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It’s Buyer Beware For Online Keys and Fobs

Buying Car Keys and Fobs Online
OEM vs Aftermarket Online Keys
Types of On Line Keys
Remote Headed Shells
Remote Head Key Shell

While it may seem that there are advantages to buying keys online, caveat emptor, let the buyer beware. Let’s explore the reality behind buying keys online.

Do You Really Get What You Need?

Let’s face it the newer electronic keys and fobs are expensive and easily damaged. For this reason many car or truck owners opt to buy their keys online. When buying online keys many vendors ask for your VIN number. The vendor uses the VIN to determine which key or fob is right for your vehicle. Unfortunately, there are often  several alternative keys or fobs for the same VIN. This means that unless the vendor contacts an automotive dealer to see which one is yours, you will ultimately get the wrong one.

OEM vs Aftermarket

When you buy keys online you’re never really sure if you are getting keys made by the manufacturer (OEM), or an Aftermarket knockoff. Many online traders claim that their keys are OEM keys or fobs but in fact, are badly made imitations. It is common that there will be problems trying to get the aftermarket keys to work the way that you expect them to.

Chinese Keys

There is a reason why online keys cost less than their name brand alternatives. Many of the keys sold online have been reversed engineered by companies in China who then make knockoff copies. These knockoffs can be incomplete in their designs which means that they don’t work very well or not at all.

Shells vs Actual Keys or Fobs

Low price is a powerful attraction to online keys and fobs. However, sometimes the price is too good to be true. Some online vendors will also list key shells (plastic housings), and you may think you are getting a working key or fob. In fact, all that you are getting is the plastic case without any of the required electronic parts inside.

Steel Blanks Instead of Nickle Plated Brass

We have experienced situations where unsuspecting online key buyers are sold steel keys rather than nickel plated brass. Steel blanks are much harder than nickel plating so they can damage key machines. For this reason we refuse to cut steel key blanks or insert keys. Steel keys can also damage your vehicle’s locks by causing internal damage due to their increased hardness.

Fob or Key Failure

As was stated above, many of the online keys and fobs are made in China and are bad copies or knockoffs. This means that the materials and workmanship is not the best and that your key can fail prematurely. We have seen customer’s online keys that fail in as little as 6 months after they purchase them. These same folks often times will come to us for higher quality replacements.

Programming Issues

Sometimes online keys are not compatible with your vehicle. Despite vendor promises of compatibility, your new online key may not be accepted by your vehicle. For this reason when we program customer provided keys, we do not warrant anything including damage to a vehicle’s electronics as a result of using an online key.

There have been cases where incompatible keys have caused a vehicle to lock up and then the owner has to get it towed to a dealer. In the end it is just not worth the risk to save a few dollars on online keys.

Warranty Issues

Almost all online keys do in fact come with a warranty. The challenge of that warranty is getting a replacement when your fob or key fails. The vendor can require that you return the defective key before they issue a replacement. This can leave you without a working key or even vehicle.

Then there is the fact that the replacement key or fob must be programmed into your vehicle which is an additional cost as well. So when you think about it online keys are not really warranted.

Buy Your Keys From Us

At Local Locksmith we offer a 1 year warranty on every key or fob that we sell. We only buy from legitimate suppliers so you can be certain that you get a product that will last for many years. We stand behind what we sell and make certain that you are happy with your purchase. Buying from us is a much more economical alternative than trusting that your online keys will give you what you paid for.

Call Local Locksmith TODAY!

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Transponder Key Shell
VW Key Shell
Flip Key Shell
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