines and supports a number of web browsers including Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Opera, as well as other Mozilla variants including Cyberfox, Waterfox, and Pale Moon.
My priority is providing a good user experience and efficient price comparison across some of the most popular BMW parts vendors. If there's additional vendors you'd like added or a feature you think could be useful, please let me know. You can also find the answers to some frequently asked questions by visiting the FAQ page. Over the years, I've purchased parts from almost every vendor on the list and find this tool to be incredibly helpful.
Cheaper isn't always better, but more knowledge is. While this is a "part number price comparison" tool, many vendors have different shipping rates, warranty policies, and customer service. Whether you shop with every vendor available, are loyal to a specific two or three, or simply interested in checking availability and finding the best price around, this tool can help streamline your shopping experience and save time and money.
Check out the latest version of BMW PNPC, available for download on the main homepage.
If you find this tool useful and would like to show your appreciation by passing along some of the savings, please support the project and drop a tip in the tip jar! I'm a big privacy advocate and no personal information is collected whatsoever. I do have some analytics set up to see how many times this tool is downloaded and am excited to see how much use it gets. I have a great deal of respect for those willing to share their personal experiences and knowledge and hope this adds to the resource and wealth of knowledge that is the BMW community.
© SilberVogel 2013-2015