What I mean by "rip-off" is trying to figure out what you're getting or the seller simply trading on their brand name to basically relabel cheap parts. There are a ton of places buying plain chinese brake rotors, for example, then drilling and slotting in North America. Just enough work that the "Made in wherever" label can be slapped on them and then selling them as "premium" products. Sometimes, they are easy to spot (they don't sell any plain rotors, for example)
Same is going on the these control arms. Most of the metal part is made in Taiwan for a lot of them. Not a big deal as few control arms fail because of poor metal. The economy ones also get fitted (in Taiwan) with rubber bushings and Taiwan-made ball joints. Other ones have the metal part brought here and then fitted with bushings and ball joints here. A lot of people think that the bushings and ball joints made here are better, but they're often only the same quality or are actually even another foreign part just assembled here. Good companies (like Bern-Ackley) actually do make good ball joints and use them in their premium line of control arms, but the rest of the arms is still probably the same Taiwanese metal. Some companies also sell an economy line which may have the same old quality ball joint as anyone else. So just buying a brand name isn't a guarantee either: 3rd party parts sellers might be selling the economy line at the premium price or they might be selling the premium line at the premium price.
So what are you really buying? A completely made in Taiwan part, a part that is assembled here from Taiwan parts or a part that is assembled here from some foreign parts and some really good domestic parts? Price and brand name really aren't good indicators anymore, particularly with global nature of the supply chain.
Okay, so that was a bit of a rant. In short, I don't know what I just bought, but then again I rarely really know what I'm buying anyway. Maybe I found a great deal, I'll update later
Last edited by MikeHJ; Apr 20th, 2017 at 11:45 PM.