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The term 'Aftermarket' can be rather confusing.....for example: A GM wheel bearing, original equipment part number, purchased from Rock Auto parts, is considered 'Aftermarket' in general terms.
In this case, you have a OE part marketed through a aftermarket channel.

Same part source, Rock Auto, also sells wheel bearings for the same car produced by different manufacturers......maybe located in China, or Poland. Generally less expensive than the GM part from the same supplier.
These are true 'aftermarket' replacement parts.
Often, the inexpensive parts are used by those willing to 'roll the dice' in the name of quality, or folks that are repairing the car prior to selling it.

So, to be more definitive, aftermarket is any replacement part that uses a different part number than a manufacturer CURRENTLY (part numbers change) uses for the same replacement component.


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