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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I thought it might be a good idea to have a short discussion for some basic guidelines on how we are interpreting the condition of an advertised part. This not only applies to the this forum but in all real world advertising as to what we are expecting when making a purchase. It is intended for educational purposes and should never be misconstrued as any basis for litigation. I know there are various ranking standards that apply to items such as firearms, stamps, radios, baseball cards etc. The following terms are the "Automotive Ranking Levels" that I have been taught over the last thirty years:

NEW - New is what it says it is. New is a part or assembly generally speaking is still in the shipping container and has never been installed into its intended service. New has never been dismantled or reassembled except by its original manufacturer. New always comes with a warranty unless it is "new old stock."

USED - Used is a part or assembly that has been installed in the parts intended service. Used condition can range from a low run time new part to a part that has been in service for unknown years but still functions in its intended application. Used is always a bolt on serviceable part and never a core. Since most parts are generally found in this category the best thing to do is include all pertinent information you have available such as age and overall condition.

RE MANUFACTURED - A remanufactured part or assembly is one that has undergone a complete disassembly down to all its individual components. All components are inspected for wear. Any components that are not within the manufacturers specifications are replaced with new (NOT USED) original equipment manufacturer specification components or new equivalent components. All bearings are replaced. As an example an engine would have replacement pistons and liners where applicable, the crankshaft could be reground, the camshaft and lifters would be replaced, etc. A remanufactured part or assembly should have the same life expectancy as a newly manufactured item that it is replacing. It would also normally come with a warranty. A remanufactured part or assembly has never been tested except by its original manufacturer and has never been put into service. A recently remanufactured part that has been installed and run is technically a used part or assembly. (This is why you are not normally permitted to return an electrical item to an auto parts store after you have installed and used it on your vehicle even if it was just on and off to troubleshoot).

REBUILT - Rebuilt is the shady gray area between remanufactured and repaired. A rebuilt part or assembly is dismantled down to its basic components. All parts are inspected for wear. Only components that do not meet the original equipment manufacturers specifications are replaced; for example not all bearings are replaced, only malfunctioning electrical components are replaced. Replacement components are NEW and meet all original equipment manufacturers specifications. A recently rebuilt part or assembly that has been installed and run is technically a used part or assembly. Rebuilt usually comes with a warranty.

REPAIRED - A repaired part or assembly is dismantled only to the point where a replacement part can be installed. A visual inspection of the remaining parts for defects and wear is normally conducted. The replacement part installed is generally a used part but may be used in conjunction with other new components. An example might be installing a new set of brushes and a new regulator in an alternator and not replacing the bearings or putting a used main shaft in a transmission and replacing one of the mains shaft bearings with a new one. A repaired part or assembly is generally considered as slightly better than a mid to long term used version. Due to the fact that major sub assemblies are "used components" the life expectancy would not be that of a rebuilt or remanfactured version of the same item.

CORE - A core is a part or assembly that is not damaged beyond the extent of being repaired or remanufactured and is normally removed from service before a major catastrophic event. It has all its basic components as manufactured. Examples would be an engine that uses oil but does not knock or an alternator that quit charging but spins freely.

SALVAGE - Salvage is a part or assembly that has undergone a catastrophic event but still has a few functional remaining parts or is an incomplete part or assembly. These remaining parts or assemblies are the source components used in a "REPAIRED" unit. A salvage unit is usually not economically repairable but may be of value as a parts source in some cases. An example would be a truck with the engine and transmission removed or truck with body damage where the repair cost would exceed the value of the vehicle before the damage occurred.

SCRAP - Scrap is a part or assembly that has undergone a catastrophic event and only has the remaining value of its raw materials. It may have some salvageable components or assemblies but is usually not economically feasible to remove them as salvage due to time constraints or the parts value.

Your comments are welcome.
 

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I have to say I believe it is unethical to list an item that has major damage and not mention it in the description. I bought an intercooler listed on this site that was obviously in a collision and had alot of damage; mounting brackets broken, dents, slight bow, and one cracked tube that would need heliarc repair. The seller simply said it was insured for shipping damage....shipping damage does not cause pulley shaped marring and broken brackets.
 

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I recently sold a motorcycle. I told the buyer that it wasn't perfect. It had some scratches and some scrapes. Also that there was light fading to the fairings. He somewhat freaked because i told him that it was in great condition, and my more detailed description made him think it was a pile of crap. It's all interpretation and opinion. I still considered the bike in great condition for an 8 year old bike, but i tried to be as honest as possible so as to not give the impression that it was in showroom condition. When he showed up, he was very happy with the condition, it was even better than he expected. I would rather have a seller be surprised at how good of condition something is, than how bad the condition is. There is still some amount of marketing that needs to be done to sell something though. I think that a lot of people know they couldn't get what something's is worth if they are completely honest...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Any other comments? I plan on turning this into a "Sticky" in the "Classifieds" section in the near future.
 

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I recently sold my parents old car for them.

I got a lot of questions about the condition of the mechanics of the car, and spouses asking about the cosmetics. I told them that I considered it to be mechanically good and cosmetically lacking, but always reminded them that they were purchasing a one thousand dollar car. If it was in better conditioin I'd be asking more for it. I told tham that if I needed that car it would be worth a thousand dollars to me, knowing the maintenance and condition.

That worked for most people, but some still wanted to point out every flaw and really try to get it for nothing.
 

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I believe It's up to the seller to provide an accurate description but not point out every minor detail, I mean you are trying to sell something. If it's junk, say it's junk. It's the buyer's responsibility to do research and ask questions prior to making an offer.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok, the goal is to give some guidelines primarily at the "parts" level, such as an ad for a transmission, clutch assembly, an engine as examples since that is usually the type of item that gets listed for sale. As an example, if you were selling a used transmission with a new input shaft it would be listed as a "used transmission" and not as a "remanufactured transmission" because it didn't under go a complete remanufacturing process. Yes, honesty is definitely priority number one in all cases.
 
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