All: Recently, I read a post by Steve Brotherton in which he suggested using www.car-parts.com
as a source for used parts. I thought I would give it a try when I found that I needed to replace the engine computer control unit for my 1988 560SL. This is a high ticket item and buying "new" is not an option.
I went to the website and filled out the search criteria for my part. It produced a list of 206 salvage yards across the country that supposedly had the part I was looking for. The results were ranked by price--ranging from a high of $450. to a low of $65.--some had no price listed. Every listing had either a phone number or email address to contact the seller.
I picked about 10 vendors with the lowest price and sent them an email message advising of the specific part number that I wanted (there are 3 interchangeable part numbers that I found from an earlier post here on the Tech forum). The next day I received 5 email responses from people who had the item I wanted. I picked a salvage yard in Thaxton, VA and called their toll-free number. They confirmed availability and answered my questions about warranty etc (they gave 30 days on the computer--other items range up to a year).
I paid by credit card at 1:00PM and the item was on my doorstep in Savannah, GA. the next day at 3:00PM. I plugged it in and "bingo" all my electrical problems were solved. Cost to repair??? $75. plus $10 to ship, and no tax.
The Internet puts all of the salvage yards across the country at your disposal, without so much as getting out of your easy chair. Is this a great country or what??