Used Rims from B&M Auto vs Used Rims from Craigslist
Why Our Waukesha Used Auto Parts Salvage Yard Is Better Than Buying Off Craiglist
|B&M Auto is your Milwaukee area source for quality used rims at affordable prices. Contact us at (262) 542-2255 to check availability of rims in your size.
A lot of people looking for a good deal on a set of used rims look in the Craigslist Milwaukee listings. While it’s true you can score some great buys on Craigslist, you'll also come across plenty of Craigslist flakes and freaks.
For those undeterred by the statistically high potential for weirdness that comes with buying anything off of Craigslist, we offer this guide on what to watch out for when buying a set of used rims and how buying from B&M stacks up against buying from a seller on Craigslist.
Four Problems to Look for in a Used Rim
1. Cracks in the rim
If you’re looking at a set of used aluminum rims, you’ll want to inspect them well for cracks. The lip of the wheel is the most common place where cracks occur, so start there. But don’t stop there! Look carefully at the entire rim, inside and out.
Steel rims are less prone to cracking, but they do bend around the lip. And then there’s the rust issue—which should be pretty obvious unless someone’s done a quick sand down and rattle can paint job to hide the rust. (Be suspicious of any rims that reek of fresh Rustoleum.) Because steel is malleable, a bent or damaged lip often poses no problems—but we’d only recommend using it as a spare.
Unfortunately, many Craigslist sellers feel no obligation to inform potential buyers of cracks in the rims they’re selling, while others legitimately have no idea they’re there. As the saying goes, Buyer Beware!
At B&M Auto, however, we thoroughly inspect any rims we put up for sale and provide an honest assessment of their condition. If they’re not safe for use, they go into the pile of parts destined for the recycling yard.
Advantage: B&M Auto.
2. Bent rims
You can’t tell if a rim is bent when it’s lying on the floor of someone’s garage, but if you can roll it a few feet in front of you on a flat spot you’ll be able to see if it hops or wobbles. If it does, it’s likely bent—which will make it really difficult (perhaps even impossible) for a tire shop to balance when the tire is mounted. Even worse, a bent rim is more prone to fail.
Often, rims are sold on Craigslist with a set of tires already mounted. It may seem like a great two-fer deal, but be careful. The only way to determine if the rims are true is to take the wheels to a tire shop and have them tested. If the seller balks at going with you for this or gives you the “Trust me, there’s nothing wrong with these” schtick, it’s best to just keep looking. Sometimes, sellers will offer to refund your money if you take them to a shop and find they’re not true. Don’t count on it, though.
On the other hand, B&M Auto checks all the rims we sell to make sure they’re true. Any completely hopeless rim goes to be reincarnated by the recyclers. If any are slightly bent but still serviceable, we’ll let you know. Also, we don’t sell rims with tires mounted on them, so there’s no chance of a tire hiding a flaw on the inside of a rim.
Advantage: B&M Auto
3. Ovalized lug holes
The bolt holes on rims should be perfectly round. If they’ve taken on an oval shape, it’s a sure sign the tires were not balanced correctly or the wheels weren’t mounted right. Three words of advice: Don’t. Buy. Them. Not even if the seller offers to take $50 off the price.
Ovalized lug holes are the sort of thing most Craigslist sellers will either A) Conveniently neglect to mention in their listing or B) Not even realize until you point it out to them. In either case, you’ve wasted a trip to go look at them, and as Sweet Brown would say, “ain’t nobody got time for that.”
This sort of thing just doesn’t happen when you buy from B&M because, quite simply, we won’t sell rims with ovalized lug holes. They get sent to the recycling pile to come back as aluminum cans.
Advantage: B&M Auto
4. Weld lines
This doesn’t happen often, but sometimes an unsuspecting buyer buys a set of rims with some old tires on them, only to later find a crack in the rim was repaired with a weld only visible on the inside of the rim. The discovery is only made when the buyer takes the wheels to a tire shop to get the ratty old tires replaced.
While a good weld job on a cracked rim is usually fine, you have no way of knowing who did the welding and, more to the point, if you bought a set of wheels with tires on them it’s pretty annoying to find out later you bought a rim with a repaired crack.
Sure, it’s possible the Craigslist seller just forgot all about the repair he had done on the rim, but the more likely scenario is he just decided not to mention it. If you’re going to buy from someone on Craigslist and the rims have tires mounted, ask to take them to a tire shop and have the tires removed so you can look inside the rim. This is usually a deal killer, and if it’s not you can expect to foot the bill for having this done.
At B&M Auto, we sell used rims and used tires separately, so you can take a good look inside the rim (or tire) before you buy. No surprises.
Advantage: B&M Auto Sales & Parts
The Craigslist Seller’s “Trust me, man” vs B&M Auto’s Guarantee
|As a Gold Seal Certified member of the Automotive Recyclers Association, B&M Auto conforms to the highest standards of integrity.|
When you buy a set of rims off Craigslist, there’s no guarantee beyond the seller’s word that they’re fine and a “trust me.” Sellers who tell you they’ll refund your money if there’s a problem typically come up with a sad story to explain why they can’t possibly do a refund when there is a problem (i.e. “Mom fell and broke her hip,” “I have to pay the vet for pulling 8 of my dog’s teeth,” etc.) If you find a problem, you can count on being stuck with it.
B&M Auto, on the other hand, backs every used auto part we sell with a 90-day warranty, a 15-day return policy, and a 30-day exchange policy. As far as we know, no Craigslist seller comes close to this.
And again… Advantage: B&M Auto Sales and Parts
The Craigslist Shopping Experience vs the B&M Auto Shopping Experience
Not everyone selling things on Craigslist is a kook, but there are enough stories to make anyone a little nervous. If you’re not comfortable going to a stranger’s house by yourself to get a deal on some used rims, either bring someone with you (and let someone else know where you’re both going), or look into other options. Most people are decent, law abiding citizens, but there’s always the possibility of running across someone with a scheme to rob you…or worse.
On the other hand, buying used rims from our Waukesha salvage yard is a walk in the park. Our clean, well lit lobby is staffed by courteous and helpful employees who pull the part(s) you need from our warehouse and bring them to you. There’s no schlepping your toolbox around acres of wrecked cars to pull the parts you need. It’s more like shopping at an auto parts store than going to a salvage yard.
This shouldn’t come as any surprise…
Advantage: B&M Auto Sales and Parts
Contact B&M Auto Sales and Parts for pricing and availability of used rims for your vehicle.
Looking for used tires? Check out this article on used tires from B&M Auto.