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This is a question for people familiar with the auto parts industry.

I'm looking for brake master cylinders, and I notice:

  • O'Reilly has a "BrakeBest" unit, with a particular part number.
  • Advance/CarQuest has a "Wearever" unit with the exact same part number.
  • Amazon has an "AC Cardone" unit, same part number.
  • My local family-owned auto parts store can also get the Cardone unit.

So, this has me suspicious. Not least, "BrakeBest" and "Wearever" sound to me like house brands - a single large retailer private-labels the items from a third-party factory (e.g. Cardone).

So... Are these all independently manufactured by different manufacturers and simply using the same part number owing to industry standards? Or are they all simply units from the same factory (presumably Cardone), all being private-labeled under different names?

It's important because of quality, experience and customer reviews. If my or others' experience is that "BrakeBest" is rubbish, then if it's the same unit as Wearever and Cardone, I need to know that.


Followup question: How does physical inventory work? If each of the parts chains sees one unit of model 12-3456 in my locality... does that mean there are three physical units and I could order one of each? ... Or, if I order it from O'Reilly, will AutoZone now suddenly be "out of stock" locally?

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  • I've always been under the assumption the same part number is used between different brands because it's most likely the same as the OEM part number. At least I've seen this done many different times like this. It would make finding the part a whole lot easier. Who knows, you could be right ... same remanufacturer selling to more than one re-seller. May 25 at 23:39
  • Are O'Reilly and Advance using "store chain specific" brand names? Rebranding generic parts is common practice in retailing. Between them, the O'Reilly and Advance chains have nearly 10,000 stores. They certainly don't keep a stock of slow-moving parts like brake cylinders that are different for every car maker and every engine size in every store. Either they have their own centralized warehouse and distribution system, or they buy from a specialist supplier when they receive an order.
    – alephzero
    May 26 at 0:36
  • My assumption is that the house brands use the same part, but with a different quality control. Short anectote: For VW / BMW one often gets third-party parts where the VW / BMW logo got milled away. That means that this part runs from the same production line as the original one, but got sold under the suppliers name. It is unknown if they just want to sell some parts on their own or the part got rejected by QC
    – Martin
    Jun 11 at 12:42
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You are correct, Brakebest and Wearever are 'house brands' who sell parts sourced from Cardone, who are the manufacturers. This is why the part number is identical. Not sure where you are viewing the part numbers but it is possible that those 'house brands' do actually have their own part number but the sites you are viewing just use the one part number for ease of administration.

For example, if the part had of been manufactured by different companies, even if it fulfils the identical function on the same vehicle, it will have a different part number which is assigned according to that companies numbering system. Note; there may be variations in the appearance, quality or in some of the materials used.

However, when you go to a retailer, those different part numbers will be linked to the one OEM part number.

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